Imagine this! A world of story on two wheels traveling from Waiheke to Wellington to collect stories all about cycling. Performance storyteller and children’s author, Tanya Batt is marrying her two loves – riding a bike and telling stories to create a pedal powered storytelling adventure that stretches from Waiheke Island to Wellington.
The project has three main aims:
1. To encourage cycling amongst children
2. To collect and create a book of stories all about cycling for children
3. To raise the awareness and funds for the Once Upon An Island Charitable Trust.
The project kicks of February to coincide with National Bike Wise Month. With help from people like Jonathan Kennett, a cycle route has been plotted that travels down the west coast of the North Island before heading inland through the Wairarapa.
Selected schools will be visited along the way and treated to a storytelling workshop with Tanya using a Kamishibai Theatre. Kamishibai is a Japanese form of illustrated storytelling that takes place off the back of a bicycle. While working in Japan Tanya researched and replicated a Kamishibai Theatre.
The aim is to share stories about cycling using the Kamishibai and encourage children to tell their own stories using the form. These stories will then be compiled into a book for children all about cycling history, recreation and safety. The idea for this book about cycling crystalised as Tanya pedaled around Europe and the UK last year. She says “I come from a family of recreational cyclists. We all had bikes from a young age, for getting to school and for playing on. I’d love to see more children have the opportunity to experience the joy and freedom of cycling.” Tanya hopes that the people in the communities the project passes through will feel inspired to jump on their bikes and join her on her journey.
Those who would like to join Tanya or support the project can visit www.fundraiseonline.co.nzonceuponanisland Or email OnceUponAnIsland@gmail.com