248 pages, 120+ colour illustrations
New Zealand's birds as you have never seen them before. World renowned artist Ray Ching has created a truly unique celebration of New Zealand's birds and landscapes. Magical, humorous and beautiful, this is the imagined story of Aesop's visit to Aotearoa New Zealand, described by its creator, Ray Ching, as an Antipodean Fantasy.
Told in six parts, the story begins with The Arrival, in which the birds of New Zealand scramble to share the news of Aesop's visit. The second part, The Voyage, outlines Aesop's background and life before he journeys to New Zealand. The third part – The Great Bathing – looks at the preparations of the birds as they ready themselves for the concert they plan to give in Aesop's honour, while The Journeys illustrates some of the voyages the birds had to make to be there. Then there is The Concert itself, and once the birds have found suitable vantage points from which to watch the proceedings, the stories and songs begin. The final part, The Fables, follows Aesop as he travels the country making notes and writing fables based on the birds and animals he sees.
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Ray Ching is considered by many to be one of the best wildlife painters of the twentieth century. Growing up on a farm in Nelson, New Zealand, he was introduced to the birds and other creatures that have remained central to his art. Books of his paintings include: The Reader's Digest Book of British Birds (1969), Raymond Ching, The Bird Paintings (1978), Studies & Sketches of a Bird Painter (1981), New Zealand Birds (1987), Wild Portraits (1988), Journey of an Artist (1990), Kiwis, A Monograph of the Family Apterygidae (1990), Voice from the Wilderness (1994), and Aesop's Kiwi Fables (2012). Raymond Ching is now based in Bradford-on-Avon, England.