Children's drawings published as book

Dunedin artist Rod Eales (centre) and young artists at Early Childhood on Stafford (from left)...
Dunedin artist Rod Eales (centre) and young artists at Early Childhood on Stafford (from left) Natalie Collie (3), Ashley Johns (4), Abbey Norquay-McMillan (4), Sophia Booth (5), Gemma Body (5) and Abigail Kinnaird (3). PHOTO: BRENDA HARWOOD

Excitement is high among some of Dunedin's youngest artists as they see their art work published in book form.

A dozen children at the Early Childhood on Stafford centre have worked under the guidance of Dunedin artist and early childhood teacher Rod Eales for the past five months to create the book, titled It's Dark in Space.

The book, which was launched last weekend, features 50 colour plates of drawings about space developed by the children as they worked their way through a long-term investigation of space.

Ms Eales said the It's Dark in Space project had encompassed the science, history, mysteries, drama and beauty of space.

"It was a big project for us, initiated by the children's interest in the science and origins of space,'' she said.

The boys had been excited to learn about concepts such as infinity and gravity, while the girls had been most interested in the stars and the beauty of space.

Along with using their imaginations, the children had gained inspiration by visiting Otago Museum's Planetarium and looking at information in books, photographs and online.

The hundreds of resulting drawings expressed a range of knowledge, skills and attitudes that reflected the children's understanding and curiosity about a remote part of the natural world, she said.

Ms Eales worked with Dunedin-based book designer Christine Beuss to lay out the images for It's Dark in Space, and the book's production was funded through a Boosted crowdfunding campaign.

"I'm delighted with how the book has turned out - it is a beautiful book, and quite unique given the age of the artists,'' she said.

• The book is for sale through Ms Eales at


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