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Sunday, 26 November 2017 12:32 am

Sir Ed’s adventures bought back to life in children’s book

Nov 8th, 2015 | By | Category: Arts/Entertainment, Front Page Layout, Latest News

WELLINGTON artist Phoebe Morris has illustrated a children’s book about the exploits of Sir Edmund Hillary.

‘First to the Top – Sir Edmund Hillary’s Amazing Everest Adventure’ was written by author and journalist, David Hill and published by Penguin.

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Phoebe Morris with a copy of First to the top.

The book chronicles Sir Ed’s journey from childhood to the top of Mount Everest.

It also explores Sir Ed’s later adventures and his enduring friendship with climbing partner, Tenzing Norgay.

After working on the book for over a year Phoebe says she learnt a lot about Sir Ed.

“When I started off, I didn’t know a heck of a lot about him.”

Having researched Sir Ed for the book, she is amazed at how much he managed to fit into one lifetime.

Sir Ed’s iconic status meant Phoebe was conscious of portraying him in the right way.

She began by drawing several realistic studies of Sir Ed before she began stylising him for the book.

Because he remains in the living memory of many New Zealanders she was conscious of the need to do him and his story justice.

The book got the go ahead from Sir Ed’s children, Peter and Sarah.

Phoebe says their approval was a relief and she was glad they didn’t have an issue with how he had been depicted.

While the book is factual, it is written like an adventure story which Phoebe thinks is important in keeping children engaged.

“It might be the first time many kids are introduced to Ed and his story, so it’s important to make sure it’s a good one,” she says.

Phoebe is about to start work on a second book commissioned by Penguin and will again be working with David Hill.

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