Zambesi's Elisabeth Findlay Draws for Charity

Zambesi designer Elisabeth Findlay has illustrated a children's story book to help raise funds for the Starship Foundation

Zambesi designer Elisabeth Findlay with the book Kindness, Courage, and More Uplifting Stories. Picture / Supplied

Zambesi co-founder and designer Elisabeth Findlay has put pen to paper for a good cause, teaming up with Massey Primary School student Kikka Okuno to illustrate her story The Girl Who Wouldn’t.

Kikka was one of nine winners of the 2016 Barfoot & Thompson Young Authors Challenge, whose work has been collated into storybook Kindness, Courage, and More Uplifting Stories - proceeds from which will go to the Starship Foundation.

There were more than 1600 story entries penned by children from primary and intermediate schools across Auckland and Northland. The nine up-and-coming writers chosen to be included in the book were mentored by award-winning children’s writer Maria Gill.

Alongside Elisabeth's drawing, there are illustrations by well-known Kiwi musicians, foodies, and artists like Otis Frizzell and Keven Mealamu. The money raised from sales will be used to purchase a range of children’s story books for patients to read while they are in Starship, and to take home when discharged.

The hospital and cause are close to Elisabeth's heart. "Starship were absolutely wonderful when our grandson Bruno had emergency surgery at three weeks old," she says. "The doctors and staff were amazing and my daughter Marissa [Bruno’s mother] and our family are eternally grateful."

Elisabeth was inspired by Kikka's story and strong-willed female character Jill, drawing a dramatic silhouette of her in the spotty dress with a Sharpie (below). She says she enjoyed the challenge of doing something she hadn't done before; sketching with her grandson and daughters Marissa and Sophie.

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