Maretha Botha – a South African Italian – admits to being a chocoholic and unreformed coffee addict, a keen gardener and bird watcher, who likes to walk on the moors, where the stiff breeze coming in from the sea quickly clears her head to make way for more inspiration. She grew up in the Western Cape, Worcester – a town reminiscent of living in Switzerland among snow-capped mountains. In Worcester’s small library, young Maretha’s visits were limited to three times a week because the librarian told her, “You spend too much time with your nose in a book and neglect your school work.” Nothing much has changed. She remains a confirmed bookworm who constantly strives to raise more bookworms who enjoy reading, not just as a pleasant past-time, but as an excellent tool to be used when grown-up.
Before immigrating to the UK to settle in Lancashire, Maretha worked as a librarian in a private school in Botswana, where one of her tasks was to encourage children to enjoy reading. There, she gained valuable experience, carving her own career as a children’s author/illustrator, because her work brought her face to face with the literary industry’s toughest critics – children and preteens. She noticed that many students enjoyed reading about birds and animals, their care, habitats and general well-being. So, when her job was localised a few years later, this unforeseen occurrence led to a new chapter in her life. She began to write down everything she remembered about her family’s pets – their little habits and characteristics, and slowly but surely, Fauna Park Tales came to life. While researching the habits and interesting titbits about martial eagles, eagle owls, crimson-breasted shrikes, hoopoes and many smaller birds; illustrating and telling a believable story became easier. Her illustrations appear throughout Fauna Park Tales.
Connect with Maretha via…
You can find Maretha’s books listed under the following category in the RRBC Catalog:
To get your very own RRBC AUTHOR PAGE, click HERE!