Lantern tale spotlights 25 years of work

Tristan WheelerManjimup-Bridgetown Times
Bridgetown author Steve Heron with his book, Ling Li’s Lantern.
Camera IconBridgetown author Steve Heron with his book, Ling Li’s Lantern. Credit: Tristan Wheeler/Manjimup-Bridgetown Times, Tristan Wheeler

Bridgetown author Steve Heron launched his book Ling Li’s Lantern at the Bridgetown Library on Thursday night.

“This is my local town, so having local people and being part of the community here makes it something really special,” he said.

About 30 people turned out for the launch, which featured an address by Mr Heron, who was introduced by his friend Lorraine Horsley from the Society Of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

The launch is the culmination of 25 years of work on the story, which has seen it become a short story and a play, before finally becoming a picture book.

“When I visited China 10 years ago, I saw a wind and rain bridge with five pagodas on it and just fell in love with this village and decided that my story should be set there, in China,” he said.

Mr Heron said the key themes of the story were wisdom and compassion.

“It’s suitable reading-wise for six to 10-year-olds, but the story is suitable for three to 30,000-year-olds, because it’s one of those eternal tales.

To ensure the story was culturally accurate, Mr Heron consulted with members of the Chinese community in Australia.

“I did a bit of research and the illustrator did a lot of research and we made some connections with the Chinese community,” he said.

“I also had the cultural relevance checked with the senior librarian at the Qing Dao International School in Qing Dao.”

Bridgetown-Greenbushes shire recreation and culture manager Shane Ellis said it was fantastic to promote and support local authors.

The book is illustrated by Benjamin Johnston and is available for purchase.

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