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Kathy Gallimore with her animal tales. Photo: GORDON PREECE

Author releases animal tales

A devotion to animals led Ngātea author Kathy Gallimore to begin writing animal books for children.
The former Middlemore Hospital clerk told The Profile she had written three animal books for children and her first one titled Doggie Tales emerged from “a wim one day”.
“I’ve had horses, dogs and cats for most of my life and I can’t write dialogue very well for humans but I seem to be able to write it for animals,” she said.
“I thought I would write a book about dogs… then when I retired and moved to Ngātea in 2016 I was looking after a friend’s dog while they were on holiday in England and I bumped into [Thames illustrator] Pam Mayos.
“She invited me to her place and I looked down the hallway and saw all these beautiful drawings of animals of hers… and the next time I saw her I told her I’ve written this dog book, I’ve got the manuscript, and would you be interested in illustrating it?”
Kathy said her new companion agreed she could use her illustrations and a United Kingdom publisher later agreed to publish Doggie Tales in 2019.
“It’s about a dog who runs away from a cruel home and meets up with another dog who has had an unfortunate start in life and they decide to go for a wander together and come across the property with some other dogs in a farming community,” she said.
“They have all sorts of adventures and then at the end I thought children need to know animals don’t last forever so there’s a sad ending.
“One of them passes away and all the dogs are very upset of course but they all live happily ever after.”
Kathy’s book, Erica’s Story, which was also published in 2019, was inspired by her time as an SPCA volunteer.
“It’s about a cat that’s abandoned in a remote area and she becomes pregnant, has two kittens and tries to find somewhere to look after them.”
Kathy said Milk, Wool and Cheese, published this year, was “dreamt up” between her and Pam to give children an opportunity to learn that all animals could live together comfortably.
Kathy said her books were currently available online.