The Cross Country Kiwis series has been created by Chanelle O’Sullivan and Sarah Drummond with kids from ages 5-12 in mind. In brief, it is a New Zealand kids travel activity book.
Chanelle has a 3 year old boy and a 6 year old girl. She originates from Auckland but has resided between South Canterbury and the Mackenzie High Country for the past 11 years after marrying a local. She is a raging multipotentialite with a background in the primary industries and entrepreneurship with many projects on the go and came up with the book concept when Miss 6 asked “How many towns are there between Timaru and Nelson?”
Sarah was born in New York, raised throughout Southeast Asia and spent her high school and university years in Florida before also meeting her South Cantabrian man. She has based herself in Timaru for the past 7 years, working as a professional freelance photographer and designer. Sarah is spending the majority of 2018 backpacking the world with her husband and 5 year old girl and plans to be back in South Canterbury in the new year.
Both Sarah and Chanelle get fidgety when they haven’t travelled for a while which results in wild impromptu road trips around New Zealand with 3 kids and 2 dogs in tow. This is where XCK all began - in our desire to lessen the occurrence of road trip scraps and the constant question of “Are we nearly there yet?”
After doing our research we realised there was nothing available like this for the NZ market. We did come across books from overseas which were similar but with much less detail and none that covered smaller, country towns. Often these small country towns are where great people, ideas and products have originated from.
We also love teaching our kids unusual facts and showing them places off the beaten track so this is why the book is full of ‘Did you know’, secret spots and child-friendly hikes, alongside word searches, anagrams, car games, photos of stunning locations, areas of maori cultural significance and maori place names as well history and brainteasers.
For us, travel, nature, local history, understanding how certain rock formations were created, or even latin names for clouds and constellations is our way of teaching our kids that there is more to life than Netflix and iPads and reminding them that NZ is one of the most beautiful, unique and untouched places in the world. For them to be proud and passionate about our country, they need to know as much about it as possible. In turn we hope it will give a strong sense of belonging and drive for what NZ has to offer and how we can look after it going forward. We want to instill our passion in our children and give them a childhood full of adventures, excitement and dirt without relying on technology.
The South Island edition, complete with over 200 towns and cities is due for release in November 2018 with the North Island edition being developed in the first half of 2019.
If you would like to know more, view a sample or talk about stocking our book, please get in touch with us either via the Cross Country Kiwis Facebook page or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Chanelle + Sarah