Author(s): Shona Riddell
The Tale of the Anzac Tortoise is the story of two kids who meet a real life-war tortoise and go back in time to witness the battles of Anzac Cove in 1915. Shona’s family history provides much of the inspiration behind this story. Her great-great aunt Nora was stationed in the Middle East during World War One as a nurse, and received a tortoise from a wounded soldier who had put him in his pocket for safe keeping. The tortoise, originally named Peter, was a family pet who finally passed away in 1994 after a quiet retirement in Raumati. He was featured in several newspapers as an “Anzac veteran”.
The Official NZ Defence Force artist Matt Gauldie and Shona Riddell have created a children's book about a time-travelling war tortoise.
Shona Riddell has been a writer and journalist for over 15 years, both in NZ and overseas. Her writing has been published in the New Zealand Herald, the Listener, the Sunday Star-Times, and NEXT magazine, among others, and she has published two parenthood books on Amazon. As a copywriter, she has also written for millions of people on behalf of companies such as Trade Me and StarNow. Hon. Captain Matthew Gauldie has been New Zealand’s official defence force artist for almost 10 years, one of just a few artists ever to be selected for this prestigious role. Over the past decade he has produced many paintings and sculptures of military subjects for official army exhibitions (including at the Museum of Auckland). Matt is also an award-winning artist independent of his army role. He has exhibited his work publicly through dozens of solo and group exhibitions for almost 20 years, covering themes ranging from rural New Zealand to Maoritanga to Wellington’s nightlife.