Children’s author and illustrator Kylie Howarth has revealed that fishing along the shores of Myalup and Binningup as a child ignited her love of the ocean and inspired her latest series. The Fishkid writer, who spent her childhood in Harvey, has published six books including four picture books. They are themed around the ocean and aim to teach children about environmental threats and the importance of protecting marine life. “I write books to entertain first and foremost,” Howarth said. “There are cliff hangers at the end of every chapter, however, I also like to include a facts page for kids who are interested in learning more.” Howarth has travelled to Ningaloo and the Maldives to research for her books and it was in the Maldives where she came across the negative consequences plastic had on turtles and other marine life. This experience inspired her to write about environmental threats such as climate change in an engaging manner that would appeal to kids. “My son has dyslexia so I’m always looking to keep the books fast-paced,” she said. Her love of the ocean started when she was living in Harvey as a young girl. “I’d always go fishing along the Myalup and Binningup coast with my dad,” Howarth said. Her dad was Ron Slipper, the manual arts teacher at the Harvey Primary School. She believes she inherited his creative side and recalls learning to drive in a go-kart made by her father. “I remember growing up in Harvey near the Marshalls’ orange orchard,” she said. “My brother and I would run up and down the orchard isles and throw oranges over the top to try and hit the tractor.” Howarth said she remembered Don Marshall allowing her to join the boys’ hockey team. “I think I was the only girl at the time, but by the end of the year, other girls had joined in.” Howarth is giving book week presentations around the State and is getting ready to release her new Fishkid book.