Guest Author: Johanna Knox, author of The Flytrap Snaps

Today we’re lucky to be joined by New Zealand author, Johanna Knox.  Johanna is the author of The Flytrap Snaps, one of my favourite New Zealand books of 2011.  It’s a quirky story with action, mystery and plenty of laughs.  Here’s Johanna to tell us all about carnivorous plants and the part they play in her story.

 

You know you’re a carnivorous plant fan when …

I’m normally a gentle, peace-loving sort of person – really I am! – but I get ghoulish shivers of, yes, almost delight, when I watch my own potted carnivorous plants eat bugs. I know I’m not the only one.

I admit it: It satisfies me to see house flies meeting their demise, while at the same time becoming food for a beautiful plant.

Carnivorous plants come in many shapes, sizes, colours, and species. I like to keep mine in pots along windowsills and in sheltered corners of the garden, and I try to water them most days. Sometimes they seem almost like pets, with their own personalities.

In fact, that’s why I started writing The Fly Papers series … to have fun imagining what each different carnivorous plant might be like if it grew a mind of its own, and could walk and talk.

If you’ve read the first book, The Flytrap Snaps, you’ll know it’s about a mutant Venus flytrap called Dion who wants to be a horror movie star.

The second book, which I’m busy with now, is called The Sundew Stalks. The name of the mutant sundew who stars in it is Dross.

Other species of carnivorous plant that you’ll meet in The Fly Papers include:

  • Bladderworts, which suck in their prey through underground trapdoors
  • Butterworts, which glue insects to their buttery leaves, and
  • Nepenthes, which have enormous pitchers, like cups, in which to catch their prey. (Real-life Nepenthes grow so big they sometimes trap frogs, lizards, birds, and small rodents.)

You can buy Venus flytraps, sundews, and pitcher plants in garden centres, or online, including on TradeMe.

When my family and I started collecting these plants, we lived in Wellington, but we made purchases from an amazing carnivorous plant nursery in Christchurch, run by Ross Taylor.  Since the earthquakes, Ross has downsized his nursery – for now. But he still sells plants at shows and privately.

And if you want to find out more about all sorts of carnivorous plants, you could start here, at The Fly Papers blog.

COMPETITION – Win a copy of The Flytrap Snaps

Answer this question: Why do you think the sundew character in The Fly Papers series is called Dross? (Hint: do an internet search on sundews.)

Email your answer with your name, address and phone number to christchurchkidsblog@ccc.govt.nz

All correct answers go in the draw to win a copy of The Flytrap Snaps.  Entries close Monday 30 January.  See below for terms and conditions 

  • To enter this competition you must be between 8 and 13 years old and live in Canterbury. We may ask for proof of your address and your age.
  • If you are a winner, you consent to your name, photograph, entry and/or interview being used for reasonable publicity purposes by Christchurch City Libraries.
  • Staff of Christchurch City Libraries and their immediate families are not able to enter.
  • The competition ends on Monday 30 January 2012 at 5pm.
  • We will announce the winners on the Christchurch Kids Blog on Tuesday 31 January 2012.
  • We will notify the winners by telephone and/or email.
  • The Christchurch Kids Blog judges decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  • Prizes are as stated and are not transferable.

1 Response so far

  1. 1

    Torbillonbyjoleensteel said,

    Such a creative story line. I love how it’s connected in a small way to your church. Kids will love this. Kudos to you!


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