How Does My Garden Grow? Pollination, of course

February 15th, 2023

Christopher Cheng and Danny Snell combine their considerable talents to celebrate the importance of pollination and pollinators in their beautiful picture book.

Christopher Cheng smiles at the camera holding a copy of the picture book 'Pollination'. in the background is a native bee hive.

Christopher’s own native bee hive was the inspiration for his book Pollination: How Does My Garden Grow? (Photo: Daniel Woo, dandesigns)


Pollination is more than just a reproductive process, it’s life itself!

Without pollination most of our food crops would not be able to produce their fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts or grains and there would be no seeds for new crops. Pollination is critical to the survival of our worldwide ecosystems, so we need to protect the pollinators.

But who are these pollinators? Well next time you’re in your garden or local park take a look around and you will find them. Creatures like bees, birds, butterflies, bats, beetles, reptiles, wasps and flies are all important pollinators – tasked with the job of keeping our planet alive!

Understanding the vital role of pollination and pollinators requires awareness, and that’s why author Christopher Cheng and illustrator Danny Snell have combined their considerable talents to release a children’s picture book entitled Pollination: How Does My Garden Grow?

We asked Christopher about his inspiration for the book.


A copy of the book Pollination sitting in a garden box surrounded by leafy green plants.

Explore the backyard in Pollination: How Does My Garden Grow? (Photo: Virginia Streit)


“My love of wildlife began many years ago when I was an education officer at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo. While I was there, I established Australia’s first travelling zoo.

“The ‘Zoomobile’ allowed me to travel with a menagerie of our native animals (many that were orphaned and that I’d hand-raised) to schools and hospitals that couldn’t easily visit the zoo.”


A young Christopher Cheng leaning out of a van window with a cockatoo.

Christopher and his feathered friend in the ‘Zoomobile’. (Photo: author supplied)


“During that time my animal knowledge really blossomed as I’d spend time talking to the zookeepers who were walking encyclopaedias of the animals in their charge, and also endless hours observing the animals in my care.

“It was also during this time that my first animal themed book was released. More than 30 years later I’m still creating animal and environmentally themed titles!”


A black and white photo of a young Christopher Cheng holding a snake in his right hand and a copy of a book in his left, while a cockatoo peers over his shoulder.

Christopher has loved writing books on animals and nature for more than 30 years! (Photo: author supplied)


Christopher has now authored more than 40 children’s books including Pollination: How Does My Garden Grow? which had its origins very close to home.

“My wife has always and forever been called ‘Ms B’ at school so it was probably inevitable that bees would make their way in to our lives and more specifically to our inner-city terrace.

“My godsons who lived across the road had a native beehive (Tetragonula sp.) and when they moved interstate my Christmas present was the hive. It now sits in our courtyard and I have the opportunity to observe native bees up close. I make sure that our garden beds have plenty of flowering plants so that the bees don’t have to fly far.”

But it’s not just bees that are important pollinators and in Pollination: How Does My Garden Grow? we meet a variety of animals involved in pollination as a child spends a day with their grandparents exploring the backyard.


Illustration of a child and their grandparents seated on the porch watching a fruit bat fly across the night sky to a tree.

Time in the garden with Gran and Pa leads to a wonderful exploration of pollination. (Illustration: Danny Snell)


Danny Snell has been working as an illustrator for more than 20 years. His wonderful illustrations allowed Pollination: How Does My Garden Grow? to bloom in full colour!




A 3D image of the picture book Pollination which features a child on the front cover holding a posy of flowers.

Pollination: How Does My Garden Grow?


In Pollination: How Does My Garden Grow? you’ll discover the different ways that pollination happens in our gardens and backyards.

The book can be purchased from our website or through your local bookstore. Teacher Notes are also available to download free from our website.

Learn even more about pollinators and pollination on the Australian Pollinator Week website. Australian Pollinator Week is celebrated each November.



Christopher Cheng wearing a red shirt and a fedora, holding a copy of his book 'Pollination'.

Author Christopher Cheng. (Photo: Daniel Woo, dandesigns)

Christopher Cheng adores writing, especially picture books. He has been shortlisted for the CBCA and NSW Premier’s Literary awards, and won the Wilderness Society’s Environment Award for Children’s Literature. He is Co-Chair of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Advisory Council.


Danny Snell smiling to the camera against a green and black background and holding a copy of his book 'Pollination'.

Illustrator Danny Snell. (Photo: illustrator supplied)






Danny Snell has been working as an illustrator for over 20 years. His picture books have won awards including the CBCA Eve Pownall Award, the Wilderness Society’s Environment Award for Children’s Literature and more.