'Our princess warrior': Amber's legacy lives on through children's picture book series

Amber Dawn Field lived a short but inspiring life.

Born with congenital heart disease, and therefore multiple birth defects in 2012, the much loved and bubbly Dawesville girl underwent a number of major heart surgeries from a young age.

But it never stopped Amber from enjoying all that life had to offer, especially surrounded by nature.

Amber's kindergarten teacher at St Damien's Primary School, Jenny Dowie, said the 5-year-old loved playing in the garden and learning about the school's Waste Wise initiatives.

"We had a special bond through Amber's love of the environment," she said.

"She loved the chooks we have at school and going to the beach."

When Amber passed away tragically in August 2017, the school community rallied behind the Field family to offer their support and carry on Amber's memory.

They created a fairy garden at the kindergarten classroom to honour Amber and Ms Dowie started writing the Princess Warrior children's picture book series.

Ms Dowie said the inspiration for the story came to her in a dream.

"Amber was giving me these little messages and I got up one night to write them down," she said.

"It was about how Amber was this little environmental crusader so I started writing and it happened a few more times so I had these little stories.

"It wasn't like it was language that I would even use and Kirstin would ask me how I knew these things about Amber and I didn't know, it was just like a message coming to me."

She just loved being among nature and was so curious about ladybugs, butterflies, little treasures.

Kirstin Field.

Ms Dowie said her friend, and well-known publisher, Maggie Dent read the stories and offered to publish them to celebrate "more girl superheros".

Her colleague and talented illustrator Belinda Joynes drew up the artwork for the first book 'Amber Dawn Princess Warrior And the Dolphin Rescue' before the series was launched in November 2018.

In another act of incredible generosity, the family will donate $2 from the sale of every book to Heartkids and have already donated $800 so far.

They have also pledged to donate a book along with a superhero and activity pack with every 10 books sold and have already dropped off more than 40 packs to Perth Children's Hospital.

Amber's mother Kirstin Field said her family was so grateful for the support and loved how the book captured "the wonder of our little child".

"She just loved being among nature and was so curious about ladybugs, butterflies, little treasures," she said

"She would take a bucket down to the beach and we would walk along together picking up these treasures.

"When Amber passed away, it was a big shock to the community ... it was a hard time for not just us but everyone in our little community."

The project inspired Ms Field to create something of her own to "carry Amber's legacy forward further as a family."

It's like my calling to spread awareness while keeping Amber's memory alive and it's a great way to do it through this group.

Kirstin Field

"Following on from that, in the months after, I was noticing more and more on social media about the impact of plastics on our marine life and I had been finding lots of rubbish and picking it up," she said.

"We wanted to bring our family together, our beautiful community together and help.

"So that's how Coastal Waste Warriors was born."

The not-for-profit community group based in Dawesville run monthly beach clean ups, promote reduced plastic lifestyles and provide education on environmental awareness.

Ms Field, who runs the group with her husband Tim and sons Patrick, 12, and Daniel, 8, said they were taken aback by the help and encouragement they have received since creating their Warrior team in honour of Amber.

"It's like my calling to spread awareness while keeping Amber's memory alive and it's a great way to do it through this group," she said.

"We'd like to run more workshops outside of the beach clean ups, it's early days but the goal is to get more education running into schools in the area."

The group will hold their next beach clean up event on March 24 at Town Beach.

For more information, follow the Coastal Waste Warriors on Facebook.

To purchase a copy of 'Amber Dawn Princess Warrior And the Dolphin Rescue' for $10, visit Maggie Dent's website.

They can also be bought by messaging Coastal Waste Warriors or Pyramids Beach Cafe on Facebook, from the Mandurah Cruises gift shop or at Perth Children's Hospital.