Think of your favourite childhood storybook. And now imagine yourself as a child seeing that storybook come to life. That’s exactly what’s happening in downtown Lower Hutt next month to celebrate Myles Lawford’s children’s book The Twelve Days of Kiwi Christmas.
The lively picture book is a delightful take on The Twelve Days of Christmas carol. But as the title suggests, it comes with a Kiwi twist. The partridges and pear trees have gone, and instead Kiwi kids will read, and sing, about a summertime Christmas with chocolate fish and boogie boards.
To boost the festive mood, Hutt City Council is running a scavenger hunt through Lower Hutt CBD based on The Twelve Days of Kiwi Christmas. Twelve shops in the CBD will display an artwork based on one of the 12 gifts in the book. Kids of all ages can then use the storybook trail map (see link below) to find the art pieces. They’ll find a letter attached to each display, which will spell out a Christmas message, and be their entry into the draw to win fantastic prizes.
It’s a neat way to promote The Twelve Days of Kiwi Christmas. And for kids, it’s a fun, interactive way to enjoy the story. It lifts the story off the pages and recreates it in their world. Each artwork is created by artists from The Learning Connexion in Lower Hutt. These artists give their own spin, their own interpretation, their own ideas to the words – and what better way to show children that words in a book aren’t limited to the pages, but can take on their own forms in their imagination and be recreated as art.
Although Michaela specialises in painting, she decided to experiment in photography. For her work, she will literally have to fling and then photograph Frisbees from hilltops, before adding her creative spin through Photoshop.
The result is stunning. And without giving too much away, the Frisbees will be in high colour against a black and white background.
The artists can, and do, indulge in a topsy-turvy world. Just like Caitlin Morris’ watercolour painting depicting the fifth day of the Kiwi Christmas. Chocolate fish dangling like baubles on a pohutukawa tree? Well, why not? In art, as in storybooks, anything can happen. Real world rules don’t apply.
Tony Yates is another of The Learning Connexion artists involved in the project. His work is a sculpture of an oversized mince pie. Tony spent a week moulding the clay before painting it to give it that look of golden, freshly cooked pastry.
Tony says the kids in his family are especially excited by the project. They can’t wait to see his work displayed as part of the story trail.
Kids will love singing along with the book, and if they head out to Lower Hutt over the next couple of weeks, they can see with their own eyes, the ideas of The Twelve Days of Kiwi Christmas come to life.
Booksellers New Zealand has three copies of The Twelve Days of Kiwi Christmas to give away. Click through to their facebook page to enter, or enter below.
What: The Twelve Days of Kiwi Christmas storybook trail
Where: Lower Hutt CBD
When: November 30 to 24 December
Download your Story Trail map here.
Article by Jolene Williams, Hutt City Council, in promotion of their Christmas celebrations.