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.
On Friday night, Tania & Martin from Tania & Martin design, attended the 2014 BEST Design Awards at the Viaduct Events Centre, Auckland, along with 998 other people, in the hope of winning recognition for their design of Taka Ki Ro Wai.
The BEST Design Awards are unique in the way they honour design. Run by the Designers Institute of New Zealand, they don’t have a singular award for first, second and third. They award as many places as they believe deserve it in a section − or not at all if the standard isn’t met.
For our section, the Nga Aho Award, there were actually three gold pin winners, a silver and two bronzes from a field of eleven finalists, with the judges acknowledging the high standard within the category. The gold pin, their equivalent to a medal, went to ourselves, Studio Alexander, and architectural firm JASMAX (the architects most notably recognised for Te Papa Tongarewa) who for this nomination, had designed the building Te Uru Taumatua for Tuhoe in Taneatua). From amongst the three gold pins awarded, one supreme category winner was chosen as the purple pin winner, which was richly deserved by JASMAX.
We received our pin together with a winners certificate from Te Puni Kokiri Tamaki Makaurau head Pauline Kingi.
Though it was Tania & Martin in attendance, the application was about Taka Ki Ro Wai, and the collective strengths of the team responsible for it’s creation.
Author Keri didn’t accompany us this time, as she is due in Auckland this coming weekend for the Toi Maori Maori Writers Hui 2014, but we called her soon after the announcement and shouted the good news down the phone over the loud celebrations going on in the background.
Attending these events is essential to keep people talking about Taka Ki Ro Wai, because you’re nothing if you’re not in the news. While you create the book with the hope that it will be liked, awards such as this and the NZ Post Children’s Book Awards are the kudos that provide impetus for book sales.
As we’d like to produce more books like this one, the book itself needs to sell to help make that happen. That was why we targeted these awards. Without them, we could be faced with boxes of books gathering dust. This is a push to get the remaining copies of the book out into new homes and into the hands of eager readers, both the young and older, the fluent and the learner.
Submitted by Martin D Page, designer of Taka Ki Ro Wai, by Keri Kaa
A message from Libby Limbrick, chair of the Storylines Trust.
The Storylines Festival Family Days are magical days where writers, illustrators and storytellers come together to meet children and their families and share the ins, outs and upside-downs of New Zealand stories.
The Storylines Festival Family Days are nearly upon us and we have just three days left to reach our crowd-funding target of $10,000 – we are 58% there, we just need a few more generous individuals to help us out.
The Family Days are and always have been free for children and their families. There are now six of them round the country and every year thousands and thousands of New Zealand children get to meet the writers, illustrators and storytellers who are telling our stories right here and now, inspiring them to become eager and engaged readers and writers. Here is the line-up for this year.
This year, Storylines is running a crowd-funding campaign to help cover the costs of the Family Days and we’d be over the goodnight moon if you’d join us by making a small donation to the cause.
Please help Storylines, every donation, however big or small, helps hugely.
An introduction to scriptwriting with leading playwright Dave Armstrong.
A scriptwriter for over 25 years, Dave has written widely for stage and screen.
The bio below is taken from the Victoria University Institute of Modern Letters page where he tutors in Creative Writing.
Dave is an experienced and award-winning television writer. His television credits include the sketch comedies Public Eye, Skitz, Away Laughing and Facelift. He co-created and co-wrote two series of the acclaimed comedy Seven Periods with Mr Gormsby, which screened on TV One and Australia’s ABC network. His other comedy credits include Spin Doctors, for which he won an AFTA award for Best Comedy Script, Bro’town (script editor), Diplomatic Immunity, B and B and The Semisis. Dave’s television drama credits include CoverStory, and the TV movies Spies and Lies and Billy (co-writer), a biopic about Billy T James.
Dave has been a full-time storyliner and script writer for Shortland Street. He has also written scripts for the consumer rights programme Target, and for Q – a science programme for children – and has been a judge for the Qantas Television awards. Dave is a columnist for the Dominion Post and he has written a number of stage plays including Niu Sila, The Tutor, The Motor Camp, King and Country, Rita and Douglas, Kings of the Gym, Magnolia Street and Le Sud.
Dave has won the Chapman Tripp Theatre Award for Best New New Zealand Play three times.
This workshop will be held on June 15th, 11am – 1pm, at The Children’s Bookshop, Shop 26 Kilbirnie Plaza Wellington.
$25 each – limited to 20/25 attendees. Bookings essential. Morning tea provided.
To book email John on firstname.lastname@example.org
The Children’s Bookshop
Shop 26 Kilbirnie Plaza
Phone: 04 387 3905
Awards News/ Author interviews
Beagle alert! Des Hunt answers our Q & A about Project Huia, a #nzpcya finalist in the Junior fiction category
A journey to a strange land – The 2014 London Book Fair, by Katie Haworth. Have we got any booktubers here in New Zealand? If you are one/ know some, can you email me at email@example.com?
Around the Internet
One blogger decided to read around the world (all 196 countries) in a year! See her journey.
I posted the 1000th post on the booksellers blog today! Thank you to those who have contributed in the past, and those who continue to contribute. It is great fun to run the reviewing, and I must say I was grateful to have the backup when our website was on the rocks… I look forward to giving more great stuff in the future – keep an eye out for the next two weeks, as I have people in Dunedin and Auckland at the writer’s festivals (with I could go myself!)
The Women’s Bookshop celebrated 25 years of business, with a big party at Ponsonby Central, on Monday evening. With their innovative events such as the Ladies Litera-tea, and plenty of Booksellers’ Industry Awards for their great service and knowledgeable staff, these guys have certainly been an important part of the book world in Auckland for the past 25 years.
If you haven’t yet been in to congratulate them, pop in between 6pm and 8pm on Thursday and Friday nights all April, and get a free glass of wine so you can help them celebrate!
All photos were taken by, and are copyright Anna Comrie-Thomson.
– Sarah Forster