Tinderbox Conference for NZ children’s writers and illustrators


Tinderbox is fast approaching.

Tinderbox is an amazing conference for all NZ children’s writers and illustrators. It offers four days of workshops, panels and presentations, as well as the opportunity to work on a live project to be published after the conference.

We have a full line up of speakers and presenters, including the brilliant Andy Griffiths, and with multiple streams of events to choose from there is something for all writers and illustrators: the new, the upcoming, and the well-established. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn, to be inspired, and to spend precious time with both peers and heroes.

The conference incorporates three full days on site, Friday cocktails at the Children’s Bookshop, dinner on Saturday, and a dedicated Illustrators Day on Monday while the writers go exploring.

Tinderbox will be held on 2 – 5 October 2015 at St Catherine’s College, Kilbirnie, Wellington. Registrations are still open, but please be quick. For more information check out the blog at tinderbox2015.blogspot.co.nz, join us on Facebook at Tinderbox2015 or email us at 2015tinderbox@gmail.com.

from the Wellington Children’s Book Association

Book Review: The 52-Storey Treehouse, by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton

cv_the_52_storey_treehouseAvailable in bookstores nationwide.

Who doesn’t love a new Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton book? These two are masters of humour for young readers, and their seemingly simple stories have so many layers of intrigue. This book,The 52-Storey Treehouse, follows on from The 39-Storey Treehouse, and is the fourth in the series. The treehouse is a meandering series of cloud-shaped floors sprouting from a central trunk, and since the last book, another 13 floors have been added to the seemingly infinite structure.

In this series, Andy and Terry are the two main characters in their own books, alongside their publisher, Mr Big Nose. This time around, the Treehouse has a juggling chainsaw room, a smashing watermelons room, and is host to an army of ninja snails. The latter become (remarkably) important saviours for our rascal heroes, and are integral to the story. Some of the humour is too prefaced and can be a little lame, but that somehow adds to the appeal. You find yourself laughing at things that really are not that funny.

This book sees Andy (the writer), and his best mate, Terry (the illustrator), trying to get their latest book to the publisher on time. Unfortunately for them but luckily for us, all sorts of events conspire against them. There is vegetable warfare, and magic spells. Also parent-killing vegetables, although it should be pointed out that no parents feature in this book at all. They rarely do in Andy’s madcap adventures. The decision to use themselves as the two main characters in these books is fun – it allows for some self-directed humour.

Young fans will not be disappointed.

Reviewed by Gillian Torckler

The 52-Storey Treehouse
by Andy Griffiths &Terry Denton
Published by Pan Australia
ISBN 9781742614212