Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Curly From Shirley

A new publishing venture aims to become a million dollar miracle
for Christchurch. The new children’s book, which will raise funds
for the city and help locals to recover from the disaster, is a
miracle in itself – it has taken just three weeks from first thoughts
to publication.

The project is the brainchild of two children’s authors from
opposite ends of the country who have never met before and have
now banded together to write, illustrate and publish in record
speed the new children’s book called ‘Curly from Shirley, the
Christchurch Dog’.

“Obviously living in Christchurch I wanted to help but what is
a writer supposed to do in the face of such devastation?” says
Christchurch based Emma Pullar who wrote the book. “But I
realized I could use the book to spread a little joy and raise some
much needed funds to help the city recover at the same time.”

Pullar enlisted the help of Auckland based author and editor Jill Marshall and the two decided to work together to make it happen. They say it has been no mean feat to write, illustrate and publish a book so quickly when it can usually
take a year or more to bring a new book to the market.

On Monday 28th February they edited the text and then discovered just how many other people wanted to help too. Two days later, designer Cheryl Rowe offered her skills to the project. Two days after that award winning children’s book illustrator Victoria M. Azaro agreed to illustrate. The next week Marshall created a new publishing company Pear Jam Books and went about enlisting more help.

Image Media agreed to print at low costs and in amazing time scales. Pindar NZ made the e-book version. Eight year old musical sensation, Christchurch Bob (featured on Close Up) and his mum Julie Gaudin are putting Curly to music.

“The response has been truly amazing. Everyone involved has offered their time and services for free in support of Christchurch. The only costs are the unavoidable ones for materials,” says Marshall.

The release date is also timely. The book is on sale from 22nd March, exactly one month after the earthquake. Two Christchurch companies are selling and distributing the books - Nationwide Book Distributors to retailers, and the
staff of The Children’s Bookshop (which was badly damaged in the earthquake) to New Zealand schools and preschools.

‘Curly from Shirley, the Christchurch Dog’, is available as a colour picture book, an ebook and as a song.

Official launches are planned for Christchurch and Auckland on Monday 28 March at 6pm. All proceeds go to the NZ Red Cross Earthquake appeal, straight back into the heart of the city. For more information or to purchase the book people can go to, and to come to one of the launches they should contact

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Wellington Finalists of The New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards 2011

Wellington Children’s Writers Celebrate
The Wellington regional finalists for the 2011 New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards got together this week to celebrate their achievement with Jack Lasenby. This week Jack, a frequent winner, turned 80 and his 30th novel for children The Haystack has been shortlisted in this year's awards.

Celebrating with Jack were first time finalists Juliette MacIver, writer of the picture book Marmaduke Duck and the Marmalade Jam, and James Crampton, one half of the GNS team that produced The Kiwi Fossil Hunter's Handbook.
Also present were frequent finalist Fleur Beale with her Young Adult novel Fierce September, and previous finalist Leon Davidson with Zero Hour: The ANZACS On The Western Front.

The Wellington region is well represented this year with both new and established authors covering a quarter of the total books shortlisted.
The winners of The New Zealand Post Children’s Book awards will be announced at a ceremony in Auckland on May 18, 2011.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Report on Club Night (pop-up books!)

Another nourishing club night!  Thank you to Grant Tilly and Trevor Morley for spoiling those of us who gathered at the Library Bar on the 15th for the April WCBA Club Night.  

Trevor and Grant shared with us their extensive collections of pop-up books.  I felt all the glee of being a kid as they turned each page of their books revealing yet another paper engineering surprise.  There were lots of ‘ooohhs’ and ‘ahhhs’ echoing around the room so I don’t think I was the only one who was so delighted.  

Robert Sabuda, Lothar Meggendorfer and Ernest Nister were the most revered paper engineers and Grant and Trevor explained to us the many techniques and approaches these artists used to create pictures that stepped right out of the book and then folded back so neatly again.  

My favourite pop-up was the tornado that literally twisted right up out of the book and into the sky in a pop-up book of The Wizard of Oz.  I also loved the playful simplicity of Marion Bataille’s ABC book ABC3D which recently won a prize in 2010.  A feast for the eyes!  

The moveable book society secretary in Utah (who has approximately 6,000 pop-up books in her personal collection incidentally), may get a bit of a shock when she suddenly has a host of new members from New Zealand join the society!  

-Holly Gooch

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Autobiography Alive sessions at Booklovers B&B in Book Month/March.

A cosy Children’s Book chat at Booklovers B&B!

Janice Marriott on 4th of March and Joy Cowley on 20th March.

12.30pm with lunch followed by author doing a live 'life and works' on the sofa before small audience of 20 max.
Admission is $20 (to WCBA members, $25 to everyone else) which covers both lunch and talk.

123 Pirie St, Mt Victoria, Wellington
A No 2 bus stops outside the gate.
Plenty of parking - in spaces for the green belt/bowling club.

Booklovers B&B, 123 Pirie St, Wellington
Tel +64 43842714   Mobile +64 27 2577835