Veteran children’s novelist Des Hunt has been announced as the recipient of the 2017 Storylines Margaret Mahy Medal.
The Margaret Mahy Medal has been given since 1991 for an outstanding contribution and lifetime achievement in the field of New Zealand children’s literature and literacy.
“Des Hunt’s greatest contribution is his ability to ‘ hook’ young people into reading through his riveting stories situated in familiar contexts, with characters similar to their friends and families. His school presentations make children feel that books are pivotal to their lives,” says Storylines Chair, Dr Libby Limbrick.
Des Hunt is the author of more than 20 acclaimed children’s and young adult novels, most set in New Zealand with strong environment and science themes.
Sounds like an enterprise very dear to ACHUKA’s heart.
We wish it every success.
A pair of Wellington women with a combined 25 years experience in the children’s book world are getting ready to share their passion with a wider audience.
Sarah Forster and Jane Arthur are the editors of The Sapling, a soon-to-be-launched online magazine, dedicated to discussing children’s books.
“It’s for adults that think children’s literature deserves a wider understanding. The people that believe that those types of books are serious literature,” Forster said.
While the new website will focus on children’s books, its creators say it’s targeted at adults that think children’s literature deserves a wider understanding and believe those types of books are serious literature.”
We want it to be a place for people who already care about kids books but also a place to convert others into caring too. Once it is launched in early March, the free website will feature reviews, opinion pieces and interviews. New content will be posted almost every day.
“It’ll be fun but also serious, because we know that books are formative for kids’ brains, personalities and futures, and should be taken seriously,” Forster said.
While it will be free for anyone to visit the site, the pair will pay contributors for their content. Creative New Zealand have chipped in with the money needed to pay the first round of contributors.The two women have also created a crowdfunding project in the hope of raising an extra $10,000 to guarantee the online magazine’s first year in operation.With three weeks left of the campaign, the pair had already surpassed their goal and said they were overwhelmed with the positive reception they have received from the public.Ad Feedback”
We always knew there would be a healthy level of support for the website, but we had no idea just how passionate or how numerous our supporters would be.”
Arthur said the experience had been a real confidence booster, with people seeing it as a cool idea and putting their money where their mouth was.
Despite the website not having launched, she said word had got out about what they have been doing, with several people expressing their interest in being involved.”Already we’ve had really cool, award-winning, writers come to us and pitch ideas for the magazine.”
The website is set to launch on March 6 with an estimated 60 per cent of the content ready to go.
A complaint about the reading of a novel written by a beloved Kiwi children’s author has been upheld by the Broadcasting Standards Authority.
Radio New Zealand’s Storytime featured a series of readings from Margaret Mahy’s The Catalogue of the Universe, a romance novel for young adults.
The authority upheld a complaint by Don Campbell that the story, which features teenage drinking and sexual activity, was not appropriate for children who would likely be listening.
In the BSA’s report, Storytime is described as featuring "New Zealand stories for children", being broadcast on a Sunday morning when it was expected children would be listening.
Mr Campbell said the other stories listed on the RNZ website were recommended for children between 4 and 12.
The board found that the level of adult content in the broadcast was not within reasonable audience expectations of the programme, and parents and caregivers were not given a chance to make an informed decision about what their children were listening to.
One of the "kaumatuas" of New Zealand children’s literature has died.
Author and bookseller Dorothy Butler died at West Auckland Hospice on Sunday. She was 90. Extremely well-respected by her peers, Butler’s bookstore in Ponsonby became an institution for Aucklanders. Although the store was bought by new owners in 1999, it continues to bear her name. Butler was a passionate advocate for children’s literacy and the importance of books in young people’s lives. She was also the author of dozens of children’s books, several non-fiction titles and her autobiography.
In 1992 she was given the Margaret Mahy Award and in 1993 made an OBE.
New Zealnd poet Paul Green, who runs the Poetry Box blog website, and has just edited a splendid new anthology, A Treasury of NZ Poems for Children, is interviewed in Episode 3 of the Book Show, New Zealnd’s weekly books programme.
[The Paula Green interview begins 4 minutes in]