Monday, June 12, 2017

John McIntyre, champion of children’s books, 1951-2017

By now many of you will have heard the sad news that John McIntyre of The Children's Bookshop, bookseller extraordinaire, died on Saturday 10 June, after a brave fight with chronic illness.

When someone dies, people often ask "what can we do?" - well - there is something you can do...

We'd love it if as many people as possible could Buy a Book for John - to show what John meant to you and to the world of children's literature, and to give some practical support to Ruth McIntyre and the bookshop over the next few weeks. If you're in Wellington, pop into the bookshop (Shop 26, Kilbirnie Plaza, Kilbirnie). If you live elsewhere, you can shop online on their wonderful website. We'd like to think the bookshop staff will be swamped with orders and run off their feet. (We've checked with them first!) If so, your order might take a little while to process, but it will be forthcoming!

The Children's Bookshop stocks a fabulous selection of books for children and young adults, as well as some adult fiction and non-fiction. If you're not sure what to buy, ask one of the bookshop staff - they are all amazing and knowledgeable (after all, they were trained by John). Or check out the suggestions on their website - have a look at the latest newsletters.

Buy a book for yourself, or buy one to give away and tell the person you give it to that it's in memory of John McIntyre. John said of himself, "I'm just a bookseller" - but we know he was much more than that.

Spread the word on #buyabookforjohn

Funeral details:
John's funeral will be at 1pm on Friday 16 June at Old St Paul's, Thorndon, Wellington (and the bookshop will be closed on that day). In lieu of flowers, the family has said that donations to Kidney Health NZ would be appreciated. Messages for the McIntyre family can be left on John's tribute page or sent to: The Children's Bookshop, Shop 26, Kilbirnie Plaza, Kilbirnie, Wellington 6022

More tributes to John:

The Sapling: Farewell dear John we miss you already

Booksellers NZ: Vale John McIntyre, creator of readers

Radio NZ interview with Kathryn Ryan, 26 May 2017 - recorded just after John had decided to give up the review spot he'd held, every second Friday,  for 15 years 

[This is an initiative by the Wellington Children's Book Association Inc. We don't mean to take away business from any other of our wonderful bookshops. We'd simply like to show our appreciation for John in a  way that we hope he would have approved of. For John, it was always all about the books - not about him.] 

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Sapling

Happy New Year everyone, and here is an update about The Sapling, which many of you will already know about. (If you didn't catch it in the weekend, listen to this interview with Sarah on Standing Room Only.) 

We are Sarah Forster and Jane Arthur, and we love reading and talking about children's books, and we think that there is more to them than the conversation we are given in the main media. We think they deserve equal time, energy and passion as books for adults. 

So we have started The Sapling, an online magazine that will launch in March. We have some funding from Creative NZ to pay our contributors, but in order to commission several articles a week (mixing essays, reviews, interviews and creative crafts), we are also running a crowd-funding campaign, which we intend to do through Boosted

We would like to ask you to be our partners in promoting this campaign via your newsletter, social media and any other forum you can think of! We have some fabulous articles already coming through, and your promotion will make a massive difference in the size of audience we can reach with both the campaign and the website once it is launched.

We are on Twitter and Facebook, and we will be launching the website in the first week of March. 

If you would like a graphic, press release and promotional link sent to you once it is prepared, please let us know - it would be great also to have an idea of how you are able to promote it. The campaign is scheduled to launch on 24 January. 

We will gladly acknowledge you on our campaign page as soon as it launches, as our first supporters.

kind regards,

Sarah Forster and Jane Arthur
Founding Editors

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Birthday greetings

A very happy birthday from everyone in the WCBA to an unnamed Someone at the Children's Bookshop, Kilbirnie who is having a Special Birthday.

Happy birthday J___ M_______ and enjoy using your magic golden card.

We appreciate all that you do for children's literature and to support children's and YA writers in New Zealand.

Friday, October 7, 2016

What Lies Beneath

The What Lies Beneath exhibition has been travelling all around New Zealand and has reached Wellington at last!

Authors Melinda Szymanik, Philippa Werry, Glyn Harper, Anna Mackenzie and Maria Gill, as well as illustrators Fifi Colston and Marco Ivanic, are giving a panel talk at Wellington Central Library on Tuesday 18 October from 6pm-8pm. 

There will be book giveaways, light supper, posters and bookmarks to take home, as well as a very interesting panel discussion about children's war books. 

See poster below for more details. We would love to see lots of you there!

Please pass on news of this event to anyone you think might be interested. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Barbara Else to give her Margaret Mahy Award speech in Wellington

Barbara Else gives her Margaret Mahy speech for a Wellington audience. (photo is of Barbara with her illustrator of the Fontania series - Sam Broad)
Award-winning Wellington writer and literary agent Barbara Else was named the 2016 winner of New Zealand’s top award for children’s writers and illustrators in March. The Storylines Margaret Mahy Medal is awarded annually for lifetime achievement and an outstanding contribution to New Zealand children’s literature.
As part of the award Barbara was invited to present a public lecture in Auckland in April.
The Children's Bookshop are delighted to host Barbara on Monday the 19th of September at 6.30pm for a 7pm start. Finger food and drinks provided.
This is an open invitation - no charge but please RSVP to for catering numbers.

Friday, August 12, 2016

The Wellington Children's Book Association 
Annual General Meeting 
will be held on
3rd September 2016 at 2pm 
at The Mediterranean Food Warehouse 

Come and meet up for a coffee and chat. 
(We have short meetings too.)

Please R.S.V.P. to

By 30th August 2016

Friday, January 29, 2016

NZ Writers Week

Great to see so many fascinating sessions on offer at this year's NZ Writers Week (8-13 March); in fact, there's a whole section titled For the young and youthful (and that's all of us, right??) Pick up a programme if you haven't seen it yet, or look online.

Here are some sessions that should be of special interest to anyone who follows children's and young adult writing:

Thursday 10 March
9.45am Anna Smaill talking to Kate de Goldi
11am Jamie Curry and Mallory Ortberg talking about Life Online
12.30pm (Don’t miss this one!) Anna McKenzie talking about the story behind Evie's War

Also on 10 March, the launch of Hooked on NZ Books, a new online review website for young adults.

Saturday 12 March
2pm (another don’t miss session) The Kids Are All Right: Mandy Hager chairing a session on YA books and the issues today's kids face, with Sally Gardner, Cornelia Funke and Ted Dawe.
7pm (but at the Dowse in Lower Hutt) Robert Dessaix on Enid Blyton and "the lasting influences of a childhood reading".

Sunday 13 March
9.30am Live storytelling session with Paul Beavis (I've seen Paul in action and kids always love his sessions)
11am Sally Gardner in conversation with Anna McKenzie
12.30pm Mariko Tamaki, graphic novelist, in conversation with Kate de Goldi
2pm Cornelia Funke in conversation with Jo Randerson
3.30pm How Weta Digital translated James Dashner's YA series The maze runner to film
5pm Joy Cowley : A Joyful Life (a celebration of Joy's 80th year)

Plenty of other great sessions as well; it's going to be hard to choose.