Friday, December 2, 2011

Winner announced - The Jack Lasenby Writing Award (Junior)

Every two years the Wellington Children’s Book Association invites Years 7 and 8 students to submit an original 500 word children’s story into their competition.
This year the Junior Award winner is from the Kapiti Coast.
Today Jack Lasenby, Patron of The WCBA  and Convenor, Maureen Crisp, presented a trophy and cheque for $200 to winner Elliot Londt at the Paraparaumu library, for his story Piping in the Possums.
 Eirlys Hunter, our guest judge was also in attendance. Here are her judge's comments Elliot's story.
It wasn't easy to choose a winner. All the stories had some strong elements: some had vivid descriptions, other used language in an exciting way, others were original and imaginative, or funny.

In the end I chose Piping in the possums because the writing is playful. It has a wonderful dancing rhythm and lots of alliteration. It's also a complete story despite being very short, it's funny and it pays homage to traditional story telling. 

Friday, November 25, 2011

'Cupboard Love' - AKA Christmas Book Buying Night!

Giving books to children this Christmas? A reminder about the WCBA Christmas Book Buying Night coming up ...

Build your gift stash in one fun evening. Come along to the treasure-trove that is the Children's Bookshop in Kilbirnie, and choose from their dazzling selection. 

You'll meet local children's book authors and illustrators - both new and well known (and be able to get books specially signed by them). You'll also enjoy complementary wine and nibbles, and receive a 10% discount on any and all books you buy on the night.

This event is open to all.

When: Tuesday 6 December, 7pm
Where: The Children's Bookshop, Shop 26, Kilbirnie Plaza (entrance off Rongotai Road), Wellington

RSVP: The Children's Bookshop (Phone 04 387 3905) or The WCBA  (email

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Storylines Betty Gilderdale Award ceremony

Monday 21st November at Turnbull House, Wellington

This award honours Betty Gilderdale, a lifelong advocate and supporter of children’s literature, and is for outstanding long-term service to the genre of books for children and young adults. Previous winners have included Dorothy Butler, Elsie Locke, Graham Beattie, Ray Richards, Dame Katerina Te Heikoko Mataira and Dr Glyn Strange. The recipients for 2011are John and Ruth McIntyre, owners of The Children’s Bookshop in Kilbirnie, Wellington.

The award ceremony featured a wide range of family and friends, writers, reviewers, booksellers, publishers and enthusiasts for children’s books. Maureen Crisp, Convenor of the WCBA (Wellington Children’s Book Association), read out congratulatory messages from others who were unable to be there, including Barbara and Chris Else, Sheila Sinclair (from The Children’s Bookshop in Christchurch), Lincoln Gould (CEO Booksellers), Kate De Goldi, Mandy Hager, Johanna Knox – and Betty Gilderdale herself.

As part of the award presentation, the recipient delivers a speech, known as the Spring Lecture. John and Ruth gave their speech together, describing how they had started out in business 20 years ago, so green that they had to phone the publishers to ask what the margin on books was, so inexperienced that (as they later heard) the local reps were betting on how long they would last, and so hardworking that their children “only realised the working week wasn’t 50 hours when they got jobs of their own.”  

John said they were astonished to win the award, having had “absolutely no idea” that they had been nominated for it – “and we usually pride ourselves on knowing what’s going on!” He and Ruth paid tribute to their family, their staff, school librarians and those from the National Library, and their colleagues in other indie bookshops around the country who sponsor events, support local authors and provide an intellectual and cultural hub in the community. 

They also mentioned their loyal customers, who made a point of buying each new Harry Potter volume from them despite cost cutting from the major chains, and continue to show their support in the face of competition from offshore websites.

John’s description of their role as “just retailers” (“all we’ve ever aimed for is to be considered good booksellers – or maybe really good booksellers) was countered by Libby Limbrick of the Storylines Children’s Literature Trust, who praised them as “booksellers with passion and heart.”

John and Ruth McIntyre’s speech will be published in the Storylines year book. For more information about Storylines and the Betty Gilderdale award, go to

- Philippa Werry

Friday, October 28, 2011

Tonight - a farewell party for Story Time Books

Story Time Books, at 211 Jackson Street, Petone, closes its doors for the last time at 4.30pm tonight.

You are welcome to come along after closing - between 4.30 and 6.30 - to farewell the shop, and celebrate its marvellous 12-year life with its owners and numerous friends and fans.

More here.

Haere ra Story Time!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Halloween Storytelling with Holly Gooch

WCBA members going digital

Victoria Jones' fun picture book Missy's Dog Wash is now available as an iPhone or iPad app.

Find out all about this, plus Victoria's other books at her wonderful website: Missy Books.

Mandy Hager interviewed in depth

WCBA member Mandy Hager, award winning author of the Blood of the Lamb trilogy, has talked about her work, her processes, and her convictions in a fascinating, two-part interview at Tim Jones' website.

Read Part One here.

Read Part Two here.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Congratulations John and Ruth!

You will by now have heard that John and Ruth McIntyre, owners of the Children's Bookshop (and passionate supporters of the WCBA and many other literary endeavours)  have won this year's Betty Gilderdale Award for services to Children's Literature!

We are all thrilled for them and think it is extremely well deserved.

WCBA members should stand by for their invitations to the presentation night ...

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Gecko Press Evening - fun fundraiser

The Children's Bookshop's Gecko Press evening is drawing close. 

On October 26th at 7pm you can head down to the Children's Bookshop in Kilbirnie to meet  the Gecko team and a guest author (or 2) talking about the Gecko story, and showing you their new titles. Plus all their fabulous books will be available for your early Christmas shopping.

There are free gifts, special prize draws, and wine and nibbles. 
Tickets are $10 each, strictly limited to 50 people only, and all the money will go to the Altrusa Club Women's Refuge Appeal. 

You'll need to book quickly for this one ... Email

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Cupboard Love - Christmas book buying night!

This was a lot of fun last year - so we're doing it all again. Complementary wine, local author signings, 10% discounts  for WCBA members AND any friends they bring - plus a warm, convivial, book-loving atmosphere!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Next Club Night!

(We had to cancel last month's Club Night because of the weather, so this coming Tuesday we're trying again, with the same topic. Come along - it's going to be interesting!)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Club Night Cancelled Tonight

Due to the treacherous weather conditions, Club Night is cancelled tonight. Stay warm and dry everyone, and we'll update you with what's in store for next month's Club Night soon!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


A big congratulations to all winners of the LIANZA Children's Book Awards. Read all about it here.

We're also excited to see the number of children's books selected for the Frankfurt Book Fair Rights Catalogue  ... more about that soon!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Literacy Quiz - supporting Storylines and Literacy Aotearoa

Altrusa presents a Literacy Quiz fundraising event 
to benefit Storylines & Literacy Aotearoa 

Tessa Duder
Elizabeth Knox
Jenny Pattrick
Martin Bosley
Ian McKinnon
Hon. Annette King
Tim Jones
Chaz Harris
Sue Moroney MP
& announced by  Simon ‘Swampy’ Marsh 

First prize: $500 of Book vouchers
Second Prize: $300 of Fuel vouchers
Third Prize: $100 of Manuka products
Plus raffle and spot prizes to be won on the night

Premium Tickets: $50 
Includes shared cheese platter, complimentary
beverage and a VIP guest on your team.

General Admission: $20 
Includes shared bread platter.

8th September - International Literacy Day
@ 7pm

Amora Hotel Ballroom in Wellington

Purchase tickets at: 

Proudly sponsored by
Wellington City Council, MetService, Arty Bees Books, Interislander, BP, Drama Club, Vidcom, How Bazaar and NatMats Limited 

Friday, June 24, 2011

Ever dreamed of your own children's bookshop?

Are you a children's literature enthusiast who's always dreamed of running a children's bookshop? 

We're sad to hear that Malcolm at Storytime Books in Petone is looking to sell up (although his reasons are happy - he wants to spend more time with family). We hope he finds someone to buy his business who is as dedicated to children's books and as marvellous to deal with as he is. 

If you're interested in finding out more about this children's book business in the heart of fun and thriving Petone, see The Storytime Books blog.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

2011 NZ Post Book Awards Results

Book Of The Year
The Winner:

The Moon And Farmer McPhee
Margaret Mahy and David Elliot
Random House NZ

Picture Book

The Winner:

The Moon And Farmer McPhee
Margaret Mahy and David Elliot
Random House NZ

Young Adult
The Winner:
Fierce September
Fleur Beale
Random House NZ

(Hooray for our Fleur!!)

Junior Fiction
The Winner:
Finnigan and the Pirates
Sherryl Jordan
Scholastic NZ


The Winner:
Zero Hour: The Anzacs On The Western Front
by Leon Davis
Text Publishing Company 
(Yay Wellington!)

Best First Book
The Winner:

Hollie Chips
Anna Gowan
Scholastic NZ

Children’s Choice Awards

Overall Winner:

Baa Baa Smart Sheep
Mark Sommerset Rowan Sommerset
Dreamboat Books

Children's Choice Category Winners
Picture book:
Baa Baa Smart Sheep
Mark Sommerset Rowan Sommerset
Dreamboat Books

Junior Fiction:
Hollie Chips
Anna Gowan
Scholastic NZ

Who’s Cooking Tonight?
Claire Gourley and Glenda Gourley
Penguin Group NZ

Young Adult:
Smiling Jack
Ken Catran
HarperCollins Publishers

Congratulations to all finalists and winners!!!

Children's Book Awards tonight

No waiting till tomorrow's morning news. As we did last year, we're hoping to bring you live-ish updates on who's won what at the NZ Post Children's Book Awards tonight. (Texted to us by our people in Auckland!)

To get the scoop this evening, keep an eye on this blog.  Good luck to all our wonderful Wellington finalists!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

A message from the Friends of the Dorothy Neal White Collection

The Friends of the Dorothy Neal White Collection committee would like to inform WCBA members that our AGM will be held on Wednesday 27 April 2011 at 6pm (drinks and nibbles from 5.30pm.

The meeting will be held in Poutama Ruma (The Training Room), Ground Floor, Archives NZ, 10 Mulgrave Street, Wellington, and will be followed by rabbity readings by committee members.

All welcome!


We'd like to extend congratulations to the following WCBA members for recent successes:

Tom Fitzgibbon Award
Congratulations to winner Kathy Taylor

Joy Cowley Award
Congratulations to shortlistees Sabrina Malcolm and Juliette McIver

Storylines Notable Books
Congratulations to Pippa Werry, Jack Lasenby, Leon Davidson, James Crampton/Marianna Terezow, Fleur Beale, Mandy Hager  and Juliette McIver.

Monday, April 18, 2011

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