Hu-Hu’s the winner


Old Hu-Hu  by Central Otago write Kyle Mewburn, illustrated by Rachel Driscoll is the New Zealand Post Children’s Book of the Year.

It also won the Picture Book of the Year.

Other winners were: E3 Call H0me by Janet Hunt – Non Fiction; The Loblolly Boy by James Norcliffe – Junior Fiction; Blood of the Lamb: The Crossing by Mandy Hagar – Young Adult; Wonky Donkey by Craig Smith & Katz Cowley – Chidlren’s Choice; Dear Alison edited by Simon Pollard – Children’s Choice Non-Fiction; Friends: Snake and Lizard by Joy Cowley & Gavin Bishop – Children’s Choice Junior Fiction; Brainjack by Brian Falkner – Children’s Choice Young Adult Fiction.

The Word Witch by Margaret Mahy & David Elliot, edited by Tessa Duder, won an Honour Award.

 The Best First Book Award went to The Bone Tiki by David Hair.



Tessa Duder’s heroine Alex is articulate, feisty, talented, determined and fragile.

She is a champion swimmer, aiming to qualify for the Olympics. She’s also a hockey player, musician and an amateur dramatist who faces health problems and a tragedy.

The book gripped me from the opening sentence, held me through to the last word and stayed with me long after I finished it.

It is the first book in a quartet and the author maintains the high standards she set in the first book in all of the other three.

Alex won the New Zealand Story Book of the Year in 1988 and it also won the Esther Glen Award for children’s writing.


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Post 14 in the post a day for New Zealand Book Month challenge.

book month logo green

Rob posts on 101 Great Tramps and Grant Smithies’ SoundTrack.

Over at In A Strange Land Deborah posts on Seadog: A tale of Old New Zealand by Dorothy Butler, illustrated by Lyn Kriegler.

Auction for some things money can’t usually buy


The book Shadrach Girl by Joy Cowley is dedicated to Elizabeth McCone and her daughter, Andrea.

There is a story behind that dedication.

An auction to raise funds to build a new, indoor swimming pool in Oamaru 10 years ago include a lot for something money can’t usually buy: the right to name a character in one of Joy Cowley’s books.

The highest bidder was then Waitaki District Council deputy mayor Elizabeth McCone who asked Joy to name one of the characters Andrea, after her daughter.

She also got a copy of the manuscript when it was sent to the publisher and the dedication.

The right to name a character isn’t one of the lots in the Storylines Fundraising auction but there are plenty of other things and experiences which money can’t usually buy.

They include: a Hairy McLary portrait signed by Lynley Dodd; a sketch by Ant Sang, one of the creators of Bro Town; Maurice Gee’s typewriter; lunch at Weta Workshop and a behind-the-scenes tour of WotWots production; lunch with Kate De Goldi; a collection of all Margaret Mahy books which are in print; a three hour sailing trip on the Spirit of New Zealand  with Tessa Duder and attending an orchestra rehearsal with her.

Hat Tip: Jim Mora who interviewed Tessa about the auction on Afternoons.

Tuesday’s answers


Monday’s questions were:

1. What is this crop?


2. Who said “A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject”?

3. Who wrote the Alex quartet?

4. Which is the highest state highway in New Zealand?

5. What is an anaphora?

Tuesday’s answers follow the break.

Read the rest of this entry »

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