Saturday, August 18, 2007

THE PUPPET BOX by Moira Wairama
illustrations by Bruce Potter

Scholastic $17

Congratulations to Scholastic for publishing this most appealing picture book simultaneously in both English and Maori languages. The Maori title is Te Pouaka Karetao.

Author Moira Wairama is a Wellington born New Zealand storyteller, playwright, poet, teacher and children's writer.

As a storyteller, Moira specialises in bilingual tellings of Maori legends and in creating stories around New Zealand events, artworks and life experiences. Moira works part-time at Te Ara Whanui Kura Kaupapa where she runs a literacy support programme. Moira's picture book 'The Puppet Box' was launched at the Storylines Festival in June.

Author pic and bio material from Storylines Festival.


Storylines said...

The Puppet Box was also the 2006 winner of the Storylines Joy Cowley Award for a picture book manuscript. Part of the prize includes publication by Scholastic. Anyone, published or unpublished can enter this award. Submissions for the 2008 award close on 31 October 2007. See for details.

Lee said...

Yes, I think this is an outstanding New Zealand picture book. The quite painterly illustrations are excellent, not many illustrators can do faces as successfully and realistically as this. The illustrations relate perfectly to the warm and tender story about how it feels to be the new kid at kindy, and about kindness and friendships. Cleverly uses the device of the native bird and (and taniwha) puppets to get the message across, in a delightfully subtle way. Also the length of the story is just perfect for the age group it is aimed for. Far too many New Zealand picture books for the young reader have over lengthy texts, but this book is just right!

NZBookgirl said...

Bruce Potter, the illustrator, used to be a portrait painter and that skill shows itself in his many picture books. He's also worked as a cartoonist/caricaturist for newspapers in the past but is now occupied full time with children's book illustration.