A 1950’s Childhood
Gavin Bishop – Random House - $34.99
This chunky hardcover is an absolute gem.
I have a photograph. It was taken of me on a Box Brownie in 1949. A photo of us – Mum, Dad and me. I am little, about three.
There we are, standing at the railway station in Kingston, just arrived from Invercargill. We had travelled up by goods train, sitting on our own couch in the guard’s van with the doors open to watch the landscape slip by.
In front of us is a lake, Lake Wakatipu. On either side is a row of mountains. And up on the hill behind is Piano Rock.
So begins Piano Rock, a gentle, charming, wonderfully told, and beautifully illustrated story of the author’s idyllic childhood growing up in the 1950’s in Kingston beside the lake.
It is an elegantly told and nostalgic tale, I think as good as anything Bishop has written, and what a job he has made of the artwork - the cover, endpapers, along with the colour, sepia, and black and white drawings throughout.all combine to make this an exquisite piece of publishing. This will become a collector’s item.
And most appropriately the launch of Piano Rock was held at Kingston, Sadly I could not be there but the author kindly sent me a few pics which are here. That is the famous Kingston Flyer still operating today.