Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The Wonky Donkey
by Craig Smith, illustrated by Katz Cowley
Scholastic - $24.99 – with CD

The Children's Bookshop, Christchurch had a very successful launch of The Wonky Donkey by Craig Smith, illustrated by Katz Cowley in their Christchurch store this past Saturday. They had Craig singing and the children danced to the beat and then Katz showed them her sketch book which showed how the illustrations in the book evolved.
A great start to NZ Book Month for for this lively specialist bookseller.

The Wonky Donkey has hilarious lyrics & very funny illustrations and is certain to appeal to adults & children alike.I loved it.

I was walking down the road, and I saw a donkey …
hee-haw! And he only had three legs.
He was a wonky donkey …

In the very funny, cumulative song, each page tells us something new about the donkey until we end up with a spunky, hanky-panky cranky stinky dinky lanky honky-tonky winky wonky donkey, which will have children in fits of laughter!

There is much fun to be had by listening to the song and trying to predict the new word for each clue given!
Watch Craig Smith perform the song at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-uQu7uZlFs

Craig Smith
As the youngest of six children, Craig Smith, (pic left sining at the Childrens Bookshop last Saturday), was brought up in Queenstown. His mother was a solo parent, who worked hard to make sure her children didn't go without, but as Craig says, "You needed sense of humour, growing up in our house."
Craig put that sense of humour to good use in penning his song 'The Wonky Donkey', which was co-winner of the APRA Children's Song of the Year award in 2008. Craig works as an itinerant musician and entertainer -- so long as he has his guitar, he can work anywhere so he regularly performs at gigs around the South Island. He has lived in Australia for 4 years and Vietnam for 6 years, and says Spike Milligan and his Mum are his greatest influences.

Katz Cowley
British-born Katz Cowley has a degree in Illustration from the University of Northumbria. She spent a year and a half travelling around SE Asia and living in Australia before arriving in NZ in 2000, where she has been ever since.
Photograph right shows Katz addressing those at the launch at The Children's Bookshop.
Katz Cowley grew up as an only child, though was never without company ... her Mum created treasure hunts for the kids on their street and read stories with a variety of animated voices which instilled in Katz a feel for characters and a sense of the magic and wonder in life. Her Dad gave her a love for music.

As a result, she has an all-round passion for anything creative, and teaches and runs workshops and classes in drawing, creative journalling and self expression in a variety of settings. She loves finding inspiration in everyday life and delights at witnessing and supporting others in connecting more deeply to their creativity.

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