Hilary Jean Tapper and I were so excited to be asked to run a fun session for Christchurch's famous Word Festival. Our session was part of The Great Story Hunt to be held at Turanga Library (possibly the world's best library!?) Unfortunately Covid19 and lockdown postponed the event and now with our continuation at level 2 in the South Island unfortunately our session can no longer be held. Several other events for adults can go ahead though so check out the program if you're in town.https://wordchristchurch.co.nz/
As part of the Bookshop Day 2021 celebrations illustrator Hilary Jean Tapper decorated the windows of the newly opened specialty children and young person's bookshop 'Telling Tales'.
Smells have always been evocative to me, and smells based in nature are always the most appealing and memorable. The smell of rain on hot concrete, freshly cut grass and a warm tomato straight from the vine on my grandfather’s garden are all smells that have followed me into adulthood with the power to allow me to instantly travel through time and revisit people and places long gone.
Last weekend I visited Scorpio Book’s new children and young person’s specialty bookstore, ‘Telling Tales’. Of course its visually appealing, the layout is roomy, lots of space to wander along the shelves, each book obviously handpicked and perfect. But the smell…oh the smell. Notes of wood, paper, ink and possibility, hope and adventure. Each volume a tiny world waiting to find its reader.
This visit was even more special for me because at the moment I have two titles of my own in stores. I can say wholeheartedly that that experience is all you think it might be. It feels a little bit like leaving your child with someone else for the first time. You’re giddy with the freedom and excitement of walking away, but you also want to stay and explain every detail and expectation. Did you do enough, is it ready, will it be loved?
Like a lot of businesses bookshops need our support more than ever now. So this Saturday (and every other day!) I encourage you to make a special visit, either in person or online and maybe even start your holiday season shopping, or treat yourself.
'A reader lives lives a thousand lives before he dies' George R R Martin
Thanks to the team at Glee Books for this sweet review.
A Stick And A Stone by Sarina Dickson is a simple tale of outdoor adventures perfect for folk exploring their 5km radius in lockdown. With a lovely rhythmic rhyming pattern it is such a fun book to read aloud as we explore the outdoors with a family of campers who are spotting treasures on the way to the campsite. Sore feet, stolen caps and getting lost does not dampen their spirits as there is still much fun to be had! The illustrations by Hilary Jean Tapper are bright and fabulous and reminiscent of Alison Lester and Freya Blackwood. This is such a great book to read with toddlers but also a good one to encourage reading skills. It even inspired us to go outside and do a nature treasure hunt. Something in this gorgeous book for everyone!
About Glee Books: With locations in Glebe, Dulwich Hill, Blackheath and Walsh Bay, we have been independent booksellers for over forty years, with an events programme second-to-none.
I'm so excited about this! So much love and work has gone into this little book and it's my dream that the simple rhythm and rhyme will go with you on walks in nature.
A Stick and a Stone is dedicated to my son Lachlan. When he was small he loved to stop and look at small details whenever we walked anywhere. When he was two our city, Christchurch, had a series of devastating earthquakes and our environment was changed immensely. Walking in a small pocket of ancient bush near the city centre became something we did a lot while we and our city recovered. Each time we went the bush had changed but it was also always familiar and comforting. Spending time together, slowing down and being in nature has stayed a permanent fixture in the mental health and well-being of our family. We still go into the bush together when we need to rest. The rhythm of the natural world continues to inspire my writing and my parenting.
Available to purchase now!
Illustrated by the fabulously talented Hilary Jean Tapper, check out her process and work on insta.
So lovely to be seeing pictures of 'The Fairies' Night Before Christmas' arriving in shops and to be getting kind messages from people who have their pre-ordered copies arriving in the post.
Do you dream of seeing your stories for children or young adults in print? This two-hour course will cover different options for publication and provide practical guidance for submitting to traditional publishers in New Zealand, Australia, and the United States. From query letters to agents to editors to contracts, you’ll learn to navigate the submission process and get your manuscript into the right hands.
Co-presented by Elissa Brent Weissman. Elissa is an award-winning author of books for 8-12-year olds, including the Nerd Camp series and The Length of a String. Her tenth novel was released in August from Penguin USA, and her debut picture book is forthcoming from Abrams in 2023.
Date: Saturday, 23 October
Location: South Library, Christchurch
Registration: Please fill out this form and submit payment via bank transfer
One week to go! A bit of delay is possible because of covid and shipping but we're nearly there.
I wanted to say a huge thank you and acknowledge the super-talented illustrator that has bought this sweet, rhyming tale to life. Sarah Greig is a Christchurch-based illustrator and designer and her previous title was Margaret Mahy's 'The Boy With Two Shadows' that she illustrated after winning the Hachette Aotearoa New Zealand Margaret Mahy illustration prize.
It was a dream to work with the very talented @sarahgreig.illustrationdesign and the amazing team at @hachettenz on this fun project. I hope our fairies will surprise you with their unique take on Christmas.
Sarah and I have worked next to each other for 2 Christchurch based @wildinart public art displays and we discovered we only live a couple of blocks from each other. I’m sure this won’t be our last collaboration!
Sarah's Fine Arts degree opened doors for her all over the world where she worked as a shoe and graphic designer. Now Sarah spends her days creating art primarily in watercolour and dip-pen. You can check out her work via her website, FB and insta and find her at markets and in super cool design stores like @sollosnz
It's no secret that kids are struggling with maintaining positive mental health. This isn't a new problem but it's hard to argue that adding the pressures of social media and a global pandemic into the mix doesn't make life as a child or teen that much more difficult.
This week, as areas outside of Auckland head towards kids returning to the classrooms I've been emailed by several teachers asking where they can get copies of 'Rising Tide' to use again with their classes, or if they're have been any new resources added to The Worry Bug project.
I did have a few copies left over that I was able to drop to two local schools that were eager to get started in running the classroom activities with their Year 5 and 6 cohorts. For those further afield you can access Rising Tide, in english and te reo Maori, as an e-book and as an audiobook via the Worry Bug website. There are loads of other support resources for families on their too. There are expert interviews about catastrophising, family dynamics, classroom culture and mindfulness. They're free available to use and share with families and colleagues. There are even more resources based on the book on the Sparklers website.
Sarina Dickson is a writer, artist and educator based in Christchurch, New Zealand.