Sunday, January 13, 2013

We Recommend and a Giveaway

You know how I feel about books and how I feel about supporting artisans.

This is the latest book to hit our shelves - Mr Whistler by Margaret Mahy and illustrated by Gavin Bishop

Sadly New Zealand lost Margaret Mahy last year but her lasting gift was a huge collection of imaginative whimsical stories think:
Down the Back of the Chair
The Lion in the Meadow
The Man Whose Mother Was a Pirate
The Witch in the Cherry Tree
The Seven Chinese Brothers

She actually wrote more than 100 picture books, 40 novels and 20 collections of short stories. (Can anyone say prolific??)

This story is no different. It's a story of a man who has a song in his head and dance in his feet trying to get himself on a train. As a woman who frequently has a song on my lips and some groove in my step I love Mr Whistler - he's the kind of person the world needs more of.

He also has great dress sense right down to his underwear (how can I not love him?!?!)

The story is illustrated by Christchurch's own Gavin Bishop (who wrote and illustrated another of our favourites Mrs McGinty and the Bizarre Plant - a classic which features some wonderful Christchurch scenery. The boys adore it. We have a copy from the 80s that is falling apart.)

His illustrations in this are so engaging - it's very hard to convey movement - particularly dance in a non-stylised way. But these pictures just dance. The clothing is also fab and the story is set in the 40s so it's rather stylish.

We really like this book the boys laughed at and engaged with the story. It's well written and beautifully illustrated - it's a keeper.

I was thrilled to receive this in the mail from Gecko Press - publishers committed to bringing us all books worth keeping and they kindly said I could have another copy to give to a reader too.

So if you'd like this book on your shelves leave me a comment here I'm interested to know either:
 your favourite children's author
or your favourite illustrator

Happy to send this anywhere in NZ - your chance to win closes Saturday 27th of January.


Nikki said...

I love celebrating kiwi authors. My favourite illustrator is Eric Carle. Absolutely amazing!

Meghan Maloney Photography said...

Ooh yes please. We love Margaret Mahy and have Down the Back of the Chair and have read Lion in the Meadow before.

My next favourite would have to be Juliette McIver - Marmaduke Duck and the Marmalade Jam - so beautifully lyrical - I never get sick of reading it.

Judith said...

I would love to pop this on the reading shelf - Margaret was such a versatile writer, for kids of all ages. I have a few of her Aussie Bite books that I read to my class as an intro to chapter books. This book will be a great legacy to the wonderful Margaret Mahy>

Ange (Tall, Short and Tiny) said...

Sounds like a great story to add to the collection. Margaret Mahy is my favourite childrens author (just introduced Tiny to 'Down the Back of the Chair', which we all LOVE), with Lynley Dodd coming a close second.

Unknown said...

So many awesome nz authors, one of our favourite's is a Gavin Bishop book called Bruiser. Lynley Dodd is awesome, I love Maurice Gee for slightly older kiddies books

smilie said...

I think I'm right in that I heard Margaret had only seen a few of the illustrations for this book or maybe only seen them once before she passed away. Poignant.

Sophie said...

Oooh..i'm in! Fave author and illustrator would be Julia Donaldson and Axel scheffler....of the gruffalo fame but also mem fox and Lynsey Dodd. Just love rhymers!!

Sophie said...

Oooh..i'm in! Fave author and illustrator would be Julia Donaldson and Axel scheffler....of the gruffalo fame but also mem fox and Lynsey Dodd. Just love rhymers!!

Ginx Craft said...

One of my favourite books is Burglar Bill by Janet and Allan Ahlberg, who also did the illustrations. I keep it in the bag I take to school for emergencies. Don't worry about putting me in for the give away as I think I am a bit far away.

jacksta said...

oh pick me!
Margaret fans from my childhood and the kids too.

Leonie said...

Margeret Mahy stories are awesome - we adore them - baby in a bubble is one of our favourites! I'm a huge Julia Donalson and Azesl Scheffler fan, Kyle Mewbern (central otago author) Emily Gravett... too many!

nz green buttons said...

I love Margaret Mahy's work, so many favourites, the witch in the cherry tree is my all time favourite!

Elizabeth said...

Ohhhh - this looks lovely, we have Margaret Mahy's 'Bubble Truble' book, awesome rhyming book - I love reading it, but hubby doesn't as it is a bit tricky!

My fav would have to be Lynley Dodd though :-)! We are Hairy Maclary mad around here!

Esther said...

My aunt is my fav illustator! She's jsut been published! Neroli Williams -"The Llama Drama" (oh, yeah, written by Yvonne Morrison too!) GO BUY IT!!!!

Lauren said...

This book looks amazing! Both of my boys are right into Craig Smith books at the moment- even my husband has memorised all of the words! Would love a new book to read to them.

Melissa said...

Would love this on the shelf for new baby! Fave illustrator is Quentin Blake as I'm a wee bit warped

Jollym said...

The book looks awesome, great giveaway!! The fav around is Craig Smith, wonky donkey is loved by both my girls :)