Former leading New Zealand publisher and bookseller, and widely experienced judge of both the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, talks about what he is currently reading, what impresses him and what doesn't, along with chat about the international English language book scene, and links to sites of interest to booklovers.
Tuesday, May 08, 2012
Colour the stars
This is a very special book that should be read to all pre-schoolers and read by older kids up to about 8 years of age. Every library in the land should have multiple copies. It tells in most poetic language what it means to be blind. I notice the author is donating royalties from the sale of the book to the Royal NZ Foundation of the Blind guide dog programme. Good on you Dawn McMillan, and congratulations to you, the illustrator and publishers for such an important publication on this difficult subject, and so pleasingly and appealingly presented. I loved it.
About the author:
Dawn McMillan lives in a small coastal village on the
western side of the Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand.She writes in a small studio in her back garden, from where
she can watch the sea. The many moods of the sea and the beauty of the forest
hills close by influence her writing. Colour the Stars is Dawn’s twentieth
picture book and is one of her favourite stories.
“Colour the Stars emerged from a time I spent beside a
tumbling bush stream, where it seemed that Isaac and Luke were with me. It
gives me great pleasure to donate my royalties from the New Zealand sales of
Colour the Stars to the New Zealand Foundation of the Blind, to assist with the
Sponsor a Puppy programme.”
As well as writing picture book scripts, Dawn writes
educational readers for the international market. One of Dawn’s previous
picture books, Why Do Dogs Sniff Bottoms?,
won the Children’s Choice award in 2003, and was accredited as a NZ Booksellers
Gold Bestseller in 2005.
About the illustrator
Originally coming to live in Christchurch via Los Angeles
and Washington DC, Keinyo White now spends his time illustrating and travelling
back and forth between New Zealand and his homeland of the United States.
“My work is indebted to a lot of the great illustrators who
influenced my own reading as a child. Illustrators like
NC Wyeth and Maxfield Parrish. Colour the Stars presented me with a unique
opportunity to expand my artistic horizons, not only in terms of how I see and
relate to things in the world around me, but how others do as well. In addition
it offered me fresh perspective on how others might view and interpret my own
work. I feel privileged to have been a part of the experience.”
An honours graduate of the prestigious Rhode Island School
of Design, Keinyo has been working as a professional painter and illustrator
for more than 15 years. His watercolours, oils, collages and commissioned works
are held by collections, galleries and public institutions in New York, Los
Angeles and Washington DC, as well as New Zealand. He is the recipient of
numerous awards for his work.