Aotearoa: The New Zealand Story
Aotearoa: The New Zealand story is an impressive illustrated history by children’s writer and illustrator Gavin Bishop. Beautiful to behold, each page contains a myriad of small details, snippets of information that build to give the reader a wealth of information and thoughtful consideration to how our history is told. Covering mythology, early migration, European exploration, the impact of colonisation, our flora and fauna, famous New Zealanders, what we ate and wore, how we lived and changed over time this is a book that simultaneously has great scope and an eye for microscopic detail. With such a broad scope and aimed at children, it’s not a definitive history, yet it successfully tells our story and gives us insights into areas that are often overlooked in more scholarly works. It’s heartening to see more than a cursory treatment of pre-European history, plenty of te reo M?ori included seamlessly in the text (there’s a glossary at the back), to have the New Zealand Wars and its impact on Maori populations highlighted, alongside New Zealand’s place in the wider world during the two world wars of last century and the influence of post-war European migration on our ever-changing cultural landscape. And while there are some of the usual suspects on the 'famous people' pages, it’s great to see our best creative minds (writers, performers and artists) stepping out on their own pages. Running throughout the book is the importance of the land, its flora and fauna - and the responsibility we all have to ensure its environmental well-being. This is a delightful and informative book is for all ages - perfect as a family gift.
Winner of the 2018 NZ Children's Book Awards for the Elsie Locke Award for Non-Fiction. And the Winner of the 2018 Margaret Mahy Book of the Year. NZ Listener 50 Best Books for Kids 2017 The Sapling Best Books List 2017
Gavin Bishop is a highly acclaimed children's book author and illustrator. Born in Invercargill, he spent his childhood in the remote railway settlement of Kingston on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. Studying under Russell Clark and Rudi Gopas, Gavin graduated from the Canterbury University School of Fine Arts with an honours degree in painting. He taught art at Linwood High School and at Christ's College in Christchurch. He won the Margaret Mahy Medal in 2000, as well as numerous fellowships and national book awards. His book Weaving Earth and Sky won the non-fiction section and the Book of the Year Award of the NZ Post Children's Book Awards 2003, and was shortlisted for the LIANZA Elsie Locke Medal in 2003. He has won the LIANZA Russell Clark Medal for Illustration four times- Mrs McGinty and the Bizarre Plant (1981); Kiwi Moon (2006); Rats! (2008); and There was a Crooked Man (2010). Among his successful partnerships has been that with writer Joy Cowley, with whom he won the Best in Junior Fiction and Book of the Year at the 2008 NZ Post Children's Book Awards for Snake and Lizard. The Storylines Gavin Bishop Award for Picture Book Illustration was established in 2009 to encourage emergent illustrators and to acknowledge Gavin's contribution to the writing and illustrating of children's picture books. In 2013 he was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit, and President of Honour of the NZ Society of Authors. Gavin's artwork has featured in exhibitions internationally, including Japan and Czechoslovakia. He has written and designed two ballets for the Royal New Zealand Ballet Company- Terrible Tom and Te Maia and the Sea Devil. In 2003 he shared the Ursula Bethell Residency with Catherine Chidgey.