Gavin Bishop and Teddy One-Eye visit AucklandNovember 3rd, 2014
On 16 October acclaimed New Zealand children’s author Gavin Bishop officially launched his latest children’s book, Teddy One-Eye: the autobiography of a teddy bear, at the Services to Schools Centre in Auckland. Like his previous book Piano Rock, this companion book is a beautiful production. (You might want a copy for your own personal book shelf)
Around 60+ students from various Auckland schools were held spellbound as Gavin Bishop read first from Piano Rock and then from Teddy One-Eye. He even introduced us to Teddy One-Eye and explained how one of the eyes had been swallowed. There was also a story about how the bear’s nose lies at the bottom of Lake Wakatipu.
The story is told by the bear who learned to read by looking over Boy’s shoulder whenever he was reading or being read to. Perhaps this is how the bear was able to write this story! A subtle message here by Gavin Bishop to encourage reading aloud to children.
Of course I had to buy a copy of the book and get it signed. Teddy One-Eye takes you back to New Zealand in the 1950s. The watercolour illustrations are a perfect complement to the tale. Teddy’s story takes us from when he first meets Boy through to when Boy, now a man, finds Teddy again and decides to write this story. I like the clever way the story continues even when Teddy One-Eye spends time locked up in a box away from the family.
When the children at the event were asked if they had any questions for the author, there was a steady show of raised hands. How much of the book is based on facts? What do you like about books? Why do you like writing for children? Is it hard being an author and an illustrator?
The treat at the end of the launch was to allow the children to select books for their own personal reading. The shelves were browsed, the catalogue referred to, enthusiasm shared, opinions discussed, books checked out and boxes carted away. Needless to say all Gavin Bishop’s books left our shelves. This was engaging readers at its best!
Author visits to schools, such as those organised by The New Zealand Book Council's Writers in Schools programme, are a wonderful way to engage children with reading.
Image: Gavin Bishop and Teddy One Eye by Rosemary Tisdall