Author Archives: Paula Green

Hans Christian Anderson winner announced 1.30am Tuesday 27 March NZ time: Joy Cowley is on the shortlist

Joy Cowley one of five authors shortlisted for world’s most prestigious children’s literature award – the Hans Christian Andersen  –
announced 1.30am Tuesday 27 March NZ time


New Zealand is gearing up to hear if beloved children’s author Joy Cowley (81) will win the world’s leading children’s literature award, the Hans Christian Andersen Medal, given by the global children’s literature organisation IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People).

Joy Cowley joins four other nominees, Marie-Aude Murail (France), Farhad Hassanzadeh (Iran), Ulf Stark (Sweden) and Eiko Kadano (Japan), selected from authors from 33 countries.
Presented for an outstanding and lasting contribution to world children’s literature, the award will be announced at the Bologna International Children’s Book Fair on Monday 26 March 14:30 CET – (NZ time 1.30am Tuesday 27 March).

To view the presentation via LIVE STREAMING click on LINK
“Storylines, which is the New Zealand Section of IBBY, is delighted that its Patron Joy Cowley, so recently acknowledged with the Order of New Zealand, has now been acknowledged internationally with this shortlisting for the 2018 Hans Christian Andersen Award”, says Storylines chair Dr Libby Limbrick.

“No writer has done more to promote children’s reading and love of books with both her tireless advocacy and literally hundreds of published stories so appealing to two generations of young readers.”
The Andersen award is judged by an international jury on each author’s entire body of work, its aesthetic and literary quality, freshness, innovation, the ability to see the child’s point of view and to stretch their curiosity, and the continuing relevance of the books to children and young people.

In a lifetime of writing for children, Joy Cowley, recently awarded New Zealand’s top honour, the Order of New Zealand, has published around 800 ‘school readers,’ more than 40 picture books, some 20 novels for children and young adults, plays and poetry.  Her books, especially the educational texts, have been translated into multiple languages, and she is regarded in many countries, particularly USA, as a leading advocate for children’s literacy.

Over more than two decades, she has travelled extensively, conducting workshops as well as consultancy work on writing for emergent readers in many countries including Korea, Singapore, Brunei and Hong Kong.

She is the second New Zealander to be acknowledged by IBBY.  The Hans Christian Andersen Medal for writing was won by Margaret Mahy in 2006.

The 2018 award will be presented at the 36th IBBY Congress in Athens, Greece on Friday, 31 August.  The organisation, the oldest and most prestigious body working for children’s books, has a membership of 75 countries.

A festival of letters to NZ children’s authors: Brigid Lowry writes back to Elsa


Dear Elsa

I am thrilled that you like my book. It was really aimed at slightly older girls but you are obviously a talented reader and thinker, so bravo you and thanks for letting me know it was a hit with you.

Good luck with your writing, and your life.


Write often.

Read lots

Ask questions

Use your five senses

Cultivate happiness

Buy a nice pen for yourself every now and again.

May all your tomorrows be beautiful  🌺🎼🌈💮🌸🕊🌠


Brigid Lowry





A festival of letters to NZ children’s authors: Gretel writes to Joy Cowley



Dear Joy Cowley,

Some of my favourite  books by you are the Greedy Cat ones. I also like Cowshed Christmas. Yuck Soup is one  I like too.

From Gretel, age 8 Richmond Rd School


I am posting letters until March 30th! Festival of letters details here

A festival of letters to NZ children’s authors: letter in memory of Margaret Mahy



Dear Margaret Mahy,

I really do love your books and your poems.

My granny has a giant book of all of your stories.But my favourite two books are: The Witch in the Cherry Tree,  The Man Eating Shark. I really did like the part in the witch in the cherry tree when the witch smelt the cakes in the oven. Before I read that  book I didn’t know that witches liked cakes and colour.

I am so sorry you are not living any more and I wish you could of read this.

Best Wishes


Age:10  Year:6

Richmond Road School    

A festival of letters to NZ children’s authors: Frankie, Eme and Maddie write to Jo van Dam




Dear Jo van Dam

I love your books, I love how they rhyme. I love the way the they make me feel. They make me feel happy. My favorite one is “kaia the korora” because of the adventure feel and I myself love adventures.

Best wishes!!!


Age: 10

School: richmond road school




Dear Jo

I like your stories because they are funny

rhymes and I like the way that you can imagine

The pictures in the story.

But my favorite book you have is the Doggy Ditties, the dog book.

My favorite funnest part of the story is when you say

Roxy the foxy loves to dig dig dig.

Roxy the foxy isn’t big big big.

Watch as she dances a jig jig jig..

Roxy the foxy in a wig wig wig.

By Eme L  Age 10 Richmond Road School




I am a person…… I am indeed.

I am a fan of  your book……..

Or did you write more than one book?

Why yes you did….

You did indeed.

We seem to be overloaded with facts we never knew……

Or did you know?


Are you as fat as a whale or as skinny as a skinny something?

Or did I know?


Enough of the indeeds!

Enough indeed!!!!!!

When I was a little………what gender am I again???? I seem to have forgotten.

Well anyway I thought Jo was the perfect name for a bowl of porridge….

I did indeed!!!!!!!

Ah porridge. You should write a book about porridge.

You are a librarian……

You are indeed!!!

Find me a book about porridge.

While I am reading it, GET BUSY!!!!!!

Hairless cats are dead to me.

Who would be there to put hair all over the couch so my dad would get angry and I can watch and laugh.

Who indeed?????

If you have read this far I thank you……

I do indeed.

I might be ten years old…….

But then again I might be two thousand.


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PORRIDGE!!!!!!!! Dont forget.

From Maddie Richmond Road School

A festival of letters to NZ children’s authors: Poppy (10) writes a letter in memory of Margaret Mahy




A letter in memory of Margaret Mahy

You are the best author that I know. I nearly have all your books and I am still laughing about Mr.Whistler losing his ticket. I can relate to him (alot). Your playground is popular –  you probably don’t know it but that metal slide, everyone loves it. Especially the water park and all the fun activities.

I adore the funny stories and all the creativeness from you and your imagination. I will always think of you when I write.The books you have left behind, everyone is enjoying them.

Poppy T

Year 6 age 10

Fendalton Open Air School Christchurch


I am posting letters until March 30th! Festival of letters details here