The 25 year-old classic by Gavin Bishop that has been delighting children and adults alike for years has been reprinted. Mrs McGinty is a very grumpy old woman whose life is grey, bleak and lonely - until one day she buys a little plant which grows and grows and grows. Mrs McGinty becomes famous and happy and makes friends - the plant has transformed her life.
Because MRS MCGINTY AND THE BIZARRE PLANT is set in Christchurch and features such Christchurch icons as the Edmonds Baking Powder factory the book has become a classic in the minds of thousands of South Islanders. 2006 was the 25th anniversary of MRS MCGINTY AND THE BIZARRE PLANT and, as part of the 2006 Christchurch Writers Festival, there was a three week exhibition called MRS MCGINTY AND FRIENDS at the Our City centre in the heart of Christchurch.
Published by Oxford University Press, New Zealand 1981 | Reprinted as a NZ Classic by RandomHouse NZ Ltd 2007 ISBN Hardback: 0-1955-8074-5 | ISBN Paperback: 978-1-86941-892-2 | Full colour picture book, Page size: 280 x 235 mmLevel: 8-10 years
A sequel or companion book to TAMING THE SUN, Gavin Bishop's latest stunning book contains four more Maori myths, including two well-known legends (Maui finds his family and Maui and the goddess of fire) and two less well-known legends (Hatupatu and the birdwoman and Rata and his waka).
Aimed at children 3-10 years, these myths are simply and yet elegantly written. Gavin's characteristic sense of humour is evident in all of the stories, and while each story is exciting and often a little bit scary, they are resolved beautifully. Gavin allows the essence of the original myths to remain while also re-telling them for a new generation of children.The illustrations are stunning - the different colour palette for each story and the strong mix of techniques create bold and beautiful images that integrate with the words in a powerful and meaningful way.RIDING THE WAVES is a collection that continues to take traditional myths to a new level. Created by one of New Zealand's most talented and passionate children's book writers and illustrators.
“The four stories retold here are mostly familiar but Bishop’s language is fresh and simple. They would work well read to children or read by them. The strong, competent illustrations have a sense of immediacy (helped by the fact that the main technique is monoprint) and most use a wet-in-wet style of background colour. A different palette of background colour is used for each story so that each tale is effectively colour-coded. The book’s design makes the text part of the illustrations so that the role of the illustrations becomes one of creating an atmosphere for the stories. The Maori version of this book, WHAKAEKE I NGA NGARU, particularly impressed our Te Reo consultant: This is masterly story telling in te reo Maori compelling, stimulating and invigorating. It enhances and takes the English to a level in Maori where readers in te reo can appreciate and enjoy the story as taken from its original roots.”
- NZ Post Children’s Book Award Judge’s Report 2007
He is swallowed by a cow, a fish and a giant. He flies on the back of a raven and a butterfly and gets a lift on a dandelion. Tom is adopted by the King’s Court and enjoys a fine life until the day he meets a giant spider.This story is a reworking of the classic fairy tale first published in England in the 17th century.
The birth of Pip the penguin brings great joy to his parents. They warn their precious baby of the dangers that await a penguin chick in the wilds of Antarctica. But Pip gets bored with staying in his nest all day alone, so he wanders off. Only to discover first-hand that “nest is best!”
This rhyming counting book tells the story of Noahs ark as it might have happened in New Zealand. A Rangatira calls a moa, two moreporks, three kiwi along with other NZ animals and birds onto his waka, out of the wind and rain.
When little white kiwi cracks out of his shell he looks up and sees the moon. He thinks she is his mother, because like him she is white. His real mother tells him that he won’t blend in, he should be brown like other kiwis. The muti-layered story of how the little white kiwi survives comes to a mythical conclusion with Little Kiwi’s wish to live the moon coming true in a surprising way.
“Gavin Bishop’s KIWI MOON is the picture book of 2005. If you have small children, run out and buy it.” - David Larsen, Listener, Dec 17, 2005 “Weaving history and legend, Gavin Bishop sets his dramatic tale of an albino kiwi and Te Marama - the moon - against a traditional Maori and later colonial backdrop of settlement, war and forest fire. The ending is celebratory and magical, the illustrations - plant and portrait - beautifully rendered and deeply engaging. A Kiwi classic in the making.”
- Dylan Owen, Dominion Post, Dec 3 2005
“At first glance, this beautiful picture book simply tells the story of the relationship between an albino Kiwi and the moon. Looked at more carefully, the book’s pictures reveal a second narrative. In the background there is pa. A war canoe arrives, a challenge is made, the chief dies. Then a group of British soldiers is seen marching; scenes of fighting follow and the pa’s wooden palisades burn. Finally the pa site is shown as an abandoned hill, while on the cleared land below is covered with dozens of tree stumps. The various aspects of this book interact with each other brilliantly, creating a smooth effect. Gavin Bishop has created an accessible and unified fable. Over the years, Gavin Bishop has created many wonderful books but Kiwi Moon is his best so far; a classic of the future.”
- Trevor Agnew, The Source, (Aust/NZ website for Children’ Literature) 2005
Part 1 of a trilogy of Maori myths and legends, Taming the Sun contains four stories, including two well-known legends ( Maui And The Sun and Maui And The Big Fish) and two less well-known legends (Rona And The Moon and Kahu The Taniwha).
Aimed at children with reading ages 3-7 years, these myths are simply and yet elegantly written. Gavin's characteristic sense of humour is evident in all of the stories; and while each story is exciting and often a little bit scary, they are resolved beautifully. Gavin allows the essence of the original myths to remain while also re-telling them for a new generation of children.
The illustrations are stunning - the different colour palette for each story and the strong mix of techniques create bold and beautiful images that integrate with the words in a powerful and meaningful way.Taming the Sun is an imaginative, fresh and much-needed addition to the picture book genre, which takes traditional myths to a new level. Created by one of New Zealand's most talented and passionate children's book writers and illustrators.
The three Gruff brothers will not make it through the winter if they don’t get nice and fat by eating the rich green grass in the meadows higher up the mountainside. The smallest billy goat sets off first because he is the slowest.His path takes him over a rickety bridge. Under that bridge lives a troll, a very ugly troll with eyes as big as dinner plates and a nose as long as a ski pole.
This is a retelling in picture book form of an old favourite
“A real gem from Gavin Bishop.” - Frances Plumpton, Storylines, Term 4 2003“The illustrations are stunning, spanning the double spreads on most pages. This my favourite of Gavin Bishop’s books.”
- Margaret Kedian, Magpies Vol 18, September 2003
The Little Tractor becomes old and no longer useful. He is consigned to a shed and his farm is ‘eaten up’ by the town.From a car sales yard he is sold to a series of owners, none of whom are suitable until one day a young man with ‘sticky-up hair’ and grass seed on his clothes comes by. And for the little tractor a new life begins, back in the country and back on a farm.
“Simple plot enlivened by Gavin Bishop classy illustrations.”
- Raymond Huber, Dunedin teacher, 24 April 2004
“Gavin Bishop’s pictures conjure up the USA in the fifties or sixties; a big prairie barn; round bodied cars. They’re bolder in line, simpler and less detailed than most of his work but retain the sophistication of style which is his signature.”
- Reading Time Vol 48 No 2 2003
Weaving Earth and Sky: myths and legends of Aotearoa, retells the classic Maori myths and legends, which range from creation to Maui to Kupe’s arrival in Aotearoa
“This wonderful book transcends the useful boundaries into which we categorise literature. It is a picture book and a collection of wonderful timeless stories. If Robert Sullivan is the warp in the weaving of his stories Gavin Bishop is certainly the weft. His bold illustrations are strongly atmospheric and perfectly represent the colour of Aotearoa. From the front cover, depicting Maui attacking Tunaroa, the great eel, and from end paper to end paper they enhance and elaborate the text.”
- Judges’ Report, NZ Post Children’s Book Awards 2003