01 September 2009

My Brown Bear Barney 21st birthday edition


Firstly, humble apologies for neglecting this blog for a whole year. I won't bore you with my excuses, just promise to do better.
So on with the show - and what a show the Auckland Storylines Festival Family Day was on Sunday. One highlight was celebrating the 21st birthday of Brown Bear Barney. My how the years have flown and there will be a new generation of children who read this when they were small, who will now be able to share it with their own young ones.
Barney is beloved largely because he is so ordinary - Dorothy Butler and Elizabeth Fuller between them have conjured an ordinary day in the life of and ordinary family - just what young children enjoy seeing in the pages of their picture books - something that reflects their own lives a little.
Children and their parents and grandparents all gathered to enjoy cake and numerous bear-related crafts in the Aotea Centre on Sunday, with Dorothy and Elizabeth there to celebrate, and a new edition from Penguin, complete with birthday balloons on the front cover.
Sorry to be negative, but honestly the new book is a flimsy wee thing with the lightest of covers. Surely such a long-term classic warrants a hardback that can continue to be enjoyed by another generation of children. And perhaps there could have been mention that the book was a recipient of the Storylines Gaelyn Gordon Award for a Much-loved Book.

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