03 September 2009

Piano Rock by Gavin Bishop wins design award



Congratulations to Gavin Bishop and Sarah Elworthy for their design work on Piano Rock. A 1950s Childhood (Random House) which took the Scholastic New Zealand Award for Best Children's Book in the PANZ Book Design Awards last night. Well deserved for this delightful treasure of a book with its fabric bound spine and its small size such a comforting handful. It's a pity that children's books were not up to taking out any of the other awards. Read about all the other winners here.
Here's my review, written for Storylines Booklist last year.

Piano Rock – A 1950s Childhood

By Gavin Bishop

Random House, 2008

Hb ISBN 9781869790103

This small hardback book is a treasure to behold, before you even open the covers, with its decorated fabric spine and silhouette illustration on a duck-egg blue background. The pattern of the spine is repeated on the endpapers and the pages littered with prints and classically coloured illustrations that help set the story in its time and place – Kingston, Southland, 1949-1954. This is the true and elegantly told story of the years Gavin spent as a young boy, with all the adventures a lad should have – building huts, eating scones and roast mutton, catching eels, going to school on a horse, Guy Fawkes Day and more. A glossary at the back explains some of the language of the day like Box Brownie, linoleum and Guy (which causes great trauma in the story). A book that will be enjoyed by children (perhaps 8+) and adults alike, conveying a true picture of life in the ‘good old days’.

You can also hear Gavin talking about his books on Storylines new video interviews - Literature Live

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