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TUESDAY 22 AUGUST 6:30-8:00PM 

Balance in children’s and young adult literature in NZ

The panel will explore issues of balance in children’s and young adult literature in NZ. Text vs art.  Education vs entertainment.  Love of reading vs information and learning. Are they one or the other or a bit of both? Join Raymond McGrath, Graci Kim and Gay Buckingham in a lively discussion chaired by Kyle Mewburn as they debate which way the pendulum swings and where the dice fall.

We will celebrate Raymond's Big Little Blue #1 in the SandyPants graphic novel series with a soft launch at this event.

Parking is available in Ward and Nisbet Streets and in the Wintec parking building accessed through Ward St. Free parking available on campus. Enter via Gate 3 on Tristram St but avoid where resident or hostel parking only is stipulated.

Pennys Bookstore will be selling the four authors' books on the night. This event is in partnership with Storylines Trust Te Whare Waituhi Tamariki o Aotearoa with sponsorship from Scholastic NZ.


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Chair and Author

Kyle Mewburn is one of New Zealand's most eclectic and prolific writers. From multi-layered picture books (Old-Hu-huHill & Hole) to laugh-out-loud junior fiction series (Dinosaur Rescue; Dragon Knight), her titles have been translated into eighteen languages and won numerous awards including Children's Book of the Year.

She was Children's Writer-in-Residence at Otago University in 2011 and President of the New Zealand Society of Authors from 2013-2017.

Her memoir Faking it: My life in Transition was published in 2021, and her first adult historic novel Sewing Moonlight will be published in 2024 by Bateman. 

Writer and Performer

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Graci Kim is the award-winning and New York Times bestselling author of The Last Fallen Star, The Last Fallen Moon, and The Last Fallen Realm. As featured in TIME Magazine for Kids, and dubbed a “sparkling yarn” by Entertainment Weekly, the Korean mythology-inspired trilogy has been optioned by the Disney Channel for a television series, and is being translated into multiple languages. It was named a 2021 Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Best Children’s Book, an Amazon Best Book, an Indigo Best Book, a Barnes & Noble Young Reader Pick, and a Whitcoulls Kids Top 50. In 2022, Graci was awarded the Sir Julius Vogel Award for Best New Talent.

In a previous life, Graci was a New Zealand diplomat, a cooking show host, and once ran a business that turned children’s drawings into cuddly toys. 

Chair + Author

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Raymond is an award-winning, 25-year veteran of the film, television, advertising and children’s publishing industries. Being closely involved in the business of producing and funding animation, (both in NZ and internationally through co-productions), as well as book publishing, he has developed, directed, and overseen large scale series. Raymond's books have been published internationally, he is a New York Times Bestsellers list illustrator, and the writer/director and creator of TVNZ children’s series Puzzle Inc. He currently works as a storyboard/animatic artist on the international award-winning television series Kiri and Lou and senior animator on BBC series Tiny Wonders. He has many TV series, books, graphic novel series and creative projects in development.

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