Sunday, 8 September 2013

More on the School Journal

The story of the closure of Learning Media and the uncertain future of the School Journal continues. You can read more about the issue here:

"Show him the money!" on Fifi Colston's blog.

"The unnecessary and shameful demise of Learning Media" on Mandy Hager's blog.

"Perhaps not the right reward for excellence" on Melinda Szymanik's blog.

"School Journal publisher winding up": the initial news item on the Stuff website.

An (extraordinarily uninformed) editorial in the NZ herald - read the comments to get a better view.

"Hekia, Bill and the very nervous taniwha": a very clever piece by Toby Manhire.

I'd encourage you again to write to your local MP or to the Minister of Education about this issue. If you've never written to an MP before, it's easy You don't even need a stamp. Just follow the instructions here.

And lastly, I'd like to show you just a few examples of the work I've done for Learning Media over the years. I am immensely proud of all of these. Learning Media gave me my start in writing, and I owe a great deal to their help and encouragement.

"Escape artist Clyde" in School Journal Part 2 No 2 (2000)
When I do school visits, I often take this Journal along because the covers - both front and back (by Nic Marshall) - are so clever and amusing, and children love to hear the story of Clyde the otter, who was smart enough to escape from his enclosure in Wellington Zoo and get all the way across Newtown before he was found.

Sunbears are special; a Ready to read title (2002).
Younger children just love this story as well. I'm not sure exactly why, but something in it seems to resonate for them. It's another Wellington Zoo story, about the twin sun bears cubs, Madu and Arataki, born there in 1999. It tells children about conservation, endangered species and animal families. And it doesn't have a completely happy ending. Madu had a hole in his heart and died when he was two years old. There is something in all those elements put together that children really respond to.

"Mmm, popcorn!" in Pop! pop! pop!, another Ready to read title, with illustrations by Philip Webb (1999).
This book contains a story by Dot Meharry, with my poem at the back. I'm including it because the new entrants teacher at our local school would always read it to her class at some stage each year. She read it beautifully, and every new entrant heard her enthusiastic cry of "Mmm - popcorn!"

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