Sound Reading

CoverGrant Smithies is a passionate music reviewer. I don’t always agree with his taste, but I do admire someone who can combine knowledge and emotion so fluidly. His new book Soundtrack : 118 Great New Zealand Albums doesn’t claim to be a definitive work on New Zealand music, it’s a writer sharing the stuff he loves. The result is an honest and enthusiastic survey of New Zealand music. Smithies’ writing sits very nicely alongside guest contributions from the likes of John Campbell, Karen Walker, Chris Knox and the late John Peel. Best of all is the Christchurch representation, including essays on Bachelorette, The Bats, The Gordons and Shocking Pinks.

Literary Bears

TradeMe now has for sale eight illustrated bears, which involved the talents of Pamela Allen, Robyn Belton, Gavin Bishop, Jenny Cooper (2), and Helen Taylor, plus an unusual one by Jacqueline Wilson.

It is a once in a lifetime chance to own an original and unique work of art by some of New Zealand’s leading children’s book illustrators. An ideal Christmas present for a librarian or booklover.

Each bear has been transformed into a unique collectable which will not only increase in value as time goes by, but will continue to delight the buyer.

They are signed and has a certificate of authenticity. For example, Robyn Belton’s bear is a character from ‘Greedy Cat and the Sneezes’ by Joy Cowley and Robin Belton and comes complete with a Doctor’s bag and a signed copy of the book.

Funds raised from the sale of the bears will go towards Te Tai Tamariki, a proposed National Centre of Children’s Literature which will be a treasure house celebrating the best of everything that goes into the writing and illustrating of children’s books.

The auction has been organised by the Friends of Te Tai Tamariki and the artists works have been given free of charge. These bears will be auctioned on TradeMe from Monday 26 November until Sunday 2 December, 2007.

Go to TradeMe (search “members” for “magnumgj”). They’re beary, beary nice!