If you’ve been into Centre for the Child in Central Library over the last few days you may have noticed we have a rat infestation – Gavin Bishop’s Rats that is. Illustrations from Gavin Bishop’s fantastic picture book Rats, along with illustrations from other New Zealand illustrators Fraser Williamson and Jenny Cooper now line the walls in the Centre for the Child. If you dare, you can see rats scaring an old lady and running away with her cake, a boy on a skateboard chasing some slugs, a Cyclops swinging through the trees in search of lunch and a worried pirate with a pig for a pet.
The illustrations were originally part of the Off the Page exhibition of New Zealand illustrators, presented by Te Tai Tamariki, held at COCA Gallery. Te Tai Tamariki is the New Zealand Children’s Literature Charitable Trust that has been set up to preserve and promote New Zealand children’s literature. They host a number of events throughout the year including exhibitions and author visits, as well as creating a great calendar each year filled with illustrations from classic and more recent New Zealand picture books. You can read their newsletters or find out about coming events on the Te Tai Tamariki website.
You can find out more about these illustrators on the library’s New Zealand Children’s Authors and Stories pages and if you want to see the life-size versions of their illustrations come and see them in the Centre for the Child at Central Library.