Authors unlock a treasury of tales for Kiwi children

MARNIE HALLAHAN
Last updated 05:00 30/10/2012
Authors
TREASURE TROVE: Dorothy Dudek Vinicombe and Belynda Smith with their anthology of children’s stories from Kiwi authors.

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"It's just like reading about old friends," Belynda Smith, co-editor of Kiwi children's short story anthology Read Me Another One, Please! says.

Mrs Smith and fellow book lover Dorothy Dudek Vinicombe decided last year that there were literary treasures that "cannot be lost" and set about to remedy the situation.

They met at the hairdressers and discovered their shared love of books and literature but it wasn't until years later that they began working on what they thought would be "just a little project".

"It has just mushroomed," Mrs Smith says.

"For us it was about finding the lost gems of children's stories and we were overwhelmed by the positive response by authors."

With their combined talents and experience - Mrs Dudek Vinicombe is an English teacher at Carmel College and Mrs Smith a children's librarian at Takapuna Library - the anthology was a chance to call on old friends.

"Margaret Mahy was the first children's librarian I ever worked with at Canterbury Public Library," Mrs Smith says.

"She was very encouraging when I talked to her about the anthology so we included her story Keeping House- sadly the day the book went to print Margaret passed away."

Mrs Dudek Vinicombe says it was a chance for many famous Kiwi authors to showcase their less well-known work.

Poems about cats written by Joy Cowley, Michael King's short story Tangi, first published in school journals, and a follow-up to the much-loved Alex series by Tessa Duder written from the perspective of Alex's granddaughter are among the treasures they uncovered.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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