Picture-book launch

Last updated 11:39 12/12/2012

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Gerry Paul, creator of Hank the Wrestling Shark, will perform at Expressions on Saturday, December 22, at 11am (postponed from Monday, December 17) to kick off Upper Hutt Library's children's summer reading challenge.

The annual programme, for children aged 5 to 12, has proved popular and aims to encourage them to do lots of reading during the summer break.

Hank the Wrestling Shark is a hilarious, rhyming tale about a pint-sized boy who takes on the strongest, most fearsome creature of the ocean deep, and defeats him.

Think "David and Goliath" meets Spike Milligan meets Johnny Cash and you've got the measure of this zany picture book.

Written for kids, and grown- up kids, Paul's quirky story is inspired by his lifelong fascination with sharks and his encounters with them while body surfing and free diving New Zealand's coast, including his early years on Wellington's Kapiti Coast.

Best known as an award- winning songwriter and musician, Paul's first picture book is accompanied by a three-track CD, which includes title song Hank the Wrestling Shark. The song was awarded the 2010 grand prize in the prestigious international John Lennon Songwriting Contest, a coveted award among songwriters.

Born in Dublin in 1979, Paul grew up in Lower Hutt and attended St Pat's, Silverstream.

He has spent the past 13 years living in Ireland, playing and touring with the Irish band Grada, which he co-founded in 2001. Grada have released four albums with Nashville-based Compass Records, have toured extensively in the United States and played at prestigious venues worldwide.

Bookings are required for the launch which runs from 11am till noon. Visit Upper Hutt Library or email CTeens@uhcc.govt.nz.

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- Upper Hutt Leader

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