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Auckland Family Day

The Auckland Family Day was how the Storylines Festival began more than 20 years ago. The first two were held at the Auckland War Memorial Museum and since moving to the Aotea Centre has grown exponentially, becoming a major event on the Auckland literary calendar. 
The Auckland Family Day on Sunday 21 August 2016 coincided with the final day of the IBBY World Congress at the Aotea Centre, also the Congress venue. Activities  included readings, book launches, book signings and talks by participating authors, displays, illustrators at work, book-related drama.

The Auckland Family Day was enjoyed by over 3500 visitors this year. International guests Jui'er Leigh Hobbs and Raina Telemeier also appeared thanks to IBBY 2017. Two performances of Witi Ihimaera's The Whale Rider were stellar and magnetic games from Des Hunt provided close competition in the Factopia zone with Dee Pigneguy's puppets numbering in the hundreds.
Joy Cowley's birthday party ended the event on a high note.

Other highlights included:

  • Seen: And definitely heard, kids taking on Kyle Mewburn in Dragon Knights Insult Joust
  • Spotted talent: In performances by Owairaka Primary School, St Cuthbert’s College and Northcross Intermediate School
  • Done: Story-making with emoticons, in Factopia with Des Hunt
  • Heard: Captivating verses by Apirana Taylor and story magic by Gareth Ward, and four Auckland Schools’ Choirs
  • Made: 150+ Grow Me Well Puppets, with Dee Pigneguy, and 200+ Origami butterflies with Melinda Szymanik
  • Drawn: over 30m of drawings with Sandra Morris and Fraser Williamson and over 200 Flying Furballs planes with Donovan Bixley
  • Joined: by international IBBY Congress Guests, Jui’er, Meshack Asare, Cao Wenxuan
  • Ate: soup with the volunteers

Participating writers and illustrators 2016

  • Barbara Else (author)
  • Dee Pigneguy (author non-fiction)
  • Sandra Morris (illustrator)
  • David Riley (author non-fiction)
  • Robyn Belton (illustrator)
  • Michel Mulipola (graphic novelist)
  • Vasanti Unka (author/ illustrator)
  • Donovan Bixley (illustrator)
  • Des Hunt (author)
  • Kyle Mewburn (author)
  • Fraser Williamson (illustrator)
  • Melinda Szymanik (author)
  • Leigh Hobbs (Australia) Children's Laureate
  • Cao Wexuan (China) Hans Christian Andersen Winner 2016
  • Raina Telgemeier (USA)
  • Joy Cowley (New Zealand)
  • Martin Baynton and Richard Taylor ( New Zealand - Weta)
  • Bronwyn Bancroft (Australia)
  • Ursula Dubosarsky (Australia)
  • Meshack Asare (Ghana)
  • Julia Eccleshare (United Kingdom)
  • Leonard S. Marcus (United States)
  • Roger Mello (Brazil) Hans Christian Andersen Winner 2014
  • Katherine Paterson (United States) Hans Christian Andersen Winner 1998, Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award 2006...
  • Gareth Ward (Storyteller)
  • Apirana Taylor (Storyteller)


The Storylines Trust and Foundation together comprise New Zealand's only national organisation working year-round specifically to promote children's and young adult literature through an annual Festival in six regions, author awards, publications, advocacy and other activities ... 



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Storylines welcomes support for all its activities and events. Whether as sponsors or as volunteers for Festival events or task groups, your contribution (large or small) towards helping children grow up to love books and stories will be hugely valued ...