Jill Bagnall was born in Wellington in 1940. She has had a varied career as a primary school teacher, potter, and secretary. She is married to Alan Bagnall and they have two daughters. Alan and Jill have collaborated on several stories for Learning Media’s Ready to Read collection.
Crayfishing with Grandmother was one of the earliest picture books which had both Mâori and English text. Artist Barbara Strathdee commented on Crayfishing with Grandmother in Matapihi: ‘The author Jill Bagnall is a good friend. She asked me to come to Tokomaru Bay for a holiday to see the country in which the story takes place…I made sketches there… Photos of the illustrations (paintings on canvas) went back and forth…It would be easier if we all lived in the same town…I enjoy the teamwork once in awhile…I think that it is important to have bilingual books and images which reflect our real cultures.’ (Spiers, pg. 50)
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Page checked and updated February 2013.