login login

Joy Watson

Joy_Watson_1.jpgJoy Watson was born in Gisborne in February 1938, the second (and only girl) of four children. They were a farming family, moving about fairly frequently so the children began their educations by correspondence school. Joy calls her writing a hobby which began after her pharmacist husband, Kevin, and she had raised nine children.
Joy’s love of words and what could be done with them blossomed when she read the books her children were reading, and realised that writing was something that she could possibly do. To test the waters she sent off a poem called ‘Pets’ to the (then) Education Department and they published it in their Ready to Read series, illustrated by Gavin Bishop. Her life changed forever.
There was a reader, Mouse in the House, after her initial success and then came the Grandpa series of books that have placed her high on the list New Zealand children’s favourite authors. Grandpa and Grandma are characters children have come to love with sometimes one, sometimes the other, winning their gentle battles. Joy says, 'I have to say here, that these are Wendy Hodder’s books as much as they are mine. She has brought the old couple to life.’
Joy is constantly amazed at the books’ popularity, but she believes children and grandparents have a very special bond which thrives on being able to laugh at each other. Joy’s 2006 picture book, Zita the Zebra was ‘just a bit of nonsense’ derived from having discovered there was indeed an animal or a bird for every letter in the alphabet.
Joy has also written three junior novels. No Porridge, Please is a warmly humorous look at the relationship between a small boy and his grandfather; Highway Rabbit is a straight-out adventure story with plenty of tension; and Birthday Flood is an adventure story for mid-primary children about a family and a community caught in the devastation of a flood.
Joy does not describe herself as a disciplined writer: 'I write when and if the mood strikes, but if there’s a story on the go I practically live it, day and night. Most of it takes place in my head, long before I put pen to paper. So no office, no special place and no timetable.’

 

Selected bibliography:
  • Grandpa's Slippers illustrated by Wendy Hodder (Ashton Scholastic 1989).
  • Grandpa's Cardigan illustrated by Wendy Hodder (Ashton Scholastic 1993).
  • Foster Dog illustrated by Annabel Craighead (Scholastic 1999).
  • Highway Robbery illustrated by Dylan Horrocks (Scholastic 2000).
  • Grandpa's Shorts illustrated by Wendy Hodder (Scholastic 2001).
  • Grandpa's Shed illustrated by Wendy Hodder (Scholastic 2003).
  • Zita the Zebra illustrated by Pali Pancha (Scholastic 2006).
  • Grandpa's Cat illustrated by Wendy Hodder (Scholastic 2006).
Awards:
  • AIM Children’s Book Awards 1990 Picture Book Shortlist for Grandpa’s Slippers.
  • Storylines Gaelyn Gordon Award 2000 for Grandpa's Slippers.
  • Storylines Notable Book Awards 2000 Picture Books List for Foster Dog.
  • New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards 2002 Children’s Choice Winner for Grandpa’s Shorts.
  • New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards 2002 Picture Book Shortlist for Grandpa’s Shorts.
  • Storylines Notable Book Awards 2004 Picture Books List for Grandpa's Shed.  
  • Foster Dog illustrated by Annabel Craighead (Scholastic 1999).
  • Highway Robbery illustrated by Dylan Horrocks (Scholastic 2000).  
  • Grandpa's Shorts illustrated by Wendy Hodder (Scholastic 2001).
  • Grandpa's Shed illustrated by Wendy Hodder (Scholastic 2003).  
  • Zita the Zebra illustrated by Pali Pancha (Scholastic 2006).  
  • Grandpa's Cat illustrated by Wendy Hodder (Scholastic 2006).  
Awards:
  • AIM Children’s Book Awards 1990 Picture Book shortlist for Grandpa’s Slippers.
  • Storylines Gaelyn Gordon Award 2000 for Grandpa's Slippers.
  • Storylines Notable Books List 2000 Picture Book list for Foster Dog.
  • New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards 2002 Children’s Choice Winner for Grandpa’s Shorts.
  • New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards 2002 Picture Book shortlist for Grandpa’s Shorts.
  • Storylines Notable Books List 2004 Picture Book list for Grandpa's Shed.

ABOUT US

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 ... 

READ MORE
 

SIGN UP

for  Storylines e-news and updates
First Name*
Last Name*
Email*
 

SUPPORT US

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 ...  
    
READ MORE