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Dorothy Butler

Dorothy_Butler_reading_credit_Katrina_Rees_1.jpgDorothy Butler (1925-2015) was an internationally recognised author, bookseller, editor, reviewer and authority on children's books. Her books, translated into several languages, include the classic parenting guides Babies Need Books and Reading Begins at Home, Cushla and Her Books, and a number of picture books.
She had eight children, 25 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren. Dorothy told her story in two volumes of autobiography: There Was a Time (Penguin 1999) and All This and a Bookshop Too (Penguin 2009).
My Brown Bear Barney was published by Reed in 1988 and was followed by several other stories about this popular bear. A collection, including three of the stories, was published in 1998. It has been translated into Afrikaans, Japanese, Korean and Spanish.
Dorothy's 1992 Storylines Margaret Mahy Medal lecture ‘Telling Tales’ is available for download.
"Dorothy’s message on winning the Storylines Gaelyn Gordon Award for My Brown Bear Barney:
My eldest daughter had a loved bear called, simply, Brown Bear. The family’s dog was called Barney and I combined these names to produce My Brown Bear Barney. As a bookseller later I greatly admired Elizabeth Fuller’s illustrations in the little readers used in schools, and believed that she should move into the ‘real’ picture book world. I quite shamelessly used Barney as bait and – Hey Presto! – My Brown Bear Barney was born, and has so far appeared in four titles. Elizabeth, of course, is now rightly established in the real picture book world."

Selected bibliography:
  • Cushla and Her Books (Hodder & Stoughton 1979).
  • Reading Begins at Home: Preparing Children for Reading Before They Go to School with Marie Clay (Heinemann Educational Books 1979).
  • Babies Need Books illustrated by Shirley Hughes (Bodley Head 1980).
  • Magpies Said: Stories and Poems from New Zealand collected by Dorothy Butler, illustrated by Lyn Kriegler (Kestrel 1980).
  • For Me, Me, Me: Poems for the Very Young chosen by Dorothy Butler, illustrated by Megan Gressor (Hodder & Stoughton1983).
  • I Will Build You a House poems chosen by Dorothy Butler, illustrated by Megan Gressor (Hodder & Stoughton 1984).
  • Five to Eight illustrated by Shirley Hughes (Bodley Head 1986).
  • Bundle of Birds illustrated by Lyn Kriegler (Reed Methuen 1987).
  • Come back Ginger: A Tale of Old New Zealand illustrated by Lyn Kriegler (Reed Methuen 1987).
  • My Brown Bear Barney illustrated by Elizabeth Fuller (Reed Methuen 1988).
  • Bears, Bears, Bears illustrated by Lyn Kriegler (Century Hutchinson 1989).
  • Happy Tale illustrated by John Hurford (Bodley Head/Random Century/Crocodile Books 1990).
  • Lulu illustrated by Lyn Kriegler (Hodder & Stoughton 1990).
  • Higgledy Piggledy Hobbledy Hoy illustrated by Lyn Kriegler (Greenwillow Books 1991).
  • Another Happy Tale illustrated by John Hurford (Random Century 1991).
  • Where's Isabella? illustrated by Gabriela Klepatski (Reed 1992).
  • By Jingo!: A Tale of Old New Zealand illustrated by Lyn Kriegler (Little Mammoth NZ 1992).
  • My Brown Bear Barney in Trouble illustrated by Elizabeth Fuller (Little Mammoth NZ 1993).
  • Birthday Rain illustrated by Gabriela Klepatski (Random House 1993).
  • My Brown Bear Barney at School illustrated by Elizabeth Fuller (Reed 1994).
  • Breakdown Day illustrated by Gabriella Klepatski (Ashton Scholastic 1994).
  • Farm Boy, City Girl illustrated by Lyn Kriegler (Ashton Scholastic 1994).
  • What Peculiar People! illustrated by Lyn Kriegler (Reed 1994).
  • My Monkey Martha illustrated by Gabriela Klepatski (Reed 1995).
  • Smile Please, Martha illustrated by Gabriela Klepatski (Reed 1995).
  • Hector, an Old Bear illustrated by Lyn Kriegler (Puffin 1995).
  • Just a Dog illustrated by Lyn Kriegler (Reed 1995).
  • What a Birthday! illustrated by Lyn Kriegler (Reed 1996).
  • My Brown Bear Barney at the Party illustrated by Elizabeth Fuller (Reed 2001).
  • O'Reilly and the Real Bears illustrated by Elizabeth Fuller (Puffin 2002).
  • Davy's Ducks: A Tale of Old New Zealand illustrated by Lyn Kriegler (Reed 2006).
  • Seadog: A Tale of Old New Zealand illustrated by Lyn Kriegler (Reed 2007).
  • Reading Begins at Home [new edition] with Marie Clay (Heinemann 2008).
  • Farmer Beetroot's Birthday illustrated by Lyn Kriegler (Duck Creek Press, 2010).
  • Elizabeth Farjeon Award (UK) 1979.
  • American Library Association Citation 1985.
  • CLA Award for Services to Children’s Literature 1991 (now the Storylines Betty Gilderdale Award).
  • Storylines Margaret Mahy Medal 1993.
  • OBE 1993.
  • White Ravens List 1994 for Where's Isabella?
  • AIM Children’s Book Awards 1994 Picture Book Shortlist for Birthday Rain.
  • Storylines Notable Book Awards 2002 Picture Books List for My Brown Bear Barney at the Party.
  • White Ravens List 1994 for Where's Isabella?
  • Storylines Gaelyn Gordon Award 2008 for My Brown Bear Barney.  

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Page checked and updated February 2013.


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