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John Parker

John_Parker_1.jpgJohn Parker wrote more than 130 books for children, ranging from picture books, junior fiction and teenage fiction to non-fiction, as well as about 200 plays, poems, articles, or stories for publications and outlets like the School Journal, Radio New Zealand, and BBC School Radio. He also penned around 450 articles for more than 30 newspapers and magazines in New Zealand and overseas, many of them on tramping, skiing or golf.
John clocked up some 350+ visits to schools and colleges as a speaker and presenter, talking about books and writing to all age groups, from young children and teenagers as well as teachers, and regularly took part in New Zealand Book Council tours and in Storylines events.

His 4-volume history of New Zealand, Frontier of Dreams, The Story of New Zealand (Scholastic New Zealand, 2005) was a finalist in the New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults, shortlisted for the Elsie Locke Award, and won the Spectrum Print Book Design Award for Best Educational Book.

More than 70 of his poems, children's plays, articles, and stories appeared in the New Zealand School Journal and other publications by Learning Media, as well in Australian education publications, and his work was published in more than 20 anthologies.

Broadcasts on Radio New Zealand, TV New Zealand and BBC School Radio included more than 100 episodes in various series John wrote for both children and adults. They included the 20-part Skiing with Father, and the 15-part Use It or Lose It, about a middle-aged man's search for fitness.

John also wrote, edited and proofed for a number of businesses and educational institutes.

His book I Love Spiders was hugely successful, published in small book and big book formats in New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the USA. It was particularly popular in the USA, necessitating numerous reprints of both editions, totalling over 175,000 copies for the North American market alone.

Selected bibliography:
  • I Love Spiders illustrated by Rita Parkinson (Scholastic NZ 1987).
  • Amanda the Amazing Merino illustrated by Jeffrey Parker (Waiatarua Publishing 1990).
  • Old Toby (Scholastic NZ 1991).
  • Dragon Spell illustrated by Errol McLeary (Scholastic NZ 1993, revised and reissued 2004).
  • TT's Terrible Tuesday illustrated by Jeffrey Parker (Scholastic NZ 1993, revised and reissued 2005).
  • Professor Ponsonby, McIntosh, and the Wool Bug illustrated by Philip Webb (HarperCollins 1993).
  • Not Nice Stories (Scholastic NZ 1994).
  • Pavlova & Presents illustrated by Linda McClelland (Scholastic NZ 1996).
  • Storm Tide (Reed Education 2001).
  • Piddles illustrated by Trevor Pye [Kiwi Bites series] (Penguin 2004).
  • Frontier of Dreams – the Story of New Zealand: A Land Discovered (Scholastic 2005).
  • Frontier of Dreams – the Story of New Zealand: From Treaty to Nationhood (Scholastic 2005).
  • Frontier of Dreams – the Story of New Zealand: The Weight of World Wars (Scholastic 2005).
  • Frontier of Dreams – the Story of New Zealand: Into the 21st Century (Scholastic 2005).
  • What Is on Top? photographs by Glenn Jowitt (Scholastic 2006).
  • Poppa McPhee Gets the Eggs illustrated by Trevor Allan (Scholastic 2006)
  • What a Wreck illustrated by Karactaz (Gilt Edge 2006).
  • Sucked In (Walker Books Aus 2008).
  • Only Fifty Bucks (Gilt Edge 2008).
  • Sucked Out (Walker Books Aus 2010).
Other resources:

Storylines thanks zeald.com for their ongoing support of the Storylines website.


Storylines Trust Te Whare Waituhi Tamariki and Friends of Storylines Te Pou o Te Whare Waituhi Tamariki together form New Zealand’s only national organisation working year-round to promote New Zealand children’s and young adult literature through activities that include a major national Story Tour to schools, early childhood centres and communities, and awards for writers, illustrators and those who work in the area of New Zealand children’s literature



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