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Gwenda Turner

Gwenda Turner-946Born in Australia, Gwenda Turner (1947–2001) came to New Zealand in 1967 and completed a Diploma of Graphic Design at Wellington Polytechnic. Since the publication of her first book, Daydream Journey in 1982 Gwenda captivated small children and their grown-ups with her wonderfully detailed, colourful drawings of so many aspects of the familiar and undeniably New Zealand world of the very young.
Gwenda was a prolific author/illustrator with more than 30 books (adult and children's) published. Her popular picture books are notable for their colourful celebration of play and family. She wrote of bears, ponies, sheep; she had children making mud, baking cakes, ballet dancing, going out with Dad. She finished her last book just a week before she died.


Selected bibliography:
  • Daydream Journey (Collins 1982).
  • Catnip Mice and Tussie Mussies (Collins 1983).
  • Creepy Cottage (Collins 1983).
  • The Tree Witches (Kestrel Books 1983).
  • Falter Tom and the Water Boy text by Maurice Duggan (Penguin 1984).
  • New Zealand A B C (Whitcoulls 1985).
  • Gwenda Turner's Playbook (Viking Kestrel 1985).
  • Snow Play (Collins 1986).
  • New Zealand 1 2 3 (Whitcoulls 1986).
  • Colours (Puffin 1989).
  • Once upon a Time (Puffin 1990).
  • Shapes (Puffin 1991).
  • Opposites (Puffin 1992).
  • Gwenda Turner's Australian A B C (Puffin 1992).
  • Over on the Farm (Puffin 1993).
  • Counting Cats and Dogs (Puffin 1994).
  • Bears in the Park (Puffin 1995).
  • Gwenda Turner's New Zealand Farm Animals (Puffin 1995).
  • At the Beach (Puffin 1996).
  • Teaching bears to Count (Puffin 1996).
  • Messy Jessie text by Lynda Burnett (Puffin 1996).
  • Ballet Class (Puffin 1997).
  • Gwenda Turner's Australian 1 2 3 (Puffin 1997).
  • Pat-a-Cake (Puffin 1997).
  • Pony Club (Puffin 1998).
  • A Day out with Dad (Puffin 1998) [republished as Ferry Ride in 2002].
  • The Builder's Cat (Puffin 1999).
  • Let's Make Mud! (Puffin 1999).
  • Counting Sheep (Puffin 2000).
  • Penny and Pocket (Puffin 2001).
  • My First Numbers (Penguin 2003).
  • My First Words (Penguin 2003).
  • Russell Clark Award 1984.


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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