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Cowley awarded Order of New Zealand

Children’s author Joy Cowley has been awarded the Order of New Zealand, which recognises outstanding service to the state and people of the country.

Described as one of New Zealand’s most prolific and successful writers, Cowley was awarded the country’s top honour in Wellington on 14 May.

The author of more than 40 picture books and over 1000 reading books to help children learn to read, Cowley said reading must have meaning for children’s age and development stage. ‘We can teach children to read and to hate reading at the same time if the process is dull and difficult,’ she told the NZ Herald.

She also emphasised that her first duty as a writer is to entertain. ‘Into the entertainment I built the skills, they’re there, but a book has to be fun, it has to be enjoyable. Adults don’t read dull and difficult material by choice, why do we expect that of children?’ said Cowley.

Cowley’s fiction includes The Silent One and Bow Down Shadrach (both Puffin), and Mrs Wishy Washy’s Farm (Picture Puffin). Her books are used in more than 70% of American schools. She has another children’s book due later this year.

(Image credit: The Governor-General image gallery)



Category: Awards Junior Local news