Doggy Ditties hot favourite
Publishing your first book will make any author smile but now Jo van Dam has another reason.
Van Dam, who lives in Westmere, is a Children’s Choice finalist in the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults.
‘‘I haven’t stopped smiling, I’m completely over the moon,’’ she says.
‘‘It’s my first book, so it’s really, really exciting. If you’re writing for children you actually want the children to like it, so I’m thrilled they voted for it.’’
Van Dam works as a librarian at Richmond Road School and Westmere School, so reading and telling stories is second nature for her.
The book Doggy Ditties from A to Z has been 20 years in the making and springs from her love of rhyme.
‘‘I’ve always enjoyed reading and I started playing with rhymes. It was about six years ago when one of my kids suggested I write them down.’’
The alphabet book has been designed as a fun way to educate children.
‘‘You can use it for poetry and because they’re all so short the kids stay engaged and it’s fun.’’
Almost 150 books were entered into the Children’s Choice category with more than 6500 votes deciding the final line up.
Fellow Aucklander Myles Lawford was selected to illustrate the book.
‘‘He’s captured the different dogs really beautifully and he’s got a great sense of humour including a few naughty bits,’’ van Dam says.
Regardless of how well the book is received in the next round of voting, van Dam says she has caught the literary itch.
‘‘I have written some more to be sent on,’’ she says.
‘‘I’m loving it and I’m having great fun. Hopefully it’s not a one-hit wonder sort of thing.’’
Voting in the Children’s Choice category closes on July 31.
Author Jo van Dam is a finalist in the Children’s Choice category.