First day at school spurs writer

The Tribune (NZ) - - NEWS - RICHARD MAYS

First-time chil­dren’s au­thor Adri­enne ‘ Bud’ Chris­tensen is pas­sion­ate about par­ents read­ing to chil­dren.

Read­ing time with chil­dren was pre­cious shar­ing and com­mu­ni­ca­tion time, she said.

‘‘I en­cour­age ev­ery par­ent to never stop read­ing to their chil­dren. Read­ing de­vel­ops re­la­tion­ship, talk­ing and learn­ing-to-lis­ten skills.’’

The for­mer deputy prin­ci­pal at New­bury School has writ­ten pic­ture book Good Golly Miss Polly, It’s My First Day At School to en­dorse that.

‘‘Hav­ing read many thou­sands of books with chil­dren over the years, I hadn’t come across a book that warmly in­tro­duces young read­ers to the won­der­ful world of pri­mary school and helps them ac­cli­ma­tise to the school en­vi­ron­ment.’’

A colour­ful and rhyth­mic read, her book pre­par­ing pre-school­ers for the next big ad­ven­ture in their lives is aimed at fill­ing that void.

‘‘I love rhythm and rhyme. My writ­ing has been in­flu­enced by the hands-on teach­ing ex­pe­ri­ences I have shared with the many beau­ti­ful chil­dren who have touched my life, par­tic­u­larly at New­bury School. That’s where I got my in­spi­ra­tion from, and I must say I en­joyed the writ­ing ex­pe­ri­ence very much.’’

A rhyme that un­der­pins the book is: ‘‘Read, read, read/ The more you read/ The more you know/ The more you know/ The more you’ll grow’’.

While her ex­ten­sive teach­ing ex­pe­ri­ences have shaped the book’s nar­ra­tive, Polly, the cen­tral char­ac­ter is mod­elled on a real per­son - her niece, Grace Chris­tensen, who en­joyed her first day at the city’s Col­lege Street Nor­mal School.

Her grand­chil­dren, Juli­ette and Louis Mac­quethad also en­joyed Good Golly Miss Polly be­ing shared with them.

‘‘What worked for my grand­chil­dren hope­fully will work for other kids.’’

Copies of the 200 lim­ited edi­tion print run have been sold through Heart­land Lions as a fundraiser to as­sist Rid­ing For The Dis­abled.

RDA’s Mar­garet Bowler said the Feild­ing-based char­ity catered for 60 rid­ers ev­ery week dur­ing the school term.

Rid­ing helped to strengthen limbs, im­prove pos­ture and bal­ance, de­velop self con­fi­dence and also helped with so­cial­i­sa­tion.

The do­nated mon­ey­would be put to­wards buy­ing a sixth horse, Bowler said.


Juli­ette and Louis Mac­quet en­joy story time with their nan, Adri­enne ‘Bud’ Chris­tensen.

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