Author Mr Yipadee shares his secrets
Dean O’Brien, musician and author of top selling children’s books, blew into Dannevirke on Tuesday, November 27 in the last week of his 90 show promotion which started on September 15.
He performed four shows over two days, three of them with creative writing workshops as his first was preschoolers. His visit was sponsored by Tararua REAP.
Originally from Mosgiel, south of Dunedin, Dean trained as a teacher but decided to go into broadcasting initially on MoreFM radio, working six years in Lancashire on breakfast radio before taking on managerial roles.
Made redundant, he decided as Mr Yipadee to write and perform children’s songs which became hugely popular in Britain.
He had had a year teaching English to preschoolers in Japan and had found it was much easier if he used music.
He toured Britain extensively and was even lead children’s performer at Glastonbury one year.
Then he encountered Craig Smith of Wonky Donkey fame who suggested his songs could be made into books.
Contracting with publisher Scholastic, his books have topped the Best Seller List in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.
At the Hub in Dannevirke Deano soon had the audience at his mercy, pretending to keep secrets and all the time revealing them, asking the children to help tell his story and add actions.
Like all good children’s books the stories have adventure, fun, awesome illustrations by NZ Illustrator of the Year Paul Beavis and a moral. Nee Naw — The Little Fire Engine was Scholastic’s biggest selling children’s book in 2017 telling the reader even the little can win.
Dean loves what he does and this is clearly evident in his shows.
Audience participation was very much the name of the game.
Everyone wanted to be Deano’s special helper.
Some of Mr Yipadee’s top selling children’s books.