Author David Elliot at home in Port Chalmers with Henry's
Map and his dog Molly yesterday. Photo by Gregor
A particular pig is winning acclaim for a Dunedin author
and illustrator in the United States.
Henry's Map, by David Elliot, was selected this week
as one of the best children's picture books of 2013, by the
influential United States School Library Journal.
''Sprightly pencil-and-watercolour artwork accentuates the
tale's soft-shoe humour,'' the commendation said.
The lavishly illustrated book is about a pig called Henry,
who creatively brings a farm to order.
''I was really surprised, but it's a thrill, really,'' Mr
Elliot said of the selection yesterday.
''I knew it had got some good reviews and then the publishers
told me it was on the best books list.
''It's all totally different territory to me. It is the first
book [project] that I've both written and illustrated that
has originated in the States.''
While American children identified with Henry the pig, the
character was actually inspired by a trip to a Palmerston
farm with late friend and Port Chalmers historian Ian Church,
Mr Elliot said.
Henry's Map was published in July, by Philomel Books
in the United States and then Random House NZ in Australia
and New Zealand, and has since been on-sold to publishers in
Taiwan and Korea. Mr Elliot is now working on a sequel,
called Henry's Stars.