Star-studded launch for children's storybook for Starship

Eight young students joined a star-studded team of sportspeople and artists to launch Home Sweet Home & Seven Hearty Tales, our 2015 storybook from the 2015 Young Authors Challenge, with all proceeds going to the Starship Foundation.

$20,000 raised for Starship

At the Young Authors Challenge launch on 11 November, we held a live auction of selected artworks from each illustrator, which helped raise more than $20,000 for Starship, New Zealand's national children's hospital.

Managing Director Peter Thompson says he is immensely proud of the fact that the Young Authors Challenge has helped Barfoot & Thompson raise a combined $165,000 for the Starship Foundation.

"The authors' stories were a joy to read, and our amazing line-up of illustrators have done a marvellous job of bringing their tales to life. I am sure the book will be thoroughly enjoyed by children for years to come," he said.

Through the Barfoot & Thompson Magic of Reading Programme, copies of the book are also provided to Starship Children’s Hospital and Whangarei Hospital's Children's Ward and given to young patients who stay overnight to read and take home.

The young authors

This year's Supreme Winner was seven-year-old Josephine Sim from Cockle Bay School with her story Home Sweet Home, illustrated by Keven Mealamu and featured on the cover of the book. The seven other tales were:

  • Rodney's Adventure by Nicole Daria from Royal Oak Primary School, illustrated by Jun Arita
  • Black Cat's Venture by Lucy Li from St Dominic’s College, illustrated by Anna Harrison
  • My Family, My Home by Jenna Hainsworth from Beachlands School illustrated by Erika Pearce
  • The Topsy Turvy Day that Showed Maximus the Right Way by Ben Davies from Patumahoe School, illustrated by Keven Mealamu
  • Spotty's New Home by Caleb Palmer from Elim Christian College, illustrated by Kate Diprose (who was mentored by artist Hannah Jensen)
  • Mr Cat by Antoine Ashman from Glenbrook School, illustrated by Tracey Van Lent
  • Rangi Ruru by Emilia Finer from Kerikeri High School, illustrated by Jun Arita

The colourful children's storybook features imaginative tales by young authors aged 7-13 years old, alongside illustrations by some of New Zealand’s favourite amateur and professional artists.

There's no place like home

Themed 'there's no place like home', the stories are a heart-warming mix of tales about the importance of family and belonging, and were chosen from more than 1,100 entries.

The young authors then underwent a creative writing workshop with renowned children’s non-fiction writer Maria Gill, who mentored them and helped prepare their stories for print.

Catch all the excitement from the book launch

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The artists

Artwork by rugby legend Keven Mealamu, who put the finishing touches on his illustrations while in the UK in between training and matches, features on the cover along with pictures by netball star Anna Harrison, painter Tracey Van Lent, Japanese artist Jun Arita, designer/artist Erika Pearce, and seven-year-old Starship patient Kate Diprose.

More about our storybook and young authors

Josephine Sim
Supreme winner, Josephine Sim
from Cockle Bay School

Order your 2015 book

Each copy costs $20 and can be ordered online through PayPal.

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Play buttonWatch Keven Mealamu on Breakfast talk about life after the Rugby World Cup and his experience illustrating our storybook.