Posted on December 02, 2021 at 3:01 p.m.
Picture book illustrator Josh Morgan visited Manutuke School on Monday to read, sing, and share his art with the next generation.
“It’s cool to inspire kids and show them that there are things you can do by doing silly drawings,” Morgan said.
The Bomb, which Morgan created with his partner Sacha Cotter, has won numerous awards, including the Margaret Mahy Book of the Year 2019 Supreme Winner.
The couple visit schools to read their books to the students.
“It’s normally me and my fiancé, Sacha, who write the books. She is back to take care of the child right now.
Bombing is all about being true to yourself as a boy searches for the secret to making the perfect bomb in the water.
“One of my iwi is Rongowhakaata, and my marae is Manutuke, so I thought it would be cool to come visit the school.”
Morgan’s cousin, who has kids at school, helped put him in touch with the teachers.
“I read a lot of books. My favorite thing about books is looking at the pictures because when I come to school and do drawing activities I get better,” said Niouca Carlson , a student who listened to Morgan read.
Morgan was a scribbler in school and decided to head to Victoria University to study a degree in design and illustration.
“Then a few years after I finished I was working in a library and going to do a children’s story hour and saw picture books that I really liked as a kid.”
That’s when the breakthrough came. “This is what I should be doing,” he said at the time.
He came into contact with the Huia publishers and designed school publications for them.
Although Huia mainly produces books, they inadvertently became a matchmaker for Cotter and Morgan.
“We met through picture books,” Morgan said.
On their first two books, the couple did not work together and the publisher acted as a liaison between them.
But for the third story, The Bomb, they finally met, fell in love, and now have a child.
The duo continues to create and challenge each other.
“It was really good, I trust his comments, which is a cool creative process. “
And they are getting bigger.
“We just finished a TV show for TVNZ’s HeiHei called Extreme Cake Sports, so we’re moving away from picture books. “
But picture books take a lot of their time, so the couple see as many countries as possible while visiting schools.
“This year I toured the Waikato-Waitomo area as part of The Storylines Tour, where three or four writers tour and visit schools. We get to about three schools a day for about a week, which is pretty full, ”Morgan said.
“But it’s really cool. You do a one hour presentation, and depending on the age of the children, there will be more songs or more stories.
If the kids are older, Morgan will teach the kids some of the secrets to making a book from scratch.
READING TIME: Illustrator Josh Morgan (far right) was at Manutuke School to read and inspire the next generation, including, left to right, Niouca Carlson, Pharah Brown and Maia Cook. Photo by Liam Clayton