Kate De Goldi Wastes Not a Marvellous Word

Acclaimed Christchurch-born author Kate De Goldi’s children’s book, The ACB with Honora Lee is a “marvellous, whimsical tale”.

“[The ACB with Honora Lee] surprisingly, takes place mostly in a nursing home. Perry is the daughter of extremely busy people who believe she too should be extremely busy with self-improvement activities – piano lessons, clarinet lessons, after-school tutoring, music and movement classes, whether she likes it or not (and she mostly doesn’t). But her favourite activity is Thursday afternoon visits with her grandmother, Honora Lee, who has dementia and never remembers her name. Perry decides to capitalise on her forgetful grandmother’s fascination with the alphabet by writing and illustrating a special alphabet book with the help of her grandmother and the other nursing home residents.

“De Goldi unfolds her original story in a charming, unhurried way, weaving together laugh-out loud and poignant moments, as she explores deep subjects of life, death, love, kindness and appreciating small things, from the perspective of a child.

“Not a word is wasted in her straightforward, delicious prose. Perry, impatiently watching her mother embroidering a cushion cover, observes ‘she had been doing it for almost a hundred years’ and ‘embroidery certainly wasn’t much of a spectator sport.’”

De Goldi wrote her first short story entitled Parkhaven Hotel in 1987, for which she won the 1988 American Express Short Story Award.

Closed, Stranger received an Honour Award in the 2000 New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards.

Original article by Jean Westmoore, The Buffalo News, August 10, 2014.

Photo by Taupo District Council.

Tags: 1988 American Express Short Story Award  2000 New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards  Buffalo News (The)  Closed Stranger  Kate De Goldi  Parkhaven Hotel  The ACB with Honora Lee  

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