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The House That Jack Built at The Dowse


Step into The House That Jack Built

22 May to 29 August, 2004

This is the dog,
That worried the cat,
That killed the rat,
That ate the malt...

...that lies in The Dowse exhibition of The House That Jack Built. The brand new show celebrates this remarkable picture book; a New Zealand retelling of the classic rhyming tale by acclaimed author and illustrator Gavin Bishop.

Programmes Developer Maori, Debbie Martin, invites visitors to step into the picture-book world of The House That Jack Built. 'This is a magical insight into the story behind the book. There are 21 of Gavin's original works in pen and ink wash on display, as well as a te reo Maori translation of his text. There will be activities for kids, too, as visitors step straight into Jack's world.'

Gavin, who is of Ngati Mahuta and Ngati Pukeko descent, begins his version in 1798 when Jack Bull Esq. arrives in Aotearoa to find a land strong in spirit and tradition. Other European traders, sealers, whalers and settlers follow, with Gavin's illustrations documenting the process of colonisation and its effect on Papatuanuku, the Earth Mother.

The 1999 book enjoyed a staggering response. Hitting national bestseller lists for weeks, it won both the NZ Post Children's Book Awards and the Picture Book category in 2000.

The House that Jack Built is a storybook experience for young and old that attests to the creative imagination of writers, illustrators and readers alike. This is the first time it has been exhibited to a large audience, and it will tour nationally.

An accompanying public programme features story readings, a book signing and an illustration workshop with Gavin Bishop.


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