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Flying Furballs design competition winners announced

Entries paw-ed in from across Aotearoa for author / illustrator Donovan Bixley’s Flying Furballs character design competition with an equal mix of boys and girls all hoping their creation would be selected to feature in the next Flying Furballs adventure.

Some gave their characters witty catch phrases, some were cats, some were dogs, some had elaborate backstories, some had hair-larious names, some incorporated the most wonderfully cheesy puns, and some were extraordinary artworks. There were male and female characters from all manner of backgrounds.

This abundance of high-quality drawing presented a huge challenge for Donovan, who faced the daunting task of whittling the 150 entries down to a shortlist of five.

“They didn’t have to be the top artists,” says Donovan, but he was looking for entries that featured wonderful storytelling.

“In the end I couldn’t decide, and I chose one cat character and one dog character as joint winners. These two went one step further with their creations. They really knew the Flying Furballs universe, and their characters slotted seamlessly into the quirky silly world of pussycats in planes in Paris, that is Flying Furballs.”

‘The Mighty Osman’ by nine-year-old Meredith Bosher of Christchurch and ‘Furgus McLongtail’ by Amelia Ferguson of Wellington, who is also nine, will both make their debut in the next Flying Furballs instalment – Flying Furballs 8: Downfall (published March 2020 by Upstart Press).

Because the field of entries was so strong, Donovan also selected three runners-up to make cameos in the book, which will be the penultimate chapter in the Flying Furballs series. He’s looking forward to working 'Snowy von Fluffytail' by Yaran Hao (9, Auckland), 'Wing Commander Giggles' by Luke Dickinson (8, Tauranga) and 'Baron Cosmo Mcarelsin' by Magnus Fraser (12, Nelson) into the narrative.

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