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Betty Gilderdale

MNZM
Gilderdale in 2014
Gilderdale in 2014
Born 1923 (age 97–98)
Alma mater University of London
Notable awards Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, Margaret Mahy Medal and Lecture Award

Betty Gilderdale MNZM (born 1923) is a children's author from New Zealand.

Background

Gilderdale was born in 1923 in London and emigrated to New Zealand in 1967. In 1949, she received a BA in English from the University of London. Between 1969 and 1981 Gilderdale taught at the North Shore Teachers’ College, at the Auckland College of Education from 1981 to 1985 and at the University of Auckland in the Department of Continuing Education. She currently lives on the North Shore in Auckland.

Career

Gilderdale created the Little Yellow Digger series, with illustrations by her husband Alan Gilderdale. Books in the series include:

  • The Little Yellow Digger (Scholastic, 2009)
  • The Little Yellow Digger at the Zoo (Scholastic, 1999)
  • The Little Yellow Digger Saves the Whale (Scholastic, 2001)
  • The Little Yellow Digger Goes to School (Scholastic, 2005)
  • The Little Digger and the Bones (Scholastic, 2009)

The first book in the series has been translated into Māori, as Te Mīhini Iti Kōwhai by Huia Publishers.

In 1990 she compiled the short story collection Under the Rainbow: A Treasury of New Zealand Children's Stories.

Gilderdale is the author of The Seven Lives of Lady Barker: Author of Station Life in New Zealand, a biography of author Mary Anne Barker. She is also the author of Sea Change: 145 Years of New Zealand Junior Fiction and Introducing Margaret Mahy.

In 2012, her autobiography, My Life in Two Halves was published.

Gilderdale is a founder and has served as president of the Children’s Media Watch group. She has also been president of and is a lifetime member of the Children’s Literature Association of New Zealand.

Awards

In the 2014 Queen's Birthday Honours, Gilderdale was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in recognition of services to children's literature.

In 1994 she received the Margaret Mahy Medal and Lecture Award for her contribution to children's literature.

In 1999 she won the New Zealand Children’s Literature Association’s Award for Services to Children’s Literature. In 2000 the award was renamed in her honour to the Storylines Betty Gilderdale Award.

The Little Yellow Digger won the 2003 Storylines Gaelyn Gordon Award for a Much-loved Book. A Sea Change: 145 Years of New Zealand Junior Fiction received the PEN Award for best first book of prose.

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