What children’s picture book author David Elliot is reading

Children's picture book author David Elliot.

Caroline Davies/Supplied

Children’s picture book author David Elliot.

David Elliot is a finalist for the 2022 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. His book, Bumblebee Grumblebee (Gecko Press), is nominated for the Picture Book Award.

I’m afraid I tend to have several books at once and jump from one to another according to my mood. I often feel like I’m leading a crowd of very interesting sheep towards a door.

So… included in my current bundle are: A Life of Extremes, the Life and Times of a Polar Film Maker​ by Max Quinn​. A great book of travels and fantastic experiences, fascinating to follow even on Google Earth.

Albert and the Whale by Philip Hoare. A book about Albrecht Durer, full of those curly Renaissance waves, tiny people with big hats on menacing beaches, tufts of grass and made-up rhinos.

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The Fool’s Library: Literature’s Greatest Curiosities, by Edward Brooke-Hitching. I can’t read more than a few pages of this wonderful compilation of weirdness without drifting into my own imagination.

Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr. Another book about books. A superlative idea, beautifully written.

The Travels and Surprising Adventures of Baron Munchausen by Rudolf Erich Raspe. One of those books you find in a dusty used book store, shout “Aha!” and twirl his mustache.

And finally, I finally read the wonderful quartet Travelers by the late Jack Lasenby. I have a long association with the masterful stories of Jack, some of which I have had the privilege of illustrating – find out more in the upcoming exhibition at the Ashburton Art Gallery (through September 19.)

Grover Z. Barnes