Phil Cummings' launch speech for The Wish Giver

Rosy's Wish Giver launch.  17th October 2008
Speech by Phil Cummings

I am delighted to be here today to launch 'The Wish Giver' written by Rosanne Hawke and Lenore Penner and illustrated by Michelle Mackintosh.
It is a privilege for me on many counts but mostly because I greatly admire Rosy's work - from the  wonderfully engaging, sincerely insightful and ultimately entertaining novels she creates to the gentle and endearing picture books that have graced our shelves in recent years.

 As writers we are always striving to present our work as a window  through which those that read  our work can peer in the hope that we offer an experience , insight, clearer understanding  of the our world.
Rosanne Hawke is a rare breed in that she not only offers us the window but she polishes the glass as if it weren't there at all we can easily be taken in by her work and become absorbed.  The experiences she presents are crafted so well we cannot help but be captivated and held in awe at her sense of place , use of language and the weaving of the intricate threads that,  as we read,  are woven  to create a wonderful tapestry of image, characterisation and emotion.
It is hard enough to encapsulate all of these qualities within a novel ... but how well the reader can be satisfied within the context of a seemingly simple picture book is a great challenge for any writer. And  trust me , despite first impressions, writing a book like this is not simple!

 I made the mistake of thinking that it was when I started to write. It was my belief that it was a breeze and that I would write something on Friday, send it away Monday and be famous by next Friday after all it's just a few words on page and some else draws the pictures simple HUH!
Seven years after that thought I was lucky enough to have something published.
Books for younger readers need to fascinate, stimulate excite and entertain their young readers. A hard task in only a few hundred words and so the economy of those words and how you choose to use the few you have on offer is crucial in the crafting of such work.

Adding to the experience 'The Wish Giver' offers is the creative and powerful input of Rosy's daughter Lenore. What a wonderful thing to be able to do with your daughter brilliant.  And the inherent warmth that you will find in 'The Wish Giver' is testament to the warm relationship Rosy shares with her daughter and indeed all her children.

'The Wish Giver' is a truly touching piece of literature for young readers.
'The  Wish Giver' captures the imagination and as I mentioned earlier Rosy polishes and cleans the glass of the window through which we peer  so that we can see clearly what lies behind the story and skilfully creates something that will wend its way into our lives. Writers always seek to have their work leave an impression, a mark on their reader and she has certainly done a wonderful job with this text and the wonderful whimsical illustrations of Michele Mackintosh fuels the fascination perfectly.

Imagine a child's (and a parent's) delight to sit each night and be taken by the wonder of a Wish Giver. Something we at one time or another all long to have something that gives us comfort and a feeling of security an admirable achievement.  ... but how we would choose to use this gift? Would we seek solace in the shadows of selfishness or seek to find a far more rewarding use of our treasure?   Rosy and Lenore have given us some food for thought on that matter.
It's all in this wonderful book.
Congratulations Rosy and  Lenore Consider 'The Wish Giver' well and truly launched!!!