Tuesday, September 7, 2021

New picture book honours a whānau's love for koro/grandpa

Putting her career on hold to care for her husband provided Jill Bevan-Brown with the inspiration to write her first book for children.  

As a lecturer in education at Massey University Jill published widely, but it was appreciating the relationship between kids and their grandfather despite his ill health that led to this picture book.


Jill’s husband Winston has dementia, but as Blimmin’ Koro tells, the disease has not changed how much his grandkids love him.

In the book Koro (grandfather) becomes more forgetful, starts to hide things and has to use a wheelchair, so Kotukū and the other grandkids learn about dementia and help him adjust. 


‘Blimmin’ Koro,’ they laugh, when he does something funny.


Trish Bowles’ watercolour illustrations sensitively trace the family’s journey and help show dementia doesn’t mean the end of life.


Te reo translation is by Jill and Winston’s son Māhaki, a Māori language teacher at Mana Tamariki Kura Kaupapa Māori in Palmerston North.

Blimmin’ Koro will publish ahead of Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. 

For teachers, the book comes with classroom resources that can be accessed through this link.

Watch out for the video of Jill reading the book, which we hope will help parents with kids at home due to lockdown.

Oratia Books regrets that stocks of Blimmin' Koro may be limited due to restrictions on distribution under Covid-19 alert levels 3 and 4. Please back order if you can't get books right away and we will send books as soon as possible.


The authors

Jill Bevan-Brown 
is a former lecturer in Inclusive Education. She retired in 2014 to care for her husband Winston, who has advanced Lewy Body Dementia. They live in Palmerston North. Blimmin' Koro is her first picture book for children.

Trish Bowles is a Christchurch-based freelance artist who has illustrated more than 30 books, including Home Child (Oratia, 2019).

Publication: 7 September 2021  |  RRP $25.99  |  ISBN:  978-0-947506-87-2

Hardback, 270 x 210 mm, 32 pages, colour

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