Joy Watson – Obituary

Scholastic New Zealand and NZSA are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of dearly loved children’s author, Joy Watson, on Monday 4 October.

Generations of children know Joy as the author of the much-loved series of five picture books about Grandpa (supposedly inspired by her husband!), illustrated by Wendy Hodder and beginning with the iconic Grandpa’s Slippers in 1989, which sold in New Zealand, Australia, the USA, Canada and Spain, in various editions, including an enlarged book for shared reading.

Grandpa’s Slippers also won the Gaelyn Gordon Award for a Much-Loved Book in 2000, and Grandpa’s Shorts won the Children’s Choice Award in 2002. All five titles have also been published in te reo Māori.

With nearly half a million books in print across the series, Joy Watson’s Grandpa books are some of New Zealand’s all-time bestselling children’s picture books. Written with her wry sense of humour, the books have resonated with thousands of children and their parents, and are a wonderful legacy to the world of New Zealand publishing.

NZSA extends special condolences to NZSA member, writer, and daughter, Mary-anne Scott, who is one of Joy’s nine children.

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