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Meet the educators

Watch this video in which the two lead educators introduce themselves and a picturebook that they enjoy.
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Nicola: [Māori greeting] Kia ora koutou. Nau mai haere mai. Greetings everyone and welcome to this four week Future Learn course on the power of picturebooks. Today, we are going to introduce ourselves as the lead educators for this course. Dr. Dianne Forbes is my colleague in the Division of Education at the University of Waikato and her research interests are in online learning. In particular, innovative ways of learning in online settings. She has been a primary school teacher and is also the mother of one child.
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Dianne: I’d like to introduce my colleague, Dr Nicola Daily, whose research interests are in picturebooks. In particular, Nicola is interested in the use of multiple languages in picturebooks and in how multi-lingual picturebooks are used in learning contexts. Nicola is also the mother of one child.
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Nicola: Thanks, Dianne. So, I am going to start by introduction a book that I love [picks up book]. This is Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy by Lynley Dodd. I love this book because I have read it so many times. The reason I’ve read it so many times is because it is a really cute little story and it uses amazing rhyming. Lynley Dodd is a New Zealand writer who is very famous for Hairy Maclary and the series of books that have come after it. It is a very very simple story of a little dog who goes for a walk and his friends join him and then they are scared by a cat and they all run home.
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So, it is a very very simple storyline with absolutely perfect rhyming text accompanying it. I think that’s why many New Zealanders can remember the text from this book. When they read it to their children every night, they learn the text very quickly. The other thing that is distinctive about this book from a New Zealand perspective is the “Donaldson’s Dairy” in the title. (The word) “Dairy” in New Zealand is used to refer to a corner shop or a convenience store and so although many people think that Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy is a Scottish book, in fact it has a very distinctively New Zealand title.
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Another New Zealand aspect to this book is when you look though the picture you’ll see that letter boxes in the illustrations are all at the gate and that is a very New Zealand and Australian kind of a thing to have. So that is the book that I would like to share with you today and I’m going to hand over to Dianne to share her book.
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Dianne: Thank you, Nicola. [Picks up book] my book is called Taking the Lead, How Jacinda Ardern Wowed the World. This book is written by David Hill and is illustrated be Phoebe Morris and the publisher is Penguin. This book appeals to me because it is quite a recent text about a leader who is inspirational to many people. I particularly like this book because some of the places and the setting in the book is recognisable to me. That is because Jacinda Ardern, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, is from a small town quite close to our university and she did in fact attend our university, the University of Waikato.
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I also like this book because it is part of a series [turns book around to display the back] about inspirational leaders. I appreciate that there is quite a good gender balance across this series of heroes in New Zealand, which was not always the case when I was growing up and reading biographical texts or as a teacher when I was looking for good books to use with my classes. I found, as a teacher, that it was very good for children to read biographical books as a way getting interested in writing their own autobiographies.
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Another part of this book that I really like is that there is a good use of symbolism and that there is something to look for in the illustrations, which is also nice. For instance, here on the front cover we have the houses of parliament in New Zealand [points to illustration]. Their nickname is the Beehive, and so on every page of the book there is a bee to be found and that is a nice touch when you are exploring the visual analysis of the picture book [close up on cover of the book showing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, some pohutukawa trees in bloom, the Beehive, and a bee flying over the tile text].
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Nicola: Thanks, Dianne. We are really looking forward to meeting you all and hearing about your favourite books as you introduce yourselves to us and to each other in this course. We really hope you enjoy learning more about the power of picturebooks with us.

View this video to meet the educators in this course, Dr Dianne Forbes and Dr. Nicola Daly. We introduce ourselves using picturebooks that have special meaning for us.

Stay tuned, as we will invite you to do the same thing in the next step.

Having viewed the video, feel free to comment on any of the ideas shared.

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The Power of Picturebooks

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