Let me introduce myself ...
My name is Christine Dale. I am a New Zealander, born and bred, born in Dunedin and bred in Auckland.
I started my working life working for a company called Paul's Book Arcade where I worked with Alan Dupree distributing books to New Zealand schools. I then went overseas (as all Kiwis do) where I worked in Australia and England before returning to New Zealand in 1978.
I joined the staff at Auckland Teachers College in a support role, eventually helping to run a specialist area called The Reading Centre, developed by Dorothy Churchward and Garry Carter to focus students on the elements of teaching literacy to children. With the knowledge gained there, and my love of art, illustration and design, I was ready to join Ashton Scholastic Ltd in 1983, just as they started a new publishing programme called Read by Reading.
Initially I took on the role of Assistant Editor and later, when Graham Beattie became the Managing Director and broadened the companies market to include Trade as well as Schools, I became the Production Manager. My role was to jointly choose what we would publish, source the skills required (from illustrator to printer) and oversee the scheduling. To begin with the list was a mere 5 titles per year, but it grew rapidly.
In 1998 I completed a Diploma in Business and the next year I was employed as Publishing Manager of Scholastic NZ Ltd. During my time in this role I extended the list to 50 titles a year. I'm proud to say that over 30 awards for writing, illustrating, first works and, most importantly, children's choice awards, were won by authors and illustrators during my tenure as Publishing Manager. When I retired Scholastic NZ Ltd had become the leading publisher of children's books in New Zealand.
My first illustration commission was for this title back in the 1980s. It is being released again this July! This time as a full sized trade picture book.