The range of Gavin's work is immense. He has published more than 50 children's picture books, and his work constantly surprises and delights. He is an outstanding illustrator. In addition, Gavin is an inspiration to other picture book illustrators, many of whom he has encouraged and helped over the last 30 years.Ann Mallinson

Gavin Bishop is a children's book author and illustrator of over 50 books. His distinctive ink and watercolour illustrations and his original text have won him numerous awards. His illustrations have been exhibited at international shows from Japan to Czechoslovakia. His books have been translated into nine languages and he has been a guest speaker at many international forums.

He has been commissioned to write and design ballets for the Royal New Zealand Ballet Company; Terrible Tom (1985) and Te Maia and the Sea Devil (1987). Hinepau and Kiwi Moon were adapted for the stage by Capital E in 2005 and 2008. Bidibidi was made into two TV series in 1990 and 1991.

Gavin Bishop has been nominated for New Zealand's premier book awards more times than any other author in any genre. He was awarded the prestigious Margaret Mahy Medal for services to children's literature in 2000. He has won the Russell Clark Medal for illustration four times, NZ Picture Book of the Year four times and the NZ Children's Book of the Year three times. In 1984 he was the Grand Prize winner of the Noma Concour in Japan with Mr Fox. Gavin is the 2013 recipient of the Mallinson Rendel Illustrators Award.

 Illlustration detail from Gavin Bishop's
Mrs McGinty and the Bizarre Plant

Other titles and awards won by Gavin Bishop include:

Bidibidi (1982);
Chicken Licken (1984);
The Hungry Fox (1985);
Mother Hubbard (1986);
A Apple Pie (1987); Katarina (1990);
The Lion and the Jackal (illustrations only, text by Beverley Dietz, 1991);
Little Red Rocking Hood (1992);
Good Luck Elephant;  Jump Into Bed; Cabbage Caterpillar and The Wedding of Mistress Fox (1996);
The Secret Lives of Mr and Mrs Smith (1997);
Maui and the Goddess of Fire (1998);
Woodchuck's New Helper ; The Wolf in Sheeps Clothing; The Big Race;he Lost Sock and Video Shop Sparrow (illustrations only, text by Joy Cowley, 1999);
Stay Awake, Bear! (2000),
Pip the Penguin (illustrations only, text by Joy Cowley andTom Thumb (2001) shortlisted in the Picture Book category for the 2002 NZ Post Children's Book Awards;
Weaving Earth & Sky (2002) won Book of the Year and Best in Non-Fiction at the 2003 NZ Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults and was shortlisted for the 2003 LIANZA Elsie Locke Medal;
The Little Tractor (2004), written by Joy Cowley and illustrated by Gavin Bishop;
Taming The Sun: Four Mâori Myths (2004) finalist in the picture book category at the 2005 NZ Post Book Awards for Children & Young Adults and the Russell Clark Award at the 2005 LIANZA Children's Book Awards;
Illustrated Jean Prior's The Waka, (2005) joint finalist in the Picture Book category of the 2006 NZ Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults;
Kiwi Moon won the The Russell Clark Award and Riding the Waves (2006);
Rats! nominated in the picture book category at the 2008 NZ Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults and won the Russell Clark Award for Illustration at the LIANZA Book Awards;
Illustrated featured in Snake & Lizard (2007) won Best in Junior Fiction and Book of the Year at the 2008 NZ Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults;
Piano Rock
( 2008) serves as Bishop's early autobiography, it won the 2009 PANZ Book Design Award in the children's category;
Counting the Stars: Four Maori Myths (2009);
Illustrated Cowshed Christmas, by Joy Cowley, finalist in the picture book category of the 2010 NZ Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults;
New edition of The House that Jack Built - Koinei te Whare na Haki i Hanga (2012) - first Te Reo Maori edition;
Illustrated Mister Whistler (2012) won the 2013 New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards in the Picture Book category.

Fourteen of Bishop's works have been listed as Storylines Notable Books, including four in 2010: Tom Thumb (2002), The Three Billy Goats Gruff (2004), Taming the Sun: Four Maori Myths (2005), Kiwi Moon (2006), The Waka (2006), Te Waka (2006), Riding the Waves: Four Maori Myths (2007), Snake & Lizard (2008), Rats! (2008), Piano Rock: A 1950s Childhood (2009), There Was a Crooked Man (2010), Cowshed Christmas (2010), Friends: Snake & Lizard (2010), and Counting the Stars: Four Maori Myths (2010).

The Storylines Gavin Bishop Award was established in 2009.  The Award aims to encourage the publication of new and exciting high-quality picture books from New Zealand illustrators. It also recognises the contribution Gavin Bishop has made to the writing and illustrating of children's picture books and gives an emerging talent the opportunity to benefit from his expertise.


Three Arts Foundation award recipients, singer Madeleine Pierard; children's book illustrator and writer Gavin Bishop and playwright and actor Jacob Rajan discuss why they create work with Paul Bushnell and Awa Press writer Jane Bowron


Gavin Bishop's career began when his first picture book, 'Mrs McGinty and the Bizarre Plant', was released in 1981. He has gone on to publish over 40 books translated into nine languages.
Children's picture books in particular, with their intertwined rhythms of pictures and words combining to tell a story in an often deceptively simple way, have always interested me. (Gavin Bishop)
Born Invercargill, New Zealand
Graduated, Canterbury University School of Fine Arts, with honours in painting
First picture book Mrs McGinty and the Bizarre Plant (Oxford University Press)
NZ Children's Picture Book of the Year Award for Mrs. McGinty and the Bizarre Plant
Runner-up in the Noma Concours for Children's Picture Book Illustration in Japan;Russell Clark Medal for Illustration
UNESCO Workshop facilitator in Beijing and Shanghai, China
Arts Council Grant, International Cultural Exchange Scheme to the USA.
NZ Children's Picture Book of the Year Award
Guest lecturer in Illustration for 4 months at the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, USA
Creative New Zealand Project Grant to work full-time for 8 months of 1998;UNESCO Workshop facilitator in Jakarta, Indonesia
Margaret Mahy Medal for Services to Children's Literature.(NZ's Highest Honour for Children's Literature);Spectrum Print Award, Best Use of Illustration in a NZ Book;NZ Children's Book of the Year and NZ Children's Picture Book of the Year Award - The House That Jack Built
Jury Member, Noma Concours, competition for International Picture Book Illustrators, UNESCO, Tokyo, Japan;Christchurch Writers' Walkway Bronze Plaque;Smash Palace Art and Science Collaboration Grant with the HIT Lab, Canterbury University to produce the world's first 3-dimensional animated picture book
NZ Children's Non Fiction Book of the Year Award;NZ Children's Book of the Year;Canterbury University  University Writer-in-Residence
Creative NZ Project Grant to work full-time for 12 months;Silvia Ashton Warner Fellow, University of Auckland
Represented NZ at the World Summit Award with Giant Jimmy Jones - world's first animated, 3-dimensional children's picture book produced in collaboration with the HIT Lab, University of Canterbury, NZ
Russell Clark Medal for Illustration;Founding trustee, Te Tai Tamariki NZ, Children's Literature Preservation Trust
NZ Children's Book of the Year;Russell Clark Medal for Illustration
Russell Clark Medal for Illustration
O.N.Z.M - Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Children's Literature - New Years Honours;President of Honour of the NZ Society of Authors;Mallinson Rendel Book Illustrators Award