Pigtails the Pirate
Often it is just one personal experience that sparks an idea and then other ideas gather around that idea in a kind of soup. One day I took my two daughters, Mhairi and Jess, to Taiaroa Head, a headland near my home in Port Chalmers, to watch the albatross flying. A big sea was driving great strands of bull kelp seaweed up against the cliffs below us and as I stared down I suddenly imagined a giant standing on the seabed with his huge hair caught in the surf.
Both my daughters, I am proud to say, are particularly creative,
adventurous and forthright and at that stage Jess was mad keen on her
dress-up box. I began to wonder how she might deal with the problem of that giant and his hair.
Pigtails was completed while I held the Children’s Writing Fellowship at the Dunedin College
of Education in 2001. The assistance I received from Creative New Zealand is gratefully
Pigtails The Pirate won the Picture book category at the New Zealand Post Children’s Book
Awards in 2003.