Wednesday, June 28, 2017
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Caption image to win a moving story

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Many dairy farming families will move to new jobs, homes, school and communities this month, an experience which can be exciting but also stressful, especially for children.

Author and primary teacher Sally Fawcett subtly addresses some of the feeling children might experience in her latest book Through the Gate’, which is this month’s Country Funnies book prize.

Through the Gate’ tells the story of a child who has just moved house and is struggling to cope with all of the changes in her life. She relates to the dilapidated house she’s moved to, as she sits sad and forlorn upon its broken front step.


Caption this image to be in to win a book prize.


But, as the story unfolds, the house is gradually repaired paralleling how the child’s perception of her new situation improves. Each time the child passes ‘through the gate’, into the world beyond, she notices more of her surroundings and discovers that her new life has some wonderful things in it.

The messages delivered through this story can be understood at different levels — literal and metaphorical. Nothing stays the same and difficult times will pass. A little effort in maintenance can improve our physical surroundings, yet our perceptions also colour our world.

These messages are relevant to both children and adults, as we all experience many changes throughout our lives and draw on our resilience as we adapt to them.

This duck on a swing was the Country Funnies image for April.


Within the illustrations is a ‘spot the difference’ game that encourages interaction with the story and develops observation skills. Younger children can be involved in spotting the more obvious changes and older children will be challenged with the more subtle transformations. 

The author’s passion for art, creative writing and education is evident in her books. Sally’s three children are a constant source of inspiration for ideas, and have triggered many of her writing and illustrating adventures. Sally’s motivation for creating picture books is to engage adults and children in a shared experience that will hopefully foster a life-long love of reading, creativity and tapping into the power of the imagination.

‘Through the Gate’bySally Fawcett is the Country Funnies book prize for June.


Thanks to Exisle Publishing, Coast & Country News has a copy of Through the Gate’ to give away. To be in to win, email captions (as many as you like) for the photo below and send with your name and address with Country Funnies as the subject line, to: Or put these details on the back of an envelope and post to Country Funnies, PO Box 240, Tauranga 3140 to arrive no later than June 19.

The winner of the April Country Funnies competition was R Cummins of Mount Maunganui with her caption: “Oi! Is there any water down there?” She wins a copy of ‘Illuminating Wisdom’ by Deirdre Hassed and Craig Hassed, published by Exsile Publishing.

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