Wednesday, 8 July 2009


Harris has not only found his feet, but has leapt as high into the air and the limelight as Roger Federer on Centre Court, after his defeat of the valiant Andy Roddick.

Harris’s leap has secured him top ranking and a place forever in the Hall of Kate Greenaway Fame where his portrait will hang alongside other such legends and Title Holders as:
Charlie and Lola
Dish and Spoon
Long Neck and Thunder Foot
Gorilla (and Hannah)
Tim (All Alone… not Henman)
Mister Magnolia
Little Bear
Baby Bunting
and Mr Grumpy to name a few over the years.

His portrait (frame supplied by blogger and not artist) is a delightful reminder of his personality, his sense of awe, his courage in the face of danger and his huge leap of faith and belief in a world that is bigger than one small player can imagine.

Credit must go to his trainer, Catherine Rayner, who guided him through this adventure. With foresight she produced a mentor for Harris who is an old hand at the game. Not only wise and understanding, Grandad takes delight in Harris’s development of speed and agility and helps him develop an uncanny knack of knowing his enemy. So good is Grandad’s mentoring that in the end ‘Harris ran, feeling the bounce in his feet and the stretch in his legs. He ran faster and faster… as fast as fast…until he was on his own.’ And with more encouragement ‘ran, leaping over streams and bouncing through meadows on his big, strong feet that would take him to the end of the world … and back home again.’

Congratulations go not just to Harris and his Grandad, but to Catherine for her delightful illustrations that give energy to Harris and add character to Grandad with his wavery whiskers and freckly, old-age spots. And most of all congratulations for those long drawn-out shadows across the earth that remind me so much of Africa.

For anyone wanting to see a fascinating account of how those shadows were achieved so naturally and how Catherine Rayner developed Harris Finds his Feet, watch her video at the Shadowing Site for CILIP’S 2009 KATE GREENAWAY AWARD:

PS Don’t forget our Birthday Blog in 2 days time… Friday 10th July… where you’ll be able to celebrate our OUR AWFULLY BIG BLOG ADVENTURE 1st Birthday by eating virtual cake, adding comments and winning books.


Anonymous said...

Yes, Harris Finds His Feet is a lovely book, Dianne. I met Catherine when she was visiting a local school recently, so a treat to hear this news. Enjoyed all the "questions" in the video-links you'd posted. I'd include the alternative animal's dangling back feet as well as the interesting shadows section. Wished we could have seen more of the page area of her sketchbooks & sketches, rather than just corners. That's webcams for you!
Best wishes, Penny

ps Signature included as I'm bound to end up Anonymous!

Dianne Hofmeyr said...

yes... that was so annoying not to be able to see all the sketches But I liked the cat walking across her workspace! (Didn't reply yesterday as was at a school all day.) See you at Charney!