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Room 3 Horohoro School, Rotorua New Zealand

So, a teacher sent me this shot of her students after they finished reading 100 Cupboards. She said they loved it, so I can only assume that protruding tongues and grimaces are signs of affection in the land of NZ. (Naturally, I replied with some web-cam-captured expressions of my own.) These kids have since whistled through Leepike Ridge, and the one named Jessica (I haven’t identified her in the photo yet) has asked that she be the star of the next series.

Getting sent things like this is one of the best authorial perks. And this shot is the best of the best. Everyone loves the Kiwis.


  1. at
    September 27, 2008 at 6:23 pm

    Even the carvings are getting into it. Reminds me of GKC in
    _Orthodoxy_: “Christ prophesied the whole of Gothic
    architecture in that hour when nervous and respectable
    people (such people as now object to barrel organs)
    objected to the shouting of the gutter-snipes of Jerusalem.
    He said, ‘If these were silent, the very stones would
    cry out.’ Under the impulse of His spirit arose like a
    clamorous chorus the facades of the mediaeval cathedrals,
    thronged with shouting faces and open mouths. The
    prophecy has fulfilled itself: the very stones cry out.”

    My kids and I have enjoyed your books and join the
    upside down world’s salute.


  2. at
    Christopherus Witmerius
    September 29, 2008 at 5:26 am

    That inscription on the door — does that mean it’s the home of “time owner”? Hmm . . . verrry intriguing . . . maybe Jessica will end up being the heroine of your next series after all.

    By the way, are you sure that’s really New Zealand? All I can see are people. Where are all the sheep? Out taking a dip?

  3. at
    Ben Hoyt
    September 30, 2008 at 4:58 am

    Cool! I’m from Christchurch, NZ — and yes, the standard greeting is the poking out of the tongue. (Not. Touching noses is the Maori thing.) But the red carvings are traditional Maori carvings … I understand they used to poke out to their tongues to ward off enemies, along with scary throaty sounds. 🙂 As for Taimona, “tai” in Maori means the sea, but I’m not sure about “mona”.

    Anyway, we really enjoyed both books. Reading “Leepike Ridge” just after “Planet Narnia” helped me understand the Fisher King thing. Neat. Are there many more such allusions I’m missing by not having studied classics?

  4. at
    Room 3
    October 4, 2008 at 5:34 pm

    Thanks Nate. We should also send you some of our drawings of the main characters in 100 Cupboards we did which are still on the wall in room 3.
    To answer the questions about Taimona. He was the carver who carved the building in 1930, he came to Rotorua at the request of his mother who lived nearby, he was at the time one of the best and most renowned carvers in New Zealand. This building is our school library (only 5 people can sit in at any one time, it’s a bit small)

  5. at
    October 5, 2008 at 2:39 am

    Please! I’d love to post some of those drawings. And I covet your hand-carved library for five. It feels like its own story. Cheers.


  6. at
    December 4, 2008 at 10:22 pm

    oh my were on line

  7. at
    December 20, 2008 at 9:19 pm

    hi miss talory or miz mckillop cool web site

  8. at
    June 27, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    eight of those people look soooo familiar! From my school and other places, about five I could almost tell you their names! (though, if those are not them, those wouldn’t be their names….)

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