Geoff Gudsell with the copies of his children’s books he has recently completed. Photo: Charles Anderson.

Former teacher enlists pupil to help with children’s book


When former Nayland College teacher Geoff Gudsell needed to find an illustrator for his children’s book he looked no further than his former pupil.

Ned Barraud was in Geoff ’s social studies class some 30 years ago and has since gone on to become a successful author and illustrator.

“I had been playing around and sending rhymes to my grandkids, so I sat down and wrote some down.”

Then he sent them to Ned to illustrate.

The subject matter was inspired by Geoff ’s grandchild Theo who had been sending him updates of his Lego dinosaur projects.

The results are Old T-Rex and Big Woolly Mammoth – which tell the tales of two of prehistory’s most curious beasts.

“The rhyming stories in the two books are both quirky as well as factual,” Geoff says.

“I decided not to dumb-down the stories for the four-year-olds who have the stories read to them, as he believes that even at that age they are capable of coping with terms such as the Pleistocene and Cretaceous.”

The biggest supporters are his grandkids, who also make an appearance in the book, alongside the prehistoric creatures.

“The results of Ned’s artistic ability speak for themselves as you see the characters and personalities of these famous creatures develop throughout each book.”

The Nelson Weekly is giving away a copy each of Old T-Rex and Big Woolly Mammoth. Email [email protected] with why you would like a copy to enter the draw. The books can also be found in Paper Plus, Page and Blackmore and Volume.