Watson, Joy

Watson, Joy


Primary publisher
Scholastic NZ Ltd.
Rights enquiries
Scholastic NZ Ltd., Private Bag 94407, Greenmount, Auckland 1730

In Brief

Joy Watson was a children’s book author. She won and was nominated for several awards for her writing, and her picture book Grandpa's Slippers (1989) endured the test of time to win the 1999 Gaelyn Gordon Award for a Much-Loved Book. Grandpa's Shorts (2001), from the same series, won the Children's Choice Award in the 2002 New Zealand Post Book Awards. Joy Watson was part of the Writers in Schools programme.


Watson, Joy (1938 - 2021) was a children's picture book and educational writer.

Grandpa's Slippers (1989), illustrated by Wendy Hodder, was a finalist in the 1990 Aim Children's Book Awards and stood the test of time to win the 1999 Gaelyn Gordon Award for a Much-Loved Book. It was followed by the sequel Grandpa's Cardigan (1993). Watson then added Grandpa's Shorts (2001), which won the Children's Choice Award at the 2002 New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults and was listed as a 2002 Storylines Notable Picture Book.

Watson's other titles include Pets, illustrated by Gavin Bishop (School Publications, 1988); Mouse in the House, illustrated by Tracey Clark (Highgate/Price Milburn, 1989); No Porridge, Please, illustrated by Jill Parry (Ashton Scholastic, 1994); Just in Case, illustrated by Bob Stenhouse (Scholastic, 1996); A Wet Day At School, illustrated by Len Ebert (Heinemann, 1996); Foster Dog, illustrated by Annabel Craighead (Scholastic 1999), Highway Robbery (Scholastic, 2000), illustrated by Dylan Horrocks, and The Birthday Flood (2001), illustrated by Anna-Maria Crum.

Further books in the 'Grandpa' series include Grandpa's Shed (Scholastic, 2003), illustrated by Wendy Hodder, also published in Māori, as Te Pakoro A Papa Koroua (2003); and Grandpa's Cat (Scholastic, 2006), illustrated by Wendy Hodder. Both continue tales of Grandpa and his ever-patient wife, as Grandpa cleans out his shed, and hunts for his cat when it goes missing.

Grandpa's Shed was listed as a 2004 Storylines Notable Picture Book.

Zita the Zebra
(2006), illustrated by Pali Pancha, sees each animal join the line alphabetically, with the exception of Zita the Zebra, who refuses to go to the end of the line.

Worms Squirm... and Other Poems (Scholastic, 2007), illustrated by Wendy Hodder, is a collection of poetry for primary-aged children.

As well as her career as a much-loved children's book author, Joy was a mother of nine children, one of whom is author Mary-anne Scott.

Joy Watson passed away in October 2021.

Updated February 2022.