For someone who spent countless hours many years ago reading A Lion in the Meadow to his daughters it was a real privilege yesterday to host author Margaret Mahy in our Christchurch office. Margaret has agreed to be the patron of an exciting new online project that we’ve been developing in conjunction with the NZ Book Council and the NZ children’s book authors and illustrators organisation. It provides an opportunity to connect students in schools with authors and illustrators for ‘virtual visits’ using skype or other synchronous technologies. The project, called BookTalks, means that authors and illustrators will now be more accessible to NZ students and schools via these online technologies. There are currently over 30 authors and illustrators listed on the site, and others will be added as they express interest.