Goodnight kiwi – haere rā

The kiwi is a remarkable bird. As Te Ara Encyclopedia explains, "The flightless, nocturnal kiwi is an oddity, and perhaps an unlikely choice for a national symbol. But the round body, long beak and short legs invite curiosity and affection – and it’s an easy bird to draw. It appears everywhere, on coins, stamps, shoe … Continue reading Goodnight kiwi – haere rā

Awards – recognition and publicity

New Zealand has a number of Book Awards run by different organizations. It is a great way for me as an ex-pat to keep up to date with the best of New Zealand writing. Awards can be arbitrary and follow the whimsy of the awards panel but overall what they offer all of us is … Continue reading Awards – recognition and publicity

Gavin Bishop -NZ illustrator and writer

Picture books inhabit that beautiful collaboration of the text being incomplete without the illustration and the illustration relying on the text for the fullness of comprehension. Gavin Bishop is an illustrator and writer whose contribution to New Zealand literature has been recognised by naming an award after him. In 2009 Storylines created the Gavin Bishop … Continue reading Gavin Bishop -NZ illustrator and writer

Patricia Grace

I promised many days ago to return to Patricia Grace. This writer has been instrumental in the emergence of Maori writing since the 1970s. As a teacher and mother, she wrote in her 'spare time'. As explained on her Read NZ page her first book, Waiariki (1975), the first short story collection by a Māori woman writer, … Continue reading Patricia Grace

Sylvia Ashton Warner – learning to read

I read "Teacher" (1963) by Sylvia Ashton Warner, while at secondary school and found it inspirational. This was a memoir about her life as a teacher, a profession which Warner was very reluctant to enter. Her mother had been a teacher and the sole income earner for her large family. The family had to move from … Continue reading Sylvia Ashton Warner – learning to read

School Journals

While Michael King was able to trace a widely held misbelief back to a School Journal publication I want to draw your attention to this amazing resource and to explain why they have actually done much more good than harm. It was first published on May 9th 1907 and was the first schoolbook for New … Continue reading School Journals

Joy Cowley – New Zealand Children’s Literature

When it comes to children's literature writers in New Zealand - three people are legendary in their contributions and encouragement of others. One was Margaret Mahy, one is Maurice Gee and one is Joy Cowley. Read NZ wrote an article about the 50 books all New Zealand Children must read and couldn't decide on just … Continue reading Joy Cowley – New Zealand Children’s Literature

Margaret Mahy – New Zealand Children’s writer extraordinaire

When it comes to children's writing in New Zealand, Margaret Mahy has made an incredible contribution over her lifetime. She was a children's librarian in Christchurch until 1980 when she resigned to write fulltime.  Her work has been translated into 15 different languages and has won many awards. The Storylines Margaret Mahy Medal and Lecture Award began in … Continue reading Margaret Mahy – New Zealand Children’s writer extraordinaire