The Sapling is a website all about children’s books … because books grow humans. The aim of The Sapling is to find conversations nobody has been able to have in the main media about children’s books and give them a good airing.

Winner of the 2018 Special Industry Award at the NZ Book Industry Awards, awarded to 'a company or individual for innovation, or for an important contribution to the book trade in Aotearoa over the past year'. Judge Paula Browning said, ‘Our winner has achieved both.'



To celebrate the excellence and diversity of children’s books in Aotearoa and abroad.



To present wide-ranging and meaningful discussions about children’s books and their contexts, content and creation.



To connect people and organisations through their shared interest in children’s books, and foster an online sense of community and kinship.



To entice new and unlikely readers of all ages, and challenge them to view children’s books as worthy of attention.



The Sapling is run by founding editor, Sarah Forster (left), and editors Briar Lawry and Thalia Kehoe Rowden. They run The Sapling out of love, not for personal profit, which means they pay contributors ahead of themselves. This also means they fit editorial work around their families and day jobs, so might take a day or two to get back to you.


SARAH FORSTER has worked in the New Zealand book industry for 13 years, in roles promoting Aotearoa’s best authors and books. She has a Diploma in Publishing from Whitireia Polytechnic, and a BA (Hons) in History and Philosophy from the University of Otago. She was born in Winton, grew up in Westport, and lives in Wellington. Her day job is as Communications Manager for Booksellers NZ.


BRIAR LAWRY has worked in the New Zealand book industry for a decade, as a bookseller, reviewer and editor. She has studied publishing at Whitireia, English at the University of Auckland and te ao Māori at AUT. She was born and lives in Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland, with some formative years spent in Te Whanganui-a-Tara/Wellington. By day she is a bookseller at little Unity in Auckland.


Growing The Sapling: an interview on The Pantograph Punch 

Wellington booklovers raise 10k...: an article on

#5 in the Top Ten Moments in Aotearoa Literature 2017: an article on The Pantograph Punch

Illustration of the editors by Giselle Clarkson