December 5, 2019

“The death of YA – it’s a thing believe me. Google it.”

It was a fleeting comment at a writer’s festival as we moved between venues and it filled me with dread. 

It was nothing I didn’t already know from my own experiences as a YA writer.

Publishers are reluctant to look...

December 18, 2018

Angela Keoghan kicked off her international children’s book career by visiting Bologna Book Fair in 2015, and she has been going there every year since. She makes the argument for NZ illustrators to go to the other side of the world to see how everyone else is working,...

March 12, 2018

How many children's books have you read that tell stories of family violence and abuse? Today author, speaker and survivor of family violence, Tim Tipene, argues for more books that show the reality of life for far too many children in Aotearoa and beyond. 


February 1, 2018

Babies don't come with manuals, or book lists. Today journalist and broadcaster Guyon Espiner recounts how he and his daughter have discovered zen pandas and Roborovski hamsters along their bilingual reading journey.

My reading life with Nico began the day after she was...

January 28, 2018

Should children be exposed to books about slavery, racism and violence? Today Sisilia Eteuati, an Auckland writer, lawyer and mother, gives us her very good reasons for putting serious subject matter on her children’s bookshelves.

On the eve of my 39th birthday, I sat...

November 7, 2017

How do we raise the profile of New Zealand Children's books? Donovan Bixley has been asking around, and he has an answer ... of sorts.

Whenever I’m at a children’s book event the question arises: how do we raise the profile of New Zealand children’s books? It’s one of...

November 2, 2017

When is it okay for creative people to draw on cultural traditions they're not part of? Illustrator, writer and teacher Zak Waipara has some thoughts about cultural appropriation.

Will the real Maui please stand up? L to R: Maui from Peter Gossage, How Maui Found his Fa...

October 16, 2017

Non-fiction writer Maria Gill ponders the nature of a creative non-fiction story for children and how creative non-fiction stories are categorised. Toroa's Journey, by Maria Gill and Gavin Mouldey, is released this week by Potton & Burton. Abel Tasman: Mapping the Sout...

September 13, 2017

In the fourth of our features in celebration of Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, award-winning writer Steph Matuku battles clichés, stereotypes, and the voice of the internal critic, as she wonders if her work is 'Māori enough.'

Māori writers gather at last year's annual hui org...

August 11, 2017

In the current Anglo-Saxon book market, there is much that is the same. If one book is successful, there’s a flurry to find another one just like it. Sameness can make us all feel safe, but Julia Marshall from Gecko Press reckons sameness isn't enough. 

A diet of one th...

July 4, 2017

Novelist Anna Mackenzie reveals a few truths about teaching, teens and the failings of the school curriculum, and explains why teaching creative writing is so important to her.

Anna Mackenzie on her farm

According to perceived wisdom, achievement at the highest level re...

June 20, 2017

David Hill explains the pain required to gain in the wild world of book reviewing, and offers his reckons about how we could do it better – and why we should.

This cat is unimpressed

I had an email a while back, disapproving of a review I'd written.

The author of the bo...

May 9, 2017

Gillian Candler argues for more recognition of the importance of New Zealand non-fiction books for children, while at the same time wishing there was another term to describe these bound paper receptacles of creativity, serendipity and juicy, rich morsels.

Spread from ...

April 12, 2017

There's a book for every reader, and a time for every book. Mandy Hager explains why sometimes Great Literature isn't what we need.

In 1992 I went to the public library in hope that I might find some picture books that would help to facilitate the ongoing conversations...

March 5, 2017

Kyle Mewburn tells us why our children’s writers are so special, and opens a discussion about why New Zealand should appoint a Children’s Laureate.

Kyle Mewburn at work on Dinosaur Trouble

If your orbit has intersected with the local children's literature scene over t...

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