Friday, November 6, 2015

Anzac themed books and school visit

Next year is the centenary commemorations of the war in France during WWI. If you are teaching an Anzac unit and have started looking for resources and planning events, here are some you might be interested in:

Due out late February 2016 is my new book ‘Anzac Heroes’ (Scholastic), which tells the stories of 30 Australian and New Zealand men and women during WWI and WWII. Readers will find out about significant battles fought during those two wars and how Australian and New Zealand men and women survived and contributed to the war. Also included are world maps showing where the battles were fought, a timeline of world events, historic photographs, and action illustrations by Marco Ivancic. Includes the stories of army, navy and airforce men, as well as five women and four indigenous soldiers.  

I’ll be sharing stories from the Anzac Heroes book and information about the two world wars while touring the country giving ‘Anzac’ talks – see poster above. If you would like to book a visit, please contact Rosemary Tisdall, New Zealand Book Council or myself.  I’ll use PowerPoint, videos, props, and encourage children to interact with the presentation.  If your school is outside of Auckland I'll need to organise several school visits in your area to make it viable. Already planned is a Taupo tour from 11-15th April and a Queenstown tour from 6-10th June. If you are in those regions and would like a school visit please contact me.

From February onwards you can access a free Anzac teaching resource from my website:

We’re planning a ‘What Lies Beneath Exhibition’ with a focus on children’s war books at several venues around the country. I will keep you informed once venues are confirmed.

Other resources that will help you with your planning are:

Philippa Werry’s blog:  Philippa has reviewed most New Zealand and Australian books written with a war theme. Philippa has also written three excellent war books herself ‘Anzac Day’, ‘Dawn Parade’ and ‘Best Mates’.

For younger children, I’d also include Glyn Harper’s three picture books (illustrated by Jenny Cooper):  Jim’s Letters, Le Quesnoy, Roly the Anzac Donkey.  Plus David Hill’s book (illustrated by Fifi Colston) ‘The Red Poppy’, and Peter Millet’s ‘The Anzac Puppy’.  There’s also been some excellent Australian Anzac stories told by Claire Saxby.

For older children: David Hill, Ken Catran, Morris Gleitzman, and Jackie French have written several war-themed junior fiction novels. There’s also the excellent ‘Kiwis at War’ series published by Scholastic: 1914 ‘Riding into War’ by Susan Brocker, 1915 by Diana Menefy, 1916 by David Hair. Also Anna Mackenzie’s ‘Evie’s War’.

You probably know about these sites:

Good luck with your planning!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Vote in the Children's Choice competition

Vote for your favourite New Zealand book . . .

Would you like to choose the winners in the 2015 New Zealand Children and Young Adults Book Awards?

Be part of the Children’s Choice voting and have your chance to vote for the New Zealand books you think are the best.

Children and teenagers across the country have been busy reading and reviewing their favourites amongst all the New Zealand books entered in the 2015 NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. Their votes created a list of 20 books they think are the best.

So get voting: we want to know what New Zealand kids think. Choose your favourite in the Top 5 in each category that’s relevant to your age group. (We have adult judges separately deciding on the overall winners, but we also want to know what kids think are the best books.)

Everyone kid who votes (you’ll need to be 18 years old or under) will be in the draw to win some books for yourself and for your school. On the second page we will ask you questions to help us contact you via your school if you win. If you are unsure about anything ask mum or dad or your teacher to help you.

Voting closes at 12 noon on Friday, 31 July.

So vote now and tell your friends to vote too. Just click
here to vote!
This is where I'm really subtle ... I have a book in the Children's Choice Awards this year too - 'New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame' (non-fiction category)
Why vote for it?
  • Great art by Marco Ivancic
  • Every sport represented (well, just about)
  • Biographies start from kids' ages
  • You can find out about the sport stars' training programme
  • Can make your own training programme at the back of the book
  • Just as many females as male sport stars
  • If your favourite sport star isn't in this book it probably is in 'New Zealand Hall of Fame'
  • Sports stars giving inspiring encouragement
Have fun voting!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

2015 LIANZA Finalists

2015 LIANZA Children's Book Award Finalists:


Russell Clark Illustration Award Finalists


LIANZA Young Adult Finalists


Te Kura Pounamu (Te Reo Māori) Finalists

  • Ngā Kī by Sacha Cotter, Josh Morgan and Kawata Teepa - Huia

  • Hui E! by various authors - Huia

  • Tūtewehi by Fred Te Maro - Huia

  • Kimihia by Te Mihinga Komene and Scott Pearson - Huia

  • An early Te Reo Reading Book Series by Carolyn Collis - Summer Rose Books

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Environmental Family Day on Saturday 28th March 2015

Come along to the Eye on Nature Family Day
I'll be there along with illustrator Heather Arnold and author Dee Pigneguy.
We're storytelling with puppets and have some fun activities for kids to do.
You can buy our books at special Family Day discounted prices!
Enter into the draw for a prize!