Sunday, May 14, 2017

Children's writing competition

Sharpen your pencils you've got two more weeks to write an imaginative story for the Young Authors Challenge Writing Competition. This year author John Parker, the Barfoot & Thompson team and I will be judging the stories looking for 10 winners!

Go here for application forms and writing tips.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Volcano Books Galore!

Over the years, I've had five volcano books published. Here's an update on the books:

Eruption! Discovering New Zealand Volcanoes
'Eruption!' sold out eighteen months ago, but has recently been reprinted again and is now available! I'll have it for sale on my website soon but in the meantime you should be able to get it at your local bookstores.

The book explains the basics of volcano science, alongside diagrams and colour photographs of some of our most spectacular volcanoes. To make it interesting for 6-12 year olds, the narrator for the book is Volcanica, reporter for the Magmatic Press. The book also has interactive codes for kids to research, and links to fascinating volcano videos.

DKfindout! Volcanoes

'Volcanoes' was published by one of the largest children's non-fiction book publishers in the world. It is part of a series of books that helps kids find out answers to questions they've always had about subjects.Other books in the series include 'Ancient Rome', 'Science', 'Solar System', 'Animals', 'Dinosaurs'. It includes access to a free online encyclopedia:

'Volcanoes' includes information about volcanoes from all over the world. The end papers include quizzes, fact sheets on types of eruptions, and a timeline of eruptions. Complementing the many subjects covered are over 200 photographs. It's packed with explosive facts and amazing pictures. It's a small book filled with BIG IDEAS. Available from all good bookstores.

Rangitoto: The rock standing in the ocean

 'Rangitoto' is a creative non-fiction story about the birth of Auckland's most iconic volcano. Told like it is just happening, kids will see the many stages of a volcano eruption, plus what happens in the aftermath. Heather Arnolds stunning illustrations show the effects of the explosions on the habitat. Children can have the story read to them, older students will find the added extra fact boxes and timelines useful for projects.

'Rangitoto' shortlisted in the New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards in 2012. It is available in digital and picture book format.

The other two volcano books are 'Volcanic Eruptions'' and 'Under Your Feet' available through the Book Depository.

If your child or students would like to make a shield volcano, download this template.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

2017 Notable Book Awards

Congratulations to all the recipients:

Storylines Notable Books List 2017

The Storylines Notable Books List 2017, for books published in 2016, has been announced. The award-winning titles are:
Picture Books
  • If I was a Banana by Alexandra Tylee, illustrated by Kieran Rynhart (Gecko)
  • Gwendolyn! by Juliette MacIver, illustrated by Terri Rose Baynton (HarperCollins UK)
  • Tuna and Hiriwa by Ripeka Takotowai Goddard, illustrated by Kimberly Andrews (Huia)
  • Maui – Sun Catcher by Tim Tipene, illustrated by Zak Waipara (Oratia)
  • Gladys Goes to War by Glyn Harper, illustrated by Jenny Cooper (Penguin Random House NZ)
  • Fuzzy Doodle by Melinda Szymanik, illustrated by Donovan Bixley (Scholastic NZ)
  • Gorillas in our Midst by Richard Fairgray, illustrated by Terry Jones (Scholastic NZ)
  • Henry Bob Bobbalich by Juliette MacIver, illustrated by Link Choi (Scholastic NZ)
  • Witch’s Cat Wanted Apply Within written by Joy H Davidson, illustrated by Nikki Slade-Robinson (Scholastic NZ)
  • The Harmonica by Dawn McMillan, illustrated by Andrew Burdan (Scholastic NZ)
  • Rasmas by Elizabeth Pulford, illustrated by Jenny Cooper (Scholastic NZ)
  • The Best Dad in the World by Pat Chapman, illustrated by Cat Chapman (Upstart)


  • ANZAC Heroes by Maria Gill, illustrated by Marco Ivancic (Scholastic NZ)
  • See Play Do: A Kid’s Handbook for Everyday Creative Fun written & illustrated by Louise Cuckow (Beatnik)
  • Bruce Wants to Go Faster by Dreydon Sobanja, illustrated by Murray Dewhurst (Inspired Kids)
  • Armistice Day: the New Zealand Story by Philippa Werry (New Holland)
  • Speed King: Burt Munro, the World’s Fastest Indian by David Hill, illustrated by Phoebe Morris (Penguin Random House NZ)
  • Jack and Charlie: Boys of the Bush by Jack Marcotte (Penguin Random House NZ)
  • The Beginner's Guide to Netball by Maria Tutaia (Penguin Random House NZ)
  • Cricket with Kane Williamson by Kane Williamson (Penguin Random House NZ)
  • The Cuckoo and the Warbler: A True New Zealand Story by Heather Hunt, illustrated by Kennedy Warne (Potton & Burton)
  • Much ado about Shakespeare written and illustrated by Donovan Bixley (Upstart)

Junior Fiction

  • The Road to Ratenburg by Joy Cowley, illustrated by Gavin Bishop (Gecko)
  • Annual edited by Kate De Goldi and Susan Paris (Gecko)
  • The Diamond Horse by Stacy Gregg (HarperCollins UK)
  • Rona by Chris Szekely, illustrated by Josh Morgan (Huia)
  • Enemy Camp by David Hill (Penguin Random House NZ)
  • The Impossible Boy by Leonie Agnew (Penguin Random House NZ)
  • Grandad’s Wheelies by Jack Lasenby, illustrated by Bob Kerr (Penguin Random House NZ)
  • Barking Mad by Tom E Moffatt (Scholastic NZ)
  • Sunken Forest by Des Hunt (Scholastic NZ)

Young Adult

  • Lonesome When You Go by Saradha Koirala (Makaro)
  • Coming Home to Roost by Mary-anne Scott (Penguin Random House NZ)