Sunday, March 24, 2019

Kuwi's Rowdy Crowd by Kat Merewether

​Kuwi's Rowdy Crowd
by Kat Merewether

The storyline is easy for youngsters to follow. And throughout this delightful book you will find the most glorious artwork! Vivid and uncluttered. 
    All Kuwi the Kiwi wants is to sit down with a quiet cup of tea.
    But wherever she goes someone turns up to shatter the peace...
    When Kuwi heads upstairs for a bubble bath, taking her hot cuppa with her, hovering Huwi follows her. A flock of whio are already frolicking in Kuwi's bath full of bubbles. 
    Huwi finds them most entertaining so Kuwi retreats with her now warm cup of tea to her quiet kitchen. 
    But Huwi soon tracks her down bringing with him a couple of karate kicking kokako. What a performance and what a noise!
    So Kuwi silently scurries along to the spare room, where she sips her heated up cup of tea.
    But this spare room is not to be her peaceful place. Huwi rolls in with a rowdy rapping ruru. 
    So off goes ever-patient Kuwi again seeking a quiet space outside on her tranquil terrace. And there she begins to sip her lukewarm cuppa.
    But before long, the noisy Huwi has found her again and sets about tap-dancing with a troupe of tap-dancing tomtits... 
    Will Kuwi ever find a peaceful spot to drink her cup of tea? No, even in the stillness and silence of the swamp Huwi stampedes in with a singing swarm of cicadas.
    Finally the ever patient Kuwi has had enough. 
"Quiet!" she cries.
    And it is. 
    But is this new silence what she really wants – now she has it. 
    This is a great story book for reading and interacting with youngsters. They can chime in at any stage and try to guess what Huwi will produce next in the way of his rowdy crowd. 
    And hopefully children will also realise that sometimes all mum wants is five minutes to drink her cup of tea in peace.
    Well done, Kat Merewether. 

Review by Susan Tarr
Title: Kuwi's Rowdy Crowd
Author: Kat Merewether
Publisher: Illustrated Publishing
ISBN: 9780994136459
RRP: $19.99
Available: bookshops 

Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day

Kia ora organisers, poets, librarians, teachers, book clubs, creatives and lovers of poetry.

It is with heavy hearts we contact you in the wake of such terrible events. We can only hope you are determined, like us, to promote and rejoice in ALL New Zealand voices, louder than ever. As poet, Paula Green says, “poetry connects us to human experience, to how we live and love and mourn. It is a window, it is a balm and it is an eye-opener. This is a time to reach out and make connections, to listen.”

Welcome to Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day, 23 August 2019. Registrations are open.

Returning 2018 organisers: Last year was huge – let’s do it again!

To those returning after a break: Welcome back.

To the newcomers: Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day is an annual celebration of the power of poetry – in all its manifestations. Open to all ages, it is a chance to make poetry accessible, inclusive, and to showcase how extraordinary it can be. Events, activities or competitions can be large or small, from handing out free poems, making a Poet-Tree, or chalking on pavements, to larger-scale events such as workshops, readings with guest poets and book launches. At every level, Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day is a chance to make poetry soar.

Registrations and applications for seed-funding remain open until 5pm, Wednesday 22 May 2019.

Visit our website for more information on how to register and/or apply for seed-funding, how to run an event, and for general guidelines and templates here.

Or you can follow this link straight to our …

We look forward to unleashing the power of poetry across Aotearoa and beyond on Friday, 23 August 2019.


If you have any queries, reply on a separate thread to: National Administrator | Jacqui Hammond | Otherwise we look forward to receiving your registration!



If you’d like to read the (full) poignant poem Paula Green was compelled to write in the wake of the events of 15.3.19, you can find it on her NZ Poetry Shelf blog here.


Sarah Thornton

Thornton Communications Ltd

PO Box 31954, Milford, Auckland 0741

M: 021 753 744

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

NZ Booklovers Awards Winners Announced

18 March 2019
NZ Booklovers Awards 2019 Winners Announced
Fiona Kidman, Jo Seagar and Kimberly Andrews are winners in the inaugural NZ Booklovers Awards announced today.

‘These are books that all families in New Zealand will enjoy,’ says NZ Booklovers Director Karen McMillan. ‘Between the three winners, there is a novel that is an excellent piece of storytelling that takes the reader back in time to New Zealand in the 1950s, a lifestyle book that will be used repeatedly for family celebrations, and a children’s book that is likely to become a favourite and foster a love of reading.’

This Mortal Boy by Fiona wins the NZ Booklovers Award for Best Adult Fiction Book 2019.

The judges say, ‘This novel is a portrayal of a real event in New Zealand, one of the last times the death penalty was invoked. Set in the 1950s, the social climate of the time is beautifully portrayed – conservative, prejudiced against immigrants, and suffering from an upsurge in juvenile delinquency. It is very easy to engage with the characters, especially the central figure, Arthur Black. In 1950s Auckland Arthur’s unfortunate liaisons lead him to a situation which gets out of control. Is he a victim of prejudice and a miscarriage of justice? A well-crafted story that perfectly fits our brief of a book that celebrates the best in storytelling, a book we couldn’t put down.’

Better than a Bought One by Jo Seagar wins the NZ Booklovers Award for Best Lifestyle Book 2019.

The judges say, ‘Better than a Bought One is not a regular recipe book – it is a valuable addition to any Kiwi home! This is New Zealand’s beloved cook Jo Seagar’s best book yet. Sharing her love of entertaining, Jo inspires readers to celebrate life’s milestones at home. Her focus is on easy, economical ideas to mark everything from birthdays, backyard weddings, baby showers and other life celebrations to Matariki and a casual Kiwi Christmas. Jo deftly shows readers how to create special occasions with minimal effort and maximum impact. Jo’s trademark writing is accompanied by intoxicating photography that ensures readers will repeatedly refer to the book for memorable ideas. A highly pleasurable read that hits our criteria of a book that enriches people’s everyday lives.’

Puffin the Architect by Kimberly Andrews wins the NZ Booklovers Award for Best Children’s Book 2019.

The judges say, ‘As Puffin the Architect leads her difficult-to-please clients through her past designs – the homes she has planned for Platypus the Baker, Painter Goose and Pilot Moose, amongst others – they see and hear about her wonderful creations, but none are right for them. What is required is a cottage specifically designed for puffins, and “a home built by the sea” is underway. A detail with special appeal that comes at the end of the story is that the architect is their mum. Cleverly written in verse and with wonderfully detailed illustrations, this is a great read-aloud book and one that children will also enjoy reading alone for both the intricacies of the drawings and the ideas of planning a “custom-built” house. A picture book which can be read over many times and used as a creative discussion point for children’s own choices about house designs, Puffin the Architect has a richness, depth and complexity of concepts that will appeal to kids over a wide range of ages.’
Entries for the NZ Booklovers Awards 2020 are already open at
‘We are passionate about supporting the many talented authors we have in New Zealand, so we are delighted to be offering the NZ Booklovers Awards for a second year,’ says Karen McMillan. ‘We welcome traditionally published authors and self-published authors to submit their books throughout the year. This year we were delighted to see a mix of well-known names and new talent and trust we will see a similar variety for the 2020 Awards.’

The Best Adult Fiction Book Award is judged by writer and literary editor Marcus Hobson, publishing professional Rachel White, and NZ Booklovers Director and author Karen McMillan.

The Best Lifestyle Book Award is judged by journalist and author Andrea Molloy, NZ Booklovers Director and author Karen McMillan, and publisher, home renovator and foodie Iain McKenzie.

The Best Children’s Book Award is judged by author and creative writing teacher Paddy Richardson, editor and writer Heidi North, and early childhood kaiako and journalist Rebekah Fraser.

About NZ Booklovers
NZ Booklovers is an online home for books and for those who enjoy reading them. It is a bookworms’ hub, dedicated to bringing New Zealanders everything they need to know about reading and the world of literature. Working alongside publishers, NZ Booklovers showcases both New Zealand and international titles. It provides a platform for sharing articles, author interviews, reviews, and book-related stories, as well as book news, competitions, and reading and writing advice.

Director Karen McMillan heads up a talented team of contributors and reviewers, fellow readers and writers who are passionate about books and who believe books inspire and enhance people’s lives. The NZ Booklovers Awards are the brainchild of Karen McMillan, with the aim of supporting the local publishing community and New Zealand authors.








For more information, interviews or book covers, please contact NZ Booklovers Director Karen McMillan, 027 693 9044,,


For the Love of Books: Collectors and Collections


Q. What constitutes Special Collections?

A. The entire book and manuscript collection within Special Collections, University of Otago Library, numbers some 28,000 items. The topics and formats are wide, ranging from medieval manuscripts, early printed pre-1501 books, and 18th century travel accounts, to scientific expedition reports, pulp and science fiction, and limited edition private press publications. Some of the books and manuscripts have been generously gifted to Special Collections; some have been made on site; others have been purchased over time. 


For the Love of Books: Collectors and Collections is an exhibition that offers a very selective overview of all the types of materials within Special Collections. It highlights the type of books amassed by collectors such as Willi Fels, Esmond de Beer, Charles Brasch, and the Rev. William Arderne Shoults, as well as those discrete collections such as the Scientific Expedition Reports, and the Pulp Fiction Collection. In essence, the exhibition is a taster. A brief but illuminating glimpse into what makes up Special Collections. And in 2019, on the sesquicentennial (150 years) celebrations of the establishment of the University of Otago, it is fitting to acknowledge the generosity of both past and recent benefactors to Special Collections. Importantly, we encourage use, and it is pleasing to acknowledge that the different collections that form Special Collections are used regularly by students and staff of the University, by national and international scholars, and by individuals from the wider community.


Special Collections is a treasure trove, and the books and manuscripts on display highlight just some of the delights that are in Special Collections. There are some real strengths; others tantalise. Collectors and collections represented include the John Evelyn and John Locke Collections amassed by Esmond de Beer; the Italian books collected by Willi Fels; the Charles Brasch Collection of some 7,200 books; the ecclesiastical books owned by the Rev.William Arderne Shoults; the James Hogg Collection from the Gilkison family; the Truby King ‘Melrose’ Library; Professor Fastier’s Science Fiction, and Hal Salive’s Science Fiction and Fantasy Collections. And much, much more. All are welcome.

A great library contains the diary of the human race. - G. Dawson

Exhibition Times: 22 March to 14 June 2019

Venue: de Beer Gallery, Special Collections, 1st floor, Central Library, University of Otago

Hours: 8.30 am to 5.00 pm, Monday to Friday


For further information, contact Dr Donald Kerr (; or Romilly Smith (

Phone: 03-479-8330

Illustrations can be supplied for media purposes

Leading military historian seeks photographs from WW2

Professor of War Studies, Glyn Harper, is compiling a major book that brings together images of New Zealanders in the Second World War. It will be a sequel to his highly regarded Images of War (HarperCollins NZ), which brought together almost 1000 photographs of New Zealanders in the First World War and was published in 2008.
This book will also be based on the archives of the armed forces and other institutions. While compiling the previous book, Professor Harper was amazed at the quality and quantity of photos in private collections, and he is keen to explore what might be available for this new publication.
Glyn Harper is Professor of War Studies at Massey University and Massey Project Manager of the New Zealand and the First World War Centenary History Project.

If you have images in reasonable condition, either as prints or in digital format of New Zealanders in the Second World War, and with relevant information about the photographs, please contact Professor Harper at

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

5 Must -Read Novels About Blended Families

March 12, 2019
Bonnie Kistler


5 Must-Read Novels About Blended Families
My new novel HOUSE ON FIRE is about a perfectly blended family—Leigh and Pete and their five combined children, aged ten to twenty. They all get along like a house on—well, you know the expression. Until one rainy night, when a teenage party followed by a road accident leaves Leigh’s daughter dead and Pete’s son charged with vehicular manslaughter. Instantly the fault lines open up and the foundation of their perfectly blended family crumbles. Novelists have long plowed fertile fields when it comes to complicated family situations. Those fields can be even more fertile in a blended family. To (badly) paraphrase Tolstoy, all blended families are happy and unhappy in their own way. Here’s a sampling of some of the many novels that have treated this subject.

Publishers Lunch

Thames & Hudson's publishing director Sophy Thompson will be promoted to ceo and publisher as of April 12, when Rolf Grisebach departs.

Anne Speyer has been promoted to senior editor at Ballantine Bantam Dell.

Nichole Argyres has been promoted to senior publishing manager, St. Martin's publishing group.

At Tom Doherty Associates, Megan Barnard has been promoted to adpromo assistant creative director; Julia Bergen has been promoted to adpromo associate marketing manager; and Kristin Temple has been promoted to assistant editor.

Maria Gomez has been promoted to executive editor at Montlake Romance.

At Chronicle Books, Aubrey Rojas has joined as social media manager, adult trade. Previously, she worked in integrated marketing at Gymboree. Julia Patrick has been promoted to editor, entertainment, and Sahara Clement has been promoted to assistant editor, entertainment.

The Book Industry Study Group has nominated Andrew Savikas of getAbstract US to serve as chair, starting July 1. Also nominated for two-year board positions are: Andrea Fleck-Nisbet, Ingram Content Group; David Hetherington, knk Software; Dan Kok, Crossway; Kempton Mooney, NPD Group; and Patricia Simoes, Rakuten Kobo.

Micawber's Books in St. Paul is closing for good on April 14, after owner Tom Bielenberg slipped on ice and badly injured himself. Bielenberg, who has owned the bookstore since 2003, broke his pelvis and two ribs and dislocated several vertebrae, and will need months of rehab. He said, "I'm realizing it's a long haul. I can't just not take in money for three or four months. People volunteering is great, but it would be hard to put together."

Hopkins Fulfillment Services will distribute Central European University Press starting in April.

NewSouth Books will be Independent Publishers Group's trade distribution partner in Australia starting August 1. Also at IPG, Trafalgar Square Publishing will begin distributing Koenemann in April, and Ice House Books, Muswell Press, and Pan Macmillan Australia in July.

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Annual Young Enterprise Donation Appeal

It's the annual Young Enterprise Donation Appeal and on behalf of our Chairman Norm Thompson, CEO Terry Shubkin and myself, I would like to ask for your support.  

 You might not know that the organisation behind the NZ Business Hall of Fame is a charity called Young Enterprise (YES). Our "day job" is working with high school students to get them excited about business and enterprise. 

We are completely reliant on donations and sponsorship to fund the work we do with secondary students across all of New Zealand.  Any help you can give would be appreciated.

By donating you'll be supporting the next generation of young leaders, disruptors and changemakers.  Like the young students you saw speaking on the night.

Thank you in advance for considering us in your annual giving plans.

As a registered charity, any donation you make is tax deductible.


Jaime Hayden
Head of Partnerships
022 509 1791
Level 2, iPayroll House, 93 Boulcott St
PO Box 25 525, Wellington 6140