Friday, February 23, 2018

Oratia shortlisted for Best Children's Publishers of the Year, Oceania


It's a nice surprise to receive news that Oratia Books has been nominated in the Oceania section for the Bologna Prize for Best Children's Publishers of the Year, alongside four very worthy nominees.

The BOP Prize is awarded each year to highlight the editorial projects, professional skills and intellectual qualities of work produced by publishing houses all over the world. It aims to foster the mutual exchange of knowledge and culture between different nations.

Six prizes are awarded by geographical area. Oratia joins fellow New Zealand publisher OneTree House, and Australian publishers Magadala Books, Scribble Kids Books and Windy Hollow Books, on the shortlist for Oceania. Click here to see the full shortlists.

The award will be decided by votes from exhibitors attending the Bologna Children's Book Fair from 26–29 March 2018.


Children's books make up approximately 40% of our annual publication list, with a focus on evocative picture books, Māori culture and, increasingly, non-fiction for children and young adults.

Carolyn Lagahetau, Editorial Director
As Publisher, I'd like to give credit for this nomination to Carolyn Lagahetau, Editorial Director of Oratia Media and a long-time champion of children's literature in New Zealand.

Carolyn's guiding hand, author relations and professionalism have given rise to a collection of books that are fun, informative and produced to the highest standards.

Our appreciation to the Bologna Children's Book Fair for this honour. The winners will be announced at the official opening of the fair — the world's premiere gathering of children's books — in Bologna, Italy on Monday 26 March.

— Peter Dowling, Publisher, Oratia Books

Exhibitors can get to vote through a link to the book fair website:
Express your vote on the reserved area at this link
Please log in using your Exhibitor username and password and choose your candidates.
Do not forget, you will be able to choose only one candidate for each geographical area.
Please take note that the poll service is available until March 8th 2018.


Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Plaudits continue for The Camera in the Crowd

There’s been no let-up in the positive reception to Christopher Pugsley’s major work on the early years of film in New Zealand.

Russell Baillie’s review in the Listener summarises The Camera in the Crowd in an informed and readable summary:

For Newshub, Tony Wright picked up on some of the key First World War footage featured in the book, filmed by Henry Armytage Sanders:

And reviewing the book for Radio Southland, Terry Toner described it as “a mighty gift to the country!!”.

A key element of the book is the linkages it provides to the actual film, much of which can be viewed on the website of Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision, the national film and sound archive in Wellington. 

Photos and text are part of the Ngā Taonga home page:

Christopher Pugsley will be talking about the book and sharing imagery with Chris Bourke at the Writers and Readers Festival in Wellington on 11 March:

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Where was Woolly Wally?

Having a laugh is unavoidable when working with creative people like Dawn McMillan and Ross Kinnaird, authors of bestselling children’s picture books. 

Having a lunch with Dawn, Ross and the Oratia team that brings their books to publication has become a fixture at the start of each year. Dawn always manages a surprise related to work in progress, unveiled at lunch in the Northcote Tavern on Auckland’s North Shore last week . 

With Ross having just finished the redesign of their classic Woolly Wally, a sheepish tale about a ram who’s king of the flock, things took a pretty silly turn. Thanks, Dawn, for your craft genius. 

We agreed not to tag any of the team on social media, though perhaps a bit of sheep dip is on order.


Woolly Wally will be back in stores in his fabulous new livery in June this year (ISBN 978-0-947506-42-1). 

Friday, December 22, 2017

Farewell to the much-loved Paul Greenberg

It was with great sadness that we learned this week of the passing of Paul Greenberg after a long illness.

That sadness has been shared throughout the book trade, of which Paul was a respected and beloved member.

Paul had joined the book trade in the late 1960s as a sales representative for A.H. & A.W. Reed, and over the subsequent 50 years worked with and for many of the great publishers and booksellers.

The inimitable Mr Greenberg – known for his charm, professionalism, sartorial elegance and gentlemanly ways – was the consummate sales rep.

With his partner Joan Roulston, Paul had operated Greene Phoenix Marketing over the past two decades, travelling the length and breadth of the country to market local and international books.

They enthusiastically represented Oratia Books in most of the North Island from 2009 until 2017, when health reasons obliged Paul reluctantly to “hang up his slate”.

See this summary of his contribution from Booksellers NZ this week.


Paul, thank you for all you did for us. Things won't be the same without you.
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