Thursday, July 10, 2014

The New Zealand Wars - A Brief History

The New Zealand Wars
A Brief History

Matthew Wright

The legacy of the New Zealand Wars is all around us, but for the most part we are ignorant of how it has shaped our society – and the remnants the conflict left on the landscape.

While the far-flung places where our soldiers fought in the World Wars are rightly commemorated and cared for, most of the New Zealand War sites have been neglected.

Today, many of the battle sites are half-forgotten, but we can still find them,’ says historian Matthew Wright. ‘We can stand where battles were fought — in a few cases, even within some of our towns and cities.’

From the first shots in the Bay of Islands (with its bullet-marked Christ Church in Russell) to the closing manoeuvres in the King Country, Wright sets out to clarify and characterise the
conflicts that raged from 1845 to 1872.

The New Zealand Wars brings to life this history in full colour, with the help of plentiful photos and maps. Readers of all ages will be able not only to understand this key part of our history, but also connect with the battle sites that remain – for the most part – hard to find.

The author: Matthew Wright is a prolific writer and historian who is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society at University College, London. His most recent work is the Bateman Illustrated History of New Zealand. He lives in Wellington.

Release Date:  29 July 2014  |  ISBN: 978-1-877514-68-5  | RRP $29.99
Paperback, 210 x 160 mm, 88 pages, full colour

To arrange an interview, review copy, images or extracts, contact:
Peter Dowling - 027 614 8993
Libro International, a division of Oratia Media

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Tim Tipene a star for Matariki

Children's author Tim Tipene will appear at the Ranui Library in West Auckland this Saturday 12 July as part of their Matariki (Māori New Year) programme. Get along to hear Tim in action. 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Planting a seed for Brazilian-New Zealand relations

We were privileged to host Brazilian children’s book author Diego Albuquerque for a week-long author tour last week. 

Diego was visiting from his home in Rio de Janeiro to promote Snowy the Doganaut, the English edition of his classic picture book Branquinho, O Dognauta (illustrated by Felipe Vellozo, translated by Peter Dowling). Libro International has world English rights to the book, and it is now available at good bookstores for $19.99 (32 pages, full colour - with a few signed copies on the market now!).

Diego Albuquerque appeared at this year's Festa Junina event at the Centre Court cafe in Albany, reading to an enthusiastic audience of bilingual kids and parents.
Diego began his visit with a pōwhiri and talk at Thames South School, and went on to appear at an official launch at the Embassy of Brazil in Wellington, seminars at Victoria University of Wellington and the University of Auckland, a signing session at the Dorothy Butler Children’s Bookshop, readings at schools and an early childhood centre, and a special appearance at Brasileirinho’s Festa Junina festival in Albany.

At a cultural level this week was important - it’s apparently the first time a Brazilian author has been promoted by a New Zealand publisher. The visit was made possible by funding from Apex-Brasil, the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency, and helped by the Brazilian publisher, Gryphus Editora. Sincere thanks also to the Embassy of Brazil in Wellington, particularly Ambassador Eduardo Gradilone and Cultural Sector Adviser Karina Shaw, for their outstanding support.

At Victoria University: from left, Marco Sonzogni, Director, New Zealand Centre for Literary Translation; Peter Dowling, Publisher, Libro International; Diego Albuquerque; H.E. Eduardo Gradilone, Ambassador of Brazil.
Marco Sonzogni of Victoria University’s New Zealand Centre for Literary Translation aptly described Snowy as the planting of a seed for future links between South America and New Zealand. With small audiences for some events and difficulty getting the book into mainstream bookstores, it certainly felt like breaking ground for Diego and me during our tour.

But this is a seed we certainly hope to nurture with translations of more Latin American authors into English and promotion of New Zealand authors into Spanish and Portuguese. The enthusiasm of young readers especially provided the inspiration to do more.

Obrigado Diego – it was an amazing time with you in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Peter Dowling, Publisher

Reading Snowy the Doganaut at ABC Learning Centre in Auckland.
Jeremy Rose, Radio New Zealand National reporter, interviewing Diego for the Sunday programme, 
click here to listen to the interview.
Diego visited several schools in New Zealand. Here he is pictured in front of Thames South School where he was received with a traditional Maori welcome from the children (below)
A young reader devours the Portuguese edition at the Festa Junina in Albany, Auckland.
Diego at The Dorothy Butler Children's Bookshop, where he appeared for a book signing on Sunday 22 June

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Kiwi publisher brings Brazilian children’s classic to New Zealand

Rio de Janeiro author Diego Albuquerque lands in New Zealand on Monday 16 June to promote the English translation of his classic book Branquinho, O Dognauta by Auckland publisher Peter Dowling

Diego Albuquerque
As the World Cup focuses attention on Brazil, Auckland-based Libro International is celebrating the vibrant culture and writing of the great South American nation.

Published today, Snowy the Doganaut is the first English edition of a classic children’s book, written as a boy by Rio de Janeiro author Diego Albuquerque.

Peter Dowling    
Peter Dowling, who learned Portuguese in northeastern Brazil in 1990,translated the work after signing English rights from Rio-based publisher Gisela Zincone at last year’s Frankfurt Book Fair.
“New Zealanders and Brazilians share a sense of tolerance and openness,” he said. “Diego’s hilarious book shows young readers about accepting difference in others through the story of a strange dog from Pluto who comes to Rio in a UFO.                                                                                                            
“This bestselling book can showcase a little of Brazil’s rich culture, beyond the fabulous soccer and samba that will be on our TV screens for the next month."                                                                                                                                                              
Diego Albuquerque will be appearing at public events and in schools in Auckland, Wellington and the Waikato during his one-week visit.                                                        

Snowy the Doganaut will be officially launched at the Embassy of Brazil in Wellington on 19 June.

Snowy the Doganaut Diego Albuquerque Illustrated by Felipe Vellozo Translated by Peter Dowling
ISBN: 978-1-877514-62-3  |  32 pages, colour  |  RRP $19.99

To arrange any media coverage in English or Portuguese, contact:
Peter Dowling - 027 614 8993
Libro International, a division of Oratia Media   |

Friday, May 23, 2014

Libro International 2014 - final publishing dates and covers

We're pleased to have finalised dates and covers for the eight books on our 2014 list. Here's the Libro International programme that we're sending out to the book trade now.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Snowy the Doganaut author to visit NZ in June

Snowy the Doganaut
Diego Albuquerque

Brazilian children’s book author and editor Diego Albuquerque is to visit New Zealand from 16 – 22 June to promote his book Snowy the Doganaut.

The book is an established bestseller of Brazilian children’s literature, and has been translated into English for the first time by Peter Dowling, the Auckland-based publisher of Libro International.

It tells the fun story of a strange dog who comes from outer space to challenge people’s view of coping with difference. It goes on sale on 12 June, the day the soccer World Cup kicks off in Brazil.

The Embassy of Brazil will host an official launch for the book in Wellington on Thursday 19 June, and further children’s events are planned in the capital, Auckland and the Waikato.

Diego speaks good English, and will be available for media and school appearances during his visit.

The author:
Diego Albuquerque is an author, editor and screenwriter who lives in Rio de Janeiro. He became Brazil’s youngest published author when this book was released in 1982.

Release Date: 12 June 2014  |  ISBN: 978-1-877514-62-3  | RRP $19.99
Paperback, 200 x 200 mm, 32 pages, full colour

To arrange an interview, images, extracts or a review copy, contact:
Peter Dowling - 027 614 8993
Libro International, a division of Oratia Media   |

Monday, May 5, 2014

Outstanding response to an "amazing book"

Tania Simpson
Tania Simpson's The Last Maopo has received an enthusiastic reception from readers and reviewers.

Newstalk ZB host Danny Watson described it as "the most amazing book I've read in ages". 

Other coverage of the book has ranged from national TV (Te Karere, Good Morning, Marae Investigates) to local print (the Christchurch Mail, the Press, Waitomo News). 

The Last Maopo was launched on Anzac Day with a powhiri and kawe mate at Ngati Moki marae in Taumutu, south of Christchurch.

Tania spoke of the journey she had taken in reconnecting with the subject of the book, her great-grandfather Wiremu Maopo, while local historians Garth Cant, Dr. Terry Ryan and Rosaline Brown shared their memories of the Maopo whānau and the Leeston/Southbridge community. 

Dr Terry Ryan
The Last Maopo is available from all good booksellers.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Monday, April 14, 2014

Backside goes Stateside!

Well-known New York publisher Dover Publications has acquired North American rights to our bestselling children’s book I Need a New Bum!
The deal, initiated at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2013 and finalised recently, will see a North American edition released within the next year.
Dover will retitle the book I Need a New Butt! to ensure the right message gets across to North American readers.
Congratulations and thanks to author Dawn McMillan and illustrator Ross Kinnaird whose fine work grabbed the interest of Dover’s team.
We are delighted to be working with Dover to take this hilarious and popular book to US and Canadian readers.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Read about The Last Maopo on the New Zealand WW100 website

The Last Maopoa book to be officially launched on Anzac Day 2014, provides insight into the Māori experience of the First World War by retelling the life of Ngāi Tahu soldier Wiremu Maopo. Through more than 40 letters to his friend Virgie Fincham at his home outside Christchurch, Wiremu depicts the robust contribution the Māori Pioneer Battalion made to the First World War – despite official attempts to keep them away from frontline duties Read more

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Last Maopo - a unique story from the First World War

A new book on sale this Thursday provides unprecedented insight into the Māori experience of the First World War by retelling the life of Ngāi Tahu soldier Wiremu Maopo.

Through more than 40 letters to his friend Virgie Fincham at his home outside Christchurch, Wiremu depicts the robust contribution the Māori Pioneer Battalion made to the First World War – despite official attempts to keep them away from frontline duties.

Back home, friendly relations between Māori and Pākehā – embodied in the warm letters between Wiremu and Virgie – masked tragedy and discrimination. All of Wiremu’s siblings died in childhood or later in life and after the war, he ironically becomes the sole survivor of his once large family.

Wiremu had left for the war unaware that his Pākehā girlfriend Phoebe was pregnant. Her outraged parents told Phoebe that Wiremu was dead and forced the adoption of their daughter.
Neither Wiremu nor Phoebe ever learned the truth, and only now has the family line been revived by the work of Tania Simpson, a leading businesswoman who is Wiremu’s great-granddaughter.

“This is a personal story but one that sheds light on the sacrifices Māori made in contributing to the First World War, and the challenges they faced in early New Zealand,” she said.

The book will be officially launched at Ngati Moki marae in Taumutu, near Leeston, on Anzac Day.

The Life and First World War Sacrifice of Wiremu Maopo           
Tania Te Rangingangana Simpson
Release Date:  10 April 2014  |  ISBN: 978-1-877514-66-1  | RRP $34.99

Paperback, 240 x 170 mm, 160 pages, b&w with photos

Libro International, a division of Oratia Media   |

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

New representation for Auckland

Well-known book rep Paul Greenberg is now handling Libro International books for Auckland bookstores. 

Paul's agency Greene Phoenix Marketing has represented our books south of the Bombays since 2009, and we look forward to his extending that work in Auckland. Paul (pictured) is one of New Zealand's most experienced book marketers, ably supported by partner Joan Roulston. Paul can be contacted on 
or 021 722 210. 

We extend our sincere thanks to Bruce Campbell for all the work he has done introducing our new list to the book trade in Auckland and Northland over the past four and a half years. His vast experience in the trade and unflappable good humour have helped Libro International greatly. Bruce will continue to provide advice for marketing to bookstores in Northland.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Te Ara: Te Hokinga Mai

Te Ara: Māori Pathways of Leadership, the exhibition of taonga and Krzysztof Pfeiffer photography curated by Paul Tapsell and Merata Kawharu, returns to Aotearoa on Friday 28 March. Te Ara has toured Poland, the UK, Germany and Canada for more than three years and now will go on show at the Rotorua Museum, where a pōwhiri on Friday will welcome a delegation from the Musqueam Indian Band of Vancouver, who are escorting Te Ara home. 

Ngā mihi mahana ki a Krzysztof, Merata rāua ko Paul mo tō koutou mahi whakamīharo.

Libro International is proud to publish the accompanying book Te Ara. Oratia Media has supported the exhibition with project management since its inauguration in Olstyn, Poland in September 2010.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

A sea story from Tessa Duder

In the March issue of North & South magazine Tessa Duder writes about sailing from Australia to New Zealand in the first Trans-Tasman Tall Ships race. 

Tessa combines a deep knowledge of sailing with a rare storytelling flair. 

In 2012 Libro International published her book The Story of Peter Blake, the life of one of our most famous sailors retold for younger readers; and this November we're delighted to be releasing her new collection Sea Stories, a dozen short stories about children and young people living and learning on boats. 

One of the stories took inspiration from Tessa's recent voyage - but we can't give any more away than that just yet!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

From PANZ News: Taipei International Book Exhibition in review

In PANZ News today: Kiwi publishers in Taiwan

Peter Dowling of Oratia Media made his first visit to TIBE this year. He appreciated the size of the fair, and having good qualities of time and access to build relationships with Taiwanese and other publishers.

Click here to read the full story.