Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Nanny Mihi is back to stay for the school hols

In a series of picture books published by Reed up until 2006, writer Melanie Drewery and illustrator Tracy Duncan developed the world of the warm and wise Nanny Mihi. 

The late John McIntyre of the Children’s Bookshop in Wellington was among a number of book lovers who lamented the end of the series.

So when Melanie Drewery approached Oratia with a new Nanny Mihi story, we leapt at the chance to remake this beloved kuia (grandmother). 

Melanie resumed her collaboration with artist Tracy Duncan (both live in the Nelson area), and a fresh look and feel for Nanny and the books emerged.

Nanny Mihi and the Bellbird thus marks both a return and a new departure — in time for the winter school holidays. 

In this colourful picture book, Nanny Mihi welcomes her grandchildren to stay with her during every school break. 

On one holiday Nanny introduces her mokopuna to the beautiful melody of a visiting bellbird, and they even teach him to sing a song they have created!

However, bellbird does not visit them on their next holiday with Nanny. Where has he gone?

When the bird returns to sing with some babies along, Nanny explains: “He is a she and she has come to show you her tamariki’.

Their song will live on forever, and we hope the same will be true for Nanny.
Melanie Drewery
Tracy Duncan
Publication Date: 10 July 2018 |  ISBN: 978-0-947506-36-0 |  RRP $19.99
Paperback, 230 x 215 mm, 32 pages colour

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Woolly Wally gets a sheep-sized makeover

A flash new edition of that popular shaggy sheep's tale Woolly Wally is out tomorrow. 

Illustrator extraordinaire Ross Kinnaird has redrawn all the illustrations in a bold, graphic style that takes this captivating picture book by Dawn McMillan into the top paddock. 
Wally is the sheep supreme, the master of his flock, proud to be the handsome head of his faithful ewes.
But pride, as they say, comes before a fall — or in Wally’s case, a date with the shearing shed. What will Wally and his flock learn once they have lost their fine fleeces? 

First published in 2006, Woolly Wally is a great read for kids of all ages. 

Read more about author Dawn McMillan and illustrator Ross Kinnaird:

Woolly Wally  ISBN: 978-0-947506-42-1  RRP $19.99

Paperback, 230 x 215 mm 
32 pages colour

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Bologna Book Fair in New Zealand Books, New Zealand in Books Ireland

New Zealand books, authors and publishers on the international stage feature in two publications out now.

Peter's report on the Publishers Association of New Zealand (PANZ) presence at this year's Bologna Children's Book Fair is in the latest edition of New Zealand Books Pukapuka Aotearoa.

Click here to go to the New Zealand Books website and find out about getting your copy of this valuable publication.

Meanwhile, the Irish book trade magazine Books Ireland features New Zealand in its latest edition, billing this on its cover as 'New Zealand: So far, so close'.

The coverage stems from PANZ's hosting of current Publishing Ireland President Ivan O'Brien on a visit to New Zealand last year, supported by Creative New Zealand's Te Manu Ka Tau programme.

Ivan reports in the magazine on his ongoing exchanges with New Zealand the similarities and differences between his market and ours.

Also featured in Books Ireland's March/April 2018 edition are Anton Blank's analysis of contemporary Māori writing, an article on Māori publishing and a visit to Time Out Books in Auckland all feature.

For more visit the Books Ireland website.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Ministers, MPs and guests celebrate the launch of Heke Tangata

A host of government ministers, MPs, dignitaries and leaders in the Māori and political world were in attendance for this morning's launch of Heke Tangata: Māori in Markets and Cities at Parliament, Wellington. 

An indication of the book's importance was that Finance Minister Grant Robertson found time to attend, just two days out from his government's first budget. 

Hosting by the Hon. Willie Jackson, the launch showcased not only this work but distinguished author Brian Easton's long-standing commitment to front the facts about Māori disadvantage and achievement. 

A photo gallery of the breakfast launch follows; for more on the book, see coverage in the National Business Review and the Oratia website.

Heke Tangata  ISBN: 978-0-947506-43-8  RRP $29.99
Paperback with flaps, 234 x 153 mm 
132 pages black & white

Monday, May 14, 2018

Heke Tangata: Māori in Markets and Cities

Eminent economist Brian Easton tracks the realities of Māori in the market economy in this statistically rich work. Heke Tangata provides the hard facts as to why Māori remain approximately a generation behind the living standards of other New Zealanders.

The book will be launched tomorrow in Parliament, in the meantime you can read this report on The National Business Review and watch the interview with John Tamihere, chief executive of West Auckland-based Te Whanau o Waipareira Trust.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Reflecting on Anzac Day through words, images and books

Author Christopher Pugsley featured in Radio New Zealand's extensive Anzac Day 2018 coverage yesterday — offering his reflections on twentieth-century conflicts, commemorations, and the filming of early military activity as captured in his latest book, The Camera in the Crowd:

Click here to catch his interview with Colin Peacock.

There's also a link  to film of the New Zealand Field Artillery in France on Radio New Zealand's Anzac Day page.

Oratia's latest addition to the history of New Zealand military service is Paul Harrison's Seek and Destroy: The History of 3 Squadron RNZAF, which was published on 5 April (see information here).

Nigel Hopkins of Beach FM, Kapiti spoke with Paul about the book on 23 April. 

On 12 April, Paul and Retired Colonel Roger Pearce (who contributed an appendix about the squadron's activities in Malaysia and Vietnam) presented a copy of Seek and Destroy to Carolyn Carr, Chief Librarian of the New Zealand Defence Force Library.
From left: Paul Harrison, Carolyn Carr and Roger Pearce
For more about these and other military history titles, check out the Oratia website's books page

Friday, April 6, 2018

A colourful history of New Zealand Air Force's helicopter division

Out now, Seek and Destroy is the official history of the machines and personnel in a unique squadron of the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF).

‘Kimihia Ka Patu – Seek and Destroy’ is the motto of No.3 Squadron RNZAF, yet for most of its history this has been a helicopter squadron serving to support peacekeeping and civil operations.

Well known as the home of military helicopters from the Sioux and Iroquois to the current NH90 and A109, No.3 Squadron Royal New Zealand Air Force has had a colourful history over more than 80 years. It formed as a Territorial squadron in Christchurch in 1930, beginning a long association with Canterbury.
Flying Hudsons and Venturas, it was the first RNZAF unit to engage the Japanese during the Second World War, and in the post-war period flew Tiger Moths, Harvards and Mustangs. Disbanded in 1957, it reformed in 1965 as a joint service squadron and became a helicopter unit in 1972.

Operations since have seen personnel and helicopters in action from the UK and the Sinai to East Timor and Antarctica. Pilots from the squadron served in South Vietnam. It has provided cyclone relief throughout the Pacific and civil emergencies at home.
This deluxe hardback includes 265 black & white photos and maps, and 94 colour plates, bringing together stories of the operations and exercises conducted over its lifetime.

Paul Harrison

Author Paul Harrison served for 35 years in the RNZAF and was for 15 years its unofficial historian. He is the author or co-author of 11 published works on New Zealand aviation, with an emphasis on military aviation. He has been the editor of the RNZSA Review and Aerolegacy, and a correspondent for Aviation News. Now retired, he lives with his family in Papaparaumu

ISBN: 978-0-947506-45-2   RRP $85

Hardback with jacket, 260 x 200 mm 
388 pages (336 b&w, 52 colour)

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Coming home to the Bologna Children’s Book Fair 2018

The Piazza Maggiore in central Bologna
It was a thrill for me to represent Oratia at the four-day Bologna Children’s Book Fair last week. 

Although it was our first time there, it was a little like a homecoming: my wife and co-director Alessandra Zecchini hails from the next-door province of Modena.
At the opening ceremony on Monday 26 March

The world’s premium event for children’s books takes place in the Bologna Fiere, just outside the historic centre of this city that hosts Europe’s oldest university and a rich gastronomic tradition. As fairgoers enthuse, it’s impossible to eat badly in Bologna.

The PANZ stand, with our assistant Giulia Bondioli ready for business
Oratia joined the Publishers Association of New Zealand stand along with literary agent Frances Plumpton and five other publishers (Black Chook Books, Gecko Press, Millwood Press, OneTree House and Upstart Press). We also represented David Ling’s Publishing superb children’s imprint, Duck Creek Press. 

Opening day: from left Frances Plumpton, Peter, Kathryn Enchmarch (Black Chook Press) and Sophie Siers (Millwood Press)
The stand may have been small, but its location in a busy aisle of the fair’s Hall 25 ensured a prominent showing of New Zealand picture books, junior and young adult fiction and non-fiction, as well as a special display of works by Joy Cowley (who was shortlisted for the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award). 

The Hans Christian Award Finalists list; Japan's Eiko Kadono took the authors award ahead of a strong list including Joy Cowley
All present had a steady train of meetings with publishers and agents from many countries, and a good number of walk-ons the stand. Copies of our Bologna brochure, featuring new titles and our children’s backlist, and of the Duck Creek Press catalogue, lasted just till the final afternoon on Thursday 29 March. 
Oratia Books and Duck Crek Press titles on the NZ stand
Oratia Book's 12 Huia Birds on display along with other nominees for the BOP Bologna Prize for Best Childrens Publisher of the Year. OneTree House won the Oceania Award for 2018.
Fair regulars remarked that the fair was busier than in previous years — no surprise given that the exhibitor total of 1390 was up by 8.6% from the previous year. That activity speaks to the good times for children’s and young adult books worldwide, with growing sales and profile despite slowing birth rates in many Western countries. 

Including visiting publishers, authors and illustrators, over 100 countries were represented — with China, as this year’s country of honour, putting up an especially strong showing. 

Peter Dowling with Elena Pasoli, Director of the Bologna Children's Book Fair
The Kiwi presence was well noted, with Fair Director Elena Pasoli telling me it was “a great source of pride to have New Zealand at the fair.” Creative New Zealand not only enabled the stand, but also supported a presentation by Taupo-based illustrator-author Donovan Bixley, and Publishers Association hosting of Sarah Mullen, director of the UK’s Bournville BookFest for children’s books. 

Donovan Bixley with Sarah Mullen of the Bournville BookFest
Links made at Bologna are set to lead to more international distribution, editions and opportunities for our fab children’s writers. Alla prossima, allora!

– Peter Dowling

Friday, March 23, 2018

Te Hokowhitu a Tu returns under Oratia Books imprint

Back in print ahead of Anzac Day 2018, Te Hokowhitu a Tu is an authoritative account of the role played by Maori and Pacific Islanders in the First World War.

Maori soldiers signing up for the Great War representing a formidable
fighting force – Te Hokowhitu a Tu, or the Seventy twice-told warriors of the war
god, Tumatauenga.

Paternalistic concern kept the Maori Pioneer Battalion kept most in roles as support troops, although their strong desire to fight saw numerous exploits in the front lines — and their overall war efforts won them significant rights as full citizens once they got back home.

Drawing on rare archival material and previously unpublished diaries and
letters, Te Hokowhitu a Tu balances the military story with a portrait of daily life for soldiers who laboured not only against the enemy but also racism behind their own lines.

Author Christopher Pugsley is an internationally recognised military historian. A retired Lieutenant-Colonel in the New Zealand Army, he was a lecturer in military studies in New Zealand and Australia, and retired in 2012 as a Senior Lecturer at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. Recent works with Oratia include the magnificent The Camera in the Crowd: Filming New Zealand in Peace and War, 1895–1920 (2017) and a new edition of The Anzac Experience: New Zealand, Australia and Empire in the First World War.

ISBN: 978-0-947506-38-4  |  RRP $45
Paperback with flaps, 297 x 210 mm, 148 pages b&w

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