Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Italian Presidential honour for Oratia's Alessandra Zecchini

Italian President Sergio Mattarella has awarded Alessandra Zecchini, Media Director and co-founder of Oratia Media, the title of Cavaliere dell’Ordine della Stella d’Italia for services to Italian culture and foreign relations. 

Italian Ambassador Fabrizio Marcelli (right) awards the Cavaliere honour to Alessandra Zecchini on Sunday 28 October
The state honour — which translates as Knight of the Order of the Star of Italy — is bestowed on Italians and foreigners who have promoted relations between Italy and other countries. It also reflects on the promotion of Italian culture in the world. 

His Excellency Fabrizio Marcelli, Italian Ambassador to New Zealand, awarded the honour on Sunday at the annual Festival Italiano street festival in Newmarket, Auckland.

Born in Milan and raised in the province of Modena, Alessandra Zecchini immigrated to New Zealand in 1997, settled in West Auckland and founded Oratia Media with husband Peter Dowling in 2000.

The insignia for the Knight of the Order of the Star of Italy

As a writer and editor Zecchini has helped direct the company over many years, and contributed to publication of a number of Italian books in New Zealand. She has herself produced numerous articles about Italian food, culture and travel, and authored three recipe books

Zecchini has been widely active in the Italian community. She is a long-standing committee member and former President of the Società Dante Alighieri di Auckland, and a representative on the Com.It.Es Wellington. She has taught Italian language and culture at the Dante Society for over 20 years. 

Since 2006 she has been Director of the annual Festival Italiano Auckland, which is the country’s largest Italian cultural event, and among Auckland’s busiest ethnic festivals. 

She has promoted Italian cuisine widely, and founded the Slow Food Waitakere chapter,  now Slow Food Auckland, the country’s most active group of the Italian-based food network. 

Alessandra Zecchini, Media Director of Oratia Media
“I am greatly honoured to receive this recognition and thank all the wonderful Italian and New Zealand friends and family who have helped to make it all possible,” Zecchini said.

“The honour recognises the strong bonds between our countries, something we saw wonderfully at Sunday’s street festival.”

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Brought to life: New Zealand's pivotal last battle of the First World War

The New Zealand Division’s capture of the French town of Le Quesnoy was its last and most successful action in the First World War. 

An authoritative new book on the campaign will be launched in Le Quesnoy on 4 November as part of the inauguration of a New Zealand Memorial Museum — 100 years on from those desperate days. 

The book is on sale in New Zealand from 25 October. 

In an action that made the front page of the New York Times, Kiwi troops scaled the town walls by ladder and overwhelmed the defenders, freeing Le Quesnoy from years of German occupation. 

Drawing on his detailed knowledge of the landscape and those involved, distinguished military historian Christopher Pugsley puts together the story with his mastery of drama — while paying tribute to the New Zealanders who died (and whose details are fully recorded here for the first time). 

Richly illustrated with maps, photographs and paintings of the battle by George Butler, Le Quesnoy 1918 is a passionate account of how the Great War ended.

The battle and the book will be the subject of a major feature in the Listener magazine, to be published this Friday. 

Dr Christopher Pugsley is one of New Zealand’s leading historians. A retired Lieutenant-Colonel in the New Zealand Army, he was a lecturer in military studies in New Zealand, Australia and UK until his retirement in 2012. His first book, Gallipoli: The New Zealand Story remains in print in its fifth edition; his most recent work was the monumental The Camera in the Crowd: Filming New Zealand in Peace and War, 1895–1920, published last December with a foreword by Sir Peter Jackson. 

Publication: 25 October 2018  |  ISBN: 978-0-947506-49-0  |  RRP $39.99
Paperback, 297 x 210 mm portrait, 168 pages (8 pages colour)

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Celebrating Festival Italiano 2018 with the amazing Food Atlas

To mark the Festival Italiano season of 2018 in Auckland, Oratia is giving away a copy of our own Italian creation — the amazing Food Atlas

Authored by Italian writer-illustrator duo Giulia Malerba and Febe Sillani, Food Atlas comes to us via Dalcò Edizioni, an outstanding publisher of food and children’s books that is based in Parma. 

First published in Italy only last year, Food Atlas is a big, sumptuous hardback (RRP$39.99) that shows the food cultures of the world on hand-drawn maps packed with detail and fun. 

New Zealand has its own page, and from the enthusiastic presentation it’s clear that Italians appreciate the fresh and varied cuisine that we have to offer — just as Kiwis visiting the festival day in Newmarket will savour great Italian food and drink. 

Food Atlas has already sold well over 150,000 copies worldwide in 18 languages, and Oratia is delighted to have published the Oceania edition on 3 October (Australia and Fiji also feature). Febe's blog

To enter in the draw for a copy of Food Atlas, go to the Oratia Facebook page.
Food Atlas: Discover All the Delicious Foods of the World  | ISBN: 978-0-947506-51-3 
Hardback, 370 x 270 mm, 72 pages colour | RRP $39.99


Friday, October 19, 2018

Reflections on the Frankfurt Book Fair 2018

Image result for frankfurt buchmesse 2018 logo

With almost a week and 18,000 km of distance since this year's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's major publishing event can be viewed with healthy perspective.

There's simply no event like this global gathering of book people and the opportunity to showcase New Zealand authors, illustrators, designers and editors to the world is unique.

Front of house with style: PANZ Director Catriona Ferguson and Stand Manager Heike Reifgens on the NZ stand
Some of the NZ publisher crew on the opening morning, from left: Joy and Beau Davidson (DHD Publishing), Dame Wendy Pye (Sunshine Books), Linda Cassells (Calico Publishing), Catriona Ferguson (PANZ), Tracy Strudley (Global Education Systems), yours truly (Oratia) and Nicola Smith (Essential Resources)
Having a collective stand organised by the Publishers Association of New Zealand (PANZ) made it possible for our nine publishers to be there, helped by the contribution of Creative New Zealand and Education New Zealand.

Our stand in Hall 6.0 was striking and easy to access, with ample space for meetings or for visitors to walk on and pick up a book.

We shared our floor with collective stands from Australia, Canada, Israel, the UK and the US,a longside major multinationals like Hachette and HarperCollins, independent publishers and a host of publishing services companies (printers, freight forwarders, distributors and more).

This was the 70th Frankfurt Book Fair, and the organisers matched that anniversary with the same milestone for the Univeral Declaration on Human Rights to underpin the need for a free, fair and open book industry worldwide.
Gathering for the official opening of the fair, which welcomed the Prime Minister of Georgia (this year's guest country)
The impressive Federica Mogherini, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, addresses the official opening with reflections on human rights, culture and the key role of the book
A public lending library in
Gallus, Frankfurt

Georgia made for a fascinating guest of honour, with its long literary tradition, unique alphabet and history of struggle for independence.

Wearing hats as publisher for Oratia, representative for Massey University Press and Te Papa Press, and president of PANZ meant a packed schedule. As a consequence I didn't get to stroll the corridors of the six massive halls much, but from the scores of meetings and events the Kiwis engaged in, there was a reassurance about the place of publishing in the world.

Numbers of professional visitors at the fair might have been slightly down, with the Friday's foot trade rather quiet, while concerns about persecution and populist politicians are worrying many.

A little corner of Frankfurt was Oratia ...
But there is also undoubted confidence in the book's place in modern society, excitement in the growth of audio and consumer desire for beautifully designed and printed work, and greater coherence in international links.

PANZ is liaising ever more closely with fellow associations and book fair organisers in countries like Canada, China, Ireland, Italy and Mexico, considering shared issues (copyright is a hot topic). The opening evening of the fair saw a repeat of our Irish and New Zealand publisher dinner.

IPA President-elect Hugo Setzer (right), who visited New Zealand in June for the PANZ International Conference, visited our stand on the Friday while I was meeting Indonesian agent Alda Trisda (second from right)
Talk of fairs to come: David Unger (centre), international representative of the Guadalajara International Book Fair, with interested Kiwi publishers
Having Auckland University Press director Sam Elworthy on the Executive Committee of the International Publishers Association adds further to this international engagement. New Zealand simply has to be at the table when global issues of copyright and freedom to publish are debated.

As for the books on Oratia's stands – the runaway social-media success of I Need a New Bum! drew further attention to our picture books, while there was much admiration for the fine illustrated works from Te Papa and Massey, particularly the stunning Tatau: A History of Sāmoan Tattooing.
Blue skies, hot days – a most non-autumnal Frankfurt ...

... but inside, the normal bustle and business

The Frankfurter Messe was, as ever, really crowded, though as the following statement from the book fair reports, marginally quieter on the professional days than in 2017. Perhaps it was the weather – never I experienced such hot days for the fair, leaving those of us emerging from the southern hemisphere winter sweltering. We will need to prepare for climate-change fairs from now on.

Frankfurt, 14 October 2018 – The 70th Frankfurter Buchmesse ended with an increase of 0.8 percent in visitors at the weekend and a slight decrease of 1.8 percent during the trade visitor days. A total of 285,024 (2017: 286,425) visitors attended the fair, 0.5 percent less than in 2017. Overall, international attendance increased at the fair this year, both in terms of exhibitors and trade visitors. With 7,503 exhibitors from 109 countries taking part at this year’s Frankfurter Buchmesse, the fair experienced a slight increase. The Literary Agents & Scouts Centre (LitAg) also grew once again, with 528 booked tables (2017: 500 tables), 795 agents (788) and 337 agencies (321) from 31 countries, including 19 new agencies. A total of 3,000 people took part in the conferences and workshops in THE ARTS+ area, while 125,000 people visited the innovative area in Hall 4.1. The BOOKFEST events in the Frankfurt Pavilion and in the city attracted 25,000 visitors.

“As the most international event of its kind, Frankfurter Buchmesse is the ideal place to discuss topics affecting the global community. We saw a noticeable increase in the need for political participation; the desire is increasing to represent one’s own position and participate in the public discourse. A number of topics predominated during this year’s activities, including the importance of human rights, along with displacement and migration, populism and civic engagement. During the trade visitor days, the focus was on international book markets and industry trends,” said Juergen Boos, Director of Frankfurter Buchmesse. Many trade publishers said of this year's fair that business was strong, from the connections they made to the titles they bought and sold.

For more, click on this link.

Wiewed with a bit of hindsight, it is still the relationships that make Frankfurt. No number of phone calls or emails can substitute for the face-to-face contact, the casual meetings, the friendships that after years lead to a deal or the ability to kick off an introduction to another NZ publisher.

With Erivan Gomez, publisher of Telos Editora, which will publish the Brazilian edition of I Need a New Bum! next month
With Malaysian publisher and agent Linda Tan Lingard
Old and new friends at the New Zealand stand party last Friday:

Frankfurt has just opened up its brilliantly reconstructed old town, which had been destroyed in Second World War bombing
Auf Wiedersehen Frankfurt – bis 2019!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

A tui in our teapot, a takahe by the toaster ... and that's just the start

Children’s author Dawn McMillan and illustrator Nikki Slade Robinson hit it off after meeting on a school tour last year — and decided they must work together. 
The result is the uproarious kids' story There’s a Tui in our Teapot, rendered into te Reo Māori by distinguished translator Ngaere Roberts in this bright, bilingual birdy book.

Tui has made it into Nan’s teapot, takahe is by the toaster, kaka is tucking into the kiwifruit, kereru is starting on the apples, and that’s just part of the mayhem when the menagerie gets into the kitchen. 

Still, all ends well when Nan comes in to get the family their breakfast.

There’s not only vivid illustration, hilarious text and a fine Māori translation — but also a fun spread at the end that shares facts about the 16 native birds featured.

There's a Tui in our Teapot is out today in a smart hardback edition. 

It will be launched officially on NZ Bookshop Day, 27 October, at Books for Kids in Hamilton.

Dawn McMillan is an internationally recognised writer of children’s books who lives north of Thames. Among her many popular works are I Need a New Bum!, Why do Dogs Sniff Bottoms and Colour the StarsNikki Slade Robinson is an award-winning children’s illustrator and author who lives in Opotiki, known for titles such as Muddle and Mo and The Seven Stars of Matariki. Translator Ngaere Roberts is a teacher and expert in te Reo Māori.

Dawn McMillan
Nikki Slade Robinson

Publication Date: 16 October 2018 |  ISBN: 978-0-947506-47-6 |  RRP $24.99
Hardback, 270 x 210 mm, 32 pages colour

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Putting food on the map, globally and locally

International bestseller featuring Australia, New Zealand and Fiji comes Down Under through Oratia Books ...
Publishing in Oceania on 3 October, this is a visually stunning, content-rich book that once you pick up, is hard to put down.
Anzac biscuits, beech honey, Bluff oysters and boil-ups are just the first of an array of foods on the New Zealand map inside international bestseller Food Atlas.

The Australia spread covers an array of foods and features, including Granny Smith apples and macadamia nuts, Fairy Bread and the Pie Floater, plus gourmet entries like Australian wine.   

Sampling foods and ingredients around the world, this big, beautiful atlas guides young readers and adults on an illustrated world voyage, with a smattering of cultural and geographical information thrown in.

Hand-illustrated maps show in detail the most typical fruits and vegetables, meat, fish and cheese, cereals, beverages, herbs and spices for each region. 
The contents page of Food Atlas
One country at a time, the world of food takes shape, bringing to life the gastronomical wonders of the Earth while celebrating our different tastes and creations.

First published last year by Dalcò Edizioni – which is appropriately based in the Italian foodie haven Parma —Food Atlas has already been translated into 18 languages and sold over 150,000 copies worldwide.

Peter Dowling, Publisher of Oratia Books, closed the deal for Oceania rights with Paolo Dalcò, Publisher of  Dalcò Edizioni, at the Bologna Children's Book Fair in late March (pictured).

Paolo Dalcò (left) with Peter Dowlng at the Bologna Children's Book Fair 2018
Oratia has checked all the excellent material that the authors researched for Oceania.

Author Giulia Malerba lives in Parma, where she works as an author and editor of food books. Illustrator Febe Sillani is the celebrated author of over 80 children's books, many published internationally; she lives in Trieste, Italy.
Giulia Malerba
Febe Sillani

Now readers Down Under can also savour the tastes of the worldfrom cloudberries to tomatillos, samosa to quesadilla, and Baklava to Bløtcake. 

Publication Date: 3 October 2018 |  ISBN: 978-0-947506-51-3 |  RRP $39.99
Hardback, 370 x 270 mm, 72 pages colour

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