Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Keep an eye and ear out for Charlie!

A rather naughty dog is making his entry into bookshops around New Zealand tomorrow.

Charlie is for sale, so it’s no wonder he’s eager to please the boy who spots him in his neighbourhood. What is a wonder is that Charlie has tales to tell, each one more amazing than before. Why would a marvellous talking dog be in need of a new home?
 Oratia is proud to publish Charlie and his amazing tales — a colourful picture book for primary-school-age readers that matches Dawn McMillan’s uniquely funny rhymes with Ross Kinnaird’s zany, inventive illustration.

It’s a delight to publish books with this pair, who not only create fun stories but are also great fun to work with. And we’re so happy to hear from kids and adults who get a kick out of stories from I Need a New Bum! to Squeakopotamus.
Cheers to Charlie and to you both, Dawn and Ross, for this and your other magnificent creations (and Happy Birthday, Ross!). And heartfelt thanks also to Carolyn Lagahetau, Cheryl Smith and Belinda Cooke for helping bring the big-talking Charlie to life.

Charlie and his amazing tales
Publication Date: 5 October 2017  |  ISBN: 978-0-947506-33-9  |  RRP $19.99
Paperback, 230 x 215 mm, 32 pages colour

Monday, September 18, 2017

Te Reo edition of Pūkaki launched at Rotorua Lakes Council

Oratia's new te Reo Māori edition of Paul Tapsell’s award-winning book Pūkaki – a comet returns was launched on Thursday 14 September at the Rotorua Lakes Council during Māori Language Week.

Pūkaki — Te Hokinga Mai o te Auahitūroa represents several years of concerted work by translator, broadcaster and author Scotty Morrison, working with academic and writer Tapsell and Oratia Books.

It brings the story of the Ngāti Whakaue ancestor up to date and takes in debates over his representation on the New Zealand 20-cent coin and his relocation to the Rotorua Museum, where his future is now in question again after the museum’s closure due to earthquake damage last November.
Scotty Morrison (left) and Paul Tapsell at the launch at the Rotorua Lakes Council
Addressing the launch, Scotty Morrison reflected on his dedication to making the Pūkaki story available for future generations in accessible te Reo that yet reflects the dialect and customs of Ngāti Whakaue. The project had begun, he recalled, from a discussion he and Paul had when they met dropping their children off to a Māori-language preschool, and had become a labour of love over several years.

Paul Tapsell reminded guests at the launch of the central role that the carving of Pūkaki has played in the founding of modern Rotorua, and the responsibility that government and iwi have to ensuring his well-being.
Scotty Morrison speaking about his translation of Pūkaki
The new book would assist in that role, he said, acknowledging the support of the Ngāti Whakaue Educational Endowment Trust Board for the translation and publication.

Following the launch, Tapsell undertook a public signing of copies at McLeods Booksellers, the local bookstore noted for its commitment to books for and about Māori.

The book is now available from all good booksellers.

At McLeods Booksellers for the signing, from left: Peter Dowling (publisher, Oratia Books), Lynne Thorp (McLeods), Paul Tapsell, David Thorp (McLeods) and visiting author Tim Tipene
For more coverage, see Alice Guy's excellent report in the Daily Post. 

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Pūkaki — the comet returns in sparkling te Reo translation

Out in time for Māori Language Week 2017 (from 11 September), Pūkaki – Te Hokinga Mai o te Auahitūroa is a significant body of work in te Reo that will serve readers for years to come.

First published in English in 2000, Pūkaki – a comet returns won Paul Tapsell a Best First Book Award in the Montana Book Awards 2001. 

A grant from the Ngati Whakaue Education Endowment Trust has enabled the work to be revised — Paul has added a new chapter to bring it up to the present day – and then fully translated into Māori by TV presenter, author and te Reo advocate Scotty Te Manahau Morrison.
A page spread from Pūkaki
Scotty's translation of this large, colour work has been a significant undertaking that reflects the regional Reo of the Rotorua area.

Pūkaki — Te Hokinga Mai o te Auahitūroa records the life and transformations of Pūkaki, ancestral father of Ngāti Whakaue of Te Arawa. From mortal rangatira to icon in the Te Maori exhibition, the book follows Pūkaki on his return home to Rotorua in 1997, his representation on New Zealand’s 20-cent coin, and his subsequent relocation to the Rotorua Museum.

An asset for present and future generations of Māori speakers, Pūkaki will be blessed and presented at meeting of the Pukaki Trust in Rotorua on 14 September, during Māori Language Week. It is on sale now at all good booksellers.

Click here for more information. 

Professor Paul Tapsell
Scotty Morrison

Publication Date: 14 September 2017  |  ISBN: 978-0-947506-25-4  |  RRP $39.99
Paperback, 248 x 248 mm, 188 pages colour

Monday, September 4, 2017

12 Huia Birds in fine voice at Audiobooks NZ

How cool to see the audiobook version of Julian Stokoe and Stacy Eyle's 12 Huia Birds now online.

West Auckland start-up Audiobooks NZ has published a beautifully recorded audio version of the book by renowned actor George Henare.
Click here for the Audiobooks NZ listing of 12 Huia Birds.

Congrats to Theo Gibson and his team for offering a complement to the hardback book published by Oratia.

Almost a year since the book came out, the huia birds are in fine voice.

Monday, August 21, 2017

All about the book: from the Booksellers New Zealand Conference 2017

Plaudits to Booksellers New Zealand ( for hosting a stimulating conference at Rydges Auckland over the weekend.

The business day on Saturday enabled publishers to meet with many of the leading independent booksellers from across the country and to catch up with colleagues and peers, while Sunday offered up a smorgasbord of conference content.

On Saturday evening the Book Industry Awards celebrated the high achievers from bookselling and publishing, in a fun and emotional dinner memorably MC'ed by Selina Tusitala Marsh. Click on this link for an awards round-up.
Selina Marsh gets the Awards dinner singing
Among the winners were the much-admired Gecko Press (Publisher of the Year), Time Out Bookstore (Nielsen Bookshop of the Year) and Ruth and the late John McIntyre of The Children's Bookshop Kilbirine (Lifetime Achievement Award).

While many good bookstores are doing well, rising high street rents are hurting many, while the GST-free status that offshore online retailers continues to hurt the NZ industry.

Do keep supporting your local booksellers — in these days of remote, unreliable communications, the role of the bookshop as a centre of community and ideas has never been more important.

Industry legends Paul Greenberg (sales rep to many publishers including Oratia) and Bruce Caddy (UBS Otago)

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Publishers Association of New Zealand appoints new council

The Publishers Association of New Zealand (PANZ) elected a new council at the its AGM on 14 July, with a press release today announcing appointments to the public.

I'm honoured and pleased to have been appointed President, heading the council in its work to further the interests of book publishers in New Zealand.

Melanee Winder, Managing Director of Hachette NZ, becomes Vice-President, with Melanie Laville-Moore, NZ Director for Allen & Unwin, the Immediate Past President.

Fellow councillors are Alex Collins (Lift Education), Debra Millar (Penguin Random House NZ), Sandra Noakes (HarperCollins NZ), Tom Rennie (Bridget Williams Books) and Tracy Strudley (Global Education Systems).

At the AGM, Melanie Laville-Moore paid tribute to departing councillors Sam Elworthy (Auckland University Press) and Julia Marshall (Gecko Press) for their major contributions over an extended period.

For more information visit 

- Peter Dowling, Publisher

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