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Release: Muddle & Mo’s Rainy Day

Book News
Release: Muddle & Mo’s Rainy Day
Media Release:
Nikki Slade Robinson

Muddle & Mo’s Rainy Day.

mm-rainy-day-webOnce upon a time there was a little duckling that needed a home. It wandered into the first doorway it came to – that of Cheddar Valley Pottery adjacent to Ohiwa Harbour. The pottery is owned by the parents of author-illustrator Nikki Slade Robinson. They handed the duckling to Nikki. Coincidentally she had just taken in a little goat kid of a similar age.

The following days and weeks were a mix of warm bottles of milk, hot water bottles and digging up worms. The little goat had a warm hut insulated with giant pink bubblewrap, and the little duck had a snuggly little cardboard box. At night the little duck would join in listening to bedtime stories, though he had to sit on a cloth nappy given his frequent ‘accidents’. And everyone was happy!

The unlikely duck-and-goat pair inspired Nikki to create a series of picture books, beginning with ‘Muddle & Mo’, which released in 2016. The title went on to gain a Storylines Notable Book Award, as well as being picked up by a major North American publisher, and publishers for China, Australia and the UK. ‘Muddle & Mo’s Worm Surprise’ followed in 2017, and releasing in May is the third in the series: ‘Muddle & Mo’s Rainy Day’.

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Release: Weka’s Waiata

Book News
Release: Weka’s Waiata
Media Release:
Nikki Slade Robinson

Weka’s Waiata

ww-coverTucked away in a corner of native bush near Opotiki is the birth-place of a number of award-winning picture books such as ‘The little Kiwi’s Matariki’ (Best Picture Book NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults 2016). With kereru, ruru, kiwi and weka on one side of the window and brushes, watercolours and art paper on the other, author-illustrator Nikki Slade Robinson has plenty of inspiration for creating each title.

Her new title, ‘Weka’s Waiata’, is the third in her little Kiwi and friends series. With up to 15 weka cavorting on the back lawn she has plenty of opportunity to observe the magic of weka antics and interaction. And to learn their incredible variety of calls, from a deep base ‘twang’, through to a high-pitched screech. ‘They’re just amazing birds, so much fun’, laughs Nikki, ‘we never get sick of having them around. Knowing that they are endangered makes us feel even more fortunate to be sharing our place with them. And it’s a bonus for our other native birds that they help keep rat numbers down.’

‘Weka’s Waiata’ is told through the little Kiwi, five weka chicks and their grandparents. ‘It’s all about cherishing those precious people in your life, in this case the chicks’ grandparents, Kuia and Koro.’ Nikki says, ‘something I feel strongly about. Those relationships are so important and are to be treasured.’ The story opens in a forest clearing, with five very excited weka chicks: their grandparents are coming to visit! The chicks want to show their aroha, their love, for their Koro and Kuia… but what’s the best way to do that? Fortunately the little Kiwi has a very special idea. English and Te Reo are carefully woven together throughout the book, and the illustrations depict our wonderful natural environments, from sea to heartland native bush. The story finishes with a waiata, or song. There’s even a musical score so readers can play the waiata to their own grandparents or significant whanau!

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Release: Landfall exhibition

Book News
Release: Landfall exhibition connects art and literature:  25 May – 17 June, Dunedin
Release Date: 10 May 2018
Otago University Press

The Otago Art Society and Otago University Press are joining forces to present a unique exhibition that celebrates the connections between the artistic and literary worlds fostered by Landfall journal.

The exhibition will run from Friday 25 May to Sunday 17 June 2018 at the Otago Art Society at the Dunedin Railway Station.

The Otago Art Society is hosting the exhibition to help celebrate the digitisation of the first 20 years of issues of Landfall, published between 1947 and 1966.

Artists were provided with an issue of the journal (from anywhere in the back catalogue) and asked to find inspiration from within it, creating an artwork in response in a medium of their choice.

Each work will be displayed with a brief artist’s statement, and works will be available for sale.

The publisher of Landfall, Otago University Press, has recently completed the digitisation of the first 20 years of Landfall. A dedicated website will allow free and open access to searchable PDF copies and a digital index.

All are invited to attend the Exhibition Opening at the Otago Art Society on Thursday 24 May 2018 from 5.30 pm.

The Otago Art Society is on the first floor of the Dunedin Railway Station, 22 Anzac Avenue, Dunedin. Telephone 03 4779465 or email

The event will also feature the launch of Landfall 235, the first issue edited by Emma Neale, and the launch of the third and final volume of Charles Brasch Journals, 1958-1973, selected and edited by Peter Simpson.

Victor Billot
Publicity and Marketing Co-ordinator

Otago University Press
Level 1, 398 Cumberland Street, 
PO Box 56, Dunedin, New Zealand
Phone: +64 3 479 9094

Release: Fresh look for Scoop Review of Books

Book News
Release: Fresh look for book news site
Release Date: 10 May 2018
McLeary Media.
Fresh editorial solutions.

Scoop Review of Books has a fresh look.

The revamped site was launched earlier this month and has so far received good feedback for its readability and up-to-date ‘book news’ content.

The changes, especially the clean, bright and easy-to-read layout and consistent design, bring the books page into line with the other sections across It also means it’s now mobile-friendly, something users expect in this digital age.

Scoop Review of Books co-editor Alison McCulloch says the move makes the site’s content easier to read on any size screen.

“There’s less clutter and more focus on content.”

Scoop Review of Books went live 10 years ago and features original literary content such as reviews, essays and interviews. The revamp includes the launch of a column featuring the latest news from and about the book industry.

“We hope users will be able to navigate the site more easily, and engage with our content,” says Alison, who co-edits the site with Jeremy Rose.

The focus is now on building up Scoop Review of Books’ social media presence, with post schedules being developed for its Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Scoop Review of Books readers who become Scoop Foundation supporters by making a monthly donation can now receive a regular Review of Books email newsletter, which will keep them up to date with the latest book news. is NZ’s leading independent news source with a monthly readership of 500,000 unique browsers and a database of more than 800,000 published news stories.

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For more information contact




Justine McLeary, director

McLeary Media


Tauranga Arts Festival: 1-4 June

Book News
Tauranga Arts Festival: Escape
The little festival with big ideas 1-4 June, 2018

Escape 2018! is a little festival with big ideas bringing the community together and the city alive from 1-4 June (Queen’s Birthday weekend). At Baycourt Community & Art Centre and Our Place Tauranga you can Escape! with us into food, theatre, discussion, workshops, storytelling, music and poetry…

Author talks include Max Harris, Geoff Chapple, Sue Bradford, Tom Scott, Paula Morris, Mary Dillon, Michele A’Court, Laurence Fearnley and more…

Visit the website

Download a pdf of the programme

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