> Skip to content

Article  •  22 December 2020

 

A sneak peek at our 2021 kids books!

After an exhausting and unusual 2020, we’ve got plenty of reasons to be grateful for a new year, not least because of the stellar line up of children’s books we have coming your way over the next few months!Read on for a sneak peek at some of the best new children’s books we’re bringing to you in 2021.

Locked Down - February 2021

Originally published in 2011, we’re rereleasing this award-winning children’s novel about a deadly pandemic and a family in lockdown.

When a pandemic sweeps the country, twelve-year-old Zac wakes up one morning to the news that everyone must stay home.

He can’t leave the house for weeks and the only people he can count on are his family and closest neighbours. As Zac faces each new challenge living under lockdown, he discovers resources he never knew he had - and mysteries begging to be solved.

Featuring new illustrations from local art legend Toby Morris, Locked Down is a prescient, gripping, and relatable read, sure to engage kids who’ve recently dealt with their own lockdown experiences.

 

The Hatmakers - February 2021

Cordelia comes from a long line of magical milliners, who weave alchemy and enchantment into every hat. In Cordelia's world, Making - crafting items such as hats, cloaks, watches, boots and gloves from magical ingredients - is a rare and ancient skill, and only a few special Maker families remain.

When Cordelia's father Prospero and his ship, the Jolly Bonnet, are lost at sea during a mission to collect hat ingredients, Cordelia is determined to find him. But Uncle Tiberius and Aunt Ariadne have no time to help the littlest Hatmaker, for an ancient rivalry between the Maker families is threatening to surface. Worse, someone seems to be using Maker magic to start a war.

The first adventure in a spellbinding new magical world promises to be one of the most exciting children’s books of 2021. Perfect for fans of Nevermoor and The Unadoptables

 

My Elephant is Blue - May 2021

Talking to young children about understanding and dealing with feelings of anxiety and sadness can be really difficult. Picture books can provide a great tool for tackling these tricky conversations. 

Written by Melinda Szymanik and illustrated by Vasanti Unka, this is a story full of humour and heart about having the blues, in the form of a big heavy elephant.

Warm, empathetic, hopeful and often funny, with the ability to be read on different levels, My Elephant is Blue is the perfect story to help children explore and understand the experience of living under the weight of a big sadness.

 

Moose the Pilot - June 2021

Pilot Moose lives up high in a treehouse and has a very important job delivering goods in his bush plane through sun, snow and rain, landing in all kinds of terrain.

But on this day, his adventures are even more exciting than usual - three fluffy youngsters need his help!

This is the third visually stunning story set in the delightful world of Puffin the Architect and her friends. The adventures of daring Pilot Moose will captivate readers young and old - especially fans of flying machines!

 

Phoebe Morris and Mittens! (Photo by Silvio Bruinsma)

Untitled Mittens Picture Book - August 2021

We don’t have a cover to share yet but we just couldn’t wait to share the news about our upcoming picture book featuring Mittens, the most famous cat in Wellington (/all of New Zealand?).

So what can we tell you?

Well, Mittens’ picture book debut will be authored by his human, Silvio and illustrated by Phoebe Morris, award winning illustrator or Taking the Lead.  You’ll be sure to spot a few of Mittens' favourite Wellington haunts and we can promise his story will be told with all the humour and fun one would expect from this charismatic cat!


My Elephant Is Blue Melinda Szymanik, Vasanti Unka

A sweet and quirky story about a child who is stuck carrying around an elephant, wondering if they will ever feel light and free again . . .

Buy now
Buy now

More features

See all
Article
10 must read books for children under 5!

Filled with adventure, inspiration and humour, these books are sure to take little readers and their imaginations to new and fantastic places!

Article
Good Books about Tough Topics

Figuring out how to talk to children about difficult emotions can sometimes feel impossible. Books can offer a good gateway to starting these conversations. Here are some books that might help you to navigate those tricky topics.

Article
Locked Down: Real Reader Reviews

We wanted to know what young Kiwi readers thought about Jesse O's book Locked Down (hint: they loved it!). Read on to see their reviews.

Article
Locked Down: A note from the author

When Jesse O wrote Locked Down (then titled Staying Home) back in 2011, she never imagined that almost a decade later, the events of her novel would prove spookily accurate . . .

Article
Go girl profile - Sophie Pascoe

If Sophie said, ‘I can’t do that,’ they’d say, ‘Why not try it and see?’Nine times out of ten, Sophie could do whatever it was.

Activity
Hound the Detective printable notebook

Download and print this handy notebook and tick off the items on the list as you make your way through Hound the Detective! 

Activity
Puffin the Architect: build Moose's treehouse

Download these Puffin the Architect activity sheets to colour in and build Moose's treehouse or Pig's toolshed!

Activity
Taking the Lead: downloadable activity

Download our Taking the Lead word search here!

Activity
Hero of the Sea: activity

Use the key to unlock the secret message!

Q&A
Q&A with David Hill and Phoebe Morris

The co-creators of Hero of the Sea interview each other about writing, illustrating and their latest collaboration.

News
'Design Your Dream Room' competition winner!

170 amazing entries later, we’re delighted to announce the winner of our ‘Design Your Dream Room’ competition . . . 

Q&A
Q&A with Vasanti Unka

A Q&A with Vasanti Unka, author/illustrator of Who Stole the Rainbow?

Looking for more articles?

See all articles