- Why did you want to be a writer?
Because I have always had a vivid imagination, and when I was small I was a real chatterbox with lots of ideas to share. Writing is sort of like talking a lot on paper.
- What’s the best thing about being a writer?
I can put my ideas into a story and they will reach heaps and heaps of people I may never even meet! My words might make someone laugh or cry, they might even teach them something or change the way they look at the world. That’s pretty amazing.
- What’s your favourite New Zealand book?
Under the Mountain.
- What do you love most about New Zealand?
Oh I can’t just love one thing, I need at least two, so I’m going to cheat here. I love our beaches, and being able to swim or walk by the sea every day. I also love our own unique culture, and how much more Te Reo Maori and Maori expressions have become part of everyone’s culture.
- What do you love most about libraries?
I love being able to read lots and lots and lots of books. Is it weird to say I also love the bookish smell of libraries, yum, all those words wiggling around in their books and making their own special smell.
Melanie Drewery is an author, illustrator and artist who writes primarily for children. Koro’s Medicine was a finalist in the Picture Book Category of the 2005 New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children & Young Adults, and the Maori translation of this title, by Kararaina Uatuku, won the 2005 Te Kura Pounamu Award. Melanie won the Picture Book section of the 2008 New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults for her book Tahi: One Lucky Kiwi.
Scholastic NZ has just released two great books for younger readers with some real bite – Fishing Fame by Melanie Drewery and Dinosaur Rescue: Spino-rottysaurus by Kyle Mewburn.
Fishing Fame by Melanie Drewery, illustrated by John Bennett
Mark and Dan are desperate to get their names onto the fishing fame board. But when they start breaking the rules they catch much more than they bargained for.
Fishing Fame is a short, illustrated chapter book perfect for boys. Kids will love the crazy antics that Mark and Dan get up to and will want to keep reading to find out how they get out of their awkward situation. John Bennett’s illustrations break up the text into small chunks for easy reading, and the cover will appeal to boys.
Dinosaur Rescue: Spino-rottysaurus by Kyle Mewburn and Donovan Bixley
How do you stop a rampaging sinosaurus from eating the last dracorex? Arg has to get help fast or he’ll be extinct too! A spino-rotty-trocious Stone Age adventure that’ll make your teeth tremble.
Kyle Mewburn and Donovan Bixley are back with their 5th Dinosaur Rescue book. This series just keeps getting better and better (not to mention more disgusting!). In this book you can learn why prehistoric insects didn’t make good pets, how to train your giant dragonfly, how to hunt with Arg’s dad, and some interesting facts about dinosaurs. Get this book for your children and they’ll be rolling around on the floor laughing (or possibly looking very green). They’re perfect for fans of Captain Underpants.
Scholastic NZ are publishing some really good books for early readers (7-9 years), like those mentioned above. Check out Diary of a Pukeko by Sally Sutton and Do Not Push by Kyle Mewburn. These books are the short, with lots of adventure and laughs, so they’re perfect for this age group.