The Treasury Interviews: Kauri Class at Ormond School interview Kyle Mewburn — If I don’t write stories I think my brain will explode


Kauri Class are a Year 2 class at Ormond School, near sunny Gisborne, on the East Coast of New Zealand. We are six and seven year olds and we LOVE to do art, especially painting. Our favourite art we have done so far is ‘Pirate ship charcoal art’, making a big cardboard pirate ship, painting Gerald the giraffe from Giraffe’s Can’t Dance, and drawing Cass the Colour Robber Man. We love to do art from our book characters.

We enjoy sharing our news with each other and we really like playing ‘Seaweed’ with Mrs. Gordon, our principal. Most of us like practicing handwriting! Our favourite writing is about animals, writing about trucks and diggers, and making up our own stories about things like ‘A Fun Bus’.

These are some of our ideas for when we get older…Ben L and Myles want to be a zookeeper or a vet, Joshua would like to be in the army, Noah and Ben A would like to be train drivers, Brian would like to be a Ninja, Tom would like to be a tractor driver, Myles, Georgia and Noah would like to be pilots, Ruby-Rhain would like to be a surfer, Tommy would like to be an archaeologist, Mia would like to be a ballerina, and some of us are still thinking about it! Koka Sarah would like to be a better surfer!

We hope you’ve learnt a little bit about us!


Kyle Mewburn


Kyle Mewburn is an author of some of Kauri class’s favourite books, like Melu, Old Huhu, The Grumble Bee Kiss, Hill and Hole and Kiss, Yuck, Yuck. He has a fabulous long poem in A Treasury of New Zealand Poetry for Children called ‘Rainy Day Washaway.’

He lives in a house that he built, with a grass roof, in the middle of nowhere, in the South of New Zealand, near the South Pole!

He sings to his veggies and we think he is awesome at writing books!


The Interview:

  1. How old are you? (Georgia)

I’m older than the hills and younger than the sun.


  1. Why do you live in the middle of nowhere? (Tommy)

Because I snore so loudly I’m too embarrassed to live close to people. Besides, the middle of nowhere is also halfway to somewhere, so it takes me the exact same time to drive to the sea as it takes to get to the mountain snow.


  1. Does your hand get tired from writing? (Mine does! Ben L.)

My hand used to get so tired my words would all fall asleep on the page and nobody could read them. Luckily someone discovered the typewriter, so my hands don’t get tired any more. Though my fingers do get a bit stiff after a whole day writing.


  1. Why do you swim in the river and what do you find in it? (Joshua & Ruby-Rhain)

I LOVE swimming in rivers, especially icy cold ones. There are lots of eels and trout in my river, and some gold as well (if you know where to look). But the best thing I always find when I’m swimming in the river, or even just sitting under a little waterfall on a hot day, is INSPIRATION. There are millions of ideas flowing past me every day.


  1. Have you found any gold in any rivers? (Tom)

I haven’t found any gold myself, but a friend who knows how to do gold-panning says he always finds tiny specks of gold. The gold miners took away most of the gold 150 years ago. But there’s a new dredge on the river that’s scooping up gravel from the river bottom and finding lots of gold.


  1. Why do you like writing books so much? (Tommy)

I’ve got lots of ideas, and if I don’t write stories I think my brain will explode.


  1. How did you get to be so good at writing? (Rheannon)

Practice, practice, practice. I just kept writing until my stories got better. I also listened to advice from clever people. Some days I still don’t think I’m very good at writing AT ALL. IN fact I think my stories SUCK! But if I keep writing it again and again, it slowly gets better. .. most of the time.


What a great interview Kyle and Kauri Class. Thank you! Kyle has written some of all-time favourite NZ picture books. Check out some of his covers.

9781775430988 9781869437596 9781865046594 9781921272752 9781869438470 9780143504535 9781869438975 9780143565987 9781775430278 9781869438265

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