A festival of letters to NZ children’s authors: Kat Merewether writes back to Eva and Eden

Hi Eva,

Thank you so much for your letter. I think that sounds like an awesome idea for a Kiwicorn story! I am so pleased to hear that you love the book. I can tell that you are strong, sassy and smart, and completely unique too! Reading this letter from you has put a huge smile on my face, so thank you again for that.

Lots of aroha and rainbow hugs

From Kat M


Kia ora Eden,

I have only just now found your letter to me. Thank you so much!

Kuwi’s Huhu Hunt is also my favourite of the Kuwi series of books. We went to Thailand a few years ago and they were selling cockroaches and scorpions that were made into lollies (ewwww), and that sparked the idea.

Yes, I am a bit of a Kiwicorn. Weird, wild and always coming up with crazy ideas. You certainly can write like me, my number one secret is to practise heaps! I draw and write everyday.

Hopefully you will be able to write and let me know how Kuwi’s Kitchen went for you and the class… you will see snail sushi in there, minus the slippery, slimy snails!

Thanks again for your letter.

Ngā mihi

Kat Merewether





A letter from the editor of Toitoi: the new issue is now out



Summer issue (number 10!) now out

Children can now send in writing (and other things) for the next issue. You have until April 13!

Go here


Submit to Issue 12

Submission Deadline

April 13, 2018

Find out more

From the Editor

Welcome to the first Toitoi Quarterly Newsletter for 2018. It is hard to believe it is March already! I also can’t believe that we have just published our tenth issue. It feels like a really special milestone and I would like to thank everyone who has supported and encouraged us to reach it. A special congratulations to Mikah Miller who created the awesome octopus on the cover and to all of the young writers and artists who contributed their fabulous stories, poems, cartoons, commentaries and artwork.

We have spent the last few weeks sharing Toitoi with young people all over New Zealand. What has struck me the most on our school visits is how young readers of all ages are instantly engaged by the journal. When they first pick it up, they flick through the pages and peer closely at the illustrations. There are always lots of whoops as they examine the incredible artwork. They immediately check the credit to see how old the artist is! Within minutes, they are deeply immersed in the writing and art of their peers. It is very powerful.

Back at Toitoi HQ, we have also had a busy start to the year with lots of change and excitement. We have recently moved offices and welcomed two new team members – Cait Kneller and Venice White – both inspiring young women who are curious, courageous and creative. Grace and I are delighted to have them – and you – on this journey with us.

With best wishes, Charlotte

A festival of letters to NZ children’s authors: Corban and Allister (9) write to James Russell




Dear James Russell

Ever since you came to our school’s Book Week you are our favourite author. Your Dragon Brothers Trilogy is awesome because the books come alive with your AR Read app and with sound effects too. We see Flynn and Paddy go for a ride on the dragon and get dropped in the water and then swim to the shore where the dragon sets a camp fire alight to dry and warm the boys. We think the books are so special because we do not know any other NZ author who have an app.

We are very excited that you have decided to continue the series and now the boys are grown up and are almost our age. What adventures they are having. The apps show us how evil and mean The Pitbull is (he does look like your twin brother for sure but is meaner than you) The app is EPIC and we loved it when we met The Pitbull but the best part is working out the translation that Paddy and Flynn find so they are on a mission to stop the Pitbulls men’s mission. All exciting stuff.

We hope you keep writing more stories  for us to read and enjoy.

Best wishes 

Corbin and Allister

Both Year 5s and both 9 

St Francis School 


Festival of letters details here

A festival of letters to NZ children’s authors: Cate writes to Joy watson



Dear Joy

You are my favourite New Zealand author and have been since I was about 6 years. I loved your Grandpa stories then and still do now which to me says your stories are hugely successful. I see Grandpa’s Cardigan was first published in 1993 and on the cover it says “New Zealand’s Favourite Grandpa for 25 years” and I agree.

They always make me laugh because the antics Grandpa gets up to are very amusing but also believable for old people to speak, think and act like this.

The illustrations are very expressive and impressive and you are lucky to have a great illustrator to bring your words alive.

My pick of all your titles in this series is Grandpa’s Slippers which he keeps misplacing – when he finally found them at the top of the rubbish, it’s great because Grandma thought she was tricking him but she didn’t triumph.

I would like to know of all the Grandpa stories you have written which is your favourite and why? 

Can’t wait to hear from you.

Kind regards,


Aged 10 years Year 6

St Francis Primary School


Festival of letters details here




A festival of letters to children’s authors: Ida writes to Paula Green




Dear Paula

You are the best poet I have heard of. I love how you put a lot of commitment into your writing. My favorite poem is Fantail because you used words like hoptail and jumptail. I can tell you love writing poems and stories.

My favourite book is The Letterbox Cat and other poems. I bought it from a book shop in town.   

Love Ida

Age 8

Class 5W

School Selwyn House

A festival of letters to children’s authors: Nell (9) writes to Joan de Hamel



Dear Joan de Hamel

X Marks the Spot is a great book. I like how it unfolds Peter, Louise, and Ross’s mission and how they discover the Kakapo. The book is exciting and full of adventure and has events that make you want to keep reading forever. It fills you with wonder, excitement, and surprise and you never know what will happen next. It is one of my favourite books and when it’s finished I want to read it again. Everything happens out of the blue which makes it exciting. You are a great writer.



Age: 9 Year: 5 School: Homeschool