Matariki – Melanie Drewery

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Tonight we have to go to bed really early,’ said Mum. ‘Tomorrow morning we are going to have a surprise.’

But what event would be so special to get you up in the middle of a cold New Zealand winter?

Matariki is rising and the New Year is on its way.

Melanie Drewery is an award-winning New Zealand author whose many stories for children incorporate tikanga Maori in a gentle and inclusive way. Melanie was inspired to begin writing when her own children were growing up, and she noticed how few books there were for or about Maori children. She is the author of the popular Nanny Mihi series (illustrated by Tracy Duncan). Her acclaimed picture book Tahi – One Lucky Kiwi (illustrated by Ali Teo and John O’Reilly) won Best Picture Book at the 2008 New Zealand Post Book Awards. Matariki (illustrated by Bruce Potter) won a 2004 Storylines Notable Picture Book Award and Nga Rongoa a Koro, the te reo edition of Koro’s Medicine (illustrated by Bruce Potter), was the winner of the 2005 LIANZA Book Awards’ Te Kura Pounamu prize. Melanie lives in Ruby Bay, Nelson, where she works as a writer, potter and painter. She also runs a small farm with horses, sheep and lots of other pets.