Cool Stuff from the Selectors: Maps, voyages, birds and a Poet Laureate

Maps always capture people's imaginations, and it is great to see some new ones featuring Aotearoa.


We are here by Chris McDowall and Tim Denee

We are here : an atlas of Aotearoa by Chris McDowall and Tim Denee ask: Who visits us? How many fish are in the sea? How equal are we? How do we hurt ourselves? Where do our cats go to at night?  This book's sets of maps and graphics help New Zealanders make sense of our country.      

We Are Here 

First Map: How James Cook chartered Aotearoa New Zealand by Tessa Duder          

First Map: How James Cook chartered Aotearoa New Zealand by Tessa Duder was published to coincide with the Tuia - Encounters 250 commemoration of James Cook's 1769-70 journey around New Zealand. This is the story of Cook as an extraordinary cartographer and seafarer.  

First Map

Singing the trail : the story of mapping Aotearoa New Zealand by John McCrystal 

The very first maps were oral maps made by early Polynesian and Māori settlers which were waypoints, described as 'survey pegs of memory', lists of places in songs, chants, karakia and stories that showed direction. Years later, Tasman and Cook created their maps.Singing the trail : the story of mapping Aotearoa New Zealand looks at New Zealand history and our tradition of map making.

Singing the Trail

Children's books


The adventures of Tupaia by Courtney Sina Meredith 

The adventures of Tupaia is a children's book that follows the story of Tupaia, a Tahitian priest/navigator who sailed with Cook on the Endeavour. 


Mophead by Selina Tusitala Marsh

Mophead is a picture book memoir of our New Zealand Poet Laureate as she grows up and finds her voice.

Also a fascinating short video of Selina visiting an Auckland School.


Wildlife of Aotearoa by Gavin Bishop    

Wildlife of Aotearoa really is a gorgeous presentation of New Zealand wildlife to delve into with gusto. Lots to discover and explore. Look out for the journey of the 5 eels that slip through all the pages from the beginning to the end.

Wildlife of Aotearoa

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