Craig Potton Publishing becomes Potton & Burton

Potton & Burton logoOn 6 March 2015 Craig Potton Publishing is changing its name to Potton & Burton, a move designed to reflect the increasingly diverse range of New Zealand books we publish.

Publisher and co-owner Robbie Burton commented, “The Craig Potton Publishing imprint has served us brilliantly for over 25 years, but in recent years it has become apparent that our name is associated with a narrow range of books, in particular photographic, environmental and outdoor books. The reality however, is that our publishing programme covers far more – everything from natural history, contemporary issues, art and culture, biography, history and children’s books. The new name, Potton & Burton, gives us a chance to communicate to the book industry and the wider public that we are totally committed to publishing the widest range of high-quality New Zealand non-fiction, and to not be limited by previous perceptions.”

Founded by photographer Craig Potton in 1989, Craig Potton Publishing has grown to become New Zealand’s largest independent publisher, and were voted Publisher of the Year in 2014 for New Zealand publishing. Based in Nelson, Potton & Burton employ 17 people and are involved in both publishing and distribution. will go live on Monday 9 March 2015.

March picture book roundup part 2

The Underwater Fancy-Dress Parade cover imageThe Underwater Fancy-Dress Parade by Davina Bell, illustrated by Allison Colpys, Scribe, ISBN 9781925106206, RRP $30 (hardcover)

Picture book stories can sometimes be a bit “out there” but they’re also a really good way to address things with kids that they might not want to talk about head-on. And let’s face it, often-times they are about brave kids doing amazing things – and not every kid can relate to that. The Underwater Fancy-Dress Parade is about Alfie. Alfie is a curious kid, obviously smart, and he wants to be brave. But there’s a lot going on in his head.

He dreamed that he was carrying the ocean, all on his own.

This is a beautifully illustrated little book that gently looks at anxiety, being empathetic, feeling your feelings and knowing that being brave might not be you today… but one day you’ll be ready for it. Cute as a button and just as useful for adults and parents, as for kids. For anyone who feels they’re carrying the ocean, all on their own.

One Thousand Things cover imageOne Thousand Things by Anna Kovecses, Wide Eyed Editions, ISBN9781847806079, RRP $29.99 (hardcover)

I swear, I’m dying with cuteness at how gorgeous these picture books are. One Thousand Things is billed as “learn to say your first words with Little Mouse” and is a collection of absolutely beautiful cut-out style illustrations with words. Divided into Things at Home, Things to Learn, Things to do with You, etc, this is one of those books you could sit down with a little one and spend ages just turning the pages, pointing out the pictures and entertaining yourselves. Includes the cute character of Little Mouse who is on every page.

Some of the “things” are perhaps slightly obtuse (colours to learn includes pink and rose. rose? not what I would have deemed a need to know first colour) but that’s a minor quibble. For ages 1 – 5.

Atlas of Adventures cover imageAtlas of Adventures by Lucy Letherland, Wide Eyed Editions, ISBN 9781847805850, RRP $39.99 (large hardcover)

Okay, geek reader confession time: when I was a wee primary school child I used to LOVE those Usborne children’s illustrated atlases and encyclopedias and histories. You know, the ones that had loads of pictures and all this incredible knowledge. We had ones on dinosaurs and plant earth and I read them over and over. Aaaanyway, Atlas of Adventures took me right back there, which was great. It’s a big book with beautiful, detailed illustrations, that takes the reader on more than 100 adventures in different parts of the world.

Each spread has pictures you could look at for hours and heaps of little facts, figures and information. We travel to every continent and yes, even to New Zealand (to do the haka during Waitangi). Now, yes, this is a kids’ book so the facts are simplified for that but if you have a geek reader kid (or any kind of kid) then this is a great buy – and great value for the amount of reading time they’ll get out of it!  For ages 6 and over.


March picture book roundup part 1

I am enamoured with picture books at the moment. If you want to see amazing design and original, creative stories then picture books are where it’s at (as the kids say [tiny kids because they’re the only kids who think I’m cool anymore]).

Note: Age guides given are just suggestions and do not preclude anyone else from enjoying these gems.

Snappy Birthday cover imageSnappy Birthday by Mark Sperring, illustrated by Laura Ellen Anderson, Bloomsbury, ISBN 9781408852620, RRP $18.99

The new next-door neighbour sends out an invitation to a birthday party….but the new next-door neighbour is a crocodile! Snappy Birthday is colourfully illustrated and is written in a fun-to-read-out-loud rhyming style. The potential eating of children is a weird sort of traditional children’s book plotline that may be a bit scary for some but for most kids it’s their first experience with scary/fun thrills! Fun for (almost) everyone. I would say for about the 3 – 5 year olds.

Love Always Everywhere cover imageLove Always Everywhere by Sarah Massino, Nosy Crow, ISBN 9780857632494, RRP $24.99 (hardback)

Seriously, if you want to be overcome by cuteness and warm fuzzy feelings then this is the book for you. Oh my but it is cute. The illustrations are (there is no other word for it) DARLING. And it’s about love.

Love me. Love you. Love one. Love two.

Absolutely MADE for reading to your bundle of joy at bed time. And for reading to yourself if you’ve been feeling blue. For babies – 5 year olds.

Dinosaur Rocket cover imageDinosaur Rocket by Penny Dale, Nosy Crow, ISBN 9780857633811, RRP $29.99 (hardcover)

For some kids there are two things guaranteed to fascinate: outer space and dinosaurs. Clever Penny Dale and Nosy Crow have come up with your ultimate solution to a problem you never knew you had – Dinosaur Rocket! What happens when you put dinosaurs in a rocket and blast them into space? You get dinosaurs playing footy on the moon, that’s what. Detailed and researched illustrations combine with repetitive text (great for young readers) and onomatopoeia (vrrrm, clank, brrrm, etc) to produce fun and action. For 3 – 5 year olds.

The Umbrella cover imageThe Umbrella by Ingrid and Dieter Schubert, Book Island, ISBN 9780994109859, RRP $29.99

I’ve left the best for last. The Umbrella is the new release from Book Island, a New Zealand publisher, who produce absolutely gorgeous creations. The Umbrella is up there with their best.

One day a little doggy discovers an umbrella leaning up against a tree. He picks it up and gets blown away on a great adventure across the world. The Umbrella is delightfully illustrated and the story is told only in pictures – yes, this is a wordless picture book. Your imagination will soar along with the umbrella. For everyone.

The umbrella inner spread - Africa

Glory Days magazine issue 9

Glory Days magazine issue 9 cover imageGlory Days issue 9 is here! (Buy now)

Glory Days, the excellent New Zealand vintage lifestyle magazine, has had a gentle makeover and looks better than ever (look at that cover! Gorgeous!). Issue 9 is in stores now and in Vanity Fair tradition it’s the “Hollywood issue”. That means Hollywood-related vintage goodness.

The contents cover a wide range of topics with the standard beauty, fashion and retro columns as well as some great features (I loved the article on Jennifer Ward-Lealand).

What I am really impressed with is that the standard of photography and writing in Glory Days continues to improve. It’s fantastic to see commitment by the publishers to not only high standards of quality.

Glory Days magazine issue 9 is only $12.95 from stockists and online.

First ever book sale at Te Papa Press


Te Papa Press, Aotearoa New Zealand’s unique museum publisher, is holding its first ever book sale from Sunday 1 March with up to 70 per cent off its award-winning titles.

The sale includes a range of titles including 100 Amazing Tales from Aotearoa, the best Kiwi children’s non-fiction book of 2013, and celebrated biographer Jill Trevelyan’s Rita Angus: An Artist’s Life.

Claire Murdoch, Publisher at Te Papa Press, says the sale is the first in its 17 year history and unlikely to be repeated.

“A Te Papa Press sale is a rare bird indeed but we’re delighted to confirm the sighting. We hope readers enjoy the chance this March and April to stock up on some of our beloved and award-winning books about New Zealand’s art, culture and natural world,” said Ms Murdoch.

The opportunity to offer the special prices arose from a change in the distributor used by Te Papa Press. Due to the Penguin Random House merger, Te Papa Press’s new sales partner will be Archetype Book Agents, and Te Papa Press titles will be distributed by Upstart Distribution.

Sale items are available exclusively through Te Papa Store, both in-store and online at

A full list of titles on sale can be found at

The sale ends 30 April 2015.