Blog Seminar Seminar 2018

Save the date – November 22, 2018

The 2018 WaiPRU seminar will be held on Thursday, 22nd November at the Hamilton campus of the University of Waikato. Details concerning theme and registration will be posted here in the coming months.

In the meantime, save the date.


The Pacific Picturebook Collection- Sapling article

Recently I wrote a piece about the Pacific Picturebook Collection and the need for picturebooks which feature Pasifika stories. You can read more at The Sapling website.

Blog Seminar Seminar 2017

Announcing the second WaiPRU one-day seminar- 7 December 2017

“Children’s picturebooks have always been magical in their creative offerings, but postmodern picturebooks present startling new ways to read and view a page” (Goldstone, 2008, p, 119)

We are very happy to announce the second WaiPRU one-day seminar which will be held at the Hamilton campus on Thursday 7 December 2017, 9am-4pm.

The topic this year is ‘Postmodern Picturebooks’, and we have invited three panels of speakers to discuss postmodern picturebooks from educational perspectives, library perspectives and research perspectives.

The day will begin with a talk by Julia Marshall, publisher of the New Zealand Publisher of the Year- Gecko Press (

The seminar is open to teachers, librarians, postgrad students, academics, authors, illustrators, and anyone interested in picturebooks.  Registration is online and here is a charge of $50 per person (morning tea and lunch included).

Nicola Daly and Janette Kelly



WaiPRU Launched

The Diversity in Picturebooks Symposium was held on the 24 November at Te Kura Toi Tangata Faculty of Education and included the launch of the Waikato Picturebook Research Unit (WaiPRU).

The Symposium was attended by over 50 librarians, teachers, academics and postgraduate students who listened to a programme of 14 speakers discussing diversity in picturebooks from the perspective of ethnicity, ability, gender, family, language, illustrations and translations.

read more


Visiting the Marantz Collection at Kent State University, Ohio

In August/September 2016, I had the very good fortune to visit the Marantz Picturebook Collection at Kent State University in Ohio as their research fellow. My project was examining the dual language picturebooks in the collection, and there were about 250 of those. Most of them were Spanish-English, but there was also some indigenous languages (and English) such as Cree, Inuktituk, Navajo and Cherokee, as well as Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Swahili, German, and even a Māori language dual language picturebook called Kei hea te taniwha?. It was very interesting seeing the different techniques used to present the two languages. Often they were presented on the same side of the page, usually English first; and some used other techniques, like Kei hea to taniwha? Which was a folding book with the Māori text on one side, and the English text on the other when you flipped it over. The illustrations were identical.

It’s interesting to consider the purpose of bilingual books and who they are written for and used by. In New Zealand we tend not to have both languages on the same page. Either two versions of the books are simultaneously published (Huia Press does this for many new picturebooks- see Haka by Patricia Grace from this year’s Book Awards), or one language comes on the first so many pages, and then the other language is at the back, usually on fewer pages. Another award winner from the Book Awards called Hush (by Joy Cowley and illustrated by Bruce Potter) does this with English and full colour illustrations first, and then Māori with more text on fewer pages and reduced illustrations in the second section of the book.


Announcing the inaugural WaiPRU one day symposium – 24 November 2016

It gives us great joy to announce the Waikato PictureBook Research Unit, to be known as WaiPRU. The aim of this unit is to foster research and appreciation of picturebooks, particularly in educational settings. Each year we aim to host a one day seminar for researchers, authors and illustrators, teachers, librarians, and picturebook enthusiasts. This year the theme is ‘Diversity in Picturebooks’, and it will be held on Thursday 24 November 8.30-5pm at the Hamilton campus of the University of Waikato. Registration is essential, but there is no charge, so if you’re interested in picturebooks, do register here

“Books are sometimes windows, offering views of worlds that may be real or imagined, familiar or strange. These windows are also sliding glass doors, and readers have only to walk through in imagination to become part of whatever world has been created or recreated by the author.”

This famous quote from Professor Rudine Sims Bishop (Ohio State University) concerning the potential affordances offered by children’s literature, will underpin our one day seminar entitled ‘Diversity in Children’s PictureBooks’.


  • Upon registration a campus map will be provided to guide you to the location of the seminar which is in Room TT1.05 in the Faculty of Education.
  • Morning and afternoon tea will be provided, and lunch is available to be purchased on campus.
  • Free parking is available on Silverdale Rd, or for a fee of $2 (using ticketing machine) in Gate 3A on Silverdale Rd.