CONTACT US: P. 0. Box 12 499 Wellington New Zealand


A growing list of past events and documentation


November Meeting

Sarah and Thalia will be talking about the genesis of The Sapling, why they think it was needed and how they have chosen the voices that are represented each month. They will be looking at gender and racial diversity of those who are reviewed or interviewed, and highlighting some of their favourite pieces. Read the Flyer pdf and docx

Wednesday 29 November, 2017
5.30 p.m for drinks and nibbles, 6.00 p.m. talk
Ground Floor, National Library of New Zealand, Wellington
(Use the Molesworth Street entrance)
Gold coin donation from non-members appreciated

We look forward to seeing you there

Children’s activities available to them in today’s digital age are quite different from those of 100 years ago.

This selection of books from the Dorothy Neal White Collection explores the pastimes and activities that were considered suitable for children with time on their hands in a world with no radio, television or internet. These included doing something useful (domestic skills, making things, gardening, playing an instrument), getting out in the healthy fresh air (outdoor games, nature study, camp cooking and survival skills) and entertaining friends and family at home with such diversions as parlour games, magic tricks, puppet shows and scientific experiments.

Many of the suggested activities are, of course, still popular alternatives to poring over a digital device, but not many children nowadays will spend hours making matchbox furniture or perfecting their ventriloquism skills.

-Mary Skarott, Children’s Literature Librarian

The Display Case National Library

A selection of titles from the Dorothy Neal White Collection is on display for the next few months just outside the Turnbull Library reading rooms. — at National Library of New Zealand.

The boy's own book of indoor games

‘The boy’s own book of indoor games and recreations: an instruction manual of home amusements’. Edited by Morley Adams. (London : Boy’s Own Paper Office) 1912

The girl's own indoor book

‘The girl’s own indoor book: containing practical help to girls on all matters relating to their material comfort and moral well-being’. Edited by Charles Peters. (London : Religious Tract Society) 1888?

Things for girls to do inside.

“You take, no doubt, a great pride in the arrangement of your bedroom. One of the chief eyesores is the washstand, which, if it has not a tiled or marbled back, is apt to look shabby.” – ‘100 things a girl can make: a bookful of attractive hints for girls of all ages’. (London : W. Foulsham & Co.) 1924

Home fun for boys

Bullivant, Cecil H. ‘Home fun’. (London : Thomas Nelson & Sons) 1910

Boy's indoor games

‘The boy’s own book of indoor games and recreations: an instruction manual of home amusements’. Edited by Morley Adams. (London : Boy’s Own Paper Office) 1912

Every boy's open-air book.

Hopkins, R. Thurston. ‘Every boy’s open-air book’. (London : Cecil Palmer) c1925

The linguistic landscape of English-Spanish Dual Language Picturebooks’
The Friends of the Dorothy Neal White Collection
invite you to a talk by
Dr Nicola Daly
Read the Flyer

Nicola is a senior lecturer at the University of Waikato where she teaches children’s literature at undergraduate and postgraduate level. She is a past recipient of the Dorothy Neal White Fellowship and the Marantz Picturebook Collection Fellowship at Kent State University.

How do you place text for two languages in a single bilingual children’s picturebook?
In this presentation over 200 English-Spanish dual language picturebooks, from the Marantz Picturebook Collection for the Study of Picturebook Art, are analysed in terms of the relative status of the two languages and how this is communicated via relative print size and placement. The separation between languages in the picturebooks analysed is discussed in relation to bilingualism and translanguaging.

Thursday 21 September, 2017
5.30 p.m for drinks and nibbles, 6.00 p.m. talk
Ground Floor, National Library of New Zealand
(Use the Molesworth Street entrance), Wellington
Gold coin donation from non-members appreciated

Research Seminar by Dr Mere Whaanga

Noted scholar and writer, Dr. Mere Whaanga, currently the Children’s Writer in Residence at the University of Otago, is giving a research seminar, sponsored by the Centre for Research on Colonial Culture, on Friday 28 July 2017. Her talk is titled: “From pepeha to picture book to tribal history: telling Māori stories in multiple genres”, and it will take place at the Hocken Library Seminar room, 90 Anzac Avenue, starting at 3.30.
All are welcome!

Death of John McIntyre, bookseller: John died 10 June 2017. John is sadly missed from the world of children’s books. Read his Facebook Page either from this page or at:

With great sadness we advise the death of our Patron Barbara Murison.barbaramurison

We will miss Barbara – (pictured), who died of cancer on 19 May 2017. She made a huge contribution to children’s literature and the Friends of the Dorothy Neal White Collection. 

On a Happier Note, Nicola Daly, who was the FDNW research scholar in 2014 has her article online at:

The article was published in the New Review of Children’s Literature and Librarianship and is titled: Pākehā-Māori: European-Native. Ethnic Labeling in the Dorothy Neal White Collection. Nicola has said she will be able to address the Friends about her visit to the Marantz Collection. This should be near August/September. More details soon.

Read about Barbara and Nicola in our newsletter.  Here

Nicola Daly’s article based on work on books in the Dorothy Neal White Collection has been published electronically.

Before the meeting: Mary Skarott, Research Librarian Children’s Literature,will talk about some of the new donations to the collection and Kay Hancock, research grant recipient, will introduce her research project
Tuesday 20th June 2017
5.30pm for drinks and nibbles, 6:00pm Talk
Lilburn Room, Level 1
National Library of NZ (Aitken Street Entrance) Wellington
Gold coin donation from non-members appreciated. Minutes for year ending 2016 here.

Death of Dick Bruna 23 August 1927 – Saturday 21 January 2017



Mary Hutton was instrumental in the creation of the Dorothy Neal White Collection and of this Society, The Friends of the Dorothy Neal White Collection. She was life-long advocate for children’s literature and active in the wider community as a driver for Meals on Wheels and weekly volunteer at the Mary Potter Hospice for many years. When she died suddenly but peacefully in August she was still regularly guiding visitors to the Wellington Botanic Gardens.

While most members of the Friends are likely to be aware of her role with this Society, many are unaware of her long and influential career as Co-ordinator of Book Selection for School Library Service. Mary began in this role in 1950 and retired from it in 1990. As well as co-ordinating and managing the budget for all genre, including non-fiction and adult titles of interest to teenagers, Mary selected all the children’s fiction for School Library Service. This includes the National Children’s Collection (NCC), which was initially the repository of headquarters review copies and is now a research collection supported by this Society.

Several of Mary’s colleagues have gathered together their reminiscences of Mary’s career. Also see our current newsletter.

The Sapling – a new online magazine all about children’s books – reached 73% of its target funding goal in a staggering five days. “We always knew there’d be a healthy level of support for the website, but we had no idea just how passionate or how numerous our supporters would be.”
Coming soon:


End of Year Function was held 7 December 2016

On Wednesday 7 December 2016 we enjoyed our End of Year Event followed by Chris Szekely who discussed his latest book, Rona, a chapter book for 7-9 year-olds, published by Huia Publishers – and getting excellent reviews.

The Current Display Cabinet

May Gibbs and Avis Acres: Flower Fairies in Australia and New Zealand

Turnbull Librarian Mary Skarott has gathered together some fabulous works by May Gibbs and Avis Acres. These titles were taken from the Dorothy Neal White Collection and the National Children’s Collection and can be viewed outside the Turnbull Library reading rooms. Mary writes– Cecilia May Gibbs, (1877-1969), is one of Australia’s best loved authors and illustrators, famous for her fantasy stories featuring native plants and animals. She was born to English parents and her family emigrated to Australia in 1881, settling first in Adelaide and later moving to Perth. May became a proficient botanical artist while still a teenager, and later studied at several art schools in London. She settled in Sydney in 1913, where she worked on a range of illustrative assignments and developed her ideas for characters based on Australia’s native flora. These appeared on bookmarks, greetings cards and in her wild-flower baby booklets, the first of which was ‘The Gum-nut babies’. Her first major book, ‘Snugglepot and Cuddlepie’, was published in 1918 to great success, and the rest of her career was devoted to writing and illustrating children’s books. She also produced the long-running cartoon strip, ‘Bib and Bub’, which ran in the ‘Sydney Sunday News’ from 1924-1967. Avis Acres (1910-1994) was born in Wellington, but her family moved to Auckland before Avis started school. She was a student at St Cuthbert’s College, and then worked in a variety of jobs which utilised her artistic talents, including drawing a cartoon, ‘The Adventures of Twink and Wink, the Twinkle Twins’, for the ‘Auckland Star’ children’s page. She moved to Taupo in 1950, with her husband Bob, and shortly afterwards she was inspired by May Gibbs’ book, ‘The Gum-nut babies’, to create Hutu and Kawa, two little pohutukawa fairies. Her ‘Hutu and Kawa’ cartoon strip ran in the ‘New Zealand Herald’ from 1950-1960. Between 1955 and 1957 three picture books featuring Hutu and Kawa and their friends were published by A.W. & A.H. Reed. Like May Gibbs, Avis had a great love of the natural world, and her artwork is notable for its accurate depiction of New Zealand’s plants, birds and animals. The Alexander Turnbull Library holds a number of original artworks by Avis Acres, and some personal papers. -Mary Skarott, Research Librarian, Children’s Literature

boo d e f g kang tua

These can also be viewed at:

The New Zealand Book Council invites you to join us for the 2016 NZ Book Council Lecture:

Tala Tusi: The Teller is the Tale in 4 Tales. Delivered by Selina Tusitala Marsh.
Where: National Library of New Zealand, 70 Molesworth St, Thorndon, Wellington
When: Friday 11 November, 6pm
RSVP: This is a free event, but spaces are limited. Please email to secure your seat
This event is brought to you in partnership with the National Library of New Zealand.

Next Meeting:dcm Barbara Robertson discusses Clare Mallory

Wednesday 15 March 2017
5.30pm for drinks and nibbles, 6:00pm Talk

Te Ahumairangi Ground Floor
National Library of NZ, Thorndon, Wellington

Gold coin donation from non-members appreciated


Collectors and Hoarders of Old Fashioned Children’s Stories
One Day Conference and Book Sale
Saturday 21 January 2017
Venue: Wainuiomata Gospel Church, Wellington
Cost $45 pp
Read the pdf

ronaYou are invited to the
Friends of the Dorothy Neal White Collection
End-of-the-year event 2016
Please join us for festive drinks and nibbles
followed by our special guest, Chris Szekely, who will discuss his latest book,
Rona, a chapter book for 7-9 year-olds, published by Huia Publishers – and getting excellent reviews!

Wednesday 7 December 2016 at 5:30pm

New Room Venue

Due to the recent earthquake we have had a slight change of venue for our Christmas event on Wednesday December 7th.
It will now be held on the Ground floor of the National Library in the programme rooms to the right of the foyer as you come in the front doors (Molesworth Street entrance).
All other details remain the same. We look forward to seeing you.

Note that we will NOT be in: Tiakiwai Conference Centre, Lower Ground Floor, National Library of NZ


At the October 2015 meeting of the Friends Dr Tatjana Schaefer of Victoria University’s English Programme gave a wonderfully lively and informative presentation on Alice “in and out of Wonderland”. If you would like to hear more from Tatjana there is the opportunity to attend a VUW Continuing Education short course from 31 October 2016. Over 5 weeks she will explore “Wolves in girls’ clothing: when girl characters enter fantasy worlds”. For further information about the course see

What Lies Beneath: 11 books by NZ Children’s authors about war

Authors Melinda Szymanik, Philippa Werry, Glyn Harper, Anna Mackenzie and Maria Gill, as well as illustrators Fifi Colston and Marco Ivancic are also giving a panel talk at Wellington Central Library on Tuesday 18th October from 6pm – 8pm

NEXT EVENT – “From Aeniad to Bromeliad: Terry Pratchett’s Nomes trilogy as comic epic”

bromeliadOur next event will be a talk about Terry Pratchett’s Nomes trilogy given by Victoria University senior lecturer Geoff Miles.  By way of introduction Geoff says: “Terry Pratchett’s Nomes trilogy tells the story of a race of 4-inch high nomes who are driven out of their cosy existence under the floorboards of a big English department store and forced to search for a new home. The titles of the original three booaeneidks (Truckers, 1989; Diggers and Wings, 1990) characterise them as adventurous comic romps, focusing on the nomes’ increasingly absurd feats in highjacking gigantic pieces of human technology, from a delivery van to a supersonic plane. But when the trilogy was assembled in a single volume Pratchett retitled it The Bromeliad – a title which suggests its status as a comic epic. I will argue that the story of The Bromeliad is in fact based on one of the greatest classical epics, Virgil’s ‘Aeneid’; and that, as well as exploiting the connection for effects of mock-epic humour, Pratchett is also responding quite seriously to some of Virgil’s serious epic themes.”

Members might remember that we included an obituary for Terry Pratchett in our June 2016 newsletter so we are particularly delighted to have Geoff come and share some of his insights into the writing of this fascinating author. Dr Geoff Miles is a Senior Lecturer at the School of English, Film, Theatre and Media Studies at Victoria University of Wellington.  His current research focuses on the classical tradition in English literature and in particular on the uses of classical mythology. He the co-author (with Paul Millar and John Davidson) of ‘The snake-haired muse: James K Baxter and classical myth’ (VUP, 2011) and the editor of ‘Classical mythology in English literature: a critical anthology’ (Routledge, 1999).

We hope to see you at the National Library on Tuesday 27 September 2016 starting at 5:30pm with drinks and nibbles.

Read the flyer about the event. If you have a place to put this on display that would be appreciated.


As many of you will know one of our founding members Mary Hutton died on 5 August 2016. At the September meeting, our first meeting since her death, Lynne Jackett will pay tribute to an influential colleague and friend.


The Wellington Children’s Book Association is hosting a presentation by Margaret Mahy Award winner Barbara Else on Monday 19 September 2016. Barbara was named the 2016 winner of New Zealand’s top award for children’s writers and illustrators in March. The Storylines Margaret Mahy Medal is awarded annually for lifetime achievement and an outstanding contribution to New Zealand children’s literature. As part of the award Barbara was invited to present a public lecture in Auckland in April.

John and Ruth McIntyre have organised for  Barbara to give her talk in Wellington at The Children’s Bookshop in Kilbirnie. Finger food and drinks provided. Meet from 6.30pm for a 7pm start. This is an open invitation – no charge but please RSVP to for catering numbers.  Barbara and Chris have recently moved to Dunedin so this will be a chance to catch up with Barbara  on her  flying visit back.


Nicola Daly was the FDNW research scholar 2014-2015 and there is a short piece about her going to Ohio in the last newsletter
Nicola is is off to spend time in the Marantz Picturebook Collection at Kent State University, in Ohio, USA.
She’ll be there for two weeks collecting data about dual language picture books.
Her blog is

With Sadness we note the Death of long time member Mary Hutton


Mary Hutton talks to Peter Ireland after the 2007 Annual General Meeting of the Friends.

Mary Hutton was a founding member, long-time committee member and inspiration for the establishment and continuation of the Dorothy Neal White Collection.

MARY HUTTON said of herself in 2006:

I have been involved with the Dorothy Neal White Collection since its inception. When School Library Service was based on Thorndon Quay organising librarians gathered up pre-1940 books from schools where they were not in use. This nucleus of the Collection was supplemented by the addition of a consignment of withdrawn books from the Dunedin Public Library, many of them selected by Dorothy Neal White. When the School Library Service, under Director Phyllis MacDonald, was relocated to Tawa a room was set aside for the collection of pre-1940 children’s books to be enlarged and developed. The Society of Friends was set up and I became their President from 1984 – 2000. Since then I have remained a committee member.

Most of my working life has been spent in the employment of the National Library, first in the acquisitions and reference sections of adult services, but predominantly in the Head Office of School Library Service where I worked as Co-ordinator of Book Selection, selecting and reviewing children’s and young adult books from around the world – work I thoroughly enjoyed. I was fortunate to be able to attend some overseas conferences about children’s books and reading, in Canada, Japan and Australia, meeting authors and other librarians in the field.

Since I retired in 2000 I have kept busy with voluntary work, walking, gardening, catching up on adult books and assessing an occasional manuscript for a local publisher. This has enabled me to keep my hand in with information about trends in children’s books and reading.

While I regret the relocation of the Dorothy Neal White Collection from its prime position on the top floor of the National Library, it is good to know that it is again accessible on the lower ground floor with a competent and enthusiastic children’s literature research librarian in charge of its promotion and development.

Mary Hutton

Our Current Display at the Turnbull Library in the Dorothy Neal White display case

Celebrating Beatrix Potter’s 150th birthday

Beatrix Potter was born in London into a well-to-do family on 28 July, 1866. She was the elder of two children, her brother, Bertram, being six years her junior. She was educated at home by a governess, and opportunities to spend time with children other than her brother were very limited.
From an early age Beatrix showed considerable artistic talent. As a child she spent a lot of time drawing and painting, often making studies of the many animals that she and her brother kept as pets in their nursery. Among her favourite subjects were her rabbits, Peter and Benjamin Bouncer, and a selection of mice. She also developed a keen interest in plants and botanical illustration. Family holidays in the country, in particular the Lake District, provided further inspiration.A fiercely independent young woman who was keen to have an income of her own, she began to sell her drawings as illustrations for books and greetings cards. Then came the idea for a book, which was eventually accepted for publication by Frederick Warne & Co. ‘The tale of Peter Rabbit’ was published in 1902, the first in a series of 23 tales inspired by her love of animals and the countryside. Her last children’s book was ‘Little Pig Robinson’, published in 1930.A final, previously unpublished tale, ‘Kitty-in-Boots’, is due to be published later this year with illustrations by Quentin Blake.The books featured here come from the Dorothy Neal White Collection and the National Children’s Collection.
See stamps marking Beatrix’s 150th … 150th-anniversary

Mary Skarott, Children’s Literature Librarian

Annual General Meeting 2016 of the Friends of the Dorothy Neal White Collection,

Wednesday 22 June 2016 Tiakiwai Conference Centre, Lower Ground Floor, National Library of New Zealand
5.30pm for drinks and nibbles, 6:00pm Talk, 6:30 AGM

National Library of NZ (Aitken Street Entrance) Wellington
Gold coin donation from non-members appreciated

Before the meeting the Research Librarian, Children’s Literature, Mary Skarott, will give a presentation Special Prize for Gardening: school and Sunday school prizes in New Zealand during World War I: some examples from the Dorothy Neal White Collection

View the flyer for the AGM

IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People) Biennial Congress was held in Auckland in August 2016. IBBY is an amazing organisation with sections in more than 70 countries, many of whom will send representatives to New Zealand for the congress.
The Congress will include the awarding of the Hans Christian Andersen Medal, the international final of the Kidsą Lit Quiz and Storylines Auckland Family Day. Along with these events is a concentrated, quality programme of speakers and other sessions.
Have a look at the website for the list of speakers announced so far, with more to come.
They are also calling for abstracts for presentations and posters which I hope some of you might be interested in submitting a proposal. Find info about themes etc here:
Thereąs a great website,  Facebook and Twitter pages so you can follow as further speakers and events are announced.
I do hope many of you will be able to come and be part of this amazing international event with its whole focus on books for children and young people.

Christmas Meeting:

Tuesday Dec 8th 5.30 for a 6pm start.
Committee members read a favourite extract or book around the Christmas theme.
National Library, Wellington.

A Sense of Wonder

Reading, Writing and Publishing Children’s Literature
12–13 November 2015
University of Otago
Dunedin, New Zealand
The University of Otago Centre for the Book is delighted to announce its 2015 annual symposium

The Friends recently published Notes-Books-Authors 12. The nineteen-forties: a turning point in writing for children by Trevor Mowbray is now available as a pdf on this site.

Notes-Books-Authors 12

‘She put a spade in her wheelbarrow and set off for Compost Hill’
Cover illustration from Poppa passes: adventures of the Vedgie people by A.W. Reed, illustrated by George Woods (Wellington: A H & A W Reed, 1943?)

Display of Children’s adventure books in the level 1 foyer, National Library of NZ

1‘I do love the beginning of the summer holls,’ said Julian. ‘They always seem to stretch out ahead for ages and ages.’ They go so nice and slowly at first,’ said Anne, his little sister, ‘Then they start to gallop.’
[from Enid Blyton’s Five go off in a caravan]
Adventure stories for children became popular from the mid-nineteenth century and early examples, aimed at boys, often dealt with military and imperial subjects. However, after World War I and onward into the twentieth century, there developed a trend for smaller scale adventures, including both male and female characters, with an intended audience of boys and girls.

Many of these stories fell int into the genre of ‘holiday adventure’, with Arthur Ransome and Enid Blyton being the most notable contributors. Parental absence was contrived by various means, leaving the children free for summer holidays filled with exploring, camping, sailing, detective work and the occasional mishap.

Chantalle Smith looking at the display

Committee member Chantalle Smith looking at the display in the level 1 foyer, National Library of NZ





On display are:
Enid Blyton. Five go off in a caravan. Illustrated by Eileen Soper.
(London: Hodder & Stoughton)
1946 (1952 reprint)

Enid Blyton. Five on a treasure island. Illustrated by Eileen Soper.
(London: Hodder & Stoughton)
1942 (1954 reprint)

Arthur Ransome. Swallows and Amazons. Illustrated by the author with help from Miss Nancy Blackett.
(London: Jonathan Cape), 1931

Esther Glen. Uncles three at Kamahi. Illustrated by Percy Graves.
(Auckland: Whitcombe & Tombs), 1926

Philippa Francklyn. The mystery of the swamp.
(London: Thomas Nelson and Sons), 1928

Janet S. Aldis. The campers.
(Oxford : Humphrey Milford, Oxford University Press), 1926

Little Books for Little People

Miniature Books from the Dorothy Neal White Collection

Minature Books on Display


Miniature books first appeared in Europe during the Middle Ages. At that time they were usually prayer books, and their size allowed them to be easily carried and concealed.

During the 19th and 20th centuries, books on all manner of subjects were made as miniatures, including fiction, dictionaries, bibles, prayers books and works like fishing guides that could easily be taken on an outing. Prized by collectors, a true miniature book is generally one that is less than about 7.5cm in width or length.

The little children’s books on display here were commercially published in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when publishers produced miniature libraries especially for children. While they are not all small enough to be true miniatures, they are perfect for small hands to hold.

Another popular development in children’s publishing at this time was the use of the die-cutting process to produce books in a variety of shapes such as animals, fairy tale characters, and even miniature countries.

bettyblueBooks on Show are:

 Marie de Bosguérard. Les amis de la maison ; Bons camarades ; Châteaux de sable ; Poussins petits.

(Paris: Nouvelle Librairie de la Jeunesse)


Canada ; South Africa.

(London: Castell Brothers)


Puss in the palace.

(London: Henry Frowde and Hodder & Stoughton)


Betty Blue. Illustrated by Rosa C. Petherick.

(London : Humphrey Milford)


The tale of a dog. Illustrated by W. Foster.

(London: Methuen)


Facsimile. Originally published: London: Ernest Nister, 1890.

Little and good ; A little love letter ; Merry legs: the story of a gee gee ; Quick march.

(London: Ernest Nister ; New York: E.P. Dutton & Co.)


Dorothy Neal White (pictured right), born 22 December 1915

Dorothy Neal White pictured at Yellowstone Park, USA

Dorothy Neal White pictured at Yellowstone Park, USA

The Society remembers librarian, Dorothy Neal White, who was born 100 years ago on 22 December 1915. She died in 1995.

Victorian Children’s Annuals

In the display case, National Library, entrance, the Turnbull Library

Children’s annuals were first published in the early nineteenth century and increased in popularity during the Victorian era. By the end of the nineteenth century most publishers produced an annual of some kind.Annuals were produced at the end of the year, with the Christmas market in mind. Some were made up of a specially compiled selection of material, and others were bound volumes of weekly or monthly magazines that had been issued during the year. Examples of both types are on display here.Their tone ranged from moral and religious to more adventurous and secular, and content included stories, poems, informative articles, letters from readers, puzzles and quizzes.

These examples, all from the Dorothy Neal White Collection, are on display outside the Turnbull Library through to the end of November.

-Mary Skarott, Research Librarian, Children’s Literature, Alexander Turnbull Library

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Mary Skarott, Research Librarian, Children’s Literature, Alexander Turnbull Library

The Friends of The Dorothy Neal White Collection

invite you to a talk by

Kay Hancock

Sliding and Flying: Growing up with Ready to Read


Illustration by Ian Jackson from: Sliding and flying by Helen A. Cutten

The Ready to Read instructional reading series was introduced to New Zealand schools by the Department of Education in 1963. For the first time, New Zealand children were learning to read from materials that reflected their own Southern Hemisphere worlds. “where the sun shines from the north and Christmas Day is in summer, where the farm looms larger than the factory, whose flora and fauna are foreign to the European textbook writer …” (Clarence Beeby, 1957).

Kay will share what she has discovered about the depiction of New Zealand within these fondly remembered Ready to Read materials. In addition to her slide presentation, Kay will bring along copies of the books. Browsing and reminiscing will be strongly encouraged.

5.30 p.m for a 6.00 p.m. start

Tuesday 23 February 2016

Tiakiwai Conference Centre, Lower Ground Floor, National Library of New Zealand

(Aitken Street entrance), Wellington

All Welcome

Non-members, gold coin koha would be appreciated


University of Otago symposium 2015
Storylines Awards deadline 31 October 2015

We are pleased to announce: Barbara Murison has accepted the role of Patron of the Friends.


Christmas Meeting:
Tuesday Dec 8th 5.30 for a 6pm start.
Committee members read a favourite extract or book around the Christmas theme.
At the National Library, Wellington.
Click the flyer image at right for details. >>>

Wednesday 21 October 2015 – Alice in and out of Wonderland

John Tenniel illusration from Alice in Wonderland

John Tenniel illusration from Alice in Wonderland

Dr Tatjana Schaefer, English Programme, Victoria University of Wellington, will mark the 150th anniversary of the publication of Alice in Wonderland with a talk to the Friends at the National Library of New Zealand.
Venue: Takiwai Conference Centre, Lower Ground Floor, National Library, corner Molesworth and Aitken Streets, Wellington. (Use Aitken Street entrance)
Drinks and nibbles from 5.30pm. Talk at 6pm.
Free entry. Donations welcome.

Storylines Free Family Day

In the Dorothy Neal White display case

2The fable is one of the oldest literary forms with the earliest known examples dating back to around 3000 B.C. The fables attributed to Aesop, a Greek slave, date from around 500 B.C.

Although originally intended for adults, Aesop’s fables have now established themselves firmly in the domain of children’s literature. They provide concise, entertaining stories with a moral lesson, and the presence of animals as the main protagonists in many of the tales adds to their enduring appeal.

On display here are some examples dating from the late 19th and early 20th centuries with pictures by some of the prominent illustrators of the day. Randolph Caldecott has chosen to include contemporary social comment in his work, while Walter Crane has rewritten each fable in the form of a five-line limerick surrounded by elaborate illustrations. Title pages by Charles Robinson and Arthur Rackham show typical Art-Nouveau elements.


Mary Skarott, Research Librarian, Children’s Literature


The AGM will be held on Thursday 7 May 2015 at the National Library of NZ. Flyer

Date: Thursday 7 May 2015
Time: 5.30pm for drinks and nibbles
6.00pm Nicola Daly, FDNW scholar, speaks about her research project
6:40pm AGM
Venue: Tiakiwai Conference Centre, Lower Ground Floor
National Library of NZ (Aitken Street Entrance) Wellington

If you have items for the agenda please send them as a reply to this message or directly to

We are delighted that our Research Scholar, Nicola Daly, will give a presentation Pakeha-Māori: European-Native. Ethnic labelling in the Dorothy Neal White Collection before the AGM.


We look forward to seeing you.

A Child’s War

Words and pictures from World War I
Runs until 27 February 2015 | 10am – 5pm, Monday – Saturday | Level one


See the Alexander Turnbul Library site for more details.


A Child’s War

Friends Event: Looking back

Events for A Child’s War, on at the Turnbull Gallery (below)

Date: 17 February, 2015
Time: 5.30pm – 7.00pm, talk begins at 6.00.
Cost: Free
Location: Tiakiwai (lower ground floor), National Library, corner Moleworth and Aitken Streets.
Contact Details: Email for more information.

Mary Skarott (Research Librarian, Children’s Literature) will talk about some of the recently published children’s books about World War I that have been added to the National Children’s Collection.

A Friends of the Dorothy Neal White Collection event.


Awards Manager Amie Lightbourne – New Zealand Post Book Awards
Behind the Scenes

Wednesday 5 March
From 5.30 (drinks and nibbles for 6pm start)
Tiakiwai Conference Centre
Lower ground Floor (use Aitken Street entrance)
National Library of New Zealand


Late 2012 and 2013

Bringwonder the storyteller acknowledged Family History Month

On 22 August 2013 in the Tiakiwai Room of the National Library building, Bringwonder entertained with Celtic tales, mainly Scottish, to celebrate his family roots.
Bringwonder is New Zealand’s first professional storyteller with over 30 years of experience, both here and overseas, drawing inspiration from a wide range of cultures and topics.


Friends of the Dorothy Neal White Collection

The Annual General Meeting 2013
was Tuesday 21 May 2013
Following the meeting special guest
Chris Szekely Chief Librarian of the Alexander Turnbull Library
talked of his award-winning book Rahui
and the just published
Swim: the Hinemoa and Tutanekai story


Below: Chris Szekely discusses his books.


Death of Patron Margaret Mahy


We record with deep regret that children’s author and patron of the Friends of the Dorothy Neal White Collection, Margaret Mahy, died 23 July 2012. Obituary.

See a newsletter article on this site from 2006 when Margaret won the world’s premier prize for children’s writing, the Hans Christian Andersen Award. She was a strong supporter of other authors of children’s stories and a valued patron. article

Congratulations NZ Post Book Award Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the NZ Post Book Awards
Winners on the Booksellers Site

Copies of the full minutes of the 2012 AGM will be posted soon.
2011 minutes here

Following the 2012 AGM the award-winning local author Fleur Beale (right) addressed the meeting.


Fleur Beale has written over twenty novels for teenagers. She won the 2007 Storylines Gaelyn Gordon Award for her first children’s novel, Slide the corner. She has been shortlisted several times in the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards (including this year), and in 2011 her novel Fierce September was the Young Adult Fiction Category Award Winner. Fleur Beale won the 2012 Storylines Margaret Mahy Medal.

Photograph of Fleur Beale from the Random House website

Children’s Literature Event

Mary Skarott Children’s Literature Specialist
Tuesday 26 February 2013, 5:30 for a 6pm start
National Library Wellington
Lower Ground Floor entrance Aitken Street



Annual General Meeting 2014

The Annual General Meeting 2014 of the Friends of the Dorothy Neal White Collection was held Thursday 26 June 2014 at 5.30pm
National Library of NZ

Nicola Daly – guest speaker

Before the meeting our new Research Scholar, Nicola Daly, introduced her research project ‘Reflections of national identity in picture books available to New Zealand children in the century before 1940’


Frontispiece of Waihoura, the Maori girl, by W.H.G. Kingston

The current Committee roles are:
Patron: vacant
President: vacant
Treasurer: Janet Blake
Membership Secretary: Trevor Mowbray
Minutes Secretary: vacant
Newsletter: Joan McCracken
Research Librarian Children’s Literature: Mary Skarott
Committee: Audrey Cooper, Barbara Robertson, Corrina Gordon, Tania Connelly

We would welcome more committee members!

If you have any agenda items please contact Janet, or Joan

Copies of the full minutes of the 2014 AGM will be available on this website soon.

Late 2014 and 2015

Friends of the Dorothy Neal White Collection End of Year Event.

The Friends of Dorothy Neal White Collection have great pleasure in inviting you to our end of year event. Join the committee for festive drinks and nibbles and the opportunity to have a guided tour of the new exhibition in the Turnbull gallery ‘A Child’s war’ with exhibition curator, Mary Skarott.

Tours of ‘A Child’s war’ exhibition

Date: 4 December, 2013
Time: 5.30pm tours start at 5.45
Cost: Free.
Location: Tiakiwai (lower ground floor), Aitken Street entrance, National Library building.
Contact Details: Email Mary Skarott or phone 04 470 4488.

We note with sadness the death of Friend of DNW, Carrick Lewis. Carrick was active in many community groups across many decades. His interests included Grey Power and the United Nations, as well as several arts and education groups. Carrick was valued for his supportive attitude to his fellow workers. He is sadly missed in Wellington circles.There was a memorial service for Carrick on Thursday 6 November, 2014 at LYCHGATE, Willis Street at 3.00 o’clock. A private cremation took place earlier in the week.

On Tuesday 28 October, 2014
At Tiakiwai (lower ground floor), National Library, corner Molesworth and Aitken Streets
Jill Shefrin, (pictured)
spoke on the subject:
To excite their attention with images and pictures: printed pictures in the formal and informal education of children in the long eighteenth century

Jill is Senior Research Associate in Arts at Trinity College, University of Toronto talk about the history of children’s literature and book illustration in the 18th century.

Space is limited, so book your spot by emailing

Friends of Dorothy Neal White Collection
Events late 2011, early 2012



Top: Friends of the Dorothy Neal White Collection research scholarship recipient, Anne Siebeck, addressing the Friends meeting on Wednesday 8 February 2012.

Lower: Friends after Anne’s presentation discussing her research.

Photos: David Retter


Certificate of Registration:


THE Meeting that was
2011 AGM of the DNW Collection

Mary Skarott reads a rabbity piece to the DNW Friends Agm

Trevor Mowbray presenting his research
“Books from the 1940s read by children in NZ” to the Friends of the Dorothy Neal White Collection at Archives NZ on 6 October 2011


Above:Trevor Mowbray presenting his research on “Books from the 1940s read by children in NZ” to the Friends of the Dorothy Neal White Collection at Archives NZ on 6 October 2011

Below: Trevor and some of the 1940s books he discussed in his presentation


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