Kuwi's Very Shiny Bum

A humorous and light hearted story to guide children from a young age to look for small ways to be generous and caring of others, in a time of year that can often be all about the ‘presents’.  A perfect kiwi Christmas book.

20c from each purchase will be donated to Kiwis for Kiwi

ISBN: 9780994136404

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Kuwi's First Egg

"Children will enjoy the pictures, as the burrow expands and new insects make their own little homes around it, and the little kiwi’s expressions are rather gorgeous. A book that will be asked to be read again and again."

Maria Gill - Author & Children's Book Reviewer.

20c from each purchase is donated to Kiwis for Kiwi

ISBN: 9780473299095

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Kuwi's Huhu Hunt

"The text is minimal and demands to be read aloud and the characters of Kuwi and Huwi are delightful. There are some surprises amongst the illustrations, look for Anika the Moa. I thought the eel eclair looked delicious." 

Bob Doherty - Book reviewer - Bobs Books.

20c from each purchase is donated to Kiwis for Kiwi

ISBN: 9780473325275

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Kuwi's Creative Colouring Book

(For Big and Small People). 

Kuwi the Kiwi takes you on a native New Zealand journey through intricate line art. The illustrative magic of Kat Merewether comes alive with this creative colouring book, stunningly illustrated for all ages.

20c from each purchase is donated to Kiwis for Kiwi

ISBN: 9780473349745

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Te Hua Tuatahi a Kuwi

Te reo Māori translated version of Kuwi's First Egg. 

Nā Kat Merewether i tuhi. Written and Illustrated by Kat Merewether.  Nā Pānia Papa i whakamāori. Translated by Pānia Papa

Winner of the Te Reo Māori Childrens Choice Award 2016.

20c from each purchase is donated to Kiwis for Kiwi

ISBN: 9780473349455

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BRIEF HISTORY OF Kuwi THE KIWI.

I first came up with the idea behind Kuwi’s First Egg when I was surviving through the perils of life with a newborn. I felt a little like we were learning to be parents through trial and error! I made mistakes, had to ask for help, and learned so much. Kuwi is me, and any parent who feels a little like they were thrown in the deep end when they became a parent.

I had 2 year old Willow and was pregnant with my third daughter Florence, when I actually put pen to paper to write and storyboard the book. I had been reading very basic and un-stimulating books to Willow, aimed at her age group. I wanted to write something I could read to a child of that age, that they would enjoy as much as the parent reading it.

In my research, I discovered that the male kiwi typically cares for the Kiwi egg. I thought that was quite interesting, and so the character Kuwi, being female, turns that idea on its head. She is a confused first-time mother Kiwi, who has found herself alone with her new egg. The kiwi population is so fragile, I imagine kiwi often lose their partners to predators. And what would happen if a pregnant kiwi lost her mate?

I added very basic Te Reo Māori words into the story, to introduce children to a little Te Reo at a young age. The story is simply written to suit the 1-5 year age group, but it has a broader appeal due to it’s sense of humour and subtle iconic New Zealand feel.

PROCESS - How do you create a children's Book?

I spent over a year working on the illustrations for Kuwi’s First Egg. Firstly I put together the sketched storyboard to create an illustration for each page of text in the book. I did a lot of research on kiwi, then I drew the main character, Kuwi, again and again in many different positions and with different expressions to get her looking just right. Practice really does make perfect! I also created a plasticine character model of Kuwi which helped me with consistency of the character throughout the book.

I then created the layout of the book in the program Adobe InDesign. I made sure there were the correct number of pages for the printing process I had chosen, and placed all of the text on the pages. The next step was to draw each illustration spread to scale, with traditional pencil. Then, using tracing paper I drew these over and over until I was completely happy with the composition.

I then printed out the book with all of the draft sketches and text in place. I read this draft over and over to my girls, to make sure the text flowed and that the illustrations had the right level of detail. I also tested it on their friends, my friends, and other family members. When I was completely happy with the text and illustration ‘skeletons’, I scanned them and created a digital file of each sketch using Adobe Photoshop. I created my own brushes and swatches within Photoshop and used them to start the arduous but absolutely enjoyable part – painting each spread.

My style guidelines for the illustration of this book were to create a cute, emotive, detailed and humourous images, that together with the story can be read over and over again, and with each time, something new can be discovered within the illustrations.

Character model of Kuwi, with initial sketches.

Character model of Kuwi, with initial sketches.

Character sketches in different poses

Character sketches in different poses

Kat working on her Intuos Cintiq

Kat working on her Intuos Cintiq