Buy 'Battle of the Birds'


RRP: $19.99

Class sets of 5: 10% discount

Class sets of 10: 20% discount

An ebook version will be available in 2012.

Sales contact: Candice Paewai, Taramea Publishing

Battle of the Birds is available from the publisher. Go to Taramea's website to purchase a copy.


Publisher's Comment:

Taramea Publishing is about New Zealanders telling our own stories in whichever way they come. It’s about stories from Aotearoa. It’s about honouring the heritage of each and every one of us who abides here.  I first read Lee’s manuscript, Battle of the Birds, in August last year. I was sick in bed with the ‘winter blues’. I curled up in bed with her book and had a remarkable read.

This is what I said to Lee at the time:

‘Well, what a wonderful story. Congratulations Lee, you have done an awesome job. Very clever! Entertaining! I like the occasional ‘big’ word that you have thrown in to flummox the kids (and adults). I like the excitement of it. I love the way you have included little bits of Maori history and so on.’

I knew it was the right book for Taramea Publishing. It would entertain children and adults alike. It would give food for thought with regards to the plight of our birds and take one’s imagination back into time one thousand years ago when only Maori inhabited this land. Inspiring Lee, thank you for sharing your amazing imagination with us.


About the Cover Artist:

Palmerston North artist Vonnie Sterritt’s artwork features on the cover of Battle of the Birds a children’s fantasy adventure by Lee Murray, released this month by Taramea Publishing. It’s not the first foray into book illustration for Vonnie, a fine arts graduate who has previously illustrated a number of scientific publications, as well as picture books, The Maketu Whitebait and The Maketu Tuna, also by Taramea.  Well-known for her stunning atmospheric landscape paintings, Vonnie jumped at the chance to create the cover art for Battle of the Birds, the story of a young girl carried back to a time when the flightless struggled for a place among New Zealand’s birds. “I just love books,” Vonnie says. “I’ve illustrated books of my own, dragons and things. I like fantasy and the fantastic, and that’s what appealed to me about Lee’s book. When I read the story, I wanted to find a particular part that entertained all the bird characters. I symbolised those characters, looking at each bird’s feathers and stylising them. And I thought the feathers should be bright, especially for children.” An art teacher, Central Region art advisor, and co-author of two books on teaching art to children (now out of print) Vonnie has a keen understanding of the kind of artwork that appeals to children. When using a story for inspiration Vonnie says she takes a particular approach: “I put everything else away so I can focus on it and just live it. With a story, it’s important to reflect the right feel, personality, and atmosphere.” Local art lovers will be pleased to learn that this isn’t a permanent move away from her glorious landscape work: Vonnie simply thrives on new challenges. “I don’t like to be singular in my view of the art world. I enjoyed working on the cover of Battle of the Birds because the story involves fantasy and the fantastical, taking me out of the realm of derivative art.” For a peek at her current projects, visitors are welcome to join Vonnie at The Art Studio, 791 Main Street.