Clean Slate Press

Clean Slate Press is a publisher of innovative, high-quality children’s books for the international and domestic education markets. Its products include levelled fiction and non-fiction that is linked to both New Zealand and international curricula. Clean Slate Press publishes high-interest, high-design student books that promote the development of critical thinking and a love of learning. Its products empower students, teachers and parents to access and make sense of information in an increasingly information-loaded world. Clean Slate Press is the proud publisher of more than 200 books written by Joy Cowley, a Member of the Order of New Zealand (ONZ).


Featured series

The Joy Cowley list

Award-winning author Joy Cowley has written a remarkable range of children’s books — including over 1,000 educational books for children learning to read. Mrs Wishy-Washy, Cowley’s most famous title, has sold more than 40 million copies. Clean Slate Press has nearly 200 Cowley titles, categorised according to reading level from 1 to 20. Cowley’s work is characterized by being child-centred, high-quality literature for young readers. She says: “Children need to find affirmation in a story. The story should empower children in several ways: helping them to feel good about their ability to make cognitive connections and to solve problems; helping them to see their own worthiness in the characters.”

The StoryWorld series

StoryWorld is a vibrant, modern multicultural literacy/social studies series that opens up a world of information. Presented in a flip-book format, each StoryWorld title includes a traditional tale with full colour, modern illustrations, and an 8-page section that explores the country/culture of origin in a range of formats: non-fiction reports, photo essays, tourist sales information, journals, procedural texts, and short facts. Separate literacy levels are given for the traditional tale and 8-page information section. Each book is supported by inquiry learning teacher’s notes. All StoryWorld titles are available as both big books and small books. Some of the stories and places covered include Tonga, Samoa, Iran, Philippines, Romania, Punjab (India/Pakistan), Armenia, Vietnam, Ethiopia, Tibet, China, Korea, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, East Africa, Canada, the Arctic, and Peru. 

Wise Up!

Wise Up! is a unique series written by New Zealand authors that brings together financial literacy, problem solving, social studies and science, all within realistic situations. Early readers include topics such as costume parties, forests, and extreme sports, while higher age levels include science and environment, technology, and transport. Maths and problem solving questions are sprinkled throughout each book and provide the opportunity to practise the maths content. Each book contains a glossary, answers to the Wise Up! questions, and a follow-on challenge activity. Inquiry learning teacher’s notes are provided for each title, outlining both literacy and numeracy achievement objectives and lesson plans.

ODD Books for Cool Kids

The ODD books are a series of high-interest, quirky subject matters in a magazine-style format complete with an ODD game. Topics like odd careers, odd hobbies, and odd characters provide a wealth of short and funny non-fiction stories. This series is great for reluctant readers, and cross-curricula links and comprehension exercises included for extension. Game board, comprehension question cards, contents, and index pages can be used for practising key word searches.

Wellbeing education

Sometimes children need a special book for a special reason. These carefully selected titles are crafted by authors and illustrators with backgrounds in teaching and psychology. They unpack complex issues for young readers in a sensitive, engaging, and memorable way. Themes include autism, imagination, refugees, social anxiety, family relationships, domestic violence, mindfulness, dyslexia, kiwi culture, and New Zealand history.

Featured authors

Joy Cowley

Joy Cowley ONZM is a prolific, widely-published, and much celebrated New Zealand writer of fiction for adults and children. Cowley began her career writing short stories and novels before moving into the realm of children’s literature. She has published numerous novels and short stories. She has written a remarkable range of children’s books – including over 1,000 educational books for children learning to read. Cowley has won many awards for her writing. In 2005 she was made a Distinguished Companion of New Zealand Order of Merit for services to children’s literature, and she was awarded a Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement for Fiction in 2010. In 2018, Cowley was given New Zealand’s top honour, becoming a Member of the Order of New Zealand. Also in 2018, Cowley was shortlisted for the Hans Christian Andersen Award, the top international award in children’s literature.

Tanya Batt

Tanya Batt is one of New Zealand’s top performance storytellers and she is also a published author of both fiction and non-fiction. Tanya travels the world performing stories to delighted audiences. Her writing is both child-friendly and sophisticated.

Philip Webb

Philip Webb is a well-known children’s book illustrator. Born in England, Philip spent his early years in Hong Kong and Kenya before moving to New Zealand. He has illustrated a large number of children’s books and won several awards, including New Zealand Post Honour Awards in 2000 and 2009.

Existing international relationships

Clean Slate Press has publishing and distribution partners in Australia and the Pacific, the USA, Canada, UK, Hong Kong, China, Korea, Singapore, and the UAE. They offer publishing services to a number of major international publishers, spanning from product conception to full design, writing, and editorial services.



Sandy Roydhouse
Business Director, Clean Slate Press