OneTree House is a New Zealand independent children’s, young adult and educational book publisher. Their titles emanate from a wealth of award-winning talent, and include picture books, junior fiction, middle fiction and young adult novels from authors such as Lani Wendt Young, Kyle Mewburn, Tina Shaw, Sherryl Jordan, Diana Menefy and Tanya Batt. They also publish books for the education sector with non-fiction titles on a range of topics and bilingual reprints of much-loved picture books. OneTree House was named 2018 Best Children’s Publisher of the Year (Oceania) at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair.
OneTree House’s picture books are built for quality, positive reading time whether that be in the classroom or at home. From kickass female characters, to mindfulness, to common garden insects, the picture book series represents a diverse range of childhood experiences. Humour, rhyme and rhythm keep young children engaged, and local New Zealand contexts help early readers to understand and navigate the world they live in. OneTree House’s strong bilingual publishing programme across te reo Māori and Samoan language makes their picture books popular with educators.
OneTree House publishes both junior fiction and middle fiction which are perfect for class set reading. These small novels are a great step for students to practice long form reading, and growing their confidence and competence. Each title features chapters, long sentences, and themes as wide-ranging as civics, environmental science, refugee crises, and resilience. Fun series like Eugene’s Island allows readers to experience the problems, pitfalls and potential of island life, while titles like SS Penguin SOS and Kākāpō Keeper are based on real histories. A new junior fiction series incorporating themes of conservation and Māori mythology is coming soon.
OneTree House has a generous selection of young adult novels from acclaimed New Zealand authors. New Zealand classics like Alex sit alongside anthologies of short stories and compelling stories of resilience. Some titles like Afakasi Woman have won awards both in New Zealand and overseas with University of the South Pacific, the NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults, and Storylines all recognising the novel as a notable work. Teachers notes for most of the titles are available to download from the publisher website, and science-related titles include scientific info in the back of the book itself.
OneTree House is proud to publish a quality selection of non-fiction books for the classroom and beyond, covering New Zealand history, geography, science, and social studies for Primary and Secondary school-aged students. Titles like Protest! Shaping Aotearoa and Hindsight: Pivotal Moments in New Zealand’s History bring valuable histories to life, while memoirs like White Moko champion real people who have overcome adversary. The Inside Bubble Earth titles take climate change education seriously, while other titles offer a sensitive approach to the social challenges children may be facing outside the classroom.
The Telesā series is a bestselling fantasy series, and the first young adult novel series to be set in Sāmoa. Witty, ironic and flavoured with poetic descriptions, the titles form an interconnected world of gripping stories which draw on elements of Samoan culture and mythology. The Telesā series is now recommended reading in many secondary schools as well as being a text in Pacific literature classes. Fire’s Caress was named a Notable title at the Storylines book awards in 2021 and was a finalist at the NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults in 2021.
Te Reo Māori
OneTree House publishes both bilingual English/te reo Māori books as well as titles solely in te reo Māori. From board books for preschoolers that teach plants and colours, to titles that centre on weather and seasons, these titles are essential teaching tools for the classroom. OneTree House also publishes bilingual editions from renowned artists and authors such as Robyn Kahukiwa and Reina Kahukiwa as well as counting books and picture books solely in te reo Māori.
OneTree House’s extensive bilingual publishing programme will see the award-winning English/te reo Māori book Of Course You Can! translated into English/Gagana Sāmoa, English/lea Faka-Tonga, English/vagahau Niue. A number of other OneTree House picture books are available in multiple languages, with titles like The Eleventh Sheep and Moon Cow being available in te reo Māori, Gagana Sāmoa, lea Faka-Tonga, Hindi, Punjabi, Arabic, and Mandarin. OneTree House works in partnership with Victoria University of Wellington and the New Zealand Society of Translators and Interpreters to ensure the quality of the translations through consultation and peer reviews. Publishing is expanding in this area and more bilingual books are on the horizon.
Samoan language and culture
OneTree House is proud to represent Mila’s Books, the publisher of quality Samoan children’s books. The My Gagana series is a set of early language readers for pre-school and junior primary-aged children, designed to be rich literacy resources for all children, families and teachers in order to support and develop the learning of basic Gagana Sāmoa (the Samoan language). Other titles by Mila’s Books tell original stories of Samoan cultural identity, and promote understanding and knowledge around important elements of Samoan culture. Well-designed and incorporating playful illustrations, Mila’s Books are written especially for classroom use and provide study questions for students.
Lani Wendt Young
In 2011, Lani published the first title in her young adult series Telesā — the first YA fantasy novel series to be set in Sāmoa that is now recommended reading in many secondary schools as well as being a text in Pacific literature classes. Born and raised in Sāmoa, she attended university in the USA and New Zealand, before returning home to work as a high school English teacher. She was a 2018 Pacific Laureate, received the 2019 Waitangi Day Honours from the New Zealand Society of Authors, and was invited to give the annual New Zealand Book Council Read NZ lecture in 2019. Her books have been shortlisted for, or won, many other awards including Storylines notable titles and the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults.
Mary-anne Scott is an award-winning writer and musician who has written six novels for young adults and children. Her young adult novel Sticking with Pigs was shortlisted at the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults 2018 as well as the NZ Mountain Books fiction Awards, and was a 2019 Storylines Notable Book Award recipient. One of her earlier works Coming Home to Roost was shortlisted in the 2016 Book Awards for Children and Young Adults and Snakes and Ladders won the category in 2013. A more recent novel Spearo was a 2021 Storylines Notable Book Award recipient and her latest novel is The Tomo.
Tim Tipene was adopted into the Waitai-Tipene whanau as a toddler and was raised in two cultures, Māori and European. Tim’s immediate family were abusive and violent, and it was only after being expelled from high school and going through a number of jobs, homes, and relationships before Tim managed to find help to address his past. He overcame his abusive and violent childhood, broke the cycle, and has spent his life transforming the lives of others. Tim now works with young people through his acclaimed Warrior Kids programme. His memoir and non-fiction books play an important role in allowing children to see experiences of abuse reflected in literature, with the hope that seeing such experiences mirrored in books can help children come to terms with difficult upbringings.
Dahlia Malaeulu is a Wellington-born Samoan author of children’s Pasifika books and creator of Mila’s Books. She is a passionate educator who enjoys creating stories that develop cultural confidence amongst tamaiti (children), fanau (families) and faiā‘oga (educators). Dahlia is currently working with Te Papa Press to produce a board book and has self-published a young adult novel. She has produced a short play for the School Journal as part of Samoan/Tongan bilingual series and her poetry is forthcoming from the University of South Pacific in an anthology called Our Sea of Islands. Dahlia has received funding to produce Mila’s My Aganu’u Series (a follow up to Mila’s My Gagana Series) which will showcase Samoan cultural elements as well as language.
Existing international relationships
OneTree House has distribution arrangements in Australia through John Reed Books and Global Language Books Pty Ltd, and in the U.K and Europe through Gazelle Book Services Ltd. North American rights to picture book Seeking an Aurora were sold to Blue Dot Press, and their edition received a starred Kirkus review.