Melanie Jane Drewery

Ngāti Māhanga

1970 -

Melanie Drewery was born in Palmerston North. She attended Brookby School, Corrans Intermediate School and Queen Charlotte College. She continued her studies at Nelson Polytech where she was awarded a Certificate in Craft and Design. She also has a Diploma of Freelance Journalism from the N.Z. Institute of Business. Melanie has worked as a children’s librarian, preschool supervisor, potter, artist and writer. She has written picture books and short stories. Her book Koro’s Medicine was a finalist in the N.Z. Post Children’s Book awards in 2005. She won Te Kura Pounamu-Lianza 2005 for the Māori translation and in 2008 her book Tahi: One Lucky Kiwi won the Picture Book section. In addition, Melanie’s stories are continually listed as Storylines Notable Books.She has attended a Huia Publishers’ novel writing workshop at Hongoeka Marae led by Adrienne Jansen, and she is involved in the Writers in Schools programme.

"The Grumble Rumble Mumbler (Huia, 2007) was chosen to be read at the 2007 New Zealand's Biggest Storytime, during Library Week. Click here to hear Drewery reading this at Wellington Central Public Library. 'The Grumble Rumble Mumbler acknowledges children’s fears, and deals with them in a gentle and reassuring way.' (Create Readers Blog, National Library Website).

In 2008 The Mad Tadpole Adventure (Scholastic, 2007) was nominated in the junior fiction category for the 2008 New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults, and Tahi: One Lucky Kiwi (Random House, 2007) won Best Picture Book at the 2008 New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. The judges of these awards said 'here's a story to inspire all age groups, where unobtrusive facts about kiwis sit comfortably alongside the snappy, and humorous text'."

Melanie Drewery's works have been continually listed as Storylines Notable Books. These include: Matariki (2004), Koro's Medicine (2005), Nanny Mihi's Christmas (2006), Itiiti's Gift (2007), The Mad Tadpole Adventure (2008), The Grumble Rumble Mumbler (2008), Dad's Takeaways (2008), Tahi: One Lucky Kiwi (2008), and Big Fish, Little Fish (2009).

She currently lives in Nelson and participates in the Writers in Schools programme.

Biographical sources

  • Correspondence from Melanie Drewery 4 January and 24 July 2006.
  • 28 October 2016
  • 28 October 2016

    Children's literature

  • Nanny Mihi and the Rainbow. Auckland, N.Z.: Reed, 2001.
  • Also in te reo Māori.
  • Nanny Mihi’s Garden. Auckland, N.Z.: Reed, 2002.
  • Nanny Mihi’s Birthday Surprise. Auckland, N.Z.: Reed, 2003.
  • Matariki. Auckland, N.Z.: Reed, 2003.
  • Also in te reo Māori.
  • The Treasure. Auckland, N.Z.: Reed, 2003.
  • Also in te reo Māori.
  • Nanny Mihi’s Treasure Hunt. Auckland, N.Z.: Reed, 2004.
  • Child of Aotearoa. Auckland, N.Z.: Reed, 2004.
  • Also in te reo Māori.
  • Koro’s Medicine. Wellington, N.Z.: Huia, 2004.
  • Finalist in the 2005 Picture Book Category of the New Zealand Post Book Awards. Also written in te reo Māori.
  • Child of Aotearoa. Auckland N.Z.: Reed, 2004.
  • Illustrations by Bruce Potter.
  • He tamaiti nō Aotearoa. Auckland N.Z.: Reed, 2004.
  • Illustrations by Bruce Potter.
  • Nanny Mihi’s Xmas. Auckland, N.Z.: Reed, 2005.
  • "Nanny Mihi's Christmas." Auckland, N.Z.: Reed, 2005.
  • Illustrations by Tracy Duncan.
  • Ko te koha a Itiiti. Auckland, N.Z.: Reed, 2006.
  • Illustrations by Fifi Colston and translation by Hon̄e Apanui.
  • Papa's Island. Auckland, N.Z.: Reed, 2006.
  • Illustrations by Fifi Colston.
  • Itiiti's gift. Auckland, N.Z.: Reed, 2006.
  • Illustrations Fifi Colston.
  • Dad's takeaways. Wellington, N.Z.: Mallinson Rendel, 2007.
  • Illustrations by Christopher White.
  • Nḡa ō rangaranga a P̄āpā. Wellington, N.Z.: Mallinson Rendel Publishers Ltd, 2007.
  • Illustrations by Christopher White and translations by Kararaina Uatuku.
  • Tahi : one lucky kiwi. Auckland, N.Z.: Random House, 2007.
  • Illustrations by John O'Reilly and Ali Teo.
  • Mihimihi. Wellington, N.Z.: South Pacific Press, 2007.
  • Illustrations by Fraser Williamson.
  • The grumble rumble mumbler. Loudmouth Productions. Wellington, N.Z.: Huia Publishers, 2007.
  • The mad tadpole adventure. Auckland, N.Z.: Scholastic, 2007.
  • Illustrated by Jenny Cooper.
  • "Matariki." The Reed treasury of New Zealand children's books. Auckland, N.Z.: Reed Pub., c2007.
  • Illustrations by Bruce Potter.
  • Big fish, little fish. Auckland N.Z.: Reed, 2008.
  • Jiminy shows off. Wellington, N.Z.: Mallinson Rendel, 2008.
  • Stories from our night sky. North Shore, N.Z.: Puffin, 2009.
  • Illustrations by Jenny Cooper.
  • Stranger madness. Auckland N.Z.: Scholastic, 2010.
  • Illustrations by Jenny Cooper.
  • Fishing fame. Auckland, N.Z.: Scholastic, 2012.
  • Illustrations by John Bennett.
  • Yucky mucky. Auckland, N.Z.: Duck Creek Press, 2012.
  • Illustrations by Trevor Pye.
  • "The transformation of Isabella Princess Big Eyes." Read me another one, please! : New Zealand stories and poems for children. Auckland, N.Z.: Whitcoulls Pub., 2012.
  • Selected by Belynda Smith and Dorothy Dudek Vinicombe.
  • Fiction

  • "The Nikau Racers." Mischief & Mayhem. Ed. Barbara Else. Auckland, N.Z.: Random House, 2005. 15-18.
  • "Weight of the World." Huia Short Stories 6. Contemporary Māori Fiction. Wellington, N.Z.: Huia, 2005. 29-34.