Storylines Children’s Literature Charitable Trust of New Zealand | Te Whare Waituhi Tamariki o Aotearoa

Storylines Notable Book Lists 2023

The 2023 Storylines Notable Books List, for the highest quality books in five genres published between August 2022 and November 2023, is compiled from more than 160 entries from publishers by expert panels of authors, teachers, librarians, academics and parents.

The annual list was begun by Storylines in 1999 and selection is eagerly sought by authors, illustrators and publishers. It provides a valuable reading and purchasing guide to families, schools and libraries, and to young readers, with the books in each genre listed in ascending order of age range suitability within each genre.

The 2023 Storylines Notable Book Award winners

Storylines Notable Picture Books (age range from birth to 8 years)

Duck Goes Meow

Written by Juliette MacIver; illustrated by Carla Martell

(Scholastic NZ 2023)

Tama and the Taniwha

Written by Melanie Koster; illustrated by Monica Koster

(Scholastic NZ 2023)


Written and illustrated by Gavin Bishop

(Penguin Random House NZ 2023)

E Oma, Rāpeti: Pō Mārie / Run, Rabbit: Goodnight

Written by Norah Wilson; illustrations by Kimberly Andrews; translated by Pania Papa

(Scholastic NZ 2023)

Granny McFlitter’s Eggcellent Easter

Written by Heather Haylock; illustrated by Lael Chishom

(Penguin Random House NZ 2023)

Grandpa’s Dashing Dessert

Written by Tania Sickling; illustrated by Lael Chisholm

(Penguin Random House NZ 2023)


Written by Sacha Cotter; illustrated by Josh Morgan

(Huia Publishers, 2023)

Lucy and the Dark

Written by Melinda Szymanik; illustrated by Vasanti Unka

(Penguin Random House NZ 2023)

At the Bach

Written by Joy Cowley; illustrated by Hilary Jean Tapper

(Gecko Press 2023)

The Great Kiwi School Day

Written and illustrated by Donovan Bixley

(Upstart Press 2023)

Storylines Notable Junior Fiction (age range from 7 years to 13 years)

Like the Wind

Written by J L Williams

(Ocean Echo Books 2023)

Lopini the Legend

Written by Feana Tu’akoi

(Scholastic NZ 2023)

Tūī Street Legends

Written by Anne Kayes

(Wildling Books 2023)

Pipi and Pou and the Tentacles of the Deep

Written by Tim Tipene; illustrated by Isobel Joy Te Aho-White

(OneTree House 2023)


Written by David Hill

(Penguin Random House 2023)

Jason Mason and the Flightless Bird Fiasco

Written by Jason Gunn and Andrew Gunn

(Bateman Books 2023)

Children of the Rush – Book 2

Written by James Russell

(Dragon Brothers Books 2023)

(Big Little Blue, Book Two)

Written and illustrated by Raymond McGrath

(Scholastic New Zealand 2023)

The Hudson, the Hunt and the Helicopter

Written by Joan Joass

(Copy Press Books)

Once Upon a Wickedness

Written by Fleur Beale; illustrated by Lily Uivel

(Penguin Random House 2023)

Highly commended

Caged, Susan Brocker (Scholastic NZ 2023)

Storylines Notable Young Adult Fiction (age range from 13 years to 18 years)

The Impossible Story of Hannah Kemp

Written by Leonie Agnew

(Walker Books Australia 2022)

The Edge of Light_New Dawning by A M Dixon

The Edge of Light: New Dawning

Written by AM Dixon

(OneTree House 2023)


Iris and Me by Philippa Werry

Iris and Me

Philippa Werry

(The Cuba Press 2023)

Catch a Falling Star

Eileen Merriman

(Penguin Random House 2023)

The Other Brother

Written by Jax Calder

(OneTree House 2023)

The Sparrow

Tessa Duder

(Penguin Random House NZ 2023)

Flying and Falling by Lynda Tomalin

Flying and Falling

Written by Lynda Tomalin

(GlitterInk Press Ltd 2023)

Storylines Notable Non-fiction (age range from 3 years to 18 years)

Ultrawild by Steve Mushin

Ultrawild: an Audacious Plan to Rewild Every City on Earth

Written by Steve Mushin

(Allen & Unwin 2023)

Mangō: Sharks and Rays of Aotearoa

Written and illustrated by Ned Barraud

(Te Papa Press 2023)

Tuatara, A Living Treasure by Katie Furze

Tuatara, a Living Treasure

Written by Katie Furze; illustrated by Ned Barraud

(Scholastic NZ 2023)

Critters of Aotearoa by Nicola Toki

Critters of Aotearoa: 50 Bizarre But Lovable Members of Our Wildlife Community

Written by Nicola Toki; illustrated by Lily Duval

(Penguin Random House 2022)

The Observologist by Giselle Clarkson

The Observologist – A handbook for mounting very small scientific expeditions

Written and illustrated by Giselle Clarkson

(Gecko Press 2023)

Good Sports by Stuart Lipshaw

Good Sports: A Storybook of Kiwi Sports Heroes

Written by Stuart Lipshaw

(Penguin Random House 2023)

My First Words about Tikanga Maori by Stacey Morrison

My First Words About Tikanga Māori

Written by Stacey Morrison, Kurawaka Productions

(Penguin Random House NZ 2023)

Wot Knot You Got by Selina Tusitala Marsh

Wot Knot You Got? Mophead’s Guide to Life

Written by Selina Tusitala Marsh

(Auckland University Press 2023)


Written and illustrated by Gavin Bishop

(Penguin Random House 2023)

Those Magnificent Voyagers by Rick Fisher

Those Magnificent Voyagers of the Pacific

Written by Rick Fisher and Andrew Crowe

(Bateman Books 2023)

Highly commended

  • Pasifika Navigators – Pasifika Student Poetry Collection by 52 Pasifika student contributors; illustrated by Darcy Solia (Mila’s Books 2023)

Storylines Notable Te Reo Māori (original texts or translations into Te Reo Māori, any genre)

Te Rā Kura ki Aotearoa

Written and illustrated by Donovan Bixley; translated by Darryn Joseph

(Upstart Press 2023)

Tōku Whānau Rerehua – My Beautiful Family

Written by Rauhina Cooper; illustrated by Isobel Joy Te Aho-White

(Oratia Books 2023)


Ko Ngā Whetū Takirua o Matariki, Ko Waitī rāua ko Waitā

Written by Miriama Kamo; illustrated by Zak Waipara; translated by Ariana Stevens

(Scholastic NZ 2023)

Ko Tama me te Taniwha

Written by Melanie Koster; illustrated by Monica Koster; translated by Pānia Papa

(Scholastic NZ 2023)

Riwia me te Mātai Arorangi

Written by Linda Tuhiwai Smith; illustrated by Isobel Joy Te Aho-White

(Huia Publishers 2023)

Ko Te Wai, Ko Tama Me Te Marama

Written by Linda Tuhiwai Smith; illustrated by Isobel Joy Te Aho-White

(Huia Publishers 2023)

Ka Wehi Au Ki Ngā Wenerei

Written by Linda Tuhiwai Smith; illustrated by Isobel Joy Te Aho-White

(Huia Publishers 2023)

He Reo Iti Noa Ahau

Written by Linda Tuhiwai Smith; illustrated by Isobel Joy Te Aho-White

(Huia Publishers 2023)

He Mahi Taunga Kore

Written by Linda Tuhiwai Smith; illustrated by Isobel Joy Te Aho-White

(Huia Publishers 2023)

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