Toitoi 15 Celebrates Young Kiwi Creatives

A beehive, a kettle and a cow on a spoon... Toitoi 15 is here!


A Wellington 12-year-old has crocheted a beehive, a kettle and a cow sitting on a spoon as illustrations in Issue 15 of Toitoi: A Journal for Young Writers and Artists.

Zara Hermens from Brooklyn School was commissioned to illustrate a poem called ‘Milo’ written by another 12-year-old, Benjamin Grainger from Te Awamutu. Zara responded with three pieces of crochet which were delivered by courier to an astonished Toitoi team.

“We have published drawings, paintings, cartoons and digital art before, but never crochet,” says Toitoi editor Charlotte Gibbs. “Zara’s response to the writing was witty and truly original, and really does justice to Benjamin’s amazing poem. It is a privilege to publish such incredible work.”

Zara says, "For me it felt insane to see my work published in such a professional book. It feels fantastic because you are able to see all these people with interests similar to mine, and being able to see that creativity in one place is great. It’s also fun to imagine what I could have made for other pieces that were included in the issue.” 

Charlotte says the originality of Zara’s response, along with the strong and authentic writing and art throughout the journal, shows that young New Zealanders’ imaginations are boundless.

"Who knows what wild and wonderful submissions we will receive for the next issue?" says Charlotte.

Issue 15 of Toitoi features poems, stories and art from 70 young writers and artists from around New Zealand, the youngest of whom is 6-year-old Louis Nguyen from Clyde Quay School in Wellington.

Toitoi is a quarterly journal of writing and art by New Zealand children, ages 5-13. It publishes material with an original and authentic voice that other young people can connect to and that reflects the cultures and experiences of life in New Zealand.

Further information: 

The submission deadline for Toitoi Issue 17 is July 5, 2019.

All submissions should be sent to and include the young writer or artist's name, age, school and a parent and/or teacher's name and contact details.

Teacher support materials are available for every issue of the journal and offer ideas for using Toitoi in the classroom.

Toitoi is available in bookstores throughout New Zealand and can be ordered at

It is also available through:
All Books New Zealand
Mighty Ape
Wheelers Books

Contact details: 
Charlotte Gibbs | | 021 765 203

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7 Jun 2019