I think I saw a Pukeko – New Zealand Picture Book about birds, words, arguing and not always having to be right

I wrote a book and then I illustrated it and here it is!

This is a fun and funny little story about the words we use to describe things (in this case birds), about how to tell things apart and about fantasy versus reality but it’s also about how to give up when an argument is not really going anywhere…

I published this book with the help of The Copy Press in Nelson, New Zealand. It’s a fully local production – it’s New Zealand made, New Zealand inspired AND it’s about an iconic New Zealand bird, the Pukeko.

Here I am with my daughter reading it via a quick video shot by Reuben from Shoot-Edit-Video in Piha.

I have learned so much going through the publishing process and I am so pleased to share ‘I think I saw a Pukeko’ with you.

You can purchase a copy here and I can ship anywhere in the world.

Thanks for reading and thanks for watching. X

P.S. I would love your comments too, so please feel free to add some words below and/or click ‘follow’ before you go.


Why not knowing what you are doing can make you more brave (Thank you)

Since becoming a Mum I have realised that most of the time I have no idea what I am doing… there is no ultimate parenting guide after all.

But I have taken heart from this and become a bit more brave in general. As a consequence I am doing lots of other things I never knew how to do before either…

And my latest thing is actually ‘doing something’ with all the writing and drawing that I do. So I am self-publishing.

Here is a sneak peek at my favourite illustration.

Maybe you saw a blue chicken? - sneak peek inside 'I think I saw a Pukeko' by Katrina Ward.

Maybe you saw a blue chicken? – sneak peek inside ‘I think I saw a Pukeko’ by Katrina Ward.

I’m qualified to write (and draw) I suppose. I used to be an English, Art and Art History teacher. I have degrees in all those subjects. I won the senior English prize at Auckland University. I also recently won the KBR Unpublished Children’s Manuscript Award International Category with my story ‘The Lost Button’ – and all of this has given me a bit of a push in the right direction.

So here it is:

MY FIRST Illustrated Kids Book up on Amazon.

It’s called ‘I Think I Saw A Pukeko’ and it’s a conversation between two kids, or a kid and an adult, or a ‘believer’ and ‘non-believer’ (you decide). It’s fun and very short and my kids love it and I hope yours will too.

Please get in touch if you want a hard cover print copy ($20)

You can take a look at my first book here.

Thanks for all your support everyone. X

The cover art for my debut Picture Book.

The cover art for my debut Picture Book.

Love Katrina x

Oh and to celebrate with you – I have extended a sale on all A5 prints (all $10!) for you on my outie page.


Forks in the Road, Mental Spooning and Bullsh*t Job Titles

Sometimes you find yourself thinking, how did I end up here? And you realise that there are a multitude of things that can contribute to any final destination.

When I was young I wanted to one day have an interesting job title. I wanted to be an interior designer at first. (I knew that I liked drawing and I went mad for colouring competitions).

Later on I wanted to be an artist and during university days I even fancied the title of Artist Extraordinaire.

Later on, still, I wanted to be an Actor, then an Architect, then an Academic, then a Teacher and then… somehow I ended up as a work-at-home mum with far too many hobbies running a boutique maternity clothing and baby goods business in New Zealand. There isn’t really a title that goes with it, is there?

Life can’t be planned out in advance – but appreciating the little bumps in life’s journey/forks in the road can force you into a new direction that might (one day) become a destination that is really right despite (perhaps) seeming really wrong to begin with.

The funny thing about me wanting to ‘be’ so many things growing up is that I just hadn’t seen the ‘working mum’ job as a desirable outcome. This job doesn’t really come with a title – so how could I have wanted it?

A small epiphany: Today I spent my day doing fun things with my toddler, teaching for a couple of hours (exam strategies in my old teaching role), writing for a small portion of the day (copy writing and proofing) and just now I am settling in to do some drawing and design work for my other project Desk Drawer to sketch some nursery prints and complete a fabric design I have been toying with for a while. Some of these things might seem a bit humdrum but, all together, they have actually been fun.

Huia on a Bike - nursery print from Desk Drawer.

Huia on a Bike – nursery print from Desk Drawer.

Custom printed tea-towel gift. I did not see this type of work coming!

Custom printed tea-towel gift. I did not see this type of work coming!

Fabric design inspired by original Outie maternity tee design (Heartstacked Tiki Baby)

Fabric design inspired by original Outie maternity tee design (Heartstacked Tiki Baby)

Forking Surprise: Within one day I have actually randomly achieved all of the things that I wanted to do when I was growing up (designing/drawing/making/teaching/playing/acting)… yet I just don’t have a title to go with it. Whilst today has not been an atypical day, it is typical of my life – that it is full of many little jobs and hobbies that contribute to the bigger picture.

It is something worth taking notice of. Job titles can get in the way of realising that your own version of ‘success’ might be more attainable than you think. Perhaps ‘success’ just needs to be redesigned and some of the stigma around job titles needs to change…

Looking back there have been several unforeseen ‘forks’ and ‘bumps’ in the path that have led me to this business, this role, this life, this place, this family, this man and I could never have seen any of it coming.

So give the forks in your road some mental spooning tonight – although the road may have been bumpy (and may still be) – the turns you are presented with might yet take you somewhere cool – just don’t expect it be clearly labelled.

Some ‘other’ more attainable titles you could think about just for fun:

Future Identity Strategist

Human Communications Engineer

Dynamic Solutions Officer

Lead Creative Investor

Chief Family Liason Director

*Or maybe liberate yourself and go title free?

(Much less fun is my email sign off as ‘Director’ of Outie: www.outie.co.nz and my as yet untitled role running www.facebook.com/Deskdrawer)

All images copyright Katrina Ward (title not specified) 2013.

Recent fabric design using native NZ Kowhai as repeat.

Recent fabric design using native NZ Kowhai as repeat.