Kaewa the Kororā

Book Author & Illustrator Rachel Haydon & Pippa Keel
Rights Available World excl. NZ 

Join Kaewa the kororā as she explores her strange new world at the National Aquarium. She is taken under the flipper of Captain, a one-eyed kororā who introduces her to the colourful characters of the penguin colony. As she finds out about life in her new home — free food and fun friends! — a mysterious presence seems to be behind a series of ‘accidents’. What is going on? This feel-good mystery for young readers and their families has a great cast of engaging characters based on real penguins at New Zealand’s National Aquarium. Its gorgeous illustrations are full of detail and give a penguin’s eye view of life at the aquarium.

About the author
Rachel Haydon is a qualified primary school teacher and scientist with a zoology degree and Master’s in Marine Science. She has over 15 years’ experience of teaching science to children of all ages in schools, museums, zoos and aquariums in Australia, South Korea, the United Kingdom and New Zealand. She is committed to motivating children of all ages to explore, enjoy and protect the natural world. She is general manager of the National Aquarium of New Zealand, responsible for ensuring that all the little penguins homed there behave themselves. She recently published The Nature Activity Book with Te Papa Press.

Pippa Keel is an award-winning illustration designer, who has an Honours degree in illustration and a huge love of the outdoors. From her small Wellington studio, Pippa has worked with a variety of New Zealand-based companies and publishers, including Zealandia Ecosanctuary and the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.


Massey University Press


260 x 215mm



Non fiction

Age range
6-12 years

Publication Date
October 2021

Rights Available:
World excl. NZ

Rights Agents:

Nicola Legat
Massey University Press

Contact Massey University Press about this book

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The illustrations are lovely, and the gentle story involves themes of friendship and belonging, as well as educational stuff about little blue penguins. At the end of the story are photographs of the real ‘kororā crew’ at the Aquarium, with potted biographies of each bird

Jenny Nicholls, Waiheke Weekender

At the National Aquarium of New Zealand in Napier, the rehabilitation centre cares for abandoned chicks and sick and injured kororā - little blue penguins. Its permanent residents are getting a moment in the spotlight in this pleasing story by educator and marine scientist Rachel Haydon who successfully shows the work that goes on at the centre as well as how each penguin has its own distinct personality. Pippa Keel’s illustrations give a penguins’-eye-view of daily life at the centre and are bound to charm young readers keen to know more about one of our cutest birds.

Dionne Christian and Zoe Gadd, Kete