The Story of Swoop

Book Author & Illustrator Matt Owens & Emma Gustafson
Rights Available World excl. ANZ

The heart-warming true story of a volunteer fireman, a lost baby magpie and her unique friendship with a black cat called Mogli.

One day, an injured baby magpie, as yet too young to fly, was rescued from the side of the road by volunteer firefighter Matt Owens. He named the magpie ‘Swoop’ and took it home to care for it. Surprisingly, Matt’s black cat, Mogli, and Swoop formed a close relationship. They went everywhere together and even snuggled up together to sleep at night.

Then, one day, Swoop disappeared. This unique friendship provided the inspiration for Matt Owens’ heart-warming story.

• Perfect for children who love animal rescue stories
• With striking illustrations by Emma Gustafson, an artist that Swoop visited who was staying down the road from Matt’s house
• This story has been featured on The Dodo (40 million views), Seven Sharp, Lad Bible, Daily Mail, Upworthy, and Newshub. Matt has nearly 100,000 Instagram followers
• Includes a note from the author about the real Swoop and cat, Mogli

About the Author
Matt Owens is a graphic designer, musician, pounamu carver and volunteer firefighter who lives on the Awhitu Peninsula, tucked inside the southern headland of the Manukau Harbour on Auckland’s west coast. This is his first children’s book.

Emma Gustafson is a painter, designer and illustrator who has completed a Bachelor of Visual Communication Design from Massey University and who finds inspiration in nature. Emma lives in the Coromandel. This is her first children’s book.


Scholastic New Zealand Ltd


240 x 250 mm



Picture Book

Age range
3-7 years

Publication Date
February 2022

Rights Available:
World excl. ANZ

Rights Agents:


Lynette Evans, Scholastic New Zealand Ltd

Contact Scholastic New Zealand about this book

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