Whetū Toa and the Magician

Book Author & Illustrator Steph Matuku & Katharine Hall 
Rights Available World excl. NZ

When Whetū’s mother takes a job at a magician’s house and farm, Whetū becomes the animal keeper, looking after some unusual animals and the magician’s stage assistant – a troublesome white rabbit called Errant. Errant’s been playing around with magic and done something he can’t undo. Rather than face the magician, Errant disappears, and Whetū becomes the magician’s new assistant, just in time for the royal performance. It all seems to be going well until Errant reappears, and Whetū must save the day – and the king.

About the Author
Steph Matuku (Ngāti Tama, Ngāti Mutunga, Te Āti Awa) is a writer of plays and novels for children and young adults. Her junior novel Whetū Toa and the Magician was a finalist in the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults in 2019. Her previous books include YA fiction Flight of the Fantail and Falling into Rarohenga, Whetū Toa sequel Whetū Toa and the Hunt for Ramses and the picture book The Eight Gifts of Te Wheke. Steph is passionate about seeing Māori featured in New Zealand literature – something that was not available to her when she was growing up.

Katharine Hall is an illustrator and graphic designer based in New Zealand. From her studio in Aotearoa, she tells stories that translate across languages – specialising in ink work and digital design for individuals, start-ups, and businesses both big and small.



Huia Publishers


148 mm x 210 mm



Junior Fiction

Age range
8-11 years

Publication Date
October 2018

Rights Available:
World excl. NZ

Rights Agents:


Eboni Waitere

Contact Huia Publishers about this book

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[Whetū] is a strong and spirited character, who gives things a go even if she doesn’t think she can do them. It was lovely too to see a solo parent in a book. Whetū’s mother is a strong, working mother and together the pair navigate the situation they find themselves in.

Rebekah Fraser, NZ Booklovers

'I was constantly surprised by the wonders on this farm and was quickly willing Whetū to suceed in her quest to make things right. It is funny, imaginative, and part of the 2019 New Zealand Read Aloud program in schools.

Adele Broadbent, What Book Next