+64 (0)9 373 4782 studio@smartworkcreative.co.nz

Loads of yummy pictures here that have filled our year and won our hearts. Watching these projects grow and go out into the world is way more fulfilling than the development process itself. You just never know what is going to happen next once you push that final send button and off out into the world all your hard work goes.

Ready to Read

Working with the Ministry of Education and The Child Well-Being Research Institute at Canterbury University this reading series further develops the Ready to Read programme and is based on contemporary research on how children learn to read.

Ready to Read Phonics Plus provides 64 books designed to support the implementation of a phonic scope and sequence as the basis for teaching children to learn to read. The texts aim to do more than develop children’s ability to use phonic knowledge to decode words.

As the name Phonics Plus suggests, the series enables children to also build the vocabulary and oral language skills necessary for ongoing success in oral language and reading comprehension.

This is a once in a life-time opportunity to be involved with productions and co-ordination of this series and to work so closely with the fabulous illustrators Stevie Mahardhika and the award-winning Giselle Clarkson.

Phonics Reading Book Covers

But wait there was more. We also developed the logo and working levels for this programme.

Phonic logo

With wonderful trail feedback from parents and teachers this programme is now live and you can find out more at ​​https://literacyonline.tki.org.nz/Literacy-Online/Planning-for-my-students-needs/Instructional-Series

Teacher quotes

Raukawa Kōhanga Learning Packs

Raukawa and Waitete help guide tamariki to learn about their Iwi and whakapapa in this amazing Taonga that we were asked to help Raukawa Charitable Trust produce. The best part was we got to visit the Marae and be part of the presentation ceremony. An amazing day out and another great opportunity to work with Stevie Mahardhika.

Launch event banner

The packs helps tamariki with their Tokū Whakapapa and Pepehā and includes some fun games. Each spiral bound booklet comes with a set of white board pens to reuse on the laminated pages and is kept in a backpack for easy transporting between home and Kōhanga Reo. You should have seen the pride on the children’s faces when these where handed out.

Tōku Whakapapa illustration

and Erin and I had a fun road trip too on a brisk winters day. 😀

Scholastic New Zealand

It’s so awesome to still be working with Scholastic NZ after a decade or more of designing books with them. We have accumulated 100’s of titles and just love our bookshelf that is full of wonderful friends.

There’s some big names amongst the 14 titles we have produced this year and some great reading:

Scholastic book covers

With 2 challenging (to design that is) graphic novels in the This Land series. Well worth checking out.

This land book cover


Some more serious adult titles

Canterbury University Press & New Zealand Council Education Research have been very long standing clients who we love working with. There’s been a variety of titles this year, but Statical Investigations takes the banner for the largest book at 420 pages with Ahuahu close behind at 380+pages. It’s been the year of whoopers!

Ahuahu book cover

book coverbook cover


ZX Card game

We’ve become part of a game development team! Well we got to design the playing cards for the lego based game ZX Security have built. Super fun and something totally different.

ZX Lego cardZX Lego Event card front

NZ Money


Self Published titles

Every second year Craig Smith of Wonky Donkey fame publishes his own title. This year it’s Toothless. Ha, ha, don’t get caught with a Toothless grin as Craig partnered up with Grin Toothbrushes to include the 30 day sticker Toothless Grin Challenge. Needless to say, it’s a popular Xmas choice this year.

Toothless coverToothless sticker chart

Then it was time to get messy with Messy-o-saurus by Rachel Weston and Sparrow’s Fart by Samantha Laugesen.

Messy-o-saurus book cover

It’s so good to reflect on the year and this really is just a fraction of the titles we have produced. It’s been such a pleasure to work with you all and I hope you have a well earned break, because we are only a small part of the cog in putting a book together and many others have been involved to make this titles come alive.

Merry Christmas everyone.