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Picture BookThis guide shows how to make a picture
book about safer travel with your students
He mihi nui ki a tātou. Thank you for accepting
the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA)’s invitation
to make a picture book about Safer Journeys
for Children with your students. This can be a
creative activity while also encouraging deep
thinking about safer journeys.
Safer journeys and the curriculum
For suggestions for curriculum links, see the
set of suggested links to Te Aho Matua and
Te Matauranga o Aotearoa that come with this
guide. Above all, focus on a
local road safety activity. If
the picture book is about
safe travel that the students
are deeply interested in, the
book will really matter.
Talk to your
the local council
to identify an
Here’s an example of a curriculum link from
curriculum level 3:
Possible contexts: Keeping whānau safe on a
journey is everyone’s work; safe journeys
Waiora – personal health and development
(safety): Identifying risks and their causes;
describing safe options to manage these
risks; developing action plans to minimise
Ngā putanga ako tauwhāiti – whāinga paetae
(achievement objectives): Identify risks and
their causes and describe safe practices to
Aromatawai (intended learning outcomes):
Identify how to travel safely in/on a variety of
Possible learning experience: Create a
picture book that shows what a safe journey
in a vehicle looks and feels like
The challenge for your students is to write and
illustrate a picture book on the theme of safe travel.
They can do this on paper or digitally. The text can be
fiction or non-fiction, serious or humorous – even a
waiata or poem – it’s up to you and your students to
This is an opportunity for students to work as a
group on a creative project that brings together
reading, writing, visual language, and art. At the
same time, they will be thinking about safe ways to
To find out more about safer journeys and explore
ideas they could write about, see the pamphlet Mā
raro, mā te pahikara, mā te kuta, mā te reti – Safer
journeys mā ngā tamariki that comes with this guide.
You can also download this at education.nzta.govt.nz
Your book must describe and outline what makes
travel safe. For example, if the illustrations show
someone riding on a bike, show them wearing a bike
helmet and following road rules. There must be no
disaster scenarios showing unsafe behaviour. The
NZTA wants to encourage positive attitudes to road
safety by showing things done right.
Though this is an activity for students in Years
1–8, older students could create a picture book for
So, lets get creative.
Meet the team
A publishing team is standing by to support
you. Hōne Apanui leads the team. For many
years, he led Te Pou Taki Kōrero, the Māori
publishing team at Learning Media. He has
judged the Montana Book Awards, the New
Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards, and
the CLNZ Educational Publishing Awards. His
kaiāwhina is children’s book editor Don Long.
Don wrote Te Tāhuna, which won the Te Kura
Pounamu Award for a children’s book in te
reo Māori. The third member of the team is
Elton Gregory, with many years experience
designing children’s books in te reo Māori for
Te Pou Taki Kōrero and other publishers.
Their email addresses are:
email@example.com (Don Long)
firstname.lastname@example.org (Elton Gregory)
Contact Hōne Apanui in the first instance. His
phone number is (04) 904 9225 and you can also
contact him through Skype (hone.apanui 1) and
Facebook. He will Skype you and your class to talk
about your book while you are working on it. He will
answer questions and provide encouragement as
You’re creating a taonga for your kura – so talk
to your students about why it is important that
they write the text and create the illustrations
themselves. Once it’s published, it becomes your
kura’s taonga. If it includes the work of strangers it
wouldn’t belong to you.
What follows describes how to make a full-colour,
16-page, 210 mm x 260 mm picture book with a
separate cover – just like you’d see in a bookshop.
You can create it on paper or by using a picture-
• cardboard, paper, scissors, rulers, pencils
and rubbers for making and modifying a
storyboard and mock-ups
• a selection of picture books in te reo Māori
(for example, books in the He Purapura
• art material for doing the illustrations
• tissue paper
• a computer
• photographs from magazines that show
different camera angles, wide shots, and
• a camera (optional)
• picture-book-making apps (optional).
1. Make a blank
Start by helping your students
make a blank version of your
book. Use cardboard for the
front and back covers and
paper for the pages. Help
them to cut the cardboard
and paper to 210 mm x 260
mm. The blank shows your
students what they are going
to make. Making it will start
to give them some of the
language they’ll need (like
Page 2–16 (this is where the story will go)
Inside front cover
What is a picture book?
Show your students how a 16-page picture
book works by comparing the blank mock-up
to a 16-page He Purapura
title. What job does the front
cover illustration do? (It
starts to tell a reader what
the book’s about.) Show
them the illustration on
the title page (which isn’t
numbered, but if it was, it
would be page 1). This picture
can start to “tell” the story.
This leaves 15 more pages to illustrate. Ask
your students the following questions:
• If every page, from page 2 to page 16 had
one illustration each, how many would
• What if all the illustrations (apart from
the one on page 16) were double-page
spreads? How many then?
• What would be a good part of a story to
“tell” with a double-page spread?
Finish, by showing the students that they
don’t need to do illustrations for the inside
covers. Has anyone noticed that an illustration
can “wrap” around both the front and back
covers? Which part of the illustration needs to
be on the front cover?
The blurb makes
you want to read
2 Do a storyboard
The genre of the book is up to you and the class.
Your students could write a story (fiction), a non-
fiction book, or even compose a road safety waiata
to illustrate. It’s up to you! You can illustrate
the book however you like, too. Possibilities
include realistic drawings, cartoons, collage, and
For example, here’s a way to combine a background
collage with a foreground drawing:
And here’s a way to combine a background
drawing with a photograph:
Just use one
in your book.
6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Make a storyboard
Don’t start on the illustrations yet though! First, plan what the book could be
about and look like first by using a storyboard. Write a rough draft of the text.
Use stick figures for planning the illustrations.
A storyboard looks like this:
This is the title
page. Put the title
here too. Include
an “idea sketch”
for an illustration.
This is the front
cover. Put the
title here. Draw
a rough idea
for the cover
Use double-page spreads to
create big dramatic pictures
that illustrate big dramatic
moments in the story.
Make sure that the words and the
illustration on each page (or double-
page spread) are about the same thing.
The story starts
here, on page 2.
You could put a border pattern down the
outside edge of each page. Put it on the
cover, too. (Is there one that is special to
your kura or rohe?)
The words usually go in
the bottom third of the
There doesn’t need to be text
on every page. Sometimes, a
picture on its own can “tell”
part of the story.
reasons for a
reader to turn
the page to
find out what
have to put
text in text
The story ends
here, on page 16.
Write the text
Find a road safety practice that really matters
to you, your students, their whānau, and your
kura. The NZ Transport Agency pamphlet
Mā raro, mā te pahikara, mā
te kuta, mā te reti–Safer
journeys mā ngā tamariki is a
good place to look for ideas.
Brainstorm ideas too.
We all share space on the
roads. Looking out for each
other is part of being a good
If you’d like to brainstorm
digitally, a free app on the
Internet is Wallwisher.
The next task for your class
is to decide on the type
(genre) of book they want to
If they decide to write a
story, then a great place
to start is writing the
beginning and the ending
first! Picture book stories
begin by that grabbing the reader’s attention,
end in a deeply satisfying way, and offer a
journey from one to the other.
To set the scene for their writing, discuss the
• Who is the story about (the characters)?
• Where is the story taking place?
• When is the story happening?
Here are some
ideas to set them
• being a safe
• wearing your
• hi-viz vests
• crossing the
• the walking
• being a
tuakana on the
• What’s going to happen to the characters (the
Try writing these questions on a whiteboard and
Depending on the age of your students, try dividing
the class into groups to see which group can come
up with the most attention-grabbing beginning.
Look at examples of picture books in te reo Māori.
Can the students find examples of:
• text that has lots
• text that is
Show the students
why a sentence about
leaving a house,
walking past the marae,
and getting on a bus suggests three illustrations.
Help them rewrite this as three sentences. Then
show them how to change this text into a series of
page turners (for example, “Where next?” ... [turn
the page] ... “Past the marae”).
On the whiteboard, draw the plan for a storyboard.
Have the students write the best attention-
grabbing beginning on the bottom of page 2. Have
them write an interesting ending on the bottom of
Brainstorm an attention-grabbing title and put that
on the front cover and the title page.
Front cover and title page
Include the following text:
• the book’s title
• “written and illustrated by Room x”
• the name of your kura.
Want to acknowledge someone, for example,
a kaumatua who helps you make the book?
A good place to put an acknowledgement is
on the inside front cover.
On the title page, add:
• the location of your kura (for example,
• your kura’s logo.
As the students work, keep reminding
them that the text for each page needs to
lend itself to an illustration. You can’t draw
something that’s invisible, for example!
A story that consists of a conversation
between two people is going to look the
same in every page. The pictures will be
Remember, the pictures only need to be
rough sketches at this stage. Stick figures
Have just one action
taking place at one
time in one place on
It is important that, on every page, there
is a strong link between the text and the
illustration. Challenge your students to find
examples of strong text–illustration links in
some picture books. Can they say what the
link is between the text and the picture? If the
text is about a pūkeko, is there a pūkeko (or
part of a pūkeko) in the picture?
Praise revisions and share
these with the whole class.
This is great editing. Help
the students to create more
Give the reader a reason to
turn the page. This is great
If you’d like to create a
storyboard digitally, free
apps on the Internet include
When you think your class has an interesting
story that will be fun to illustrate:
• post or email the storyboard to Lift
Education E Tū
• email the text as a Word document (with an
English translation) to don@lifteducation.
The address is:
Kura Kaupapa Māori Picture Book Project
Lift Education E Tū
Mountain Safety House
19 Tory Street
In the Word document, put the page number under
the words for each page.
After the publishing team has looked at your
storyboard, Hōne Apanui will Skype you and your
class and offer some feedback.
3 Make a rough mock-up
Using the publishing team’s feedback, help the
students make a 210 mm high x 260 mm wide
Have the students cut large pieces of light
cardboard and paper to 210 mm high x 520 mm
wide. Help them measure these accurately. For a
mock-up of a 16-page book
you’ll need one piece of
cardboard and four big
sheets of paper.
Fold each piece to 210 mm
x 260 mm.
Now you’ve got a mock-up
of a 16-page landscape
210 mm by 260 mm
picture book. Discuss the feedback and adjust the
story. If you’d prefer to create the mock-up digitally,
free apps on the Internet include Creative Book
Creator and Storybird.
Angles and points of view
It is time to show your students the
photographs you cut out from the
magazines. Have them imagine they are
the camera that took each photograph. Can
the students find a photograph in which,
if they were the camera, they would have
been really close to what’s shown in the
Can they find a wide shot, taken from far
away? What about a bird’s-eye view? What
other possibilities are there? Write these
terms in te reo Māori on a big sheet of paper
and add them to the knowledge bank you are
building up on your classroom wall.
When you are
typing the Word
version, turn off
the function that
capitalises an “i”
on its own.
At this stage, copy-edit the text with your
students. Copy-editing is when you double-
check the spelling, macrons, punctuation,
grammar, and the spacing between the words
and sentences. We suggest that you put two
spaces between sentences and one space
Look at a 16-page He
Purapura book to see
how folded sheets
of paper go inside a
260 mm wide
520 mm wide
Show the students how illustrations in picture
books are a bit like photographs. (Sometimes,
they actually are photographs!) They have
points of view. They too can be “taken” from
different angles. Look at the selection of
picture books you’ve assembled. Can the
students find an illustration that looks like it
was taken from far away? What about a
Can anyone find an illustration in which the
point of view is looking up from the ground?
What about an illustration in which the point
of view is looking over someone’s shoulder?
Tell your students that, when they do their
illustrations or take photographs, they can
use different points of view, too. This will
make their picture book interesting. The point
of view needs make sense, though. Worms
really do look up and birds really do look
Chose an illustration style
Get your students to set up a display of picture
books. Have them to label the different illustration
styles. These may include:
• realistic drawing and painting
• more cartoon-like drawing and painting
• collage (making collages is a great group
These can be combined, for example, a collage in
the background and a drawing in the foreground.
Which style do the students want to use? A
question to ask is, “What age group are we making
our picture book for?” Are they making a picture
book for younger children? Then pick a style that
will appeal to that audience.
This research and thinking will help your students.
Get them to present their findings. Based on
their research – and the things they’ve been
learning about picture books – as a class, select an
illustration style to use.
Let’s look at photography first, and then some
other illustration styles. Your students could use
classmates as models and photograph them acting
out the story.
On a digital camera, set the resolution to the
highest dpi that you can. The higher the resolution,
the better the photographs will look in the printed
Use portrait shots for tall things
(like give way signs).
Use landscape shots for long things
a birds eye view
You’ll need signed permissions for the people in the photographs. Here’s a template.
NZTA will need signed copies of the permissions before it can print your book.
Permission to use image
I, _______________________________, grant the NZ Transport Agency unrestricted
permission to use photographic images of me for educational purposes – or of my child,
I hereby release the NZ Transport Agency from any and all claims arising from the use of
I am of over 18 years of age and am competent to sign this release.
At the same time, confirm the number of
students and staff-members at your kura for
Hōne Apanui and his team
may be able to offer some
improvements as they
prepare print-ready files for
the printer. They will run
these past you to approve.
The NZTA will print enough
copies for every student
and staff-member at your
kura. The NZTA will also
send two copies to Te Puna
Mātauranga o Aotearoa (the
National Library of New
This time, use the highest resolution
(dpi) that you can – or courier the original
artwork to Lift Education E Tū – each piece
of artwork separated by tissue paper. If you
are sending digital files to Lift Education E
Tū, talk to the publishing team about the
best way to do this. Email the adjusted Word
file (of the text) too. (Include an adjusted
If you think that
it is appropriate,
let your students
hand out the
radio stations to
come to the book
to view and to note in publications that
include communications to kura and
• Your book must be original and previously
unpublished. Please don’t include
copyrighted material that belongs to
anyone else. Your kura is responsible
for any expenses, damage or liability
incurred by the NZTA in connection with
any third party claim that the NZTA’s use
of the book infringes a third party’s rights.
6 Launch your book
A book launch is a great way to show your students
that everyone values the hard work they’ve put
into making a picture book. This is also a chance
to reinforce and share the safety messages in the
book with whānau.
Conditions of participation
This project supports the development of road
safety resources for kura kaupapa Māori.
• Copyright in the book will remain with your kura.
It is your taonga.
• The NZTA will provide the printed books to your
• A team of publishing professionals will support
you right through the book-making process.
• To help you get started, the NZTA will send you a
collection of books in te reo Māori for your kura’s
• Lift Education E Tū will set up a Dropbox or
Google Drive folder for you so that you can easily
send digital files to the publishing team (but you
can work on paper if you wish to – the choice is
• Your kura’s name and logo will appear on the
book beside the names and logos of te Waka
Kotahi (the New Zealand Transport Agency),
te Kāwanatanga o Aotearoa (the New Zealand
Government), and Safer Journeys mō ngā
• Your kura grants the NZTA a licence to use and
distribute the book by placing the book online
at www.education.nzta.govt.nz for other schools
If you have any questions, please contact:
Raewyn Baldwin, Senior Advisor
New Zealand Transport Agency
Private Bag 6995
or (04) 894 6468
This guide comes with:
• the NZ Transport Agency pamphlet Mā
raro, mā te pahikara, mā te kuta, mā te
reti – Safer journeys mā ngā tamariki – this
is a great place to look for safer journey
issues ideas (you can also download this
• the Māori Language Commission’s
Guidelines for Māori Language Orthography
– an easy-to-follow guide to the
Commission’s recommendations for
spelling and writing in Māori (you can also
download at http://www.tetaurawhiri.govt.
• a set of suggested curriculum links to Te
Aho Matua and Te Matauranga o Aotearoa
(you can also download from education.
• an introductory video, introducing the
picture-book-making process (which you
can also watch at education.nzta.govt.nz).
Join the conversation about this project on Facebook at
http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/339366732859661/ (Pukapuka pikitia).