Illustrated Books

Series of children story books, all written by Joseph Potangaroa and illustrated by Mikis van Geffen. Educational goals were to incorporate local māori elements and to stimulate te reo. Therefore some books come in two versions english and te reo, others have māori words throughout and a glossary in the back.
The large variety of stories is reflected in the broad range of different writing and illustration styles, also to target different age groups. The typefaces “Bird is the Word” and “Mikis Quick” were purposely developed by Mikis for this project.

How many Birds?

Oil paint collage technique.
Each bird is one of our native birds that can be found in the Wairarapa. The book is bi-lingual.

Manukura and the rata tree

Photographic composition technique.
Story about the white kiwi.

Once there was a taniwha

Water colour drawings.
References to several famous taniwha across the Wairarapa.

Hemi meets the Pai family

Pencil drawings revealing lots of unknown facts about the Patupaiarehe, the little manly creatures with the wild hair who help people that deserve it.

Hapuakorari, the lost lake

Collage style illustrations tell a story about a mysterious and mystical lake in the Tararua Ranges

Waikekeno Helpful kaitiaki

A great out of the heart story with out of the heart ink and pastel drawings.


Interesting mixed techniques of oil paint, ink and collage. Published in English and Māori.

If I was a kahu

Photo, paint, drawing and attributes.
This story introduces a range of atua, environments through the eyes of a kahu, through the dream of a young girl.

I want a dog

Charcoal drawings.
This is a great little book focussing on early childhood ages. A variety of dogs show themselves.


Where photography and graphic design go hand in hand.
This poster shows us a poem and invites everyone to make the moves.