Based on the true story of Gavin Bishop's great aunt, Katarina is the fascinating story in Maori of a young Maori woman's life in the early 1860s. It tells of her long and treacherous journey from the Waikato to Otago to join her Scottish husband. This poignant story gives us a very clear insight into Katarina's conflicts between the old Maori ways and the 'new' Pakeha pioneer ways. It is also an amazing snapshot of the times - the land wars between the English and Tainui counter-pointed with the gold rush in Gabriel's Gully, Otago. Gavin Bishop's beautiful and authentic illustrations are even more stunning in this re-issue, having been rescanned and reproduced by the latest technology.
Gavin Bishop is a renowned children's book author and illustrator. His book Weaving Earth and Sky won the non-fiction section and the Book of the Year Award of the NZ Post Children's Book Awards 2003; Taming the Sun was shortlisted for the same awards in 2005, Riding the Waves in 2007; and Rats! in 2008. He has won the Russell Clark Medal for Illustration three times, most recently in 2008 for Rats!