The Purpose of Bookrapt

Bookrapt is a group of writers, artists, schoolteachers, librarians, parents and grandparents with a passion for children's literature.

The organisation provides an opportunity to learn about the excellence of published authors, and to promote their literature through various activities for children and parents in the Bay of Plenty.

Bookrapt promotes public awareness of the value of books and reading for young people with a focus on encouraging appreciation of New Zealand children's literature.

Our activities include:

  • involvement with, and financial support for, related community and council events such as the Hairy Maclary & Friends waterfront sculpture project on The Strand in Tauranga
  • buying award-winning NZ children’s books for the Tauranga City Libraries' Joyce West Collection
  • supporting local children's authors through our website, Facebook page, and book launches
  • supporting Bay of Plenty schools participating in the International Kids Lit Quiz: the Sport of Reading
  • financial support for annual young writers’ short story competition
  • providing tutors for school holiday writing workshops
  • reviewing and promoting recently published children’s books
  • organsing and running the Annual Children’s Literature Seminar.

Bookrapt's History

Bookrapt was formed in 1983 (as the Bay of Plenty Children's Literature Association).

The inaugural meeting of 37 people elected Phyllis Johnston as President, Isabel Weenik as Secretary/Treasurer, and a Committee comprising Jean Bennett, Bronwyn Elsmore, Sherryl Jordan, Chris Kenny, Pieta Meredith, Gaylene Nichols, Lois Rout, and Sue Haddock.

Many of those who attended that first meeting are still active members today, and Isabel Weenik, Lois Rout, Phyllis Johnston, and Jean Bennett are Honarary Life Members.

Browse through the online version of our 20th Anniversary booklet, first published in hard copy in 2003.

This delightful history of the Bay of Plenty Children's Literature Association Incorporated was compiled by Bookrapt member and author Phyllis Johnston, with help and input from many Bookrapt members.

CLICK THE IMAGE BELOW to revisit the days when annual membership subscriptions were $3, the Tauranga Public Library phone number was 82079. Read anecdotes from Bookrapt's early years, and see a collection of historic photos tracing our history.

Annual Seminar

The Annual Bookrapt Seminar is on the first Satuday in August each year. Past speakers include writers, illustrators, educationalists, and publishers such as Dame Lynley Dodd, Sherryl Jordan, Tania Roxborogh, Gretchen Brassington (G. Brassi), Margaret Mahy, Betty Gilderdale, Tessa Duder, Roger Hall, Vince Ford, Joy Cowley, Phyllis Johnston, Jean Bennett, Susan Brocker, Donovan Bixley, David Hair, Mandy Hager, Sharon Holt, and Angie Belcher.


Bookrapt embraces the International Children's Digital Library Foundation's mission to support the world's children in becoming effective members of the global community. The ICDL makes the best in children's literature available online free of charge. The Foundation pursues its vision by building a digital library of outstanding children's books from around the world. It supports communities of children and adults in exploring and using this literature through innovative technology, designed in close partnership with children for children.

The ICDL Foundation is a non-profit corporation.