All About Donovan Bixley

We know there are A LOT of Donovan Bixley fans out there, so we’ve created this page to keep you up-to-date with his many books, tell you a bit more about him and give you chances to WIN!

If you’re a massive fan of Donovan’s work, make sure you’re following him online.

10 Fun Facts About Donovan Bixley

1: Donovan was born in 1971

2: As a child he liked to draw comic strips of his teachers and classmates

3: He lived in Indonesia for four months when he was 13

4: He’s illustrated more than 100 books

5: His books have been published in 31 countries and translated into 18 languages

6: Donovan plays guitar, piano and saxophone

7: He’s also the singer and percussionist for a 13 piece funk-jazz ensemble called “Hot Tub”

8: He lives in Taupo

9: Donovan is married and has three daughters

10: Donovan’s pets have included: a black cat, a white cat, two springer spaniels, a beagle, a rabbit and two guinea pigs.

For more information on Donovan, visit his website here.

Donovan is doing a special event to celebrate How Māui Fished Up the North Island at the Dorothy Butler Children’s Bookshop.

Donovan will talk about the book, sign copies and even do a drawing or two! Don’t miss your chance to see him in action.

Location: The Dorothy Butler Children’s Bookshop, Cnr Jervois Road & St Marys Road, Ponsonby
Date: Wednesday 12 December
Time: 3.30pm
Free event

Keep an eye on this space. Donovan is always popping up at new locations around the country!


There’s so much more to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart than just whacky wigs and wonderful music. He was a social change-maker and groundbreaking artist.

This book offers a peek through the keyhole at Mozart’s world. Not the genius alone in his ivory tower, but a real man who lived a real life — the cheeky little brother, the rebellious son, the besotted young lover, the arrogant artist, the despondent freelancer, the proud father and the doting husband.

In it, you’ll discover the truth behind the legends that surround Mozart. Did he really have an uncontrollable fear of the trumpet? Was he actually engaged to his sweaty, overweight piano pupil? And what did he say about Beethoven behind his back?

Mozart: The Man Behind the Music is on sale now ($34.99 RRP)

In this fresh retelling of How Māui Fished Up the North Island, Donovan applies his unique twists and trademark humour to this much-treasured story. Māui is reimagined as a cheeky younger brother, on the type of hilarious fishing trip with the whanau that will be familiar to many Kiwi youngsters.

“I wanted my book to focus on the part of Māui who is tinihanga and pōtiki – the smallest brother and cheeky trickster. He’s the type of character a lot of children can connect with and I hope they are going to really love reading this book because it has a lot of attitude in it,” says Donovan.

Underneath the fun, is a real desire to honour the cultural significance and importance of Māui. Donovan worked under the guidance of Dr Darryn Joseph, who also translated the te reo edition, along with Keri Opai.

“Working with Darryn really opened my eyes to some of the deeper layers and meaning behind Māui’s story. Even though my version is aimed at young readers, there are a lot of other layers of Māui’s story woven in.”

Donovan hopes his book will give readers insight into a new side of Māui they haven’t seen before.

“I absolutely adored illustrating this book. Every day on this project was like escaping to wonderful place when the world was fresh and colourful and new. I hope that it’s a world readers will want to return to again and again too.”

How Māui Fished Up the North Island is published simultaneously in English and te reo Māori
On sale 16 August, $19.99 RRP

Get artistic with Māui

Donovan’s take on Māui is bold and colourful. We want to see your interpretation. Print off this sheet and get colouring, then share your creation with us via email  or upload it to our Facebook page. Click here to download it.


Flying Furballs 5: Kit-napped

Flying Furballs, an hilarious action-packed adventure series, captures the romance and excitement of the era at the dawn of aviation — set in a world of cats versus dogs. Our hero is Claude D’Bonair, a young pilot in the cat air corp, keen to prove his worth to the older pilots and live up to the memory of his father. Will cats and dogs ever live in harmony again? Will Claude survive with his nine lives intact? In Kit-napped Claude and Syd are off to Egypt to rescue C-For, who has been kit-napped by the dastardly DOGZ.

On sale wherever good books are sold, $14.99 RRP