Have you ever gazed at Rangitoto and wondered...
How it got its shape?
Was it a very explosive beginning?
And will it erupt again?

Rangitoto: Te Toka tu moana, The rock standing in the ocean tells the dramatic story of Auckland's most dramatic icon – its birth, the kaka bird's connection to Rangitoto, the imprint of humans on its fragile wildlife, and how the island's guardians are saving it today.

Print book - Shortlisted in the Non-Fiction category for the 2010 New Zealand
Post Children's Book Awards.

ISBN: 978-0-473-23914-5
RRP: $19.99
Publishers: Long White Cloud Books
and Dragonsauce Books
Illustrator: Heather Arnold

ISBN: 978-0-473-23913-8
RRP: $12.00
Publisher: Pixelbook Digital Publishing
Illustrator: Heather Arnold


Rangitoto - This book is so good that I want to stand in the street waving copies and shouting, 'Buy it!' After a lifetime in schools and libraries, I know a good non-fiction book when I see it. Rangitoto is not just good; it's excellent.
There are plenty of books about volcanoes; what sets Rangitoto apart is its attractive approach and versatility. Maria Gill's text has a simple narrative running along the bottom of each double-page spread ... Read more...

Reviewed by Trevor Agnew, Christchurch

After one of the biggest earthquakes in New Zealand in a number of years, it seems appropriate to revisit volcanoes and earthquakes - one of the most popular subjects for junior members of the library. It is also appropriate as over the last two weeks, local author Maria Gill has been visiting the libraries talking about her new book ... Read more...
This is a superbly illustrated addition to children's knowledge of the different islands of New Zealand. Volcanism is certainly a favourite science topic (especially when youngsters are encouraged to construct a model) and Rangitoto, being situated near Auckland, would be a significant study for many students ... Read more...

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Rangitoto SampleRangitoto Sample

See inside eBook

Journal Note

Woke up this morning with an idea for a non fiction picture book. Why not write about the birth of Rangitoto? I've written two factual books on volcanoes so I can use that knowledge.

When I think of Rangitoto I remember pohutukawa flowers, the long trek up the hill, panting at the top and enjoying the fantastic view of Auckland and the Hauraki Gulf.

Journal Note eBook

The Rock Standing in the Ocean: RANGITOTO

Enhanced e-book (epub3 format)

The printed Rangitoto book had been out of print for several years, but I still received orders for it. When Steve and Ange from Pixel Books contacted me asking if I would like to … make enhanced children's non-fiction books – it was serendipity.
I had been considering re-publishing this book and was interested in publishing children's non-fiction enhanced e-books.
I updated the text for the e-book in a few places. For example, new research has discovered that Rangitoto could be 1500-500 years old.
Steve put the text boxes and glossary words into drop-down boxes. The photographs of foliage and birds are now in albums that you can flick through.
You also flick through two timelines and the different volcanic shapes. In addition we've added two activities: an interactive word find, and one of Heather Arnold's worksheets on how to draw a bird. Also you'll find live links and if you press the kaka reporter button you'll hear a gorgeous young girl give extra facts.
If you are interested in volcanoes, need a volcano book for a project or visiting Rangitoto (or another volcano) – you'll love this interactive enhanced e-book.

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