Critters of Aotearoa

50 bizarre but lovable members of our wildlife community

Slimy, stinky, creepy, crawly and gross . . . but also a little bit cute!

Discover New Zealand’s most curious creatures — from Smeagol the gravel maggot, to the walking worm and the drooping blobfish — with Nicola Toki from the hit Radio New Zealand segment on Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan ‘Critter of the Week’ as your guide.

Featuring 50 illustrated profiles of Aotearoa’s weird and wonderful critters, and an introduction by Jesse Mulligan, this book proves that sometimes nature’s best stories are the ones you have to work a little harder to uncover.

Written by Nicola Toki and illustrated by Lily Duval

$30.00 incl. GST

1 in stock

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About the Kiwi creators

Nicola Toki has been a ‘nature nerd’ for as long as she can remember. She is deeply passionate about Aotearoa New Zealand’s endemic wildlife, and especially telling stories about it to anyone who will listen! As a kid, Nic had tadpoles, caterpillars and praying mantises as pets, and likely drove her parents mad with her collection of things she found on the beach — including her prized dried stinky shark’s head and a penguin carcass. After studying zoology and natural history filmmaking at the University of Otago (which led her to spend a summer on an island near the Antarctic Peninsula researching Adelie penguins), Nic feels very lucky to have built a career as a champion for nature. She believes that telling people stories of hope drives action to protect the species we love. Nic hopes we can create more nature lovers by focusing on fun and pointing out the whimsy in the natural world.

Lily Duval is an artist, writer and researcher based in beautiful Ōhinehou/Lyttelton. She’s an insect nerd, book lover and obsessive tramper. Lily’s always been addicted to drawing — in kindergarten the teachers had to pull her away from the paints so the other children could have a turn! A love of stories led her to complete a Masters in English Literature, which examined our attitudes to insects here in Aotearoa. She’s always raving about why we need to love bugs and not squish them. Critters of Aotearoa is her first picture book.

Additional information

Dimensions21.7 × 21.7 × 1 cm
First published



Hardcover edition



Page count


Published by

Puffin Books, an imprint of Penguin

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