Story Time!

Hear New Zealand authors read their stories!

On the second Sunday of every month, Milford Centre will be hosting “Story Time”. Each month a different New Zealand author will read a selection of their children’s stories.

There will be four Story Time sessions at 11am, 11.30am, 12pm and 12.30pm.

Story Time is located in our new Kids’ Space, next to Whitcoulls. See location HERE.

Check this webpage each month to find out which author will be visiting Milford Centre for Story Time!

Sunday 12th July: Melinda Szymanik

Melinda Szymanik is a New Zealand author who has been writing picture books, short stories and novels for children and young adults for twenty years. Writing children’s stories is Melinda’s way of trying to spark the love she felt for books in her childhood into future generations.

On Sunday 12th July, she’ll be reading from her latest releases, Sharing with Wolf, Time Machine and Other Stories and Fuzzy Doodle. 


Melinda’s books have been finalists for a number of awards over the years. The Were-Nana, a fairy tale-ish story about telling stories, won the New Zealand Post Children’s Choice Award in 2009, and was shortlisted for the 2010 Sakura Medal. Her novel, A Winter’s Day in 1939, based on her father’s experiences in Poland as a boy during WW2, won Librarian’s Choice at the 2014 LIANZA Awards. And her picture book Fuzzy Doodle, a story about creativity and a caterpillar, was a 2017 White Raven Book, selected by the International Youth Library in Munich, Germany.

Melinda’s recent short story collection Time Machine and Other Stories is a finalist in this year’s New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults, and her latest title, Sharing with Wolf, a darkly funny picture book about a lamb trying to rent a room from a wolf, came out in June.

Melinda lives in Auckland with her family. She regularly does ‘writers in schools’ visits, teaches creative writing workshops for adults and children, and is one of ten New Zealand writers who run an innovative online writing challenge for school children called FABO Story. When she is not writing Melinda likes to juggle teaspoons and investigate new developments in chocolate. If she wasn’t a writer Melinda would like to be a nanny to orphaned sloths.

Sunday 9th August: Maria Gill

New Zealand author Maria Gill has written 60 books for children and teachers. Her passion is reading adventure stories, and inspiring kids to care for the environment and strive for their dreams through her books.

On Sunday 9 August, come meet Maria Gill at Milford Mall, she’ll be the one dressed as suffrage pioneer Kate Sheppard. She’ll read aloud from her latest book, Ice Breaker! An Epic Antarctic Adventure, as well as, Kate Sheppard: Leading the Way for Women, Abel Tasman: Mapping the Southern Hemisphere, and Anzac Animals.

Maria’s book Anzac Heroes, about 30 brave men and women who served in WWI and WWII, won the 2016 New Zealand Book Awards for Children & Young Adults Best Non-fiction Award as well the Book the Year prize. New Zealand Hall of Fame, includes biographies about famous New Zealanders, won the 2012 Children’s Choice Award (Non-fiction category) and 10 of her books have been selected as Storylines Notable Book Awards. In 2020, Storylines awarded her the Margaret Mahy Medal Award for outstanding services to children’s literature.

Maria lives with her family in a sunny, seaside village north of Auckland writing full-time. She runs workshops for Write Like an Author, and visits schools with READ NZ and Duffy Books around New Zealand and Australia.  When she’s not writing … she’s reading. She’s a book-a-holic!

Sunday 11th September: Peter Gilderdale

Peter Gilderdale, son of Betty and Alan Gilderdale – the authors of the classic The Little Yellow Digger series – will be joining us at Milford Centre’s Story Time.

Peter will be reading his original story The Little Yellow Digger ABC, along with The Little Yellow Digger. 

Stay tuned to find out more.



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