Funded! This project was successfully funded on December 31, 2012.


A sensitively and honestly told children's story of the incredible migration and life history of this iconic and threatened fish.

"Velvet & Elvis" Goes to Print for YOU! 

It's pretty simple, really.  The book is already written and illustrated.  I have walked the talk by travelling all over New Zealand sharing the original story and illustrations with thousands of kids who loved it.  With help from many of you I also got thousands of folks involved in making panels for the 150 metre long-and-still-growing Velvet's Travelling Tuna Tapestry. Heaps of you have already used the free electronic version of the book I gave to schools, museums, and conservation groups.  But, you are still wanting (and so am I) to get real copies of the book into the hands of kaitiaki kids all over New Zealand and beyond.  I've found a trusted Kiwi publisher, Papawai Press, who loves the book and can get the it printed in Wellie (as opposed to having it done for less in China) and who can ship your copies to you.  And, if we get the printing of the book funded here on Kickstarter by December 31, then we can get the book into your hands before the big event in Wellington. My husband and I have already purchased our flights to Wellie where we are meeting many of you on March 19th to carry our taniwha-sized version of Velvet from the walls of Te Papa to the Beehive where we will present to Parliament the petition calling for a moratorium on the commercial fishing of the longfin.  The book is ready.... I just need koha to get it into print form for YOU!

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Thanks to te tuna I have gained my mana, but now am short of moola! Seriously, there is really very little risk in backing this project because I have already done almost all the work to get it done. The one potential risk is that something in the process of publishing and printing goes MUCH slower than the projected 3 weeks. Or, that something via Kickstarter causes your funds to get to me and Papawai Press MUCH later than is expected. In that case, the book will still get printed and in in your hands, but it might not happen until after we take our tuna to Parliament on March 19. Likely, my greatest challenge will be lugging the big box of books I'll be bringing back to the States for friends and family who will certainly want copies!


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pledged of $3,600 goal
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  • Pledge $25 or more
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    48 backers

    Your very own copy of the book fresh from Papawai Press.

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    11 backers

    A copy of the book autographed by me, the eel woman (te tuna wahine).

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    7 backers

    Your Choice: Either two autographed copies of the book OR one autographed copy of the book plus a signed artist print of your choice of one of the book's illustrations.

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    2 backers

    You get two autographed copies of the book AND your choice of an artist print from the book's illustrations PLUS you will be named on the "Thanks To" page of the book as someone who helped make the book possible!

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    1 backer Limited (9 left of 10)

    Well. You, my Dear, will get not only the two autographed copies of the book and a sincere "Thank You" and acknowledgement on the book's cover page, but (and this shows how much getting this into print means to me) I will give you one of my ORIGINAL acrylic paintings from the book. First come, first choice! WOW.

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    0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)

    Are you kidding? What do you want? All of the above PLUS a visit to your local NZ school for a personal reading of the book while I'm there in March? OK, then, you got it... but I might still ask to sleep on your couch!

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Funding period

- (27 days)