Julie Leibrich was born in England but moved to New Zealand in 1974 where she completed tertiary study in psychology. Subsequently she has become a poet and children's book writer. Two books of Julie's that should be in libraries for young children are The Biggest Number in the Universe and Nesta and the Missing Zero. Although they stand alone as read-alouds they can easily be used to integrate with a maths lesson, instil a love of numbers or start a discussion that is maths focussed. Nesta and her next door neighbour, Mr Abacus, a mathematician are central to both stories.
David Elliot also lives in New Zealand. He was born there. He is an award-winning illustrator and author of children's books. He is probably best known for his wonderful drawings that accompany Brian Jacques' Redwall and Castaways series, but he has picture books of his own...two about a loveable penguin, Sydney (Sydney and the Sea Monster and Sydney and the Whalebird) and one about a pirate, Pigtails the Pirate. He also did the illustrations for the wonderful compilation of Margaret Mahy's poetry, The Word Witch.
Natalie Jane Prior is an Australian author who is responsible for several series of books that are popular with young readers. Three series that are well borrowed in my library are the three stories about The Paw, a young catburglar, the four titles in the series The Dolls which are popular with good readers in year 1 and 2 and of course the wonderful Lily Quench books. This series has characters and settings that allow children who love Tashi and Victor's Quest to move on to longer more complex stories.