Gunther, Richard

Gunther, Richard


Primary publisher
Reed New Zealand, Scholastic New Zealand
Rights enquiries
Email: shamgar[AT]
Publicity enquiries
As above

In Brief

Born and raised in Christchurch, Richard Gunther is a writer, illustrator and freelance graphic designer, who has produced graphics for educational materials, magazines and websites. He has also designed comics for several national publications and originated his own magazine, New Zealand Mighty Mag. He has written and illustrated many children’s books and his Weather Watch New Zealand, co-illustrated with Karsten Schneider, was nominated in the 2008 New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults.


Gunther, Richard (1953 –) is a writer and freelance graphic designer.

Richard Gunther was born and raised in Christchurch. He studied at the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology before moving to Wellington where he was involved with Downstage Theatre, while continuing his education at the Wellington Polytechnic (Massey University Wellington Campus). Gunther has a Diploma in Cartooning from the International Correspondence School.

Gunther has worked for a variety of establishments throughout New Zealand, sign-writing, and producing graphics for cartoons, posters and educational materials for schools, magazines, websites and other media. As well as illustrating and writing children’s books he has designed comics for several national publications and originated his own magazine, New Zealand Mighty Mag. The Mighty Mag is no longer being published on paper, but is available in colour from the Mighty Mag website, along with other stories.

Weather Watch New Zealand (Reed, 2007) written by Sandra Carrod and co-illustrated by Karsten Schneider, is nominated in the New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults 2008. On Speaking Volumes in March, John McIntyre lauded Gunther and Schneider for their design work, and said 'with non-fiction it is as much about the design as it is about the information in there.'

Gunthers’ books include:

Smart Arts (Scholastic, 1994); Out of the Sunless Land (Wendy Pye, 1994); A Medal for Nickie (Applecross, 1995); Bill (Heinemann Education Auckland, 1996); Can You Pop the Wizard’s Bubble? (Scholastic, 1996); The ‘Get-up’ Machine (Heinemann Education Auckland, 1996); Smart Arts 2 (Scholastic, 1996; A Game of Marbles (HarperCollins, 1997); The Bee’s Knees Puzzle Book (Scholastic, 1997); Bit Scream (Scholastic, 1997); The Great Kiwi Puzzle Book (Scholastic, 2000); The Weta (Reed Publishing, 2000) written by J. Lockyer; The Kiwi (Reed Publishing, 2001) written by J.Lockyer; Where’s Kiwi Kevin Now? (Reed Publishing, 2004); Kiwi Kevin’s Puzzle Book (Teachers’ College Press, 2003); Mr Leong’s Little Brown Couch (Papawai Press, 2007) written by Louisa Warren; Four Bad Boys (Papawai Press, 2007) written by Louisa Warren.

Gunthers has also published Science Works 1; 101 of the Dumbest Things People Have Done by Ray Comfort (2008); Four books for Janine Suter of Fun Bible Books; Derryk the Courageous by Jill Kemp, and Questions You're Not Supposed to Ask by Tony Williams (2009).

Richard Gunther has written or illustrated 190 books. He has also worked for several publishing firms and currently has several books in pre-publication stages. He also provides graphics regularly on four websites. Gunther has a son and a daughter, and lives in Timaru.


KAPAI: Kids' Authors' Pictures and Information

Where do you live?
In a flat in Timaru.

What books do you read?
Bible, CS Lewis, history, encyclopedias, science fiction, almost anything.

Who is your favourite writer and why?
CS Lewis. His brevity, precision and ability to say important things with simplicity.

How do you think up your ideas?
I am open to material from TV, radio, books, and magazines. I also use my senses to gather information – taste, touch, sight, sound – and store the information for later use.

What is the best thing about being a writer?
It encourages me to think about everything.

Primary School Students

What sort of pets do you have?
None, but I enjoy other people’s pets.

What is your favourite colour?
Blue – all kinds.

What is your favourite food and why?
Fish and chips. The taste, smell, hot, happy memories.

What is your favourite movie?
The Lord of the Rings – extended version by Peter Jackson.

What is your favourite game?
Don’t have one. I like watching the A.B’s.

How do you make books?
I wait till I have several good ideas. I look for pictures in my mind.

Where do you go for holidays?
I always go with family when they have theirs – Peel Forest or New Brighton.

What was the naughtiest thing you ever did at school?
Never naughty – always perfect.

Secondary School Students

How did you get started?
1993 – an old shed. I cleaned it up, got a computer/printer and wrote a book a week and posted, posted, posted. 5am – 9pm typing. I finally had one accepted and kept going. I keep a motto on the wall.

Who inspired you when you were getting started?
I knew I could do it. CS Lewis – The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

What advice would you give to an aspiring young writer?
Work, work, work.

Is it difficult to make a living writing in New Zealand?
Almost impossible.

What were you like as a teenager? Tell us a story!
Individualistic, 7 years old – always wandering around the Port Hills or taking the longest way home from school. Read suitcases of books. Inventive.


Updated January 2017.