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Neild, Diana
Writer's File

Diana Neild

Neild, Diana
In brief

Diana Neild is a children’s author, and her first book, Piggity-Wiggity Jiggity Jig (Scholastic, 2008) was chosen for the LIANZA National Read-aloud book for Library book week in 2008. Neild comments on her choice of language in the book, ‘I’m also pleased to have worked in an interesting vocabulary in the text. Words are such fun, and I love the sound of sophisticated language in rhyme.’ Neild’s occupations have included music teacher, mother and musician, as well as ‘maker of rhyme’.

  • Primary publisher
    Scholastic New Zealand


NEILD, Diana (1961 - ) is a children’s author and was born in Hamilton, attending Te Akau Primary School, followed by Waikato Diocesan School for Girls as a boarder. Her occupations have included flute teacher, mother, musician and ‘maker of rhyme’.

Neild writes about her book, ‘One of my aims in writing Piggity-Wiggity was to create a set of characters with credibility. I don’t know the formula of how to do this, my only tool is patience, and to know when I’ve got it right. I’m very happy that the Jig family turned out as they did.’

Of Piggity-Wiggity’s popularity with children and adult readers, Gillian Vine says, ‘Diana Neild doesn’t use baby language; the Jigs' family home is ‘30s construction with only one story,’ and has ‘a surplus of playthings and marginal space’. It makes a pleasant change from baby-talk vocabularies.’

Piggity-Wiggity Jiggity Jig was chosen for the LIANZA National read-aloud book for Library Week in 2008. Piggity Wiggity Jiggity Jig won an Honour Award at the 2009 New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults, and was listed as a 2009 Storylines Notable Picture Book.

Piggity-Wiggity Jiggity Jig
Goes to Dad’s Café (Scholastic, 2009), illustrated by Philip Webb, is a follow-up to Neild’s first book. ‘Complemented beautifully by Webb’s humours illustrations, Neild’s faultless rhyme and imaginative text just trip off the tongue and begs to be read aloud to ages 3-7.’(The Children’s Bookshop, March 2009, Kilbirnie). The work has been recently listed as a finalist in the picture book category of the 2010 New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. Results will be announced in May.

Diana Neild lives in Palmerston North, and is available to visit schools as part of our Writers in Schools programme.


  • Book Back-chat focused on Piggity-Wiggity Jiggity Jig in August 2008.
  • Palmerston North City Library created a DVD of Diana reading Piggity-Wiggity Jiggity Jig from the recording made in August 2008, contact them directly for purchase.