Kathryn Ryan meets Lisala Halapua, an Auckland writer and illustrator, whose first children's book is a finalist in the NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults, Best First Book award. He credits one of his two sisters with steering him back to visual art after not doing so much as a doodle for 10 years. She gave him a pack of blank postcards on which to write to her in Canada where she was living at the time. Each week, Lisala would write a message on the back, and draw something on the front. That turned into a weekly art blog, and along the way, The Mouse and the Octopus came into being.