Archive for April, 2020

What’s in the box?

By David Minty

ISBN 9780473494261

Minty Books

 

 

whats box

 

What’s in the box? Well, that is the big question. Two friends out walking find a box all alone. They begin guessing what might be inside, coming up with all sorts of ideas. They consider the possibilities of treasure, or crabs, and numerous other options. If you look closely, hidden on every page is a wee clue as to what is hiding in the box. Children will love searching for the clue. One friend is dressed in a pirate hat and the other has a trapper hat on and they are both ready for the adventure of the mysterious box.

 

My new red car

By David Minty

ISBN 9780473471583

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This is the first picture book by David Minty, both as writer and illustrator. We meet our two friends who  are on an adventurous search for a missing red car. They search everywhere but just can’t seem to find it. There are lots of other red cars, just not the right one. Funny and brightly coloured, the reader soon sees what the friends can’t see and this will have readers laughing out loud.

Do they find the red car? Yes, they do but just where they find it might surprise you and leave you giggling.

 

Ice Breaker

By Maria Gill

Illustrated by Alistair Hughes

ISBN 9781869665364

New Holland Publishers

 

I have always been a fan of explorer Frank Worsley. His photo hangs proudly in our school foyer as he is deemed a past pupil hero, his determination something to aspire to. As books on Antarctic explorers go, most focus on Sir Ernest Shackleton so it is wonderful to see Frank Worsley getting the attention he so rightly deserves. If it wasn’t for his incredible navigation skills there would have been no survivors from this dangerous journey.

In 1914 an attempt by the crew of the Endurance to traverse the Antarctic continent began well enough. Unfortunately the ship became stuck in the ice and eventually sunk. This is the story of that  extraordinary journey and how all the men survived because of Frank Worsley and Sir Ernest Shackleton.

It is hard to believe that everyone survived given the constant setbacks they endured. It was bad enough being shipwrecked but the freezing cold temperatures, bitter winds and treacherous conditions that hounded the crew is beyond our imagination. The journey is well recorded here in Maria’s creative non-fiction picture book. Again, as with all of Maria’s books, the subject is well-researched. It is hard to believe that no lives were lost or that the men did not just give up in such unbelievably harsh conditions. This book shows the depth of character these men had and their resilience and determination to stay alive.

The illustrator captures this determination in the faces of the men. The bitter cold and harsh reality of their situation is also wonderfully captured in the illustrations. A great record by author and illustrator of one of New Zealand’s true heroes.

Suitable for all levels as a well documented account of one of New Zealand’s true heroic explorers.

 

 

It’s been awhile since I last posted. So much has been happening.

Firstly, I was caught up in the excitement and chaos of selling my home and buying another. After 32 years in my home there was lots of packing and giving away things I’d gathered over the years. It was also an emotional time remembering all the things that had happened there, especially watching my son grow up and all the friends who stayed in our house. Lots of good memories, but it was time to move. It just took up most of my time.

Secondly, we have of course been in lockdown with lots of limitations but it has given me a chance to catch up on some reading. So here is a selection of new picture books just out from Scholastic NZ.

I do hope you are all safe and happy in your bubbles and finding quiet times to read a book or two.

As our prime minister says. Stay home. Be kind.

Happy reading.

 

Dozer the Fire Cat. Inspired by true events

By Robyn Prokop

Illustrated by Jenny Cooper

ISBN 9781775436171

In 2019 New Zealand had its largest wildfire since 1955 and in the back of this picture book you can learn more about what happened during this time.

Dozer is based on a real cat that went missing during these fires. Dozer is gorgeously illustrated by Jenny Cooper who brings his personality out in the open. He is very cute, indeed.

Author Robyn Prokop shares his escape from the fires and how his family worry so much when he goes missing. There is no sign of him for several days and the fires are so bad, they fear the worst.  I do love a happy ending and for Dozer and his family, there is one but it is what happens in between that becomes the story of Dozer. Sweet story with sweet illustrations.

 

 

Moas’s ark

By Peter Millet

Illustrated by Shaun Yeo

ISBN 9781775435846

Author Peter Millett brings us a reimagining of the classic story of Noah’s Ark. It is very much a funny kiwi tale with good rhymes, and rhythm. After forty days Noah delivers the animals safely on land except the Moa, tuatara and the kiwi who he takes all the way to Aotearoa. They go through choppy seas and long days to finally reach their destination. I think poor old Noah is glad to see them depart his ark.

Artist Shaun Yeo brings even more humour to the story with his delightful illustrations.

If you want to know more about how the author came up with the idea  you can read an interview with him here.

If you want to read the book then click here. Check out page 6-7 and watch as the ark sits precariously on the top of a huge wave in the middle of stormy seas.

Huge thanks to the good people at Scholastic NZ for sharing a free digital copy of this book. So sit back and enjoy for yourselves.

 

 

Nee Naw goes bananas

By Deano Yipadee

Illustrated by Paul Beavis

ISBN 9781775436195

Nee Naw is back with his friends in a new adventure. He may be a little fire engine but he always manages to find himself in the middle of a big adventure. This time he is caught up with helping at a monkey sanctuary where the monkeys cause mischief and mayhem. Check out what happens when the cheeky monkeys fill Nee Naw’s tank with bananas.

Paul Beavis adds plenty of humour with his bright and quirky illustrations.

You can listen to the CD as well.

 

 

Kia kaha! Together standing strong

By June Pitman-Hayes

Illustrated by Minky Stapleton

Maori lyrics by Ngaere Roberts

ISBN 9781775436225

 

A timely picture book about learning to accept each other and our differences.

Kia kaha! kia kaha!

Together, standing strong.

We join our hands in friendship, 

that’s how we get along.

Aimed at younger children, the book goes through different scenarios showing ways we can help each other.  It includes cultural acceptance, disabilities as well as basic kindness, well reflected in the illustrations. There is also a CD to sing along to in both English and Te Reo Māori.

Ideal for pre-schools and kindergartens.