Archive for the ‘Intermediate’ Category

Into the Sideways World

By Ross Welford

ISBN 9780008333843

Harpercollins

Twelve-year-old Willa lives with her parents and older sister, Alex. Things are not great. Her parents are always arguing, the environment is suffering and the possibility of a world war is constantly on the news.

At school she meets the new boy, Manny and they become good friends. They also accidentally discover an alternative world. In this world, there are no wars, the environment is perfect and there are strange creatures, like the cog. There is much to like in this alternate world. There is much we can learn, if we take the time.

Trying to convince people in the ordinary world of the things they have seen is problematic. No one believes them. Time becomes an issue when there is risk of being trapped in one world, or drowning.

The pace is good, the characters believable, and more importantly, likeable. Manny is quirky and extremely friendly, while Willa is a bit more sensible. The writing, like Ross Welford’s other books, offers good suspense, excitement and a jolly good read.

Queen of Muck

By Isaac Thackray

ISBN 9780473576028

Mary Egan Publishing

When Lucy and Lily’s grandad goes missing, they are desperate to find him, even though they have no idea where to start looking.

A fallen postcard in grandad’s shed holds the key to his disappearance and the first chance to finding clues. The sisters find themselves tumbling into a rather strange place where things are not quite what they seem. They are greeted by a talking fox who takes them into the nearby town, Florez. From there, all sorts of magical, funny, and mysterious things begin to happen.

There is also danger, risk and more humour with characters like Horrible Bob, Sergeant Onion and the evil Queen Deidre of Muck Palace. While being at risk of being disposed of, the girls still need to find their grandad.

Working together, good friends and some good planning, all go a long way to solving the mystery. A fun read.

Ice

By Susan Brocker

ISBN 9781775437567

Scholastic NZ

I admit that animals stories are not usually my first choice but I was very pleasantly surprised with Susan Broker’s latest title. I read it over two days and was thoroughly caught up in the mystery, the family dynamics and just the whole story.

Zac, has lived with his mother in Auckland since his parent’s divorce but is forced to stay with his father and his new wife and step brother and step sister in Wanaka, a long, long way from the big city. Zac likes nothing more than to play games on his console but his father has other ideas for him. He volunteers at a wildlife sanctuary but it isn’t long before he realises things are not as they seem. His stepmother encourages him to take on the care of a dog from the pound but the one he chooses, destined for euthanasia, looks at him with ice blue eyes and he can’t resist saving her. However, something is wrong. The dog howls each night at the moon, as if caught up in terrible sadness. Thus, the mystery of the dog he calls, Ice, begins.

It’s a good mystery, a good story and a good pace. The setting of the ice and snow and hills around Wanaka are descriptive and realistic. Zac’s relationship with his father is strained and Zac feels that whatever he does, isn’t good enough so he lies but the lies create even bigger problems.

Zac is forced into situations that beg him to step up and find the strength of the characters he fights in his games. It is the stepping up that creates the character’s growth and that always makes a good story. Indeed, it is more than just stepping up, Zac, has to fight for his and his family’s survival.

Ice, a white German Shepherd has her own personality. She is courageous and loyal.

I do think this would be a good read aloud for upper primary and intermediate school.

Minky Stapleton provides some thoughtful black and white illustrations throughout the book.

Please write soon

By Michael Rosen

Illustrated by Michael Foreman

ISBN 9780702315572

Scholastic UK

I was quite moved by this book. It is an extended read, with 74 pages, illustrations on every one, but aimed at older children. Perhaps nine year olds through 12, 13. It is based on a real person, a cousin of the author’s father during World War Two.

The story begins in 1939 with a boy named Solly. He lives in London and writes to his older cousin Bernie in Poland. At school Solly is asked to share a project he has been working on and he shares letters written between himself and his cousin.

The letters detail what it is like for Solly and his family to hide in bomb shelters in London, to be evacuated and to fear what might happen if the war continues. For Bernie, he shares the sadness he feels missing his family, being persecuted for who he is, and fighting in a war against the Nazi soldiers.

The cousins share a bond through their writing. They both want the war to end and to be able to meet up with each other. They want peace at a time when war is all around them.

The illustrations are black and white with the occasional, purposeful touch of red, symbolic of hope, of love and remembrance. Poppies have an important place in this book too.

I loved watching the two cousins grow closer, the more they communicated, especially their openness to discuss their feelings, and fears. Solly talks about being sent away to the countryside, like so many children were. Bernie discusses what it is like in a Russian labour camp.

A thoughtful, respectful account of the lives of two cousins during World War Two.

At the back of the book, the author discusses war in general. He discusses Covid-19 and how there are so many people who help others, risking their own lives; soldiers, nurses, doctors and more. The author asks us to consider that remembrance days mean so much more than past wars. It means to remember and reflect on all those people, who help when the need is greatest.

ANZAC Day Parade

By Glenda Kane

Illustrated by Lisa Allen

ISBN 9781776890149

This book was first published in 2010 but this new hardback edition still has much relevance today.

As we get closer to ANZAC Day commemorations, we know that because of the current Covid-19 conditions, many memorial mornings will not be happening this year. However, it is still a day to remember those people who gave their lives, over 100 years ago.

This picture book, with its soft autumnal colours, shows a young boy asking an elderly veteran on his way to an ANZAC Day Parade, questions about the war. For the elderly veteran, the war has always been part of his life. He remembers those soldiers who did not come back from the battle with him. He remembers the young man he once was and you can see how war has impacted on his whole life. You can see the pain in the old man’s eyes through the moving illustrations. The young boy, slowly begins to understand that the war was not glory, but pain and sorrow. He lays a poppy at the foot of the memorial as the old soldier walks away.

Definitely a book to add to library collections and for teachers to read aloud to young children to open discussion on ANZAC’s, war, and why we must remember the past and the people who gave so much, all those years ago.

Incredible journeys: New Zealand Wildlife on the move

By Ned Barraud

ISBN 9781988550282

Potton & Burton

Author and illustrator, Ned Barraud, is well-known for his distinctive artistic style. In his latest book he highlights the journeys many animals and birds take, often repeatedly, in their lifetimes.

Each animal or bird has its own double-page spread with lots of well-researched facts, and a map of the journey’s path. The facts are informative and easy to read.

Take the humpback whale, for example. It travels up to 10,000 kilometres from the South Pacific Ocean surrounding New Zealand, down to Antarctica and back again, when it is time to breed. That is a huge distance.

Some of the other journeys include, that of the white shark, Northern Royal albatross and even the Fiordland crested penguin, which is one of the rarest of the 18 species of penguins in the world.

A good, informative non-fiction book to have in any school library or home collection.

Backyard birds

By Ned Barraud

ISBN 9781988550305

Potton & Burton

Ned Barraud has brought together yet another book, a collection of 24 of the most common everyday birds in New Zealand. They are birds we might see in our own gardens, or on native walks around local forests or parks.

It begins with a good contents page, then the evolution of birds, followed by parts of a bird, mating, nests, eggs and chicks, before introducing different species of birds. My favourites are the pukeko, piwakawaka, and the magpie. I’ve just noticed that my favourites are all quite well-known for being rather cheeky characters with lots of personality.

Each detailed illustration also provides a paragraph or two about the birds. The last double-page spread gives ideas on how to attract birds into your garden.

A good book to have at home, to help identify birds we might see around our neighbourhood.

A Definitely Different Summer

By Elizabeth Pulford

ISBN 978198853893

Bateman Books

It is the summer holidays and Kathleen, AKA Cricket, has no choice but to go with her parents and stay on uninhabited Jacob’s Island. Her mother is there to write, and her father is there to study birds and insects, which leaves Cricket spending most of the time alone. Her fears of being bored change when strange things begin to happen.

Cricket’s interest in how the island got its name leads her on a journey of discovery about a shipwreck in 1881. The story is based on a real shipwreck off the coast of Invercargill where 131 people lost their lives. As the story weaves in and out, more information comes forth and Cricket is able to piece together certain events.

I loved this story for many reasons. Cricket is likeable, honest and funny. Her curiosity is what makes the story. When faced with having a classmate join her, her ability to learn from mistakes and make changes, comes across authentically. Another reason, is the mystery and the spooky happenings, in the wild, isolated landscape.

Shipwrecks are fascinating. When we think about them most people’s first thoughts are about the famous ship, Titanic. We think about why and how ships are wrecked, and about lives lost, and survivors too. This is why it was so is interesting to read about one off the shore of New Zealand.

This is a great read for readers nine and up who love a good story, with good mystery, and a little bit of spookiness. Or maybe a lot more spookiness!

Pax

by Sara Pennypacker

ISBN 9780008158286

Twelve-year-old Peter, finds a lonely, orphaned baby fox. His father suggests the kit should be left to die but Peter rescues it, cares for it and the two become inseparable, best friends. Peter’s father enlists in the military so Peter has to live with his grandfather. On the way to grandfather’s house, Peter is forced to return Pax to the wild. They are separated and Peter is heartbroken. His guilt at leaving his fox eats away at him. He misses Pax so much, that in utter desperation, he packs his bag and runs away, determined to find his companion. Pax also misses Peter and sets out on own journey too.

The story of Peter and Pax is beautifully written. The language and style often made me stop and reread the sentences or paragraphs just to soak in the language and imagery. The story of loss, grief, separation, guilt and loneliness is often sad, but it is also hopeful.

Peter’s pain is palpable and the story is both heartwarming and heartbreaking. I loved Peter’s vulnerability, but also his determination to be reunited with Pax. Told in alternate points of view chapters, this is just such a wonderful story to read.

Pax : Journey home

ISBN 9780008470289

Oh my goodness, what a sequel. Peter has suffered even more loss after his father was killed in the war. I can feel Peter’s heart breaking with every sentence. Now orphaned, he is determined to be strong and not let anyone, or anything, get close to him, for fear of losing anyone else. In his young life, he has suffered one loss after another, so he builds walls all around himself but the reality is, people need other people. Leaving Viola, the old woman who has been caring for him, Peter sets out to start a new life and joins the Water Warriors, a group of people trying to fix the land after the damage from the war. In a parallel storyline Pax now has his own family but needs help when one of the young kits gets very sick.

So begins the journey to be reunited.

Trust and love are big themes here. Pax and Pax: Journey home are both very special books to treasure, and to read again and again. I loved both books and Peter and Pax will stay with me for a long time. Oh yeah, tissues may be needed! Quality writing and storytelling at its best. Great to read alone, great for a class read aloud, and perfect to share as a family read.

What about Will

By Ellen Hopkins

ISBN 9780593108642

Penguin Random House

Ellen Hopkins name is synonymous with verse novels. Her ability to take you inside the thoughts of her characters is well known and well respected. Writing mostly for the young adult audience, her latest book What about Will is aimed at the younger, middle grade readers.

Trace Reynolds is 12 and the younger brother of 17 year old Will. They were tight once. Good friends as well as brothers but after Will suffers a brain injury at a football game, everything changes. Will becomes angry, depressed and antisocial. Their mother has not long since left the family and now Trace sees Will slipping away from him too. Things begin to disappear and Will mixes with a new group of teens, and they are not the best people to be around.

Throughout the novel we feel Trace’s pain. He is caring and kind and and worries about Will. He misses his mother who he hasn’t seen in months. We feel his confusion as he becomes conflicted with trying to find out what is wrong with Will or waiting to see if Will will come right. He covers for his brother, trying to protect him but only he can decide, if it is the right thing to do. But Will doesn’t come right and things begin to spiral out of control.

This novel, in verse form, deals with many issues. Family breakdown, little league, trust, betrayal, brothers, head injuries, drug addiction. It’s all in here and woven together thoughtfully, with careful consideration to the reality of Trace and Will’s lives. Their characters and their situations offer an insight to what many families are going through. The things that happen here, happen in real life.

Friendship is a theme running through the book and one that highlights the importance of having someone who listen when you need them.

Highly recommend this book. A good solid story, authentic characters and great writing.

The following books are written and illustrated by Dave Gunson, and published by Bateman Books. Gunson’s speciality is non-fiction and I have read many of his books over the years. These are just the latest ones to be published.

New Zealand Country Wildlife: Which? Why? What?

By Dave Gunson

ISBN 9781988538884

Bateman Books

Part of a series of non-fiction books about New Zealand wildlife, Gunson manages to provide interesting facts about the animals in the countryside. He does this with careful research and his usual tongue-in-cheek humour.

We learn about lizards, birdlife and goats. We learn there are many different types of butterflies in the mountains. We learn the collective nouns for many of the animals. I particularly like the words for a group of kea; a prattle, a company or a pandemonium. I love the kea birds and their beautiful colours and cheeky personalities, so I do think these are good descriptions.

New Zealand Forest Wildlife: Which? Why? What?

ISBN 97819885388877

Similar to the country book above, this book focuses on forests and the wildlife within. The language is aimed at primary school aged children, but for quick facts this will suit older readers too. The layout is in small bite-size blocks of information with the same humorous cartoon-type illustrations spread over the pages. The information is fun and clear.

Here we learn about the trees, snails, kiwi, morepork and even centipedes. Lots to look at, discover and learn about.

Inside New Zealand Wildlife

ISBN 97819885388860

This book is aimed at older readers as it has more text, a smaller font size and language a little more sophisticated than the two books above. It has an awesome lenticular cover so that front-on you see the illustration of the takahe but if you move the book side to side, you have a 3D cross-section picture of the inside of the takahe’s head. Very cool.

This is a book of cross-sections with a very good look at the insides of the bodies of many animals, birds, insects and even dolphins. The information in this book is more in-depth. I particularly enjoyed reading about the little blue penguin. So tiny and cute.

There is both an index and content page which makes finding information easier than the previous two books reviewed here. As mentioned, this one is best for older readers. An excellent addition to a school library.

Torn apart : The Partition of India, 1947

By Swapna Haddow

ISBN 9780702300417

Scholastic UK

I love Swapna’s books and have read quite a number of them now. What I love is the humour. Swapna’s latest book however, is so different from her other works but I love this too. Her ability to make readers laugh is evident to anyone who reads her work, but here, her ability to make readers cry, is equally a strength.

A short novel for older readers and intermediate aged children, this novel tells the story of two boys who are thrown together after India gained independence from the British Crown. What happened after that day in October 1947 was devastating for so many people. India became partitioned and the country was split into India and Pakistan. Muslims were forced to live in Pakistan and the Hindus and Sikhs were to stay behind in India. As people tried to hide or tried to escape, violence broke and out and hundreds of thousands of people died.

The two boys who meet are Ibrahim, a Muslim, who lives in relative luxury, and Amar, an orphan living in the streets. Amar is out for revenge over the death of his friend, and Ibrahim, suddenly separated from his family, is trying to find them. He meets Amar and asks him for help. The soon realise they need each other to survive. There is danger and chaos to be fair, as the recent news of Independence has terrible consequences. The boys share their accounts and points of view in short alternating chapters which works very well. I was able to understand why they made the decisions they did and the fears they felt. Amar is used to the streets, while Ibrahim though bright and studious, is quite naive, but they soon become friends. Street life, unrest, violence is all part of their daily lives now but Ibrahim is ever hopeful of being united with his family. I’m not going to share anymore here as I really don’t want to give away what happens. I will say, I was moved to tears. It is a short but powerful read and I hope to see more of this serious writing style from Swapna. Of course, I still want her funny books too, as they make me smile.

This is most suitable for upper primary and intermediate school readers.

I’ve actually just read another of Swapna’s books and I’m adding a wee review here because there is a bit of a connection with Hinduism, and the Diwali festival.

All about Diwali

By Swapna Haddow

Illustrated by Aditi Kakade Beaufrand

ISBN 9780702309595

Scholastic UK

This is a fun activity book to make and do things during the Diwali Festival. Well, you actually can do the activities anytime, but it is a nice way to focus on the celebrations during this festival.

The first few pages deal with the reasons why people celebrate Diwali and how they spend their time during the festivities and the special food eaten at Diwali time.

There are things to make such as buntings, lanterns, rockets, and heaps of recipes; some I will have to try myself.

The last few pages are nicely decorated with borders around blank lines so that you can write your own notes about how your’e spending your time, who with, or any other special notes you want to write.

A lovely way to record your celebrations.

Always

By Morris Gleitzman

ISBN 9780143793243

Penguin Books

I don’t know where to start here. I am feeling a whole range of emotions after reading the seventh and final book in the series about Felix Salinger.

Author, Morris Gleitzman has diligently, and powerfully told us the story of Felix, a young Jewish boy who escaped an orphanage in order to save his parents. His naivety was obvious but through the different books, he grew to understand the world around him. A world of hatred, war, racism but his own strength was always kindness and hope. From the first book I have followed every journey he has been on. I have read his stories as he grew into a young man, and then as he grew old. I have worried about Felix, I have cried for Felix but mostly, I have loved Felix. Even after 15 years since the first book Once was published, I remember him because he feels like someone I really know. He feels like a long-time friend, and now he feels like a grandfather. Despite everything Felix has been through, he remains kind, caring, strong but always with a touch of sadness that only people who have been through what he has, will ever understand. I know Felix is fictional, but he is so real to me and his impact will stay with me always.

His story throughout the series, is often harrowing with death, war, loss, grief, but the books are compelling. You can’t put them down in case you miss something.

In this final book, Felix is now a retired doctor and an old man, and his granddaughter Zel (named after Zelda, the young girl whose death has haunted him all his life) is heading off soon to study and follow in his footsteps to become a doctor. One day there is a knock at his door and he is greeted by Wassim, a young boy who hands him a note and tells him he needs his help. A young boy who knows war too, just a different war. A long ago connection to his past has put them together for a reason but that brings danger. It also shakes up the past and after a series of terrible events, Felix and Wassim follow some clues, board a plane and return to where Felix’s story first began. More danger follows them but they become stronger together and soon they are not just fighting for survival today, but fighting ghosts from the past.

Both Felix and Wassim narrate different chapters, each giving us a sense of their own fears and thoughts, but also observations of each other. This allows us to see their vulnerabilities, but also their strengths. As their stories unwind, the two grow to care for each other, support each other and need each other.

I don’t want to give things away, but if you have read the other books, you really need to read Always. It is harrowing, heartbreaking but heartwarming. Everyone needs a Felix Salinger in their life.

You will need tissues. Lots of tissues, but that is as it should be. Felix and his friends, his story, his life, is unforgettable. He will stay with me always.

The way I say it

By Nancy Tandon

ISBN 9781623541330

Charlesbridge

What do you do when your name is Rory and you’re going into sixth grade and you can’t even pronounce your own name. Rory is a smart, musical kid with a speech impediment. He has difficulty saying the letter r. It doesn’t matter if it is at the start of a word, or snuggled up inside a word, the letter r trips him up, and according to some people, makes him sound like a baby. He is made fun of because of the way he talks. A fall out with his former best friend, Brent, also adds to his troubles. Bullying is a strong contender in this middle grade novel. You can feel Rory’s pain and frustration. He really wants to get his letters and words right. He wants to sound like everyone else.

Rory regularly sees a speech teacher, Mr Simms, at school and it is this relationship which holds the key to making things right. Both are fans of the boxer Muhammad Ali, and both fans of good music. Both of these things play a significant role in helping Rory overcome his speech problems and his understanding and dealing with issues concerning Brent.

When an accident happens and his used-to-be best friend, but now enemy and bully number one is seriously hurt in hospital with a brain injury, Rory becomes confused about his feelings and struggles with doing the right thing.

The power of this novel is seeing the growth in characters. They are believable and I found myself drawn to them all, even the bullies. Writing that connects you to the characters, is good writing. Rory’s friend Tyson brings lots of humour to the story too, and just like in middle grade school, there are crushes and mixed emotions and even mixed up crushes.

A good solid read, with a mix of humour, bullying, being different, brain injuries, and friendships. Really enjoyed this read.

Skinny Dip : Poetry

Edited by Susan Price and Kate De Goldi

ISBN 9780995140769

Annual Ink

Massey University Press

What better day to review a new anthology of poetry than New Zealand National Poetry Day.

This is a wonderfully well-thought out anthology of poems for young people, written by some of New Zealand’s favourite poets. Beautifully designed with French flaps, this is a collection of poems to treasure.

Poets included are Ben Brown, Ashleigh Young, Rata Gordon, Dinah Hawken, Oscar Upperton, James Brown, Victor Rodger, Tim Upperton, Lynley Edmeades, Freya Daly Sadgrove, Nina Mingya Powles, Renee Liang and Nick Ascroft, Sam Duckor-Jones, essa may ranapiri, Bill Manhire, Anahera Gildea, Amy McDaid, and Kōtuku Nuttall.

There is a list of the poets and short blurbs about them and their writing at the back of the book.

The poems are relatable for children, with familiar subjects up for poetical discussion.

Bill Manhire’s poem There’s always someone is so true. Children everywhere know the teacher with the biggest whistle, or the child who desperately needs to go to the toilet even though they’ve had plenty of time go before.

I particularly like Oscar Upperton’s poem Eulogy for the class frog.

Up until recently, I owned three whistling tree frogs, who lived in a tank in my kitchen for well over 12 years. So I love this poem. A simple, clear opinionated poem with a funny twist at the end that children will love.

This collection highlights the wonder of poetry in a accessible format for young readers. Ideal for home and school libraries.

I do hope this becomes an annual anthology.

When Bo Bimble went out Elsewhere

By Sue Copsey

ISBN 9780473577728

Treehouse Books

Have you ever met a Bimble? Have you ever even heard of one? Well you are in for a treat if you read Sue Copsey’s new chapter book for children, When Bo Bimble went Elsewhere. Here, you will discover the world of the Bimbles.

“Perfectly round, impossibly green, and irresistibly soft and fluffy”

They are hidden away, unseen by humans, and living a quiet life. Their biggest fear is the giant Haast’s Eagle, which keeps them from ever venturing further than their immediate surroundsings.

Bo Bimbe is different. She wants to know about everything, from the moon and stars above to other places outside their existence. She questions everything but no one has the answers.

This book is sweet and gentle, and has that lovely feel-good feeling. Yes, there is danger, and adventure but it is charming and hopeful. The landscape and the native birds are a real focus and you can’t help but be impressed by our beautiful country, especially the Fiords down South.

Bernie is a young boy travelling in a campervan with his parents. He comes from Scotland and makes comparisons to his home and the places he visits. He is also a bit of a fanatic when it comes to birds and wildlife and records all the different ones he sees here in New Zealand. These recordings are fun to read and informative too, and the book certainly highlights a few environmental concerns.

Through a series of events where Bimble plucks up the courage to find answers to her questions, Bimble and Bernie meet up and an extraordinary friendship begins.

Together, they begin an adventure which will leave you smiling.

A delight to read.

Remarkable Animal Stories

By Maria Gill

Illustrated by Emma Huia Lovegrove

ISBN 9781775436454

Scholastic NZ and Scholastic Australia

I have just spent a very pleasant afternoon reading this gorgeous new book from award winning author, Maria Gill. Her speciality is writing non fiction and often, creative non fiction. Her latest book fits neatly in the creative side of things.

The animal and bird stories in this collection, are based on truth. Many may be familiar to you as their stories have made the news. Some have even made world-wide headlines; like Inky the octopus, who was known for escaping his aquarium. There are stories that will make you smile; like Moko the dolphin, and some that are a little sad, like Paddles, the cat who was owned by the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern.

These are my favourites; Moko, Ken-Joe a cheeky kea, because I love keas, Henry, the oldest tuatara in captivity, and Lulu, a kangaroo who loves cuddles.

The stories are written over double-page spreads which is great for short reading times to share or dip in to when time permits. The likelihood, however, is that you will want to read all these stories in one go.

The illustrations by Emma Huia Lovegrove are created in watercolour and gouache and gorgeous with just the right amount of cuteness. Photos are also included. At the back of the book there is also details of the role of wildlife sanctuaries. Without places like these, many animals would not survive. We need to be aware of what we can do to help these places, as they are the ones who help our animals.

A wonderful book to share with family. Teaching notes provided by Scholastic can be found here.

If you are in Christchurch on Saturday, August 21 then you might want to pop down to the Arts Centre as Maria will be having her book launch for this delightful book. Details can be found here.

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Aotearoa lost Worlds

By Dave Guson

ISBN 9781988538662

Bateman Books

Aotearoa Lost Worlds is a non-fiction delight for readers of all ages. Children, and those in particular who love dinosaurs, will love dipping into this book. Looking back at 120 million years of New Zealand’s natural history is quite amazing.

The land, animals, and climate has changed so much over millions of years but author and illustrator, Dave Gunson, brings many of the changes to our attention in his latest book.

I have always been fascinated by the long-extinct Haast’s eagle; the worlds largest bird of prey, so it was very interesting to read. It was so big and it was believed its wing span was 3 metres wide. That is incredible.

I never knew that over 230 million years ago, New Zealand had its own crocodiles. While they are magnificent creatures, I’m very glad we don’t have them around today as I wouldn’t want to run in to one by a river or swampy rest area.

Or you can read about the largest NZ Gecko that grew to over 60 centimetres in length. That is so much bigger than the ones we have today. And of course, you can read about dinosaurs too.

Obviously there are no photos, but Dave Gunson’s illustrations are colourful, detailed and realistic. His research is well-founded and written clearly. This is full of interesting and informative facts. A great book to dip into and again and again.