Posts Tagged ‘Joanna Orwin’


Edited by Kate De Goldi and Susan Paris

ISBN 9781776570775

Gecko Press



Annual features a dictionary of crazy words that come in handy on car trips, a sophisticated ‘spot the similarity’, a found poem from school newsletters, a maths-nerd’s memoir full of tricky logic puzzles, and top-class fiction that spans Christchurch Botanic Gardens in the 19th C, the loss of a brother, a Kiwi beach holiday, and a Fontanian boarding school.

I remember reading so many annuals when I was a child and even as a tween I would devour them whenever I could get my hands on one. It is lovely to see the reprisal of a format that holds so much for keen readers today.

Annual is a book aimed at the 9 through 12 year old readers. It is one to dip in to for a quick read, a bit of information or a longer read when time permits. There are activities to do and games to play.

My favorite is the story Seeds  by writer Joanna Orwin. The Christchurch of 1875 is a far cry from that of today (thank goodness). Harriet is destined to be a chambermaid but an encounter with the Garden curator changes everything. Delightful and perfect for readers who love historical stories.

Writers and illustrators from around New Zealand were commissioned for this Annual and it works. It gives readers a bit of everything to enjoy, from poems to stories, and comics to fun word lists from a variety of different artists and authors.

There are even ideas on how to write your own story. Check out Every picture tells a story by Paul Beavis.

Fifi Colston’s This is not a bottle offers some wonderful ideas on recycling old bottles and turning them in to works of art, or at least a spaceship or two.

An ideal Christmas present for readers to take on holidays.

Looking forward to the next annual already.