Posts Tagged ‘Scholastic New Zealand’

Skip to the loo my Darlin’

Sung by the Topp Twins

Illustrated by Jenny Cooper

ISBN 9781775435433

 

 

If you want fun and a good laugh, this is cool. It is great as a book to read-aloud, read by yourself, or sing along to the wonderful Topp Twins. We had a heap of fun with this at my school this week. I gave the book to some teachers who held up the book show-casing Jenny Cooper’s gorgeously cute pictures while the music played loudly for everyone to hear and sing along. For whatever reason over took me, I would skip past the children every time the words “Skip to the loo my Darlin'” came along. Lots of giggles. Lot of animal sounds were also made, although I didn’t do so well as a possum, I have to tell you.

I can see this book being played out and peformed in assemblies. Lots of fun to create their own little animal sounds and heaps of skipping.

There is something special about Jenny Cooper’s illustrations, too. The kind of pictures that warm the heart.

This is going to be a hit in schools and pre-schools and family fun times.

 

We’ve got a boat

Written and sung by Jay Laga’aia

Illustrated by Donovan Bixley

ISBN 9781775435303

 

 

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We’ve got a boat combines a fun story about boating and ends with facts about The America’s Cup and photos of our proud sailors. Readers can be entertained by the story and then learn a little of the history of the cup and some of our wonderful winning moments.

The chorus is catchy and you can’t help but want to sing loudly and proudly as we celebrate out boating skills and kiwi crew; here they are kiwi, sheep and cow demonstrating their expertise on the water. Donovan Bixley provides his iconic quirky New Zealand animal illustrations. 

A perfect book for summer holidays with all the blue sea and sunny skies. 

 

 

Keep fit Kiwi: Heads and shoulders, knees and toes

By Lynette Evans

Illustrated by Steve Mahardhika

Sung by Pio Terei

Maori lyrics by Ngaere Roberts

 

 

Pre-school and primary school teachers are always looking for good music to sing and dance along for morning PE sessions and this one fits the bill. A catchy song that almost everyone knows but here with a kiwi twist. Written and sung in English and Maori, which adds to the appeal.

The illustrated characters all have cheeky, friendly smiles, which just goes to show you that exercise is fun. Music and exercise is always a good combination, especially when encouraging children to step away from devices and enjoy a bit of exercise and fresh air. Another good resource for schools.

 

ANZAC Day is such a special event in both New Zealand and Australian history that 100 years later we are still respecting our ancestors and all they did to serve our countries.

Here is a selection of some of my favourite World War One picture books to share with children. While not all focus on the Gallipoli Campaign, they do talk of the impact of war and are all very worthy to share with children when they ask why do we still have ANZAC parades. Simply put, it is to remember them. All of them. Those who went to war, those who fought and never made it home and yes, even those who stayed at home and helped kept families strong.

 

Gladys goes to war

By Glyn Harper

Illustrated by Jenny Cooper

ISBN 9780143507208

Puffin Booksgldays

 

Gladys Sandford was a very special and determined woman. Told that war was no place for women, Gladys fought convention and went to war, driving ambulances and even fixing them. Gladys was also the first woman in New Zealand to gain a pilot’s license. Based on the real life Gladys this is a very special book. Often illustrators are great at either drawing animals or people. It is not every illustrator who can do both well but Jenny Cooper does this and does it beautifully.

 

The ANZAC puppy

By Peter Millet

Illustrated by Trish Bowles

ISBN 9781775430971

Scholastic

puppy

“In the middle of the night, in the middle of the winter, in the middle of a war, a puppy was born.’ This fictional story was inspired by the story of Freda, a Harlequin Great Dane and mascot of the NZ Rifle Brigade during World War 1. The ANZAC Puppy is a simple story about the reality of war, hardship, friendship and love.”

This is a great story for younger readers especially for its happy ending, despite the harsh realities of war and the pain of being involved in such awful times.

 

 

The red poppy

By David Hill

Illustrated by Fifi Colston

ISBN 9781775430704

Scholastic

poppy

“Young soldier Jim McLeod waits in the trenches of World War I for the order to attack the enemy. With him are his friends, and Nipper, the messenger dog. When they charge across no-man’s-land, Jim is shot …and finds himself face to face with an enemy soldier.”

 A poignantly illustrated picture book with lots to say. There is more focus on the trenches in David Hill’s story than some of the others chosen here today and this certainly adds impact. I love the colours used for this book. The sepia tones and the blood red of the poppies are ideal for this story and perfect for older children. There is much to read and look at in this book and would be ideal in a classroom of year 5 and six students. There is also the wonderful addition of a CD to listen to.

 

Jim’s letters

By Glyn Harper

Illustrated by Jenny Cooper

ISBN 9780143505907

 

jim

“Dear Jim, Your postcard arrived today. I showed it to the family. Mum misses you…” Between December 1914 and August 1915 Tom and Jim write to each other whenever they get a chance. Tom talks about life at home on the farm while Jim writes from Egypt and then from the trenches of the Gallipoli peninsula”

The power of this book is highlighting the lives of those at war and family at home. It was hard for family waiting at home knowing any day they might receive the dreadful news that their beloved son, brother or father was either wounded or killed. Nothing was certain and I think this book depicts this very well.

 

There are so many more books I could share. Below are two of my favourites already reviewed on this blog.

One minute’s silence

By David Metzenthen

 

ANZAC Heroes

By Maria Gill  (non-fiction but a perfect book to support these picture books)

The house on the hill

By Kyle Mewburn

Illustrated by Sarah Davis

ISBN 9781775430841

Scholastic

 

HOTH

What a treasure! 

This story begins with two young ghosts as they near the entrance to a very haunted looking house at the top of a hill. Eerie lights, slamming doors and even shrunken skulls are just some of the dangers in their way. 

Will they be brave enough to enter?

“Pray, flee now, flee now if you will!

Or dare ye brave this house on the hill?”

The language and illustrations marry up perfectly to create a suitably creepy atmosphere.  The use of sepia tones in the illustrations adds to the tension and pulls readers in. The first double spread is just stunning. There are two large, golden-eyed owls peering down from a tree watching as the two ghosts slowly make their way through the night and up the street towards the lone house on the hill. The language definitely has the Gothic style of Edgar Allan Poe which helps build suspense and add so much more to the story.

I also love the moths and their somewhat cheeky smiles and a special mention must be made of the raven on the back cover (surely a nod to E A Poe). This highlights the perfect collaboration of the author and illustrator who understand each other. Not always successful with many picture books but this is just wonderful.

I love the end pages which create a beginning and an end to the story with all the spookiness trapped inside. Beautifully written, gorgeously illustrated, this book is going to be a hit! This will be a great one to read aloud to children.

For those that dare – check out Kyle reading The House on the Hill.

A warning though, maybe, just maybe, keep the lights on!

I confess when watching this clip I actually jumped at one part but you will have to watch it yourself to see if you jump too.

My New Zealand Story Canterbury Quake 2010-2011
By Desna Wallace
(That’s me)

I have been blogging about books, book trailers and doing reviews for quite some time now but this book is just a bit different. And that is because it is my first children’s novel and I can hardly do the review myself but the links below will take you to some reviews which are doing the rounds at the moment.
It is a very strange (but wonderful) feeling to see your own book for sale in the shops. For those reading this from New Zealand you all know that this month marks three years since the devastating earthquake here in Christchurch, which claimed 185 lives and destroyed our city centre, our historic buildings and thousands of homes. For those outside New Zealand this was one of New Zealand’s saddest, darkest and most tragic days in our country’s history. We have endured thousands of aftershocks, many of them very damaging. Many people were forced to leave Christchurch after being made homeless. Many have returned, many have not.
Living in Christchurch is not the same as it once was and it never will be the same. Thousands of people are still waiting for homes to be repaired or rebuilt. Roads all around the city are blocked off or surrounded by traffic cones as buildings come down, roads are fixed and the city is repaired. It will take years to see any real difference. But it is home. It is a city I love and a city I am proud of.

So from all this I have written a book of fiction based on the very real facts. In diary form and part of the New Zealand My Story series, I have told the story of 11 year Maddy, her family and friends and how this natural disaster has affected them all.

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http://bobsbooksnz.wordpress.com/2014/02/05/canterbury-quake-by-desna-wallace/
http://barbaramurison.blogspot.co.nz/2014/02/fiction-age-10-and-up.html
http://beattiesbookblog.blogspot.co.nz/2014/01/canterbury-quake.html