Archive for the ‘Non Fiction’ Category

Kuwi’s Kitchen. The Kiwi kids cookbook by Kat Merewether.

March 6, 2018 Comments off

kuwis kitchenKuwi’s Kitchen. The Kiwi kids cookbook by Kat Merewether. Pub. Illustrated Publishing, 2018.

The first thing I noticed as I flicked through this beautifully presented book on cooking for kiwi Kids, was how delicious the food looked. Kids will be licking the pages.

Using the characters from the Kuwi picture books which have been reviewed elsewhere on this blog, delicious and healthy food for breakfast, lunch and dinner plus sweets is shown. How to cook it and display it on a plate and taking into account allergies like nut and dairy free, plus gluten free options.

Emphasis is on fun, with lots of food with eyes. The preparations by Kam Chadderton and Kyle Mereweather are beautifully photographed by Jayde Krippner and Kat’s text is instructive and simple to follow.

This will be very useful and popular in the home and at school and encourage picky eaters to be more adventurous in their choice of food. It comes with a Kuwi Bikkie Cutter for those biscuits and putting a kiwi pattern on food.

Categories: Non Fiction Tags: , ,

Gentle Giant Wetapunga by Annemarie Florian illus. Terry Fitzgibbon

February 2, 2018 Comments off

giant wetaGentle Giant Wetapunga by Annemarie Florian illus. Terry Fitzgibbon. Pub. new Holland, 2018.

Not many creatures have been on Earth for 190 Million years but the tree dwelling Giant Weta or Wetapunga is one of them.

It was an endangered species in New Zealand due to human’s and introduced species decimation of it’s natural environment. With the help of the Dept of Conservation and Auckland Zoo it now thrives on several offshore islands that have been cleared of predators.

It is up to 10cm long and can weigh as much as 30 grams and while it is shy and doesn’t move much it can jump with its huge hind legs. It is frightening to look at but a magnificent creature.

The illustrations by Terry Fitzgibbon are superb showing the weta in it’s natural environment in a realistic way. Annemarie Florian’s factual text is supplemented on each double page spread with 3 poetic lines describing the aspect of the weta’s life that is shown.

You won’t find information as good as this on any web page.

Categories: Non Fiction Tags:

The New Zealand Wars by Philippa Werry

January 29, 2018 Comments off

NZ WarsThe New Zealand Wars by Philippa Werry. Pub. New Holland, 2018.

When I was at school in the 1950’s and 60’s The New Zealand Wars were called the Maori Wars then the Land Wars and even today they are a sensitive issue in our social, racial and economic history. When you read this superbly organised, illustrated and accurate non fiction work it is easy to understand why. Philippa Werry who is a meticulous researcher and writer has in my opinion got it right but still has taken the safe option of putting a disclaimer in the front of the book to say that information was accurate at time of publication.

The book starts with an overview from the only South Island conflict between Maori and settlers at Wairau in 1843 through to the raid on Parihaka in 1881. Of course the conflict doesn’t end there with Whina Cooper’s hikoi in 1975, Bastion Point in 1978 and the announcement of a Commemorative Day in 2016.

The battles were often fought with some savagery with women and children involved on both sides. The death and injury toll of European soldiers and settlers is known but that of the Maori only estimated. The tactics of both sides are discussed, the trench warfare, even a gunboat raid halfway up the Waikato River. It is riveting reading.

The battles in the Far North with Hone Heke are legendary  especially Ruapekapeka. The Taranaki Wars and the Waikato Wars are superbly told and illustrated with paintings often done by the soldiers themselves and photographs. There is even the only image of Te Kooti. Gate Pa has always fascinated me and the sorry tale of Parihaka is a lesson in peaceful protest. The role of Maori and Settler women is inspirational.

Check this publication out for yourself as it is equally relevant in our homes as it is in the school library

Danger Dolan Countdown by Danger Dolan.

January 21, 2018 Comments off

danger dolanDanger Dolan Countdown by Danger Dolan. Pub. MacMillan 2017.

This is a title for those potential readers who like facts and non fiction but can be made readers.

Danger Dolan is a blogger on Youtube and now his snappy style is available in book form, so you can read the book and check out the blog as well.

Here are some of the things you will find out:- The Blue Whale is the largest animal that has ever existed on Earth and is still around no thanks to humans. The Ancient Egyptians inadvertently discovered anti biotics when they placed mouldy bread on wounds to help them heal. Mark Inglis and Phil Doole were stranded in a snow cave on Mt Cook for 13 days, both lost their legs but Mark was later to become the first double amputee to climb My Everest. He lost fingers in the process. The catacombs beneath Paris contain over 6 million bodies. And at Svalbard an island in the Arctic ocean is a depository for more than 466 million crop seeds in the event of a catastrophe here on Earth.

This is a great book to have at home or in the school library. The facts are well presented and there is a questionnaire in the back to test how well you have read the facts.

Categories: Non Fiction Tags:

Harry Potter. A Journey Through A History of Magic.

December 18, 2017 Comments off

potter magicHarry Potter. A Journey Through A History of Magic. Pub. Bloomsbury, 2017.

For enthusiastic readers who want to know all about the magic in the Harry Potter Series.

This well illustrated and very informative book has the original synopsis of the Harry Potter series that was sent to Bloomsbury and the rest is the history of magic throughout history that formed the basis of the magic curricula of Hogwarts as taught to Harry and his fellow students.

References to the text of the 7 books are illustrated by the roots of the magic from Leonardo da Vinci to the earliest atlas of the stars and the magical creatures.

Potions and Alchemy, Herbology, Charms and Defence against the dark Arts are covered. Does a mandrake root really scream when you pull it out of the ground? Is there a potion that can make you fall in love or tell the truth? When was the beginning of Palm reading.

The highlight for me was the original hand written scripts in JK Rowling’s own handwriting with alterations and some which never made it into the books.

Totally fascinating.

Regions of New Zealand. An Easy Guide by Peter Dowling

November 1, 2017 Comments off

regions of NZRegions of New Zealand. An Easy Guide by Peter Dowling. Pub. Oratia Books, 2017.

Before I consent to review a non fiction work on my blog I ask myself the question “can this book rival or do things better than online sources”. The answer in this case is most definitely yes.

As specified in the title it is an easy guide showing all the regions of NZ, what they look like with pictorial photographs, the history, how many people live there and what the main activities and products of the region are.

It shows tourist attractions, major land marks, main geographical features and something unique about the region as well as its Maori heritage and place name. For example  Gisborne is Te Tai Rawhiti and near the Turanganui River Capt James Cook first set foot on new Zealand soil.

Northland is the warmest region, Auckland has the largest population at 1.6million people and Canterbury the second.

Simply set out with great photographs and information  blocks. Suitable for school libraries and especially for new immigrants to New Zealand

The New Zealand Art Activity Book by Helen Lloyd.

October 18, 2017 Comments off

art activity bookThe New Zealand Art Activity Book by Helen Lloyd. Pub. Te Papa Press, 2017.

Te papa is the national museum of New Zealand and with this publication it seeks to introduce children to more than 50 significant historical and contemporary works from it’s own collections and it does. But of more importance it seeks to get children to creatively respond to these works and at the same time develop their own art skills.

Yes it is a big job and it has been done well. It is multi cultural in appeal from European, Pasifika and Maori art, as are the artists. It is modernist and post modernist art of New Zealand.

It is for the individual to work with as their own or as a text for whole classes. It has a hands on style about it and whats more it shows how art can be fun and how art works can stimulate your own imagination. Get your hands on it , it is very good.