Archive for the ‘Non Fiction’ Category

Whose Home is This? by Gillian Candler Illus. Fraser Williamson.

April 20, 2018 Comments off

whose homeWhose Home is This? by Gillian Candler Illus. Fraser Williamson. Pub. Potton & Burton, 2018.

.A first look at animal homes showing where they are located, how they protect the animal and what they are made of.

Each home is shown with a clue as to what the animal is for the young reader to guess, then over the page we have the animal and it’s home. Each animal is referred to by it’s Maori name and¬† the text about it has the English term and a bit about the animal.

For instance the Wheke or reef octopus has its home and lays it’s eggs in a den of stones. Birds, crabs, snails, fish and a sea horse also feature.

Candler and Williamson are a well honed team and this is once again a classy publication for juniors and primary school children.

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Running the Country-the Updated Edition by Maria Gill

April 18, 2018 Comments off

running country2Running the Country-the Updated Edition by Maria Gill. Pub. New Holland, 2018.

The last general election in New Zealand threw up a different situation than any other since MMP was adopted as our voting system. The largest party did not get more than 50% of the vote and could not make agreement with any minor parties. The second largest party was able to form a coalition, a situation that many people failed to understand and still haven’t got over.

Maria Gill adds this new situation to this updated version of the 2013 book also reviewed earlier in this blog.

An outline of some of the issues that have arisen since the last book like homelessness and peoples rights around the World compared to our own, are featured plus a simple recap on major parties in the economy and society who are watch guards on our system are highlighted.

An easily accessible publication with box sized pieces of information, political cartoons by Malcolm Evans and a glossary of terms in the back.

A very useful source of information indeed. You would never find it this well explained on a website. For primary intermediate and junior secondary students.

ANZAC Animals by Maria Gill, illus. Marco Ivancic.

April 17, 2018 Comments off

ANZAC AnimalsANZAC Animals by Maria Gill, illus. Marco Ivancic. Pub. Scholastic, 2018.

This inspirational, carefully researched and brilliantly illustrated story of animals who had an impact during the 1st and 2nd World Wars is a timely reminder of how war affected peoples lives with ANZAC Day just over a week away.

Many animals went to war, many are known about, particularly dogs, horses, mules and donkeys with an estimated 1 million dogs and 8 million horses, donkeys and mules killed in WW1. Many of their stories are in this fine publication but many other animals were also and remarkably involved.

Kangaroos, Torty the tortoise, Monkeys and cats were often mascots or companions and then there is Lulu the chicken. Read her story it is amazing. Pigeons were often used when other communication sources were out of action or inappropriate. In fact pigeons were awarded the Victoria Cross. Don’t believe me? Read this book and find out.

Marco Ivancic’s illustrations give life and drama to the text and original photographs and maps of battle scenarios increase the knowledge of past wars.

Kids love animals and this publication is a great way to get them involved in history.

Fantastically Great Women who made History by Kate Pankhurst

April 3, 2018 Comments off

great womenFantastically Great Women who made History by Kate Pankhurst. Pub. Bloomsbury, 2018.

A picture book sized non fiction work that tells brief portraits of 14 famous women throughout history who have made a difference. Some you will have heard of but it is the others that make this book stand out.

Chinese woman Qui Jin fought for the rights of women in China in 1875. She opposed the cruel tradition of foot binding. Noor Inayat Khan was a wireless operator in France during WW2 and Hatshepsut was a woman Pharaoh in Ancient Egypt who wore a false chin beard to pass herself off as a man.

There are other more well known heroes in this publication like Valentina Tereshkova the first woman in space who discovered that her space craft was wrongly programmed to go into space instead of back to Earth. Elizabeth Blackwell was declined entrance to 29 medical schools before becoming the first female graduate doctor.

Inspiring stuff, easy to read and very accessible to primary and intermediate readers.


Categories: Non Fiction Tags:

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.

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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