Archive for the ‘Picture book’ Category

There’s a Moa in the Moonlight. He Moa kei ro Atarau by Dawn McMillan, illus. Nikki Slade Robinson, Translated Ngaere Roberts. Pub. Oratia, 2021.

November 23, 2021 Comments off

I have often imagined what it would be like to see a moa. What if all the extinct creatures of NZ or indeed the World could all come back? Well the little girl in this story has found a way to do it. Check out the ending to this story and see how she has done this.

There’s a moa in the moonlight, He’s in our garden plot. He’s munching all our melons, he likes the seeds a lot” So begins this rhyming text story that brings back many of NZ’s extinct creatures including the Haast Eagle, the Huia, the kawekaweau or lizard and others.

They all come into the garden and it reminds us of what we have lost and how easily we could lose other precious creatures. But the little girl has found a way to keep them. Superb.

Nikki Slade Robinson illustrates with accurate pictures and gives each animal a personality.

After dawn McMillan’s rhyming text is Ngaere Roberts’ Maori translation which makes this picture book more valuable as it can be used to teach the Maori language.

Rosie the Rhinoceros by Jimmy Barnes, Illus. Matt Shanks. Pub. Angus & Robertson, 2021

November 20, 2021 Comments off

When Rosie looks at her reflection in the mirror or in the water she sees a unicorn not a rhinoceros. Whats wrong with being a rhinoceros?

She believes her Pretty horn and dainty hooves are like those of a unicorn. She lives with a rhinoceros family who she finds “impressive but not magical like her’

Nonetheless in spite of her efforts all the other animals know she is a rhinoceros.

Rosie is very sociable and enjoys her day and especially loves the morning. After Mrs Lion and the elephants call her a rhinoceros Rosie gets her friends together to tell them she is a unicorn and shows them her pretty horn and delicate feet to prove it.

The animals all smile but will they accept her as a unicorn? read it and find out.

Great African scenes in the illustrations and a happy story about identity, difference and acceptance.

The author is none other than the rock singer Jimmy Barnes.

I’ve Broken my Bum and other stories by Dawn McMillan, Illust. Ross Kinnaird. Pub. Oratia, 2021

November 19, 2021 Comments off

Just in time for Xmas so that reluctant readers can have a longer picture book to read while on holiday.

This is an addictive form of reading for those that like the poo bum wees books and there are plenty of them. All three stories in this compendium have been published before but not together like this.

I’ve broken My Bum is every boys nightmare especially when you glue it all together, stick it back on only to have a tray stick with it. But there are advantages.

Mister Spears and His hairy Ears is every man’s nightmare. Who wants hairy ears? can the be prevented? Check it and find out.

Charlie and his Amazing tales features a dog who does parachuting. I wouldn’t go near a parachute but this is a dog with imagination who just doesn’t bark and poo.

Dawn McMillan’s rhyming text enhances the humour and Ross Kinnaird gets the visual humour just right.

An ideal present for Xmas

Out in the Moana by Yvonne Morrison, illus. Jenny Cooper. Pub. Scholastic 2021

November 11, 2021 Comments off

This delightful picture book for juniors and primary children introduces the variety of sea life found in New Zealand seas and is also a counting book.

A sealion and her cub with the adorable eyes start the book off. The cub is one, then there is a Maui dolphin with two babies diving and swimming in serious fashion. The book continues with three little blue penguins four moray eels right up to ten octopuses.

Some of these sea creatures are on the endangered species list and others never know their mothers because there are too many of them. At the back each creature has a box of information about their birth and also their Maori name.

Jenny Copper’s illustrations as always are top notch and enhance the continuous numeric text of Yvonne Morrison.

A classy package for an early study of sea life around NZ and children can count all the animals

Walk of The Whales by Nick Bland. Pub. Little Hare, Hardie Grant, 2021.

November 10, 2021 Comments off

A classy picture book with an important message and a sense of humour that will captivate you.

What would happen if whales left the sea and started walking around on the land, eating all the restaurants out of fish, clogging up the swimming pools, leaving their rubbish around, cracking up the roads and pavements and generally interfering with our lives and livelihood?

Would we like it? and why would whales want to leave the sea anyway? Do they have to? Check this thought provoking picture book out and find out.

Superbly illustrated by the author. The whales are astonishing. Check out a whale riding a bicycle and another performing Whale Lake.

The message is unmistakable but will we do anything about it? lets hope so.

Categories: Picture book Tags: ,

What Colour is the Sky? by Laura Shallcross. Pub. Beatnik Publishing, 2021

November 5, 2021 Comments off

Pihoihoi watches the sunrise in the meadow and ponders “what colour is the Sky?” Hedgehog thinks it is brown, Hare says Blue, snail says grey, mouse says green and frog asks What is Sky?

This picture book for juniors and pre school is about difference. We all see things differently but with these creatures there is an explanation in the back of the book.

This excellent picture book is also about the natural world and this is enhanced by the big illustrations of the creatures mentioned. Hare is incredible but all the creatures are superb.

This is the author’s second picture book after the award winning Hare & Ruru also reviewed on this blog.

A great addition to any school library and in the home.

A Quality product.

Atua. Maori Gods and Heroes by Gavin Bishop. Pub. Penguin Random House, 2021.

October 23, 2021 Comments off

Maori Myth and legend are the equal of myths and legends of other cultures around this planet and in this big sized picture book, Gavin Bishop shows the reader just how appealing and all encompassing these myths and legends are.

It logically starts with Te Kore or the void or nothing into which the great sky father Ranginui E Tu Nei unfurled and then mother Earth Papatuanuku slipped beneath him and they bore over 70 Gods, all boys. Seven of them including Tangaroa god of the sea and Tanemahuta god of the forests.

It was dark and damp in the heavens and the boys led by Rongamatane God of gardens and kumera decided to split their parents and light spread through the land.

The Gods fought, the land developed and the Gods got to work. Every aspect of life was covered but where were the girls? Tumatauenga God of humans couldn’t get the hang of making a woman so Tanemahuta helped him out and the first woman Hineahuone was created. She was beautiful so tane took her as his wife and they had many children, all girls.

Then as their descendants multiplied and filled the Earth the legends of Maui and other gods are told including how he trapped the sun etc. Other legends follow plus the migrations from Hawaiki and settlement of New Zealand Aotearoa.

Simply told because this book is for children as well as older students.

The art work and illustrations are superb. You will not find a better book on this topic than Atua. Every school should have this and there is a place in the home for it to. For the layman there is a quick insight into the complexities of Maori culture something we all in Aotearoa should have.

This book is a treasure.

Thank You by Dana Winter. Pub. Beatnik Publishing, 2021

October 22, 2021 Comments off

This is a delightful picture book about being thankful for the natural world around you.

Felix is off to bed but the moon calls him to come and have fun so he does. His legs run to far, he gets lost and asks the Night “Can you take me home?”

Night gives him a warm place to sleep and owl, rabbit and hedgehog join him. Sun can’t take him home but he can keep Felix warm. bees can give him honey, bear can add to his food , River can only go with the flow but none of them can take him home. For each of these things Felix says “thank you” but how is he going to get home?

Read it and find out.

Felix does meet with some nasty weather, rides a rainbow and sees the moon and the stars. beautiful.

The illustrations are superb especially the animals Felix meets. Felix is a little odd with his bowl cut hair with a bow on top but it could be a beanie.

A first time picture book and I hope it is not the last.

The Little Yellow Digger and the Big Ship by Peter Gilderdale & Fifi Colston. Pub. Scholastic

October 22, 2021 Comments off

When I gave this picture book to me 18 month old nephew he squealed with delight. He loves diggers and you will love this latest tale of the little yellow digger too.

Based on the true story of the Ever Given which stuck in the Suez Canal and caused a massive blockage in shipping. It was digger that dug a trench that allowed the real ship to become free and this story it is the little yellow digger. What a hero.

Beautifully illustrated with the desert, the mosque and the tight canal shown realistic illustrations. The problem of the stranding and the astonishment of the captain is very apparent.

Excellent read alou story and to show children other parts of the world.

Categories: Picture book Tags: ,

Ming’s Iceberg by Kiri Lightfoot & Kimberly Andrews. Pub. Scholastic, 2021

October 19, 2021 Comments off

“Inside this egg is a brave explorer” are the opening lines of this enchanting story of a penguin who wants know what happens where the Sky touches the sea. Don’t we all but not all of us have the nerve to try and find out.

Ming hatches from her egg and looks out to sea and wonders what is out there. her parents know she will be adventurous from the start.

While walking on the ice with her father Ming is thrown into the sea, climbs aboard and iceberg and drifts north. beneath her the iceberg slowly melts. She is in trouble, how is she going to return to her family? Read it and find out.

A hint of environmental climate change in this story of the great white south and the animal life that lives there.

The illustrations are superb with the blue whale being fantastic. Albert Ross is my favourite, I wonder what he is? Check it and see.

Good read aloud for juniors and a nice bit of fantasy.