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Archive for the ‘Picture book’ Category

Leilong’s Too Long by Julia Liu, Illus. Bei Lynn. Translated by Helen Wang. Pub. Gecko Press, 2022.

June 23, 2022 Comments off

Leilong is a huge green brontosaurus with a gentle smile and a caring manner.

He takes Max, Maggie and Mo to school along with their friends and they love it. Leilong causes quite a few problems with traffic and he is so big a swipe from his tail can demolish a house. He weighs as much as 5 elephants and several bridges have already been damage.

Leilong likes the children but he is not all that happy with the job. The school worries about the damage too. He has to go but what will Leilong do now? Read it and find out.

Unusual illustrations of city life are a highlight of this picture book done in water colours and dark outlined pencil. Lots of smiles on the faces of the children.

Original story from Taiwan that readers will enjoy especially juniors. A classy package

Nanny Mihi’s Medicine. Nga Rongoa a Nanny Mihi by Melanie Drewery, Illus. Suzanne Simpson. Pub. Oratia Books, 2022.

June 21, 2022 Comments off

This is an English/Maori bilingual text about Maori medicine which will give it appeal not only to children but to older people interested in herbs and plants that have curative properties.

Nanny Mihi is visited by her two grandchildren for the holidays and they turn up sick. Nanny Mihi takes them out into the bush to gather leaves and roots that will help them get well.

Easy text in English on the left page and in Maori on the right. Illustrations are superb with Nanny Mihi glowing like a beacon.

In the back of the picture book there is a section on the plants used and how the medicine works. I think I will try Kawakawa tea it sounds just what I need.

Colour the Stars. Taea nga Whetu by Dawn McMillan, illus. Keinyo White. Translation Ngaere Roberts. Pub. Scholastic, 2022.

June 19, 2022 Comments off

The 10th anniversary edition of this classic picture book for everybody with Maori language translation and stunning new illustrations.

Isaac and Luke are friends but Luke is blind and has no understanding of what colours are. Isaac takes Luke on a walk so that he witnesses yellow of the sun, the green of a fern leaf, the brown of the earth, the red of blood from a stubbed toe and the blue of the sky.

Luke in turn teaches Isaac the sounds of nature because this is his world. “when you can’t see, you have to listen”. At night when it is black, Luke knows all about black, Isaac and Luke get to know what the stars look like. A sensitive and moving story.

Valuable not only as a story to describe difference between sighted and unsighted but also to appreciate the Maori language

No Home For Weta by Stephanie Thatcher. Pub. Scholastic, 2022

June 19, 2022 Comments off

Weta is sick of his crowded home in an old log even though it has a nice washing line, mushrooms all around, a warm fire and a swing. It is too noisy, so he sets off to find a new home.

The mail box proves a problem when the mail is delivered, Fang the dog’s kennel is comfortable but not to share with a dog and the toilet roll in the outside loo is also unsatisfactory in fact it is frightening.

Then weta finds a brand new home with a wonderful view. It is perfect. Guess what happens? You will have to read it to find out.

Superb illustrations that give a friendly look to our unique insect species.. Information about the weta in the back.

Good read aloud with rhyming text for juniors.

Categories: Picture book Tags: ,

Inside Bubble Earth. Recycling by Des Hunt. Pub. OneTree House, 2022.

June 16, 2022 Comments off

This is one of the best books I have read on the problem of rubbish disposal and waste created on planet Earth and where humans must go to ensure that we survive. It looks at the past to compare how rubbish was disposed of and to the future urging that sustainability and biodegradable products are the salvation to the wastage problem.

The reason why it is so good is because it is written as a story by an author who is a skilled writer of fiction and his technique explains the issues in a very readable and understandable way for children. There are six short chapters with bite size pieces of information and diagrams and examples from New Zealand incidents to show what is happening here.

It begins by comparing a Stone Age archeological site and notes that all the rubbish has gone as it has rotted away because it is organic materials. He looks at the changing nature of human rubbish through the Bronze Age and Iron Age to today which he calls the Age of Plastics.

He looks at the NZ example of the Fox River site that was eroded away by floods and the nature of the plastic rubbish which was still in tact. He then looks at the chemistry of plastic to show why it is indestructible and a problem for humankind.

I learnt a lot from this 64 page picture book and in the back is a Glossary of Terms used, an accessible Index and further reading including the web site Recyclekiwi.co.nz.

This is an essential purchase for any school and for the home. The information found here is better and more understandable than a web site. Great photographs too.

Of Course You can! Se e Te Mafaia by karen Hinge, illus Nicky Sievert, Translated Tafu Nicole Maynard. Pub. OneTree House, 2018

June 8, 2022 Comments off

This is one of three picture books in Pasifika languages, Samoan, Tongan and Niuean written and illustrated by the same authors but different translators. They are aimed at primary school children but are highly useful for anyone learning these languages.

This picture book is about Jeremy a disable boy who is going to school for the first time. On day one as he wheels his wheel chair into the class room he is diffident and not sure he can cope but by the end of the week everything is awesome. See how he gets there.

An inspiring story written on one page in English then the Samoan translation on the opposite page. The message is Of Course you can do it, but the value is having these Pasifika languages alive in a picture book.

Matariki . Around the World. By Rangi Matamua & Miriama Kamo, illus. Isobel Joy Te Aho-White Pub. Scholastic, 2022.

June 6, 2022 Comments off

With Matariki now a public holiday in New Zealand, recognition of this important day is now celebrated in this important picture book for school libraries and in the home.

It is a cluster of stores about a cluster of stars that vary in number from 6-9 even up to 12, depending on where in the Worlds they are viewed from.

The Maori called them Matariki. It was an important guide to the cycle of life and celebrated at a different time every year depending like Easter on the Lunar calendar.

It was also noted by the Aborigines, The Cook Islands, Tahiti and Hawaii. The Japanese called it Subaru, the Chinese knew it as Mao, the Indians included it in Hinduism and included in their myth and legend as well as the cycle of life particularly crop growing. Africans knew it as IsiLimela and it was known to the North American Indians, the Aztecs and the Incas.

The Greeks called it Pleiades named after seven sisters and it is known as this by most of the World.

All the myth and legend surrounding this cluster of stars is told in this beautifully illustrated picture book which is a must purchase for school libraries and individual homes. This will figure in book awards later in the year for sure.

The Water Bottle by Philippa Werry, Illus. Burak Akbay. Pub. Oratia, 2022

April 6, 2022 Comments off

Derya is a new immigrant to New Zealand from Turkey and her Great grandfather Hasan fought against ANZAC forces at Gallipoli in WW1. The Turks regarded the Gallipoli landings as an invasion of their country and many were killed on both sides.

Now Derya is in the land of the former enemy, a land that reveres Gallipoli and the men that died there with great reverence. How will she cope?

First day at school is hard but she sits with Airini and Tom. Tom’s Great grandfather fought at Gallipoli and was killed and he has a desire to go there to see what it was all about.

During a battle at Gallipoli Hasan received a water bottle from a New Zealand soldier and it is still with Derya’s family. When Derya touches the Water bottle she dreams horrible dreams about the battles that took place. Could their be a link between the two great grandfathers? Check it out and see what you think.

Superbly illustrated by Turkish Illustrator Burak Akbay who is able to portray the action through Derya’s dreams.

Old enemies can be friends. Just in time for ANZAC Day. For everybody.

The Lighthouse Princess by Susan Wardell, Illus. Rose Northey. Pub. Puffin 2022.

April 2, 2022 Comments off

This is a Rapunzel type modern fairytale with a modern princess living a lonely life on a lighthouse watching the ships that pass by, fishing from the balcony, creating artwork from the environment around her and swimming with the seals in the rock pools.

She wasn’t sad and she wasn’t stuck” but she was lonely. A self sufficient girl in a trying environment.

One day a boy in a small fishing boat is sunk off the lighthouse and the princess rescues him in a dramatic rescue and astonishingly he asks her “do you need rescuing from this tower?”

To find her answer you will need to read this book for yourself but it is a doozy.

The illustrations by Rose Northey won the Gavin Bishop award and this is high praise indeed and fully deserved. The sea and environment around the lighthouse is powerful and menacing although there is no shortage of traffic. The animals especially the seals are very appealing with their contented looks.

A nicely packaged picture book.

Roo and Vladimir (an unlikely friendship) by Minky Stapleton. Pub. Scholastic.

March 25, 2022 Comments off

Roo is a big dog. Hairy and clumsy, with big teeth but loveable just the same.

All the other dogs in the neighbourhood are scared of him and he is lonely.

Then along comes Vladimir a little Pekinese who is smitten with Roo. They play and sleep and become best friends.

All the other dogs are bemused and think Vladimir is very brave but they keep their distance.

Then a serious storm comes and all the dogs are trapped on the wrong side of the river. Roo comes into his own and the dogs fears are gone for ever. read it and see what happens.

Excellent illustrations of all the dogs. Roo and his various moods and Vladimir with his confidence are superb.

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