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Posts Tagged ‘Environment’

Rush! Rush! by Elena de Roo, illus. Jenny Cooper. Pub. OneTree House, 2021.

February 23, 2021 Comments off

A young girl opens her bedroom window then with her pyjamas still on plus a light dressing gown, she charges off into the world with a mission.

Under the trees, through the grass, across the sheep paddocks, past the lake where the eels are, under the manuka, across the dunes to the sea. It is a breathless trip told with beautiful linked text full of alliteration and rhyme. On the beach there is a surprise, read it and find out what.

The illustrations are breezy, you can feel the wind as it sweeps the girls hair on her rush to the beach.

The combination of Pulford’s writing and Cooper’s illustrations is a winner. I feel breathless after reading it.

The Magic Desk by Aaron Moffat

April 8, 2019 Comments off

magic deskThe Magic Desk by Aaron Moffat. Pub Olympia Publishers 2018.\

This is the third book from this author, all are reviewed on this blog, and his main obsession is bullying in schools. He has others too and many are found in this recent novel.

Timothy is a WASP (white anglo saxon protestant), he is 12 years old and has just arrived in NZ with his born to rule mother. He looks like a studious boy but at heart is shiftless and lazy, and he is going to have to change.

Timothy is rescued from a beating by bullies by Aroha a Maori girl who fancies him and is the daughter of a reformed Gang leader. Their relationship is at the core of this novel.

Timothy’s mother buys a mahogany “escritoire”, (desk in more common language,) which has a portal into another world. Through traveling via the desk to different historical scenarios including pre European Maori, French revolution and others, Timothy learns that bullying is a human trait that is impossible to extinguish. Humans will take it to the grave.

Lots of race and immigrant talk, some of it will appall you, but mostly it is tongue in cheek and open to further discussion. The novel is well written, lofty writing in parts and the characters do change. Timothy learns that reading and writing are powerful and a petition over enviromental concerns changes everything. His mum will never change.

I laughed all the way through. For intermediate and high school students. Check it out.

Bloom by Nicola Skinner.

April 1, 2019 Comments off

bloomBloom by Nicola Skinner. Pub. HarperCollins, 2019.

This is the most bizarre children’s book for primary and intermediate children that I have read for a long time.

It is set in an old town called Little Sterilis that has now been concreted over throughout the centuries by a ruthless family called the Valentinis. It once was a settlement aroundĀ  a lovely cottage called Little Cherrybliss now resided by the hero and narrator of this novel Sorrel Coriander Fallowfield. Yes it is a garden herbal name and that is the point of the story.

Sorrel is the perfect student, doesn’t cause trouble and goes to Grittysnit School run by a crazy headmaster with a control freak mentality Mr Grittysnit. The two are going to clash.

The novel rolics along at a rate of knots as Sorrel is one of those gushy, enthusiastic girls who has a good heart and amplifies everything.

When Sorrel’s cottage suddenly erupts and discards a packet of Surprising Seeds, the whole world of Little Sterilis changes and so does Sorrel. Bizarrely Sorrel her friend Neena and her mother scatter the seeds on their heads and they begin to grow. This starts a sequence of events that are over the top but have a conservation and environmental messageĀ  underneath.

History comes back to haunt the present.Read it and see what happens

Bruiser Written and Illustrated by Gavin Bishop

September 18, 2011 Leave a comment

Bruiser by Gavin Bishop. Illus. Gavin Bishop. Published Random House. 2011.

You have never seen a Gavin Bishop picture book like this before. His written text is as tight as it ever was but his illustrations break new ground. They have almost a collage feel about them. See for yourself.

Bruiser is a digger with one obsession, nothing is going to stop him building a motorway. He runs roughshod over everything until one day he disturbs a mother bird and her hatchling and has a change of heart. We all need to learn that we can change and that life is not only about us, particularly in environmental matters. Good lessons to be learned here.

Bruiser is a hot head and his colours of strong orange and black accentuate this. The environment around Bruiser is bright blue green and yellow but Bruiser doesn’t see it. All he sees is his power to make a motorway. When he comes unstuck Bruisers powerful colours seem to change to a more caring and thoughtful mode.

I had to read the book three times before I made my mind up, but I like it. It has high boy appeal and that is a good thing.

Essential purchase for all primary school libraries and for the home where boys can pick it up and read at will.

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