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Posts Tagged ‘Environmental issues’

Pipi and Pou and the Raging Mountain by Tim Tipene, illus. Isobel Te Aho-White. Pub. OneTree House, 2022

September 27, 2022 Comments off

A short easy to read novel for 6-12 year olds, with large font and only eight chapters with a strong environmental message and all within the context of Maori myth and legend.

Pipi and Pou are cousins who have the same Nana with super powers and wisdom in the natural world of the Maori. Pipi can transform into a Pouakai or giant eagle and Pou can transform into a strong Taniwha who likes being in water. All three are guardians of the environment.

When earthquakes start shaking down south Nan knows that a mountain, Maungatinonui, is distressed, and she takes Pipi and Pou with her to sort it out. It seems that Maungatinonui is upset about the treatment visitors are giving to the environment of the mountain. Our three guardians set about finding a solution to the problem. Read it and see how they get on.

Maori language is used throughout the English language text and helps familiarise the reader with important terms and concepts. Some knowledge of Maori is required.

A good read with Book 2 Pipi and Pou and the River Monster already published too and soon to be reviewed on this blog. Illustrations by Isobel Te Aho-White enhance the text and provide understanding of the characters and issues of the novel

Moth. An evolution Story by Isabel Thomas illus. Daniel Egneus.

July 18, 2018 Comments off

mothMoth. An evolution Story by Isabel Thomas illus. Daniel Egneus. Pub. Bloomsbury, 2018.

The theory of Evolution and Natural selection has so often been tagged with the catch phrase “survival of the fittest”. This sophisticated picture book brilliantly illustrates that those that survive are those that have the ability to adapt. Adaptation is the key to evolution.

This picture book concentrates on the history of the peppered moth as it changed through the Industrial Revolution and into the modern world where humankind has started to clean up the environment.

At first the salt and pepper winged moths survived because they could disguise themselves from predators, then the black winged moths thrived during the dark days of the industrial Revolution. Now as humankind cleans up the environment, both coloured moths are able to flourish.

Brilliantly illustrated by Daniel Egneus who captures the natural world of the moths as they relate to the changing environment. The Industrial Revolution has never been portrayed better than this.

Isabel Thomas’s text is superb, simple yet telling. A perfect introduction to Natural Selection for children, and a timely reminder to adults on the effects humankind has on the environment of all the species that inhabit our planet.

The best sophisticated picture book of the year in my opinion.

Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi

October 13, 2011 Leave a comment

Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi. Pub. Atom Books, 2011.

Very appropriate book to review as we have a ship grounded on a reef off our shores at the moment and this novel is equally dramatic.

Set in the future when oil has gone but still extremely valuable if you can find it even in small amounts. The great oil tankers of yesteryear have been beached and crews of scavengers live off the rotting hulks stripping them of everything that can be turned into money.

Nailer is a skinny but tough boy who scavenges the ships for a boss who is ruthless. Everybody is ruthless and seems to live by the maxim that “it’s human nature to tear one another apart”.

Society consists of two groups, the ultra wealthy who are known as Swanks, and the rest who have different degrees of poverty not unlike Dickensian times. Everybody is waiting for that big break that will make them rich.

Nailer strikes lucky. After a storm he finds a new clipper type ship wrecked on the shore and he is first there for scavengers rights. But he has to have muscle to hold it and he doesn’t. He finds a Swank girl alive on board and she becomes his ticket to a wealthy life.

Will he make it? Nailer has been treated cruelly by his father and people around him but he has a humanity that saves this book from being a doom and gloom look at the future.

I really enjoyed it. There is action, drama and much to ponder about some of the ethical and environmental issues that are affecting this planet. A US National Book Award Finalist for 2010 and deservedly so.

High school and young adult in appeal but some good Intermediate readers could handle it.