Archive for the ‘children’ Category

Little Kiwi doesn’t like doing chores. Why should kids do all the work, while parents take it easy?

But when a big storm blows through the forest, Little Kiwi finds himself in charge of some lost eggs. He is about to discover that a parent’s work is much harder than he thought . . .

And what’s this funny little bird with a shield instead of feathers?

Little Kiwi The Cool Mama

Bob Darroch

Puffin

Supplied by Penguin Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Jan

Little Kiwi complains how being a parent is easy as they get the kids to do all the work.   Then he looks after eggs after a storm, keeping them warm till they hatch.  Suddenly he’s responsible for a whole heap of baby birds – and a Whatsit.  With Kakapo’s help he feeds them, teaches them to build nests and swim and fly (Kakapo) and realises it’s actually a lot of work being a parent.  But the rewards are worth it.

A fun new story in the Little Kiwi series, the illustrations are well-drawn and amusing, giving life to the story.  Lots of NZ native chicks are showcased and look very cute.

I didn’t realise a ladybird was in every illustration – this is the author’s signature.   Once it was pointed out I went back over each illustration.  Some were hard to find, some easy, but all were humorous and fit in so well with the story.

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For the very first time, eight of Lynley Dodd’s classic cat escapades are brought together in this delightful, handsome hardback gift book, complete with a ribbon.

“They sat in the firelight’s
welcoming glow,
hobnobbing happily,
ten in a
row.”

Furry Tales is a treasury of eight favourite stories featuring Lynley Dodd’s spirited and entirely adorable cats – Slinky Malinki, Scarface Claw, Pimpernel Pugh, Butterball Brown and many more. These marvellous tales will warm the hearts of Hairy Maclary fans – and cat-lovers – the world over,

It includes a readalong CD with each tale read by the fabulously entertaining Jackie Clarke and specially introduced with a personal anecdote from Lynley Dodd.

Inside the collection you will find these stories:
Slinky Malinki; The Minister’s Cat ABC; Slinky Malinki, Open the Door; Slinky Malinki Catflaps; Scarface Claw; Slinky Malinki’s Christmas Crackers; Slinky Malinki, Early Bird; Scarface Claw, Hold Tight!

Furry Tales: A Tale of Cat Mischief

Lynley Dodd

Puffin

Supplied by Penguin Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Jan

First., we are introduced to the inspirations behind Lynley Dodd’s stories, with an array of cats that have touched her life being described.  We meet the original Scarface Claw and see who ispired Slinky Malinki.

Then there is a collection of eight of the famous stories, all with the beautiful artwork that illustrates the plot so well.  The readalong CD narrates each story, with the voice of Jacqui Clarke bringing each to life.

Lastly, all seven of Dodd’s cat heroes are pictured and described.

This is a fantastic book, bringing all of Lynley Dodd’s clever rhymes and awesome illustrations of cats together.  The heaviness of the hardback might be a little difficult for young children to manage without help but the CD allows them to follow along.

Once upon a poop . . .

Our fearless heroes are back!
Danny and Dinosaur are convinced that a damsel in distress needs their help… the only problem is, they aren’t sure where she actually is.

So they set off through Fairy Tale Land to track her down, but things don’t go exactly to plan…

Can Dinosaur make it through Fairy Tale Land without eating everything in sight?

And do all princesses really need to be rescued?

Packed with prehistoric cheekiness, punchy girl power and, of course, lots and lots of poop!

The Dinosaur That Pooped A Princess

Tom Fletcher & Dougie Poynter, illustrated by Garry Parsons

Red Fox

Supplied by Penguin Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Jan

More from Danny and his dino pooper friend!

Danny is on a quest to save a princess and he and his dinosaur end up in Fairytale Land.  After being pointed in the right direction by the Gingerbread Man, they meet a variety of other fairytale characters – Three Little Pigs and Prince Charming among them – and trolls, orcs, and dragons.  Finally they find the princess’s castle, only to realise they can’t reach her.  Then the dinosaur comes up with a plan………….

The plot unfolds in rhythmic sentences that are a lot of fun to read aloud.  The illustrations are awesome, bright and colourful with much detail.  The ending is very cool and how all fairytales should end.

This is another brilliant book in the series and I urge you to collect the set.  I love the cute cover quote from a 6 yr old fan “I like that he poops, but how does he wipe his bum?”  My 4 yr old test reader is now 7 and still loves this series and her mum is happy as she can enjoy the story now Brooke can read by herself.

An enchanting tale of magic, friendship and adventure for readers aged 9 and up – from bestselling author, Holly Webb.

Colette lives with her mother, making beautiful dresses for the rich women of Venice. She’s never known her father, and her mother won’t speak of him – but Colette’s embroidery moves and dances, and she’s sure that there’s magic in her blood . . .

And then Colette discovers the truth: her father is a famous maskmaker and a powerful magician. But when he’s ordered to create a mask that will bend others to its will, the magic becomes too strong for him to resist. Can Colette, with the help of a talking alley cat called Max, save him?

The Magical Venice books are all share the same beautiful setting, but can be read as standalone stories. The series includes: The Water Horse, The Mermaid’s Sister, The Maskmasker’s Daughter, and The Girl of Glass.

The Maskmaker’s Daughter: Magical Venice #3

Holly Webb

Published by Orchard

Supplied by Hatchette New Zealand

Reviewed by Jacqui

Loved it! I needed something light and magical, and this fitted the bill, perfectly. I read it in a single day. But then, it is a short novel, intended for young readers.

The setting is a magical version of renaissance Venice, a Venice that never was, rather less sordid than the reality as suits a younger readership. There are distinct advantages to a pseudo-historical setting 7for your fantasy. People generally know a bit about the background, and you don’t have to come up with a map. But you do have to think about how much magic you want to infuse into your setting, and what impact that will have on the culture of the place. Venice is in many ways a good choice; a maritime city, trading in many directions, and geographically unique. I’m not entirely sure that Holly Webb has entirely thought out the historical implications of all that magic…

The story was complete in itself, although it forms part of a series sharing that setting, together with some peripheral characters. The central character is a girl named Colette, who lives with her seamstress mother. From the outset, it is evident that her mother is ill and before long she dies. Leaving Colette in a difficult and vulnerable position. Should she go with the Countess whom she does not trust? Or to the orphanage? Just as she is preparing to run away, the father she thought was dead appears to take her away to his mask-makers workshop. And there is magic… Colette can sew magic into in the very fabric. Magic that she has inherited from her father. And there are cats…

I enjoyed this immensely, and I’m sure many young girls from intermediate school age up would love it too. As would many older ladies (and gentlemen) who count themselves as still young inside. Now I shall have go find the rest of the series. Oh, and the cover is not only a lovely work of art, it fits the story perfectly.

When nine-year-old Kelly Wilson outgrows her pony, her mum surprises her with a beautiful steel-grey mare that she spotted trotting down the street, tied to the back of a truck. But there’s a catch. Cameo has never been ridden!

While her sisters Vicki and Amanda are jumping higher than ever before, Kelly must face her fears on an untested pony. Will Cameo ever be ready for competitions? And will the girls’ ponies hold their own against the purebreds at the Royal Show?

A sequel to Dandy, the Mountain Pony, this exciting story of setbacks and success, in which Vicki, Kelly and Amanda Wilson first experience the thrill of serious competition, is inspired by the Wilson sisters’ early years.

Puffin

Supplied by Penguin Random House New Zeal.and

Reviewed by Maree

Another in the series by Kelly Wilson of the Wilson sisters who starred in Keeping up with The Kaimanawas. A family who have devoted their life to horses, show jumping and advocating for wild horses around the world, taming and raising awareness about the plight of the American Mustangs and Australian Brumbies and specifically the beautiful wild Kaimanawa horses near their home. They also run Showtym Camps, riding camps for young riders.

 The sisters rescue and tame wild horses and this book, written at a young adult level is loosely based around a story from Kelly Wilson’s childhood. A street pony is one literally bought off the street. However good looking and healthy, this is an untried pony that may not take to competitive showing. Especially when it turns out that Cameo the pony has never been ridden!

Kelly has to train Cameo to be ridden and compete from scratch. Fortunately most horses in a proper, caring, training environment, enjoy learning and love showing off. But will Cameo ever be ready in time for the competitions where she and Kelly will be up against purebred ponies that have been doing this for years?

I really enjoyed the story. It was a good example of how you need to keep trying and very cool to see the trust grow.   I enjoy the Showtym Adventures and look forward to the next.

When nine-year-old Kelly Wilson outgrows her pony, her mum surprises her with a beautiful steel-grey mare that she spotted trotting down the street, tied to the back of a truck. But there’s a catch. Cameo has never been ridden!

When nine-year-old Vicki Wilson’s beloved lease pony is sold, she is heartbroken. Her family doesn’t have much money, and she is desperate to have a pony of her own so she can keep riding.

Then Vicki has the chance she has been waiting for, to tame and train her own wild pony! How will she earn the trust of her beautiful new chestnut? And will Dandy ever be quiet enough for her to ride at Pony Club or compete at Ribbon Days?

This story is inspired by the Wilson Sisters’ early years, where Vicki, Kelly and Amanda Wilson first encounter horses in the wild and learn what it takes to make them champions.

Puffin

Supplied by Penguin Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Maree

This is a book from Kelly Wilson of the Wilson sisters who starred in Keeping up with The Kaimanawas. A family who have devoted their life to horses, they compete in show jumping as advocating for wild horses around the world.  This is done by taming and raising awareness about the plight of the American Mustangs, Australian Brumbies, and specifically the beautiful wild Kaimanawa horses near their home. They also run Showtym Camps, riding camps for young riders.

The sisters rescue and tame wild horses and this book, written at a young adult level is loosely based around a story from Vicki Wilson’s childhood. The family could not afford to buy fully trained ponies and if the children wanted to ride they had to learn to train horses from scratch.

Dandy the wild mountain pony must be properly trained and tame enough to compete at Pony Club and Ribbon Days. No easy task, as you have to be a special person to gain the trust of a wild horse and gently lead it to be good around other horses, as well as the small matter of being able to ride and show jump with it!

Fortunately most horses in a proper, caring, training environment, enjoy learning and love showing off. But there is always a risk when you start with a wild pony. Especially as Dandy was the first wild pony the sisters got to train. For all her courage and determination and skill, will Vicki be up to the task?

This is very well written and a very kiwi story that will inspire and delight.  Pony mad teen girls will love this book and their mums will enjoy it too

changing-times

The story of the newspaper The New Zealand Times and the town it was printed in is told by Matt McPherson.  A delivery boy for the newspaper his family founded, Matt gives us an oversight of easily colonial life and the challenges it posed.  He then outlines the gold rushes, World War 1, the Depression, World War 2, and the effects on the town and its people.

Matt’s narrative continues to the changes in society, up to the digital world of online news and the current time.  This a fascinating look at NZ’s history and easy to read with a graphic novel layout. The illustrations are attractively detailed and the language is simple to understand.

This book was written by the creator of Terry Teo, the popular NZ series, and will delight any child.  He created an interactive blog for this story which features many links to NZ history and is well worth checking out.

Potter & Burton

Supplied by Potter & Burton

Reviewed by Jan