Archive for the ‘children’ Category

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

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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

in-the-bush

The fourth book in a popular ‘explore & discover’ series, this explains what activities happen in the bush and illustrates examples.  There first is a description of how plants and animals relate o each other in the forest ecosystem, then beautifully drawn illustrations of the various birds, bats, fungi, trees, and introduced pests.

This book will help children to learn about pests and other dangers to our native wildlife, while catching a glimpse of the animals and plants that make it up.  The illustrations are stunning and the text will delight while educating.  A great present for little people.

Potton & Burton

Supplied by Potton & Burton

Reviewed by Jan

Little Kiwi Counts The Chicks

It’s spring and Little Kiwi and Little Sister are in the forest listening to the newly hatched birds.  They have never seen so many and decide to see if they can count them.  There end up being too many for Little Kiwi to count.

This book helps toddlers become familiar with numbers and objects and helps them recognise the concept of counting.  Beautifully illustrated with cute birds that look alive, each number from one to ten has the corresponding number of  chicks for readers to count.

The numbers are in their numerical form, as well as the word form identifying each bird family.  A well thought-out book that is sure to help develop counting skills.

Puffin

Supplied by Penguin Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Jan

WARP 3

I enjoyed Colfer’s Artemis Fowl stories (Yes, I know they’re fairy stories, they’re written for kids, and you know perfectly well that I don’t care, because they’re that good), so I thought I might try this. Unfortunately it’s the third book of a trilogy – which rather threw me in the deep end of the wormhole, but Colfer was clever enough to include a brief “Need to Know” introduction, which explains the background. And a bizarre background it is. WARP stands for Witness Anonymous Relocation Programme, which is what you think it is… and not. Because Professor Charles Smart figured out how to mess with quantum physics to create wormholes into the past – and when the FBI found out about it they decided to use it to stash important witnesses back in history. But Professor Smart didn’t really understand what he was doing, nor does anyone else, and now he’s gone missing… And then there’s the unpredictable weird stuff that keeps happening to people who pass through the wormhole. You can see the potential for trouble. And then, Colfer throws in a couple of clever kids to save the world from a psychotic Victorian villain, who has been let loose to cause havoc across history.

As you might imagine, this book is a whole lot of fun. Colfer has a seriously warped sense of humour, and a talent for action. The youthful lead characters here are well-crafted (and more sympathetic than Artemis Fowl ever was). The villain is an absolute nutter, no bones about it. As for how it all works out in the end… very clever, Mr Colfer.

Puffin

Supplied by Penguin Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Jacqui

stripes no spots

Tiger and Leopard argue over which is best – stripes or spots. Te squabble turns into a quarrel, the quarrel turns in to a war, and soon the jungle is a mes. Monkey calls a meeting of the Jungle Council and they come up with a plan to decide which is best – spots or stripes

The story is so cute! It made me laugh and it loved how David Attenborough popped up. There were some fold out pages – a surprise but it really fits the story. The illustrations are so bright and colourful, and have such humour in them! I loved the asides the animals were speaking and the tanks were adorable.

This will make a great addition to the library and a fun present.

Puffin

Supplied by Penguin Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Jan

Lets Catch that Rainbow

Bored one day while waiting for his brother to return from school and enjoy some of mum’s just-baked cake, Hadleigh sees a rainbow and heads outside to catch it. Failing, he asks his mum for help and they make a valiant effort to catch the rainbow, jumping high and often.

Hadleigh’s brother returns from school and every pupil on the bus is recruited, plus the driver and teacher. They have a lot of fun but don’t make much headway before Hadleigh’s dad and some mates turn up from a day’s fishing. They have a great idea………………

I really liked how everyone came together to help and thought this   was a great story to share with kids. The author illustrated the book and they are delightful, being bright and colourful. They fit the story perfectly, giving a lot of detail without being too fussy. A lovely book to have in the library.

Pine Estates Books

Supplied by David Bateman Ltd

Reviewed by Jan