Archive for the ‘picture book’ Category

It is a peaceful morning and Scarface Claw is happily snoozing in a spot in the sun, tail curled around and feet tucked in.

Suddenly,
there was a shudder and sway,
the whirr of an engine,
then off and away.

And then off goes the truck down the drive – with Scarface ON TOP! Clinging on to the roof of the truck, Scarface zips along streets with his owner, Tom, oblivious to his rooftop passenger and everyone trying to get his attention as he drives along … who will come to poor Scarface Claw’s rescue?

Inspired by true stories of cat owners driving off without realising their cats are on the roofs of their cars, Scarface Claw’s latest adventure will have readers getting just as involved in the story as the bystanders trying to get Tom’s attention!

Scarface Claw Hold Tight!

Lynley Dodd

Puffin MR

Supplied by Penguin Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Jan Butterworth

A delightful tale of Scarface Claw and his wild adventure of going for a ride on a car roof.  The story is told in short, rhythmic paragraphs and simple sentences that are alliterative and fun.  The illustrations are superb, very realistic while being entertaining.

The book itself is a board book with solid cardboard pages that won’t be torn by little fists.  This is another enjoyable picture book featuring the mighty Scarface Claw in the much-loved Hairy Maclary and Friends series.  I highly recommend all babies and toddlers be immersed in the Hairy Maclary world and this book is a must-have!

Long before waka touched Aotearoa’s shores, the land of the long white cloud was home to an array of creatures uniquely adapted to its environments and protected by its isolation.

Encounter New Zealand’s incredible wildlife in this spectacular visual exploration.

Journey through ocean, sky and land to meet a marvellous range of organisms.

Discover fascinating facts, and learn how we influence the survival of our living treasures.

In this magnificent companion volume to Aotearoa: The New Zealand Story, Gavin Bishop weaves a compelling visual narrative of our land, our people and our wildlife — past, present and future.

Wildlife in Aotearoa

Gavin Bishop

Puffin

Supplied by Penguin Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Jan Butterworth

The contents of this book are cleverly separated into various categories – Tangaroa’s Watery World explains briefly about our oceans – then further grouped into There are Fish and Whales as Big as a Bus, Some Fish Enjoy the Light of the Sun, and Some Fish Prefer the Dark and Quiet of Deep Water. 

The contents naturally flow on to Because of All These Fish, Aotearoa is the Seabird Capital of the World and Where the Sea Meets the Land.  Each of the species featured has its name displayed next to it and a brief fact about it.  There is a glossary with an explanation of unfamiliar words used and discussions about Safe Places for Native Wildlife on Land and Safe Places for Native Wildlife at Sea, as well as explaining The Kermadec Island Marine Sanctuary.

This is an incredible picture book exploring New Zealand’s unique landscapes and its remarkable wildlife by the award-winning author of Aotearoa: The New Zealand Story.  It is spectacularly illustrated with realistic images and is attractively laid out and contains interesting facts.  I avoided the insects’ page though as the illustrations are so realistic I could feel my skin crawling!

A picture book to treasure, I highly recommend having a copy.


Once there was a clever girl who liked searching for interesting things on the ground. She wanted to know why shells could be found in rocks so far away from the sea. But her father thought education was no use to a girl, so Joan had to leave school.

Many years later, she bought an old map. To her amazement, she saw that it marked a treasure hoard. Not of gold and jewels, but of dinosaur bones.

Nobody had ever found dinosaur fossils in New Zealand before – in fact, top scientists had said it was impossible. But Joan was intrigued. She decided to learn everything she could about palaeontology and hunt for these dinosaur fossils.

This is the fifth picture book in an acclaimed series of true stories about the lives of famous Kiwis written by David Hill and magnificently illustrated by Phoebe Morris.

Dinosaur Hunter: Joan Wiffen’s Awesome Fossil Discoveries

David Hill & Phoebe Morris

Picture Puffin

Supplied by Penguin Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Jan Butterworth

“I can dream.  That’s one of the big things in life.”  Joan Wiffen

Until the late 1960s scientists believed dinosaurs never lived in New Zealand.  Then a dinosaur skull was found in Australia in 1968 and the thinking changed.  Now scientists thought they could have lived in New Zealand but needed proof.

This book tells the story of how a farm wife from the Hawke’s Bay proved New Zealand once had its own dinosaurs and became an international expert in dinosaur fossils.

The clever drawings tell the story of how she became interested in geology and fossils, then how she discovered a map showing the remote Mangahouanga Stream as a possible location of bones  and decided to go digging.  After sending a plaster cast of her findings to an Australian museum, they confirmed it was the vertebrae of a 70 million year old theropod – a dinosaur the size of a truck with sharp, saw-edged teeth.

Joan Wiffen had made a ground-breaking discovery and re-wrote history.

The Wiffen’s and their helpers continued exploring the remote stream for the next thirty years and made more fossil discoveries.  Some of those dinosaurs are cleverly illustrated in the final pages, along with a handy timeline of Joan Wiffen’s life.

This book was interesting as I hadn’t really paid attention to prehistoric New Zealand.  I vaguely knew that fossils of giant penguins and sharks the length of cricket pitches had been found but not actual dinosaurs.  Joan Wiffen also seems an inspiring woman more attention should be paid to.

Any dinosaur fan will love this book.  As well as those who aren’t dinosaur fans but like interesting women.

A boisterous bilingual board book that introduces littlies to colours with the help of Hairy Maclary and his friends!

A gorgeous board book with pictures of Hairy Maclary, Scarface Claw and other favourite characters created by Lynley Dodd to teach children their colours in Maori and English.

This special little volume is perfect for the young learner and helps to incorporate te reo Maori into everyday life.

Perfect for children ages 3 months to 3 years.

Hairy Maclary and Friends: Colours in English and Maori

Lynley Dodd

Pictures Puffin

Supplied by Penguin Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Jan Butterworth

These board books are perfect for bilingual children to learn their colours or to introduce anyone to learning Maori.

Each double page has a background of a colour – red, yellow, white – and both the English and Maori name for it – purple = waiporoporo, grey = kiwikiwi, green = kakariki.  Illustrations tie-in that colour with drawings of familiar characters from the Hairy Maclary collections that make you smile.  Keep an eye out for the other cute drawings that blend in the background.

As well as the usual primary colours of red, white, and black, the book features other colours like brown, pink, and orange, which is different to many learn-your-colours books.

A boisterous bilingual board book that introduces littlies to counting with the help of Hairy Maclary and his friends!

A gorgeous board book with pictures of Hairy Maclary, Scarface Claw and other favourite characters created by Lynley Dodd to help children learn to count from 1–10 in Maori and English.

This special little volume is perfect for the young number learner and helps to incorporate te reo Maori into everyday life.

Contains a full 1-10 counting chart.

Hairy Maclary and Friends: 123 in English and Maori

Lynley Dodd

Pictures Puffin

Supplied by Penguin Random House New Zealand

Reviewed by Jan Butterworth

These board books are perfect for bilingual children to practice counting or to introduce anyone to learning Maori.

Each page features a number from 1 – 10 and is illustrated by a drawing with that many objects – 5 flowers or 9 bees.  Each has in Maori the number and object – e rima nga putiputi or e niwa nga pi – and the English translation – five flowers or nine bees.

The illustrations are full of familiar characters from the Hairy Maclary collections and bright and colourful.

As they are board books the pages won’t crumple and rip, making them ideal to be enjoyed by toddlers or for autistic children without a lot of mobility control.

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.

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.