Monday, October 27, 2008

First Monthly Review

You'll find an eclectic mix of books for our first monthly review: we've got kiwiana nursery rhymes, a rat looking for his tail, an old woman's dedication to the albatross birds, a young girl who plays her first game of soccer and a teenager who writes to discover himself. You are bound to find something you'll like. This month's selection of books were released in September and can be bought in all good bookstores or on-line .

Picture Books
Humpty Rugby and other classic kiwi rhymes Peter Millett, illustrated by Eddie Booth
(Penguin) ISBN 978-014350281-4
I’m a little All Black, short and stout, here is my haka, here is my shout. When I see the try line, just watch out – tip me over, stretch me out!
Well known nursery rhymes are given the ‘kiwi’ treatment with a host of crazy, quirky kiwi characters. Rhymes include: The Wheels on the Tractor, Twinkle Twinkle Southern Star, Hokey Pokey and many more… Peter Millet’s quirky word play with a bit of tongue-in-cheek humour is given full license. Parents and New Entrant teachers will have fun chanting the rhymes with their 3-5 year old captive audience.

Sebastian’s Tail Judy Lawn, illustrated by Lamia Aziz
(Penguin) ISBN 978-014350291-3
Sebastian the rat was born without a tail. So he set out to find one. The first thing he saw when he emerged from his hole was Mrs Williams dusting. Sebastian stared at the bright feathery duster. Now that would be a tail!
Sebastian finds many tails on the farm but they’re either too long or too curly or even too fluffy until he meets… Pre-school children will enjoy having this farmyard tale read aloud to them.

Maraea and the Albatrosses Patricia Grace, illustrated by Brian Gunson
(Penguin) ISBN 978-014-350268-5
At the beginning of each spring season ever since Maraea could remember, the albatrosses had come to the rocky hill slopes to make their nests along the ridges and among the stones and tussock. As the birds arrived, the people would be at the cliff tops to call them back from their long sea journeys...
For generations, Maraea and her whanau have a special relationship with the local albatrosses. But over time, her friends and relatives move away, leaving Maraea alone to watch over the fluffy white chicks, as they change into beautiful sea birds. Then, Maraea begins a transformation of her own...
A beautifully written and illustrated picture book that 4-6 year olds would enjoy at one level, but also teachers could use in the classroom to compliment a native bird study for 6-12 year olds.

Junior Chapter Books
Way to Play Sammy Michele Cox (Harper Collins) ISBN 9781869507428
Sammy woke up suddenly…She stretched under the blankets and wiggled her toes. It was Saturday morning, the best Saturday morning ever… Today would be her first game playing for the Shooting Stars.
Sammy has made the team – but can she make the grade? After the first game, Sammy soon learns that playing soccer is not just about kicking goals. Soccer mad girls (8-10 year olds) will enjoy reading this book written by soccer-mad player, Michele Cox. Michele played for the national team for ten years; winning two Cup Finals with a top German team.
Prequel: Sammy Joins the Shooting Stars

Young Adults
Violence 101 Denis Wright (Penguin) ISBN: 978-0-14-330403-6
My name is Hamish Graham and this is the journal I have to write. The people who run this place don’t know what to make of me. Just like the last place I was in. It is obvious why I am here…sometimes I do very violent things and I am too young to be put in jail.
Knowing the teachers read his journal; Hamish mocks the adults around him while also giving intelligent and rational reasons why he sometimes lets his anger get seriously out of control. When he gets bored of hacking into their computers and controlling the other inmates in the young offenders’ institution; Hamish sets off an adventure to test his powers of endurance… A superbly written first novel by Denis Wright: an English teacher from Wellington. Even though the book is about dealing with emotions it is written in a format that won’t turn boys off.

Non Fiction
Pepetuna Denis Whitmore (Penguin) ISBN: 9780143502821
Follow a tiny puriri moth's egg as it falls to the forest floor. Denis Whitmore cleverly uses creative non-fiction and gorgeous illustrations to portray the life cycle of a puriri moth.

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