Sunday, May 31, 2009

Three new picture books

The Naughtiest Puppy by V.M. Jones, illustrated by Scott Tulloch (Harper Collins)
ISBN 9781869506919 RRP $19.99

It was winter. The blue-green mountains were white with snow, and Hugh the sheepdog's five puppies were growing bigger.
They looked like perfect little angels...and three of them were.
Whisper, Shadow and Secret were as silent as Hugh,
with the same still way of watching the world.
"Those three pups are sharp as tacks," said Kerry the farmer.
"And cute as buttons," said his wife Ngaire.
Bandit was a rascal and a ruffian who thought it was boyish to be bad.
He longed to the be naughtiest puppy, but he couldn't come close.
The littlest puppy was the naughtiest of all. That puppy was so naughty
there was no name to fit him.

That puppy gets into all sorts of trouble: barks at the sheep, paints the pigs' pen, chews books and is not in everyone's good books until the night of a storm and he proves his weight in gold, and finds his name while he's at it...

This is the second picture book from V.M. Jones about sheep dogs. In the first book we were introduced to Hush and Echo - this book is the resulting puppies.

Scott Tulloch's artwork compliments the text perfectly. He captures the golden colours of the South Island countryside and also the cheekiness of the puppets.

Guardian of the Bridge by Diana Harris, illustrated by Russell Ness (Random House)
ISBN 9781869792442 RRP $

In the days of old - ing ra o mua - there lived a taniwha who was the guardian, the kaitiaki, of a very deep lake. The lake was very beautiful and was surrounded by tall kauri trees. Many birds lived among the trees and filled the air with their song.

Taniwha enjoys playing with the tamariki but as time goes by they stop calling out to him. Taniwha is very sad and for a long while he sleeps. When he wakes up, the world has changed. "What has happened to the forest? Someone must have put a makutu on my lake while I was asleep, and now I will have to leave." The taniwha heaves himself out of the water and goes walk about - after a few near misses with growling monsters he finds himself back near the water. There he finds the harbour bridge and he's captivated by it...

This is a reprint of the taniwha legend (in fact a very similar story has also been published this year) and it successfully interweaves Maori fables with modern day times. At the back of the book are several pages of facts about Auckland Harbour bridge, pictures of the grand opening, and instructions for a game. Originally published in 1990, this new edition was brought out to celebrate the 50th anniversary opening of the Auckland Harbour Bridge. An excellent resource for the classroom.

Diana Harris has written several books including: Litterbugs and Johnny Jones: A Colonial Saga. Russell Ness was formerly an art teacher and art director before becoming a management consultant. This is the first book that Diana and Russell have worked on together.

Little Kiwi Flies to the Rescue by Bob Darroch (Penguin)
ISBN 9789143503545 RRP $17.95

Poor Lttle Kiwi. He felt bad. He sat on a log and thought, "My sister must think I'm a coward... scared of the dar ... scared of water ... scared of bats ... Oh my!" he sighed.

Little Kiwi can't seem to get anything right. He's scared of the dark, scared of water and his little sister's friends always seem to be making fun of him. But when his sister gets in trouble it seems Little Kiwi might be made of sterner stuff after all.

Another delightful tale (sixth in the series) of Little Kiwi's adventures by Bob Darroch. Great for reading aloud in classrooms (kindy and junior school) or a night-time read with parents. Children will also enjoy the cheeky pictures accompanying the story. Bob is excellent at giving his characters so much expression with a few flicks of his paintbrush. Free height chart included.

Bob has beeen drawing cartoons for most of his life. His work has appeared on toys, souvenirs, postcards, newspapers, magazines and many picture books. He has also illustrated books for other authors including his wife Ruth.

No comments: