Saturday, January 16, 2010

A new year of books...

Welcome back to Kids Books Nz 2010
I received my first parcel of books yesterday and have already tucked into one of them - reviews will follow in a couple of days.
Good news - we've another reviewer to add to our blog: Jean Prior - of 'The Waka' fame (won the Joy Cowley award in 2006). Jean has been teaching on Great Barrier Island and after having endured six changes of principals (in just three years) has decided to retire and devote herself to writing. Welcome back Jean!
This year we'll bring you information about awards and interviews with New Zealand authors. Even though this is a blog dedicated to New Zealand authors' books - if we have a famous author from overseas visiting and we interview him/her - we'll also share it on this website (they can be an honorary kiwi author while they're in NZ). So far we hope to interview Neil Gaiman (yes!!!!) and Anthony Horowitz (corrr) - will keep you posted about developments.
For all those teachers and non-fiction lovers here is the list of NZ non-fiction children's books that were published in 2009. (I find it bizarre that poetry is considered non-fiction but it is - so it is also included.)

Gardening Books
Young Gardener by Janice Marriott (Random House)
Get Growing by Helen Cook (Random House)
Gardening for Planet Earth by Dee Pigneguy (Papawai Press)

Animal Books
I am a Dolphin by Barbara Todd (New Holland)
I am a Penguin by Barbara Todd (New Holland)
Invaders: Animals from elsewhere that are causing trouble here by Nic Vallance (New Holland)
Natures' Techno Tricks by Dee Pigneguy (Papawai Press)
E3 Call Home by Janet Hunt (Random)

Science and Social Studies
Rangitoto by Maria Gill, illustrated by Heather Arnold (Penguin)
Save Our Seas by Maria Gill , illustrated by Vivienne Lingard (New Holland)
Eco-rangers Save the Planet by Maria Gill, illustrated by Vivienne Lingard (New Holland)
Ecology and the Environment by Francois Michel (Gecko Press)
Rubbish and Recyling by Gerard Bertolini (Gecko Press)
Awesome Aotearoa by Margaret Mahy (AUT Media)
Ben and Mark: Boys of the High Country by Christine Fernyhough and John Bougen (Random)

My Village: Rhymes from around the world collected by Danielle Wright (Gecko Press)
The Magical Verse of Margaret Mahy: The Word Witch ed. by Tessa Duder (Harper Collins)
Our Own Kind: 100 NZ poems about animals edited by Siobhan Harvey (Random House)
Macaroni Moon and other poems by Paula Green

Counting the Stars: Four Maori Myths by Gavin Bishop (Random House)

An added bonus with children's non-fiction is that the publishers have gone to the trouble (as have authors) to write teaching resources to go with the books. Look on the publishers' sites or author's websites to find them. You could also look at past blog entries and you'll find the links for them there too.

You might notice that less non-fiction children's books are published every year. To stop them disappearing all together we need to encourage everyone to buy more. Schools - why don't you buy class sets for your curriculum resources? Libraries - you might find you'll need one of each of these books for every library (in your area) because they'll be used heavily by children for school projects. Parents - you'll find non-fiction children books are used continuously over the years; to read for enjoyment (kids love to dip in and out with nf) and for projects - they're more reliable than the internet. With your continued support we'll have children's non-fiction books for New Zealand children - without it publishers will stop publishing them (some all ready have).

I've started a teaching resource on using NZ children's non-fiction books throughout the curriculum (including the Reading programme) and will keep you posted when it is available.

Ka kite ano
Maria Gill

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