Sunday, July 11, 2010

Two new non-fiction books

There are so few New Zealand children's non-fiction books published nowadays that I get excited with every book that arrives in the postbox. These two won't disappoint.

Sensational Survivors: An illustrated Guide to New Zealand's Remarkable Wildlife by Sandra Morris (Walker Books) Release date: 11 August 2010
ISBN: 978 1 921 150661 RRP$29.99 48 pages Target age: 6 years+

We haven't seen anything from Sandra Morris for a while - and she sure makes up for it with this publication. From the stunning cover, illustrated endpapers, beautiful black-and-white sketches, gorgeous water colour paintings, diagrams and interesting text right through to the illustrated glossary, index and recommended reading and website list at the back.

It is a topic that has been written several times before but Sandra brings a new slant to the subject. The information has been grouped in new and interesting ways including those animals who are gone forever and those that made epic journeys to get here, the quirky ways some animals find a mate, have children and the lengths some go to survive. She's covered New Zealand insects, birds, marine life and mammals.

Highly recommended for the school library and for children who like to draw and collect information about animals.

Sandra Morris is an author and illustrator from New Zealand. She gained her Masters in Fine Arts in 1990 where she completed her first picture book, One Lonely Kakapo, which won her the Russell Clark award for illustration in 1992. She has since written and illustrated Discovering New Zealand Birds, which was a finalist in both the Aim Children’s Book Awards and the Non Fiction Library awards. Sandra also holds a Graduate Diploma in Plant and Wildlife Illustration from the University of Newcastle, Australia. It was while she was in Australia that she developed a love for field sketching and this work has been exhibited in museums and galleries. Sandra also runs her own illustration agency promoting New Zealand illustrators overseas.


I am a Seal by Barbara Todd, illustrated by Helen Taylor (New Holland Publishers)
ISBN: 978 1 86966 287 5 RRP$ 16.99
On the land, in the sea
It's no big deal
They are both home to me
I AM A SEAL!

This is the third title in Barbara Todd's 'I am a ...' series. Barbara targets 4-6 year olds with her rhyming text about the seal's habitat, hunting, social behaviour and breeding habits. The simple text is complemented with cute cartoons and stunning photography. Recommended for the classroom to help children learn about seals but also encourage enjoyment of interesting non-fiction facts. The first two titles in the series include I am a Penguin and I am a Dolphin.

Barbara Todd is a naturalist, researcher and educator who for the past twenty years has studied whales and dolphins, seabirds, and the marine environment. She is the author and photographer of eleven children's books on natural history.

Helen Taylor has a flair for illustrating children's natural history books, with a long list of credits to her name. A Booming in the Night, co-produced with her writer husband Ben Brown, won the New Zealand Post New Zealand Best Picture Book Award n 2006.

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