Friday, August 6, 2010

Three new non-fiction books

Scholastic has not published any children's non-fiction for a while so it is with great delight I see Betty Brownlie's series about the Life Cycle of the Pukeko and a reprint of the Royal Albatross - with more to come. This time Betty Brownlie's beautiful illustrations have disappeared and Scholastic have used photography from a range of photographers.

The life cycle of the Pukeko by Betty Brownlie
RRP$18.99 ISBN: 978-1-86943-963-7 pp32 (Scholastic)

Discover how pukeko live together as a tight-knit family group. How everyone feeds the chicks and if their nest is in danger of flooding they build it up higher with more reeds and grasses. You'll find out where pukeko live; what they look like - adult and chick; how they sound, move, mate and build nests;their life cycle, food, and threats to pukeko. This is the standard layout for each book in the series. Illustrations are drawn by Dave Gunson. The books include a contents, index, and bibliography page. The full-length photographs are sumptious, the text simple and easy to read and the layout crisp and pleasing to the eye. A great resource for junior Primary school classes upwards and for children who enjoy reading facts about New Zealand wildlife.

Other books in the The Life cycle series include: Frog, Kiwi, Monarch Butterfly, Tuatara (March 2011). Released at the same time as the Pukeko book - July 2010 - is The life cycle of the Royal Albatross. ISBN: 978-1-86943-904-0

Betty Brownlie was born in Feilding, trained as a dental nurse and includes as her hobbies and interests: traveling, flying her small aircraft, reading, and sponsoring an African family in Kenya. Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) has prevented Betty from illustrating and writing much in the last couple of years but she's back with more in the Life Cycle series (without her illustrations).

Honors Awards
Aim Children's Book Award shortlist, 1993, for The Life Cycle of the Common Frog, The Life of the Monarch Butterfly, The Life Cycle of the Common Sparrow, and The Life Cycle of the Hedgehog, and 1995, for The Life Cycle of the Praying Mantis; New Zealand Library Association Book Award Honor award, 1995, for The Life Cycle of the Grasshopper; national awards for watercolor painting and pencil drawing.

New Zealand Wildlife: To read colour and keep by Dave Gunson
ISBN: 978 186966 2851 RRP $9.99 (New Holland)

Talented Dave Gunson provides the outlines of selected birds, animals and plants from his All About series. Each outline includes 1-2 sentences of basic explanatory text. Children can check they've got the right markings by looking on the 4-colour double-page insert or choose to do their own colour style when colouring-in. Children can rip the pages out easily afterwards (perforated pages) and hang them in their bedroom or on the fridge.

Dave Gunson has contributed illustrations and or text to over 100 children's books over the years. His inspiration comes from nature and wildlife. A number of his books have been finalists in the New Zealand Post Children's Book awards: The Natural World of New Zealand won the NZ Post Children's Book Awards, was a finalist in the Montana awards and a Notable book; Nature's Alphabet - finalist; The Life and Times of the Identification of NZ Land - finalist; Wildlife Stuff - Notable book; NZ Wildlife - finalist (BPANZ).

This is the second book in the series following NZ Birds to Read, Colour and Keep. Aimed for the 4-7 year old child but older children could find the outlines useful when doing native bird projects. A great book for the car or plane to keep children occupied.


Naketa said...

Wow! What a great find. I have only just stumbled across your blog and found some fantastic books that I have not yet read yet. I've just subscribed to your blog and cant wait to see what else you have in the works.

Maria Gill said...

Welcome Naketa
I'm intending to interview more authors.If you have any questions for New Zealand authors - send them to me and I'll ask them on your behalf.
Maria Gill