Sunday, October 31, 2010

Picture Books

Hill & Hole by Kyle Mewburn, illustrated by Vasanti unka (Penguin)
ISBN 978-0-143504535 RRP $18.99

Hill and Hole were best friends
Hill likes being a hill,
and Hole likes being a hole.
But sometimes they dream of swapping places...

Have you ever had that feeling that it might be fun to be something or do something else? Kyle Mewburn's wonderfully original story explores that theme with two very unlikely characters - Hill and Hole.

Kyle has produced another excellent philosophical book that will encourage 4-8 year old children to think about wanting what you don't have. Teachers could use it to explore the Health theme of being happy with who you are. The illustrations are a perfect fit for this picture book.

Kyle Mewburn has been a full-time writer since 1997. His book Kiss! Kiss! Yuck! Yuck! won the Picture Book and Children's Choice Awards at the 2007 NZ Post Children's Book Awards. In 2009 he was a finalist with Duck's Stuck and in 2010 is the winner the Picture Book category with Old Hu-Hu.

Vasanti Unka is a graphic designer and illustrator who works from her home office. In 2006 she won the Best Educational Book Award from BPANZ for her design of the book set, Frontier of Dreams and in 2008 one of her illustrated books The Bean's Story was a Storylines Notable Book.

Kei hea a Spot? na Eric Hill (Penguin)

Ka kino a Spot!
Ko te wa kai.
Hei hea ranei ia?

A classic Where is Spot? book reproduced in Maori. Kohanga reo classes will find this a very useful resource in their classrooms.

Hannah Bandanna's Hair by Nikki Slade Robinson (Scholastic)
RRP $19.95

Fruffled and frizzled,
teased and tizzled,
knotted and knitted,
whorled and whizzled,
is Hannah Bandanna's hair.

Hannah Bandanna has wild hair that keeps getting tangled and tied into knots. She gets rather fed up with her out-of-control hair until Aunt Tallpoppy gives her some advice that changes her outlook...

Having wild hair myself I can totally identify with Hannah and her problems. Lots of curly headed 4-6 year olds will also. Nikki has used mixed media: coloured pencil and gouache on brown paper combined digitally with photographs and digital illusration.

After Nikki Slade Robinson graduated from Wellington’s Visual Communication and Design course she set up as a freelance illustrator in 1989. She has illustrated over 60 titles including children’s books and readers, including award-winning The Puriri Tree/Te Puriri. "The Seven Stars of Matariki" has been a finalst in the Sir Julius Vogel Awards. "That's not Junk!" was one of three titles Penguin has chosen to release internationally as a Q-Book in 2010.

Little Red and the Cunning Kuri by Chris Gurney, illustrated by Sarah Anderson
RRP $18.50

Little Red was a happy and sweet little girl,
and her hair was a mop of crazy red curls.
She was called 'Little Red' from when she was small,
as red was the colour she loved most of all.

Another book in the Kiwi Corker series - this time a retake on Little Red Riding Hood story. This bouncy red headed girl meets not a fox but a cunning kuri. But this dog gets more than he bargained for when he tries to trick Little Red.

Chris Gurney is an expert on writing these rhyming traditional stories with a kiwi twist. Sarah Anderson's illustrations are vibrant and stunning (and very red). Sarah has created the illustrations by combining digital painting and digital collage.

Chris Gurney has had seven picture book titles published in the space of two years. She writes with a faultless sense of rhyme and rhythm and shows great humorous talent. Auckland based illustrator Sarah Nelisiwe Anderson brings a fresh look to picture books with quirky artwork that literally glows on the pages.

More wonderful tales in the Kiwi Corkers Great New Zealand Yarns series are The Tuatara and the Skink, Cindy and the Lost Jandal, Wacko Kakapo, The Ugly Hatchling, Trev and the Kauri Tree, The Little Blue Duck, The Three Little Lambs, The Mayor's Flash New Clothes and A Kiwi Christmas Carol

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