Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Two birdies in the hand ...

The Very Important Godwit story and song by Jenny Pattrick, Music by Laughton Pattrick, Illustrations by Jez Tuya (Random House) ISBN: 978-1-86979-348-7 rrp$36.99 HARDBACK

The Very Important Godwit book is a mix of song and story. In the story Will walks down to the beach and sees many Godwits. "Why are they so hungry?" He asks his mother. She tells him they need to be fat. Will tries to count all the Godwits but there are too many of them to count until the day they all fly off and there are none left. Will's mother is a scientist and she has attached a transmitter to Pipi - the Very Important Godwit. Will and his mother track his journey around the world. Will soon finds out why they eat so much and where they have their chicks.

Interspersed amongst the story are short stanzas of song. Children can play the CD and join in with the 17 original songs. Teachers could use this book in their Native Bird study. Junior and Middle school will understand the ecological message. Younger children will enjoy the pictures and story. Suitable for 5-7 year old children.

Jenny and Laughton Pattrick's songs for children are sung in schools throughout New Zealand and Australia. They have also written children's musical shows: Capital E, National Children's Theatre and regular tour shows for young children. Laughton was formerly a Primary and Secondary school teacher, a music advisor and College of Education lecturer. More recently he has been a singing tutor at Toi Whakaari NZ Drama School.

Jes Tuya is a freelance illustrator. Her colourful illustrations look like they might be computer generated.

Come along to the book launch of 'The Very Important Godwit' 4pm, Saturday 16 October 2010, Capital E National Children’s Theatre, Civic Square, 101 Wakefield St, Te Aro, Wellington
To be launched by Jack Lasenby, Some songs from the book will be performed; family members are welcome.

Ria the Reckless Wrybill by Jane Buxton, illustrated by Jenny Cooper (Penguin)
ISBN: 978-1-14350-450-4 rrp$30.00 HARDBACK

From the moment that Ria hatched her parents knew she was special - her bill pointed the opposite way to everybody elses. Ria soon learns that it is not so easy being different. It makes it difficult for her to find mayfly eggs but it is her feisty attitude that also makes her stand out too. When her parents give her a lesson on what to do when predators fly down instead of staying still like her brother Rua she jumps up and shouts, 'Look out, predator!' and 'I'm Ria the wrybill and I'm coming to get you.' As you can imagine her attitude gets her into plenty of trouble ...

An enjoyable story complemented with beautiful water colour pictures. Children 4 - 8 years will enjoy this story with an environmental message. Teachers could also use it when studying native birds with the class.

Jane Buxton was born in Otaki in 1947 and grew up in Wanganui. Her first children’s book was published in 1976 and she'se been writing for children ever since. For many years she was a primary school teacher and wrote part-time. She now earns her living as a writer and has had more than 200 stories, plays, poems and articles published both in New Zealand and overseas, mainly by Learning Media and Wendy Pye for the education market.

Jennifer Cooper is a children’s book illustrator with a background in graphic design. She has illustrated numerous picture books, including Rugby for Rosie, written by Frances Adlam, The Mad Tadpole Adventure by Melanie Drewery and Duck Walk by Joy Cowley. Cooper has spent time in Western Samoa, and she enjoys producing illustrations relevant to Pacific Island and Maori children.

Reviewed by Maria Gill

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