Saturday, March 27, 2010

2010 Tom Fitzgibbon Book launched

Hollie Chips byAnna Gowan (Scholastic) 219 pp
ISBN 978-1-86943-931-6 RRP $17.99

It took Mrs Chips several weeks to realise Hollie was not an ordinary baby. She never cried and was not afflicted by any of the usual ailments that plague newborns. To top it all off, Hollie had different coloured eyes. One was light blue, the other chocolate brown - he very same colour as her teddy-bear Taiwan.

However, soon Hollie's other eccentricities made her mother forget about her eyes altogether. A month after her birth Hollie refused to drink milk and pointed to the vegetables on the bench. When a tooth burst through her reddened gums, Hollie pushed the vegetables away and pointed at the sausages in the barbecue...

Not long after Hollie Chips moves into Puriti Road she discovers that Barry Buckscud (an unscrupulous developer) has a terrible plan to buy out three of her neighbours so that he can build a dog food factory. Knowing that grown-ups will not believe a young girl she sets out to convince Philippa (the lonely lady at number six), John Johns (Mr Oblivious at number eight) and Ethel (the old lady at number four) that they must stay. Hollie has to stay a step ahead of Barry Buckscud and at one stage it looks like her plan has all unravelled...

It's a 'young person against devious grown-up, with truth winning out in the end' type story. Anna Gowan has written a first rate chapter book with lots of giggles in store for the 8-12 year old reader.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Two Maori Myth Books

Maori Tales of Long Ago by A.W. Reed, illustrated by A.S. Patterson
Maori tales of Long Ago is a newly published version of 16 adapted stories from Maori mythology. These stories first appeared in the 1940s and the original black and white sketches and coloured illustrations have been included in this reprint. A.W. Reed was responsible for collecting these myths and legends together, many years ago, because he wanted Maori stories to be widely known. The stories are told through Popo, the village storyteller, to the chief's children, Rata and Hine. Included in this book are adventures of Maui, the trickster, who fished up the land from the sea and had other adventures. Traditional tales of Tutanekai, Tawhaki and Hatupatu are included, as well as stories of daily life as it would have been centuries ago. A very suitable book for reading to and sharing with children of school age onwards.
ISBN:9781869662608 RRP $29.95 (New Holland Publishers)
Counting the Stars: Four Maori Myths by Gavin Bishop
This picture contains four traditional myths, which include a tale of creation, a love story, a traditional ceremony and a fight between coastal and forest birds. From cover to cover, this book is richly illustrated in Bishop's bold, broad intepretation of the text. Traditional Maori patterns are incorporated uniquely in some illustrations, while others embellish the text with the minimum of line and colour. The font used is bold and easy to read, on the fully coloured pages. The text is well presented and economical. A delightful book to share with children or for able readers to enjoy individually. Every library should have a copy of this book by one of New Zealand's outstanding illustrator/authors.
ISBN:9781869790721 RRP $34.95 (Random House)
Teaching Notes here
Reviews by Jean Prior

Sunday, March 7, 2010

More books in the White Cloud Station series

Riding High at White Cloud Station by Trudy Nicholson, Penguin NZ
Published in the White Cloud Station series, this book offers more horse-related adventures involving Suzy, Alexa and Lucy. Horse-mad readers of intermediate age will no doubt enjoy it thoroughly. And they can also join the White Cloud Station Club at to keep up to date with the series.
Suzy has promised her best friends Alexa and Lucy that she will show them the secret herd of curly-coated horses living in the wild mountains near White Cloud Station. But a tragic accident puts an end to one of the girls' eventing ambitions.ISBN 978 0 14 330476 0 RRP $17.95
Reviewed by Lorraine Orman

Autumn with horses by Trudy Nicholson, Penguin NZ
Another book in the White Cloud Station series. Suzy, Alexa and Lucy have decided to compete at the National Grand Champion Show. There are lows when one of the horses is disqualified because it had been doped with a forbidden substance and highs when an unexpected winner wins the 'Grand Champion Show Horse' award. After returning to White Cloud Station a ride ends with a wrong turn and an overnight stay in a spooky house. While poking around with the covered up antiques in the room, Suzy discovers a clue to the secret herd of curly-coated horses hidden in the hills behind the station.
For seriously horse-mad girls.
ISBN 978-0-14-330509-5 RRP $17.95
Reviewed by Maria Gill

Horse Magic by Trudy Nicholson, Penguin NZ
The third book to come out in 2010 in the White Cloud Station series. The end of summer brings new adventures for all three girls and their horses - and Suzy gets a fantastic opportunity to do something she never dreamed possible.
ISBN 978-0-14-330508-8 RRP $17.95