Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Maori version of Roadworks


NZ Post Award-winning picture book ROADWORKS to be published in a Maori version - MAHIARA

The boisterous and bestselling children’s book full of noisy fun for machine-mad kids is making another outing!

Roadworks written by Sally Sutton and illustrated by Brian Lovelock is to be published in a Maori version in October 2010 by Walker Books.

It is a retelling in the Maori language by award-winning translator Katerina Mataira.

Roadworks is made with machine-mad pre-school boys in mind, though girls also love the exciting noise-words, rhythms and rhymes. Roadworks differs from other machine books in that it shows an actual project being completed from start to finish, in this case, the building of a road.

MAHIARA/Roadworks by Sally Sutton & Brian Lovelock, RRP NZ $14.99

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Two Corker books from Scholastic

The Three Little Lambs by Sher Foley, illustrated by Deborah Hinde (Scholastic) Kiwi Corker Series

Once upon a time, out in the wop-wops, there were
three little lambs living happily with their mother.
But one muddy, grey day she was taken away in a big
truck. The little lambs feared the truck might come
back for them, so they decided it was time to leave.

In Three Little Pigs tradition, the three little lambs build their houses and instead of a fox comes the wicked weasel who wheezes and sneezes their houses down...

This is another delightful book in the Kiwi Corker series. Other books in the series include: Cindy and the Lost Jandal, The Little Blue Duck, The Mayor's Flash New Clothes, Trev and the Kauri Tree, The Tuatara and the Skink, The Ugly Hatchling, and Wacko Kakapo.

This is Sher Foley's second book. Her first book 'The Cat with No Name' was illustrated by her awarding winning partner Brian Lovelock. Illustrator Deborah Hinde has illustrated three other children's books: The Hopplepop, A Kiwi Night Before Christmas and The Bear in the Room Next Door.

Children will delight in the kiwi humour and will enjoy spotting all the kiwiana in the story. Recommended for 4-8 year old children.

ISBN: 9781869439392 RRP$17.99

The Mayor's Flash New Clothes by Chris Gurney, illustrated by Christine Ross (Scholastic) Kiwi Corker Series

The Mayor of Waikikamukau
was meant to be meeting his Board.
Instead, he preened and he pranced,
in the robe that he so much adored.

Too bad about councils and bylaws,
those meetings in chambers so long,
he'd rmuch rather open a building
where he'd be admired by the throng.

Like the Emporer and his robe, the mayor's vanity gets the better of him. The two clothing designers pretend to make him a costume - to make him the flashest Mayor ever. Instead they pretend to sew and stitch fabric made from nothing. To allay anyone's doubts the conniving designers tell the Mayor that it cannot be seen by the foolish. Of course, everyone thinks they must be stupid if they cannot see it - it takes a child in the crowd to say how it really is.

This is Chris Gurney's fifth book (in just 18 months) with another two coming out later in the year - all with Scholastic:
Cindy and the Lost Jandal illustrated by Ross Kinnaird [Kiwi Corkers series] (2009).
The Little Blue Duck illustrated by Stevie Mahardhika [Kiwi Corkers series] (2009).
Trev and the Kauri Tree illustrated by Dave Gunson [Kiwi Corkers series] (2009)
Hester’s Blister illustrated by Sarah Nelisiwe Anderson (2010).
The Mayor’s Flash New Clothes illustrated by Christine Ross [Kiwi Corkers series] (2010).
Little Red and the Cunning Kuri (2010).
A Kiwi Christmas Carol (2010).

Christine Ross has illustrated books for Scholastic, Reed, Methuen and Houghton Mifflin, and many school readers. Christine has been awarded the Unesco Noma Concours Award, the Russell Clark Award and the Aim Childrens Book Award for her illustration work.

ISBN: 9781869439415 RRP $17.99

Sunday, June 20, 2010


Cuzzie and Bro: The Story of Twin Piglets by Marion Day (Heather Mackay Books)

Laura, a big fat sow, roamed in a paddock of lush grass with a silvery stream running through its middle. She lived on a farm in the Waimana Valley, on the edge of the Tuhoe Nation; a valley that lay amongst mist-wreathed hills.

Laura meets Wilbur and three months later out pops twin piglets Cuzzie and Bro. Mrs Tama looks after the rare twins; bottle feeding them and giving them time out in the sun every day. Then one day tragedy strikes...

This is real life-meets-fantasy-adventure type story. The book is illustrated with delightful photographs of the real twin piglets and other creatures you'll find on a farm. The hardcover title page is very striking and you'll find recommendations from students of St Joseph School, Opotiki on page 1 and from their teacher on the back cover. Confident readers between the ages of 8-12 year old will enjoy this mythical tale.

RRP $27.99 ISBN: 9780958291453

Saturday, June 12, 2010


Ruined by Paula Morris (Point, imprint of Scholastic) RRP $39.95 ISBN: 9780545042154

"Do you ... do you know the way out of here?" Rebecca asked. Her voice was breathy: She was almost hyperventilating with anxiety. "The sixth street gate?"
The girl said nothing for a moment at Rebecca. She had a sweet, pretty face, her skin a flawless bronze: her dark eyes looked uncertain, as though she was a little afraid. She wasn't wearing shoes, Rebecca realised, and her shabby blouse was thin: She had to be cold on a breezy November night like this.

Rebecca is sent to stay with her cousins in New Orleans. She feels like an outsider from the beginning; not fitting in with the wealthy private school girls nor feels at home with her weird Aunt and young cousin. When Aunt Claudia tells her she must never go into the cemetery Rebecca rolls her eyes and intends to have a look sometime - she's not afraid of a small cemetery in a tiny city not after living in New York most of her life with her father. When she gets lost amongst the gravestones and asks for help from Lisette a girl her age; events spiral out of control. Is the handsome Anton Grey really interested in her or does he have a hidden agenda? Why does her Aunt have torn pages from a diary plastered on the wall and what do those dates have to do with her? Is anyone whom they pretend to be?

Ruined is a mystery story starting out in a familiar vein to the first Twilight story (teenage girl forced to live in another city falls in love with tall handsome aloof stranger)but instead of going down the vampire route we're introduced to ghosts, curses and revenge. Paula Morris has handled the racial and class tension in this story delicately, as well as expertly interweaving the history of New Orleans into the story. Paula has written several novels for adults whilst living in New Orleans hence her familiarity with the location. A recommended read for 12 years plus.

Monday, June 7, 2010




999 Tadpoles Find a New Home by Ken Kimura, illus. Yasunari Murakami, Gecko Press
Excellent production by Gecko Press has resulted in a light, airy picture book that’s very easy on the eye. It was originally published in Japan in 2003; the English translation flows smoothly and naturally. Mother and Father Frog had 999 babies. As you can imagine, the pond soon grew too small for the family. So they set off to find a bigger pond. After a hair-raising adventure with a snake, disaster strikes! Father Frog is grabbed by a hawk. Mother Frog hangs on to him, and the first baby frog hangs on to her – and so on. There are some delightful pictures of a string of froglets flying through the sky. The exhausted hawk finally lets go – and down the frogs plummet, right into – you guessed it – a big pond! The illustrations are done in a quirky modern style with very stylized frogs and landscapes, so pre-schoolers will need a bit of adult help to understand what they’re looking at.
ISBN 978 1 877467 27 1 RRP paperback $19.99 (hardback $32.99)
Reviewed by Lorraine Orman

Dinosaurs Galore by Masayuki Sebe, Gecko Press
Originally published in Japan in 1993, this combination of dinosaurs and puzzles is possibly a “love/ hate” book. I found myself feeling quite mentally fatigued as I browsed through it – but some youngsters will love it. The main theme, obviously, is dinosaurs but they are very stylized – not realistic in any way. The colours are bright and the pages are very busy. The puzzles and games are not suitable for pre-schoolers; I imagine a child would have to be at least eight to cope with them. For example, “What is the secret message?” involves matching 15 small images with the creatures in a big picture, retrieving the letter of the alphabet connected to that creature – and putting together the message, which also involves another puzzle. Probably best for primary-aged boys who prefer pictures over text.
ISBN 978 1 877467 56 1 RRP paperback $19.99 (hardback $32.99)
Reviewed by Lorraine Orman

Eep! By Joke van Leewen, Gecko Press
Ably translated by Bill Nagelkerke, this quirky little Dutch story is a real flight of fancy. I’ve been trying to work out if it’s an allegory, but the only moral I can come up with is: it’s not good to force anyone who’s “different” into living the same way as the majority. Warren and Tina are a naive couple who find a small creature in the woods that’s half bird and half human. They look after Beedy like a baby, but the bird half of her seems more influential than the human half, so it’s not an easy task. Inevitably Beedy flies away, and Warren and Tina set off to find her. Beedy also touches the lives of a little girl called Lottie, and a strange man who calls himself a Rescuer. All of them end up in a kind of hostel where people stay “to get better.” Eventually Beedy flies off to the south, as all birds do, and the others are finally reconciled to her going – and that’s the end of the story. The book has won numerous awards including a children’s choice award, and has received many accolades. Despite that, I think its appeal is limited to keen readers (probably girls) of intermediate age who won’t mind the strangeness of the story – and will enjoy the appealing illustrations done by the author.
ISBN 978 1 877467 57 8 RRP $18.99
Reviewed by Lorraine Orman

Sunday, June 6, 2010


ANTON CAN DO MAGIC by Ole Konnecke (Gecko Press 2010)

Anton is a little boy with a very large hat and an equally large desire to do magic. He imagines that he has achieved this when his hat falls down over his eyes. A bird he is watching disappears but so does his friend Luke. All is resolved when the girls turn up. A very simple story, (170 words) by an international award winning author. The uncomplicated illustrations are mainly in tints and shades of orange. This book would be suitable for sharing with preschool age children.
Ole Könnecke was born in 1961 in Göttingen, and lives as a free-lance illustrator in Hamburg. His publications in include a picture book based on a text by Rafik Schami, Wie ich Papa die Angst vor Fremden nahm (2003), and the Anton saga: Anton und die Mädchen (2004), Anton kann zaubern (2006) and Antons Geheimnis (2007).
RRP$18.99 pb $29.99 hb
ISBN: 978-1-877467-36-3 paperback 978-1-877467-37-0 hardback