Tuesday, September 20, 2011

New Non-Fiction for Children

New Zealand Bird Calls by Lynnette Moon, Geoff Moon, John Kendrick, and Karen Baird

Listen to the calls of 60 of our native New Zealand birdcalls.  Read about those birds and look at their photographs to find out more about them. Each bird entry includes information about habitat, distribution, appearance and behaviour of the bird, along with a description of its call.

New Zealand Bird Calls is an essential guide for any beginner or bird enthusiast to enjoy in the field or at home.  Schools will find it helpful for native bird studies. Its handy size makes it easy to carry on a bush walk.

This is Lynnette Moon's third book on the subject of birds. Her late husband Geoff Moon, was an outstanding bird photographer with many books to his name.

Notable wildlife sound recordist John Kendrick has been capturing New Zealand birds on film and tape for half a century. His daughter Karen Baird, who prepared his calls for this collection, has worked for both the Department of Conservation and the Royal Forest & Bird Protection Society, as well as running private wildlife tours with her husband.

ISBN: 978-1-86966-310-0  RRP $29.99

I Spy NZ Art published by the Auckland Art Gallery

Play 'I spy with your little eye something beginning with... the 26 letters of the alphabet. To complement the letters you'll find artwork from New Zealand's most well-known artists.  For example, in - 'I spy Aa ... You'll see John Pule's oil on canvas 'Take these with you when you leave'. Keen eyes can see that there is an aeroplane, animals and an automobile in the painting.

This book could be used throughout the Primary and Intermediate as a starting point of looking at different types of art.  However, the book is small (slightly bigger than a board book) so not big enough to share with the whole classroom.  Also, the concepts are quite difficult, for example, 'a' for 'abstract' so though the alphabet would appeal to young children they're not going to get those more 'abstract' ideas. 

I love the front cover though, with its cut-out 'NZ' and koru design behind. I also like the answers with small paintings at the back to see what objects you'll find for that alphabet. A book for art teachers and children who have an interest in art. To commemorate the opening of the newly refurbished and expanded Auckland Art Gallery.

Order enquiries to Judy Davies, Retail Manager: judy.davies@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

Party Food for Girls by Alessandra Zecchini & Arantxa Secchini Dowling (New Holland)
This book is a delight to behold. From the scrumptious cover, gorgeous use of colour and design, and photographs to make you salivate.  The book hadn't been in my house half an hour before my 12-year-old daughter had pilfered it and begun whipping up cupcakes with icing (very delicous, I might add).  We've been leaving it around the house for her to make more yummy cakes and sweeties.

This book will inspire many young chefs and will make a wonderful birthday or Christmas present. With 50 recipes, tips and variations, and a full A4 photograph for every recipe (plus step-by-step photographs) - the young chef will find plenty of ideas to prepare party food.  At the back of the book you'll find conversion tables, a glossary, an index, stencils and patterns.

Alessandra Zecchini is a food writer and travel journalist living in New Zealand with her husband and two children. This is her third cookbook and the first written with her 12-year-old daughter Arantxa.

Shaun Cato-symonds has worked with Alessandra on all three of her books, and his food photography graces many more quality publications and advertising campaigns worldwide.

ISBN: 978-1-86966-299-8  RRP $29.99

The Raupo Phrasebook of Modern Maori by Scotty Morrison (Penguin)

Written in a user-friendly manner, with everyday New Zealanders in mind, and with a focus on modern-day language, The Raupo Phrasebook of Modern Maori is the guide that no home or school should be without.

As well as common phrases, the book covers dialects, grammar and pronunciation; answers to key questions; idioms and slang; proverbs and speeches; and provides information on the ever-changing history of te reo Maori. Useful vocabularly lists are also given for each section. Whether you're a beginning speaker of te reo Maori, a visitor, or fluent in Maori - you'll be surprised at how much you can learn from this book.  Schools will find this a very useful resource for every classroom and library. 

Author Scotty Morrison is the well-known presenter of the Maori current affairs programmes Te Karere and Marae Investigates. He holds a Diploma of Teaching, Bachelor of Education and Masters degree (Education) from Waikato University and is currently working towards his PhD at Massey University.
ISBN:   978-0143566106  RRP $35

Reviewed by Maria Gill

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