Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Two new children's non-fiction books

THE STORY OF SIR PETER BLAKE by Tessa Duder (published by Libro International)

Read about world renown sailor and environmentalist Sir Peter Blake's life from when he was born in Auckland to his tragic death in South America. Author Tessa Duder documents Sir Peter Blake's first experience of sailing, to his adventures on the high seas in five Whitbread Round the World races, his team's exciting win of the America's Cup in 1995 and defending it in 2000. She also recounts his last great adventure; sailing to Antarctica and South America to raise awareness of endangered marine environments. Duder includes quotes from Sir Peter Blake, his colleagues, friends and family.  Her meticulous research involved reading several biographies written for adults and communicating with the Blake family, the Sir Peter Blake Trust and the sailing community (of whom she is familiar since she has a sailing background herself).  The book also includes fact boxes about topics ranging from the Hauraki Gulf, America's Cup, leadership, catamarans, fractional rigs etc., as well as an extensive glossary and medal tally.

Intermediate and High school aged children will find it an interesting read about an inspiring leader. Teachers will find it a useful resource for marine study topics in Science, leadership study in Social Studies and biography writing in English. Sailing kids will love the sailing terminology and reading about their hero. A must for school and home libraries.

Tessa Duder is the award-winning author of 40 books including the Alex quartet, biographies, anthologies and plays. She enjoyed sailing in dinghies, classic yachts and as a volunteer in the youth ship Spirit of New Zealand. Her awards include the Storylines Margaret Mahy Medal, an OBE, and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Waikato.

ISBN:  978-1-877514-42-5
RRP $21.99

ERUPTION! DISCOVERING NEW ZEALAND VOLCANOES by Maria Gill (New Holland Publishers)

Join Volcanica, reporter for Magmatic Press, and enter the explosive world of New Zealand volcanoes.  You'll find out about why there are volcanoes in New Zealand, what type of volcanoes we have, how they erupt and learn about some of the well known and lesser known volcanoes around New Zealand. 

The design team at New Holland have made the book colourful with volcanic backgrounds, diagrams, and photographs.  Author Maria Gill has included an investigation for 8-12 year old readers to engage in while reading the book.  Each volcano has a status report including symbols that readers need to match with a visual glossary at the beginning of the book.  Readers will enjoy reading the Magmatic newspaper articles about historic volcanic eruptions. At the back of the book is information on how volcanoes are monitored, where you can go to see volcanoes (and how you can get there) and tips on what to do if a volcano erupts. Lastly, there is a bibliography, websites and an extensive index. Note the volcanic map on page 48.

A book for children who love science topics. Another must-have for schools and libraries.  If you've got children who are worried about volcanic eruptions (after three volcanic explosions in New Zealand in the same week) - this book will explain the volcanic concepts in an enjoyable way.

Maria Gill has written 28 non-fiction books for children. Two have been shortlisted for the New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards, three were finalists in the LIANZA awards, and four are Storylines Notable Books. Maria Gill is an ex Primary school teacher who writes full time.

John McIntyre from The Children’s Bookshop in Wellington said on Radio Nz the book is a fine example of how to do it [write non-fiction] properly. It grabs the attention of the the passing child, sucks them into reading the whole book …
“It is a really comprehensive look at the whole world of NZ volcanoes.”
He said that children (and adults) won’t realise how much information is packed into it because of the way it is designed. Children will read the whole book and tell you they don’t read.
John says that Maria has become an expert at writing quality non-fiction and he suspects she not only researches it she is heavily involved in the design and it shows.

ISBN:  978-1-86966-362-9
RRP $21.00

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