Read Me Another One, Please! New Zealand Stories and Poems For Children. Stories selected by Belynda Smith and Dorothy Dudek Vinicombe, Whitcoulls Publishing.
In the old days this handsome hardback would have been called a treasury. It’s a good word to describe the collection of delicious offerings waiting between the covers. It mingles short stories, poems, extracts from novels, and picture book texts. There are lots of familiar authors included – I can’t list them all but there are at least 20 well-known New Zealand children’s writers here, with some of them having more than one work included. I was interested to see short stories by authors who are generally better known for their novels – Brian Falkner, Tania Roxborogh, Susan Brocker, Deborah Burnside. The stories cover a wide range of subjects, but you can be sure that all of them are light-hearted and entertaining, and many of them are funny. Some of the already-published stories and poems are re-printed with their original illustrations while others have been illustrated especially for this volume – so there’s a wild and heady mix of styles.
As well as a useful buy for primary schools, I see this as an excellent Christmas present for families with children aged about five to ten. If you’re stuck on what to buy, rush out and get this one now (or if you’re a grandparent, maybe you should keep it for when the family comes visiting...).
ISBN 978 0 9876674 0 3 RRP $29.99 Hb
Reviewed by Lorraine Orman