Running the Country: A Look inside New Zealand’s Government by Maria Gill (New Holland)
Maria Gill has transformed a potentially dry subject into a bright and attractive book that will be a “must-buy” for all libraries and schools in New Zealand (yes, I think it will be useful for primary through to secondary levels). Her Contents page lists subject headings such as: How does our government work, Traditions in Parliament, Political parties, How laws are made, and Local government. There’s a Glossary, a Resources page, and an Index, so it’s very user-friendly from a research point of view. Each topic runs across two pages, including blocks of easy-to-read text, a coloured photo, an information box, a profile of an important person with a cartoon illustration by Malcolm Evans, and (usually) a Click Here spot which provides an URL for further information or an activity. Not forgetting a useful Timeline which runs through the whole book.
Probably the best feature of this book is its approachability. Youngsters won’t pick it off the shelf for a light read, but it certainly invites browsing and dipping. Any young researcher working on a subject-related project will find it very handy, and I suspect teachers will find it an absolute boon when looking for resources for civic studies. Recommended.
For extra information visit http://www.mariagill.co.nz/runningthecountry.php
ISBN 978 1 86966 396 4 $24.99 Pb
Reviewed by Lorraine Orman