Monday, June 30, 2014

Two new Duck Creek Picture Books


Daniel’s Matariki Feast by Rebecca Beyer and Linley Wellington, ill. Christine Ross, Duck Creek Press

This simple story skilfully blends our Matariki traditions with a child’s nervousness at starting kindergarten or school. On Daniel’s first day the teacher takes him outside to help pick the pumpkins in the garden. Daniel is interested when the teacher says they are going to have a Matariki feast, and the other children share the ways their own families celebrate the arrival of the seven stars in the sky. By the time the classroom feast is finished, Daniel is a happy member of the group planting new winter vegetables. Christine Ross’s illustrations are done in a friendly, easy-going style using different sizes and different perspectives - but always from the point of view of the children. I can see this book being very useful in pre-school centres and primary classes to support studies of Matariki and associated subjects such as family traditions, feasts, and growing vegetables. It would also be a good buy for families wanting to celebrate Matariki with their children.

ISBN 978 1 877378 90 4 $29.99 (Hb), $19.99 (Pb)

 

 

 

... And An Illustrated Storybook

Lillibut’s Te Araroa Adventure by Maris O’Rourke and Claudia Pond Eyley, Duck Creek Press

The previous book by this pair of luminaries was called Lillibutt’s Big Adventure (2012) and it looked at a pig’s 40-day journey on El Camino Santiago - a traditional pilgrimage route. They obviously decided that a New Zealand version was called for, so they walked the first 600 km of Te Araroa/The Long Trail, from Cape Reinga to Auckland, and then produced another story starring the long-distance pig. The format is similar, with Lillibutt meeting locals doing traditional activities who try to deter her from her walk with enticing invitations. But Lillibutt is determined to get to her destination.

I’ve categorised this as an illustrated storybook because there is a lot of text on each double spread (text on the left, full-page oblong illustration on the right). Preschoolers may not sit still for a full reading of the text (with only one picture to look at), and there’s no real tension in the story to keep them glued to their seats. The illustrative style is the same as the previous book, with solid colours rendered in watercolour and coloured pencil, and the use of heavy black lines which make the pictures quite distinctive. This book is suitable for older primary students who are involved in classroom studies of Te Araroa and related topics. The maps and glossary at the back are useful.

ISBN 978 1 877378 92 8 $29.99 Hb $19.99 Pb

Reviewed by Lorraine Orman   

Daniel’s Matariki Feast by Rebecca Beyer and Linley Wellington, ill. Christine Ross, Duck Creek Press

This simple story skilfully blends our Matariki traditions with a child’s nervousness at starting kindergarten or school. On Daniel’s first day the teacher takes him outside to help pick the pumpkins in the garden. Daniel is interested when the teacher says they are going to have a Matariki feast, and the other children share the ways their own families celebrate the arrival of the seven stars in the sky. By the time the classroom feast is finished, Daniel is a happy member of the group planting new winter vegetables. Christine Ross’s illustrations are done in a friendly, easy-going style using different sizes and different perspectives - but always from the point of view of the children. I can see this book being very useful in pre-school centres and primary classes to support studies of Matariki and associated subjects such as family traditions, feasts, and growing vegetables. It would also be a good buy for families wanting to celebrate Matariki with their children.

ISBN 978 1 877378 90 4 $29.99 (Hb), $19.99 (Pb)

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