Piri’s Big All Black Dream by Jared Bell and Jimmy Diaz, Penguin Random House NZ
Obviously Penguin Random House got the contract to publish children’s books on behalf of the NZ Rugby Union, and no doubt sales will be good as long as the current rugby fervour continues. This particular piece of merchandise provides a picture-book look at the childhood determination of Piri Weepu to become an All Black. “Piri never gave up working towards his dream, and years later it came true. Piri and his team became champions of the world.” The book finishes by exhorting readers to follow their own dreams. The friendly cartoon-type illustrations will appeal to young rugby fans, but the page I like best has an engaging photo of Piri himself. Best for primary school-aged rugby enthusiasts.
ISBN 978 0 34 350701 7 RRP $19.99 Pb
All Blacks Sticker Activity Book, Penguin Random House NZ
I browsed through this sticker/activity book with more interest than usual, because I have two grandsons playing rugby, Rory aged 6 and Lachlan aged 7. I’m always on the lookout for books and presents to give them. It’s pretty much the usual format – a double page of stickers in the middle, and the rest of the pages are a combination of sticker pictures and puzzle activities (jumbled words, code cracking, missing words, word find, crossword, maze, quiz). The last page provides the Answers. There are also a few sections conveying information, eg. rugby jargon, ball handling skills. So who would enjoy it? Youngsters will definitely need reading and language skills to do the activities, so it’s best for mid to upper primary ages. That means the 7-year-old will get the book (plus some adult help), rather than the 6-year-old. Now to find a present for the 6-year-old…
ISBN 978 0 14 330838 6 RRP $9.99 (released 26 August) Pb
Reviewed by Lorraine Orman