Tama the Kiwi Tiki Tours New Zealand by Beks Bongiovanni, illus. Laker [Craig]
Published in 2015, this book is available for variable prices (around the $18 mark) in several bookshops, including some online sites. It’s also available at the website http://www.tamathekiwi.com
The website says: “Tama the Kiwi Tiki Tours New Zealand is the first in a series of children’s books designed to inspire that great Kiwi spirit of travel and adventure! Starting off in his incredible homeland, Tama explores the landscapes, cities, beaches and farmlands, so kids in New Zealand and around the world can get to know this magical country.”
Tama is an appealing little cartoon kiwi who begins his tour of New Zealand at Cape Reinga and finishes it on Stewart Island. Each destination is given a colourful double-spread illustration with a block of partially rhyming text eg. “Auckland, the City of Sails, Kia Ora Sky Tower! Tama explores the Hauraki Gulf, feeling its beauty and power. East coast to west, white sands to black, four season in one day, with a jacket in his pack.”
This book would appeal to tourists looking for a children’s book about New Zealand’s highlights, and also to New Zealanders wanting to send a picture book to young relatives overseas. There is no plotted story as such, but the bright illustrations are eye-catching and would intrigue pre-schoolers and young primary-aged children.
ISBN 978 0 473 33606 6 Pb
Reviewed by Lorraine Orman