Friday, July 28, 2017

Some kiwiana

Grandad’s Wheelies by Jack Lasenby, Penguin Random House NZ

I’ve said in an earlier review that Jack Lasenby’s books are an acquired taste – and the same comment applies to this anthology of (extra-tall) tall tales. Any young reader dipping into this book who hasn’t read Jack’s work previously will wonder what’s going on. Whenever Jack (the narrator) visits his Granny and Grandad they regale him with hilarious and impossible stories about their past, each trying to outdo the other. Grandad invented the first road between Wellington and Auckland; Granny invented the first railway between the two cities; then Grandad invented the first train and drove it from Wellington to Auckland; Granny drove the first train from Nelson to Invercargill; then Grandad flew his train across Cook Strait at 10,000 feet and landed it in Nelson with such a thump that the top of the island sank and the sea rushed in and created the Marlborough Sounds – and so it goes! Each story has its own chapter, and most include an appealing black pen illustration by Bob Kerr.

Likely to be enjoyed by keen readers of about 6 to 9 (mainly boys, I suspect).

ISBN 978 0 14 350733 8 RRP $16.99 Pb

Reviewed by Lorraine Orman

New Zealand Kiwiana: To Read, Colour and Keep, by Dave Gunson, New Holland

This is the latest title in Dave Gunson’s series of activity books relating to New Zealand topics. Other titles in the series look at birds, wildlife, garden wildlife, extinct wildlife, etc. In this one the 30 colouring-in pictures include such New Zealand icons as the All Blacks, the local dairy, the koru, Vogel’s bread, Lemon and Paeroa, jandals, Jaffas and Weetbix, to name a few. Each picture is accompanied by a paragraph of simple information about the subject. An insert in the middle of the book provides some ideas for colouring in the pictures.

It should appeal to primary-aged children who like the peacefulness of colouring in easy pictures.

ISBN 9781869664527 RRP $9.99 Pb

Reviewed by Lorraine Orman

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