Reviews: Books and Magazines

 

I don’t want to go to school

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Poor little Rabbit does’t want to go to school…

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Koinei te Whare na Haki i Hanga / The House that Jack Built

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You may be familiar with the original version of Gavin Bishop’s The House that Jack Built and this is a te reo Maori re-release of this popular book. Koinei te Whare na Haki i Hanga is a complex weaving together of the nursery rhyme with the cultural, historical and environmental context. The illustrations are rich, evocative and complex, and reward being looked at again and again.

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NZ Plants

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New in Dave Gunson’s children’s wildlife pictures books is NZ Plants. With 24 pages of full colour images that explore our native and common flora, it is a great board book for teaching kids about the world around them.

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Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas

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One of my new favourites, Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas is a lovingly told tale about Elizabeth the elephant seal, who swims down Christchurch’s Avon River and refuses to give this up as her home, despite several interventions by well-meaning humans.

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Sweet Treats to Share

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A collection of recipes from New Zealand’s favourite bakers, Sweet Treats to Share is a beauty of a book. Those who lend their pen to this collection include Alexa Johnston, Allyson Gofton, Annabelle White, Dean Brettschneider and Kim Evans of Little and Friday. This list is a veritable smorgasbord of the nation’s most trusted bakers, making it easy for you to feel right at home with your bowl and whisk whenever the mood strikes you.

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NZ Shore and Sea

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Many kiwi kids have the privilege of growing up near the sea everyday. My two year old regularly loves a trip to look at the ‘crabbies’ on our local shore, lifting rocks and giving looks of glee as the crabs run out and dash sideways around him. So a little book like this that helps him put many words to what he sees at the beach is really lovely.

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Bluebells Cakery

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This is a baking book with a romantic feel, offering sumptuous recipes with stunning images. With classics that have been honed to perfection amongst creative recipes and many finished products that look impressive – this is the sort of cookbook that will look just as fitting on your coffee table as being (accidentally!) splashed with batter on the bench.

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The Best-Behaved Bear

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The newest title in Diana Noonan’s Best-Loved Bear series is The Best-Behaved Bear. It is a gorgeous, original story illustrated by Elizabeth Fuller.

Kiwi children have been reading The Best-Loved Bear for decades now, so it’s lovely that the publishers have brought out companion stories that are related but stand-alone stories also. The Best-Behaved Bear is a tale about Tim, who wants to take his favourite companion Toby on holiday. This is no ordinary holiday – it’s a tropical beach setting for his Aunty’s wedding! But how will Tim find room for Toby when there are so many other items the family needs to pack?

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Another Mother’s Love

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Profoundly moving, eye-opening and heartrending, Another Mother’s Love is the story of Karen Scott and her family who take in a New Zealand foster child. Despite battling the system and doing all they can to love their family’s new addition through challenges and joys, the journey doesn’t end as anyone had hoped.

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I am Rebecca

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Many readers will be aware of Beale’s earlier novel I am not Esther; this new book – I am Rebecca – is the recently released sequel. I am Rebecca takes up where the earlier novel left off – as the Pilgrim family moves to Nelson to be part of another group of the Children of the Faith. The central character in this book is Rebecca – one of the twin sisters.

I won’t give away too much of the plot of this book as there are some twists that caught me off-guard and I don’t want to spoil it for others.

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