Reviews: Books and Magazines


How does the Giraffe get to Work?


Did you know the zoo animals go home to suburbia at night when the zoo closes? Yes siree. And they return to work the next day just like anybody else! That’s the premise of How Does the Giraffe get to Work? by Christopher Llewelyn, illustrated by Scott Tulloch.

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Jess Daniell – My Underground Kitchen


Recipes From New Zealand’s Favourite ‘Underground’ Kitchen. It all started by word of mouth among friends, and now everyone is talking about this hip home-cook and her thriving underground business. The talented foodie behind Jess’ Underground Kitchen, Jess Daniell, makes delicious home-cooked meals for Kiwis all over Auckland who pick them up from ‘secret’ locations. Now the secret is out, as Jess shares her most loved recipes in this, her very first cookbook. With Paleo and gluten free variations, and all easily achievable, Jess’s food is fresh, healthy, flavour-packed and easy to prepare.

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Pig the Pug


When Pig’s friend Trevor comes over to play, Pig doesn’t want to share his toys. He likes to hoard them in the corners and leave Trevor to fend for himself. But Pig learns a lesson with this kind of behaviour, and everything turns around by the end.

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Taming the Tiger Parent


Mozart in the womb, Baby Einstein DVD’s for newborns and i-pad learning apps for toddlers. From the moment the umbilical cord is cut, today’s parents feel trapped in a never-ending race to ensure their child is the brightest and the best. But while it’s completely natural for us to want our kids to reach their potential, at what point does too much competition become damaging? With constant testing in schools also raising the stakes, how can we tell when hot-housing children is actually doing more harm than good? In Taming the Tiger Parent, award-winning journalist and parenting author Tanith Carey presents the latest research on what this contest is doing to the next generation.

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Roly the Anzac Donkey


Who doesn’t love a great story about a real kiwi hero? Such is the story told in Roly the Anzac Donkey, which retells the events experienced by Richard Henderson, who was a school teacher from Grey Lynn and also a medic during the Gallipoli landings alongside his faithful donkey, Roly.

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Disney Frozen: Sticker Scenes


THE MAGIC OF ICE with Disney Frozen! Anna and Elsa discover where their hearts lie in this epic journey through snowstorms and freezing temperatures. With the help of new friends, Anna searches for her sister, Elsa, so they can bring summer back to Arendelle. Use your stickers to complete the frosty scenes from the magical movie. Includes: 50+ stickers Ages: 3+

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The Painted Cake

The Painted Cake review

If you’ve looked at an amazing sugarpaste or buttercream cake creation and wondered how on earth you could replicate it for a special occasion, perhaps this method of cake decorating might be more up your alley. British woman Natasha Collins is apparently well known in the cake-decorating community as the expert in cake painting. She demonstrates how to create The Painted Cake in her new book. The how-to guides take you through how to ‘transform cakes, cookies and cupcakes into edible works of art’.

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Lonely Planet Adventures In books

Adventures In series

The Lonely Planet Adventures In… series is a new sticker activity series for kids aged 3 and up shows kids the incredible sights and diverse environments of planet earth. Keep little hands busy on long journeys with these bumper books of stickers that mix amazing facts about the world’s coolest places with great photos and illustrations, plus a small dose of humour. The titles in the series include: Famous Places; Smelly Places; Busy Places; Cold Places; Wild Places.

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A Spool of Blue Thread


‘It was a beautiful, breezy, yellow-and-green afternoon…’ This is the way Abby Whitshank always begins the story of how she and Red fell in love that day in July 1959. The whole family on the porch, relaxed, half-listening as their mother tells the same tale they have heard so many times before. And yet this gathering is different. Abby and Red are getting older, and decisions must be made about how best to look after them and their beloved family home. They’ve all come, even Denny, who can usually be relied on only to please himself. From that porch we spool back through three generations of the Whitshanks, witnessing the events, secrets and unguarded moments that have come to define who and what they are. And while all families like to believe they are special, round that kitchen table over all those years we also see played out our own hopes and fears, rivalries and tensions – the essential nature of family life.

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Gravity – Jason Chin

Gravity review

First up a disclaimer – I am a physicist. So any kids’ book that teaches physics is likely to get a good review from me.

But even without my predisposition to like anything about physics Gravity is a lovely book. It is visually stunning with pictures that are entertaining both for kids and adults.

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