A delightful exploration of friendship and kindness
Kids Books NZ Blog
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1w ago
Big Little Blue: Doubledippers! by Raymond McGrath (Scholastic) Raymond McGrath's latest addition to the Big Little Blue graphic novel series is a delightful exploration of friendship and kindness through the adventures of the lovable penguin duo, Big Blue and Little Blue. In this charming book, children are treated to three heartwarming episodes centred around themes of "help," "reward," and "kindness," each accompanied by helpful "top thoughtfulness" tips to guide young readers navigate their emotions and actions. McGrath's storytelling skill shines through in his ability to tackle complex ..read more
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Two new Matariki books
Kids Books NZ Blog
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1w ago
The Kai Stars of Matariki, Tupuānuku and Tupuārangi by Miriama Kamo & Zak Waipara (Scholastic) There's a plethora of books, activities, games, and even stickers to celebrate Matariki nowadays. Teachers, parents, and children must be well-pleased. In this book Miriama focuses on two of the stars Tupuānuku and Tupuārangi. These two represent the kai that comes from the earth and the sky. The two main characters in the story, Te Rerehua and Sam, visit Grandma and Pōua at Te Mata Hāpuku beside a big lake. It's time to catch plenty of eels for the upcoming feast. But naughty patupaiarehe eat a ..read more
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A A complex read that covers many issues
Kids Books NZ Blog
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2w ago
Gracehopper by Mandy Hager (One Tree House), 2024 This is not an easy read. It involves several difficult themes, and will most likely be enjoyed by older teenage girls. The cover says, “It is a story about love and loss, friendship, countering differences, the search for a unique identity, and the many faces of resilience.” I could add many more challenging themes to the list, but to me the most important ones are the family relationships. Eighteen-year-old Grace has her own problems, but is unfairly loaded with emotional stuff from her dying grandmother (Claire), and even more expectations ..read more
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A heartwarming story about passing down traditional knowledge
Kids Books NZ Blog
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2w ago
Nanny Rina's Amazing Nets by Qiane Matata-Sipu, illustrations by Isobel Joy Te Aho-White (Penguin) Author Qiane Matata-Sipu grew up being raised with her grandparents. It was her grandmother who taught her weaving and passed on the art of storytelling. Her nan weaved the tukutuku panels in their wharenui and kept a diary about their daily life. Qiane wanted to pass some of that knowledge on in her latest book 'Nanny Rina's Amazing Nets'. Even though, there's been lots of Matariki books published over the last few years none have combined weaving with the stars.  One cold, wintery day,pic ..read more
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Read a true detective dog story
Kids Books NZ Blog
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2w ago
Watson the Detective Dog by Susan Brocker & Jenny Cooper (Scholastic) I've watched conservation dogs in action before. A group of us followed a detection dog sniffing out kiwi on Motuora Island. The Department of Conservation runs 120 dogs in their programme. The protected species detection dogs locate threatened species, and the pest detection dogs carry out surveillance in areas that are supposed to be pest-free and assist in eradicating pests such as stoats, rodents, plague skinks and Argentine ants. They're well trained, hardworking dogs who do a great job. So, I was excited to read ..read more
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A charming bed time story
Kids Books NZ Blog
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2w ago
Sleep is for Babies by Emily McDowall, illustrated by Julia Hegetusch (Scholastic) Many parents have trouble getting their little ones to go to sleep. I wonder if that was what inspired Emily for this book. It's George's bedtime but he thinks sleeping is just for babies. He leaves his snug bed and ventures outside. There he meets Cat and they play together. But night time is a busy time for nocturnal animals and Cat runs off to chase a mouse. George heads on to a big tree and asks a possum if it'll play with him. Possum doesn't hang around long either. That doesn't deter this determined young ..read more
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A fun book that explores how manatee really do float
Kids Books NZ Blog
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1M ago
Bubbles the Zooting, Tooting Manatee by Minky Stapleton (Scholastic) I have to admit I'm not a great fan of farting books, but this one is very cute. For starters, who doesn't love a Manatee? They're so ugly, they're adorable. And a Zooting, Tooting Manatee is next level. Bubbles lives in a peaceful river inlet with all her whanau. "All day long they move slowly around the bay, grazing on seagrass and mangrove leaves." Because, "In Manatee Society, the slower you move, the more elegant you are." And the secret to floating elegantly is "flatulence (a fancy word for farts)". While practicing th ..read more
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Duck Goes Meow book 2
Kids Books NZ Blog
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1M ago
How to be a cat by Juliette MacIver & Carla Martell (Scholastic)  Author Juliette MacIver was inspired to write this story after seeing a furry-friendship develop between a mother cat and a little duckling.  In the story, Mama cat has three babies - two kittens and one yellow duckling. The little duckling says, 'meow' like the kittens but does other kitten behaviour her own way. When they wash with their paws, Duckling bathes in a pond. When they climb a tree, she flies up. But there's somethings she can't do. However, Mama cat loves her just as much as her two kittens. When thr ..read more
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A gripping Maori fable written by the team who wrote and illustrated 'The Astromancer'
Kids Books NZ Blog
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1M ago
Ariā and the Kūmara God: The Rising of Whānui by Witi Ihimaera, illustrated by Isobel Joy Te Aho-White (Penguin) Ariā and the Kūmara God is a sequel to The Astromancer that came out in 2022. In the Astromancer the heroine is apprenticed to Te Kōkōrangi to learn the knowledge around the Matariki stars when planting kūmara. In this sequel, Ariā and her friends and her faithful dog must put their new knowledge to use.  Witi says that Ariā and her friends could be any young New Zealander living today. "The world is full of change and it is not always easy to strategise about how to overcome ..read more
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A book that children will enjoy singing and reading aloud
Kids Books NZ Blog
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1M ago
Because I'm Māori: He Māori ahau by Nicolla Hemi-Morehouse, illustrated by Story Hemi-Morehouse (Bateman Books) This story started off as a song. Nicolla was a semi-finalist with an Honourable Mention in the International Songwriters Competition in 2023 with 'Because I'm Māori: He Māori ahau'. Her daughter Story Hemi-Morehouse was already a successfully published illustrator with nine books already to her name and at some stage they must have said, 'Hey, let's do a book together.' This book was the obvious choice. It's a picture book about being proud to be Māori. It loosely uses the pepeha a ..read more
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