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Helen Speirs reviews New Zealand collections for junior readers.
Kate de Goldi & Susan Price (eds)
This book is a brilliant, busy and eclectic mix of short stories, poems, essays, comic strips, artwork, games, puzzles, activities, music, scripts and more. Contributors include Barbara Else and Steve Braunias. I particularly liked Bernard Beckett's piece about his favourite teacher who helped him make sense of maths and logic. The annual has a madcap feel, and I love the fact it offers so much to young readers with creative minds. Parental input might be necessary to help analyse some of the content. Ages 9-12.
SEE PLAY DO:
A Kid’s Handbook For Everyday Creative Fun
The author - and her contributors - have created a fun book that encourages kids to get creative. There are partial illustrations to complete, questions to ponder, pages to fill in with thoughts and doodles, and many activities. Whether it is writing, drawing, building, gardening or cooking, kids are encouraged to learn by doing. Ages 3-9.
MAUI AND OTHER MAORI LEGENDS
Puffin/Penguin Random House
This is a great collection of the late Peter Gossage's classic works. It contains legends including How Maui Found His Mother, How Maui Found His Father and the Magic Jawbone, and How Maui Slowed the Sun, with big bold illustrations and a useful glossary of Maori terms, too. This is a great resource for the home, early childhood facility or junior classroom, and will be valuable for many older readers, too. Ages 4+.
Helen Speirs is ODT books editor.