Sunday, 29 March 2015

Picture Books ANZACS

Australian Writer and NZ Illustrator  Gordon Winch, illustrated by Harriet Bailey The Last ANZAC  New Frontier Publishing 2015  $29.00hb 32pp  ISBN 978 1 9250 5929 8  Themes: Gallipoli/ Old soldiers/ World War I 1914-1918

Alec Campbell, who died in 2002, was the very last of the ANZACs. He had lied about his age in order to enlist but after only six weeks in the trenches, he was invalided out and sent home, a Gallipoli veteran at only 17 years old and with a lifetime ahead of him. The story is told in with the structure of a young boy visiting Alec in his Tasmanian home the year before he died. I would have liked to have known more about the boy – how he got into this situation, what he really felt about it. Just a sentence would have done it. As it is he is really just used as a vehicle for the sort of questions boys and girls would be likely to ask and does, in my opinion, give it  all a slightly static Q & A feel. But the illustrations bring the story to life and emphasize, like Bob Kerr’s images in Best Mates  (Philippa Werry New Holland 2014) the extreme youth of most of the soldiers making them look in places like the naughty schoolboys they mostly were until such a short time before. This is a handsome and painstakingly created publication  - a large square book that is designed to withstand the handling and use it will get.      

Year 2 up/ Age 6 up  

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Picture Books about ANZACs

NZ Writer and Illustrator
Glyn Harper, illustrated by Jenny Cooper
Roly the Anzac donkey (retold from The Donkey Man  Penguin, 2004)
Picture Puffin 2015   $19.99pb 32pp
ISBN 978 0 1435 0663 8
Themes: Animals in wartime/ First person narratives/ Gallipoli/ World War I 1914-1918
Roly tells the true story of Richard Henderson who also lives on in the famous photo of The man with a donkey. With several other World War I New Zealanders working in the Medical Corps, Richard Henderson used donkeys to save the lives of wounded men by helping to carry them to safety away from the trenches and down to ANZAC Cove.  Of course men and animals became very close and the end of the story, while not tragic, has to be sad when the time comes to part. Jenny Cooper’s illustrations make the reader feel every emotion – do look at the expressions in the donkey’s eyes as he feels love, anxiety, curiosity, at the end - resignation and then on the last page, contentment. There are two pages of background information and a couple of helpful maps. 
What a change from the time when round ANZAC Day librarians and teachers were all scrabbling about trying to find suitable books on the topic as we are now almost spoilt for choice.
Year 2 up/ Age 6 up  

* Glyn Harper is Professor of War Studies at Massey University and has written other children’s books with Jenny Cooper – Le Quesnoy and Jim’s Letter.
* After the war Richard Henderson returned to teaching in Auckland but had to retire in 1934 when he went blind due to mustard gas. He died in hospital aged 63
* Please look on this Blog tomorrow for another very special book on the ANZACS
Image thanks to Jenny Cooper

Wednesday, 25 March 2015


And here as promised, is the Longlist with writers, illustrators and publishers. Apologies for the different coloured fonts and underlining. This is what happens when you transfer files...



Russell Clark Illustration Award
Bye! Bye! Bye! by Stephanie Junovich   Scholastic
Go home flash by Ruth Paul    Scholastic
Moonman by Ned Barraud    Craig Potton Publishing
The Song of Kauri by Melinda Szymanik    Scholastic
I Am Not a Worm by Scott Tulloch   Scholastic

Elsie Locke Non Fiction Award

Under the Ocean by Ned Barraud and Gillian Candler    Craig Potton Publishing
Offloading with Sonny Bill by David Riley    David Riley
Ghoulish Getups by Fifi Colston    Scholastic
Loves me not : How to keep relationships safe : based on The Sophie Elliott story and what we missed by Lesley Elliott     Sophie Elliott Foundation
Taratoa and the Code of Conduct by Debbie McCauley    Mauao Publishing (Tauranga)
Fifi sigs a copy of Goulish Getups for Susan Price
One Girl One Dream by Laura  Dekker   ISBN 978 1 7755 4045 8

Esther Glen Award

The Song of Kauri by Melinda Szymanik    Scholastic
The Deadly Sky by David Hill    Penguin Books NZ
 Island of lost horses by Stacy Gregg    HarperCollins
 Dappled Annie and the Tigrish by Mary McCallum    Gecko Press
The Night of the Perigee Moon  by Juliet Jacka   Scholastic

LIANZA Young Adult Award

Kiwis at War by Susan Brocker    Scholastic
Spark by Rachel Craw    Walker Books Australia
The Bow by Catherine Mayo  Walker Books Australia
Awakening by Natalie King  Penguin Books NZ
Unworthy by Joanne Armstrong  eBook?
Magic and Makutu by David Hair  HarperCollins


Good morning!
There has just been a note from LIANZA updating the short (and long) list I posted last night (*see below). I had noticed they hadn't added writers or illustrators to the long lists but was anxious to get the news up. I will add these later when I get back from a meeting at Levin this afternoon.


Tuesday, 24 March 2015

LIANZA BOOK AWARDS - The Short and the Long of it!

The LIANZA Short (and long) list has just been announced. Many many Congratulations to everyone whose name appears below. Acknowledgments to LIANZA as I have just lifted their text from the announcement.
 Russell Clark Illustration Award Finalists
Launching Mrs Mo's Monster at The Children's Bookshop Kilbirnie last year

      Marmaduke Duck on the Wide Blue Seas by Juliette MacIver and Sarah Davis – Scholastic
      Jim’s Letters by Glyn Harper and Jenny Cooper – Penguin Random House
      Have you seen a monster? by Raymond McGrath – Penguin Random House
      So Many Wonderfuls by Tina Matthews – Walker Books
      Mrs Mo's Monster by Paul Beavis - Gecko Press
               Bye! Bye! Bye! by Juliet McIver and Stephanie Junovich
               Go Home Flash! by Ruth Paul
               The Song of Kauri
               I Am Not a Worm


LIANZA Young Adult Finalists
               I am Rebecca by Fleur Beale – Penguin Random House
               The Red Suitcase by Jill Harris – Makaro Press
               Singing Home the Whale by Mandy Hager – Penguin Random House
               Recon Team Angel: Vengeance by Brian Falconer – Walker Books
               Night Vision by Ella West - Allen and Unwin
               Kiwis at War
               The Bow
               Magic and Makutu


Elsie Locke Nonfiction Finalists
               The Book of Hat by Harriet Rowland – Makaro Press
               A New Zealand Nature Journal by Sandra Morris – Walker Books
               Maori Art for Kids by Julie Noanoa and Norm Heke - Potton and Burton Publishing
               Mōtītī Blue and the Oil Spill: A Story from the Rena Disaster by Debbie McCauley – Mauao Publishing
               New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame: 25 Kiwi Champions by Maria Gill and Marco Ivancic – New Holland


               Under the Ocean
               Offloading with Sonny Bill
               Ghoulish Getups
               Loves me not : How to keep relationships safe : based on the Sophie Elliott story and what we missed
               Taratoa and the Code of Conduct
               One Girl One Dream


Esther Glen Junior Fiction Finalists
               Monkey Boy by Donovan Bixley – Scholastic
               The Volume of Possible Endings (A Tale of Fontania) by Barbara Else – Gecko
               Conrad Cooper's Last Stand by Leonie Agnew - Penguin
               Trouble in Time by Adele Broadbent – Scholastic
               Letterbox Cat by Paula Green – Scholastic
               The Song of Kauri
               The Deadly Sky
               Island of Lost Horses
               Dappled Annie and the Tigrish
               The Night of the Perigree Moon 


Te Kura Pounamu (Te Reo Māori) Finalists
(image yet to come! BM)
               Nga Ki by Sacha Cotter, Josh Morgan and Kawata Teepa - Huia
               Hui E! by various authors - Huia
               Tutewehi by Fred Te Maro - Huia
               Kimihia by Te Mihinga Komene and Scott Pearson - Huia
An early Te Reo Reading Book Series by Carolyn Collis - Summer Rose Books

Picture Books for all ages - Spoofs

NZ Writer and Illustrator Yvonne Morrison, illustrated by Donovan Bixley Little Red Riding Hood Not Quite Scholastic NZ 2015  $18.99pb 32pp ISBN 978 1 7754 3263 0   Themes: Classic fairy tales/ Spoofs

Remember The three bears…sort of by the same author and illustrator and winner of last year's Children’s Choice Award in the 2014 NZ Post Children’s Book Awards? Here is another ‘helping’ to enchant us all. This time Small Blue Polka Dot Pyjamas ruthlessly interrogates his bedtime story teller on the logicality of the old tale of Little Red Riding HoodHow’d the woodcutter cut open the wolf’s stomach without hurting Granny and Little Red? (He used to be a surgeon) Why didn’t he just eat the girl in the woods and go on to granny for dessert?  (He didn’t want to be caught eating her in public) and so on. The illustrations match word for word and included is a map showing Little Red’s route from home to the cottage in the woods.  This is a book that is fun to read and listen to for everyone – but very small children would need to be familiar with the basics of the original story to understand its subtlety and make sense of the text.
Preschool up/ Age 4 up  
Donovan - image thanks to the illustrator
Yvonne - image thanks to the author

Monday, 23 March 2015

Austrian Writer and German Illustrator Heinz Janisch, illustrated by Wolf Erlbruch The King and the Sea Gecko Press 2015  $19.99pb 48pp ISBN 978 1 9272 7180 3

Themes: Come-uppance/ Power/ Short (very short) stories

The King thinks he is all-powerful but in these very short stories he finds he has much to learn.

My favourite? 


‘Sit! Lie! Come! shouted the king “I am the king,’

‘Stop! Fetch! Heel!’ he bellowed.

Then he ran off after the dog.

Nice? They are all like this and great discussion starters and encouragements for children to create their own ‘stories’. The illustrations fit the mood of the book perfectly.  

Preschool up/ Age 4 up