Reviews by Tony Orman
With urbanisation and a number of other influences such as sub-standard tv reality programmes etc., youngsters can grow up distracted and unappreciative , even insensitive and unaware, of the countryside, outdoors and the natural world.
So why not sow the seeds to germinate an appreciation of wildlife and outdoors by books?
Here’s some new books for youngsters suitable from toddlers to twelve year olds.
“Kereru” written by Glenda Kane, illustrated by Lisa Allen. Published by Bateman Books, price $24.99
This is a good topic of study for early age classes of primary schools or for reading to the toddler at bed-time. The book is a beautifully illustrated by Lisa Allen to complement Glenda Kane’s informative story.
In the story, the Kereru pair have left baby bird in the nest while they go in search of food. However, a rat and then a stoat in successive years, prey on the baby. It is a story that tells the reality of predator and prey.
Suggestions are then made as to ways people can help kereru by lessening the impact of predators.
However the inference that possums are a predator by way of an illustration in very arguably inaccurate. Possums as Landcare Research studies have shown, are herbivores despite the popular misconception, created by bureaucratic spin, of being a predator. That detail aside, the illustrations are superb in soft water colours.
As a popular topic of study in primary schools, this book is ideal.
“Where is it in Town?” published by Potton and Burton by Ned Barraud, Price $21.99
The talented Nick Barraud as both writer and artist and classy publishers Potton and Burton have produced a revealing book on urban wildlife. It’s aimed at 4 to 7 year olds.
This book is a sequel to “Where is it?,” with a challenge to the young reader to “search-and-find” in a town setting. It is beautifully illustrated and information is heightened with revealing yet judiciously brief detail on various creatures laid out in the final pages. Top notch!
“Mia and Leo Go Wild”, written by Gillian Candler, illustrated by Gavin Mouldey, Price 24.99.
A great book to encourage youngsters to go outdoors with parents. It entails an adventure story with safety and bushcraft hints interwoven and fun activities for young readers, nicely told by award-winning children’s author Gillian Chandler. It has great practical advice for kids and should stimulate an urge in youngsters to drag their parents outdoors on a bush walk or tramping trip and be aware observant of wild life in the broad sense – and thirsting to learn more of the natural world.
“At the Bach” by Joy Cowley, published by Gecko Press, Price $29.99.
With warm watercolour and ink illustrations, highly respected and renowned award-winning writer Joy Cowley’s simple story in poetical style is ideal for one to two year olds. The bach at the beach is for many Kiwis the quintessential family holiday or weekend break. Hilary Jean Tapper’s soft watercolour and ink illustrations capture the magic of the beach house lulling the youngster to sleep distracted by Joy’s words — “good day, good sea, good sand, good night”.