Former leading New Zealand publisher and bookseller, and widely experienced judge of both the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, talks about what he is currently reading, what impresses him and what doesn't, along with chat about the international English language book scene, and links to sites of interest to booklovers.
Tuesday, October 04, 2016
Impressive Non fiction picture books for young New Zealanders
look back in time to the animals and plants that lived
in New Zealand’s ancient past, stretching from moa to dinosaurs and beyond.
From Moa to Dinosaurs,
the fifth title in the acclaimed ‘explore & discover’ series for children,
looks back in time to reveal what lived in ancient New Zealand. The book begins
with a glimpse of
the animals that lived in New Zealand just before people arrived. It
then goes back in time, providing snapshots of particular periods, as far back
as 180 million years ago.
The range of animals covered in this book is remarkable: moa and other
extraordinary birds that are now extinct; crocodilians and turtles; the
shark-toothed dolphin and giant penguins; dinosaurs
such as sauropods and theropods; as well as those resilient survivors
who can still be found in New Zealand today, such as kiwi, native bats, giant
weta and tuatara. Beautifully illustrated and impeccably researched, this is a wonderful
and intriguing way for children to learn something about the origins of New
About the author/illustrator
GILLIAN CANDLER is an award-winning author who brings her knowledge and
skills in education and publishing to her passion for the natural world. She
has always been intrigued by how New Zealand must have looked to the very first people who set foot here, and wanted to find out more about
what animals lived here then. She found her first fossil when she was 5 years
old – an experience she’ll never forget – and it opened up a whole new world of interest.
NED BARRAUD is an illustrator with a keen passion for the natural world.
He illustrated the four previous titles in the award-winning ‘explore &
discover’ series, along with his first children’s fiction title, Moonman.
When not illustrating, he works on films at Weta Digital as a texture artist
and enjoys exploring the outdoors with his wife and three children.
PAPERBACK $19.99 Potton & Burton
An exquisite children’s book that recounts one of the most remarkable
natural history stories in New Zealand
This exquisite children’s book recounts one of the most remarkable natural history stories in New Zealand – the bond shared between the shining cuckoo (pīpīwharauroa) and the grey warbler
(riroriro). The grey warbler nest is the only one in which a cuckoo will lay
its egg, and it then manages to trick the warbler parents into hatching and
raising the cuckoo chick as if it were one of their own.
Yet despite this unique connection, the two species lead completely
different lives, with the shining cuckoo migrating up to the Pacific Islands in
the winter, while the grey warbler only flies a
few kilometres around its nest in its entire lifetime. These two birds,
over countless generations, have become an intrinsic part of each other’s
lives, and this consummately realised book evokes the extraordinary qualities
of this unique New Zealand story.
About the author/illustrator
KENNEDY WARNE co-founded New Zealand Geographic magazine in 1988
and served as editor for 15 years. He now writes for the magazine and for National
Geographic, and gives a fortnightly report on the outdoors and the
environment on Radio New Zealand’s award-winning Nine to Noon programme with
Kathryn Ryan. He has written books on the world’s threatened mangrove forests,
the Tuhoe iwi of Te Urewera and New Zealand’s State Highway 1. He became
enchanted by the story of pī-Ipī-Iwharauroa and riroriro in 2013 when he
organised a ‘Welcome back cuckoo’ event for his local ecological restoration
group, the Friends of Oakley Creek. The group sang cuckoo songs (including one
written for the occasion), wore cuckoo face masks, and wrote messages thanking
the warbler for its sterling service as a foster parent for the cuckoo, which
were then posted into a large replica of a grey warbler nest.
HEATHER HUNT is an illustrator and exhibiting artist who has spent her
life learning about the world by drawing it. Her characters and the scenes they
inhabit emerge out of a research process that involves observing, photographing, reading, writing, conversations and, above all, hundreds
of drawings. Heather’s much-loved ‘Backyard Kiwi’ character is the face of one
of New Zealand’s most successful kiwi recovery projects and inspired the work for her award-winning picture
book, Kiwi, the real story (Storylines Notable Book Award, NZ Post Book
Award finalist and winner of the Children’s Choice Award NF, LIANZA award finalist).