Reviews

Factual books for kids from NZ and beyond

Mary Walker reviews one British and three Kiwi non-fiction books for children of various ages and finds that, generally, they’re being done well. Here are books on biodiversity, space, sharks and feet! Books are big in our house. As a…

The Upside-Down World of Twice Upon a Time

Poet and children’s writer James Norcliffe is a national treasure. He has been involved in the School for Young Writers in Christchurch for many years, and releases both poetry and junior fiction books regularly. Sarah Forster reviews his latest novel…

A book club reviews the new Patrick Ness

Today, Release, a new YA novel by Patrick Ness, hits the shelves of New Zealand bookshops. We asked a Wellington-based book club – adults who read a lot of YA, and fans of Ness’s previous work – to get together…

Ted Dawe’s Into the River, an American view

Soon after the 2015 banning controversy in New Zealand, Into the River was purchased by US publisher Polis Books, and will be released in paperback in the US this month. We had YA writer and renowned American book critic Michael…

Introducing poetry to kids: two books

Poet Hannah Mettner considers two international books aimed at inspiring a love of poetry in young readers. Like many other New Zealanders of my generation, I grew up with a hard-cover copy of Poems to Read to Young New Zealanders….

Words/pictures: a review of graphic novel, Moa

Mitch Marks reviews Moa, a collection of comics by James Davidson (published by Earth’s End), and makes a case for the importance of graphic novels in general. It’s well documented, and kind of a no-brainer, that combining words and pictures…

A review of the latest YA fantasy by Laini Taylor

Elizabeth Knox finds a lot to praise about Laini Taylor’s inventive, lyrical and compelling new novel, Strange the Dreamer. Laini Taylor, author of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy, has another series. A duology, the first book of which…

Six rather delicious new picture books

Jack Gabriel gorges on six international picture books from Walker Books and Gecko Press, from France, the UK and the US, finding something to recommend about each and every one. Warning: get your wallet ready. Like any good smorgasbord, this…

Torty and the Soldier, by Jennifer Beck

David Hill reviews Torty and the Soldier, a picture book about the true story of a very old tortoise, by Jennifer Beck and illustrated by Fifi Colston. Children’s writers are accustomed to getting judged both on literary grounds and for…