The Sapling is dedicated to bringing you the best books from Aotearoa for gifting this holidays. This week we bring you the coolest books for kids aged roughly 5-7.
The midnight adventures of Ruru and Kiwi, by Clare Scott, illustrated by Amy Haarhoff (Penguin NZ)
This gorgeous picture book takes the Owl and the Pussycat and puts a native bird slant on it, for a feast for the senses. A dedication to the read-aloud rhythm is richly rewarded!
When the wind changed, by Ruth Park, illustrated by Deborah Niland (HarperCollins NZ)
This 40th anniversary edition of When the Wind Changed is the perfect gift to introduce a new generation to this timeless story that riffs off the old parental refrain of “don’t pull that face, the wind will change and you’ll stay that way”. This is a good belly laugh of a story that kids will enjoy and some parents might even recall from their childhoods.
Hound the Detective, by Kimberly Andrews (Penguin NZ)
Need a book for kids who like dogs, details and mysteries? Look no further! Bored kids will be kept occupied pouring over the detailed and gorgeous illustrations. And readers of Puffin the Architect will love being reunited with Kimberly’s warm and whimsical characters and delightful storytelling.
Whiti: The colossal squid from the deep, by Laura Shallcrass, illustrated by Victoria Cleal (Te Papa Press)
Join colossal squid Whiti on her journey from hatching out of an ant-sized egg to becoming one of the largest invertebrates on the planet. This book’s engaging conversational text, magnificent illustrations, and exquisite design – featuring three gatefolds – make it a must-have for any wildlife fanatic and/or fact fiend.
Aroha Knows, by Craig Phillips, illustrated by Rebekah Lipp (Wildling Books)
This is the third book in the Aroha Series by Craig Phillips and Rebekah Lipp, focused on empowering tamariki by giving them the tools to navigate the big emotions they might experience. Aroha Knows highlights the effect of nature on our wellbeing and teaches us that by appreciating and protecting our environment, we are taking care of ourselves.
The Nature Activity Book, by Rachel Haydon, illustrated by Pippa Keel (Te Papa Books)
Whether you’re into growing your own seedlings, making your own dyes or just looking to discover more about the world around you, this book has it all! With 99 different nature-based activities, this book will engage readers of all ages and make adventurers out of the whole whānau. It’s perfect for any occasion, but especially during the school holidays and potential lockdowns.
Amazing Aotearoa Activity Book, by Gavin Bishop (Gecko Press)
Based on Gavin Bishop’s Aotearoa: The New Zealand Story and Wildlife of Aotearoa – some of the best non-fiction books to have graced our bookshelves these past few years – this fantastic book is chock-full of activities celebrating our nation, its people, and our wildlife. It’s sure to keep the whole whānau occupied for hours.
Ballet Bunnies and Friends, by Swapna Reddy, illustrated by Binny Talib (Oxford University Press)
This beautiful series features ballet bunnies helping out the new girl at ballet class, who is facing discrimination. It’s not often you see such a flawless melding of social awareness and cute mayhem.