Reviews

Reviews: Four New Picture Book Releases

Annelies Judson shares her thoughts on four very different—but equally vibrant—picture books to hit the shelves. The Littlest Lifeguard, by Vanessa Hatley-Owen, illustrated by Lisa Allen The Littlest Lifeguard is a lighthearted look at how the smallest of us can…

Review: Toitoi 33

Toitoi 33 is the latest collection of stories, art, and more, created by young people aged 5-18 from across the motu. Student Charlotte Hainstock offers us her thoughts on the newest issue. This latest issue of New Zealand’s Toitoi magazine…

The Reckoning: On Reviewing

The Sapling loves Aotearoa’s thriving children’s book industry. We also believe that a robust reviewing culture can allow it to grow and blossom even further, by providing opportunity for reflection and improvement. Editor Linda Jane Keegan writes about The Sapling’s approach to…

Review: A YA Novel Based in 1950s NZ

High school teacher Briar Lawry deep dives into this compelling journey of a 12-year-old in New Zealand in the 1950s, from her move from South Africa, a rail disaster, and her life and relationships thereafter. There is something quite telling…

Reviews: Five New Picture Books

Our next batch of reviews is brought to you by Kay Benseman, who offers her thoughts on five brightly illustrated picture books. Mia and Leo Go Wild!, written by Gillian Candler and illustrated by Gavin Mouldey Our family are fans…

Reviews: Four Fresh Picture Books

Bookseller Pippi Jean finds lots to rave about with four fun, rambunctious picture books. Coney, by David Minty and Greg Parker My first reaction to Coney by David Minty and Greg Parker was of pure, unaccompanied delight. I felt like…

Reviews: Three New Picture Books

Sapling editor Nida reviews three new picture books where animals are the stars—from snakes, to kiwi, to moa, the whole animal kingdom is here to tell these fun tales! Jungle Jazz, written by Jo van Dam and illustrated by Deborah…

Reviews: Three Non-fiction Books

This batch of non-fiction reviews is brought to you by Sue Esterman, featuring a collection of New Zealand adventurers, a collection of Kiwi sports heroes and an epic illustrated biography. Epic New Zealand Adventurers, by Maria Gill and Marco Ivancic…

Reviews: Two Middle-Grade Stories

Two international novels with links to New Zealand: one rooted in Aboriginal culture, the other with Russian folklore, both filled with adventure. Fiona Giles reviews these middle-grade reads. A Wolf for a Spell, written by Karah Sutton and illustrated by…

Reviews: Five Picture Books

Annelies Judson brings us another batch of reviews of some of the latest picture books to hit the shelves. Lucy and the Dark, written by Melinda Szymanik and illustrated by Vasanti Unka I’m front-footing this review because it deserves to…