Email Digest: Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Book reviews
Book Review: Beautiful Ruins, by Jess Walter

Book Review: Children of the Jacaranda Tree, by Sahar Delijani

New Releases
What was life like so many years ago? Watch the trailer for the new New Zealand Girl series

Giving away the Dinosaur Rescue Big Book of Stuff on Facebook… school hols soon…

I just got my prize pack of @VUPBooks about the West Coast. Keen to enter?

Book News
BNZ Literary Awards winners announced

@BNZ has updated their storify for the Awards, which were announced last night.

Attention NZ writers – just over two weeks to go to for applications for our 2014 residency programme.

Warm congratulations to the Chair of the NZ Book Council Board Peter Biggs, now officially a companion of the Order of New Zealand!

The Ministry of Culture & Heritage has published an e-book New Zealand Women and the Vote. Free download.

Are there any NZ booksellers out there following this discussion about Digital Publishing?

NZs books are off to the IBBY congress next year – congrats David Hill, David Elliot and Kawata Teepa

Go to Tauranga and get amongst their lovely writers & readers festival 31 Oct – 3 Nov

Awards News
Our very important dates for 2014 Book Awards are available now. When do you need to submit? How to be a judge?

From around the internet
‘If it’s your get rich quick scheme, then you are the worst schemer ever.’ Editor Dave Housley on starting a lit mag

International Digital Book Awards Judging Panel Announced

Now we just need to lure James Patterson here to give our indies money…

Creative New Zealand statement on the closure of Downstage Theatre

I would add the ‘primer’ from The Diamond Age … sci-fi inventions @HuffPostBooks wish were real. You guys?

CK Stead is in London for the King’s Lynn Poetry Festival

Book review: Dinosaur Rescue – Dako-snappysaurus by Kyle Mewburn

This book is in bookstores now.

Achim, aged seven says;

“I have read other Dinosaur rescue books and enjoyed them, so I was excited when this book arrived and I saw the cover. The cover of a book is really important to me because when I am in the shop or library looking for a new book, the cover catches my eye. This cover is good because it has a clear picture of the animal the book is going to be about. It also has the Dinosaur Rescue title at the top so I knew it was in a series that I liked.

I also like reading the blurb of a book to help me decide. This one was very short but it asked a question which got me interested and I knew I would have to read the book to find out the answer. I also like that the back has a colour picture of the main character – Arg, on it to help me imagine him better.

Inside the book there is a really cool map, this is useful when you are reading to help you work out where the places the book talks about are. There are actually lots of useful pictures and diagrams in the book and this helps you understand who the people and animals are as well as making it more interesting than just plain text. Sometimes the pictures are of things that are happening in the book but a lot of times they are to explain facts or things we should know about the prehistoric and jurassic periods, like how to tell the different types of teeth that different dinosaurs have.

I like the names of the people and animals in the book. They are good names because they sound like that person might talk or the noise the animal might say. For example, Arg’s pet Microceratops is called Krrk Krrk and I like saying that word. So reading the book to mummy was good fun, especially when she read it out loud too and made the different noises. We laughed lots.

The story in this book was really good – it made me want to keep reading until I reached the end as I couldn’t guess what was going to happen. It had some suspense in it and so it wasn’t boring. I also liked the funny bits in it, and I kept laughing when I was reading it. The descriptions in the book were brilliant, I could imagine exactly what things looked like. This was good when I was reading about the dinosaurs and the people, but it wasn’t so good when the writers described someone being very sick!

I liked this book because I could read it more than once, and each time, I would see something else in one of the pictures or a detail somewhere that would make me interested again or laugh more. I also liked the facts in it because I wrote about some of them at school and got the days best writing for it.

If I had to give this book to someone I would give it to a boy or girl (because my sister likes dinosaurs too so it isn’t just for boys) who liked reading lots and wanted an adventurous story to keep them interested. I wouldn’t give it to someone who didn’t like jokes about vomit or farts though. I am 7 and think it is a good book for people my age and even grown ups because Mummy liked it too. Sometimes reading about history like the stone age isn’t exciting but this book is exciting.”
Ilona Hanne, Achim’s Mum says,

“This book was a great book to share with my 7 year old. He and I both read it together, as well as him reading it several times on his own. The language was descriptive without being boring and the vocabulary used extended him nicely.

I loved the fact that the story is interspersed with facts about the Stone Age, for example, a couple of pages explaining the history of time and how it is measured. The way the facts are presented means they are likely to be retained by the reader – over the past few days my son has volunteered all sorts of facts that he has garnered from the book. Did you know for example, who invented the first fire brigade? My son now does, and so does anyone who has recently spoken to him!

The writing is presented nicely, with the text broken up with line drawings and diagrams. This kept my son’s interest and helped him imagine the scenes better. he also enjoyed looking at the maps and drew his own, adding to them as the story developed.

There is enough humour in the book to keep an adult entertained as well as a child and it is great fun to read out loud.

I would recommend this book to anyone with a child in the age 7 – 10 reading range, and knowing there are more in the series is great, as is the fact you don’t have to read them in order – they all work as stand alone books too. The subject matter of dinosaurs and similiar creatures is perfect for this age range, and the Neanderthal boy, Arg, is a relateable character.

All in all, both Achim and I thought this was an excellent book and both of us have enjoyed it. We will be reading more by the same authors in the near future.”

Dinosaur Rescue – Dako-snappysaurus
 by Kyle Mewburn
Published by Scholastic
ISBN 9781775430988