Book Reviews: Colours for Kiwi Babies, and Counting For Kiwi Babies, by Matthew Williamson and Fraser Williamson

cv_colours_for_kiwi_babiesAvailable in bookshops nationwide.

It is refreshing to read board books for young babies which represent the world they are growing up in through beautiful pictures and simple text.

In Colours for Kiwi Babies, each double page spread focuses on one colour. One page is filled with the colour with the colour’s name in both te reo Māori and English. Opposite, a stylized kiwi image represents the colour. With each turn of the page, the pictures show New Zealand proudly – a rugby jersey, pohutakawa, pavalova; all things your child is likely to grow up knowing in real life.

cv_counting_for_kiwi_babiesIn Counting for Kiwi Babies, the focus is on New Zealand native birds from across the country – kiwi, tūī, ruru and kea for example. The text includes the numeral with te reo Māori and English names for each number. This is great as your child grows for number recognition.

In both books, both English and te reo Māori are valued equally – and it is fantastic to see some bird and plant names are not translated because these kupu are part of our kiwi dictionary!

The books are robust enough for your child to love but designed for adults to enjoy too. I really enjoyed the muted colours which were pleasing to read and the pictures could hang on my wall!

We shared these with a young child who has just had a baby sister join her whānau. The simple format allowed her to read to her new sister independently and for her sister to enjoy the story-telling.

Both these books are a beautiful addition to any new-borns’ library and as your baby grows, these books will provoke lots of kōrero about the images and text.

Reviewed by Sara Croft

Colours for Kiwi Babies
by Matthew Williamson and Fraser Williamson
Published by Puffin
ISBN 9780143771142

Counting for Kiwi Babies
by Matthew Williamson and Fraser Williamson
Published by Puffin
ISBN 9780143771135

Book Review: Whose Beak is This?, by Gillian Candler

Available in bookshops nationwide.

cv_whose_beak_is_thisGillian Candler has a passion for nature and the great outdoors. She has written four books in the ‘explore and discover’ series, plus this one. She has a background in publishing and education and now writes full time. Gillian regularly leads walks for Forest and Bird and enjoys tramping. She also works as a conservation volunteer.

The illustrator Fraser Williamson’s work ranges from large illustrative paintings to quirky children’s books. He regularly exhibits his paintings at the Flagstaff Gallery in Devonport, Auckland.

How many birds can you recognise by their beaks? We were doing quite well until we got further into this book. I read this book to our four-year-old granddaughter Abby. I was amazed just how many beaks she recognised – she was able to name most of them, too! Around where she lives there is a great assortment of bird species.

From the Kiwi, to the Tui and to harder ones like the Wrybills (I hadn’t heard or ever seen one of these in the wild). This is a great way of introducing the idea of being able to identify birds by their beaks and also a lot of fun. It’s also a wonderful introduction to small children about what birds are in our environment and where they live.

The illustrations are sharp and clear with a vibrancy that is sometimes hard to capture with some of our not-so-colourful native birds. I really loved this book and judging from the reaction I got reading this book to Abby, it will be a much-anticipated addition to her growing library.

Reviewed by Christine Frayling

Whose Beak is This?
By Gillian Candler, illustrated by Fraser Williamson
Published by Potton & Burton
ISBN 9781927213612