Book Review: Hare, by Deborah Hinde

Available now in bookshops nationwide.

cv_hareI love this time of year because we have lots of New Zealand books being published prior to Christmas, ready for the Book Awards in the New Year. And what a treasure trove. Deborah Hinde has illustrated over 65 books, but this is her first foray into writing and illustrating. It is a pleasure to pick up such a fun read.

While we all read lots of books with rabbits, or bunnies, the hare has less press. The idea of hare links most closely to the concept of being “harebrained”. Forgetful and disorganised, Hare in this story has forgotten something and needs to visit his friends in an attempt to remember. The encounters include a goose, a rooster, a hedgehog, a rabbit and a duck. Other characters flit through the illustrations, which are bright and clear. Hinde has used these characters to teach about attributes such as soft, noisy and silly. The text and the characters are beautifully matched, both supporting the ideas presented. The ending is funny and unexpected.

I read this to my class, who noticed all sorts of details in the pictures. This is what Hinde does so well. They even picked that she was the illustrator of The Kiwi 12 Days of Christmas which we had read recently.

It is not a harebrained idea to go and buy this book for someone you love. You will both enjoy it.

Reviewed by Kathy Watson

by Deborah Hinde
Published by PictureBook Publishing
ISBN 9780473362942

Book Review: Rasmas, by Elizabeth Pulford and Jenny Cooper

Available in bookshops nationwide.

cv_rasmasI picked this book up for its illustrations. I was terrified of goats as a kid, because I was pushed over by one at a holiday park age 3. Perhaps if I saw them through Jenny Cooper’s eyes, I would have felt friendlier towards them!

Danny and his Dad have gone to live at the farm with Gran, after the (swiftly and delicately handled) death of Danny’s mother. Rasmas is a kid too, without a mum, and after awhile, Rasmas and Danny became the best of friends. But then Dad meets somebody new, and a move to the city to live with Rona means no more Rasmas.

This is a gentle story about a young boy learning to cope with loss through the help of an animal. It’s delightfully illustrated, and my sons envied farm life while reading it with me. It is great to see this type of story told with a less regular animal – I’m immune to the charms of puppy stories these days. A cheeky goat though, was just perfect.

This book is a lovely read-aloud for young children who might be a bit worried about a loss in their lives. It shows the power of imagination to heal the heart’s wounds, and the power of love to do the same.

Reviewed by Sarah Forster

by Elizabeth Pulford and Jenny Cooper
Published by Scholastic NZ
ISBN 9781775433101