List #6: CHILDREN'S NON-FICTION
Have a look through this selection of books we are recommending for summer reading and as seasonal gifts. Click through to read our reviews. Use the 'click and collect' function on our website to reserve your copies.
If you don't find what you're looking for here, come and talk to us: we have many other interesting books on our shelves.
Plantopedia: Welcome to the greatest show on earth by Adrienne Barman $33
Full of colour and fun facts, this book is the ideal way to introduce children to the world of plants. Matches Creaturepedia.
Cook's Cook: The cook who cooked for Captain Cook by Gavin Bishop $30
A new way of telling the story of the famous explorer: through the eyes of his cook on the Endeavour, the one-handed John Thompson. As the ship travels the Pacific we get nuanced observations on class, power and race, as well as actual recipes from the ship's galley, all done the graphic style that won Gavin Bishop the 2018 Margaret Mahy Book of the Year award for Aotearoa.
Dictionary of Dinosaurs by Dieter Braun $33
From the Aardonyx to the Zuniceratops, discover when dinosaurs lived, where they lived, what they ate and much more.
Animals of Aotearoa: Explore and discover New Zealand's wildlife with Gillian Candler and Ned Barraud $35
At last! An excellent clear guide for children to New Zealand fauna of land, water and air.
Illuminatlas by Leon Carnovsky and Kate Davies $40
Set off on a journey around the world with this follow up to the bestselling Illuminature and Illumanatomy. Use your three-colour lens to explore the continents: use your green lens to see the landscape, the red lens to see plants and animals, and the blue lens to see cultural highlights and famous buildings.
The Kitchen Science Cookbook by Michelle Dickinson $50
Edible science! If you can follow a recipe you can learn about science. Ideal for children (and other people too).
>> Nanogirl is a good name for a superhero.
A stunning, beautiful exploration of the ocean, from the shoreline to the depths, presented in this large-format volume with die-cut pages and flaps to lift.
>> Other books by Hélène Druvert.
New Zealand's answer to Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls! Inspiring stories and wonderful illustrations. Includes Whina Cooper, Janet Frame, Beatrice Tinsley, Frances Hodgkins, Georgina Beyer, Huria Matenga, Jane Campion, Joan Wiffen, Karen Walker, Kate Edger, Katherine Mansfield, Mai Chen, Merata Mita, Mojo Mathers, Patricia Grace, Suzie Moncrieff, Farah Palmer, Selina Tusitala Marsh, Lucy Lawless, Kate Sheppard, Nancy Wake, Sophie Pascoe, Margaret Mahy, Lydia Ko, Merata Mita, Lorde, Rita Angus and Te Puea Herangi. Illustrations by Sarah Laing, Sarah Wilkins, Fifi Coulston, Ali Teo, Helen Taylor, Phoebe Morris, Sophie Watkins, Rebecca ter Borg and Vasanti Unka.
The Silk Roads: A new history of the world by Peter Frankopan, illustrated by Neil Packer $30
A beautifully illustrated book for children, showing how East and West have been tied together by people, trade, disease, war, religion, adventure, science and technology, along the trade routes of the Silk Roads. Frankopan's The Silk Roads (the adult history) is a remarkable book, showing that much often overlooked history should be central to our view of the past. This book does the same, for children.
Boats are Busy by Sara Gillingham $20
Meet 15 boats and ships and learn what keeps them so busy. Also learn what those flags mean. An appealing board book.
Rivers: A visual history from river to sea by Peter Goes $40
Follow rivers around the world (including the Waikato!) and learn about the people and history that belong along their banks. This large-format picture book is packed with information that will suggest further exploration.
>> Goes at work.
>> Other wonderful books by Peter Goes.
Mix and match halves of fantastical beasts from around the world to make new fantastical beasts. Fun.
>> Sample pages.
Athena: The story of a goddess by Imogen and Isabel Greenberg $30
Wonderful graphic novel presentation of one of the staunchest and smartest of the Greek gods and goddesses.
A History of Pictures for Children by David Hockney and Martin Gayford $35
Hockney and Gayford turn the conversational approach so successful in A History of Pictures to this thoughtful and companionable book introducing children to interesting art.
Chineasy for Children: Learn 100 words by ShaoLan Hsueh and Noma Bar $30
A fun pictorial introduction to Chinese characters.
>> The method is superb.
>> The Chineasy website.
The Element in the Room: Investigating the atomic ingredients that make up your home by Lauren Humphrey and Mike Barfield $35
Most of the building blocks of the universe can be found around the house.
How I Resist: Activism and hope for a new generation edited by Maureen Johnson and Tim Federle $33
Essays, interviews, illustrations, songs and consciousness raising for young people, from a wide range of contributors.
The Art Treasure Hunt: I spy with my little eye by Doris Kutschbach $32
Finding the details in these iconic paintings will enable young children to approach artwork fully open to its rewards.
Oh Boy! A storybook of epic New Zealand men by Stuart Lipshaw, illustrated by Ant Sang, Bob Kerr, Daron Parton, Elliot O'Donnell (a.k.a. Askew One), Fraser Williamson, Michel Mulipola, Neil Bond, Patrick McDonald, Toby Morris and Zak Waipara $45
There are many kinds of hero! Oh Boy! is a collection of true stories about New Zealand men who overturned stereotypes and broke through obstacles to follow their passion.
Out of Nothing by Daniel Locke and David Blandy $33
A wonderful colourful graphic for children, covering the whole of history, from the Big Bang to an imagined future, showing how human progress is achieved through a combination of observation, imagination and communication.
My Dad is My Uncle's Brother: Who's who in my family? by Jo Lyward $22
Everyone in a family is related to everyone else, but in different ways. This quirky picture book is a fun introduction to genealogy.
A is for Activist by Innosanto Nagara $21
Learn the alphabet with this radical board book.
"N is for No.
No! No! No!
Yes to what we want.
No to what must go!
No! No! No!"
Whales: An illustrated celebration by Kelsey Oseid $35
Explores the most interesting facts about these marine mammals, from the enormous blue whale (which has a heart the size of a car ) to the Amazon river dolphin (which is pink). Gorgeously illustrated, this book delves into cetaceans' mysterious evolution (from land to water mammals), their place in mythology, and their ecology, habitats, and behaviors (such as singing, fluking, beaching, bubble feeding, and more).
Search and Find: Alphabet of Alphabets by Alan Sanders $33
Each fascinating illustrated letter of the alphabet contains another alphabet: An alphabet of Alphabets, an alphabet of Birds, an alphabet of Creepy-crawlies, an alphabet of Dinosaurs, &c, &c. Fun.
Brick Who Found Herself in Architecture by Joshua David Stein and Julia Rothman $25
When Brick was just a baby, tall buildings amazed her. Her mother said, "Great things begin with small bricks. Look around and you'll see." Brick sets off to visit famous brick buildings around the world. Where will she find her place?
Birds and Their Feathers by Britta Teckentrup $34
What are feathers made of? Why do birds have so many of them? How do they help birds fly? And what other purpose do they serve? All these questions and many more are answered in this book bursting with the most beautiful illustrations.
A companion for The Egg.
Migration: Incredible animal journeys by Mike Unwin and Jenni Desmond $25
Follow the emperor penguin through snow, ice and bitter temperatures; watch as the great white shark swims 10,000 km in search of seals; track huge herds of elephants, on their yearly hunt for water and be amazed at the millions of red crabs, migrating across Christmas Island. Lovely illustrated hardback.
Earth Verse: Haiku from the ground up by Sally Walker and William Grill $30
Fossilisation, rocks, the water cycle, volcanoes, glaciers, thunderstorms, geology, ecology - a beautifully illustrated introduction to earth science.
Planetarium by Chris Wormell and Raman Prinja $45
A wonderful large-format, beautifully illustrated book introducing children (and the rest of us) to the wonders of space. From the 'Welcome to the Museum' series.
A huge amount of fun (and inadvertent learning) will be had from these madcap activities based around works in the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu.