GO GIRL by Barbara Else and OH BOY by Stuart Lipshaw, Penguin Random House
These inspirational treasuries recognise the achievements of epic Kiwis who overcame many obstacles to reach their goals. Each book features about 50 heroes from a wide range of backgrounds. They include suffragette Kate Sheppard, land rights activist Dame Whina Cooper, singer Lorde and author Janet Frame, while some of the male stars are scientist Ernest Rutherford, diver Kelly Tarlton, basketballer Steven Adams and politician Sir Apirana Ngata. The beautifully written little biographies focus on just some of the aspects of these trailblazers’ lives and each is accompanied by a distinctive portrait drawn by a number of gifted New Zealand illustrators. The stories affirm that old-fashioned stereotypes can be broken – boys can be ballet dancers and girls can speak out. Delightful to read aloud, these luscious keepsakes will motivate young Kiwis aged 5 to 10 to go for their dreams.
THE SILK ROADS by Peter Frankopan & Neil Packer (illustrator), Bloomsbury
World history is seen in a new light in this magnificent exploration of how the Silk Roads opened up the East to the West over 2000 years ago, enabling movement between Europe and Asia in migration, trade, disease, war, religion, adventure and science. With sumptuous illustrations, this gorgeous gift book will delight history lovers of all ages.
HERO OF THE SEA by David Hill & Phoebe Morris (illustrator), Penguin Random House
This stunning pictorial biography of adventurer and conservationist Sir Peter Blake, who was tragically killed during an expedition in 2001, details his exploits in the Whitbread Round the World Races and successful NZ America’s Cup campaigns, as well as his work to save our environment. An absorbing account of a true Kiwi hero, ideal for ages 5 to 10.
COOK’S COOK by Gavin Bishop, Gecko Press
Stingray soup, dog stew, roasted rat and pease porridge were just some of the delicacies prepared by John Thompson, the one-armed cook who cooked for Pacific explorer Captain James Cook on the Endeavour 250 years ago. This highly illustrated book gives a fresh perspective of life for the 94 men on board. Presented in bite-sized chunks of information, it is riveting reading for ages 8 to 13.