NON-FIC­TION

New Zealand Listener - - BOOKS & CULTURE -

KATE SHEP­PARD: LEAD­ING THE WAY FOR WOMEN (by Maria Gill & Marco Ivan­cic (Scholas­tic) Just in time for Suf­frage 125, this book cov­ers the life of the woman who pushed the vote through, then cam­paigned in­ter­na­tion­ally for women’s rights.

STO­RIES FOR KIDS WHO DARE TO BE DIF­FER­ENT: TRUE TALES OF BOYS AND GIRLS WHO STOOD UP AND STOOD OUT by Ben Brooks, il­lus­trated by Quin­ton Win­ter (Quer­cus)

A uni­sex ver­sion of the cur­rent pub­lish­ers’ dar­ling – in­spir­ing bi­ogra­phies for kids.

This is the most com­pre­hen­sive, in­ter­na­tional and gen­der-in­clu­sive se­lec­tion we’ve seen, in­clud­ing our own So­phie Pas­coe and Sir Peter Jack­son.

I AM THE SEED THAT GREW THE TREE: A NA­TURE POEM FOR EV­ERY DAY OF THE YEAR se­lected by Fiona Wa­ters, il­lus­trated by Frann Pre­ston-Gan­non (Nosy Crow)

Po­etry squashes

“big feel­ings, big thoughts, big things into tiny boxes of bril­liance for the reader to un­pack”, writes pub­lisher Kate Wil­son in her in­tro to this hand­some vol­ume of old favourites, new trea­sures and un­ex­pected treats en­com­pass­ing ev­ery as­pect of na­ture.

MOZART: THE MAN BE­HIND THE MU­SIC by Dono­van Bix­ley (Up­start)

An­other ex­traor­di­nary achieve­ment from the Taupō artist and mu­si­cian, this “peek through the key­hole” at Mozart makes the story of the man, whose mu­sic is as recog­nis­able to us as a nurs­ery rhyme, ac­ces­si­ble to a younger au­di­ence.

THE SILK ROADS: A NEW HIS­TORY OF THE WORLD by Peter Frankopan, il­lus­trated by Neil Packer (Blooms­bury)

Ox­ford his­to­rian Frankopan adapts his best-sell­ing Per­sian-cen­tric world his­tory from 2015 for an im­pres­sive il­lus­trated edi­tion for younger read­ers.

AN­I­MALS OF AOTEAROA by Gil­lian Candler and Ned Bar­raud (Pot­ton & Bur­ton)

To­gether in an en­larged for­mat, the con­tents of var­i­ous hand­books from Candler and Bar­raud’s “Ex­plore & Dis­cover” se­ries cover Aotearoa’s land and ma­rine fauna in one vol­ume. For ev­ery home and school book­shelf.

THE KITCHEN SCI­ENCE COOK­BOOK by Dr Michelle Dick­in­son (Nanogirl Labs)

Sci­ence ex­per­i­ments pack­aged as recipes will wow kids, teach­ers and care­givers, even when not ed­i­ble. Ev­ery­thing needed is com­monly found in home kitchens, and mod­ern tech­nol­ogy is ex­ploited for all it’s worth.

EARTHQUAKES! SHAK­ING NEW ZEALAND by Maria Gill (New Hol­land)

Kiwi kids know all too well the drill for earthquakes. From Ross Giblin’s iconic cover image of cat­tle stranded by the Kaikōura quake, this ex­cel­lent lit­tle book, in only 48 pages, lays bare the facts about Rūaumoko’s earth-shat­ter­ing im­pact on our vul­ner­a­ble motu.

SAV­ING SPECIES by Jess French, il­lus­trated by James Gil­leard (Wren & Rook, Ha­chette)

The pick of this year’s en­dan­gered an­i­mal ti­tles, this ap­peal­ing com­pen­dium of 38 birds, an­i­mals and in­ver­te­brates in­cludes our own takahē and kākāpō, as well as some threat­ened larger mam­mals such as the po­lar bear, orangutan and moun­tain go­rilla. Vi­brant stylised il­lus­tra­tions verge on the play­ful but re­tain the crea­tures’ dis­tinc­tive fea­tures.

THE COLOURS OF HIS­TORY: HOW COLOURS SHAPED THE WORLD by Clive Gif­ford, il­lus­trated by Marc-Eti­enne Pein­tre (Quarto)

Who knew colour was so toxic? This fas­ci­nat­ing ex­posé of hues since our cave-paint­ing days shows how harm­ful many could be, from or­ange (ar­senic) and ver­mil­ion (mer­cury), to lead white (used as makeup) and mummy brown, made from ground-up Egyp­tian mum­mies.

HOUSE OF DREAMS: THE LIFE OF LM MONT­GOMERY by Liz Rosen­berg, il­lus­trated by Julie Morstad (Can­dlewick)

Adults who trea­sure their Anne of Green Gables books will en­joy this splen­did new bi­og­ra­phy, with its el­e­gant line il­lus­tra­tions, which re­veals much about the Cana­dian au­thor not cov­ered in pre­vi­ous works. A new gen­er­a­tion of read­ers will find in­sights into a woman whose life tri­als trans­lated into en­dur­ing lit­er­a­ture.

NGANGA by Aunty Fay Muir & Sue Law­son (Black Dog)

From across the Tas­man, an Abo­rig­i­nal and Tor­res Strait Is­lan­der dic­tionary that lays out suc­cinctly the of­ten con­fus­ing ter­mi­nol­ogy around the indige­nous tra­di­tions and rights of our near­est neigh­bours.

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