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)
“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.