We want to help create motivated and engaged young readers. This blog is about children's and YA literature (especially New Zealand), literacy research, and ways to get, and keep, kids reading.
Published to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Collingwood Area School, this book of stories and photographs combines the high points of early school history with an update of events since the centennial celebrations in 1959.
It also encompasses the other eight schools of the area that have now closed. At first glance it may seem that only those who have some connection with Collingwood could find interest in this book. On the contrary, it is a documentation of changing times and changing schools in NZ history. Some highly sought after photographs are included in this books which detail life when the school opened in 1859 of not only school life at this time but life in NZ as a pioneer settler. This close knit community school was, in its origins, witness to pupils who were children of goldminers, storekeepers and pioneer farmers who knew the value of an education. The Collingwood community should be congratulated for 150 years of support to its students in preparation for the wider world. Recommended intermediate upward.
review by Melissa
The ancient Phoenicians are reputed to have discovered the process of turning sand into glass and created a product that some consider one of our most important inventions. In this excellent title, Somervill examines the history of glass, how it is made and how the various types of glass may be used and reused. A brief chapter on glass art is an excellent illustration of how this simple produce can be used not only in a multitude of practical ways but also artistically.
Beautifully illustrated with photographs that serve to enhance an already interesting work, Somervill makes judicious use of charts, drawings and sidebars as well. An excellent timeline allows the reader to understand quite simply the development of glass from its earliest time.
A thorough glossary and index make this work very accessible for the user. A “bibliography” that refers the reader to both websites and books is also of value.
review by David
Image by kistienberghs
Part of the Weird true facts series this fun colourful book is filled with interesting and quirky facts about wheels that not only informs but entertains readers. Attractively laid out with a mixture of text, diagrams and photographs this book begins with the earliest known record of wheel use in 4500 BCE.
The following pages cover various forms of transport, the power of wheels to drive machinery, and the technology of tyres. Future trends look at invisible cars, tyres with no air, and cardboard bicycles. The book concludes with a glossary, and websites.
review by Karen
Image by theirhistory
Aloian provides a lively and colourful introduction to the world of the submarine. With illustrations and useful diagrams, including cutaways, the operation and roles of a wide variety of submarines are cleanly shown.
Power sources, varied uses, ability to dive deeply and/or sustain lengthy and rapid submerged voyages, even under the Northern Polar icecap, are all examined to enhance the readers understanding of these vessels. Military, research and tourism purposes are acknowledged and the relative sizes of these submarines are clearly illustrated. Research and development and the future of the submarine are also outlined.
A useful index adds value to this very interesting book produced in the “Bobbie Kalman” style.
review by David
Image by Mr T in DC
Poor Jack, he’s in conflict over wanting to keep something not his own and searching for the correct owner.
I enjoyed this true to life look at a boy who desperately wants to own a puppy. It’s a great read for juniors who are ready to leap into short chapter-books or for a shared read-aloud. The book is also stong on positive themes like honesty, caring, responsibility and family life.
The large print and double-spaced lines combined with words to stretch a reader’s vocabulary, while the happy ending presents readers with a satisfying conclusion. Stephanie Spartel’s expressive black and white illustrations also enhance this Hey Jack! series.
review by Fiona
Image by photos_martha
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