My Tuesday book reviews are suffering.
To my shame, I’ve kinda … run outta books to cover.
I desperately want to replenish our picture book collection – I’ve got out of the habit of buying ‘real’ books since I got my kindle, but Maja very much benefits from the tactile ones, so I really should reprioritise my budget in that direction. Rather than chucking money at upgrading the car (planned, very much desired by Mr A), or developing my autumn wardrobe (but really, how could I not have bought these gorgeous cheap things??)
… or keeping us well stocked with
alcohol and caffeine groceries.
Anyhoo, I thought I’d share 10 books I’d buy right now – if I had the money and the inclination to do so. If anyone has the urge to go out there and purchase one of them and send it post-haste to Hungary (thereby allowing me to buy more
of the sweet fruits of Chinese children’s labour in the form of footwear educational materials for my daughter, oh please do be my guest.
(1) The Kuia and the Spider by Patricia Grace – I remember this one from childhood (first published ’83). The kuia’s arguments with the spider are at once fantastical and familiar; with Robyn Kahukiwa’s beautiful illustrations this is a local and lovely treasure. I’m not sure if it’s been reprinted recently – if at all? It would be a great shame if not. Patricia Grace has done a few other children’s books; another one I remember and would like to get my hands on is Watercress Tuna and the children of Champion Street.
(2) Two Little Monkeys by Mem Fox. We discovered Mem Fox, an Australian author children’s books, in the Wellington Library. Beautifully put-together words; wonderful stories. This title is merely representational; I’d like to get my hands on any one of them. ”Two little monkeys are hiding in a tree – two little monkeys named Cheeky and Chee. Swing on in if you’d like to see just why they’re hiding in that big old tree …’
(3) Grandpa’s Slippers by Joy Watson and Wendy Hodder. Another New Zealand classic; first published by Scholastic 1989 – I remember it from my little sister’s bookshelf rather than my own.
(4) The Little Yellow Digger by Betty and Alan Gilderdale. For some reason I keep hearing about how great this book is! I’ve never seen it in real life. But Maja is really into tractors and trucks right now; and I’ve got a feeling this book would really hit the spot.
(5) Love you Forever by Robert Munsch. This is one of those children’s books – I’m generally wary of them – that are actually designed to make the adults reading them cry like, um, babies (see also Guess How Much I Love You and others of its ilk). Here, it works. Devastatingly. The illustrations, I must warn you, exacerbate rather than counteract the effect.
(6) Corduroy by Don Freeman. Absolute classic from the sixties.
(7) Curious George, by H A Rey. Another classic, which I once bought for Mr A, for one of those reasons you accumulate when you’re young and in love. But my copy is currently 20,000 kilometres away. grrrr.
(10) Huia has tantalisingly promised to publish a Māori-language version of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt! For realz! How awesome would that be? If I’m gonna be exploring te reo Māori at all with my daughter (and as a proud New Zealander I should be, shouldn’t I?), I can think of few more fun ways to do it. Unless we’re counting te reo books originally devised and published in New Zealand, of course! See, for example, Huia’s recent award-winning Rahui (also published in English), and The House that Jack Built in Māori.
That wish list pretty much represents the first ten that floated to the surface of my mind, of the many books I wished I had at my disposal right now.
Maja is becoming a voracious consumer of books.
I need to feed this beast!