Swings + Roundabouts Winter 2022

Matariki Around the World By Rangi Matamua & Miriama Kamo Illustrated by Isobel Joy Te Aho-White Scholastic; RRP: $34.99 Hardback This is a BIG book, and I don’t mean just in size, but in all that offers to readers. This beautifully illustrated book shares in-depth information about the Matariki star cluster exploring the origins through the nine stars alongside stories about this same star cluster from around the world and which goes by many different names, such as Makali’I, Pleiades and Suburu. Although this book isn’t on first glance a fit for young children due to the wordy text there is still a lot to offer, from its stunning illustrations to the readable and often humourous text. A book to dip in and pick and choose what to read depending on the audience. A great resource too for kaiako, with lots of ideas on how to celebrate Matariki. I loved how the book encourages to make wishes not as an individual but as a collective – a great idea for an early learning service! Counting Creatures Written by Julia Donaldson Illustrated by Sharon King-Chai MacMillan; RRP: $29.99 Paperback Counting Creatures is a visually captivating and vibrant book, with the added joy of peep holes to look through and flaps to lift. The simple rhyming text and fun of a search–and-find game adds further depth to this counting book of baby animals. The book fom the author of The Gruffolo and the author / illustrating team who created the visually similar and award-winning graphic feast, Animalphabet. A book to be enjoyed by children and their adults from 2+. The Story of Swoop Written by Matt Owens Illustrated by Emma Gustafson Scholastic; RRP: $19.99 Paperback The Story of Swoop is a touching true story of a volunteer fireman who found a lost baby magpie, her unique friendship with Mogli, a cat, and the bird’s search for her family, and how it found its way home! In a subtle way this book is also about belonging, found family, acceptance of difference and the importance of having your own people. This is a great story in itself, but the stunning illustrations are just as captivating. For tamariki 3+. Matariki By Kirsten Parkinson & Kitty Brown Allen & Unwin NZ; RRP: $22.99 Paperback Matariki is a must-have for all early learning centres to add to their kete of books about this important indigenous celebration. This book offers guidance into the meaning of the stars and Matariki itself. The book also encourages tamariki and whānau to remember our past, care for our environment and connect with our whānau during this time. Visually this book is absolutely stunning, and each spread an art piece in itself. Each spread celebrates each star by visually reminding readers what the star connects with. There is more about each star at the end of the book including ideas on how readers can connect with each star to deepen meaning. For tamariki 3+. June 2022 { 41 }