Monthly Archives: May 2014

‘Toucan Can’ by Juliette McIver and Sarah Davis


… or The many incarnations of Aunt Samantha’s panther

reviewed by the junior classes at Green Bay Primary

The classes I read Toucan Can to all loved the different characters in this colourful book. All agreed that they indeed can do what Toucan can, even the cancan, if they only knew what that was. The school’s own IT expert then kindly enacted a one person cancan line, the footage of which was mysteriously lost.
While the Toucan itself was a firm favourite among many of the children, many also took a liking to ‘little pink bird’ and the panda, although it is the kangaroo that does the kung fu. Surprisingly though, it was one animal in particular – or was it several – the children loved to comment about. It was the black tiger, cheetah, black lion, big pussy cat. I’m not sure, if Aunt Samantha would be impressed with the mixing up of her beloved pet’s identity.
To sum up: Plenty of fun had by all.
Who can enjoy Toucan Can?
You can!

Below a layered poster complete with review by Kashish from Room 5 (Year 3/4):

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2014-05-23 10.38.45


Project Huia by Des Hunt


reviewed by Keerthi Rajesh
Jim takes his grandson Logan on a journey back to where the remains of the last huia bird are buried. Jim takes Logan to where he used to live 60 years ago. It is a dangerous mission and a adventure full of discoveries.

I like the cover. When I look at it, it tells me that there is an adventure waiting ahead.

There is a feud between the Carsons and the Whitackers. This makes the story extra interesting. The is a lot of descriptive language throughout the story.

I quite liked the book. It tells us about our country and about how the last huia bird disappeared. Unlike other books this one vividly describes every detail and by doing that, it lets you see deep into Project Huia. This book to me sounds like its buyers will be adventurers and like mystery books.

‘The Beginner’s Guide to Hunting and Fishing’ by Pauls Adamson


reviewed by Noah Woolhouse, Room2, Year 6, Green Bay Primary 

Firstly, what was appealing to me was the cover and the title because I like hunting and fishing.

The content of the book covers interesting topics such as

(Hunting related)

  • how to stay safe with a firearm and how to clean a firearm
  • how to skin a rabbit and it has a recipe for rabbit nuggets
  • the parts of a shotgun and how to load a shotgun.
  • where to shoot a bird
  • the best way to catch pests
  • a recipe of possum stew

(Bush craft related)

  • a list of equipment you should take with you in the bush and strategies for crossing a river and how to tie a bowline knot
  • what different knifes look like and it gives a basic description of what they are used for
  • a recipe for goat stew
  • a range safety rules

(Fishing related)

  • how to tie a hook on to a fishing line and it shows you the parts of a hook
  • the parts of a fishing rod and it tells you about surfcasting
  • the fishing regulations and it gives you a recipe for barbeque parcel of fish
  • some different fishing lures and it gives you a recipe for baked whole trout
  • what equipment you need for white baiting and it has the white bait regulations and a recipe for white bait fritters.

I liked the book a lot, because it is about what I like to do.

I learnt how to cross a river and gained more knowledge on bush craft.

I enjoyed the recipes and I will try the “BBQ Parcel of Fish” first. The others I am not sure about trying and I am not sure how to organise the ingredients.

The illustrations/photos were quite clear and supporting the information in the text.

I would buy this book and keep it at home for looking up information, especially to have a look before I go hunting or fishing to remind myself of the correct equipment, the techniques, safety rules and regulations.

In conclusion I think book was very good and I really enjoyed reading it.

‘Wearable Wonders’ by Fifi Colston


reviewed by Lana, Green Bay Primary, Room 2, Year 6

To me Wearable Wonders is a very enjoyable book, because of its creativity. It has a lot of fun, wacky costumes. I especially love the pavlova hat. Wearable Wonders also has easy to follow step-by-step instructions which are very helpful along with the calendars and planners. I believe that anyone who wants to be a fashion designer or a back stage runway organizer should definitely pick up this book.

 I think that this is a very unique book, because not many books provide such descriptive diagrams and helpful tools. This book also provides a nice and relaxing time to read. Flipping through pages of interesting fashions is really, nice. If using wearable wonders as a guide for a fashion show, absolutely nothing will go wrong!

One of the things that I really enjoy is that each unique piece of clothing/accessory matches someone’s unique personality……………Like, if you love sea creatures, make the half & half octopus fish dress. And if you would like to be a chef bake the pavlova hat, it would be so great (with fruit too!) As you can see there are so many interests. If I say too much, I might spoil the surprise! I guess you have to read it yourself, pick it up from your local library and you’ll be good to go!

A Winter’s Day in 1939 by Melinda Szymanik

Imagereviewed by Priyanka Raniga, Room 13, Green Bay intermediate

Melinda Szymanik is a great author. She created a vivid scene in the reader’s head. She wove a story of friendship, woe, hope and loss … the list goes on and on.

For those who haven’t read it, the story is about a boy and his family. The story is a Polish version of life. The boy and his famly are kicked off their farm and are taken to a Russian camp. All people over 14 must work at the camp in order to earn money and buy food.  They are taken in trains equipped with nothing but a hearth to cook on and a hole in the floor to relieve themselves. The family is taken to a number of camps before they are split up. The boy’s brother and father have to join the war training camp, while the boy, his mother and his sister are taken far away to a farm. There is illness in the family. There is uncertainty. What will become of them? Will they ever find each other again?

This novel was really gripping. Melinda has put a lot of thought into it, to show the characters’ side of the story. This book was extraordinary; I was on the brink of tears. I also liked how Melinda has added part of the language to the story, making it seem more realistic. The plot was absolutely heart-stirring, marvelous and exciting. For example, when you are reading this novel, you start predicting what will happen, but then something out of the blue happens, keeping the novel fast-paced with no dull moments. I have officially fallen head over heels with this book.


Submissions Wanted – Best of Twisty Christmas Tales

Phantom Feather Press

Phantom Feather Press are seeking short story submissions for our new children’s anthology, ‘The Best of Twisty Christmas Tales.’

Twisty_Christmas_Tales Twisty Christmas Tales 2013

Well-written, offbeat, zany Christmas tales with a kiwi flavour or a fantastical twist will capture our editors’ hearts and earn you a spot in this festive book for 8—12 year olds and their families. So rein in those mischievous elves, decorate the pohutakawa and sprinkle your enchanted pavlova with fairy dust. Get in the spirit of tinsel and magic as you weave Christmas wonder for eager children!

Stories should be suitable for 8-12 year olds, but also have appeal to a wider readership. Maximum word count 1,500 words.

Your editors are Peter Friend, Alicia Ponder and Eileen Mueller. The anthology will be compiled from submissions,  and selected stories from Twisty Christmas Tales Volume 1, available here as an ebook.

Authors can expect to hear…

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