Abel Tasman – Mapping the Southern Lands

Author – Maria Gill

Illustrator – Marco Ivancic

Age – 8+

Ever since hearing tales of adventure as a boy, Abel always wanted to be a sailor. He soon learns how tough it is aboard a ship for weeks and months on end, but ends up with his own berth and crew. He is one of two skipper’s sent to map the ‘southern lands’.

His travels take him to the bottom of Australia and then onto New Zealand. But he encounters suspicious Maori warriors who paddle out to meet them. With a lack of understanding between them, conflict erupts and Abel decides to try and find another place to land. Unsuccessful, he heads back to Australia via Tonga who are used to trading with the white man.

Abel goes on to map sections of the Australian coastline while searching for treasure. His maps were used by many sailors after him who ventured to ‘The Southern Lands’.

An important piece of our history is told alongside beautifully illustrated full colour pages. There is an informative and interesting section in the back with bios of the important sailors aboard and schematics of the ship Heemskerck which brought them here. A library must-have.

(History, New Zealand, Journey, Holland, Dutch, Van Dieman’s Land, Australia, Kiwi Non-fiction)

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