Author – Anne Kayes
Age – 8+
Jack, Tim, Ella, Harry, Gemma, Louie, Lucy and Terri live on Tui Street. Here are 7 separate tales of their daily lives of school, family and friends, but all with a touch of fantasy, fairytale, or maori legend.
They are all great characters, sometimes dealing with things on their own, pushing their boundaries a little, helping each other, and learning about others in the street without any sign of preachy morals or corny outcomes.
Winner of the NZ Tom Fitzgibbon Award for a debut author, Tui Street Tales would make a great Read a Loud for class or home reading.
(Award winner, New Zealand, NZ, Fairy tale, Fantasy, Maori Legend, Friends, Neighbourhood)
Author – Megan Shepherd
Illustrator – Levi Pinfold
Age – 9+
Emmaline lives in a grand mansion that has been converted to a hospital for sick children. She too is one of the sick, but is still able to explore and go places the other children don’t dare. She is a bit of a loner, as it seems she alone sees the magnificent winged horses in the many mirrors of the hospital. Putting it down to imagination, the nuns that look after them all shrug it off. But the other children aren’t so kind.
One day while exploring places she shouldn’t go, Emmaline finds a real winged horse in the garden behind a wall. It is injured and shy and she is fascinated. But this winged horse is there for a reason. She is hiding from the Dark Horse who is looking for her – a horse with evil intent.
When Emmaline begins finding letters from the Horse Lord about the winged horse (named Foxfire), she learns she is Foxfire’s only hope. She needs to find all the colours of the rainbow to scare the Dark Horse off before he is back at the next full moon.
Whether it be Emmaline’s imagination or something that really happens to her is up to the reader. Emmaline is a feisty, courageous little girl with an inquisitive mind and a sad past. This story is beautifully told and exquisitely illustrated by the exceptional talented Levi Pinfold. Gorgeous!
(WWII, Horses, Animals, Mystery, Quest, Bully, Illness, Hospital)
Author – Sally Sutton
Illustrator – Kirsten Richards
Age – 6+
When Sophia and Clara are given 6 small plastic unicorns by their Nana, they think they are sweet little toys, but little do they know, they are naughty, cheeky, and bound to get them in a LOT of trouble. In the 1st episode of this series, it is book week at their school and there is a dress-up parade on the last day. What will they go as?
They ask Mum to help, but the Miniwings spoil things. The next time Mum agrees, the Miniwings are even worse! Will they ever get a costume ready or will they have to wear their school uniforms in the parade?
These fun, coloured illustrated chapter books are great for budding readers. No. 1 & 2 are on the shelves with four more adventures to come.
(Unicorns, Series, Siblings, School, Magic, Fantasy, Fun, Mischief, Family)
Author – Adam Blade
Age – 7+
Jack Beacon is sick of being called Beak the Freak by his classmates because of his weird scaly hands. But this difference and what he can do with them alerts a secret academy to his skills, and he is soon enrolled.
Meeting others with strange powers makes him feel like he belongs somewhere for the first time in his life. But his relief is short-lived as he quickly learns about an evil creature called General Gore and the Noxians. Creatures that were banished after a war with humans 1000 years before.
The Noxians are stirring and Jack and his new friends are called to protect humankind. Is this all for real? He’s only just arrived. How can he help with no training? Jack’s skills are quickly put to the test.
I never read Beast Quest so when I picked up the first book in this new series, I wasn’t sure what to expect. With great friends, gadgets, evil fiends, freaky creatures and another boy who is suspiciously at hateful as Malfoy in HP, this series is going to be epic for reluctant readers or lovers of action!
(Friendship, Monsters, Series, Good vs Evil, School, Rivalry, Belonging, Courage)
Author / Illustrator – Dark Horse Comics
Age – 8+ (Graphic Novel)
Hiccup is the new chief of his village and when a visitor arrives (Calder of the Nepenthe), he asks Hiccup for help. His island is experiencing fearful earthquakes and they’re not sure what to do. Can Hiccup and his skill with dragons come to their aid?
But they find more than they’ve bargained for, with dragons aplenty, a madman who believes he’s a dragon and a surprise under the island.
This story begins after the events in the movie – How to Train your Dragon 2….
(Graphic Novel, Adventure, Action, Dragons, Courage, Fantasy)
Author – Maxine Hemi
Illustrator – Andrew Burdan
Age – 8+ (Graphic Novel)
A Taniwha has wreaked havoc on many maori villages over the years. A young warrior is sure he can defeat this beast once and for all, but is warned by an old woman who lost her entire village, to be be wary.
This Taniwha is looking for his sister Parikawhiti and travels from Hawkes Bay to Wairarapa, inhaling whole seal herds and flocks of birds along the way. Can the warrior trick the Taniwha into his trap with many warriors waiting nearby to attack?
The beautiful atmospheric illustrations add depth and scale to this tale. Ngarara Huarau is a Finalist in the 2017 New Zealand Book awards for Children & Young Adults.
(Graphic Novel, Action, Battle, Myth, Maori, Warrior, Bravery, Courage, Monster)
Author / Illustrator – James Davidson
Age – 10 +
Kiwi Pukupuku and Possum Von Tempsky are all about adventure. The first of 3 tales in this new graphic novel is kicked off when they see a lizard egg being sold illegally. When they try to find where it came from, they stumble across the original thieves, the Bacon Brothers. The tricky part is when the egg breaks and Possum suddenly becomes a baby lizard’s favourite person with a very large, angry mum wanting him back!
2) Sent out on a mission by the Governor, Kiwi tells Possum a legend of the geothermal area they are travelling through – Hatupatu was the youngest of three brothers. Fate has him facing an evil bird woman called Karangatuku who captures him and takes him to her lair….. Little do Possum and Kiwi know that the legend is still alive and angry, and right behind them.
3) Another adventure Taonga in Trouble takes the duo an another adventure with mythical creatures in colonial New Zealand.
For nearly a decade James Davidson has worked on Moa, researching local legends and combining native creatures, real people, maori legends and adventure in this funny graphic novel.
(Fantasy, Myth, legend, Maori, Bravery, Humour, Historical, Friendship)