Kids' Picks

New and recommended books for children

Picture Books

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The Trouble with Penguins. Rebecca Jordan-Glum
When one penguin learns how to toast marshmallows on an open fire all the others want to do it too. So they each build a little fire and begin toasting their own marshmallows. As you can imagine, this doesn’t work out very well and each of the penguins ends up alone on a little ice island. They think this is wonderful....until they become lonely. Eventually the penguins work out that they are able to have a community campfire and join together for their marshmallow treats.


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Tabitha and the Raincloud. Devon Sillett
One morning Tabitha wakes up on the wrong side of the bed and after that nothing seems to go right the whole day; her scrambled eggs get rained upon at breakfast time and during art her picture of a giraffe looks more like a dinosaur. The raincloud she woke up under hangs around until Tabitha has a revelation. She realises that she can take control of how the cloud affects her. So, after donning gumboots and finding an umbrella Tabitha finally has fun with the rain and her bad mood and the cloud disappear completely.

Readers aged 8+

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Hazel and the Snails. Nan Blanchard
Hazel loves to find snails in her garden. She keeps them in a shoebox that she has decorated especially for them. Hazel doesn’t have many friends so the snails provide good company for her when times are a little difficult. Times are hard for Hazel because her father is very ill and her mother spends a lot of time at the hospice looking after him. This touching story is written and set here in New Zealand.


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The Inkberg Enigma. Jonathan King
Graphic novel
Miro has just been getting to know a new friend when the two of them witness a disturbing and mysterious scene. Their curiosity leads them to the discovery that there is something suspicious going on in their town (a town very much like Lyttelton) and together they work to uncover corruption of a surprisingly large scale. This is an exciting read made all the better by the great graphics. Readers of any age will enjoy this book, another published by Gecko Press.


For readers aged 10+

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The Pear Affair. Judith Eagle
Set against a backdrop of 1960s Paris, this story is gripping from beginning to end. Pear has chosen to accompany her extremely mean parents on a trip to Paris. She is on an important mission because her former nanny has disappeared and and she is desperate to find her. While trying to solve this mystery Pear discovers another problem. All the small bakeries in Paris have had to close because of a terrible virus that has contaminated the bread. Pear and her newly formed gang of young super sleuths spend a lot of time in the tunnels under the city as they work on solving these mysteries. This is a great adventure and an excellent read.


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The Silver Arrow. Lev Grossman
Its not every day that someone gets a steam train for their birthday so Kate was pretty excited when her Uncle Herbert gave her one. She was even more surprised when the train suddenly sparked to life, taking her and her young brother on a wild and fantastic adventure.  They travel through forests, deserts and even the ocean, picking up a large variety of animals on the way. Grab a copy and join in for the ride of your life. You won’t be disappointed.