From our reviewers: for younger readers

02:28, Oct 25 2012

From The Southland Times book reviewers.

Hedgehog's Magic Tricks
By Ruth Paul (Walker Books, RRP $28)

Reviewed by Fintan Mulligan (aged 5)

Hedgehog wants to be a magician. He tries to make Mouse disappear and he wants Duckling to go in the box but Duckling is too scared. His tricks just don't seem to work. However, his friends want him to try again. This time he does manage to make something disappear. You'll have to read the book to find out what!

My favourite part is when Hedgehog is laughing and laughing because he is so happy. I love the illustrations and the one I like the best is when Raccoon holds the cake behind his back. Finally Hedgehog's friends think that Hedgehog is a good magician.

This book is a good read for a 5-year-olds but younger children would enjoy listening to it too. I give it 10 out of 10.


Wild Buddies ... and Baddies
By Nic Vallance and Rod Morris (New Holland, RRP $25)

Reviewed by F Mulligan

Nature can be an amazing thing. It can also seem cruel. Whatever the viewpoint, nature is an interconnected subject.

In this New Zealand-based book, the nature buddies Nic and Rod have looked at relationships within nature.

Between plants, plants and animals, and between animals themselves. When illustrating examples of these relationships they have divided them into three main categories.

The first deals with pesky parasites. The second looks at those relationships that are one sided.

Of local note is our friend Henry the tuatara and his kind who get a bad rap. Well, at least the wild community on Stephens Island. Here the tuatara are seen muscling in on nesting birds' burrows for a free, bird- warmed shelter and, even worse, a feed of their hosts' young.

The third section illustrates the nicer side of things with relationships that are mutually beneficial, a nice example being plant seeds spread by birds.

There is a fourth part and this deals with the complicated relationship humans have with nature - literally the good, the bad and the ugly.

It is a thin volume but is packed full of information together with full-colour photographs.

Nic Vallance and Rod Morris have worked together previously on Invaders as well as having done individual nature-based work.