From our reviewers: September 16

From The Southland Times book reviewers.

By Wendy Delsol (Candlewick Press)

Reviewed by F Mulligan

Stork is the first in a series and comes across as a case of cool, modern West meets mystic north. It is a young adult/teen romance set in Norse Falls, Minnesota, US. A high-school senior, the narrator Katla Leblanc, has to start a new year at a new school when her folks split up and her mother moves them back to her home town. Shifting from trendy, sun-kissed California to the small town heartland is a culture shock for Katla.

The town is slightly old-fashioned, with an Icelandic heritage that Katla shares. Despite her own misgivings, she becomes involved with a group of old women, and as a result becomes part of the Icelandic Stork Society, only to find that she herself shares their magical powers.

Her social life starts to improve, making for as many complications as her new-found magical skills.

A nice, not racy, high-school romance mixed with a magical/supernatural twist. Sounds familiar, as it is a common modern feature, but luckily in this case it works nicely.

The Great Kiwi Doodle Book
By Nellie Ryan (Scholastic)

Reviewed by Naida Mulligan

This book is exactly what it says - a book for doodling on. It has 85 pages of illustrations for completion, all with a distinctive New Zealand flavour. Doodlers can express their creativity as they doodle to their heart's content. One picture, for instance, has a skyline that looks like Auckland (definitely the Sky Tower) and several yachts in the harbour. Doodlers can pattern and colour the sails, sky and water. Another page is full of jandals to be coloured, another with posts for mail boxes that the doodler can add and decorate. Kiwis, tents, coats of arms, the list goes on.

This is a fun book with plenty of ideas to keep anyone interested. Look out for it in your Scholastic catalogue today.

Live Love Food Kids
By Glenda Gourley (It's My Turn to Cook)

Reviewed by Naida Mulligan

Glenda Gourley's latest book is published to coincide with her daughter Claire's YouTube programme, It's My Turn to Cook Tonight. Claire's programme is for children and teenagers; Glenda's book is for parents. Glenda has drawn on a lifetime of knowledge and experience to give us strategies and tips to help make our children food savvy. None of this is rocket science and you probably know most of it already, but it is great to have it all drawn together and presented in a readable, attractive manner.

Glenda Gourley is one of New Zealand's foremost nutritionists, an award-winning author and educationalist, who also has three children, giving her the practical experience for what she preaches. You can check the book out online at or just buy it from a bookseller near you. Highly recommended.

New Zealand's Garden Wildlife
By Dave Gunson (New Holland, RRP $25)

Reviewed by F Mulligan

The garden is the place most nature-watching begins. Everyday animals - bugs, birds and insects - are under our very noses.

This is the latest in the All About New Zealand series. The book is divided into chapters on fungi, common plants, insects, spiders, worms, snails/slugs, birds, lizards and mammals.

Is size, informative, child-friendly text and colourful drawings all contribute to an easy-to-use and attractive book.