How magical would it be to build a bridge between two countries that we love? Kiwis and Koalas highlights the pull that many of us feel between two countries, living in one, with our hearts in another.
Lily who has a wonderful imagination takes us on a journey, exploring the possibility of a magical bridge which joins NZ and Australia with ease. We see similarities and differences between the two countries, and spot many famous landmarks and places e.g. Sydney Opera House and Waitomo Caves.
A double spread page with questions about what the bridge would look like, “Would it have Kiwis or Koalas?” will get readers thinking of the differences between New Zealand and the other country that they hold in their hearts and what might be on their bridge, creating a springboard for conversations if reading as a read aloud.
I loved the illustrations by Laura Bernard which are whimsical and painterly, depicting the story in bright, yet delicate watercolours, lots of tiny details and emotions on the character’s faces. The book is lovely to hold with an embossed cover and displays the high quality that I have come to expect from the publishers, Little Love. A subtle detail is Lily is hearing impaired and I spotted the NZSL for airplane included in the illustrations too.
I can see Kiwis and Koalas as a must for every school library, it serves a great reminder of “home is about so much more than where you live”.
Title: Kiwis and Koalas
Author: Sarah Milne
Illustrator: Laura Bernard
Publisher: Little Love
Format: Hardcover Picture Book
Publication: September 2021
Do you have any advisory warnings for this book? No
Would this book work as a read-aloud? Yes
Reviewer: Louana McCormack, Librarian, Opaheke School, Auckland
How are you recommending this book? Highly recommended.
Opening sentence: This is a story about a little girl called Lily.
You can buy this book here