The Great Kiwi Lockdown
This book is part of a series of New Zealand history books published for children, which all feature Paki – a cartoon style Kiwi. He features on every page, and occasionally gives extra snippets of information about something mentioned on that page. I personally found him rather distracting and overpowering as his bold style was quite prominent against the gorgeous, soft illustrations. However, youngsters who would be sharing this book are likely to find him appealing.
Paki tells the New Zealand lockdown story from his own perspective, yet when reading, children could so easily insert themselves in there as the narrator as they will identify with all that Paki says. Rhyming text will engage the audience, and appears only a little forced in one or two places. Relatable images will resonate with children who will recognise their own playground and supermarket trolleys, along with Wellington icons such as the Beehive, cable car and Jacinda Ardern.
The story is recounted succinctly and positively, in such a way that it will prompt children to remember their own experiences and is likely to stimulate discussion about their own lockdown memories.
Title: The Great Kiwi Lockdown
Author: Alison Condon
Illustrator: Beau Spicer
Publisher: Big Book Publishing Ltd
Date of Publication: 2020
Ages: 5 to 7 years
Do you have any advisory warnings for this book? No
Reviewer: Nadine Molloy, Library Assistant, Remarkables Primary School, Queenstown
How are you recommending this book? Highly recommended
What’s the book’s opening sentence? Kia Ora my name’s Paki, I’m a little kiwi bird.
You can buy this book here