This is a quintessentially kiwi story with bright and detailed illustrations that could depict nowhere else but Aotearoa. There is a theme of sustainability with traditional buildings supporting solar panels, water butts collecting rainwater for the veggie garden and the EV charging in the driveway. These are subtle within a traditional landscape and make room for conversation about how we can change within the realms of ordinary.
In the third book about Nicholas and Chantelle, the two children are staying with their fun and pink haired, Aunty Em. As they decide to collect cockles on the last day of their holiday the author pops in some maths and te reo. The theme of messages continues (e.g. crossing the road safely; picking up litter) and is stronger than the storyline but this could be a useful tool for discussion.
When the trio find an object stuck in the mud, they struggle to pull it out. Luckily Peter rides up on his low rider trike and his powerful engine helps pull out ‘The Sava Chair’. I found this juxtaposition with the previous green messages a little uncomfortable, along with the gasoline driven water blaster that also appeared towards the end. However these elements could be fuel for thought. I would use this book as a teaching tool.
Title: The Sava Chair
Author: Josephine Carson Barr
Illustrator: Simon Barr
Publisher: Veritas Aotearoa Publishing
Date of Publication: July 2019
Ages: 1 – 6yrs
Reviewer: Kirsten Puddick, Librarian, Holy Cross School, Miramar, Wellington
How highly are you recommending this book? Recommended
Opening sentence: Nicholas and Chantelle were having a holiday with Aunty Em.
You can buy this book here