This book has all the features of a great non-fiction text. Beautiful images, a variety of hooks for casual browsers and accessible headings with very readable information for more serious researchers.
The little insets with curiosities and extra info were an immediate drawcard for my Year 6 test readers, they have a great selection of fascinating, relatable and gross facts that soon brought out the “did-you-know”s. The longer texts are thorough and interesting and draw on a variety of experts but are still written in a way that intermediate and most secondary students should be able to use quite easily for their learning. I imagine I will also use this text as an example when teaching our students to consider the authority of their information as the contributors are clearly identified throughout the chapters and, of course, the author’s own expertise is clear.
My only criticism of this book is that it would have been great to see more references to te ao Māori. It is clearly telling stories and sharing the magic of our natural world so it is a bit of a missed opportunity.
I am sure that this book will be well used in inquiries and by curious Year 5 to 10 students. Inspired young scientists and conservationists will find information and role models in this book and there is a nice call to action at the end.
Title: Why is That Lake So Blue? A Children’s Guide to New Zealand’s Natural World
Author: Simon Pollard
Publisher: Te Papa Press
Date of Publication: October, 2018
Age range: Senior primary, intermediate, junior secondary
Reviewer’s name: Esther Casey, Teacher Librarian
Reviewer’s School name: Sylvia Park School
How highly are you recommending this book? Recommended
What is the book’s opening sentence? This book is about the magic of the natural world of Aotearoa New Zealand and its mothership Zealandia, the huge submerged continent on which it sits. It’s full of stories beyond your imagination.
You can buy this book here