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Reviewed by Carola Crawford, English teacher, Karanga Mai Young Parents’ College
Opening sentence
I’m Mia. I live with Mum and my younger brother Leo.
This is a very realistic portrayal of the family dynamics between a young girl and her younger brother as they go on on their first tramp into the bush. The mother and uncle have to deal with the constant criticism from Mia that “Leo’s too slow” and her fears that they won’t get to the hut in time for dinner. The importance of good preparation for any adventure is emphasised and the family’s planning contrasts with the many people they help on the way who have not planned so well. There is a touch of the Hare and the Tortoise, as all these people who have raced ahead of them, end up arriving after them at the hut.

The illustrations are comprehensive and humorous, with speech bubbles, maps, lists, and detailed drawings of the richness of our native bush. Once read, there is an added bonus for readers to find hidden items, plus ideas for activities outside. As well, there is further advice from the NZ Mountain Council about how to keep safe and this book would be very useful to share with a class before a school camp or other outing to get everyone thinking about possible hazards and to encourage a safety- conscious mindset.
Author & Illustrator: Gillian Candler, Gavin Mouldey
Publisher: Potton & Burton
ISBN: 9781988550596
Format: Paperback
Publication: August 2023
Ages: 4- 10 years