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Reviewed by Gina Coatsworth, Kaiako, TKKMO Te Whānau Tahi
Opening sentence
Para Pūkeko and the Stupid Time Thingy is a graphic novel that will appeal to young readers. Para Pūkeko is searching for worms and other treats at the dump when she discovers an odd machine.

She transports herself 200 million years in the past where she meets Heahea, a wise-cracking tuatara, and saves him from an asteroid. They travel together to 1445 and meet the last moa, upset a Pouākai, then time-travel to 1642 just as Abel Tasman is sailing past.

The illustrations are bold and funny. I really like the idea of using a graphic novel as a light-hearted way of engaging younger readers in our history, however, I am worried that some people may be offended by the way Māori have been depicted. The characters of Abel Tasman and his shipmates are also objects of ridicule; however, given the numerous negative depictions of Māori over the years, I hope the author takes extra care in future issues in his depictions of tūpuna Māori.

This comic series is light-hearted and will engage young reluctant readers. Boys will appreciate the slap-stick humour and the illustrations are a good support to the written story.
Author & Illustrator: Author: Sam "Book" Ruffell Illustrator: Hemi Kelly
Publisher: Penguin Random House
ISBN: 9781776958054
Format: Paperback
Publication: May, 2023
Ages: 6-12 years
Themes: NZ history, first encounters, dinosaurs, time travel