Yippee! Little Truff gets NZ Book Council’s Recommendation

September 8, 2015

nz-book-council-logo I was so-o thrilled today when my author, Ann Russell, sent my family these articles.

My illustrated book, “Little Truff And The Kereru” and my book “Little Truff Saves the Kereru” have both been recommended and reviewed by the highly prestigious New Zealand Book Council.

I yelped with excitement and danced countless circles of joy until I was dizzy with happiness. Here they are:

Little Truff and the Kereru

(New Zealand native pigeon)

Peer Review: Picture Books August 2015 NZ Book Council
Reviewer: Desna Wallace, Librarian
Fendalton Open-Air School
Little Truff and the Kereru

Little Truff is a Cavalier King Charles spaniel who was first introduced to readers in a series of novels. This time Little Truff and the Kereru is a picture book aimed at introducing him to younger readers. There is a definite ecological message encouraging readers to think about how different things affect each other and how we must do everything we can to look after our birds, animals and forests.

The story itself seems aimed at much younger readers than the non-fiction aspect at the back of the book and while I do not think the rhyming story is particularly strong, I do think the book’s strength lies in its wonderful layout of facts at the end.

The facts are well thought out and well-researched. The panels of information are easy to read with beautiful, accompanying photographs. The story and facts are well-supported with a glossary and a list of further places to research. This is a book for younger readers who may enjoy the story for its own sake but one that older readers will find useful in any study of New Zealand’s wildlife, especially when it comes to saving our native birds.

Little Truff Saves the Kereru

(New Zealand native pigeon)

Peer Review: Junior Books August 2015 NZ Book Council
Reviewer: Sandra-Lee Bryant, Pirongia School Librarian
Pirongia School

Little Truff Saves the Kererū

A King Charles spaniel named Little Truff and a Siamese cat named Chloe try to solve the problem of Kererū disappearing, while at the same time a family try to solve the problem of a Christmas disappointment.

The two storylines intersect throughout the book and portray ways of working together, utilising each other’s strengths and thinking creatively to overcome challenges for everyone’s benefit. A King Charles spaniel and Siamese cat appear to be unusual foreign breeds in a very New Zealand story, but the contrast becomes a feature for their concern around the well-being of the New Zealand birds.

Rich language, “its spray creating a fine mist and an ideal environment for ferns and mosses”, creates vivid images of New Zealand landscapes and oceans. Information about the habits of numerous native birds and animals, and the interdependence between flora and fauna also adds value, “we glimpsed the mānuka stick nest where an enormous ivory, smooth textured egg lay”. Cultural history is sprinkled throughout. This is a fun book to get valuable messages across, and a great book for a teacher to read to the class.