Here are some of the great books I’m looking forward to coming in February from HarperCollins New Zealand.
Steel Pelicans by Des Hunt (NZ)
Sometimes friendship and loyalty can be dangerous things – especially when fireworks are involved.
Inseparable Aussie friends dare-devil Dean and tag-along Pelly often get up to no good. That’s what makes them the Steel Pelicans. But as Dean’s homemade fireworks get increasingly dangerous, things start going wrong, and Pelly’s parents hasten a move back to New Zealand. After living most of his life in Australia, Pelly feels like he’s been dumped in a foreign land with no friends and a school that doesn’t care, until he joins up with Afi Moore and is invited to stay the weekend at the Moores’ seaside bach. Then the pair stumble on a smuggling operation and find themselves deep in trouble, which only gets worse when Dean comes over for the holidays. In no time at all, Dean’s obsession with explosives threatens not only the investigation but also their lives.
Des Hunt is one of my favourite New Zealand authors. He writes adventure/mystery stories set in New Zealand and they usually have an ecological message. If you live in NZ and haven’t read any of Des Hunt’s books you should remedy this immediately. They’re especially good for boys around age 9+.
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
Ivan is an easy-going gorilla. Living at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade, he has grown accustomed to humans watching him through the glass walls of his domain. He rarely misses his life in the jungle. In fact, he hardly ever thinks about it at all.
Instead, Ivan thinks about TV shows he’s seen, and his friends Stella, an elderly elephant, and Bob, a stray dog. But mostly Ivan thinks about art and how to capture the taste of a mango or the sound of leaves with colour and a well-placed line. Then he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from her family, and she makes Ivan see their home-and his own art-through new eyes. When Ruby arrives, change comes with her, and it’s up to Ivan to make it a change for the better.
Katherine Applegate blends humour and poignancy to create Ivan’s unforgettable first person narration in a story of friendship, art, and hope.
I’ve heard so many good things about this book and I just know that it’s going to be one of those stories that gets right under my skin.
The Lorax (Eco edition) by Dr. Seuss
An eco-friendly edition of one of my favourite Dr. Seuss stories, printed on 100% recycled paper. The Lorax movie, starring Danny Devito (as The Lorax) is coming soon so this is a lovely edition to bring the story to a new generation.