Picture Book Nook: Henry’s Map by David Elliot

Henry is a very particular sort of pig, who believes there’s ‘a place for everything and everything in its place.’  But when he looks out the window, he’s troubled.  The farm is a mess! How will anybody find anything? Henry comes up with a plan.  He’ll draw a map!  Follow Henry and his friends through the farm as he draws the map.  Will this sort everything out?

Henry’s Map is a very funny picture book that’s full of surprises.  I started reading it thinking it was going to be a pretty straight-forward story, but David Elliot had me laughing out loud as the story took an unexpected turn.  It’s so much fun to read aloud, because you naturally speed-up the second part of the story as the animals are all rushing around.

The animals all have quite unique personalities so you can’t help but do different voices for each one.  Henry the very organised pig is a cute wee guy who kids will love.  He proudly clutches his map and shows it off to the other animals on the farm, but he gets quite flustered when he thinks that it’s all wrong.

David’s illustrations are superb and his characters are very animated.  The sheep are bursting with energy, the chickens are all in a flap, and the horse is galloping full-pelt down the hill.  One moment they full of delight and the next they’re full of worry.

Grab a copy of Henry’s Map by one of our most talented author/illustrators, David Elliot.


Newly updated Margaret Mahy books from HarperCollins NZ

HarperCollins New Zealand have just released two newly updated Margaret Mahy books to celebrate her life and work.

Margaret Mahy: A Writer’s Life by Tessa Duder

This was first published in 2005 and it has now been fully updated and republished.  The updates include:

  • Updated introduction
  • New Epilogue which covers Margaret’s life between 2005 and 2012.
  • Updated notes
  • Updated Chronological Bibliography with Margaret’s books published from 2005 onwards.
  • Updated Awards and Honours (including the Hans Christian Anderson Award which Margaret won in 2006).
  • New photos.

The Word Witch by Margaret Mahy, illustrations by David Elliot, edited by Tessa Duder

This was originally published in hardback in 2009 (I have my copy in pride of place on my bookshelf) and is the ultimate collection of Margaret Mahy’s much-loved poems and stories in rhyme.  Each of the 66 pieces is accompanied by a poignant illustration by one of New Zealand’s best, David Elliot.

This new paperback edition includes a CD with recordings of Margaret reciting 12 poems, including favourites such as Down the Back of the Chair and Ghosts.  The CD is a delight to listen to and it’s wonderful to hear these poems read as Margaret heard them in her head.  If you already own a copy of The Word Witch it’s definitely worth buying a copy of this edition as well, just so you can listen to Margaret perform the poems over and over again.