Monday, 20 November 2006

5 Kiwis in a Kombi on Tour , Dave Gunson, 2006

5 KIWIS IN A KOMBI ON TOUR, Dave Gunson, Reed, Auckland, New Zealand, 2006, 48 pages, paperback NZ$19.99 ISBN 1-86948-589-0

Comic Guide to the Nation

Dave Gunson is a skilled natural history illustrator and a witty writer. Both talents combine brilliantly in his picture book 5 Kiwis in a Kombi on Tour which offers a quick north-to-south introduction to New Zealand and its inhabitants. Colourful cartoon illustrations follow five Kiwi roving from Hundertwasser’s toilet in Kawakawa to the southern hemisphere’s biggest pyramid in Invercargill. In between, they uncover an amazing range of facts and achievements, including our smartest bird (Kea) and shallowest lake (Ellesmere). There are also topic sections, such as Volcanoes ‘n’ Quakes where we learn about the eruption that created Lake Taupo and the number of volcanoes under Auckland (48). There’s even a diagram that compares Christchurch Cathedral with our major mountains! Tourists will enjoy this book as a lively introduction to New Zealand, while young readers will be fascinated by the weird stuff and cheerful approach. Even the Acknowledgements list is funny.

Trevor Agnew (2006)

First published in The Press, Christchurch, New Zealand

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