The Puffin Treasury of New Zealand Children’s Stories, volume 4 ed. Jenni Keestra, Puffin, Auckland NZ, 2007, 240 pages, paperback, NZ$ 29.95
Here it is, just in time for Christmas, the annual mix of fresh and familiar tales for young Kiwis. Like its three predecessors, this popular anthology offers a new generation a selection from classic New Zealand stories and picture books. This volume will give many young readers their first acquaintance with the complete text of Grandpa’s Shorts by Joy Watson, Little Duck Checks it Out by Grey Armstrong, The Tree Witches by Gwenda Armstrong, The Legend of the Kea by Philip Temple and the classic Annie & Moon by Miriam Smith.
There are also extracts from a range of novels which will inspire readers into searching libraries for Maurice Gee’s The World Around the Corner, Judy Corbalis’s Porcellus, the Flying Pig, Janet Frame’s Mona Minim and the Smell of the Sun and Jack Lasenby’s Aunt Effie
Best of all some brilliant stories and poems from the School Journal are reprinted, so that Eeling by Kelly Haitana and The Chewing Gum Trip by Diana Hebley will be enjoyed again. Many of the original illustrations have also been reprinted, so that Jane Buxton’s The Fleas Eat Out is accompanied by Dick Frizzells’s marvellous pictures of four-armed fleas.
The Puffin Treasury of New Zealand Children’s Stories is now established as a regular feature of Kiwi childhood, a tradition to be treasured.
This review by Trevor Agnew was first published in The Press, Christchurch New Zealand on 26th January 2008.