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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

1,2,3 with New Zealand Rugby by Justin Laing

Young rugby lovers can learn to count and read in English and te reo Māori in this new book by loyal fan Justin Laing.

Children can count the players, trophies, balls and fans in this bilingual book that covers from one to ten.

Laing has taken little readers through the alphabet with A-Z With The ABs. That book stuck solely with the All Blacks, due to licensing constraints. For our family, that book failed to fire.

Fortunately this time around, the book is officially licensed by the All Blacks and New Zealand Rugby. This gives the book far more scope and diversity than the first. In fact, the first thing my daughters noticed was the women on the cover.

This might seem like a small thing, but it's important our children see themselves in books. By skipping over the women's teams, there's a whole generation of young rugby players wondering if there's any future for them in the sport. It's great to see Laing, and New Zealand Rugby, recognise that this time around.

I love the fact both English and te reo Māori appear on the pages together. Simple sentences make it a great book to add to your library if you're learning te reo Māori. It will help highlight and cement the 'rules' of counting too, something that can trip up those starting out.

With All Blacks, Black Ferns and even Sevens players making an appearance, rugby fans are bound to find a page that appeals to them.

Illustrator Wayne Bartlett does a great job creating caricatures of some of our stars, injecting humour - and a sneaky kiwi surprise on each page - into the pages. There's also an autograph section, making this a great keepsake book.

1,2,3 With New Zealand Rugby is a perfect gift for rugby fans of all ages.

Reviewed by: Rebekah Lyell

Bateman Books, RRP $19.99


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