Aotearoa New Zealand by Christine Dale
At birth, a baby’s eyesight and colour perception is still developing. Experts agree that babies can see black, white and shades of grey to begin with. This is why babies are drawn to books with strong black and white pictures.
Aotearoa New Zealand is a new board book that celebrates the shapes of New Zealand’s fauna for our littlest readers.
Bold, bright artworks with high contrast make it easy for baby to focus. Kōwhaiwhai borders add to the depth and contrast.
Each animal pictured in the book is accompanied by their name in both te reo Māori and English. Tohutō are also used correctly, although regional dialect differences aren’t included for some animals. This isn’t a downfall though, leading to an interesting discussion with older toddlers.
The thick, glossy board pages make this book able to withstand the many stages of baby development. It will last through the tasting stage at about 5 months old, when baby will chew, mouth and drop the book. As baby gains more independence, those thick pages will allow them to turn pages and manipulate the book themselves.
This is a wonderful book to read aloud to the youngest of babies. The benefits of reading are immense – from teaching about communication, introducing concepts like colours and shapes, building listening, memory and vocabulary skills. Aotearoa New Zealand also gives babies information about the world around them – our unique fauna.
This board book will be a fantastic addition to any baby’s library, and a perfect baby shower gift for Kiwi parents. It’s lovely to see more of our unique cultural heritage appearing in board books, and Aotearoa New Zealand is another gorgeous one to add to the growing list.
Reviewer: Rebekah Fraser
One Tree House, RRP $15