Grab Ya Boots! We're Going A-Hunting by Marion Day
New Zealand author Marion Day teams up with her son Jason and other young Kiwi hunters in this collection of sporting and adventure stories.
Packed full of stories and poems, this collection centres around the wild outdoors. There's hunting, fishing, hiking and much more to help inspire younger ones out into the great outdoors.
Every yarn might be true or partly true, or totally made up, and a cartoon story has been thrown in for good measure. Jokes, from the classic one-liners to 'what hunters really mean', up the humour. Readers will also find some handy advice about baking bread and building a bivouac.
Day includes two tales from Cor Blimey, Mate and Blow Your Socks Off! for those who missed out on those popular books by the author.
However, where the book really shines is in the stories written by children. These are stories and poems written by New Zealand children about their exploits in the wild. The authors share their experiences of being in nature and hunting. Whether it's connecting with nature, a way to feed the family, or ridding the environment of pests, the children cover it.
There are beautiful poems about our native birds, about the impact of introduced species, and an unexpected bond with a kunekune pig.
The book is illustrated with photographs of the young writers and their quarry, and quirky sketches by West Coast artist Robyn Hoglund.
Day has managed to handle the conflicting opinions with care. The book isn't a glorification of violence, or a trophy room. It's a glimpse into the concept of ecological sustainability possible when children develop an appreciation of and sensitivity to the natural world.
In the nicest possible way, this book obviously won't be for everyone. Yes, hunting is controversial (and some of that is touched on by the stories within). But for a lot of New Zealanders, especially those of us in rural areas, it is a vital part of everyday life. This is a collection of stories that will encourage those children to read, and to be inspired.
Reviewed by: Rebekah Lyell
AM Publishing, RRP $24.99