Ngā Otaota ō Aotearoa: Plants of New Zealand by Christine Dale
Following on from the success of Aotearoa New Zealand, OneTree House has released this new title, focusing on the plants of our country.
This simple, graphic collection of images depicts the colours of iconic New Zealand flora, including the silver fern, kōwhai and the familiar red of our pōhutukawa.
The book uses a simple black and white palette, punctuated with bold pops of colour. The high contrast, with kōwhaiwhai borders to add depth and contrast, are perfect for babies and little ones to focus on.
These types of illustrations also help lay the very beginning blocks of reading for older toddlers who will also enjoy this book. Illustrations help beginning readers associate objects with words. This in turn allows the younger reader to begin comprehending the words, before moving onto becoming a fluent reader. This might seem lofty for a baby's board book - but these early foundations are laid from the earliest of days.
The publishers once again understand little people. The thick glossy board pages add to the sensory experience, while also being able to withstand the absolute carnage a chewing, mouthing, dribbling baby can unleash on a book. The thick pages will allow older babies the independence to turn pages themselves.
The text is simple, in both te reo Māori and English, aiming to introduce languages and basic vocabulary to all ages. You don't need to be fluent in te reo Māori to read this book but the basics of pronunciation are required. It's fantastic to once again see tohutō - macrons - used for the te reo Māori words as required.
Ngā Otaota ō Aotearoa shows our unique plant life, and te reo Māori, to our littlest of readers. OneTree House consistently puts our world on the pages, allowing our children to see a world that looks like the one they live in, forming a connection to the book on another level.
This is another beautiful important book from OneTree House, one that would make a great addition to any little person's bookshelf.
Reviewed by: Rebekah Lyell
OneTree House, RRP $17