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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

The Great Aotearoa Puzzle Book by Barbara Telfer

Put your thinking caps on and test your knowledge about all things Aoteaora in this puzzle book for younger readers.

This collection of fun and educational puzzles celebrates aspects of New Zealand and Māori culture, as well as te reo Māori, and will keep children amused for hours.

It is crammed full of great activities to challenge the younger generation, or for those that are new to our country. The book includes a wide range of puzzles, from cracking codes to word finds, mazes to crosswords, and much more.

It covers a range of Aotearoa-centric knowledge, from inventors, places and traditional Māori culture, while also offering readers the chance to expand their vocabulary and knowledge of te reo Māori.

With the New Zealand curriculum being expanded to include our history, I see this puzzle book being an extra bonus for schools to utilise. Too often history is classified as boring or outdated, but this puzzle book can help build excitement about learning more about our place, as well as using the puzzles to really cement knowledge. Of course, it's not going to be a book that is referenced or is used to teach our history. But it does make it fun.

Marketed at the middle primary school aged reader, it is really ageless, with most adults bound to find something that will challenge them a little.

Surprisingly for a puzzle book, it also features illustrations. Minky Stapleton illustrates a lot of Scholastic books, and the publishers have called on her again. Her drawings are rich and full of detail, adding to the puzzles rather than distracting from them.

The book also includes the answers and a few handy blank pages to jot down your own notes. It's a great portable size too, just the right dimensions to slip unobtrusively into a bag or pocket.

The Great Aotearoa Puzzle Book is a fun and entertaining book that will challenge readers while also imparting some important historical knowledge.

Reviewed by: Rebekah Lyell

Scholastic, RRP $12.99


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