Growing up, whenever we would visit our grandparents my sister and I would race for one particular book. I have long forgotten the name, but I remember it vividly. Intricate British scenery with flora and fauna hidden within, a race to find each delicately painted creature the likes of which would never call New Zealand home (or which we call pests. Looking at you hedgehog).
Where Is It? is the New Zealand version of my childhood memory, and it is infinitely better. This fun and interactive 'seek and find' book is all about our animals, our wildlife.
From the open ocean, to the beach, wetlands, river, forests and mountains, it is New Zealand on show. Not some cottage garden direct from England.
Ned Barraud has created bold and richly detailed illustrations of different habitats, and then filled them with the wildlife that calls that zone home. From the flounder to the pipi, ngāokeoke to pāpaka, children learn what to look for when out in our environment.
A comprehensive glossary at the back of the book, alongside information about each creature's lifecycle, habitat and eating habits makes this a wonderful resource book too.
One tiny letdown was the lack of te reo Māori names included on the illustration page - but Barraud rectifies that in the glossary.
His illustrations are beautiful, as usual. We loved the split viewpoints of the rocky shore, beach, and ocean - giving us a glimpse both above and below the water. The deep sea spread is also fantastic, teaching children about book orientation at the same time.
I can see some really great potential with this book in terms of teaching resources. Backgrounds sans animals for starters with cut out animals to allow children to create their own seek and finds.
Where Is It? is an innovative and interactive book that will inspire younger generations to explore our incredible environment. An information resource and fun game, all wrapped in one beautiful book.
Reviewed by: Rebekah Lyell
Potton & Burton, RRP $19.99