Whose Home is This? by Gillian Candler, illustrated by Fraser Williamson
Whose Home is This? is the third in an excellent series of non-fiction picture books educating children about New Zealand’s native fauna. The first two are Whose Beak is This? and Whose Feet are These? Following the previous formats, Whose Home is This? uses a page-turning formula to keep young audiences engaged. This book takes us on a tour of New Zealand native birds and sea creatures, revealing information about their habitats.
I’m not sure how Candler picked the 12 animals featured here, some of them are cross-overs from the other books such as kea, (with different information shared here, so it doesn’t feel repetitive.) But it’s an interesting selection, from kea to manaia (sea-horse) to kekeno (NZ fur seal).
With a suggested age range of 3-6, I started reading these books when my youngest was two. The oldest is now five and these still appeal.
Writer Gillian Candler and illustrator Fraser Williamson are onto a winning formula with this series. Candler has a background in educational publishing and a love of conservation. The book has the right amount of fact, but stays engaging. The excellent use of Te Reo names reminds me that we still have a long way to come in terms of recognising and using the native and correct names for things in New Zealand, and there is the opportunity for me to learn, too. All this, combined with Williamson’s beautiful, delicate artwork make these books a pleasure to read.
Reviewer: Heidi North
Potton & Burton, Hardback $24.99, Paperback $14.99