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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

You Don't Know How Lucky You Are by Belinda O'Keefe

Accident-prone Izzy is consoled and then distracted by great-uncle Arthur's tales of the trials he encountered as a boy. When she moans about unloading the dishwasher, Arthur tells her she doesn't know how lucky she is. He's always done something worse than her - from having to hand-wash stacks of dishes or dodging arrows in a battle. As the stories get wilder his great-niece starts to wonder if he may be exaggerating just a little.

This fun picture book draws on that well-known battle between the generations, connecting younger readers with the experience of their grandparents' generation. This makes it a perfect book to read aloud to younger children, adult readers will no doubt have their own experiences of tall tales.

Illustrator Ross Kinnaird adds to the hyperbole of the story itself, with outlandish characters and situations. His bright and bold illustrations add to the fun, and there's plenty to capture your eye and imagination.

The book is bilingual, translated into te reo Māori by Te Ama-Rere-Tai Rangihuna (Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahungunu), opening it up to a wider audience. Rangihuna uses simple sentence structures and the design is kept the same for both English and Māori. This makes it a great one for those beginning their te reo Māori journey, as you can easily spot key words and phrases.

You Don't Know How Lucky You Are is a fun story about the telling of tall tales that will amuse readers of all ages.

Reviewer: Rebekah Lyell

Oratia Books


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