Lunchbox goals. (Mophead is not in this week's list, but it's terrific and apparently delicious, too). Image and lunch by @BexieLady.

The Unity children’s bestseller chart for the month of February

What’s the best way to get adults reading? Get them reading when they’re children – and there’s no better place to start than the Unity Children’s Bestseller Chart.


1  Māui & Other Legends by Peter Gossage (Penguin, $40, all ages)

A massive 4.79/5 on Goodreads!

2  Animalphabet by Julia Donaldson & Sharon King-Chai (Two Hoots, $28, 3-6)

The thing about Julia Donaldson is she’s always a safe bet. No bum notes. No dumb rhymes. Haven’t read this but am sure it’s gold.

My First Words in Māori by Stacey Morrison, Ali Teo and John O’Reilly (Penguin, $20, 5+)

At this point I’m just copy-pasting from all the other months this one has been in the top 10. Ka pai team.

4  No One Is Too Small To Make A Difference (New Expanded Edition) by Greta Thunberg (Penguin, $10, all ages)

That’s a very funny title.

5  Māui’s Taonga Tales/ He Paki Taonga i a Māui by David Brechin-Smith, translated by Stephanie Tibble  (Te Papa Press, $30, all ages)

See also the moving-pictures version, via Māori Television.

6  ABC What Can She Be? Girls Can Be Anything They Want to Be, from A to Z by Jessie Ford et al (Walter T Foster, $23, 0-5)

Except the Democratic candidate eh.

7  All the Ways to Be Smart by Davina Bell and Allison Colpoys (Scribe, $30, 2-7)

” … funny and tender, exuberant and whimsical, and an absolute joy to pore over … those who feel different from their friends will be reassured by the book’s varied descriptions of what makes someone smart. Examples include the practical (‘knowing where you’re going’), the creative (‘building ships to Mars’) and emotional (‘kindness when there’s crying’).” –

8  Hello New Zealand! by Megan McKean (Thames & Hudson, $25, 4+)

Hello tourist market!

9  Te Tiriti o Waitangi/ The Treaty of Waitangi by Toby Morris with Ross Calman, Mark Derby, and Piripi Walker (Lift Education, $20, 8+)

Toby ruuuuulz

10 Kid-Friendly Auckland by Ceana Priest (Outdoor KidNZ, $20, all ages)

Great for when you want to get out and about between epidemics.


1  The Boy, The Mole, The Fox & the Horse by Charlie Mackesy (Ebury Press, $40, 10+) 

Sink your hamster-wheeling brain into this, it’s like quiet and kindness and wisdom all fused and manifested.

2  No One Is Too Small To Make A Difference (New Expanded Edition) by Greta Thunberg (Penguin, $10, all ages)

3  Aotearoa: The New Zealand Story by Gavin Bishop (Puffin Books, $40, 5+) 

Sample page headings: Māori Land Loss, Transport in the New Dominion, Food, Sports, Some People Became Well Known.

4  The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman (Penguin, $21, 15+)

Those chasing the dragon of the original series may be slightly let down; still, unputdownable.

5  The Book of Dust: The Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman (Penguin Random House, $35, 15+) 

See #4

6  Aroha’s Way by Craig Phillips (Tikitibu NZ, $20, 5+) 

Gorgeous illustrations, great basics for helping kids with anxiety.

7  Mapmakers’ Race by Eirlys Hunter (Gecko Press, $20, 8+) 

First chapter here – appealingly grown-up-looking.

8  Wheels by Sally Sutton & Brian Lovelock (Walker, $28, 5+) 

“Wheels go fast, wheels go slow, shout what’s coming, if you know!” Sally Sutton knocks it out of the park, again.

9  Wildlife of Aotearoa by Gavin Bishop (Puffin Books, $40, 6+) 

Follow five whitebait guides as they traverse huge pages of glorious, detailed science and story.

10 Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Ugly Animals by Sami Bayly (Lothian Press, $38, 6+) 

We vehemently reject the premise.

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