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BooksJune 8, 2019

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

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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.

These lists of the bestselling children’s books at Unity Wellington and Little Unity in Auckland cover the sales period May 10 – June 6 2019.


1 Encyclopedia of Grannies by Éric Veillé (Picture book, Gecko Press, $30)

According to my information, this is only for ages 0-100! Sorry, 101 year old! You get out of here! Go read Miss Marple, you 20th century loon.

2 Animalphabet by Julia Donaldson (Picture book, Two Hoots, $28)

A fun guessing game in a picture book! Who can slither better than a rabbit, indeed.

3 Maui & Other Legends: 8 Classic Tales of Aotearoa by Peter Gossage (Picture book, Penguin, $40)

Other legends: Rachel Hunter, Colin Mathura-Jeffries, literally every person in a sports bar who has been called a legend after two beers.

4 The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (Illustrated fiction, Collectors Library, $17)

Your child is never too young to be introduced to the pleasant, calming joys of Watercolours (also the name of Chelsea Jade’s music act before her rebrand).

5 101 Collective Nouns by Jennifer Cossins (Illustrated non-fiction, Lothian Press, $20)

I could genuinely use a copy of this, as someone who refers to every group of person, animal or item as ‘my dudes’.

6 Animals of Aotearoa by Gillian Candler & Ned Barraud (Illustrated non-fiction, Potton & Burton, $35)

Gonna have to update this one in a few years with everything that’s gone extinct, huh? Wow! Dark.

7 Lion in the Meadow by Margaret Mahy (Picture book, Hachette, $30)

You’re not supposed to be in there, titular lion of this 50 year old classic! Go back to where you belong – the terrifying remake of beloved Hamlet adaptation The Lion King.

8 The Noisy Book by Soledad Bravi (Board book, Gecko Press, $25)

A welcome alternative to all those quiet books I keep hearing complaints about.

9 Pop-Up Things that Go! By Ingela P. Arrehenius (Pop-up book, Walker Books, $17)

I am pleasantly surprised to see that no screen can dull or dim the pleasure of something that pops up into your face when you open it.

10 The Cat from Muzzle by Sally Sutton (Picture book, Penguin, $20)

“Over mountains and across rivers, this delightful true story traces a high-country cat’s epic, five-week journey home to New Zealand’s most remote station.” I’m already crying! I don’t want anything bad to happen to this cat.


1 Mapmaker’s Race by Eirlys Hunter (Gecko Press, $25)

Four children go on a wild race, organised by a mapmaker, which has got to be a dying job.

2 Cat From Muzzle by Sally Sutton (Picture book, Puffin, $20) Picture Book

If I don’t read this, it means that nothing bad happens to the cat.

3 Encyclopedia of Grannies by Eric Veille (Picture book, Gecko Press, $30)

Once more, if you’re over 100 then you cannot read this book. Get out of here, oldie.

4 Northern Lights #1 His Dark Materials 20th Anniversary Edition by Philip Pullman (Teen/YA novel, Scholastic, $20) 12yrs upwards (Teen/YA)

Get your kid this book just in time for them to be disappointed by the BBC series, just like I was disappointed by the Nicole Kidman-wasting 2007 feature film.

5 Wonky Donkey by Craig Smith (Picture book, Scholastic, $19)

One of the rare children books that is based on a song. The song is also called ‘Wonky Donkey’, it’s not based on like, ‘Green Light’ or anything. Imagine that, though!

6 Inside the Villains by Clotilde Perrin (Picture book, Gecko Press, $35)

This picture book sounds genuinely really cool – you, your child, or your inner child can look inside scary villains from fiction and fairytales and find out what makes them tick. You’re never too young/old to learn about empathy, I say.

7 Hazel & the Snails by Nan Blanchard (Massey University Press, $22)

“Six-year-old Hazel tends her colony of shoebox snails while observing, with varying degrees of understanding, her father’s illness and final decline.” No, you’re crying. Shut up.

8 Encyclopedia of Animals edited by Tim Harris (Reference picture book, Francis Lincoln, $23)

See above re: animals and extinction.

9 Hidden Oracle #1 Trials of Apollo by Rick Riordan (Puffin, $21)

My guess is that this sequel to the Heroes of Olympus fictionalizes some of the more palatable trials of Apollo, and not the nymph harassing trials of Apollo.

10 Bullseye Bella by James T Guthrie (Scholastic, $18)

“Twelve-year-old Bella Kerr is a darts prodigy. And when she finds out that her little brothers special schooling is at risk because of lack of money, Bella secretly enters a darts competition at the local pub.” If the film rights for this haven’t already been sold, then our film producers are not doing their job. This story is so wholesome it’s made of Vogels.

The Spinoff Review of Books is proudly brought to you by Unity Books, recently named 2020 International Book Store of the Year, London Book Fair, and Creative New Zealand. Visit Unity Books Wellington or Unity Books Auckland online stores today. 

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