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 Mophead by Selina Tusitala Marsh (Auckland University Press $25, 5+)
Your newly-anointed Margaret Mahy Book of the Year; “perfect”, the judges said; freshly reviewed for us by Odessa To’o, a rad woman with big hair.
2 Lizard’s Tale by Weng Wai Chan (Text Publishing $21, 9-13)
Your newly-anointed winner of the Wright Family Foundation Esther Glen Award for Junior Fiction. Adventures in Singapore, freshly reviewed for us by Sam Brooks.
3 The Gobbledegook Book: A Joy Cowley Anthology by Joy Cowley & Giselle Clarkson (Gecko Press $40, 2-9)
Very good! Bright and big, a lovely glossy ribbon to mark one’s place, lots of cats.
4 The World’s Worst Parents by David Walliams (Harper Collins $27, 6-9)
This time last year everyone was buying The World’s Worst Teachers. Yawn, lame, derivative. Get Roald Dahl instead.
5 Big Ideas for Curious Minds: An Introduction to Philosophy by Alain de Botton and Anna Doherty (Affirm Press, $40, 8+)
Illustrated chapter book written by the man who made Proust a bestseller. Check out some spreads here.
6 Kid-Friendly Auckland by Ceana Priest (Outdoor KidNZ, $20, all ages)
Pitch for revised edition: Kid-Friendly Auckland At All Levels.
7 Ocean by Hélène Druvert (Thames & Hudson, $45, all ages)
There’s a stonking great squid on the cover. Sold.
8 Across The Risen Sea by Bren Macdibble (Allen& Unwin, $19, 9-13)
Highly recommended speculative fiction by a New Zealand writer, set over the ditch. Think Life of Pi but with a saltwater croc in place of the tiger (also think Waterworld). Plus, there’s a pirate and a massive shark – yet somehow it still feels very real, and worse, just around the corner.
9 Kuwi & Friends Māori Picture Dictionary by Kat Quin & Pania Papa (Illustrated Publishing, $35, all ages)
A big, bright hardback; each page is a cornucopia of pictures and translations.
10 My First Words in Māori by Stacey Morrison, Ali Teo and John O’Reilly (Penguin, $20, all ages)
Very quickly becoming a classic.
1 The Inkberg Enigma by Jonathan King (Gecko, $30, 6+)
“I would say it’s good for kids. It had some real good surprises.” – Iggy Morris, six, in this cool review.
2 Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer (Hachette, $38)
The oft-maligned Twilight story told from the perspective of Edward. The vampire. Who reads minds. It’s really something.
3 Mophead by Selina Tusitala Marsh (Auckland University Press, $25, all ages)
4 Kuwi & Friends Māori Picture Dictionary by Kat Merewether & Pānia Papa (Illustrated Publishing, $35, all ages)
5 Aspiring by Damien Wilkins (Massey University Press, $22, 12+)
Just loped off with the win in the Young Adult category of the children’s book awards, against an incredibly strong field.
Started life as a short story, The Glove, which you can read here.
6 Lizard’s Tale by Weng Wai Chan (Text Publishing, $21, 9-13)
7 #Tumeke! by Michael Petherwick (Annual Ink, Massey University Press, $30, 9+)
Up next for the newly-anointed winner of the Best First Book Award:
“I’m halfway through another kids book, the Kawakawa Criminological and Rugby Football Club, if anyone is interested! A novel for adults, based in the 90s Auckland underground electronic scene, has been on my desk for a while.
And I’d like to follow up #Tumeke! with an album. All the parents out there know that nothing quite matches long summer road trips with a halfway decent kids’ album belting out the speakers of the car.” – Read NZ.
8 The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charles Macksey (Ebury Press, $40, all ages)
Sweet sketches, wisdom.
9 The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic, $30, 13+)
Extremely smug to see this one still here, three months after release. It’s a prequel to the oft-maligned Hunger Games trilogy.
10 The World’s Worst Parents by David Walliams (HarperCollins, $27, 6+)
The Spinoff Weekly compiles the best stories of the week – an essential guide to modern life in New Zealand, emailed out on Monday evenings.