For curious children: Watch Out for the Weka & Up the River

Two fabulous New Zealand non-fiction books for you to READ!



Watch Out for the Weka by Ned Barraud

Potton & Burton 2017

A few years ago our family walked the Abel Tasman track over a number of days. It was like walking inside the best postcard ever with the gleaming clear sea and the bright white sand. I love going on long long walks that feel like a huge challenge. I love getting to the place to stay all glowing with exercise and tucking into a delicious dinner.

I love walking because I love the way it clears your head and gets your skin tingling and your heart pumping and you get to see all kinds of surprising things.


I was so pleased to find this book is set in the Abel Tasman National Park,

and is full of trampers tramping ( I am more of a walker than a tramper!!)

and herons crab fishing and oystercatchers digging

but the star of this book is the curious weka

who is keen to go digging and delving for ANYTHING

especially if it is bright or tasty.


In this story a very curious weka steals

the hut warden’s clothes when he goes swimming.


Oh golly!  I laughed at loud at what happened next

and gasped at what happened after that!


You will just have to hunt down the book

to find out! A fun read with DYNAMIC illustrations.






Up the River : Explore & discover New Zealand’s rivers, lakes & wetlands

by Gillian Candler & Ned Barraud, Potton & Burton, 2017


I really love going on road trips with my family where we get to follow alongside a river or a lake or some wetlands. I feel like they are beautiful to look at in the changing seasons and changing lights but packed full of marvelous things to discover.

And that’s what this book shows. You get to find out what lives in the river or creek, and why braided rivers are like shiny plaits on the gravel beds.

Part of the magic of a book like this is when the illustrator is skilled enough to bring plants, insects, birds and fish to LIFE on the page. Ned does just that.

If you love discovering things about the world we live in, and jumping in the car to go exploring and investigating beautiful places … then this is the book for you.

There is lots of talk at the moment about CLEANING UP our rivers so we can swim in them and eat the fish from them (if we eat fish).

This is an important book because it reminds us exactly why do we need to try extra hard to look after our LIVING waterways.


Thanks for these two GREAT reads!



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