Monday, July 18, 2011

The Kiwi Kingdom: A Book Review

The Kiwi Kingdom by New Zealander Rosemary Thomas is a children's novel about interactions between various animal species, including humans. Using anthropomorphic traits, native New Zealand animals take the reader on a journey through the untamed and unpredictable environment of the New Zealand landscape. Friendships are explored, adventures are had, and lessons are learned.
This small novel has the perfect storyline and interesting animal species that will intrigue elementary school students, yet much of the vocabulary is a bit challenging for some young readers. Thomas uses language and sentence structure that feels juvenile while adding in some words that even adults may have to look up. As an elementary teacher, I can easily imagine my students interested in the story that this book tells. However, I can also easily imagine having to stop at every page or so to explain some vocabulary that my students will have no way of knowing. Older readers will tire of the unsophisticated writing and simple storyline, yet they are the only readers who can easily read this book. Despite its technical faults, the story this book tells contains great life lessons that children should learn. With a lot of pre-planning, this book can be taught in several lessons to young students. You can obtain a copy of this book at this link. I received a complimentary copy of The Kiwi Kingdom as a member of the Dorrance Publishing Book Review Team. Visit to learn how you can become a member of the Book Review Team.

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