Great Kiwi Reads

New Zealand is home to some of the best authors for kids. We couldn’t pick our favourites, so we asked our friend Ollie to give us the low-down on his.

Hairy Maclary from Donaldson's Dairy by Lynley Dodd. Image courtesy of Penguin NZ.

Hey! My name is Ollie and Kiwi Kids Abroad asked me to share my favourite New Zealand books.

My most favourite story is one that my mum used to read to me every night. It’s about a scruffy black dog called Hairy Maclary who lives in a dairy (also known as a corner shop) and his mates adventure to the local dog park.

The story is full of funny characters like a sausage dog named Schnitzel Von Krumm and a dalmatian called Bottomley Potts – but watch out for their enemy Scarface Claw, he is the scariest tomcat in town!

You can read the story online at the booktrust.org.uk. Just search for Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy by Lynley Dodd.

Read it here

The Boy With Two Shadows by Margaret Mahy. Image courtesy of Penguin NZ.

Margaret Mahy has written so many stories it’s hard to pick just one. A Lion in the Meadow is a story about a little boy who has a vast imagination and sees a lion lurking in the meadow! His mum says nonsense, she doesn’t believe him and tells him to go play. Mother fills a matchbox with a magical dragon to scare away the lion, but this only scares the little boy more!

Another good story by Margaret Mahy is The Boy with Two Shadows. It’s about a boy, a witch, and their shadows. The witch needs someone to look after her trouble-making shadow while she’s on vacation and spots a boy who takes excellent care of his own. The boy quickly finds out two shadows are not better than one, especially when one belongs to a mischievous witch!

Māui and Other Māori Legends by Peter Gossage. Image courtesy of Penguin NZ.

Maui and Other Maori Legends by Peter Gossage. If you watched Disney’s Moana, you’ve already met trickster Maui the demigod. What you probably didn’t know is that Maui is a pretty important character in Māori culture. This book is full of myths and legends about the other awesome stuff he’s done like fishing up the North Island of New Zealand, discovering fire and even slowing down the sun!