Book Review: My New Zealand 123, ABC and Colours Book

Te Papa Press takes its children’s publishing to a new audience with three beautiful board books for very young readers, in te reo Maori and English, featuring popular objects and artworks from the national art collection.

We were sent these three board books for review, and oh golly, I’m so glad we were. My New Zealand 123 Book, My New Zealand ABC Book and My New Zealand Colours Book are beautiful to look at, delightful to read, and super-fun to reminisce over; seeing Humpty, Manu and Big Ted together was like a travelling back over 30 years in time!

My New Zealand books My New Zealand books My New Zealand booksEach book features images of well-known, easily-identifiable or special New Zealand images, and I love that as well as being educational through the use of language, they showcase some of our artistic history. There is a pictorial index at the back of each, which was fascinating for me as well as for my boys. They are quintessentially New Zealand, and as such, recognisable and fun.

My New Zealand books My New Zealand books My New Zealand books My New Zealand booksThey are the kind of books you could pore over for hours; the details in some of the images are striking, while remaining incredibly appealing for children. Pickle wouldn’t let me turn the pages until he’d had a really good look at each one, and he was keen to point out all the little details that I’d missed in my haste.

Aimed at the 0-3 age range, these books also appealed to Tiny, at four-and-a-half. He learns Maori at kindy, and was interested in seeing how the colours and numbers were spelled. He liked the prose, and had a good chuckle at some of the lines:

“grey – kiwikiwi – I like mud that’s thick as gloop. I’ll squelch about in my gumboots.”


“C is for car all rusty and crinkly. Too long in the bath has made it go wrinkly.”

These books would make a gorgeous gift for a little kiwi living abroad, but would equally be a welcome addition to any New Zealand household. My boys love them, and so do I.

These books were provided to us for review purposes but the opinions expressed here are my own.


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