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Counting down till you-know-when

Hi everyone. Far be it from me to remind you that children’s absolutely most favourite time of the year is nigh! But hey, someone has to - and I do so with the very best of intentions, because we have the most wonderful selection of books from the youngest (chewable) to young adults and everything in-between. And nothing makes a better gift than books.

Book launch: 8 November

Join us at Poppies at 3 pm on Saturday 9 November to celebrate the launch of Jiffy, Cat Detective – the first children’s book from award-winning author Catherine Chidgey. When Dad can't find his shoe the family is sent to find it, but Jiffy the cat knows how to solve this mystery. In fact he knew even before the loss was noticed. Told in rhyme and rhythm with a very satisfying ending ... for cats.
All welcome, but please RSVP by 2 November.


Crafts, puzzles, activities, world knowledge, New Zealand knowledge, classics, picture books, special editions … pretty much everything you could wish for (unless you want Peppa Pig or Disney spin-off books, because we have none of those). In the past few months we’ve expanded the children’s section of the shop, so do come in and browse to your heart’s content!

Below is a mere taster of what you will find here for wonderful presents …


Joy Cowley is a national treasure of NZ children’s writing and this new anthology contains favourite rhymes and stories by her for young ones who love being read to or like to read all by themselves. The Gobbledegook Book also has wonderful lively illustrations by Giselle Clarkson. For 3+

Gavin Bishop is another of our national treasures and his new big book Wildlife of Aotearoa is stunning. This is a book that both young and old will learn from. His inimitable illustrations fill the pages with detail and colour, and his writing will encourage discussion points for the whole family. For 8+

A very timely book for the young and not so young is The Adventures of Tupaia. This beautifully illustrated book tells the story of this most handsome high-born Tahitian priest, who among other skills learnt  navigation by the stars. After Cook and his ship arrived in Tahiti, Tupaia befriended Cook and was asked to accompany him to seek the ‘Great Southern Continent’. The rest, as they say, Is history.

Oliver Jeffers, the wonderful  award winning writer of often thought-provoking stories for all ages has now written and illustrated a fable called The Fate of Fausto. “There was once a man who believed he owned everything and set out to survey what was his.” This is charming and seriously stylish. Can be read aloud to young children, or enjoyed by independent readers who enjoy sophisticated picture books.

20 mind-twisting mysteries in Sleuth and Solve by Victor Escandell. This uniquely illustrated  book will beat any silly Christmas cracker quizzes hands down.  These mind-bending mini-mysteries take keen observation, logic and LOTS of creative thinking. For 8+

The new book from Stacy Gregg, Prince of Ponies is a story of courage and determination (and ponies). War destroyed their worlds, now two young girls and their remarkable horses are fighting once more – this time to win. When twelve-year-old Mira stumbles across a white stallion in a forest in Berlin, she doesn't realise that this horse will take her on an incredible journey. Together, they're going to ascend the starry heights of Grand Prix show jumping, and sweep back in time to Poland in 1939 where another young girl is risking everything to save the horse that she loves … For 8+
The Dragon Defenders series, by New Zealand author James Russell, are great adventure/fantasy reading for kids (especially boys) aged 7-12. The novels and the picture books for younger readers also feature augmented reality – simply download the app onto a phone or tablet and scan the relevant page in the book to examine ships and sailboats in 3D, meet the evil Pitbull in person, eavesdrop on important conversations and take a look around Flynn and Paddy's enchanting island! (This is a lousy explanation, but kids will know how to work it.)


For readers aged 11+ who enjoy true stories, there’s Tim & Tigon, about a man (Tim) and his dog (Tigon) who travelled 10,000 kilometres from Mongolia to Hungary on horseback (and foot), recreating the journey of Genghis Khan. For more than three years, Tim and Tigon endured searing heat and bitter cold; dark lonely nights when wolves circled their camp; hunger; despair; joy; and the wild beauty of the landscape that changed constantly around them. They met the people of the steppe, who welcomed Tim and Tigon into their homes, and shared their traditions and histories. Spoiler alert: Tigon does survive the trip.
Aargh - the last In The GONE series!  Michael Grant’s latest and last in this hugely popular series is called Hero.  Never fear if those hard-to-please YA readers in your life have not discovered this dystopian science-fiction series yet as we also have the very first one Gone to get them started. Highly recommended. 13+

Serpent Dove a debut novel by Shelby Mahurin  has been receiving rave reviews . Aimed at young women  this is a gem of a story and will keep readers hooked from the very first page. 13+

And for Harry Potter fans of all ages, the sumptuous fully illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire will be here this week. This is a large-format hardback, with stunning, highly detailed illustrations by Jim Kay (who has done the previous books in the series too).

Coming very very soon:

From the creator of last year’s bestseller Inside the Villains comes The House of Madame M. Lift the flaps and pull the tabs to explore a strange house: hallway, living room, kitchen, bathroom and bedroom. Each room is full of surprises to make even the bravest shiver. Are you in the house of an ogre? A witch? Something else altogether? Full of humour and detail, this book will mesmerise readers of all ages. Reserve your copy now!


This is just a small sample of our children's range. Keep an eye on our website ( to see what we have in stock. You can order any book from the website for delivery – postage is free to urban addresses throughout NZ. Or, better still, drop in and have a look for yourself.

And remember, it’s less than 80 sleeps to Christmas …