Zippo the Super Hippo by Kes Gray; illustrated by Nikki Dyson (2015)

[Published by MacMillan]


I am no child psychologist, but I can tell from the cover alone that Zippo is going to be a hit with the young ‘uns. “How Lucy? How do you know this?” Well team, I can guarantee that any book with the phrase “Bottom Power” on the cover, which features a large hippo in underpants will be instant “read it again” material.

Zippo the hippo has a hankering for being super, for having a super power to be more precise. By process of elimination, he and his friend Roxi hit upon flying as the perfect power for him.

“You’re right!” said Zippo. “If I could fly, I could get a super cape and some super boots and I could fly 20150729_082518around the world being Zippo the Super Hippo!” Zippo’s attempts at launching himself elegantly in the air fail miserably, ending each time with a giant splat, and an animal squashed beneath his admirable bottom. In good news, it turns out that super bottoms can be quite a weapon against misbehaving animals. And so, Zippo the Super Hippo is born.

There are all sorts of goodies hidden in the pages of this beautifully illustrated, hilariously told story. Come on down Zippo, we’ve saved you a place in the inner circle of friends here at myfriendlucy!

Check out Zippo the Super Hippo at Auckland Libraries.

Or buy Zippo the Super Hippo from Fishpond.


You nest here with me by Jane Yolen and Heidi Stemple; illustrated by Melissa Sweet (2015)

[Published by Boyds Mills Press]


She’s such a wee sweetie today.

“My little nestling, time for bed.

Climb inside, you sleepyhead.

Like baby bird, your nest can be

Anywhere there’s you and me.”

A stunning array of birds then spill from the pages. From pigeons nesting on concrete ledges, to plovers IMG_1883on sandy shores, all your favourite feathered friends feature. The factual pages at the back of the book add fascinating information about all the birds featured.

The rhyming language is lovely and lyrical and the message is a special one to share with the small people in your life. Delicious.

Check out You nest here with me at Auckland Libraries.

Or buy You Nest Here with Me from Fishpond.


Squishy squashy birds by Carl van Wijk and Alicia Munday (2014)

[Published by Potton & Burton]


New Zealand really does boast a most spectacular array of native birds. If you’ve never hunkered down in the bird-viewing hide at Nugget Point in the Catlins and delighted in wobbly hoiho making their way across across the beach, then I insist you add it to your bucket list immediately! (I have been known to describe the Catlins as New Zealand’s Disneyland. Admittedly this is a pretty obscure comparison, based mostly on the fact that in a small area there are all sorts of natural wonders to behold. Please don’t go expecting rollercoasters).

In Sammy’s backpack, lives his favourite book, Endangered Birds of New Zealand. When closed, said endangered birds are forced to squeeze themselves into its pages, creating all sorts of undignified shapes.IMG_1893

“Kōkako then chimed in,

“There’s no room for my trilling!

My beak’s jammed in the corner.

I’d hardly call that thrilling.”

When Sammy finally makes it to school and unleashes the beauty of his favourite book on his classmates, the rainbow-coloured mayhem is a delight to behold.

The rhyming language is beautiful, the pictures magnificent. You will want to share this gorgeous story on a regular basis.

[Recommended by Phillippa – thanks Phillippa!]

Check out Squishy squashy birds at Auckland Libraries.

Or buy Squishy Squashy Birds from Fishpond.

[Oh boy, in a quick update, I’ve just discovered the amazing Squishy squashy bird merchandise. Check out the shower curtains. Stay strong Lucy, stay strong.]


Room 20 you have been awesome!

Today I hung out with Room 20 for the last time, which was sad both because they are awesome, and also because I can no longer pester them for book reviews. Here are their final two reviews, thanks guys!


Hello world! by Tracy Clarry (2013)

[Published by Tracy Design]

Hello person that I have never met. This story is about knowledge and colours and personality. It is a great book for people under the age of six about stuff they have never known in their lives.

It has great and beautiful pictures that are the same as in the real world.

By Daltan and Jacob.

Check out Hello World! at Auckland Libraries.

Or buy Hello World! from Fishpond.


Squinty the seagull by Janet Martin; illustrated by20150624_101058 Ivar Treskon (2014)

[Published by Jampot Productions]

This book is really good for ages seven and under, with bright and colourful illustrations.

Squinty the seagull learnt how to surf.  There is one good thing about this, even though he only has one eye to look, he was still the champion. It’s a happy story, because he did not have to be perfect. Even though he had a disability he still achieved something and he was determined. There is also a beautiful song that goes with the story.

By Paige and Eh Thaw Kue.

Check out Squinty the seagull at Auckland Libraries.

Or buy Squinty the Seagull from Fishpond.


Kiri the kereru by Janet Martin; illustrated by Ivar Treskon (2007)

[Published by Jampot productions]

kiriRoom 20 is on a roll…

Kiri the kereru is a bright amazing book to read and it is great for children who love birds! This book is full of colourful illustrations and it is full of rhymes. It also relates to New Zealand nature. This story can show children how to be nice and that they can change from being greedy kids to being really kind again.

Thavy and Estania.20150626_135728

Check out Kiri the kereru at Auckland Libraries.

Or buy Kiri the Kereru at Fishpond.


Little bird takes a bath by Marisabina Russo (2015)

[Published by Random House]

little b

“It was a rainy night in the city.

Little Bird sat looking at the street below.

He watched the umbrellas bobbing up and down.

He listened to taxis honk-honk-honking.”

Little Bird isn’t a fan of rain, and in the morning he’s pleased to see the falling stuff has retreated. His hunt for an appropriate bathing spot begins. It’s harder than you would think. Other birds, balls, little girls and dogs all seem intent on competing with Little Bird for his wee sliver of watery goodness. Finally an empty fountain provides the perfect bathing spot.

Little Bird overflows with lovely descriptive language. Words like skitter, flit and trilled add to the richness of the story. A perky number for a rainy day.

IMG_1826Check out Little bird takes a bath at Auckland Libraries.

Or buy Little bird takes a bath from Fishpond.


Spots by Helen Ward (2014)

[Published by Templar Publishing]


Sometimes being different can feel like the worst thing in the world. Poor old guinea fowl has no spots and living with a flock of spot-laden birds, understandably he’s not happy about it. He sends off a letter with a spot-request.

The first delivery is completely wrong and subsequent parcels are no better, with some spots too big, others too sneezy and small. While guinea fowl isn’t a fan of the spots that arrive, I’ve gotta say I think they’re pretty magnificent.

Finally guinea fowl settles for spots that are officially wrong, but are right for him. He reaches the conclusion, “The best spots to have, when it’s friends that you seek, are the spots that you wear with a smile on your beak.”


This is a gorgeous tactile story with holes and sparkles and an important message for sharing with small people.

Check out Spots at Auckland Libraries.

Or buy Spots from Fishpond.