New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards

New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards | Uncle Trev and His Whistling Bull

New Zealand Post Children's Book AwardsThe New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards celebrates annually the depth and range of talent our home-grown authors can offer kiwi readers.

Ethan devours books at a rate that is hard to keep up with, so we were so happy to receive a package containing novels for review from two of the finalists in the Junior Fiction section.

First on the reading list was Uncle Trev and His Whistling Bull by Jack Lasenby {with the most beautiful dust jacket I have ever seen on a paperback btw!}.

Ethan and I (and of late Dave has joined in) have been taking turns to read chapters from the book, each one a hilarious, stand-alone vignette detailing rural life in 1930’s New Zealand. The characters are rich in personality and gorgeously attractive to young readers. Ethan adores the wild story telling of Uncle Trev and the plucky precociousness of his neighbour Gotta Henry – we all know a character like this, a friend, relly or acquaintance that is forever asking if you’ve “gotta hammer mate?”. I think the familiarity of the tales and the characters they expand are what makes this book so endearing, Uncle Trev and his menagerie of animals, friends, family and others in the wider community could happily exist in any town, in any corner of New Zealand.

Ethan {8.5yrs} has been kept guessing and questioning as he is not sure of the credibility of Uncle Trev, some of his tales seemed to be a little tall – but they are so convincing! Who wouldn’t believe in a man-eating Kauri when it comes from such an esteemed story teller!
Our family has loved reading this book together, there are moments of pure hilarity told in a beautifully ‘kiwi’ way that is warm, recognisable and endearing to readers of all ages.


Image(s) via Booksellers NZ.



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I live in rural Auckland, New Zealand. Two boys, one big, one not so big and 2 boy dogs belong to me and I them. I love Coca Cola in all of its sugar-less forms and I love you internet. I take way too many pictures of my kids and collect them all here. This is what I am doing when I should be cleaning or cooking or doing other 'useful' things.

2 thoughts on “New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards | Uncle Trev and His Whistling Bull”

  1. Thank you Ethan and family! What a great review. Ethan, it sounds like you are a great reader! My favourite bit in the book is the mother with the remarkable ears and a remarkable nose. (My mother has a remarkable nose!) Julia of Gecko Press

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