Ethan Reads

Kiwi Mummy Blog Book Review | Tale of a Tail by Margaret Mahy

Kiwi Mummy Blog Book Review | Tale of a Tail by Margaret Mahy


When I was a little girl our local library had this amazing window set into a concrete pipe that you could curl up in with a book and wile away the time while Mum and Dad took forever picking out their books.  I would love to be able to still fit in that window, I would bring a quilt from home and read this book from front to back.  Margaret Mahy’s Tale of a Tail {supplied for review by Kiwi Mummy Blogs} is kid-perfection.  What else would you expect really from the undisputed Grandmother of children’s fiction?

Published posthumously, Tale of a Tail is a glorious wee novel.  One of those magical bedtime tales that you will LOVE reading to your kids, “one more page” requests are guaranteed.  Independent readers will also be easily entangled in the whimsy of this short novella, quite Roald Dahl-ish with it’s collection of neighbourhood characters, a splash of magic and wonder and undeniable humour.  Be prepared.

Mahy’s fabulous writing brings to life the special powers of a dog with a very strange name, awakening the imagination of Tom who begins to see that “ordinary, everyday things could be just so astonishing if you really thought about them for just a second or two”.

Ethan (9.5yrs, advanced reader) found this book a fun, funny read with very endearing, mysterious characters – especially Mr Mirabilis!  Kids 7+ will love listening to this beautiful tale, it rolls off the tongue and into their imaginations with ease.  Five stars.




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

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.

What E’s Reading | The 13-Story Treehouse

What E’s Reading | The 13-Story Treehouse

The 13-Story Treehouse – By Andy Griffiths

Ethan received this book for Christmas from his wonderful Nana – or from Santa who went to Nana’s by mistake, I’m not quite sure – anyway he will finish it tomorrow night and we will be sad.

This book is so much fun, it’s fast paced, full of repetitive boy humour, wildly imaginative and quite simply has captivated Ethan’s attention. I have read the last two chapters with him at night as I was dying to get a feel for what was causing him to chuckle so during his reading time.

All the ingredients are here; a giant treehouse complete with every fantastical addition you can imagine {think shark tank, soda fountain, flying cats etc}, simple but engaging illustrations which help to lighten the text-load for reluctant readers and cool easy to relate to characters Terry and Andy who are themselves writing a book!

Ethan is 7yrs 4mths and last Nov was assessed at reading about 12-18mths ahead so I would recommend this book for kids ages 7-10 as both a story book or an independent reader.


On sale here at The Warehouse for $13.99


Life. Lately | IPhone Snaps

Life. Lately | IPhone Snaps



  1. We didn’t bother with the mad Post-Christmas shopping frenzy, but I DID bother with the Country Road sale, it was so good!
  2. The weather has kept us indoors for so many days lately, luckily E has lots of new books to read, he is currently steaming through the Roald Dahl box set which Santa brought him
  3. Mum and I took Ethan on his Quarterly Museum trip to escape the showers.  He has been going frequently for so many years, it is amazing to see the different things that he notices now he is a bit older
  4. We rang in 2012 with our lovely neighbours xx
  5. Debs (see lovely neighbour) & I had just been talking about loving your life, and look what was in my Christmas package from MeeMee in Georgia!  Weird
  6. 100% chance of rain.  First time I have ever seen that on my IPhone.  I’m sure it won’t be the last considering we have had more days of rain than sun so far this summer
  7. LOVE.
  8. One minute I was working, Nek Minnit the transformer in front of our building blew up.  True story.  So I got to play at the beach with Mum and Ethan!