I recommend it to kids who like thrilling books and people who like magic and animals. Helena, 11-years-old
Reading Whetū Toa and the Magician reminded me of falling into one of the unexpectedly great Apple books that came from the 'Lucky Book Club'.There are some wonderful talking animals, including a sheep with a golden fleece, and animated house contents reminiscent of Beauty & The Beast. Perfect as a read-aloud for kids 5+. The Sapling
This was an absolutely delightful read aloud to share with my six year old. We were in stitches from the first chapter with the unusual enchanted objects around the magician’s house. The ending was quite nerve wracking but not too much for a quite sensitive child, although I don’t think he would have got through it without a parent to reassure him.
The plot ticks all the boxes of classic children fiction. Magic, talking animals, child without overbearing adult supervision. It puts these elements into a story that feels fresh, well fleshed out characters and a setting that is familiar but has unique, intriguing twists. The book itself is lovely quality, great illustrations with nice thick paper.
The book also gets an A+++ for diversity. It’s lovely to be reading such engaging and relatable characters who are Māori. The mother is also a capable, working single mother. This should be a more common experience than it is! More of this in publishing please! Hopefully in the form of a sequel...5-star rating by Francesca on Goodreads
I read this aloud to my 7 and 3 year olds, a boy and a girl respectively. This book managed to achieve a rare, rare thing; it kept both children AND ME happy. Wow. It has delightful illustrations, which my 3 yo daughter loved, and she also liked that Whetū was a girl. My boy and I adored this book. It is simultaneously fresh and ‘classic’; I got the same ‘vibe’ off the book as I got off my favourite books growing up in the 70s/80s, which was a delicious treat. Also the vocabulary in the book is wonderfully varied and rich, and there are lots of laughs and cool characters. And there was a welcome lack of stereotypes. Looking forward to more Whetū Toa.5-star rating by Mary Cronin on Goodreads
I listened to my 7yo giggling away as he read this - that's always a sign of a great book!5-star rating by Frank on Goodreads
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