The Unity Books Kids’ Best Sellers Chart for October

What’s the best way to get adults to read? Get them to read when they’re kids – and there’s no better place to start than Unity’s best-selling children’s books.


1 Atua: Maori gods and heroes by Gavin Bishop (Puffin, $ 40, all ages)

Bishop’s beautiful black hardback book retains its rightful place.

Over the past few years, Bishop has written and illustrated a host of remarkable books – see Aotearoa, Wildlife of Aotearoa, Mihi, and Pops – but Atua is, to run with a terrible pun, god-level.

2 The storm of echoes: the mirror visitor n ° 4 by Christelle Dabos (Text edition, $ 26, 13 years old and over)

The “cataclysmic conclusion,” as Kirkus put it, of a blockbuster series set in a world where all that’s left of Earth are shards of rock, called Arks. The Wall Street Journal explained it this way: “Imagine the poisoned politics of Versailles in a steampunk world glistening with goose feathers, airships, masks, illusions and murderous courtiers.

3 Everything under the sun: a curious question for every day of the year by Molly Oldfield (Ladybird UK, $ 45, 7+)

Make … do the children really need help asking questions?

4 Kia ​​Kaha: A Book Of Stories About The Maori Who Changed The World by Stacey Morrison & Jeremy Sherlock (Puffin UK, $ 45, 8+)

A substantial and impeccably crafted hardcover book featuring 50 Maori game changers – from Māui and Kupe, to Whina Cooper, the Māori Women’s Welfare League and Patricia Grace, Howard Morrison and Buck Shelford, to Stan Walker and Taika Waititi.

“It was very difficult to choose who would be in this book and we wish we could have done it much, much longer! Morrison writes in the introduction. “So maybe this is just the start. We hope Kia Kaha encourages you to look at your own whānau, your own ancestors, and learn more about them and their stories. Cherish the inspiration you get from their lives as you move forward and make your own difference in the world.

Kia kaha koe, kia kaha tātou.

5 Julia and the shark by Kiran Millwood Hargrave (Orion Children’s Books, $ 25, 8+)

Via the editor: “Julia followed her mother and father to live on an isolated island for the summer – her father, for work; his mother, on a determined mission to find the elusive Greenland shark. But when her mother’s obsession threatens to overwhelm them all, Julia finds herself on an adventure with dark depths and a lighthouse full of hope… ”

A fancy pants card stock, with black and yellow illos, and tracing paper inserts.

6 Sapiens: A Graphic History, Volume 1, The Birth of Humanity by Yuval Noah Harari and David Vandermeulen, and illustrator Daniel Casanave (Jonathon Cape, $ 48, 11+)

The graphic version of the adult non-fiction hit that, believe it or not, was released a decade ago. (It must be time for an epilogue.)

7 Polly Pecorino: the girl who saves animals by Emma Chichester Clark (Walker Books Australia, $ 23, 8+)

“A very sweet story, with the most lush illustrations. It would be perfect to read to kids who love Roald Dahl or Paddington ”- Rosie, on GoodReads.

8 Egg Marks the Spot: Skunk & Badger # 2 by Amy Timberlake, illustrated by Jon Klassen (Allen & Unwin, $ 25, 6+)

Truly hilarious, adorable, intelligent, one of those books that you will be very happy to read 17 times in an afternoon. Did you see that it is illustrated by Klassen? Well.

Hera Lindsay Bird praised the first in the series on RNZ: “It’s one of the best books I’ve read all year. Absolutely stunning.”

9 the boy who invented things by Margaret Mahy, illustrated by Lily Emo (Hachette, $ 25, 2+)

Emo was one of 50 illustrators who entered the 2020 Margaret Mahy Illustration Prize, making art to accompany Mahy’s classic story about a distracted father and a boy with a big imagination.

Wow, we said, when we saw Emo’s work in the finalist list. Her photos have a bouncy lightness, perfect turquoise beach beauty. And we love the way she drew the gray daddy, hunched over his computer or phone, gradually giving him more color as he begins to follow her son’s lead.

An easy and happy choice for Christmas gifts.

ten The little woman’s coat by Joy Cowley, illustrated by Giselle Clarkson (Gecko Press, $ 25, all ages)

Another Cowley X Clarkson drop from Gecko. But while The Gobbledegook Book of 2019 was big and red and loud, this new picture book is very delicate and perfectly formed.

There is a little woman. We don’t know why the woman is small, she just is. It will rain. She sews a coat with leaves. She receives help from a goose and a snail friend. Her coat has dandelion seeds for the buttons and she uses an acorn bonnet as a hat. You don’t get any sweeter than that.


1 Mittens Adventures by Silvio Bruinsma & Phoebe Morris (Penguin, $ 20, 3+)

Beautiful illustrations, and yes it is Mittens, and yes, it is very cute but … there are so many unbelievable books on this list, and we would recommend just about all of them before this one.

2 draw awesome by Donovan Bixley (Upstart, $ 30, 3+)

Does your child feel bad about his drawing? This accessible and cheerful book may well help you.

3 Skinny dip: poetry edited by Susan Paris & Kate De Goldi (Annual ink, $ 30, 10+)

Poems by New Zealand poets about school. On the first day of the fourth term, we published an excerpt: School sucks but at least your friends are here, by Vanessa Mei Crofskey; and Sole to Sole, a poem about Friends, Lunchtime and KFC, by Victor Rodger.

4 The boy, the mole, the fox and the horse by Charles Mackesy (Ebury Press, $ 40, all ages)

A cute book of sketches and wisdoms, born from Instagram, since stuck to this list like superglue.

5 Atua: Maori gods and heroes by Gavin Bishop (Puffin, $ 40, all ages)

6 Kia Kaha: A Book of Stories About the Maori Who Changed the World by Stacey Morrison & Jeremy Sherlock (Puffin UK, $ 45, 8+)

7 Spark Hunter by Sonya Wilson (Cuba Press, $ 25, 8+)

An elegant and immersive first novel about the fairies of Fiordland. Wilson has been obsessed with the place since she was little, and she writes the forest so well you can smell her. Throughout, she maintains a winning mix of richness and sincerity, warmth and simple, understated humor. No content disclaimers, and no nonsense either – this book is versatile like anything. You could happily read it to your eight-year-old, give it to your teenager for Christmas, or just take it yourself.

Synopsis: Nissa, 12, gets lost during a school camp and discovers the adventure she has pursued all her life. There are a lot of fairies and they are very cool but Nissa (who is insanely capable and brave, by the way) is also enchanted by the lichen and the fungi, the birds and the moths and the old trees.

Here she meets the forest fairies for the first time:

“A pair of wings opened in the middle of her back: four delicately veined stained glass windows that reflected the greens of the forest and creased like cellophane as they unfolded.

Nissa’s mouth opened. Wings. They had wings.

Agnes Westwind winked. “I thought you might want this. “

Also, be aware that Wilson is once again collecting new books to give to children this Christmas. According to the posters: “Hardbacks, picture books, chapter books, intermediate, YA, fiction, non-fiction – we would love them all.” (And we would love it even more if it was a book by a Kiwi author or illustrator.) ”

There’s a list of participating bookstores on his Kiwi Christmas Books website – he’ll also tell you how to donate a book even if you can’t make it to an actual bookstore or post store.

8 no one is angry today by Toon Tellegren, illustrated by Marc Boutavant, translated by David Colmer (Gecko Press, $ 35, all ages)

Ten short stories involving animals and big emotions. It’s Gecko so you know it’s good. Additionally, there’s this, taken from Kirkus Reviews:

“Most of the tales involve animals in various stages of anger, some directing it inward, some lashing out at others, some fearing the anger of others, and some letting it go…

“Young people can be quite confused by the narratives, as Tellegen rarely provides any clues as to the characters’ motivations and often leaves readers to draw their own conclusions. They would be well served by reading and discussing the job with a loving adult.

“A difficult exercise in decoding strong human emotions – but worth it. “

9 sleeping kiwi by Kat Quin (Tikitibu, $ 20, all ages)

A hardcover book all in black and white that intrigues toddlers. Somehow manages to be both chic and sweet. Perfect for sending abroad.

10 red, white and royal blue by Casey McQuiston (Griffin of St Martin, $ 33, 16+)

The only recent romcom that we recommend to our friends, and we do it with that rare and extreme “If you don’t like it, I’m not sure we’re actually friends” variety of evangelism. Starring a handsome Prince of England and a maverick son of an American President. They hang on. A lot. it’s hot.

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