About the author:
Karen Hinge was raised as a ‘free-range kid’ in the Waikato. Her childhood memories include long days of freedom spent bike riding, hut building, hill sliding and blackberry picking. She began her teaching career in Christchurch and enjoyed exploring the amazing South Island during holiday breaks. She now lives in beautiful Northland where, for the last 20 years, she and her partner Derek have been raising their family of three children. An intermediate school teacher, Karen says she loves the learning opportunities that teaching brings.
About the author (te Reo Maori):
Ngaere Roberts has retold an impressive list of much-loved titles, mainly drawn from Scholastic NZ's list. Some of her retellings have been short-listed for awards in their own right. Ngaere has worked in the field of researching, promoting and developing te Reo Maori oral and written language since the 1940s.
About the illustrator:
Nicky Siever is a budding writer/illustrator of books for children. This is her first book.
Of Course You Can/Ka Taea Tonu e Koe - Karen Hinge/Nicky Sievert/Ngaere Roberts
About the book:
Jeremy is starting a new school. He is a bit nervous and a lot worried but the children in this class are welcoming. Every time he thinks he can't take part they say 'Of course you can!' and so he plays soccer, joins in the Kapa Haka and even takes part in the cross country ... But when it comes to swimming the children tell him not to do it.
Told in both Te Reo Måori and English.
NZBooklovers (March 2019)
This little children’s book is outstanding.
Every new entrant to a school, on the first day of attendance at ANY LEVEL, is nervous and apprehensive facing new surroundings and unknown people. This little bilingual story shows how a nervous boy is made to feel capable and able to participate in all activities over the first week at a new school. Because he is in a wheelchair he feels little confidence. This cheerful, friendly inclusive book sets up new situations faced by children who are new to school and outlines the situations for those in charge of schools.
The story shows a depth of kindness, and inclusion on all sides as classmates find ways for him to take part in all activities he is facing. The illustrations are outstanding. Somehow every expression drawn on faces is warm, positive, cheerful and friendly.
The new situations the boy faces are similar to those every child could find in a day at school. Everyone encountered, from teacher, to class mates, and groundsman, contribute to the atmosphere of support. Each challenge is overcome by a realistic solution in a positive and helpful manner. Solutions which include everyone in a fun, feel good manner.
Illustrations are clear and well matched to the story line. The expressions drawn on faces are spectacularly supportive. The clever use of two different fonts outline the two different languages on balanced pages. The text in Te Reo demands certain amount of prior Maori vocabulary but is supported by crisp English.
I would recommend this book for libraries at all levels of education. It is a lovely story, with excellent illustrations.
Reviewer: Sonia Edward
Free Teachers Notes
A 2021 IBBY Outstanding Book
Selected as a 2021 IBBY Outstanding Book for Young People With Disabilities. Find out more here (pdf)