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Mahy, Margaret (text) Trace Hodgson (illus.): Awesome Aotearoa Margaret Mahy's History of New Zealand.

[dagger][dagger] MAHY, Margaret (text) Trace Hodgson (illus.) Awesome Aotearoa Margaret Mahy's History of New Zealand AUT Media, 2009 128pp NZ$29.99 pbk ISBN 9780958282970 SCIS 1412016

There is nothing like quirkiness to excite a response and telling history is the story of quirkiness. Margaret Mahy brings her inimitable humour in detailing what it is to be part of the story of living in Awesome Aotearoa. Supported by the illustrations of a well known cartoonist, Mahy clearly enjoyed the opportunity to be unabashedly patriotic and in politically very incorrect ways, ensure that bigger brothers get their comeuppance. With regard to the 1981 Springbok tour for example, Mahy states that 'some New Zealanders think today that demonstrating helped bring this change [soon after, Nelson Mandela became the first black president]. Others think all the rioting just gave our police an excuse to start carrying batons and wearing riot gear, because they have been ever since.' Then she continues 'So heighho! On to the 1990s! Jim Bolger and the National Party won the election and New Zealand moved to Mixed Member Proportional system--MMP--though there are those of use who feel it should be more appropriately be called Mixed-up Members of Parliament system. Well, why not?' Wry smiles and hooting laughter I am sure will accompany this unique perspective on NZ history.

[dagger][dagger] Book by a New Zealand author or illustrator

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Author:McKenzie, John
Publication:Reading Time
Article Type:Book review
Date:Nov 1, 2009
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