If you have family in both NZ and Australia with a young ones, then this book is a must. Written by Sarah Milne and illustrates by Laura Bernard.
The story is about Lily and her dog - when Lily’s Mum tells her that she wishes she could build a bridge between their two homes, Lily and her dog, Woof, swap stick hunts for bridge hunts and set off in search of a bridge to Australia.
This is a whimsical and charming tale of a little girl, her furry best friend and a big imagination. Kiwis and Koalas is a beautifully illustrated story book that will take you all on a magical journey around Australia and New Zealand, stopping to sightsee along the way.
A bit about the author -
Sarah Milne lives in Christchurch by the sea with her young daughter and chocolate lab. After learning to walk and talk in Melbourne, her family moved back to New Zealand, where she spent her childhood and teen years growing up as a quintessential Kiwi. In her early twenties she set off on her OE, spending the next decade living (and dividing her heart) between Australia, England and New Zealand, moving back to Christchurch in 2016 to start her own family.
During her pregnancy, Sarah contracted a virus which she was told could have devastating effects on her unborn baby. It was on this journey that she learnt of CMV, the most common cause of non-hereditary deafness and the leading viral cause of disability in newborn babies. Sarah’s baby tested negative for CMV at birth, but every year hundreds of babies are born with or develop cytomegalovirus-related disease in Australia and New Zealand, alone.
As a debut author, Sarah wrote Kiwis and Koalas out of a need to bring Australia and New Zealand together in a story, filling a huge gap on our bookshelves for the hundreds of thousands of families split between our two countries.
This book also is an incredible opportunity to subtly normalise differences, as every child deserves to see themselves in a picture book.