Reading age: 2-7 years
The Sapling ~ Enough: A story about community has such a valuable message, and one that hasn’t necessarily been explored in a great many picture books to date, certainly not local ones. That in itself will ensure that it gets into plenty of hands and libraries, I imagine, which is great news.
At the heart of the story is Hana, a kōtiro with a real drive towards helping those in her neighbourhood to ensure that everyone has enough—or as close to it as she can get, which might be at times ‘nearly enough, sort of enough, almost enough’. Hana’s decision to tackle these challenges on her own becomes, unsurprisingly, too much for a wee girl to handle. And when the community realises this, they rally to support her in supporting them. It’s aroha and āwhina, all that good stuff.
Deborah Hinde’s illustrations make good use of the spreads, packing plenty into the pages. She’s created a street and community that could be a slice of all kinds of places in Aotearoa, and I really appreciated that—I was particularly keen on the quiet, almost dusky street scene on the cover of the book. There’s also a great diversity among the people in the book, which is always good to see.
Kiwi author Sarah Johnson
Sarah is an award-winning author based in Raglan, where she works as a freelance writer and editor, and writes books and stories for children and young adults. Sarah’s work has won several awards, including the Joy Cowley Award 2011, and Storylines Notable Book Awards in 2016 and 2017.
Find out more about award-winning illustrator Deborah Hinde by visiting her creator page.