Mangrove - a Taco's book reivew

Mangrove by Glenda Kane and Lisa Allen

The mangrove knows that the tide comes in

and it knows that the tide goes out again

It knows that this happens twice a day

and the mangrove likes it just this way

Immense Strength and Beauty

Mangrove is a picture book that celebrates nature without shying away from tough issues. Unusually, the hero of the story is a tree – and a fairly unloved one, at that. Mangroves have been derided by people in coastal Australia and New Zealand for decades and yet, as this story points out, they are things of immense strength and beauty. 

The rhythm, rhyme and repetition of the text mimic the tides, making this a wonderful book to read aloud. Lisa Allen’s gorgeous illustrations draw the reader into this fascinating environment, revealing secrets along the way.

The tranquillity is broken when a coastal developer arrives and brings in the ‘dozers. How does the mangrove fight back? It uses its own incredible adaptations to save itself. New life begins on a distant shore.

The tide goes out and the tide comes in

The seasons change and the small fish swim

The crabs scurry by and the seagulls screech

And no-one comes to this mangrove’s beach

This is a book that explores the very real threats faced by our coastal ecosystems yet ends on a hopeful note. Readers will look past the sticky mud and the putrid pong and become entranced by this humble tree. After all, beauty is found in hidden places. 

Important eco-systems

Environmental books are more relevant than ever and Mangroves are important eco-systems.
Original paperback edition published by Penguin 14 years ago that sold well in both New Zealand and Australia and remains on the NSW and Queensland Premiers’ reading lists.

Now, a revamped version in hardback with endpapers and a spine.


Author: Glenda Kane

Illustrator: Lisa Allen

Publisher: Bateman Books, NZ 2021

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