Paradise: Eastern Bay of Plenty
by Andrea Cooper and Nikki Slade Robinson (Mann Print, $25)
Reviewed by Alison McCulloch
I love the Eastern Bay of Plenty. I live next door, in the Western Bay of Plenty, and traveling from one to the other sometimes feels like traveling from the city to the countryside: it’s just so much bigger, wider, and emptier of people. So I devoured Andrea Cooper and Nikki Slade Robinson’s picture-heavy “Paradise: Eastern Bay of Plenty” in one sitting. It’s a small book (A5 or 21cm by 14.8cm to be precise) that the authors’ were prompted to put together after realizing there hadn’t been a book showcasing the region since the 1950s.
In a media release accompanying the release of “Paradise” last year, Cooper, a sculptor and painter, said that while working in retail, she’d often been asked for a book about the area, “and there just hasn’t been one available for as long as I can remember”. She and Slade-Robinson, an author and illustrator (and contributor to Scoop Review of Books) “got talking” and decided to make it happen. The effort was something of a community affair, with local sponsors and a photo competition last summer that provided some of the images.
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