Motiti Blue and the oil Spill by Debbie McCauley.
On the 5 October the Rena carrying 1,368 containers hit the Astrolabe Reef off the coast of Tauranga with such force that part of it’s hull was melted onto the reef. In the days that followed 350 tons of oil sunk to the seabed and polluted 400km of coastline.
This 32 paged book gives a portrait of that disaster but personalizes it in the fate of Motiti Blue a little blue penguin who along with 364 of his buddies was caught in the pollution that was caused by the wreck. The story of all the wildlife that was affected by the oil from the wreck and the cost to the environment and to human activity is documented in simple terms.
Add to this the life cycle of the little blue penguin and how birds are cleaned and returned to the environment are covered not just in English but also in Maori. The information is in bullet point boxes amongst the photographs that come from a number of sources.
This is a powerful, accurate and superbly illustrated picture book sized work of a major marine disaster. An excellent resource for a study of the Rena disater and a beginning study for senior students wanting to dig further.