Pukeko Dancing on the old Dirt track by Lotte Wotherspoon
While the Sanderson family prepare for a typical NZ christmas on their farm, Spike and Rose pukeko prepare for the arrival of six chicks in the swamp. The lives of the pukekos and humans overlap and both are to celebrate on christmas day.
Linking the two stories is the rhyming couplet FLIP-FLAP, YIKIDDY- YAK,There’s a pukeko dancing on the old dirt track. It is a story that demands to be read allowed and is indeed more powerful when it is. The story is skilfully told and the rhyme is not forced.
The outstanding feature of this picture book are the pen ink and pastel illustrations of the farm, the swamp and the plant and wildlife which is classic New Zealand. Lotte Wotherspoon captures that striding authorative walk that characterises pukeko and it makes for a satisfying story.