Posts Tagged ‘NZ Birds’

Takahe Trouble by sally Sutton, illus. by Jenny Cooper. Pub. Scholastic, 2021

June 3, 2021 Comments off

I liked this story for a three reasons. Firstly because it is about an endangered NZ flightless bird, the takahe, well two actually, Secondly it is a true story and thirdly the illustrations of the two takahe are delightful.

Walter is a very conservative takahe. Takes no risks, has yet to find his adventurous side and steadies the ship in a crisis. Manaaki is a devil may care takahe, wants to see a rat, a roaring road and eat foreign food.

Manaaki cajoles Walter into getting through the fence and come what may. Each of Manaaki’s desires are going to come true and others too. It is a night they will never forget but caring humans are in sight.

Deliciously illustrated by Jenny Cooper. The two teenage takahe are drawn to character and the rat is a pearler.

Great story, very witty, easy to read a very classy idea. The truth of the story is in the back. get it and read it.

Categories: Picture book Tags: , ,

Coo Coo Kereru by Terry Fitzgibbon

August 18, 2019 Comments off

coo cooCoo Coo Kereru by Terry Fitzgibbon. Pub. New Holland, 2019.

A big reason why I like living in New Zealand is the birds and not just the feathered variety.

The kereru or blue green wood pigeon is one I have seen less and less of. I used to see many at Totaranui in the Abel Tasman National park where we used to camp every year and the last time I saw one was in the Christchurch botanical gardens.

You don’t just spot one, the first evidence of one in your presence is the noise it makes when it flies. They are a plump bird and are often clumsy in flight probably due to fermenting berries in their stomach.

like many NZ birds the kereru is in danger. Loss of habitat, animals such as the possum and man himself have reduced the life expectancy of the kereru from 20-25 years to 5-6 years. This is a tragedy.

This beautifully illustrated picture book tells the story of the life of a kereru which also features in the Maori legend of Maui. it helped him pull up the North Island.

This book has rhyming verse in the front and information in the back and it tells you what to do if you find an injured bird. The onus is on us all to save these beautiful gifts.

The information is compiled by Terry Fitzgibbon who works for the Department of Conservation.

Simple, easy to understand and excellent for study at primary and intermediate level.

Flit the Fantail and the Mystery Eggs by Kat Merewether.

June 10, 2019 Comments off

flitFlit the Fantail and the Mystery Eggs by Kat Merewether. Pub. Scholastic, 2019.

Another delightful and awfully cute picture book for juniors with an air of mystery about it.

Flit is practicing his landings and not doing very well but it has a bonus about it. he finds some rubbery white eggs  on the ground and wonders what bird they belong to. He asks a host of NZ native birds like the Kiwi and the kaka but they are not theirs.

They belong to a creature that has been around for 200 million years. See if you can guess what it is.

Superb illustrations and an introduction to the many NZ creatures that lay eggs. Once again the eyes have it, hence the cute comment.

Kat Merewether’s other books are also reviewed on this blog. Check them out.

Nanny Mihi and the Bellbird by Melanie Drury, illus. Tracy Duncan.

November 21, 2018 Comments off

mihi bellbirdNanny Mihi and the Bellbird by Melanie Drury, illus. Tracy Duncan. Pub. Oratia books, 2018.

A beautifully illustrated picture book about the love for the New Zealand bush and it’s native bird life.

Nanny Mihi has a whare in the bush. Her grandchildren visit during the school holidays. She teaches them to whistle a tune that the bellbird can learn and whistle back. It does. One holiday the bellbird does not show up. I wonder what is wrong? Read the book and find out.

Beautiful illustrations of the bush, the birds and of Nanny Mihi and her lovely restful face.

Kuwi’s Rowdy Crowd by Kat Merewether

October 7, 2018 Comments off

rowdy crowdKuwi’s Rowdy Crowd by Kat Merewether. Pub. Illustrated Publishing, 2018.

This classic picture book will be launched throughout New Zealand next week in Rotorua and around New Zealand for the next month. Make a point of checking it out.

Kuwi the kiwi just wants a quiet morning in her burrow sipping a cup of kawakawa tea but her chick Huwi has other ideas. Huwi wants to play with his friends and make as much fun and noise as possible.

He wants to play King Kong with his tower of blocks, revel in the bath with a flock of farting whio, kung fu with the kokako and tap dance with the tomtits and other things.

Until Kuwi has a melt down, the friends are out, the noise is stopped, and mother and chick have quality silent time together.

The text is fun but the real humour is in the illustrations. There is the Stay Weird tee shirt on the line, the Huwi Potter cupboard under the stairs, the Kicaso painting on the wall, the cans of Bug Beans, the K bars as karate blocks, amongst others. There is a nice little play with rap too, Straight out of Aotearoa.

Lots of Te Reo Maori words with translations in the back.

A fine package for everyone.

Kiwi’s Intrepid Journey by Anna Dalzell, Illus. Jane McIntosh

April 3, 2015 Comments off

kiwis journeyKiwi’s Intrepid Journey by Anna Dalzell, Illus. Jane McIntosh. Pub.   2015.

Kiwi sits in his hole thinking how inadequate he is. He cant sing like Korimako or fly fast and strong like kereru or be proud like Pikake.

When Ruru calls a meeting asking the birds to help return a Kauri seedling to it’s sacred place Kiwi is the only one available to do the job.

He travels through New Zealand’s mountains, rivers and forests to restore the seedling and returns as a hero to his bird friends.

A story of self esteem and how our thoughts sometimes affect our actions and feelings about ourselves.

Beautifully illustrated by Culverden artist Jane McIntosh using water colours and pencil drawings. She captures the essence of the birds and the beauty of the NZ landscape and enhances the written script of the author.

Good read-a-loud for juniors and good reading for older more confident readers.

Pee Wee The Lonely Kiwi finds a friend by Blair Cooper, Illus. Cheryl Smith.

March 6, 2015 Comments off

pee wee kiwiPee Wee The Lonely Kiwi finds a friend by Blair Cooper, Illus. Cheryl Smith. Pub. Flying Books Ltd, 2015.

I have just read this to a class of New Entrants and passed round the cuddly toy kiwi that comes with it. They liked the story and I had to read it to them again. The toy kiwi was fought over but I got it back.

Loneliness is an emotion that we all have felt and it can unlock a number of other emotions that are best kept in the cupboard. Kiwi wants a friend so he goes looking. He strikes out with a penguin, a kea, a tui. and a thrush but comes up trumps with a baby moa who tells him what a lovely bird he really is. Nice ending. The Moa may test a few.

Illustrations by Cheryl Smith are life like and display the New Zealand environment. Cheryl captures the essence of loneliness in Pee Wee and of the other birds. The text is repetitive when it needs to be and the rhyme is not forced.

With the juniors I read it to this morning it is a winner. Check it out for yourself. Facts about the kiwi are at the back of the book.