Posts Tagged ‘New Zealand birds’

Wobble, waddle, toddle

By Anne Hunter

Illustrated by Dave Gunson

ISBN 9781776890088

Bateman Books

This is a gorgeously illustrated collection of poems about the wildlife along the shores, and beneath the seas, from Australia, New Zealand and all the way to Antarctica.

The rhyming poems are about whales, penguins, dolphins, the Royal albatross and many more.

The illustrations are cute and show lots of personality. The last few pages provide further facts and details for extra reading.

I do love the colours. Lots of blues just like the animals natural environment.

A good choice for preschools and primary schools as children discover animals and learn about poetry.

Nature’s alphabet : A New Zealand Nature Trail

By Andrew Crowe

Illustrated by Dave Gunson

ISBN 9781776890163

Bateman Books

A run through the alphabet in this book gives us bite-sized information about a variety of New Zealand’s wildlife. I found J for the Jumping Spider very interesting. I never knew they had so many eyes; eight to be exact. That is kind of scary even though they are harmless.

Author Andrew Crowe, knows his animals, creatures, insects and trees and provides the reader with interesting facts to whet the appetite.

Dave Gunson brings his artistic talents with warmth and detail.

There is an alphabetical list at the back which is a checklist for creatures to find within the pages of the book. This is a fun interactive book.

Row, row, row your waka (New Maori and English edition. CD and sheet music included)

Written and illustrated by Rebecca Larsen

ISBN 9781776890316

Bateman Books

Meet some of New Zealand’s favourite birds and animals as a group of friends sail across the sea. Kiwi, Pukeko and Hoiho journey over the ocean heading for a holiday in Australia. This is an updated edition with bilingual Te Reo Maori and English text.

The book comes with a CD which makes it fun and a good companion for car rides for children to sing along too. The illustrations are bright and bold with a child-like quality making it a good choice for younger children. The repetitive text and familiar tune will make this fun and no doubt a favourite for younger children.

Incredible journeys: New Zealand Wildlife on the move

By Ned Barraud

ISBN 9781988550282

Potton & Burton

Author and illustrator, Ned Barraud, is well-known for his distinctive artistic style. In his latest book he highlights the journeys many animals and birds take, often repeatedly, in their lifetimes.

Each animal or bird has its own double-page spread with lots of well-researched facts, and a map of the journey’s path. The facts are informative and easy to read.

Take the humpback whale, for example. It travels up to 10,000 kilometres from the South Pacific Ocean surrounding New Zealand, down to Antarctica and back again, when it is time to breed. That is a huge distance.

Some of the other journeys include, that of the white shark, Northern Royal albatross and even the Fiordland crested penguin, which is one of the rarest of the 18 species of penguins in the world.

A good, informative non-fiction book to have in any school library or home collection.

Backyard birds

By Ned Barraud

ISBN 9781988550305

Potton & Burton

Ned Barraud has brought together yet another book, a collection of 24 of the most common everyday birds in New Zealand. They are birds we might see in our own gardens, or on native walks around local forests or parks.

It begins with a good contents page, then the evolution of birds, followed by parts of a bird, mating, nests, eggs and chicks, before introducing different species of birds. My favourites are the pukeko, piwakawaka, and the magpie. I’ve just noticed that my favourites are all quite well-known for being rather cheeky characters with lots of personality.

Each detailed illustration also provides a paragraph or two about the birds. The last double-page spread gives ideas on how to attract birds into your garden.

A good book to have at home, to help identify birds we might see around our neighbourhood.

The following books are written and illustrated by Dave Gunson, and published by Bateman Books. Gunson’s speciality is non-fiction and I have read many of his books over the years. These are just the latest ones to be published.

New Zealand Country Wildlife: Which? Why? What?

By Dave Gunson

ISBN 9781988538884

Bateman Books

Part of a series of non-fiction books about New Zealand wildlife, Gunson manages to provide interesting facts about the animals in the countryside. He does this with careful research and his usual tongue-in-cheek humour.

We learn about lizards, birdlife and goats. We learn there are many different types of butterflies in the mountains. We learn the collective nouns for many of the animals. I particularly like the words for a group of kea; a prattle, a company or a pandemonium. I love the kea birds and their beautiful colours and cheeky personalities, so I do think these are good descriptions.

New Zealand Forest Wildlife: Which? Why? What?

ISBN 97819885388877

Similar to the country book above, this book focuses on forests and the wildlife within. The language is aimed at primary school aged children, but for quick facts this will suit older readers too. The layout is in small bite-size blocks of information with the same humorous cartoon-type illustrations spread over the pages. The information is fun and clear.

Here we learn about the trees, snails, kiwi, morepork and even centipedes. Lots to look at, discover and learn about.

Inside New Zealand Wildlife

ISBN 97819885388860

This book is aimed at older readers as it has more text, a smaller font size and language a little more sophisticated than the two books above. It has an awesome lenticular cover so that front-on you see the illustration of the takahe but if you move the book side to side, you have a 3D cross-section picture of the inside of the takahe’s head. Very cool.

This is a book of cross-sections with a very good look at the insides of the bodies of many animals, birds, insects and even dolphins. The information in this book is more in-depth. I particularly enjoyed reading about the little blue penguin. So tiny and cute.

There is both an index and content page which makes finding information easier than the previous two books reviewed here. As mentioned, this one is best for older readers. An excellent addition to a school library.

When Bo Bimble went out Elsewhere

By Sue Copsey

ISBN 9780473577728

Treehouse Books

Have you ever met a Bimble? Have you ever even heard of one? Well you are in for a treat if you read Sue Copsey’s new chapter book for children, When Bo Bimble went Elsewhere. Here, you will discover the world of the Bimbles.

“Perfectly round, impossibly green, and irresistibly soft and fluffy”

They are hidden away, unseen by humans, and living a quiet life. Their biggest fear is the giant Haast’s Eagle, which keeps them from ever venturing further than their immediate surroundsings.

Bo Bimbe is different. She wants to know about everything, from the moon and stars above to other places outside their existence. She questions everything but no one has the answers.

This book is sweet and gentle, and has that lovely feel-good feeling. Yes, there is danger, and adventure but it is charming and hopeful. The landscape and the native birds are a real focus and you can’t help but be impressed by our beautiful country, especially the Fiords down South.

Bernie is a young boy travelling in a campervan with his parents. He comes from Scotland and makes comparisons to his home and the places he visits. He is also a bit of a fanatic when it comes to birds and wildlife and records all the different ones he sees here in New Zealand. These recordings are fun to read and informative too, and the book certainly highlights a few environmental concerns.

Through a series of events where Bimble plucks up the courage to find answers to her questions, Bimble and Bernie meet up and an extraordinary friendship begins.

Together, they begin an adventure which will leave you smiling.

A delight to read.

The great Kiwi Bedtime Book

By Donovan Bixley

ISBN 9781988516882

Upstart Press

Yay for a wonderful Kiwi bedtime picture book, especially for little ones.

This latest picture book by author and illustrator, Donovan Bixley, is just delightful. It has Bixley’s trademark bright, bold and luxuriously colourful quirky illustrations.

The pictures are full-page, corner to corner spreads focusing on animals, birds and even sea creatures, as they settle down for a night’s sleep.

I love the cheeky smiles of the different animals, especially the jelly fish, dolphins and whales. As the animals, birds and creatures begin to sleep for the night, there is one particular bird and their family, who are just waking up.

The Kiwi is ready for fun.

There is lots of alliteration and onomatopoeia which makes reading this book so much fun. Great for reading aloud.

I love the end papers with the front inside cover being pictures of empty beds, and the back end papers showing pictures of animals in their beds.

I am incredibly proud to be a very new and first-time nana and this book is going to be read over and over again with my wee grandson. It is perfect to share with young ones as they snuggle up for the night.

Flit the Fantail and the Matariki Map

Written and illustrated by Kat Quin

ISBN 9781775436355

This is the third picture book about Flit the fantail. His popularity is as strong as ever. Flit’s cheeky smile is always what I notice first. His big brown eyes, beautiful wings and feathers, along with that smile, help create a very cute and likeable character. I’m delighted that his little ladybird friend is back to keep him company again.

Flit can’t sleep, he is restless and fascinated by the glowing moon in the night sky. He decides he wants to catch the moon. He flits down to the forest floor and when he looks back up into the sky he notices nine special, sparkling stars. His friend Keri, the Kiwi asks what he is doing awake at this time of night and when Flit tells him he wants to catch the light, Keri offers to help. Together they set off through the night but they soon realise they are actually quite lost. With some help from the wise old Ruru, the adventurous pair learn that by following the bright lights of the nine stars of Matariki, they can find their way home again.

Much like sailors of old, the stars will guide the pair back through the forest and to the safety and warmth of their families.

The illustrations are produced with 2B pencil and Adobe photoshop providing a gorgeous softness and just the right amount of cuteness. This is a lovely addition to the Flit the Fantail stories and a sweet introduction to the stories of Matariki.

There is also a Te Reo Maori edition available.

Takahe trouble (Inspired by true events)

By Sally Sutton

Illustrated by Jenny Cooper

ISBN 9781775437109

What do two Takahē  friends do when they are tired of the same routine and same surroundings? Well, if you are as curious as Walter and Manaaki are, then you escape, runaway and have an adventure. These two takahē did exactly that. They searched for fast cars and scary rats. They met a dog, a stoat and had a jolly good, scary, but very interesting adventure before they were caught and returned safely home again.

Sally Sutton shows her love of language with her very onomatopoeic choice of words.

Toddle-toddle-toddle, chatter, chatter, chatter.

A lovely reminder that home is often the best place to be. Jenny Cooper is one of my favourite illustrators. I love the quirkiness of her characters and their facial expressions. You can tell what they are thinking and feeling, especailly when they are being cheeky.

The last page provides details, and a photo of the real Walter and Manaaki. The two Takahē  now live on Motutapu Island; a predator free place where they can still have adventures but always be safe.

I’m an Inky Octopus

Written and illustrated by Stephanie Thatcher

ISBN 9781775436898

Inky the Octopus takes us on a trip around her home beneath the sea. Playing tag with her friend the jellyfish, Inky darts in and around the rock pools, through the ocean and through the kelp. She showcases her abilities to change colour and spurt out ink when danger is near.

This is a fun rhyming picture book, but it is also a great wee introduction to sea life and the life of an Inky Octopus. Who knew they had three hearts, or even nine brains? I didn’t. You will have to read the book to find out what colour their blood is, as well as other interesting facts. Who wins the game of tag? You’ll have to read the book to find that out too.

The illustrations were created using pencil watercolour and they really are very sweet. Inky is certainly having fun.

There is a Te Reo Maori edition as well.

Flit the fantail and the flying flop

By Written and illustrated by Kat Merewether

ISBN 9781775435105

Scholastic NZ

 

There is so much cuteness in this delightful, fun picture book for young children, that every time I pick it up I can’t help smiling.

Flit is a baby fantail snuggled up safely in his nest. His parents tell him to stay there and wait while they go looking for food. It doesn’t take long before Flit becomes bored and starts wandering about his nest. After stretching out a little too far Flit suddenly finds himself falling down on to the forest floor unable to fly back up to his nest. He seeks the help of many other forest birds to try to find a way back. Wonderful illustrations highlight the many native birds, bushes and trees we have in New Zealand. Lookout for Flit’s wee friend the ladybird who is with him all the way and on almost every double page spread. The language is fun with lots of alliteration and onomatopoeia which makes it a delightful book to read aloud.

This book offers a great message about friendships and supporting each other. There is also a lovely message about having the courage to try new things and believing in yourself. I also love the idea that sometimes things don’t work out the first time we try but if we keep trying and don’t give up, then we will eventually find a way to achieve what we set out to do.

This would be ideal in kindergartens, pre-schools and would be a lovely choice for young readers. Even in early primary school classes this would be a good introduction to New Zealand flora and fauna.

Putangitangi walks

By Stephanie Thatcher

ISBN 9781775434221

Scholastic NZ

 

Cheeky Putangitangi (little duck) is looking for her friend. What will she do when she finds him? A fun rhyming story about two playful little ducks.

Mischievous, funny and gorgeously illustrated picture book about a paradise shelduck  going out for a walk and the antics she gets up to on the way.  Lovely whimsical language, rhyme and rhythm but the heart of this story has to be the illustrations. The wonderful cheeky facial expressions clearly show the mischief and personalities of the ducks and other birds. A lovely touch which I adore is the little frog on every page and his comical smiles.

This is a sweet, funny picture book with lots of appeal which will become a firm favourite. This book is also very much a New Zealand landscape which will make it an ideal gift to send or take overseas for family and friends.

 

Tu Meke Tui!

By Malcolm Clarke

Illustrated by Flox

ISBN 9780473343750

Mary Egan Publishing

Tu Meke Tui Face Book page.

 

5

Tu Meke Tui is a heart-warming story of friendship and encouragement but also acceptance and being proud of who you are. It is about the realization that we are all different but we all have something that makes us special. Most of all, it is about finding the courage to try something new and take risks and find new friends along the way.

This picture book is full of rich, vibrant illustrations depicting some of New Zealand’s native birds and bush.  I love how there is so much of New Zealand’s native wildlife and fauna throughout the illustrations. It would be ideal as a gift to family and friends overseas.

If you want to know more just click here.