Wednesday, September 14, 2016

12 Huia Birds takes flight tomorrow

A new book that celebrates the life and disappearance of one of New Zealand’s most distinctive birds hits the bookstores tomorrow.

12 Huia Birds uses gentle rhyme and striking imagery to track the bird’s story, counting down from 12 birds playing in the forest, through a steady decline caused by humans and pests, until the last huia flies off into the sky.

Writer and animator Julian Stokoe and illustrator Stacy Eyles originally created the story as an app for Yoozoo Books, aiming to could teach children the huia’s story and help them understand something of New Zealand’s delicate ecology.

The book subtly conveys an environmental message, and is a celebration rather than a lament – for as it concludes, huia birds are
alive and well
in paintings, songs
and stories we tell.

And although it has now vanished, the huia is by no means forgotten – witness a recent cameo appearance in the hit film Hunt for the Wilderpeople.

12 Huia Birds comes in a lovely hardback edition suitable for children of all ages.
            With orange cheeks and funny-shaped beaks
            They were a beautiful sight to be heard …
Author Julian Stokoe with his tribute to the huia

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