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

Saturday, September 10, 2016

The Tunnel in Going West

Thanks to the Going West Books and Writers Festival for featuring Malcolm Paterson, author of The Tunnel in our Backyard, in the opening session today.
Malcolm on stage with son Davin
Malcolm, supported by his very well-behaved son Davin, told the audience the genesis of the Sharing our Stories books published by Oratia, and outlined some of the connections to local heritage and landscape that the book conveys.

The first book in the series, The Castle in our Backyard (2010), takes kids into the history of Maungakiekie/One Tree Hill, while The Tunnel in our Backyard (published this June) links to Owairaka/Mount Albert and localities in Te Atatū, Waterview and Point Chevalier.

A great morning for books in Titirangi
Going West continues throughout this weekend, offering up a cornucopia of words and ideas at the Titirangi War Memorial Hall.

Unity Books has books from Malcolm and the other featured writers and artists on sale at the festival.

Click on this link for more information about The Tunnel in our Backyard.

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