Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Extinct NZ animals come back to life in Dawn McMillan's third nature story book

There’s a Moa in the Moonlight / He Moa kei rō Atarau

Dawn McMillan

Illustrated by Nikki Slade Robinson

Māori text by Ngaere Roberts


The third in Dawn McMillan's bilingual nature story series is out today, bringing our extinct animals back to life in a young girl’s imagination

‘I thought a child’s view of extinct animals was a fun idea with an important message of conserving endangered species,’ says bestselling author Dawn McMillan. 

From that idea emerged There’s a Moa in the Moonlight, the third in Dawn’s series of nature stories following There’s a Tui in our Teapot (2018) and There’s a Weta on my Sweater (2020).


In the beautifully illustrated book in English and Māori, an inquisitive girl peers out her back window as night falls, only to see a moa in the garden munching all the melons!

Before long moa is joined by a laughing owl hooting in the night, huia eating grubs in the hibiscus tree, a Haast’s eagle soaring in the sky, and a kawekaweau lizard gobbling fallen guava.


What will Mum say when she sees all these animals in her garden?

The spread of fact boxes about the animals (shown above) follows the story, helping kids to learn more about our disappeared fauna.


Concludes Dawn: ‘I enjoyed meeting moa and friends and hope that readers will be pleased to meet them too.’


There's a Moa in the Moonlight is out today in good bookstores across the country, and you can find more info here.

The Authors

Dawn McMillan is an internationally recognised writer of children’s books who lives north of Thames. Among her many popular works are I Need a New Bum! and Sir Singlet. Her two previous nature series books are There's a Weta on my Sweater and There’s a Tui in our Teapot, the latter also illustrated by Nikki Slade Robinson. Nikki is a widely published author and illustrator, internationally known for her Muddle and Mo series and numerous other children's booksNgaere Roberts is a teacher and translator of te reo Māori who lives in Helensville; she delayed her retirement from translation to complete the reo for There's a Moa in the Moonlight.

Dawn McMillan
Nikki Slade Robinson

Publication Date: 2 November 2021 |  ISBN: 978-0-947506-96-4 |  RRP $25.99
Hardback, 270 x 210 mm, 32 pages colour

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