When someone needs help in the bush who would answer the call? I don’t think the first duo that would spring to mind is a Kiwi and a Bat! However, these two are indeed the heroic team that join together to save the day!
Kiwi has a helpful heart but doesn’t have fast legs nor the ability to fly to help other forest creatures when they need assistance. BatKiwi with an underlying theme of teamwork shows the reader how working together, playing to our strengths can have a wonderful outcome for all.
The painterly illustrations by Isobel Joy Te Aho-White are delightful, they capture a range of emotions of the forest creatures, the smile on the rescued baby skink will make readers smile, and the illustrated forest setting of native plants creates a sense of atmosphere, drawing the reader’s eye into the action.
This story has been published in two editions: te reo Pākeha and te reo Māori.
A wonderful story for a read aloud, who wouldn’t want to watch the reaction on a listener’s face to a kunekune pig when it trots back to do a small wee to ensure a fire is out! I am adding BatKiwi to my list of read alouds for that line alone.
Author: Melinda Szymanik
Illustrator: Isobel Joy Te Aho-White
Translator: Pānia Papa
ISBN: 978-1-77543-711-6 (English) 978-1-77543-739-0 (te reo Māori)
Publication: July 2021
Do you have any advisory warnings for this book? No
Reviewer: Louana McCormack, Librarian, Opaheke School, Auckland
How are you recommending this book? Recommended
Opening sentence: Koi ana ngā ngutu o Kiwi, pakari na ōna wae, pūhuruhuru ana ōna huruhuru, ā, tika ana te kapakapa o tōna manawa.
Kiwi’s beak was sharp, his legs were strong, his feathers were hairy, and his heart beat true.