Stepping into the forest in New Zealand a thousand years ago would have been a very different place to today, you might have to watch out for a giant Moa! But did you know that Scientists now believe that there were 9 different species of Moa, living in different parts of New Zealand and ranging in size from a large Turkey to 3.6 metres!
Sarah Ell’s research for this book is comprehensive and she weaves in historical and scientific facts with eyewitness dairy type entries and Maori myths and legends, this varied delivery of information makes it an enjoyable read. While many readers will be familiar with some of our extinct species, I was surprised at how many I was not aware of including birds, plants, lizards and fish to name a few.
The ‘Almost lost’ and ‘What can I do’ sections serve as a warning to readers, detailing conservation efforts and practical steps and advice to ensure readers speak up and learn from past mistakes.
A map of New Zealand at the back of the book is a handy reference for readers to refer to, as too is the comprehensive Glossary, an essential addition for young readers.
‘Lost Wonders’ will appeal to a wide audience. It should be part of every Library collection. It is available as an ebook and there are downloadable activities on the publisher's website.
Title: Lost Wonders: Vanished creatures of Aotearoa
Author: Sarah Ell
Illustrator: Phoebe Morris
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Date of Publication: March 2020
Reviewer: Louana McCormack, Librarian, Opaheke School, Auckland
How are you recommending this book? Highly recommended
What’s the book’s opening sentence? Imagine that you have travelled back in time to the Aotearoa New Zealand of a thousand years ago.