This book combines conservation, evolution, math and history in this delightful picture book about one of NZ’s native birds. The book opens with a healthy, prolific flock of takahe in pre-European times. Their wings grow smaller as they don’t need to fly away to avoid predators.
Then along come the ‘settlers’ with guns, deer and rodents and the takahē are thought to be extinct. But in 1948 Dr Orbell discovers evidence of the birds and a conservation programme begins.
This book has beautifully coloured illustrations with a mix of realistic animals and people but the trees and mountains are geometric shapes. This adds to the maths theme in the book with addends and sums given as much importance as the text. The text is almost staccato with many paragraphs of short sentences. Therefore I feel this book doesn’t lend itself to being read aloud as a flowing story but could be read to a class with stops for doing some addition and subtraction. The graph on the last page could be an introduction to another facet of math and also shows the value of conservation and breeding programmes.
This book would be highly valued in any primary school library.
Title: Takahē Maths
Author: Julie Ellis
Illustrator: Isobel Te Aho-White
Publisher: One Tree House, teacher notes & activity guide are here
Publication: September 2021
Advisory warnings: none
Would this book work as a read aloud? not really, unless with breaks to do some maths...
Is there a particular part of the country it’s set in? This book is set mainly in back country and conservation areas of NZ
Reviewer: Nova Gibson, Library Manager, Massey Primary School, Auckland
How are you recommending this book? Highly recommended
Opening Sentence: Take one isolated island.
You can buy this book here