This book makes a statement with its size (approx 28cm x 38cm) and the large, bold, often double-page illustrations.
The reader can explore NZ’s abundant wildlife through Bishop’s multitude of colourful, detailed pictures and the accompanying notes. Each double-page depicts a different aspect of NZ wildlife from the sea to the estuaries and further inland, “Above the Treeline”, “Below the Treeline”, “Life in the Dark” etc. The lively pictures of wildlife are clear and set against the backdrop of their natural environment to great effect. (In his section, “Wildlife in the House”, I found it a little disconcerting to learn and see the many beasties I would prefer not to know about that might live in and around my house).
There is so much to see on every page; you can feel his enthusiasm for this topic by the energy he has put into this work which is interwoven with Maori beliefs and myths.
At the back of the book is a glossary to explain some of the more unusual words that children may not encounter in every day reading.
This is definitely not a text book, but an enjoyable look at our natural surroundings and what makes them so special.
I would highly recommend this book to any child from those who appreciate learning through pictures, to those who have a real interest in wildlife.
Title: Wildlife of Aotearoa
Author: Gavin Bishop
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Format: large hardback
Ages: pre-school through to intermediate
Reviewer: Anabel McPhee, Librarian, The Catlins Area School, South Otago
How are you recommending this book? Highly recommended
Opening line: Aotearoa sits above the submerged continent of Zealandia surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, which is larger than the total land area of the world and 15 times bigger than the United States of America.
You can buy this book here