Rhyme and narrative share the pages of Kiwi: The Real Story, a new children’s book penned to inspire younger generations to protect and cherish kiwi.
“This is a story about real kiwi in a real place, the story of a dogged survivor, a bird who deserves our respect for its sheer resolve to survive and live its own life in the face of overwhelming odds,” writes Annemarie Florian.
Prior to human settlement, the population of kiwi in New Zealand could have been as high as 50 million. Many species of kiwi came close to extinction, but close management and habitat protection have resulted in a steady recovery.
The design is bold, setting electric illustrations against stark backgrounds, while the language is colloquial, describing the bird’s habitat and physical and behavioural characteristics.
“Kiwi are generally reluctant to get into conflict situations, preferring instead a she’llberight/mind-my-own-business attitude,” writes Florian, connecting the bird to the popular conception of New Zealanders just as she uses Kiwi slang to describe kiwi.