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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

Dreams of a Moa by Carly Waddleton

One night a young boy snuggles down to sleep, but one question keeps nagging him. Where did all the moa go?

Young readers meet a moa with big dreams in this quirky tale full of laughter, energy and surprises. This imaginative and fantastical story ponders what happened to those birds - did they sail the Pacific, ballet dance in Paris or stroll on the moon?

Debut author Carly Waddleton said the story was triggered by her own son's curiosity about the moa, combined with her desire to encourage him to follow his passions.

Everyone is able to follow their dreams, even if you have challenges - just like the moa, a bird with no wings. There's a subtle little hint at challenges too in the illustrations around the young boy to watch out for.

The story is told largely in rhyming couplets but at times it's a stretch and the rhythm is lost. While the story remains strong, rhyming bush with slush for example, clanged. However, it's still a fun story to read aloud and we had a lot of laughs brainstorming other moa dreams.

While the moa's experiences aren't all true to life, Waddleton worked with Paul Schofield from the Canterbury Museum and University of Canterbury to produce a fact page at the back of the book.

Illustrator Megan Salole adds to the fantastical storyline, with imaginative and humourous artwork. There is no mistaking where this book is set, with New Zealand's native flora and fauna front and centre. Her creatures are quirky and fun, with lots of little details to spot - the moa with their pinky fingers out had our children in stitches.

Dreams of a Moa is an imaginative and fun romp around the world that celebrates the moa while inspiring younger readers to pursue their dreams.

Reviewed by Rebekah Lyell

Little Love


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