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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

Kuwi’s Rowdy Crowd by Kat Merewether

Kuwi the kiwi tries to find a moment of peace and quiet in the chaos of parenthood, but everywhere she turns the volume just gets louder. Tap-dancing tomtits, karate-kicking kōkako and other noisy native friends join in the rowdy fun, until Kuwi can't take it anymore.

Kat Merewether’s signature adorable illustrations and storyline, will have both adults and children laughing out loud. We are big Merewether fans in this house, with a copy of all of her books on our shelf. It’s fair to say Kuwi’s Rowdy Crowd is our favourite one so far.

It has unique appeal to both adults and children – the humourous storyline will be familiar to parents everywhere and you can’t help but feel for poor Kuwi.

Children will also recognise themselves within the pages, and will have fun replicating the noises to match each illustration and guessing which creature will appear next.

Onomatopoeia litter the pages, and Merewether’s trademark alliteration make it a joy to read aloud. As parents, we all know the boredom of having to read the same book aloud night after night, and Merewether understands that too. The rhyme and flow of the story keep it fresh for repeated readings, as do the endless hidden jokes within the illustrations.

Merewether packs the puns into the illustrations, which are a visual feast. From Mr Kūmara Head to Huwi Potter, What’s Bug Beans and pōhutukawa flavoured K Bars – she puts a clever Kiwi spin on almost everything. Fans of her books will have fun spotting cameos of her other creations too. Her drawings are bold and bright, with each creature a brilliant cartoon version of the real animal.

A handy pronunciation guide and dictionary of Māori terms has also been included on the back end page, making it a nice taster for anyone keen to introduce the next generation to te reo Māori.

Merewether is a proud supporter of the Kiwis for Kiwi Trust, with 20 cents from each book sale of the Kuwi series going to support kiwi conservation projects in New Zealand. To date, the series has donated more than $25,000.

Her passion – for both children’s writing and for protecting our native bird – is evident. Kuwi’s Rowdy Crowd is an absolute delight, with gorgeous illustrations and a wonderful subtle tale about being happy with what you have.

Reviewer: Rebekah Fraser

Illustrated Publishing, RRP $19.99


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