New Zealand Nature Heroes by Gillian Candler


Come face-to-face with some of Aotearoa's wildlife heroes in this new book.


Featuring the stories of more than 15 nature heroes, Gillian Candler showcases the endeavours of well-known conservationists. Home grown heroes such as Nicola Toki, Ingrid Visser and Don Merton grace the pages of this spectacular book. Candler also pays tribute to the myriad unsung heroes, including volunteers, teenagers, and conservation dogs.


The book, aimed at middle primary school children, focuses on the pioneering work of people who have, or are working to protect our natural world.


It was a delight to open the pages and see the faces of people I admired growing up, as well as being introduced to the next generation of conservationists.


The book is stunning from the outset. A rich navy cover with fluorescent pops of colour is always going to catch your eye. Inside is a feast for your eyes too - Floor van Lierop's design work deserves credit here too.


Candler has done her research - there's timelines, maps, old photographs and so many interesting facts it's hard to keep up.


Each hero gets their own personal story across a double spread. There's also lots of information about flora and fauna, as well as some of New Zealand's conservation hot spots. Finally, in each section, Candler includes some family-friendly ideas. Often ideas and activities included in these sorts of books are too hard, too expensive, and not realistic. However, Candler bucks the trend. Each activity is simple and, most importantly, worthy. These aren't arbitrary or tokenism, these are practical and interesting ideas. The instructions are easy to follow, relatively simple and will inspire the next generation of Kiwi conservationists and citizen scientists.


Candler includes many areas of our environment - from the ocean to the beach, rivers to trees. There's weed busting, bird watching, wētā hotels, and beach clean ups.

She also includes an extensive resources and further information section, helpfully laid out under each conservationist profiled. Photo credits and a short author profile are also included.


New Zealand's Nature Heroes is a stunning book in all aspects. It is rich in design, and rich in content. Interesting profiles are complimented with information about flora, fauna and habitats, and are then matched with engaging, important activities. This book will inspire the next generation to care for, protect, and enjoy our important natural world.


Reviewer: Rebekah Fraser

Potton & Burton, RRP $29.00

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