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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

Takahē Trouble by Sally Sutton, illustrated by Jenny Cooper

Walter and Manaaki are teenaged takahē. They are curious, adventurous and troublesome. This new children's book is inspired by true events. In October 2019, Walter and Manaki escaped from their predator-free sanctuary at Tawharanui Regional Park. Their adventures provided the inspiration for author Sally Sutton's humorous story.

With a strong plot, lively language and a big dose of fun, Sutton reimagines the exploits of the two daring takahē.

Sutton includes lots of unfamiliar and interesting words for younger readers; words like rustled, twitched, shrieked, and roaring are words not always used in everyday language and exposing little ones to these types of words help expand their own vocabulary and understanding of the world.

There's also a lot of repetition in the story, that children can begin to 'read' it themselves after just a few read-throughs with an older reader.

Illustrator Jenny Cooper brings plenty of humour and character to the troublesome pair. There's a great illustration of Manaaki scheming to escape that had my two young readers in absolute stitches. Cooper gives both birds plenty of emotion and personality.

Facts about takahē are included within the book, as is a photo of the two birds that inspired the story.

Children will delight in the cheeky and daring spirit of Manaaki and Walter. Takahē Trouble is a wonderful story of escape, rescue and returning home.

Reviewed by: Rebekah Lyell

Scholastic, RRP $19.99

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