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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

Tuatara: A Living Treasure by Katie Furze

Meet Tuatara, an ancient wonder, wildlife treasure and a survivor. Tuatara are survivors of an ancient era, sometimes referred to as living wonders - their closest relatives died out during the time of the dinosaurs 60 million years ago.

This book by author Katie Furze takes readers through the fascinating life cycle of the tuatara in this non-fiction picture book. Furze weaves a story that is both entertaining but jam-packed full of information. She uses wonderful examples of figurative language - skinks scoot, wētā watch for example, engaging readers while also imparting knowledge.

The book includes reference material sprinkled throughout the pages, suitable for primary and intermediate students. Further information and bibliography at the back of the book adds to its value as a resource. Suggestions for further reading helps readers evaluate a book's accuracy but also give our younger readers an insight into how writers think and work. They are important, but often lacking, features in a book of this type.

Illustrator Ned Barraud needs no introduction. Barraud's love of the natural world shines through the pages, like usual. They are detailed, realistic but will touches of magic that will inspire and encourage children to explore the world around them. Barraud's illustrations help younger readers understand the core concepts and are designed to engage visually oriented learners.

Other visual elements enhance the book in more subtle ways - highlighting the facts in a different coloured box make them stand out, certain text is emphasised to help readers. Even the tactile cover helps convey information.

Nonfiction picture books can often be hit and miss, but Tuatara is a fantastic example of one done right. Barraud's incredible illustrations combined with Furze's research and engaging writing style are a perfect combo.

Tuatara: A Living Legend is a fascinating and engaging insight into one of New Zealand's special creatures. It is a perfect resource for home or school and a must for nature lovers.

Reviewer: Rebekah Lyell

Scholastic NZ


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