by Ann Graeme QSM
Oh bugs ‘n’ beetles! What a lot I’ve found out following Wiremu weka on his epic journey from Greymouth to Christchurch. Wiremu may be a flightless bird but he’s feisty. He moves fast and the story does too as he hitches rides, steals sandals and sandwiches, plunges into scary places and has heaps of lucky escapes.
Along the way I’ve learned about the country Wiremu traverses, about its wildlife, geology, Maori and pakeha history, its tragedies and adventurers, its roads, rivers and railways and a great deal more. Facts can be stodgy, but the author keeps them neatly corralled in brief and punchy panels with maps and pictures, and it is all carried along by Wiremu’s story.
This is an engrossing read for children – and for adults too. It might likely spark a family holiday, following in the footsteps of Wiremu Weka!
(Ann Graeme was the much-loved children's page (KCC) writer for Forest and Bird magazine for twenty years).