by Melinda Szymanik
illustrator Isobel Joy Te Aho-White
This one came with a sticker attached, marking it as having a Storylines Notable Book Award. To be honest, I was surprised.
Considering how almost everyone pronounces moa, I could imagine how they’d say the whole title. On the other hand, if it teaches the correct pronunciation, that will be a good thing.
To appreciate the storyline, it would be helpful to be aware first of the author’s previous title BatKiwi, and know about the pairing of two creatures to form an unlikely superhero.
This time there’s a scenario that seems just as unlikely to my adult eyes, though I'm thinking little ones will love it. And I would like to think there's a chance it could be true.
It’s always a pleasure to find New Zealand animals in a picture book, and in their natural environments rather than in houses with furniture, and not wearing clothes. These characters do talk, though – there doesn’t seem to be any getting around that.
The illustrations are just right – simplified and effective.
It’s promoted as a “story of mystery, magic and forest friendship”. I’ll go with that. In the end it won me over.
Author: Melinda Szymanik, illustrator: Isobel Joy Te Aho-White