In her latest story, Kuwi the kiwi attempts to find a moment of peace and quiet in the chaos of parenthood. But everywhere she turns, the volume just gets louder. Tap-dancing tomtits, karate-kicking kokako, and other noisy native friends join in the rowdy fun until Kuwi can't take it any more.
Adults and children alike will laugh at the humorous storyline and the quirky illustrations. The story also offers a heartwarming yet subtle message about being happy with what you have.
20 cents from each book sale goes to support kiwi conservation projects in New Zealand.
In terms of books which appeal to kids (and adults) of all ages, you cannot go wrong with the work of Kat Merewether. Her quirky illustration style and fantastic way with words create truly unique stories which you re-read and enjoy over and over again. Both the Kuwi the Kiwi series and Kiwicorn are permanent favourites in our house, and so I, and my family, was truly excited to receive a copy of Kuwi's Rowdy Crowd to review.
The book continues on with the adventures of Kuwi and her chick Huwi. Kuwi is wanting to have a nice sit down and a cup of kawakawa tea, but a huge variety of native fauna, and Huwi of course, make this impossible. Our kids loved the variety of New Zealand wildlife represented in the book. From tomtits to pekapeka and cicadas, a variety of iconic kiwi natives are represented. It is a fantastic opportunity to talk about wildlife with the children, in a fun and engaging way. My daughter in particular was really intrigued as to what the kokako were, and it was great to be able to talk to her about them and bring in other New Zealand birds at the same time. There is also a fantastic glossary and pronunciation section in the back, to make those of us who are not so hot with Maori words a little less rusty.
Another thing which my daughter loved was the activities the animals were doing. Some were exciting, like the brass band of buzzing beetles, and others were downright hilarious, like the farting whio or the poo-pitching pekapeka. Even kids who didn't like reading could be drawn in by the characters and the accompanying illustrations.
As always with Kat's creations, the more you explore the book, the more you see. The illustrations are so clever- incorporating so many little details which reveal themselves each time you read the books. From the 'whare sweet whare' doormat outisde their burrow door, to the spider eating jaffas from a jar on the final page, they are unmistakably Kiwi- and a fantastic tribute to the unique culture and spirit of New Zealand.
As a little bonus, a sachet of tea was included with the book. This was in a sleeve illustrated by Kat, and given the cup of tea Kuwi wants to drink through the book, goes beautifully with the theme.
The story itself is great for young and old. Poor Kuwi cannot get a moments piece anywhere, but after shouting and ordering everyone to be quiet, she realises that maybe silence wasn't what she wanted after all. That moral of being careful about what you wish for, and being appreciative for your whole situation (both the good and the challenging parts) is as relavent for parents as it is for kids, and a really nice reminder that you always have things to be grateful for. It is also a great insight for kids that sometimes adults make mistakes too, and that is ok. It might also be a nice reminder that sometimes Mum just needs to drink her cuppa in peace (I think we have all been there, Kuwi)!
Overall, Kat has played yet another blinder with this book. Funny, accessible and engaging, this book is sure to please. It is full of quirky Kiwi touches, and makes as good a daytime talking or education start point as it does a snuggly bedtime read. It is a book which never gets boring and we have not tired of. Kuwi is the pride of New Zealand, and a fantastic ambassador for these beautiful native birds.
We are huge fans of Kuwi the Kiwi and have loved all the adventures so far including other beautiful books written and illustrated by Kat Mereweather like Kiwicorn, and Flit the fantail so were honoured to have been given the opportunity to review Kuwis Rowdy Crowd. My children both love being read to and the bedtime story routine is an important part of our day, the day this book arrived I knew it was going to be a longer bedtime story as there are so many beautiful things to look at!
Kuwi's Rowdy Crowd is a very relatable story as a mother with poor Kuwi's cup of tea getting colder and colder as she tries to find somewhere to get a bit of piece and quiet as Huwi makes lots of noise as children do. I love he way it was written with different descriptive words used to describe the changing temperature of Kuwi's cooling kawakawa tea. My on-going joke at home is that I may as well make iced coffee as it always seems to go cold before I get a chance to drink it so I knew exactly what Kuwi was going through.
You do also have to love Huwi's playful and creative nature as he finds new friends and new items to be absolutely noisy with much like my own sweet children, who thought Huwi was hilarious with his music. My 6 year old son thought it would be fun to try and make lots of noise like Huwi after reading the book with me. Another great story by Kat Mereweather in the Kuwi series and a firm favourite even though it is incredibly hard to have a favourite in this series.
For me it was again the beautiful illustrations that made the story for me and my children and I spent ages looking at the pictures as its like another story in itself, with so many things to find. We loved the bugs beans (baked beans) k bars, buzzy bee and other kiwiana type objects scattered throughout the pages as we read the book. We found so many new things on each page some of which my children did not recognise as much as me but most New Zealand adults and children would be able to identify with so many of the objects which I just loved.
I think the Kuwi series and Kuwi's Rowdy Crowd are a great collection for New Zealand children and to be given as gifts they are simply beautiful and illustrate some gorgeous parts of New Zealand culture and native wildlife. We will treasure these books for years to come. This one in particular was a special book for me and I thought it was such a great touch to add a teabag inside the specially illustrated pocket so mums reading the book can try and have a quiet cup of tea too.
Kuwi the Kiwi is still one of my all time favourite kids books. I've read the whole series so far and continually go back and read them again to my kids who also love them. I was lucky enough to get the latest in the series, Kuwi's Rowdy Crowd, in my review parcel.
With the review book copy there was an addition of a cute little tea bag which I thought was both humorous and sweet - after reading the story of Kuwi trying to find a quiet place to drink her 'cuppa' and Huwi, her chick, following her around the house and the drink slowly getting colder and colder, I'm not sure if I'm brave enough to even boil the kettle to make a tea!
I read this book to my children (5 and 7 years), my nephew (7 months) and my neighbours children (4 and 7 years). All 5 children were captivated by the beautiful illustrations and funny noises that Huwi was making. The older kids loved being able to point out and identify pictures of iconic Kiwi toys that they still own and play with today. All 5 kids stayed until the end of the story before they went off to try and make some of the same noises that Huwi was making in the book. The 7 year olds really understood the message the book was trying to tell them and both admitted that sometimes they make too much noise around their parents but really just want their parents to play with them too.
I absolutely love how this book relates to every parent I know, especially those with children under 7 years old who make lots of noise. I also like how at the end of the story Kuwi gets the quiet she so desperately wanted but then realises it's too quiet and she gets down and plays with Huwi instead.
As I write this review up, my children are at the beach staying with their grandparents while my husband and I go back to work early. At first we were really looking forward to the break we would get from the constant noise of the kids but in reality the quietness in the house is unnerving and it really feels like something is missing. I can't wait to collect my kids on Monday!
I am a huge fan of Kat Merewether's work as is Miss 5 and all of my day care babies; we particularly love her books in the Kuwi series. When I saw that there was a new book in the Kuwi series I was beyond excited as I knew it was without a doubt going to be a hit, just from looking at the front cover.
As per usual the book did not disappoint it was full of beautiful, rich and colourful illustrations which accompanied the story perfectly, as did the cute little tea bag holder which the book came with which a very nice touch, and as I began to read the story I could see why... The story is about Kuwi the Kiwi, who happens to be Huwi's Mum all she wants to do is sit down with a cup of tea and enjoy some peace and quiet, however Huwi (like any other child) has other ideas and insists on making noise where ever she goes. As a parent I could completely relate to this as Miss 5 funnily enough does the exact same thing right on dinner time. This was a bit of hidden humour inside a lovely child's book.
The story itself was well written and I loved the use of lot's of describing words throughout the book such as tap tip tap and whack plup-plop as my daughter is trying to be more expressive in her writing at school and the book gave some great examples of how to do so. Miss 5 enjoyed trying to read the book on her own and didn't find it to difficult, while my day care children couldn't get enough of Kuwi and had me reading it again and again.
I loved all of the hidden images of Kiwiana icons such as the K-bats and Baked Beans, there is always something new each time I seem to read the book again which makes it even more fun. Kat Merewether has done it again another beautiful book featuring our favourite little kiwi, I can't wait to see if there's another one soon.
I am an early childhood teacher teaching children 2.5 to 5 years of age, so children's books are part of my everyday life. A book certainly has the ability to control how our day goes - they are great for bringing everyone together, to excite children, to teach them anything and everything, and to help calm them down (especially on those days we are stuck inside and going a little stir crazy!). I have heard of the Kuwi the Kiwi books, but until now hadn't actually seen one in person or read one to the children. I was lucky enough to receive this book in my recent review parcel and was excited to share it with the children.
Gathering on the mat for mat time I held up the book and showed them the cover. "It's Kuwi the Kiwi!" one of the children yelled out, obviously aware of who Kuwi is! The cover brought a lot of discussion - what are the different animals and what instruments are they playing? There were lots of guesses so we decided just to start reading and see what happened. My first comment to make is that the illustrations are just amazing. They are so bright and colourful and they really do capture the children's attention. The children wanted to point out and find everything in every picture (yes, it did take some time to read the book the first time around!).
This story has to be one of my favourites. It has been very cleverly written - lots of links to things we are all familiar with (I LOVED the page with the Ice Ice Baby rap!) which makes it exciting and interesting for the adults too. The moral of the story is great - even though Kuwi is getting annoyed by the noise, she realises just how much she likes having the noise around, and having Huwi around as she very quickly gets bored once everything is quiet - something I'm sure many parents can relate to!
Once we got to the end of the book I decided to go back through it one more time looking even closer at the pictures. I had noticed near the end that there were lots of typical kiwi products placed amongst the pictures named a little differently so we went back through to see what we could find. This was another way to draw the adults into the book as we could relate to more of the products than the children (the K-bar was probably the favourite!).
This book will continue to be read at our centre. The children have requested it themselves a few times, so it has quickly become a favourite. Now I need to get some more of the Kuwi books to see what else I've been missing out on!
Back a long long long time ago - okay, not really that long ago - I was very fortunate, right here on KIWIreviews to receive the first ever Kuwi the Kiwi Book - and myself and my children have been hooked on them ever since. We own every book in the Kuwi set, and also another that Kat illustrated, as we adore her so much.
As an ex teacher and Mum (slave?!) to 3 kids under 10, story time is very important in our life and has been from birth. As well as this - I enjoy reading picture books too as a break from study texts and business stuff!! The kids spotted the new Kuwi book as soon as they got home, and immediately asked to read it! They were so excited that we had received it, and that we got to keep Kuwi's Rowdy Crowd - the only thing they were sad about was that it was not autographed by Kat this time!!!
The book itself is beautifully made with lots of colour, a nice cover and strong pages. This is vitally important in a young child household, that's for sure. I asked the children first of all what they thought the story might be about and I got some interesting answers, including - "maybe Huwi is being told off for being noisy by his Mum" "Huwi decides to have a party" "Huwi makes up a band" and the best yet - "Huwi is going to perform in the Kapa haka concert" (can you tell what we had been at?) I personally thought it may be about young Huwi making too much noise, judging by the slightly frazzled Mum look that Kuwi has!
As we opened and read the book, my oldest was pointing out some of the finer details - such as "What's Bug Bean", aeroplane lollies, a jar of MiteMite and the Whare Sweet Whare doormat. This is just one of the reasons I LOVE Kat's books so much - they have things hidden for adults and older kids to see, without detracting from the amazing illustrations for younger kids. The illustrations are our favourite part, and it is very evident how much time, love and thought goes into each of them!
One thing I particularly like is the mix of Maori and English in the book - and the explanations of the words at the back also - in case you do not know the meaning. It is such a "Kiwi" book - sorry for the pun, but it is so New Zealand that it is wonderful. I have Australian cousins, one of which is expecting a wee one in 2019, and I will absolutely be gifting a "little bit of kiwi" with a Kuwi book or two to their wee pepe.
These books make wonderful gifts, for, as I mentioned - people overseas, and anyone with a child - newborn through to big! I hope there are more books to come - as Kuwi is like the quintessential Buzzy Bee or jandals - very kiwi, very much loved and a favourite.
Thankyou to Illustrated publishing and KIWIreviews for an amazing book to review! I would really like to see Kuwi and Huwi soft toys, and maybe even a CD song or something - that would be awesome - oh, and Kuwi mugs - for my cup of kawakawa tea.... or maybe for me, human coffee!
As a mother of three young children I have tried to instill a love of reading from a young age. Every day we read picture books, especially to calm them down before bedtime, the Kuwi the Kiwi series has quickly become our go to bedtime read. When my children saw the newest addition to the series available to review from KIWIreviews, the incessant begging was enough to make me request a copy hehe. I told the children that even if we weren't lucky enough to be chosen, we could still borrow the book from our local library.
When I got our review box inside the house and started to open it, the expression on the children's excited faces was priceless. Once they saw the copy of 'Kuwi's Rowdy Crowd' there was no stopping them, they dragged me over to the couch and we looked at the cover. Judging by the cover it looks like Huwi the chick is going to have a noisy adventure with some of his friends, and some noisy musical instruments. As we read through the story my children pointed out some of the items they have grown up with that are typical NZ icons, these included the Tupperware Shape-O toy, K-Bars, gummy airplane lollies, and of course the wooden Buzzy Bee toy. As with all Kat Merewether's books, the illustrations are absolutely gorgeous and vibrant, and are a wonderful accompaniment to the storyline.
This book focuses on Kuwi wanting some quiet time so she can enjoy a cup of hot Kawakawa tea, however with young Huwi full of energy and wanting to make noise with friends, this is proving to be a tricky task - something most parents can relate to.
Throughout the story there is some entertaining alliteration, with my children's favourite part was the 'flock of farting whio are frolicking in the froth.' This had everyone (yes, including me) in fits of giggles as they were creating bubbles in the bath water.
I would highly recommend 'Kuwi's Rowdy Crowd' to anyone with young children, especially at the preschool age, however in saying that my 7 year old has re-read this book several times since we received it. I think it would make a delightful gift, especially for someone overseas who has a young child, or is expecting a child. Like always Kat Merewether has left me impatiently awaiting Kuwi's next adventure, in the future I would love to see the Kuwi adventures made into a television series.
I think Miss Two is one of Kuwi's greatest fans! She listens to each word with real understanding (and heaven help the dad or other reader who dares to change a word or skip something), and looks at each picture as if for the first time - there is always something new to discover. Add the cute, colourful characters and the positive messages that each Kuwi book contains, and you have a true recipe for success among pre-schoolers.
When she found out that she was to be lucky enough to own the latest in the series, she was overjoyed. She insisted on discussing each page as it was read to her in turn; this involved some stopping and starting of course as she looked at previous pages too! With maturity, she is starting to be aware of other people's feelings and to show empathy with them. This brought the book's themes home to her as she related to her own experiences with friends and family.
After she had finished the book, she chose a few pictures that had struck a particular chord with her. She even related to the way that parents sometimes get tired of constant noise and would appreciate a little peace and quiet. She can be quite rowdy when she is with other children of similar age, so although she is still very young, she understood exactly what that meant! She identified with Huwi and thought it would be nice to have some friends who looked like his. The picture on the title page, depicting Huwi lying on his back surrounded by building blocks, really resonated with her!
The farting whio made her giggle, She said they were making bubbles in the water. She also loved the poo-pitching pekapeka (and was able to work out from the picture what a pekapeka was without need for translation, so there was a new word she had learned as well). These are things every two-year-old can certainly relate to, and find utterly hilarious (as are most bodily functions at that age). Every one of Huwi's friends made a different noise, and Miss Two repeated them with great enthusiasm and plenty of volume.
We loved the way the backflap opened to reveal the ending of the book. This was a simple but very clever technique which prompted Miss Two to play a game of peek-a-boo. If I had any doubts before about the value of this book for little kids, this was the clincher: one of the most positive and user-friendly books I have come across. It is educational in an enjoyable way - there is even a short glossary of Maori words and a fact sheet on the kiwi at the end of the book. Miss Two and I can't wait for the next in the series.
Random listing from 'Books'...
On her first venture out of the nest, Little Hoiho admires the other birds around her and tries desperately to imitate them - with unfortunate results. But when she accidentally trips and falls into the water, she discovers that she is no longer awkward and clumsy - she is graceful and agile.
Also available in a Maori language version.
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