Home > Categories > Books > Kids - General > Kuwi's Huhu Hunt review
Kuwi the Kiwi decides to take Chick on his first huhu hunt. They could make huhu hangi, huhu hummus and huhu BBQ... Kuwi is an endangered brown kiwi and a new mum with a very fussy baby. Will she ever find Chick any huhu to eat?
I fell in love with Kat Merewether's "Kuwi's Very Shiny Bum" so when I saw "Kuwi's Huhu Hunt" I just had to read it. Kuwi's huhu hunt sure lived up to its good reputation and proved why it is such a popular children's book. This is a lovely story about a Mum who goes on a hunt to find something to eat for her new baby kiwi, Huwi. It is a lovely tale of Huwi who doesn't want to eat his friends out in the forest and instead finds his clever mum makes him some lovely vegeterian options instead.
The first thing that caught my attention in this book was the beautiful illustrations. The illustrations show a beautifully detailed picture of where you can find some native kiwi bugs/insects for Huwi to eat and on the next page simple yet very effective illustrations of ways he could eat them. My class of three and four year olds found the illustrations hilarious such as snail sushi or eel ecclair. It really is a great play on words and brought a lot of laughter to the class.
I thought this was a beautiful way to showcase some popular kiwi dishes and captures really well what a lot of kiwi kids know and love to eat at home. It felt like it showed our food culture summed up in one children's book!
I love Kat Merewether's first Kuwi book so when I saw Kuwi's Huhu Hunt up for review I was very keen to review it. I knew it would be well requested so when it arrived in my review parcel I was very excited. Opening it up and flipping through the book I just loved the lovely well detailed illustrations. I knew like the first book it was going to be an instant hit with the children in my life.
I'm an early childhood teacher so I took it into work to read with the many little bookworms I work with. I started off reading with two children and quickly ended up with a very large group of 3 & 4 year olds. The reactions to the story ranged from 'yummy but not with bugs in it' to 'gross!'. After ready through the book once we then went back through the book slowly discussing each picture and all the different foods. This lead to a lot of conversation about different foods we all like and what kiwis really eat for dinner. Since then the book has been a real hit and I often get requests to read it or if I ask who wants to read a book the reply is always your kiwi one.
I just love the humour, illustrations and story it's a must have for any bookshelf. My nephews 2nd birthday is coming up and both the Kuwi books are on my shopping list for him.
We were very lucky to get to review this amazing book "Kuwi's Huhu Hunt" by the amazing Kat Merewether. My three year old's daycare have this book and my daughter quite often would come home telling me about a kiwi book. She was very very excited to see this turn up in her package. The first thing she said was "Mum its the kiwi book can we read it" so we sat straight down.
I was immediately drawn to the nice clear and bright yet not in your face bright images on each page. They really stood out and grabbed my attention. I love that there isn't lots of words all in a row on the page they are spread out nicely under each picture which doesn't make the pages look overcrowded like some kids books. This also helps to draw your attention closer to the relevant picture.
I like the sense of humor that is used throughout the book with silly like sayings such as different bugs i.e weta's huhu grubs turned into every day foods that we would eat. My three year old though this was hilarious and joked about having some of them for tea. This then encouraged her to think about how we could make it and where we might find the bugs in our garden.
I like how te reo maori is used throughout the book and it is used in a basic context so someone who may not have a large understanding of te reo can easily work out what they are talking about. Fantastic book, with fantastic images and a great cheeky story line. I have started to look at purchasing the other books in this series as we really loved it!
My daughter absolutely loves Kat Merewethers book 'Kuwi's First Egg', so while at the shops today I told her she could choose a new book, she was most excited to see sitting alongside this book the latest release from Kat Merewether 'Kuwi's Huhu Hunt', as soon as she saw this on the shelf there was absolutely no questioning what book we were to buy.
Like 'Kuwi's First Egg' this book has the most amazingly captivating illustrations that are so bright and detailed, some of the most stunning pictures that I have seen in a children's book in a very long time. Throughout the pages there are beautiful graphics which reflect Kiwiana and New Zealand which I love such as the jar of Marmite, the twenty cent coin and Hokey Pokey ice cream it is very well done. Miss 3 loved the book from the start and was very drawn to the pictures of the 2 Kiwi on the front, Huwi and Kuwi she immediately made the assumption that it was a Mummy and Baby Kiwi before we even turned the page and was happy that they were both together.
The story is about a Mother Kiwi (Kuwi) taking her baby (Huwi) on his first Huhu hunt, along the way they find many different insects and things to eat such as Eels, Weta and Frogs but they struggle to find Huhu until the very end of the book, with each insect and various thing they find to eat along the way they think up different things which they could make out of the food for example frog fudge and eel eclairs. Miss 3 found this very entertaining and funny and would joke about how we don't eat bugs, however at the same time she loved thinking up her own things that perhaps the Kiwi's could make with each thing such as eel spaghetti and snail scones, this was a great way to encourage her creativity and get her creative juices flowing.
As a early childhood teacher I think that this book is simply gorgeous and would be a hit in any Early Childhood centre with it's unique connections to New Zealand throughout, I can't wait to take this book to work to share with the children as it is sure to be a hit with the children who spend a lot of their days down in the centre's gully going on bug hunts. I can't wait to see Kat Merewether's next book.
Visually this book can not be faulted. The pictures are so vivid and amazing and definitely have that 'Kiwiana' undertone. I have to admit the menu did not appeal to me but then I am not a cute baby kiwi who is going on his first Huhu hunt. My girls loved hearing about all the things that Kuwi could of eaten and seeing the pictures, they would both point to the one that would possibly try and then both laugh.
Having a turtle, the girls are used to heading down to the backyard and looking for worms and snails and since this book they have started discussing the different dishes April could eat. It has been such a fantastic book to help with their creativity. Although, I don't think April would really appreciate Snail Schnitzel or Snail Sushi.
The story is very easy to read. Kuwi is hungry so her mother suggests they go and find Huhu Grubs to eat. As they are looking for them they find other tasty options but Kuwi has her heart set on the Huhu's. Finally when they find them things don't exactly go the way the mother had planned. I was not keen on the ending that much as having a fusy eater on our hands it did not set the right message to her that its ok not to eat something because it does not look yummy. Nor did I like the idea to encourage the vegetarian route.
I do love the book and the imagination behind this book is fantastic just unfortuantely I do not agree with the ending.
I always love it when I get to read a new children's book which is set in New Zealand, and there is no doubting the origin of this one. There is a picture of two kiwis on the front cover plus a reference to huhu. This has got to be a giveaway before you so much as turn the first page. Kuwi is a New Zealand kiwi, and her baby is called Huwi.
Huwi is hungry so, as would any good mother, Kuwi wants to feed him. The imaginative dishes she suggest are artistic masterpieces and have to be seen to be believed. But Huwi is quite ambivalent about accepting anything his mother suggest, and in fact he behaves just like a naughty, demanding toddler. His favourite is the n-word!
I have to say that I felt slightly uneasy when I found that, not only does Huwi get his way in the end, but there is also the insinuation that meat and fish are not good things to eat and that the only really healthy foods are vegetables. Fussy eaters will have a field day with the naughty little kiwi who refuses to eat what is put in front of him. In real life, kiwis are omniverous, with a diet that ranges from various plant materials to insects, worms, and even small fish.
I find it hard to be negative about the story, however, as it is beautifully and imaginatively presented with many cute drawings of a variety of native fauna. Huwi is really sweet and his mother clearly loves him as she goes to so much trouble to ensure that he gets the food that he really wants. However, part of me is wondering if she is setting herself up for having to deal with a spoiled child when he is a little older.
I suppose the answer is to read the story with the issues acknowledged as they occur. It could prove to be a valuable learning aid for little ones if they are asked to comment on what they think about Huwi's behaviour. The book could stimulate a positive and informative discussion. For myself, I had a long chat to Miss Four and she decided all by herself that Huwi should at least have tried one or two of the dishes he was offered. At the same time she assured me that she would not like them herself so was glad her mother was making sausages for dinner.
I love the way that New Zealand authors capture you by including our native species in their books. Kat Merewether has done that with the main character in this book Kuwi the kiwi. But the book is not just about a little kiwi but all the other New Zealand insects, birds and animals a kiwi might find in its natural habitat. With all that in mind this is a great book to send to overseas to family members and knowing that by purchasing this book you are also help save the kiwi also makes it an attractive.
I am just in awe of Kat Merewether, her talent as both an author and an illustrator amazes me. Each page is full of colourful, cute illustrations. She can even make a weta look cute and cuddly. Her illustrations in this book have also included common NZ products eg marmite, hokey pokey ice cream. This allows kiwi children to feel the New Zealand connection.
The story itself takes Kuwi on a hunt for food. As they come across different New Zealand insects and animals the imagination takes over to come up with a variety of foods that can be made with them. These foods show the multicultural element of New Zealand with foods such as wontons, sushi etc mentioned. I love the way that each of these creatures habitats are always introduced which makes it a great book to use when teaching habitats - weta in caves, snails in ferns.
This is definitely a well loved book in our house and I have also purchased to send overseas. I am definitely going to be following Kat Merewether and see what amazing stories she comes up with next.
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