NZ birds galore in this new counting book. Young children will love spotting familiar birds in this fun text from Dave Gunson. From `One noisy seagull, asking to be fed' to `Thirteen sleepy moreporks, slowly waking in the trees', the birds are just asking to be counted. There is also a sneaky numeral hidden on each page spread, and a number of other creatures shown in the back that are there to be found too.
From Dave Gunson, experienced author/illustrator of Wildlife Stuff and Mr Muggs the Library Cat, among many others. Translated into te reo Maori by Ngaere Roberts. Hilarious illustrations that will delight children.
Includes a glossary of words in English and te reo Maori.
Now that the twins are at playgroup, they are taking a keen interest in the world and their learning is increasing daily. Growing up bilingual, they challenge each other and take great pride in demonstrating each new skill to anyone who takes an interest whether it be their parents, their friends, their koro, or just each other! They are already proficient in counting in both English and Te Reo, so each page in this book had to be examined carefully while they took turns counting all the birds.
The very first page featured a noisy seagull who was totally over the top as he screeched for food, much to the interest (and amazement) of the other birds. The girls both loved the expression on his face as they have seen seagulls many times at the beach and watched how the birds scream and make a big fuss when humans venture into their territory with food.
The pictures got funnier and funnier as we read on. Tuakana loved the pukeko with their boots on, but their mother, looking over at the picture, was fascinated by the slogan on one pukeko's chest given that the elections had just taken place! I am sure that was a coincidence, but all the same it was amusing for the adults in the room. Teina loved the naughty kea stealing things - especially the underpants that one kea had appropriated.
When we got to the page where there were many sparrows, the girls tried to count them but gave up. There were just too many! Tuakana made an attempt - she said there were "rua tekau ma rima" but I think there were lots more than that. Teina just said "Lots!"
What is really lovely about this book is that the pictures are so vibrant. Not only does the book provide the opportunity for a child to learn to count in Te Reo; it also features fun illustrations of some of New Zealand's native birds, invariably in amusing or cute situations so that the children will return to look at them again and again. And there is a glossary at the back of the book for a parent or other adult who might be hesitant about reading aloud in Maori in case he or she meets a new word and does not want to be embarrassed.
I would love to see this book issued as a hard back or even as a board book. My one reservation would be that it will not stand up to a lot of rough handling by very young children, especially if there are several little ones in the family. (Tuakana and Teina have a younger sister,) A more durable edition would be a worthwhile buy.
I think it is great that some New Zealand authors are releasing children's books in both English and Te Reo as these are both the official languages of our country. Working in an Early Childhood centre means that I am meant to speak both the languages with the children, though I will admit I am not the greatest at speaking te Reo and so when I see books and songs available in Te Reo I am also willing to try them out as they are a great learning tool for both me and the children.
Tahi-Rua-Toru Manu! looked like a great book and as it was based around native NZ birds I knew it would be a hit at my daycare as we are situated in the country and have a lovely big gully in which the children can go and explore, of course one of their favourite things to do here is to sit and bird watch the many beautiful birds such as Tui's who are regular visitors.
The book features some absolutely stunning pictures of many different birds such as sparrows, fantails and king fishers which were all bright, happy and colourful, these really appealed to the staff and children. Each page counts a number of birds from 1 to 13 and the children loved counting each of the birds each time I turned the page before reading the story to them, we did this first in English and then in Te Reo, with many of the older children volunteering to take turns at coming up to the front and counting by themselves, this was great for their confidence. Every now and then my colleagues and myself would be reading the book and the children would ask us what what we had said in te Reo had meant in English, we often had to be honest and say we didn't know but through looking at the pictures and the glossary at the back of the book we were meant to work it all out. I loved all of the added touches to the images such as the pack of bluebird chips, the Paul Frank boxers, and the birds wearing hats and scarves this added a whole lot of fun and character and brought up lot's of conversation and laughter amongst the children.
Not only has this been a great valuable tool for extending the knowledge that the children and staff at my daycare have but it has also been loved by my 4 year old daughter who has been busy looking through the book almost every day since we received it for review, she is very big on speaking Te Reo currently so has been loving learning lot's of new words. Every Time we sit down together to enjoy this book we manage to discover something new on each page, whether it be little insect hiding or a bird pulling a funny face, we were excited to find in the back of the book that there is actually a little look and find index which tells you what to look out for on the pages such as 3 caterpillars, it has been a lot of fun looking for each of these things, as well as the hidden numbers on each page.
This has been a delightful book to read and one that some teachers at my daycare have added to our centres book wishlist, it is the perfect length to read and great for those who are beginners in speaking Te Reo, the only thing that I feel would have made this book even better is if it was to have a CD in it to help with pronunciation, other than that I can't fault it at all. A beautiful book, packed full of fun that will be enjoyed by many time and time again, thanks Scholastics.
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