The tree weta burrow
is packed to the rafters,
but it's much too crowded
for one little weta...
she's going to find something
bigger and better!
Join Weta as she embarks on a mission to find a quiet new home. A letterbox, a kennel, a toilet roll in the outside toilet... where will Weta relocate?
I have been told that you are not a true New Zealander until you have been caving and had the pleasure of a cave weta sitting on your head. In fact they are very shy creatures and it takes a lot of patience to get one to relax and interact with you - I speak from experience! Luckily, the tree weta is far more accessible and a lot bolder than its cave-dwelling cousin. This book is about tree weta which is useful since any child who has access to a garden has the chance of spotting one. Older family members may be reluctant to go on an insect-finding expedition, but preschoolers have no such qualms and will happily investigate areas where these creatures may hang out.
My daughter and Miss Ten were both taken by the book. Miss Ten is interested in all aspects of nature and especially enjoyed the Wonderful Weta facts at the end of the book. She had not realised there were different types of weta, and although she is older than the target age for the book, she read it from cover to cover before going on a weta hunt in her own garden. My daughter is a teacher who works with small groups of immigrant children, so intends to take the book to class with her so the children can practise their language skills while learning something about their new country.
I like the clear illustrations and simple rhyming text which make it accessible to preschoolers who enjoy happy endings. Weta's first home is utter chaos, with no room for any personal space. However, the three new houses Weta tries are all hilarious. Miss Ten was highly amused at the idea of living inside a toilet roll, and the sight of the little boy sitting on the toilet and panicking because there was a weta looking out at him was just too funny! Toilet humour appeals to small children anyway, so I anticipate there will be a few giggles in the classroom too when my daughter reads this page.
The home that Weta finally moves into has everything anyone could want in terms of personal space and decor, but it is lacking one thing. It is very quiet! That is soon remedied when the rest of the family follow her, and because the new quarters are so roomy, everyone can do his or her own thing without imposing their fun on everybody else. At the end of the day, they are tree weta after all, and their original home was a very small fallen log. I cannot imagine a human child being content to live there any more than Weta was, whereas the new "hotel" is almost a mansion. I suggested to Miss Ten that she might even like to make one herself. She said she will think about it!
Random listing from 'Books'...
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