It is a misty morning in the forest and Flit the fantail chick is practising his landings. He slips on something round - he has found eight rubbery white eggs. But whose could they be?
Join Flit and his friends, Kiki the kaka, rascally robins Bit and Bob, Keri the kiwi, and wise old Ruru as they try to figure out who the mystery eggs belong to.
Anyone who has kids in New Zealand is likely to know about the books of Kat Merewether. Both Kuwi the Kiwi and Flit the Fantail are nothing short of national treasures, and have captured the hearts of children up and down the country, as well as worldwide. This is the second instalment from one of my family's favourite characters, Flit. My daughter was so excited to read this book, as soon as we opened the review package she took herself off to the sofa to leaf through the pages, and we haven't stopped reading it since.
In this tale, Flit is still learning to fly (which we learned about in the first story). He finds some eggs, and he tries to find the animal they belong to. He visits lots of his friends along the way, including kiwi, black robin, pukeko and a kaka, in each case learning about what their eggs look like, and what type of nest they lay in. Flit manages to find the owner in the end, but it isn't quite who he was expecting!
This book is set out beautifully. The story is really engaging, and even I learned heaps about the eggs of different native New Zealand birds. For my daughter, the fact that eggs could come from something other than a bird was a revelation, and has left her questioning other eggs we see day-to-day. I also love that whilst a simple story, the language is not dumbed-down, giving great exposure to really descriptive vocabulary which is already evident in her own stories.
The themes through the book are things that we should all be striving to teach our kids. Curiosity, empathy, teamwork, wanting to do the right thing and resilience are all introduced in a gentle way which is perfect for the whole family. The illustrations, which, as usual for Kat's books, are beautiful, enhance these concepts, and add an extra element of engagement with the story. Being able to ask 'how do you think the kiwi is feeling', for example, gives so much extra power to me as my daughter's first teacher, and helps her to interpret the story more readily too.
I knew that we would love this book, but I could never have quite imagined how much my daughter would take it on board. Now, even the piwakawaka which we see flying around our manuka are called 'Flit' (all three of them). You know that you are in for a treat with one of these books, so if you are looking for a story which is great for the whole family, this is definitely for you. I know that this will be an ongoing favourite in our household, and if the spirit of being a kaitiaki for all of the flora and fauna of our beautiful country can be spawned in the next generation too, that can only be a good thing.
Flit is back, if you like me loved the first installment of Flit when he was clumsily learning to fly you will equally adore Flit in this new book with the mystery eggs. He is back as cute as ever and in continuation from the first book his flying seems just as clumsy as ever! If you like me have seen the beautiful native Fantails around your garden at home you will recognise that while graceful the way they cheekily hop, flit, and tumble around the garden in a cheekily playful manner is totally recognisable in the character of Flit in these adorable picture books.
When Flit accidentally stumbles upon some mysterious eggs he is eager to find out who the eggs belong to and asks for the help of some other native bird characters including a Kaka, a Kiwi, and the wise Ruru. We are also introduced to some of NZ's stunning native plants through Kat's beautiful illustrations of the bush scenery. The birds all have the cute factor that appeals to young children with the big cartoon style eyes and playful expressions making them very easy to love. Like the first book with Flit you can find hidden clues in the pictures that add to the story, so we spent a long time just looking at the pictures together discussing the things we could see and what was happening in the pictures without reading the words.
Mystery books are great with my young children as they draw their interest and have them eagerly awaiting the page turns to find out what happens next. This book has a surprise ending as we find out who the eggs really belong to which was very exciting for my son as he had been taking guesses as to whose eggs he thought they might be. It was great how we also learn cool facts about the different types of eggs, my children found it hillarious how big Kiwi eggs are and were somewhat surprised by this indeed. A great discussion starter for learning about birds and other animals that lay eggs.
The playful rhythm and repitition of the story makes this a delightful book to read aloud with young children for a shared storytime and a great book for Kiwi Kids to learn about some wonderful New Zealand native creatures we will certainly be reading this book many many more times.
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