Kiwi, New Zealand's national bird, are facing a precarious battle for survival on mainland New Zealand as predators, especially cats, dogs and stoats, take their toll. Inspired however by the success of Backyard Kiwi, a kiwi recovery project that she is heavily involved with around her home on the Whangarei Heads, illustrator Heather Hunt has teamed up with writer Kennedy Warne to produce another natural history book for children.
It's My Egg (And You Can' Have It!) is both beautiful, but powerful. It captures the reality of life for a kiwi trying to hatch an egg, fending off attacks from cats and dogs, and ultimately being saved from stoat predation by trapping.
This is an important, inspiring book for children that deftly communicates the importance of recovery programmes for our native wildlife. Heather Hunt and Kennedy Warne's stunning book The Cuckoo and the Warbler, from 2016, was selected by Storylines as a Notable Book, and It's My Egg is a book of equal quality.
Heather Hunt is an illustrator and exhibiting artist who has spent her life learning about the world by drawing it. Her characters and the scenes they inhabit emerge out of a research process that involves observing, photographing, reading, writing, conversations and, above all, hundreds of drawings. Heather's much-loved `Backyard Kiwi' character is the face of one of New Zealand's most successful kiwi recovery projects and inspired the work for her award-winning picture book, Kiwi: The Real Story.
Kennedy Warne co-founded New Zealand Geographic magazine in 1988 and served as editor for 15 years. He now writes for the magazine and for National Geographic, and gives a fortnightly report on the outdoors and the environment on Radio New Zealand's award-winning Nine to Noon programme with Kathryn Ryan. He has written books on the world's threatened mangrove forests, the Tuhoe iwi of Te Urewera and New Zealand's State Highway 1.