The Last of Maui’s Dolphins by Maria Gill, ill. Bruce Potter, New Holland
Maria Gill’s eye-catching picture book is a heartfelt plea to New Zealanders to look after our threatened sea-life. Hiriwa is a young Maui’s dolphin who cannot understand why his pod keeps a count of its members - only 55 left... He plays with his friends - Spotty the snapper, Squiggles the octopus, and Puru the blue penguin. They try to keep away from the ominous dark shapes floating on the surface of the sea. But one day Hiriwa finds his friends have been caught inside a huge fishing net - and he races desperately to distract the fishermen and help his friends escape certain death. Bruce Potter’s vivid blue seascapes are painted with soft lines and dreamy backgrounds - except for the fishing net bulging with frightened sea creatures. This one is a deliberately alarming picture. The last double spread contains essential information about the critical status of Maui’s dolphins, including the actions young people can take to help preserve these precious creatures. This important book is not for preschoolers, but will be excellent for supporting primary-level classroom studies of endangered fauna.
ISBN 978 1 86966 410 7 $19.99 Pb
Reviewed by Lorraine Orman
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