Book Review: KAKAPO RESCUE: SAVING THE WORLD’S STRANGEST PARROT – written by Sy Montgomery & Illustrated by Nic Bishop

Montgomery, Sy. 2010. Ill. Nic Bishop. KAKAPO RESCUE: SAVING THE WORLD’S STRANGEST PARROT. New York: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children. ISBN 978-0618494170.

kakapo

Codfish Island is a nature preserve located off the coast of New Zealand.  On this island,  resides the remaining members of the nearly extinct Kakapo Parrot species.  Sy Montgomery and Nic Bishop embark on a ten day adventure to Codfish Island to view, first-hand, the Kakapo conservation effort. Their book, KAKAPO RESCUE: SAVING THE WORLD’S STRANGEST PARROT, records their trip and documents the moving story of the scientific rescue group fighting to save the Kakapo’s dwindling population.

KAKAPO RESCUE: SAVING THE WORLD’S STRANGEST PARROT chronicles every aspect of the Kakapo Parrot’s existence including their environment, diet, and growth. The story is well organized and follows a predictable pattern with a comprehensive index at the back of the book. However, this book is a far cry from a dry reciting of un-embellished facts.  Sy and Nic’s pictorial and textual representations of their excursion to Codfish Island add a sense of excitement and adventure to this factual account that will keep children engaged and entertained.  The vibrant and picturesque photographs “support and enhance the text” and add personality and life to the parrots and their would-be saviors (Kirkus Reviews 2010).  The School Library Journal declares that children will “gobble up this tribute to ecological science in action” (Manning n.d.).

Enrichment Activities:

Sy and Nic’s documentary includes a excerpt containing the contact information for the Kakapo Recovery Program. Teachers and parents could ignite children’s desire to help these creatures by having them organize a fundraiser to send to the rescue group.  Moreover, children could be guided in further reading and research on this species of parrot.  A selected bibliography can be found at the back of the book.  Also, the BBC did an in depth documentary of the Kakapo’s struggle titled “Last Chance to See”.  Copies of this documentary can be found here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00n7ggx/products

Awards:

From Junior Library Guild http://www.juniorlibraryguild.com/books/view.dT/9780618494170

  • 2011 Sibert Award
  • 2011 ALA Notable Children’s Books, Middle Readers
  • 2011 NCTE Orbis Pictus Recommended
  • 2011 Top 10 Books for Youth, Environment
  • Booklist 2010 Editor’s Choice, Books for Youth, Nonfiction, Middle Readers
  • Booklist Lasting Connections of 2010, Science
  • Booklist 2010 Top 10 Books for Youth, Sci-Tech
  • Horn Book, Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12: 2011
  • Fanfare, Best Books of 2010, Nonfiction
  • Kirkus Reviews 2010 Best Children’s Books
  • BCCB Blue Ribbon 2010, Nonfiction

What to Read Next:

Turner, Pamela S. 2011. THE FROG SCIENTIST. . Ill. Andy Comins. New York: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children. ISBN 978-0547576985

Turner, Pamela S. 2013. THE DOLPHINS OF SHARK BAY. New York: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children. ISBN 978-0547716381

References:

Kirkus Reviews. 2010. “KAKAPO RESCUE.” April. Accessed March 22, 2014. https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/sy-montgomery/kakapo-rescue/.

Manning, Patricia. n.d. “Editorial Review: School Library Journal .” Amazon. Accessed March 22, 2014. http://www.amazon.com/Kakapo-Rescue-Saving-Strangest-Scientists/dp/0618494170/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1395521838&sr=1-1&keywords=Kakapo+Rescue.

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