New Zealand’s extinct animals come to life in Dawn McMillan’s third nature book


“I thought a child’s take on extinct animals was a fun idea with an important endangered species conservation message,” says best-selling author Dawn McMillan.

From this idea was born There’s a Moa in the moonlight, published by Oratia this week as the third in Dawn’s bilingual nature stories series, after There is a Tui in our teapot (2018) and
There is a Weta on my sweater (2020).

In the beautifully illustrated book in English and Maori, a curious girl looks out the back window after dark, only to see a moa in the garden munching on all the melons! Before long, moa is joined by a laughing owl hooting in the night, huia eating larvae in hibiscus, a Haast’s eagle soaring in the sky, and a kawekaweau lizard engulfing a fallen guava.

What will mom say when she sees all these animals in her garden?

An animal sidebar series follows the story, helping children learn more about our extinct wildlife, and the editors have prepared teacher resources for this and other books in the series.

Dawn concludes, “I enjoyed meeting moa and friends and I hope readers will be delighted to meet them too.

Dawn McMillan is an internationally renowned children’s author who lives north of the Thames. Among his many popular works are I need a new ass!
and Mister Tank Top. Nikki Slade Robinson is a widely published author and illustrator who has also illustrated
There is a Tui in our teapot. Ngaere Roberts is a Maori te reo teacher and translator who lives in Helensville.

There is a Moa in the moonlight / He Moa kei rō Atarau

by Dawn McMillan, illustrated by Nikki Slade Robinson, with Maori text by Ngaere Roberts

Posted by Oratia Books

ISBN: 978-0-947506-96-4 | $ 25.99 | DP, $ 25.99

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