Tui: a Nest in the Bush

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Tui

LIPSCOMBE, Meg Tui: a Nest in the Bush Craig Potton Pub, 2013 unpaged NZ$29.99 ISBN 9781877517914 SCIS 1632862 

This is a brilliant book that is a must for every teacher of science, even in the junior school.  For parents and children who have a love for, and committed to, our native flora and fauna, this book is a must.  It is a simple book textually and perhaps photographically, but is profoundly inspirational.

Tui is an iconic bird in NZ with its parson-like beak and neck, its black sheen feathers as well as its signature aggressive assertion of its ego (both sound and sight).  For those of us who live in the Banks Peninsula, its recent release has been long-awaited, and those of us on the western part of the inner Akaroa bays, we eagerly wait to espy one.  This book is indeed a tale of spying.  When a professional photographer sees a tui nest from her deck and is able to photograph them (with some careful preparation), she begins a daily diary of the hatchings, the development of the fledglings and final flight of independence, as well as the parental performances of Mum and Dad.  There is an excellent introduction by Rick Thorpe which then frames the ruminations of the photographer/author who shares both the personal and professional journey that has been undertaken in recording the life of two Tui fledgings.  This idea of a journey is a wonderful strategy for inquiry-based learning for students who can use this as a model for science and technology learning through observations, recording and narrative writing.  Highly recommended.  JMcK

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