Jean Donaldson | paperback | 82 pages | 2022
This book is a shout-out to the weird and wonderful endangered species in Aotearoa, those lesser-known creatures that don’t regularly make the news. But they are just as important as the ‘stars’ like kākāpō and kiwi, for they are the foundation of our unique biodiversity. Tiaki includes such exotic animals as the Smeagol gravel maggot, a sea slug found on the south coast of Wellington; the moko kākāriki, a gecko with a bright blue mouth; the kōwaro/Canterbury mudfish, which can survive out of water for up to several months; and the tiny, critically endangered pekapeka-tou-roa/ long-tailed bat. Written and beautifully illustrated by Jean Donaldson, this is a highly original and inspiring book aimed at intermediate-age children and teenagers.