Dawn McMillan’s story about a gang of very naughty native birds who cause mayhem in Grandma’s kitchen is hilarious!
Tui, who is after a cup of tea, is sitting in her teapot. Kereru (this year’s bird of the year) has scattered apple cores all over the table. Pukeko knocked over the eggs with his long legs and Kakapo spilt a jug of milk. Kea is greedily eating the blueberries that were dropped all over the floor.
We can learn a lot about Grandma by just taking a look around her kitchen as this messy story unfolds.
She obviously likes to buy healthy food like tasty toasty whole grain bread and lots of fruit. And she likes to buy local as there are Pakowhai Potatoes and Pikopiko Passatta on the shelves of her pantry.
She must have a soft spot for birds because her emergency kit contains not just items like water, loo paper, a radio and torch but also bird seeds, bugs and worms. And some of the items in her pantry have avian names like Pukeko Penne Pasta and Kakapo Kornies. Could this be why the birds thought it was ok to come in and help themselves to the food in her kitchen?
But what will Grandma say when she comes down to get the family their breakfast and finds that her feathered friends have thrashed her kitchen and made a disgusting mess? Luckily she is a wise old lady who knows just what to say to the miscreants.
There’s a Tui in our Teapot is told in both English and Maori, so it is a great way to teach pre-schoolers some te reo. And at the end of the book, there is some further useful information with one real fact about each bird.
This rollicking story with vibrant illustrations would be great fun to share with pre-schoolers.
There’s a Tui in our Teapot. by Dawn McMillan. Illustrated by Nikki Slade Robinson. Maori Text by Ngaere Roberts. Published by Oratia Books. RRP $24.99
Reviews by Lyn Potter
Parent and grandparent, Avid traveler, writer & passionate home cook