The Wildtrack Book
Hodder and Stoughton, Auckland, 1990, $12.95
Did you know that people eat more sharks than sharks eat people? Or that the killer whale is neither a killer nor a whale, but a dolphin? Or that the native New Zealand frog can’t croak, swim or hear and is the most primitive one in the world?
Whether you are a wildlife enthusiast or a poor school student required to gather information about New Zealand, The Wildtrack Book is worth the time it takes for a serious browse.
It is aimed at 9 to 14 year olds and contains a vast amount of information on New Zealand’s wildlife and habitats. The format brings you information in bite-sized pieces, clearly laid out and beautifully illustrated by Julie Roil.
All but the most indifferent reader will gain an appreciation of the very special place New Zealand is, and the uncertain future it faces. Without taking too moral a tone, the book aims to foster responsible attitudes in its young.
There is a chapter on what to do with stranded whales and some advice on pollution with photos of seals and penguins strangled by plastic rubbish in the sea. Readers are challenged to think for themselves. This is a positive, constructive, comprehensive work, an excellent addition to any household’s bookshelves and at $12.95 is reasonably priced.
Stephanie Edmond is a freelance journalist in Wellington.