Old Blue: The Rarest Bird in the World by Mary Taylor is a beloved classic and is now out in a terrific new edition

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This year Scholastic are republishing a number of classic New Zealand children’s books, books we have loved that have gone out for print for example.

They had done a splendid job of Old Blue: The Rarest Bird in the World by Mary Taylor (first published in 1993 and won NZ Book Awards Best Book nonfiction).

It is big and it is beautiful with mouth-watering illustrations.

This is the story of the Chatham Island robin. Once it filled the islands with its singing and darting and chattering. It is very black — every bit of it, pretty much is black. But once humans arrived things didn’t go so well for them. This is the story of their near disaster (they got down to just 5 birds!) and the story of their survival (256 in 2012). The conservation workers found a new chick on the only island with robins and named it Blue. She had a big role to play.

I was very moved reading this story again. Moved by how hard people work to save our precious wild life, moved by the thought of those birds singing and fluttering and chattering on that remote south-sea island.

I think this book should be in every New Zealand classroom. Highly recommended.

Let me know if you have read this book and what you think of it! paulajoygreen@gmail.com

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