NZ Book Month – Pohutukawa

pohutukawaPohutukawa, written and illustrated by Sandra Morris

When the Pevensey children first stumbled back into Narnia, at the start of Prince Caspian – The Movie, they fetched up wandering around the ruins of Cair Paravel. And there, clinging to the cliffs, are pohutukawa. There wasn’t a dry eye in my seat.

Pohutukawa are also known as the New Zealand Christmas tree, because their beautiful red blooms come out in December. This book is a very simple building block story about our beautiful trees.

Wide is the tree
that stands by the sleepy, blue sea.

Red are the flowers so sweet and bright
that grow on the tree
that stands by the sleepy, blue sea.

Quick are the bees buzzing in flight
that sip from the flowers so sweet and bright
that grow on the tree
that stands by the sleepy, blue sea.

And so on, through all the creatures that feed on the pohutukawa’s nectar and fruit.

But then…

Bold is the possum eating the buds and leaves…

The pohutukawa is being destroyed, until…

Quiet is the boy that climbs the tree
and catches the possum eating the buds and leaves…

And the life cycle of the pohutukawa carries on through seeds and seedlings.

The book ends with some facts about pohutukawa and the various animals in the book, including the wretched brushtail possums. Although they are beloved native animals in Australia, they are a terrible pest in New Zealand, wreaking havoc on the native bush and birds.

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NZBMsmlI’m taking up Ele’s challenge, and blogging a book a day in October, which is New Zealand Book Month. All the books are by New Zealand authors.

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3 comments on “NZ Book Month – Pohutukawa

  1. Gae Fenske says:

    When you bolt up, wide-awake, in the wee sma’s, because a battalion of hob nailed boots is thundering back and forth over your metal roof – possums ain’t so popular here, either.

    Gae, in Callala Bay

  2. […] at In A Strange Land Deborah is celebrating Pohutukawa, written and illustrated by Sandra […]

  3. violet says:

    But there aren’t enough commas ‘cos I keep running out of breathe whilst reading it out loud.

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