Book Review: The Adventures of Hutu & Kawa, by Avis Acres

cv_the_adventures_of_hutu_and_kawaAvailable in bookshops nationwide.

The Adventures of Hutu & Kawa has been reissued due to popular demand. This book was first published in the 1950’s and is by New Zealand artist Avis Acres.

Hutu and Kawa are Pohutukawa babies living high up in a nest in a Pohutukawa tree. One day they decide they would like to build a canoe, so ask Grandpa Kiwi to help them. They duly start building their canoe with Grandpa Kiwi using his long sharp beak to chip away at the totara branch they found, making a hollow in the middle of the branch. Hutu and Kawa use tiny greenstone chisels, and spend many weeks building the canoe. Grandpa Kiwi gives Hutu and Kawa a tiny carved wooden whistle tied to a flax cord. They were to blow the whistle if ever they got into danger.

Hutu and Kawa were surprised at how long the canoe took to build but when it was finally finished Kipi and Keri, the Kowhai Kiddies carry the canoe down to the stream. The forest folk came and presented them with gifts that they thought would be useful for the journey. Hutu and Kawa say their goodbyes and start off down the stream.

This is a beautiful book that has withstood the test of time. I read this book to 4 ½ year old Abby who was totally absorbed in the story, trying to turn the page to have a look at the next lot of illustrations and to find out what happens next.

A rather lovely book that would appeal to today’s generation of children just as much as it did my own.

Reviewed by Christine Frayling

The Adventures of Hutu & Kawa
by Avis Acres
Published by Puffin
ISBN 9780143507055

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