Author(s): Sarah Ell
The story of the lost wonders of New Zealand's natural history: the extinct species which are now gone forever. Lost Wonders also features some key species which are on the brink - critically endangered - and the efforts that are being made to save them for future generations.
The stories of these fascinating creatures - birds, insects, reptiles and plants - are told in an entertaining and accessible style, drawing on first-hand accounts and supported with useful illustrations. It draws on accounts of their demise, and of the social climate in New Zealand in which these extinctions occurred.
Illustrated with line drawings by Phoebe Morris, and written in a relatable style, this is perfect for 8-12 year olds, telling true stories about the species and the people involved in their extinction and/or recovery.
Featured species include those which are long gone - New Zealand's dinosaurs, penguins and pelicans, and the giant gecko; extinctions since the human habitation of New Zealand, including the moa, piopio, huia and laughing owl, and native fish the grayling; species which were lost and found - the takahe, taiko, Tecomanthe speciosa and the weevils of Canterbury; and those at risk of extinction and how it came to this - kakapo, kaki, Maui's dolphin, kauri and whitebait.
Dinosaurs, moa, Haast’s eagle, Lyall’s wren and huia were once living treasures of Aotearoa. Lost Wonders explores the stories of those fascinating creatures, as well as focusing on species that are critically endangered and the efforts being made to save them.
Ell’s entertaining, easy-to-read narrative, accompanied by line drawings from Phoebe Morris, tells us about the people involved in their extinction or recovery, drawing on first-hand accounts and delving into the social climate in New Zealand at the time when the extinctions occurred.
Featured species include those that have gone, but also some that were lost and found, such as the takah?, t?iko, the flowering vine Tecomanthe speciosa and the weevils of Canterbury; and those at risk of extinction — the k?k?p?, M?ui dolphin, great whales, kauri and whitebait.
Ell is a noted non-fiction writer whose books include Sirocco, the Rock Star K?k?p? (out of print) and a new NZ series - Pioneer Women and Volcanoes & Earthquakes (with Gordon Ell).
Lost Wonders is a very timely book, reminding us of what we have lost and our obligation to preserve what is left of our flora and fauna. It includes a comprehensive glossary, references and suggestions for further reading, lists of conservation organisations and websites, and an index. Perfect for readers aged 8+ and an excellent resource for the primary and intermediate classroom. Teaching notes are available.
Sarah Ell was born and raised on Auckland's North Shore in a conservation-minded family, and has always had a close relationship with nature and the outdoors. Sarah trained as a newspaper journalist before working in magazines and book publishing, and has a Bachelor of Arts in New Zealand history from Massey University and a Master of Creative Writing from the University of Auckland. She is the author of 10 books, several of them titles for young adults, including Sirocco, the Rock Star Kakapo (2012), and the historical survey Ocean (2018).
She still lives on the North Shore, with her husband, yacht designer Rob Shaw, and their two children.