Author(s): Ned Barraud
Once, the mighty tohora, or southern right whale, was a common sight in winter off the coast of Aotearoa. But it proved to be an easy target for the 19th-century whalers, and was soon driven to the edge of extinction. In the 20th century, however, it became a protected species, and once commercial whaling was virtually stopped, the southern right whale made a comeback.
Ned Barraud recounts this moving story in this beautifully illustrated book, a heartening and optimistic tale for every New Zealand child.
Kieran & Lucy Bailey's Review:
Tohor?, or the southern right whale, was once abundant in New Zealand waters and this book shows the reality of how humans almost caused its extinction. Tohor? are a species with a rather sad history in Aotearoa, but Ned Barraud provides a glimmer of hope for the future of these beautiful creatures.
Along with details of the whale's biology, Barraud tells the tale of this species through a strong and particularly moving narrative from before the onset of whaling, through the protest movements of the 1970s and 80s, and ending with the visit of "Matariki" to Wellington Harbour last year. It teaches an important lesson regarding the impact of humans on our wildlife, but also about the positive change people can make when they band together for a good cause. Tohor?'s connection to Wellington Harbour was very thought provoking, since in the 1800s the species was all throughout the harbour, yet a sighting is so rare today. The Illustrations are stunning too, which doesn't hurt.
Tohor?: The Southern Right Whale is the latest fantastic release from Ned Barraud, author and illustrator of New Zealand's Backyard Beasts and many other New Zealand non-fiction books.