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Kakapo Rescue: Saving the World's Strangest Parrot

Last updated Thursday, April 10, 2014

Author: Sy Montgomery
Date of Publication: 2010
ISBN: 0618494170
Grade Level: 5th    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Apr. 2014

Synopsis: On remote island off of New Zealand live the last kakapo parrots on earth. These trusting, flightless, and beautiful birds—the heaviest and most unusual parrots on earth—have suffered devastating population loss. Now, on an island refuge, a Recovery Team is working to restore the kakapo population. With the help of fourteen humans who share a single hut and a passion for saving these odd ground-dwelling birds, the kakapo are making a comeback in New Zealand. Follow intrepid animal lovers Sy Montgomery and Nic Bishop on a ten-day excursion to witness the exciting events in the life of the kakapo.

Note to readers:
•  The first two chapters cover lots of information about the Kakapo in New Zealand. After reading the first two chapter, you may want to skip through the remainder of the book to check out the pictures and select additional parts to read, depending on which topics the kids are most interested.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What is a Kakapo?
•  Why does the Kakapo need to be rescued?

•  Kakapo (p 1) - (KAR-ka-poe) the rarest & heaviest parrot in the world
•  perverse (p 1) - turned away from or rejecting what is right, good, proper, or normal
•  infrared (p 1) - producing or using rays of light that cannot be seen
•  downy (p 2) - covered with small, soft feathers
•  extinction (p 2) - Biology . the act or process of becoming extinct; a coming to an end or dying out: the extinction of a species.
•  breed (p 2) - to produce (offspring); procreate; reproduce
•  Maori (p 5) - the original people living in New Zealand
•  superlative (p 5) - surpassing all others
•  predator (p 6) - an animal that lives by killing and eating other animals
•  raptor (p 6) - a bird (such as an eagle or hawk) that kills and eats other animals for food
•  airborne (p 8) - in the air; moving or being carried through the air

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Why is the Kakapo the strangest parrot in the world?
•  Where is New Zealand? (see the maps of New Zealand & Australia in the front of the book and check for a globe or world map in the classroom)
•  Why did the Kakapo almost become extinct?
•  Would you like to be a scientist? What would you study?

Craft ideas:
•  Make an outline of a parrot, cut out, then attach green & yellow (or other colorful) yarn to look like feathers. Add a craft stick to make a puppet or add your parrot to a larger drawing of a forest like in New Zealand.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!