A Change is Gonna Come - According to Bernard Raupō Bittern III
Aotearoa author Angela Cushnie and illustrator Barbara Jaine have collaborated to create a wetland story about farming and community - told through the eyes of an endangered native bird, the bittern. The kaupapa of storytelling celebrates the good work happening inside farm gates while raising awareness there is more we can do.
Bernard Raupō Bittern III (or Boomer to his friends) is the self-appointed mayor of the Waipuna wetland community and an esteemed storyteller.
Amongst the flax and bulrushes he makes an announcement to the wetland locals;
grumpy old Mrs Frog, the sleepy lizards, grandfather eel and the mudfish family:
First, he clears his throat. Ahhemmm! Next, he stands very still and thrusts his beak toward the sky.
Lastly, he sings out in a big bold voice …
“BOOM, BOOM, BOOM… VAROOM… FREEZE…
Help me save our wetlands please”
The good news is, Jack and his family on Boundary Farm are working with their community to help make Boomer’s wetland bigger, better and safer with plenty more places to hide.
Using the Book in Schools
Writing the book was just the beginning, and Angela and Barbara have taken it around schools and farmers markets to make sure Boomer’s message gets heard far and wide. Educators around Aotearoa have used the book to explore a range of topics with students including:
wetlands, conservation actions, native birds and plants, painting, storytelling and more.
Young children will find the illustrations and characters engaging and fun, while older students will be inspired by the range of actions taken by the community to help protect and restore their local wetland ecosystems.
Last week, the enviro group had a wonderful visit from Angela Cushnie. She brought along her incredible book 'A Change is Gonna Come. This book is about wetlands and why it is so important to protect and revitalise them. Thank you so much Angela! Our enviro group is inspired to investigate our local wetlands.
How to Order
You can order copies of the book through the Facebook page or by emailing Angela: email@example.com
About the Author
For Angela storytelling is a respectful way to bring people together to work on solutions for the benefit of future generations. Inspiration for the storyline came from a lifetime of living and working in rural New Zealand. Several years ago Angela focused her career in communication on projects which would connect land and water, cultures and community together.
“Dedication for the book is to my friend and kaiārahi Peter Te Rangi Hiroa Ramsden (MNZM)" who Angela met through the Ashburton Water Zone Committee. “Peter has guided me on this journey and made a significant contribution to the mahi of the book,” said Angela.