Sylvia and the Birds

Sylvia and the Birds
Inspiring young readers to help and protect our native birds

Written by Johanna Emeney and illustrated by Sarah Laing, Sylvia and the Birds is part graphic biography, part practical guide to protecting our bird wildlife. This remarkable book for young readers and their families is fully committed to detailing the wonders of our native birds, the threats they face and how we can help them.

Based on the life of ‘The Bird Lady’, Sylvia Durrant, who helped over 140,000 sick, injured and lost birds during her lifetime, it inspires a reverence for the natural world and is a call to action for all young ecologists and environmentalists.

With charming illustrations, an engrossing text, mātauranga Māori insights, activities and how-tos, it offers hours of enchantment and engagement.

The text above is from the publisher's website (edited slightly), which you can visit using the link provided above.

Purchase a copy of the book by visiting the Book Hub, which supports local booksellers.

Using the Book in Schools

This book will appeal to a range of students, including those who love reading graphic novels and others who like practical activities they can do at home and in their local environment . Alongside Sylvia's story, the book's characters also include two inquisitive kererū and young person Charlie, who will inspire ākonga with their stories of activism in Aotearoa and beyond.

Kaiako will find useful advice and examples in the section exploring te ao Māori and kaitiakitanga, with a case study from Ahuriri about protecting the marine environment through projects such as Te Wai Mauri.

Seatoun School tamariki made a video using Sylvia and the Birds to learn how to be better kaitiaki of Aotearoa, shared by the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. You can watch it here.