Move over, Caped Crusader, there's a new hero in town! ... or in the forest I should say.
Kiwi has the heart of a superhero, and strong, sturdy legs. When the animals in the forest have an emergency, all he wants to do is help. But, when you can't fly, and you can't climb, and your wings are so short you can't even give someone a hug, it's pretty hard to be a hero! Kiwi tries, but he just can't help...or not on his own, he can't! But can Bat help him to be a true hero? You better believe it, he can!
BatKiwi, Melinda Szymanik's latest picture book, is sure to resonate with kids and their whānau. Although we human Kiwis may not have beaks and wings, no doubt we've all felt a bit like Kiwi at times—unable to live up to our hopes and aspirations. I'm sure all of us have had times when all we want to do is run away and hide when things don't go our way. Let's just hope that in those times, we find a true friend, just like Kiwi does in this luscious story (and it's also available in te reo Māori as Ko PekaKiwi).
Awhile back, I had the opportunity to ask Melinda Szymanik a few questions about her books, and since then, she's quickly become one of my favourite writers. Her stories are full of quirky, sometimes dark, humour, and a deep understanding of the human condition, all cleverly told through her simple picture books. If you give her books a try, I'm sure you'll quickly grow to love them too.