Saturday, September 17, 2016


12 Huia Birds
By Julian Stokoe, illustrated by Stacy Eyles
Published by Oratia Books
ISBN 978-0-947506-12-4
$24.99 hardback

The huia was one of New Zealand’s most distinctive birds, and although it has now vanished, it is by no means forgotten – witness a recent cameo appearance in the hit film Hunt for the Wilderpeople.

In 12 Huia Birds, writer and animator Julian Stokoe and illustrator Stacy Eyles conjure up the life of this beautiful bird. Through gentle rhyme and striking imagery, the book tracks the bird’s decline, from 12 huia birds playing in the forest, through the arrival of humans and pests, to the last huia flying off into the sky.

The story subtly conveys an environmental message, and is a celebration rather than a lament – for as it concludes, huia birds are alive and well in paintings, songs and stories we tell.

This 32-page picture book comes in a very giftable hardback edition, with vivid colour illustrations. It is supported by an app, which links to educational resources and games about the huia and other native birds.

About the author and illustrator
Julian Stokoe is a transmedia and animation director with a background in TV and design. He is director of mobile media developer Yoozoo. Julian lives with his wife and family in Laingholm, Auckland.


Stacy Eyles (Ngāti Porou) is an art director, artist, and award-winning illustrator based in Wellington. He produces work in many different media, ranging from canvas and murals to clothing and television.



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