There is a lot going on in the very colourful illustrations of the book Waata the Weta, and the detail will keep children entertained. The plot is a simple one with fearless Waata the weta venturing out of the woodpile for adventures around the farm. His search for the ‘perfect home’ sees him discover the chook house, the tractor, gumboots, guttering and finally a bedroom inside the house.
The inside cover introduces the characters in the story, including the farmer and his son, Banjo the dog and the chooks. Inside the back cover, author Josephine Carson-Barr and her son Simon Barr, the illustrator, are profiled, while the facing page features facts about New Zealand weta.
The 48-page book is part picture and part comic book. The text is in boxes or speech bubbles, and there is a variety of layouts to keep it interesting. A good use of onomatopoeia in large font gives added impact. Recommended.
Title: Waata the Weta
Author: Josephine Cason-Barr
Illustrator: Simon Barr
Publisher: Veritas Aotearoa Publishing
Date of Publication: September 2016
Ages: 5–9 years
Reviewer: Vickie Humphries
School: Mount Cook School, Wellington