Review by Amanda Schulze, Community Engagement & Health Promotion Specialist. MHF

Kat Merewether (2018). Auckland University Press, NZ

Kiwicorn is a delightful, colourful book with an equally delightful and colourful character. The character Kiwicorn, as the name suggests, is a kiwi with a beak reminiscent of a unicorn horn and striped with the colours of the rainbow.

Rainbow colours are of course a symbol of diversity and at its heart that is what the book is about. Not just the message that we are all unique from each other, but as individuals we possess an array of different qualities within us.

Each double page begins with the question “Who is…”, followed by three alliterative words such as, “Who is whimsical, witty and wonderfully weird?” The opposite page provides the answer “Kiwicorn” which is followed by Kiwicorn’s own words, “I love being different because different is never dull”.

For a young audience (or at least for my seven-year-old), being able to shout the answer “Kiwicorn” provided much excitement. Kiwicorn’s words promote messages such as being caring, working hard, standing up for what you believe in and celebrating one’s differences and the uniqueness of others. In the words of my 13-year-old, “It’s a neat book and can inspire kids to do something different”.

This book is an upbeat, energetic and fun read with great messages to instil in our tamariki. 

The Mental Health Foundation’s Information Service brings you reviews this Pink Shirt Day on books with bullying prevention themes.

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