Educational Resource: BatKiwi

 Educational Resource – BatKiwi



Kiwi wants to help others in his community but finds himself falling short (and flightless) every time. Despondent about how things are turning out Kiwi is offered help from an unexpected source, Bat. When the cry goes up calling for help Bat flies Kiwi to the location of the emergency and together they make a rescue and save the day.

About the Author

Melinda Szymanik is an award winning author of picture books, short stories and novels for children. Her books include The Were-Nana, winner of Children’s Choice at the 2009 NZ Post Children’s Book Awards, and Fuzzy Doodle, a 2017 White Raven selection. Melinda lives with her family in Tāmaki Makaurau. This is her sixth picture book with Scholastic.

About the Illustrator

Isobel Te Aho-White (Ngati Kahungunu, Ngai Tahu) is an Illustrator based in Te Whanganui-a-Tara. Her book Santa’s Worst Christmas, written by Pania Tahau-Hodges and Bryony Walker (Huia, 2019) was nominated for the 2020 NCYA Book Awards across four categories, and her book Whiti: Colossal Squid of the Deep (Te Papa Press, 2020) written by Victoria Cleal, won a Whitley award for best children’s book.


Comprehension Questions

1)    What stops Kiwi from being the hero he wants to be

2)    Where does the sun rise? What does this mean for the nocturnal animals?

3)    Who does end up rescuing baby skink? (p.14)

4)    How does Kiwi get around?

5)    Do Kiwis have any kind of wing or is there nothing there at all? (p.26)


Shared Learning and Discussion Points

1)    Most of the action takes place at night. Why is this? Are all New Zealand forest creatures nocturnal? Why might animals be nocturnal?

2)    Why do you think Kiwis are flightless?

3)    Who steals Kakapo’s egg? What other animals eat bird eggs in New Zealand? Are they native or introduced animals? Why is it such a serious problem for our birds here (ground dwelling/ introduced predators/ high proportion of native birds, especially flightless/ high proportion of endangered birds)?

4)    What is the ‘burning stick’ on page 18? Why are they all so worried about it? What are some of the things we can do to help prevent bush fires?

5)    Do Kiwis have the longest beak in the world (for their size)? How is the length of a bird’s beak measured? If it’s from the nostrils to the tip a Kiwi’s beak would be very short. Which bird do you think has the longest beak? The shortest? The biggest? The biggest for the size of the bird?



1)    What other New Zealand animals might make a good superhero – draw a picture of your new superhero. What would their special abilities be?

2)    What do you think a Kiwi would look like with full wings? Draw this. Does it look weird or strange or really good?

3)    List all the creatures named and/or illustrated in the book. What other native creatures might you find in the New Zealand bush? Who can come up with the longest list?


Melinda Szymanik

January 2022

No comments: