“Endangered Birds of New Zealand was Sammy’s favourite book. He kept it in his backpack, tucked safely in a nook.” But the birds inside his book, didn’t like their tight nook, or book. They wanted out, to see the world. Just one little look.

Opening this book is like peeking inside Sammy’s backpack and seeing real live birds. Birds from his book that come alive. They’re squished in the beginning, confined by the edges of the page. We see them more as shapes, colours, and texture. Not abstract, but pretty close. While the birds are confined, the rhyming text is white on a black background. When they burst free, this is reversed. We see the birds in all their glory, and learn of their quirky characters. The Takahe starts building a nest in the teacher’s hair and the shy Hoiho (yellow-eyed penguin) hides behind Sammy’s leg. Interesting facts about all the birds can be found on the last page.

Squishy Squashy Birds celebrates the beautiful birds of New Zealand, and the imagination of a child. The fact that they can read a book and bring it to life. It’s “the perfect book for those who love all things precious, wild” and wonderful.

Haz says, “The birds are all squished. It’s much better when they get out. Birds should be free to fly.” Iz says, “All the birds are so bright. They’re all squished up, and one of them pulls the teachers hair. That’s so funny.”


  • Published by Potton & Burton
  • 3-8 years
  • 4