Dawn Chorus by Ray Ching – 2014

What an absolutely stunnidawn chorusng book.  Dawn Chorus, like Ching’s previous Aesop’s Kiwi Fables (2012), re-imagines Aesop’s moral tales with New Zealand animals as the protagonists.  Dawn Chorus frames the fables with a tale about Aesop himself, in which he posthumously travels to New Zealand in the company of a returning albatross.  The book is divided into parts: telling the story of the great anticipation of Aesop’s arrival at Aotearoa, his journey, the preparation for his welcome ceremony, the welcome concert, and the fables themselves.  As would be expected, yet still astounding, it the richness and beauty of the illustrations.  Most of the text is hand-written and the entire book is a work of art.  New Zealanders can relish the beauty of the native wildlife, and mourn those species we have lost.  Superb.

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