Sunderland Play 1

ACG Sunderland School in Auckland performs 12 Huia Birds the play.



12 Huia Birds

An interactive motion book that brings the magnificent huia bird back to life. Story in English and te reo Māori as read by George Henare.

The Lost call of the huia bird

The huia were said to start the morning chorus of bird song in NZ. Sadly, their beautiful calls were never recorded as they vanished in the early-mid 20th century. We do have a few notations created from the memory of those who did hear the huia’s songs. One of the most famous is a recording made in 1954 by the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation of of an elderly Maori man named Henare Hemana (or Hamana or Haumana; sources differ on his name). Henare, who remembered the song of the Huia from his youth, was able to whistle an imitation of it for the recorder.

The calls and sounds of the huia present in 12 Huia Birds are a re-creation using a variety of accounts. Now you can hear what the morning chorus may have sounded like with tui, kokako, saddlebacks and now the huia..


Teaches kids a valuable lesson about protecting animals on Earth


Poignant and well written with a dash of humour


Editor's Choice 2016. For excellence in design.




By tapping and swiping, readers will be able to move the story forward and reveal each in a line of newcomers to the world of the huia



The interactive motion book combines the huia's story with games and resources to virtually bring the huia back to life including a 360 turn around of a pair of real huia.




12 Huia Birds can be integrated into the learning environment. Download and print the lesson guide and work sheets in the PDF below. 


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Production Blog

Go behind the scenes with The Making of a Book App - a blog that follows the creation of 12 Huia Birds

12 Huia Birds was made with assistance from