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Kakapo Rescue: Saving the World's Strangest Parrot (Scientists in the Field)

4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  787 ratings  ·  218 reviews
On remote Codfish Island off the southern coast of New Zealand live the last ninety-one kakapo parrots on earth. These trusting, flightless, and beautiful birds—the largest and most unusual parrots on earth—have suffered devastating population loss.

Now, on an island refuge with the last of the species, New Zealand’s National Kakapo Recovery Team is working to restore the k
Hardcover, 74 pages
Published May 24th 2010 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published 2010)
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Floating around Reddit somewhere is a line I read once about how, if you met someone who had just appeared from 1950 and tried to explain modern technology to them, you’d say that you have a pocket-sized device that can access all information known to humankind and you use that device to argue with random strangers and look at pictures of cats.

And that’s totally true!

But one of the amazing things about having all this information available to you is that sometimes—in between the Grumpy Cats and
I find it difficult to convey my enthusiasm for this book without sounding ridiculous. "It's about these parrots! That smell like honey! And they're almost extinct, and these people had to wait five years for a chick to hatch so they could go to New Zealand for ten days to write this book! You should totally read it." Yeah. But that's pretty much how I feel.

The story has a great sense of urgency, both because the parrots are so endangered (87 are living at one point during the course of the boo
Confession: I wasn't much of a non-fiction reader growing up. I loved being swept up in stories. I loved the mystery, the drama, the tension of a great novel, whether it took place in a fantasy world or a town that felt just like mine. And when I thought about non-fiction, I generally thought of things like my junior high school social studies book, which was....fine, I guess...and even occasionally interesting, but certainly not something I'd read for fun.

But lately, I've turned into something
One Sentence Review: Not only does this make the greatest nonfiction booktalk of all time ("It's about gigantic parrots that can't fly and smell like honey!!") but the storytelling and the photography really set this one apart from the pack.
The kapako is a rare species of flightless parrot unique to New Zealand. It is a large bird, weighing in at nearly 9 lbs, with soft, mossy-green feathers that smell like a mixture of honey and peat. Its large size and generally sanguine nature make it an easy target for predators (both human and introduced species such as rats, cats, and stoats), and it was hunted nearly into extinction in the past couple centuries. Small populations of the birds were discovered about 70 years ago, and the remai ...more
This book written by Sy Montgomery and photographed by Nic Bishop is about the extinction and rescue of the Kakapo(Kar-ka-poe)Bird from New Zealand told by nest-minders(a team that observes, cares for, and helps rescue kakapo's and other to-be extinct animals);scientists in the field. With only eighty-seven in existence, kakapos were all taken and put on Codfish Island in New Zealand (a sterilized, nearly impossible island to get to). Nest-minders are sterilized and taken to Codfish for short am ...more
This book chronicles the visit of author, Sy Montgomery and photographer, Nic Bishop’s visit to Codfish Island off the southern tip of New Zealand to show the steps being taken to save the kakapo parrot from the brink of extinction. This book won the Robert F. Sibert award in 2011. It is especially detailed and incredibly interesting. The book begins with a story of one of the parrots. At the end of the first chapter, it gives basic facts about the kakapo parrots. The next chapter is about the h ...more
Kakapo Rescue: Saving the World’s Strangest Parrot
Robert F. Sibert Medal Winner 2011
By Sy Montgomery
Audience: intermediate
Genre: nonfiction
Absolutely stunning photographs accompany this detailed documentary of the journey a group of researchers take to rescue the kakapos. Truly an adventure- I would use it as a source book, rather than assigning it for kids to read cover to cover.

Activities/Questions for each level of Bloom’s Taxonomy with rationale

Remembering: Where is Codfish Island located i
If I could kiss a book and tell it I loved it with all my heart, you just know that's what I'd be doing with this one. Montgomery has a knack for finding interesting subjects for her nonfiction chapter books, but she's outdone herself with this one. Aside from the tantalizing term "World's Strangest Parrot" in the title, there's not a soul alive who won't finish this book and immediately want a kakapo of their very own. Practically driven to extinction in the wake of humans and other animals, th ...more
Kakapo Rescue: Saving the World's Strangest Parrot

What a beautiful book. This is a non-fiction account of the efforts to save the Kakapo parrot in New Zealand from extinction. The photography is stunning, the story is sad, the efforts to save the parrot are so valiant and the writing is engaging. I learned that the natural history of New Zealand is utterly fantastic — and has almost disappeared. When this book was written, there were only 87 Kakapo parrots in the entire world. Tonight, according
Kakapo parrots are the rarest in the world--fewer than 100 survive, on a tiny island off New Zealand. They are flightless, nocturnal, heavy, and smell like honey. This is an account of the kakapo, and the people trying desperately to save them.

This book got stars on pretty much every review, and it deserves them. The topic is fascinating and compelling, the pictures are wonderful, and the book is well-structured and well-told. Narrative nonfiction for middle school is making a comeback, and I th
I picked this up for an earth day book talk I'm doing, and I'm SO glad I did. Wow, I'd never thought to experience such a broad range of emotions in a book about birds. I'm excited to book talk it--along with hoot and some other great titles. I went to the Kakapo rescue site and saw that as of March 2011 there were 100 Kakapo, up from the total in the book, but several important birds have died. In one part of the book they refer to watching the birds as being like a soap opera, which it does ha ...more
Kathleen Whitaker
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The Kakapo is a rare flightless bird from New Zealand. This is the story of the volunteers, rangers, and scientists fighting for its preservation as a species. The book is narrative non-fiction at its best and the photographs by Nic Bishop are divine. This book won the Robert F. Sibert award for juvenile non-fiction in 2011. This is a great book for anyone who likes stories about animals, animal behavior, and survival. Facts about what you can do to help preserve the Kakapo are in the back of th ...more
Ashlyn Ryder
Montgomery, S. (2010). Kakapo rescue: Saving the world’s strangest parrot. New York: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children.

Sibert Medal

This book takes you along on a field trip with scientists to a remote part of New Zealand where a special group of researchers are working to save the Kakapo Parrot species from extinction. Stunning, close up, color photographs matched with detailed sensory descriptions of this beloved species has the reader fall in love with this highly unique creature. Detailed
Jill Nelsen
My content area crossover would be Science, especially focusing on endangered species.

Bloom's Taxonomy Questions

Remembering: Describe what makes the Kakapo so unusual.

The Kakapo are the world's only nocturnal parrot. They also don't fly. Another interesting fact is that they are very large, they can get up to eight pounds. They nest on the ground not in trees.

Understanding: What changed that caused the Kakapo to become endangered?

When people arrived they started bringing in animals that compete
A truly fascinating encounter with one of the rarest animals on Earth, Kakapo Rescue takes the younger and older reader along on a textually and photographically stunning journey to a remote island off the New Zealand coast. On Codfish Island, a kakapo sanctuary has been erected to save the extremely endangered animals, of which eighty-seven exist; they only breed at certain times, and even then, their eggs and offspring are incredibly fragile. Montgomery and Bishop capture the volunteers’ highs ...more
Montgomery, Sy; Bishop, Nic; Kakapo Rescue: Saving the World's Strangest Parrot, Houghton Mifflin Books, 2010, Information book, 3rd - 8th, rate 5, lexile 950L

This book is about the adventure a team of researchers and volunteers go on to help rescue kakapo on Codfish Island. The books going into the histrory of kakapo and discusses their current existance and the danger they are in. In addition, they go into detail of their reseach while on Codfish Island, providing pictures and descriptions of
I think people who devote their lives researching, studying, rescuing, and just loving animals are fascinating. This book is about a team of people who are devoted to saving the critically endangered Kakapo Parrots who live on the remote Codfish Island off the southern coast of New Zealand. Only 91 parrots remain. The photographs are beautiful, and although there are plenty of nonfiction merits to the text, Sy Montgomery also captures the emotion and drama of the ups and downs of animal rescue.
Jessica Gilligan
Montgomery, Sy. (2010). Kakapo Rescue. Houghton Mifflin Books for Children: New York, NY.

Junior Book Log: Sibert Award

The Kakapo parrot is the largest parrot on earth, and it is nearly extinct. Weighing in at nine pounds on average, these birds don't fly. They're friendly and curious by nature. They're also nocturnal, and loudly crash through the forest to forage for food. In a habitat where few predators abound, the kakapo used to get along just fine with these quirky characteristics for a bird
Lisa Lathrop
1. "The Desperate Adventures of Zeno and Alya" by Jane Kelley, 2013

2. The Kakapo is an endangered parrot on a secluded island in New Zealand. A team of scientists, activists and volunteers forms relationships with birds they are eager to help survive. The caption of one photo reads "Sirocco (kakapo) looks wistfully through the hut window for human company. My twin text revolves Alya and Zeno, a young girl with cancer and an abandoned parrot who together form a friendship that endures often peril
This book could be read by a girl or boy who is in the grade 5 to 8. This book is about trying to save the kakapo parrots that are going extinct. By having fourteen people who share one hut and the passion to save these kakapo parrots to have them make a comeback in New Zealand.

This book has real live photos with bright color and pictures. There is also captions with the pictures as well.

Robert F. Sibert Medal and Honor Books 2011
APA: Citation
Montgomery, S., & Bishop, N. (2010). Kakapo rescue: Saving the world's strangest parrot. Boston [Mass.: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children.

Category: Informational

Kakapo Rescue: Saving the Worlds Strangest Parrot is the true story of the almost extinct Kakapo. This fat (8 pounds), flightless, beautiful bird is on the brink of extinction due to predators being introduced to its natural habitat. The story Kakapo Rescue centers around author Sy Montgomery and photographer Nic Bis
Jessica Jackson
I really liked this book. It was full of great facts about the rare species of Kakapo parrots that live in New Zealand. The pictures were really great, and made reading more interesting with the photographs to reference. The audience for this book would be for more advanced readers in the elelmentary or possibly middle school setting.
Ann Cox
In this nonfiction picture book which won the Robert F. Sibert medal in 2010, the fascinating story of ten days in the life of the Kakapo Conservation Center located on Codfish Island, off the coast of New Zealand, is told. The kakapo are a species of extremely endangered parrots; in fact they are so endangered that only 91 of them were alive at the time that this book was written. Montgomery and Bishop go to the island where the kakapo are located to document conservation efforts by a dedicated ...more
Christina Dubisar
Kakapo Rescue: Saving the World's Strangest Parrot by Sy Montgomery was a good book. I have never heard of a Kakapo bird, nor did I know that one even existed. I learned so much about this bird, and they are such a unique kind of parrot that they can only be found on Codfish Island off the coast of New Zealand. Though, sadly, this bird is becoming extinct. Throughout my years of schooling, I have been taught about extinction and ways we could do to help protect animals from becoming extinct. It ...more
S Collins
Nov 26, 2014 S Collins added it
Shelves: child-lit
Montgomery, S., & Bishop, N. (2010). Kakapo rescue: Saving the world's strangest parrot. Boston [Mass.: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children.

Starred review Kirkus Reviews April 1, 2010


This book is filled with amazing photographs with child friendly captions. As you read the book you can’t help but feel like you are on an adventure with New Zealand’s National Kakapo Recovery Team. Not only do you learn about this wonderful flightless bird but also you get a glimpse of what life i
Vernon Area Public Library KIDS
Jun 24, 2014 Vernon Area Public Library KIDS rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: 5th Grade and up.
Shelves: nonfiction
Winner of 2011's Sibert Medal, for the most distinguished informational book published in English, Kakapo Rescue is a pure delight!

After suffering catastrophic population loss due to many external factors over time, a Kakapo recovery team made up of scientists and volunteers comes together on a tiny island off the southern coast of New Zealand to save the world's heaviest parrot who also happens to smell like honey! An incredibly engaging book, you will fall in love with this flightless bird an
Audience: Intermediate grades, animal lovers

Appeal: Beautiful photographs, narrative format, helpful captions under pictures.

Award: 2011 Robert F. Sibert medal winner
This is the second book by Montgomery and Bishop that I have read. These are beautiful books--exciting narrative and stunning photographs. With conservation at the center, this is an incredible story of the power of humans to both destroy and redeem. I wept like I had just watched an episode of TLC's A Baby Story when the Kakapo parrot hatched into this perilous world. I admire Montgomery and Bishop for their commitment to conservation and their ability to use their talents for good. You will be ...more
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Part Indiana Jones, part Emily Dickinson, as the Boston Globe describes her, Sy Montgomery is an author, naturalist, documentary scriptwriter, and radio commentator who has traveled to some of the worlds most remote wildernesses for her work. She has worked in a pit crawling with 18,000 snakes in Manitoba, been hunted by a tiger in India, swum with pink dolphins in the Amazon, and been undressed b ...more
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