Wetapunga, the giant of the eleven giant weta species, is a deceivingly scary-looking insect, whose recent near-demise has resulted in action taken on many community fronts to save and preserve the species. It's also an exceedingly long-lived species, a dinosaur of the insect world.
The book charts its survival on the New Zealand eco-region following the split from Gondwanaland and reflects on the more recent changes to its environment. It tracks its life-cycle and reveals habitat, diet, dating and mating from a naive pacifist vantage point.
While the hyper-realist illustrations evoke a sense of place and build a sense of big history, the rhythm of the slow-paced writing voice shapes the reader's understanding, and generates intrigue and connectedness to this weirdly fascinating immense insect. This is the 2nd title in The Real Story series.