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In the remote valleys of the Southern Alps the timeless world of the kea is suddenly disrupted by the appearance of the strange birds with no wings The chaos they bring forces Strongbeak and his friends to seek a brave new world beyond the mountains

10 thoughts on “Beak of the moon

  1. says:

    Watership Down with birds That's my review pretty much This is an out of print New Zealand book from the '80s about the lesser known kea parrots Is anyone interested in this book?I was never young I was never old I didn't feel wonder of the new or nostalgia of the old Shouldn't I have? Beak of the Moon star crossed my life because of its Watership Down syndrome Watership Down is pretty freaking great I read it because I did want to read Watership Down again I've read WD several times already The whole not being me thing not the whole exact plot Be careful of what you wish for? I don't want to be me at least as long as it takes to read the book longer if I could get it Somehow though when another blatantly rip offish thing happened I'd roll my eyes over how unoriginal it was I mean the whole story pacing and everything No freaking way Two younger birds decide to leave the dictatorship and join the ragtag group of birds to find a new home? Really? Fiver is Glintamber a drunken they eat berries This isn't Redwall where the wine flows like wine at least old bird He makes prophecies and they do shit because he says so Let's rise up my friends It's really vague and annoying I should sound vague and annoying When the beak of the moon blah blah a dark feather on the horizon one of you will fall One of you will betray me and one of you will deny me blah blah That's better than a map What I loved about Fiver in Watership Down is he's a tender little guy A loser like me Strongbeak the Hazel is too survival of the fittish A cocky young cock What a cock and bull story Skreek is no Bigwig I really wanted a Bigwig I watched the Plague Dogs cartoon on Netflix last week hoping it'd be better than it was as a book It wasn't Richard Adams should have kept on writing about Bigwig If I were him I would have done that and then I'd be a way happier person than I am now Skreek whines and is a dicktastic little thing to his fellow birds Lots of whining It's Fellowship of the Ring if the whole book was Frodo being bitchy about his precious This is not a bad analogy Redwall it isn't but they eat a lot Okay I'm not being fair Parrots LOVE to eat Birds spend most of their day eating or looking for food or preening their feathers or nest building It's not vanity Their feathers are their protection I'm not being fair One of the things I did like about 'Beak' is that the birds learn that they can be friends as well as followers and followees That didn't mean I enjoyed reading about Skreek before or after said realizationMy favorite bird gets killed too That wasn't fair This is not a spoiler because I didn't say who my favorite bird was The cutest one I didn't get into Beak of the Moon that much because it's about who is the best fighter the best flyer the best food gatherer apart from the eventual friendship dawning of the moon Yeah yeah I loved Watership Down because I felt like I was one of them I'd totally have been oppressed by a mean old rabbit It's me and Fiver against the world The sexism is also noticeable in Beak than it is in Watership If I were a hen and read this book I'd have ruffled feathers for sure Weren't they good for anything other than mating? Couldn't THEY also be good for friendship? Hmph Here is a book jacket photo of Phillip Temple looking down his nose at hens He's also saying that women had the right to vote in New Zealand first So? What about hens?Now I am going to talk about real Keas because this is importantFacts Keas are the only alpine parrots in the world Isn't that cool?Keas were hunted down by big bad humans because they have been suspected of killing sheep for food I guess they should have made sweaters out of them? Wikipedia has photographic evidence of said sheep killing I um didn't rip off all of my facts from wikipediaHere is a description of a photo of a dead sheep It's a sheep laying dead in the grass and it's sides have been brutally pecked away by kea beaks Flies swarm around it Vultures would have had the decency to wait for the sheep to be eaten mostly by wolves they don't leave the choice bits Keas must be smarter than vultures Fact Keas can work together and have made tools to get to food Just like those smarty pants crows Fact Keas eat other birdsBeak of the Moon features a scene of great horror over gasp eating sheep and other birds WE DON'T DO THAT OH MY GOD THE HORROR Fiver would have collapsed into a fit if he had forseen such an event Glimtamber would get drunk and speak in riddles What the hell kind of kea propaganda is Phillip Temple writing here?It doesn't mesh with the survival of the fittest shit If they are the fittest shouldn't they have the right to kill sheep just as much as the birds with no wings aka men? Fact There are a lot less keas flying around in New Zealand today because their government paid men to kill the threat to sheep They shouldn't have needed a 1981 propaganda book about how wrong it was to attack keas for killing sheep They should have said Hey we don't own sheep any than keas do Keas are cool We shouldn't have tried to wipe them off the face of New Zealand Something like thatFact Keas and their related brethren are the only ties to ancient parrots in the world This is prehistoric historical shit hereBeak of the Moon has a lot of birdy realism that I appreciated Maybe you have to be a bird nerd like me to enjoy things like when they mill and the bird communication birds DO talk to each other Temple did or less stick to how real birds behave as Richard Adams did for rabbits They tell stories about other birds Maybe birds do do that? Cockatiels write songs Why not? Still it wasn't as readable as Watership Down because I never forgot myself It's too clunky with the constant descriptions of flying If I were a bird I'd find descriptions of walking to be boring but I don't know from Temple because he never made me feel like one of the birds Being birdy is a good thing but maybe it would be better to take some things for granted? You don't have to think about breathing Birds probably don't think about it when they are flyingFact Keas are bigger than african greysHere is a photo of an african grey Actual sizeFact Keas are smaller than macawsNow I will post photographic evidence to back up this claim Macaw Actual sizeI kinda enjoyed Beak of the Moon because I am a nerd and birds are something I get excited about Kinda I I would have liked it if I had forgotten my nerdiness while reading it And if it was Watership Down and Bigwig was in it Long live Bigwig This is my summary of the review like my intro Watership Down with birds Pictures are worth thousands of words you knowPs Confession I applied for goodreads librarian status for the sole purpose of adding cover art for Beak of the Moon I never did it before because I had assumed that you had to be something special on goodreads to get it I'm special now I have than fifty books on my goodreads shelves My cover is not the one I uploaded My cover is of a kea crying to the moon that he has grasped it is the O in the title Moon in his beak It is a beak of the moon literally YesPss I forgot to include photos of keasPhoto #1 An olive greened Kea hovers in the sky over frosty mountain trees the moonlight reflecting on his orange under wing feathers The black tips successfully camoflouge him from predators He is looking over his shoulder to cry to his fellow birds not friends but flockmates that it is not safe to fly higherPhoto #2 A hungry Kea His chest enclave is smaller than in photo #1 because he has not found any grubs to eat Shit What if he is forced into murdering sheep? There is snow underneath his feet He appears as if he hopped there because the indentations in the snow resemble footprints in not a straight line but here and there Photo #3 It's a kea's back He says talk to the hand It's green and forbidding Go on and talk to itPsss One of the first birds I ever cared for a peach front conure was named Fiver I uh casted him in Beak of the Moon even though he is not a Kea I also casted my Senegal Pagoda That there were black and white drawings of Keas in the book did not deter me for long The drawings are of heads of keas looming over forest and mountains Like omnipresent keas like Glintambers A flock not friends Drunks don't have friends of Glintambers

  2. says:

    I read this as a girl growing up in New Zealand and it never left me I am excited to have found it again after thirty years It is on my nightstand next in line to be read It's probably best summed up us as a New Zealand Watership Down which is also in the pile on my nightstand to be re read for the first time since childhood

  3. says:

    Imagine Watership Down but with kea parrots in New ZealandIt follows a similar premise with a prophecy a great journey an impending doom humans and even creation stories While Beak of the Moon is not as awesome as Richard Adams's classic it's still great Kimi makes a goodreads cameo because he likes sitting on the bookEven if you're not interested in birds or parrots in particular you've probably heard at one point or another about keas and just how smart they are So while this is animal fantasy it's grounded in science or at least what was known about keas about 40 years ago Based on his own observations here's his NatGeo article about keas and knowledge of others Philip Temple tried to be as accurate as possible in regards to keas' behavior and ecology So if you watched a documentary or two about keas or read anything about them you'll find that he succeeded mostlyI've grown so fond of the main trio that I miss them already The characters were not all bad or good but flawed and it was easy to form an emotional attachment to them As for so what's wrong with the book then? Beak of the Moon is male dominated story that suffers from too many pages almost 600 in my edition and not enough story 400 pages and the plot was going nowhere It got back on track towards the end thoughIt's an enjoyable read one I would recommend if you can find this obscure book Oh but just keep in mind it's not 100% kid friendly content I'd love to read the seuel Dark of the Moon but I can't find it anywhere One day perhapsLooking for something similar? Check out Watership Down and Fire Bringer

  4. says:

    What suitable place to read this novel than while on holiday in Fiordland? Whilst reclining in the beanbags in Milford Lodge watching the rain stream down outside the dark shapes of the beech trees rising in a perfectly penetrable wall and above them sheer and rocky cliffs streaming with waterfalls This was my world as I read this and this also is the kea's world For those not informed on New Zealand wildlife the kea is the only alpine parrot in the world and one of the most intelligent non primate species that there is This novel is rather like the Watership Down of my country except not uite as famous My copy originates from its first publication in 1982 but Temple has since re released it with a few of the facts updated as people learn about the behaviour of these extraordinary birds Although no dates are given I believe this story is set in the 1870 80s or so when farmers started colonising the valleys around Milford burning the native tussock and replacing it with their sheep edible grasses It includes the keas first experiences with human kind and also includes numerous extinct birds and no mammals Like most realistic animal protagonist books it is exceedingly sexist All the main characters are male and the role of the females seem to be to coo and beg at the dominant males This is excuseable it is true kea behaviour after all It follows similar structures to most realistic animal books the main character is exiled for getting a little too bolshy and trying to take on the dominant cock with his friends he travels across the mountains to find a new home for himself but alas the new home has no kea and they're all males therefore no matter how suitable kea kind it is they cannot remain there They search in vain having amusing encounters with kakapo which were plentiful at the time and kaka It is not a new storyline at all but the richness of the writing the personality of the characters the complexity of their world all weaves together to create a captivating and spell binding story Added in of course is the fact that they are birds and the whole flying adds a new dimension literally to the plot I am working on my own rather contemporary kea novel and this has been something of an inspiration My female character is going to much stronger however

  5. says:

    I really enjoyed this book which shows us the world of the New Zealand alpine parrot the kea and the larger flightless parrot the kakapo Talking to each other the birds are our charactersWhen their home is invaded by people the birds face new challenges and have to adapt for the first time in many generations The environment is well described and since the birds particularly the kakapo are endangered species it is good to raise awareness of their plight

  6. says:

    I first heard Beak of the Moon as a reading on Radio NZ and was hooked Marvellous story line with some great dialogue Have gifted the book many time but would still love to get my hands on the audio version

  7. says:

    Despite it seeming like a New Zealand take on Watership Down I liked it a lot

  8. says:

    A childhood favorite Amazingly dark and strangely uplifting New Zealand's 'Watership Down'

  9. says:

    Really loved this story

  10. says:

    Terrific One of my favourite New Zealand books