Behind the scenes at museums

November 28, 2013

The Owl that Fell from the Sky: Stories of a Museum Curator, by Brian Gill (Awa Press, RRP $35):

Museums are interesting places and it is the natural history collections that are often the most interesting.

Author Brian Gill has taken on the task of telling the stories of 15 intriguing objects in New Zealand museums: how they got there, why they are of interest and their impact. He has done a fantastic job, taking the reader behind the scenes and into the world of a museum curator.

This book tells the story of the fate of a tortoise given as a gift by Captain Cook, the epic voyage of the biggest known moa egg, the barn owl of mysterious origins, the strange arrival of an Australian Banjo frog and much more.

The author is a fabulous storyteller, and this book will be loved by museum-goers, animal-lovers, and anyone with a curiosity about the natural world. Gill has a knack for storytelling and the stories he tells are sometimes funny, often surprising and always interesting.

Jillian Allison-Aitken

I come from the other land down under, where men are men, and sheep are nervous. I'm a sub-editor and in the past have been a proof-reader, news editor and web editor. I am also an ex-columnist, and book and software reviewer for the local daily newspaper.I still read. A lot. And surf the web. Also a lot.You'll find a little about both of those pastimes here, and on By George.

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