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Sunshine Books – Teaching the World to Read

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SPCA Instructional Readers

Inspiring responsible animal guardians

SPCA, together with Sunshine Books, has published four series of original Instructional Readers. The intention of each story is to teach core animal welfare messages, while also supporting the development of children’s reading skills and strategies. These Instructional Readers are part of the SPCA Education Programme. SPCA Education is an evidence-based programme for New Zealand schools that aligns with the Curriculum and teaches animal welfare in a real-life, meaningful context. Each series consists of six Instructional Readers and covers a different topic: Companion Animals, Farmed Animals, Animals in the Wild and Responsible Animal Guardianship.

The books align to The Ministry of Education’s colour wheel and are skilfully written to enable teachers to integrate them straight into their classroom literacy programmes. They feature fun and engaging characters that children will identify with and want to read about, all while learning important lessons about compassion and empathy towards people and animals. Plus, free teaching notes and reader response activities for each of the twenty-four titles are available on SPCA’s Teachers’ Portal. These books are all available in print in English and te reo Māori, plus some books are also available in gagana Sāmoa, lea faka-Tonga and Mandarin Chinese editions in PDF format.

Companion Animals

The Mouse at the Mall
- Level: Light Blue (17 – 18) Reading Age: 7yrs – 7 ½ yrs
A girl and her mother go to the mall to buy shoes. They leave with a shoebox with a toilet roll and a mouse inside. What will happen next?
The Problem with Sione’s Spaghetti
- Level: Purple (19 – 20) Reading Age: 7 ½ yrs – 8yrs
Sione’s pet rabbit has a problem. Sione’s solution involves a pack of raging rhinos, but will it work?
Storm Gets a New Family
- Level: Purple (19 – 20) Reading Age: 7 ½ yrs – 8yrs
Storm used to spend his days chained to kennel till his life was changed by a bolt of lightning and a girl with friendly eyes.
The Smooth Movers’ Club
- Level: Gold (21-22) Reading Age: 8yrs – 8 ½ yrs
A boy and his father want their move to the city to go smoothly for their cat Noah. It does, until Muscles, the fearsome neighbourhood tomcat, turns up.
Sam and Charlie Love Pudding
- Level: Silver (23-24) Reading Age: 8 ½ yrs – 9yrs
When the abandoned cat who lives under the sports shed at their school gets into trouble, Sam and Charlie have to act.
Wake Up, Drongo!
- Level: Purple (19 - 20) Reading Age: 7 ½ yrs – 8yrs
Pirate the parakeet lives a lonely, boring life in a small cage. Will his dream to join the birds outside ever come true?

Farmed Animals

Toni the Party Pony
- Level: Light Blue (17-18) Reading Age: 7yrs – 7 ½ yrs
Toni the Pony was exhausted. Week after week, Toni travelled from party to party and fair to fair, plodding in circles. That was up until Sammy and her Dad met Toni...
Mrs Wigglesworth Gets the Milk
- Level: Purple (19 - 20) Reading Age: 7 ½ yrs – 8yrs
Dulcie was found mooing sadly, alone and forgotten, on a small farm in the hills, until she was brought to the SPCA where the kind Mrs Wigglesworth helps out. Will she bring Dulcie home?
Barney and the Sheep With No Name
- Level: Gold (21 – 22) Reading Age: 8yrs – 8 ½ yrs
Barney, an SPCA Inspector, has been called to rescue a trapped sheep, who won't let himself be rescued!
Guzzler Does the Job
- Level: Gold (21 – 22) Reading Age: 8yrs – 8 ½ yrs
Guzzler is a tiny, orphaned piglet who is found by a family. The kids and mum are keen to keep Guzzler but dad isn't so sure...
Garry the Goat's Escape
- Level: Silver (23 – 24) Reading Age: 8.5 ½ yrs – 9yrs
Garry the goat's day had begun as usual with him chained to a fence beside a country road. However, it soon takes an exciting turn.
Pumpkin Pie and Pavlova
- Level: Gold (21-22) Reading Age: 8yrs – 8 ½ yrs
Mrs Melling likes pumpkin pie and pavlova much more than she likes Mr Watkins or his hens. Will Mr Watkins find a way to change that?

Animals in the Wild

CD and the Window Pain
- Level: Silver (23 – 24) Reading Age: 8 ½ - 9yrs
The children in Ms Piripi’s class have discovered their classroom’s windows are proving to be a severe hazard for their feathered friends. The children come up with some innovative solutions for this terrible problem.
The Kākā Café
- Level: Silver (23 – 24) Reading Age: 8 ½ - 9yrs
After finding a kākā with a deformed beak related to consuming an unnatural and unbalanced diet, Room 10 decide to create a school wildlife garden called the Kākā Café to provide wild birds with a natural nutritious diet.
The Lizard Lounge
- Level: Silver (23 – 24) Reading Age: 8 ½ - 9yrs
A brother and sister unable to adopt a companion animal, decide instead to be the guardians of a small creature they suspect is living in their backyard.
Gannets and Grommets
- Level: Emerald (25 -26) Reading Age: 9yrs – 10yrs
Josh experiences first-hand the consequences of people not disposing of their fishing equipment safely when he encounters a gannet struggling in the surf, tangled in fishing line and a weight that he recognises as his own!
Batman and Robyn
- Level: Ruby (27 – 28) Reading Age: 10yrs – 11yrs
After learning about the conservation efforts at a fairy tern breeding site, Aroha ends up the hero in the exciting rescue of two precious fairy tern eggs.
Marine Life Matters
- Level: Ruby (27 – 28) Reading Age: 10yrs – 11yrs
Shocked after discovering one of the balloons she released on her 9th birthday, had contributed to the death of an endangered turtle, Briar is determined to do something positive for the environment.

Responsible Animal Guardianship

Fudge Forever
- Level: Silver (23 – 24), Reading Age: 8 ½ - 9yrs
When Dad brought Fudge home she was very thin and pretty nervous of the world and everything and everyone in it. With the help of twins Keysha and Brodie Fudge’s life is changed forever.
A Catio for Boris
- Level: Sapphire (29-30), Reading Age: 11yrs - 12yrs
Boris the cat lives with Mr Midgen. As far as Mr Midgen is concerned Boris spends his days eating cat biscuits and snoozing. However, the truth is that Boris is sneaking off and getting up to all sorts of mischief around the neighbourhood.
Fireworks Free
- Level: Ruby (27 – 28), Reading Age: 10 - 11yrs
After her horse is injured in a fireworks incident, Shiloh and Room 10 begin to investigate and learn a lot about the negative impacts fireworks can have on animals and the environment.
Silverbeet, Saturday and Sunday
- Level: Ruby (27 – 28), Reading Age: 10 - 11yrs
Saturday and Sunday were brothers. They lived with Bailey and her mum. Their first 6 months were full of attention. But, gradually everything began to change . . .
The Cat, the Car and the Tsunami
- Level: Dark Green / Emerald (25 – 26), 9yrs – 10yrs
Following a small earthquake, a family receives an alert for a tsunami warning. Things do not go as smoothly for them when they realise they are not prepared at all . . .
Rupert, Purple Circles and the Bell
- Level: Sapphire (29-30), Reading Age: 11yrs - 12yrs
Rupert was Room Four’s goldfish. Rupert lived on his own in a small, glass bowl that consisted of a thin layer of pebbles and a broken action figure. Rupert’s life was plagued by myths, which meant his welfare needs were not being met.

Click on the SPCA SHOP button at the top of the page to visit SPCA’s shop where you can purchase sets of individual titles or complete book packs.
Click on the flipbooks below for a sneak peek of a book from each pack.

Enjoy these beautiful books with a valuable message.

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