NZ Pacific Picture Book Collection

The NZ Pacific Picture Book Collection and website have been put together as an educational resource featuring activities and links to the NZ school curriculum. The creators selected the titles from nominations collected from nine librarians who have a specific interest in Pasifika communities. They believe in the power of picture books to shine a light on world views to both validate and introduce culture to others.

Here is a selection of some of the books from the collection held by Wellington Libraries.

Syndetics book coverTulevai and the sea / by Joy Cowley ; illustrated by Manu Smith.
“A story for young readers with full-page colour illustrations by Manu Smith. Tulevai is such a good fisher from his canoe, the sea decides to make him its slave, and captures him. However, Tulevai’s mother decides her love is stronger than all the power of the sea, and rescues him by rolling the sea aside.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLegends of the Cook Islands / Shona Hopkins ; illustrated by Bruce Potter.
Collection of eight illustrated legends from the Cook Islands. Set in a mythological time known as Avaiki, these stories tell of brave men and women, mystical mountains, powerful gods and majestic sea creatures. Suggested level: primary, intermediate.

Syndetics book coverThe Shark God / story by Rafe Martin ; pictures by David Shannon.
“Because they freed a shark caught in a net, the fearsome Shark God rescues a brother and sister from the cruel king’s imprisonment and helps them find a new, peaceful kingdom across the sea.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGrandad / Janet Pereira ; illustrated by Bruce Potter.
A young girl relates how her family respond to her grandfather’s illness and death and bring to the funeral responses from a variety of cultures. Includes a glossary of words related to death and funerals. Suggested level: primary.

Syndetics book coverTane steals the show / [text] Lino Nelisi ; [illustrations] Gus Hunter.
Uncle Kokela is getting married on Saturday and everyone is practising singing and dancing. Because Tane is too small, no one will let him join in. But Tane has a surprise for them. Suggested level: junior.

Syndetics book coverTwo cans of corned beef and a manulele in a mango tree : a Pacific Christmas / Sarona Aiono-losefa ; illustrated by Steven Dunn.
A Pacific version of the popular Christmas song “The Twelve Days of Christmas”, with such gifts as four rolls of tapa, three frangipanis, two cans of corned beef and a manulele in a mango tree. Suggested level: junior, primary.

Syndetics book coverThe stuck there forever boat / Gillian Torckler ; illustrated by Bruce Potter.
Tama’s idyllic island life is changing. The surrounding sea is slowly flooding their land, the coral is dying and the fish have disappeared. Tama’s family must move to a higher island, but his nanny won’t listen. What can Tama do to convince his nanny to leave? A story inspired by the Tuvaluan people, whose low-lying island nation is under threat of non-existence due to the rising seas associated with global warming.

Syndetics book coverSione’s talo / by Lino Nelisi ; illustrated by Elspeth Williamson.
Sione finds a huge talo growing on his plantation and calls his family to help him pull it up, but they are only successful with the help of an ant. Suggested level: juniors

Syndetics book coverPapa’s jandals / Kate Moetaua ; illustrated by Bruce Potter.
“Papa loves his great big jandals but so does Junior. When Junior loses Papa’s jandals the hunt is on to find them but no one would ever have guessed where they turn up”–Back cover. Suggested level: junior.

Syndetics book coverTalia / by Catherine Hannken ; illustrated by Trish Bowles.
Talia’s dad is taking her to Samoa to meet her family and she is excited, but her excitement quickly turns to confusion when she steps off the plane. She can’t understand what anyone is saying and she feels scared and alone. With help from her family, Talia begins to forget her fear and shyness and enjoy being in Samoa. Suggested level: junior.

Syndetics book coverA book of Pacific lullabies / edited by Tessa Duder ; illustrated by Anton Petrov.
Collection of poems for children inspired by the natural images and rhythms of the Pacific on the themes of night and sleep. Contains brief biographical information about each of the contributing authors. Suggested level: junior, primary.

Fishing with spider webs / Lino Nelisi ; illustrations by! Elspeth Alix Batt.
“A story for children with full-page colour illustrations. Aiani was born in Auckland. When she is 10, she flies to Nuie to visit her family. Uncle Tuki takes her out fishing, using spider webs! They get a good feed of fish. Next day they’re going to catch a coconut crab without being bitten.” (Syndetics summary)

The pipi swing / Sarona Aiono-Iosefa ; illustrated by Bruce Potter.
A story of a Samoan girl whose grandparents teach her how to have fun again after her father, their son dies, in spite of their own grief. Suggested level: junior, primary.

Past pre-school – new kids’ DVDs, including Kung Fu Panda 2, Cars 2, Phineas & Ferb, and LEGO® Star Wars

Have kids at home to entertain? Try one of these new DVD titles!

Amazon cover linkKung fu panda 2
“Po the Panda is now living his dream as The Dragon Warrior, protecting the Valley of Peace alongside his friends and fellow kung fu masters, The Furious Five. But Po’s new life of awesomeness is threatened by the emergence of a formidable villain, who plans to use a secret, unstoppable weapon to conquer China and destroy kung fu! Po must look to his past and uncover the secrets of his mysterious origins in order to able to unlock the strength he needs to succeed…” (We found this review on the Library Catalogue)

Real Groovy Cover linkCars 2
“Star racecar Lightning McQueen and the incomparable tow truck Mater take their friendship on the road from Radiator Springs to exciting new places when they head overseas to compete in the first-ever World Grand Prix to determine the world’s fastest car. But the road to the championship is filled with plenty of potholes, detours, and hilarious surprises when Mater gets caught up in an intriguing adventure of his own: international espionage!” (We found this review on the back cover)

Amazon cover linkPhineas and Ferb : the movie. Across the 2nd dimension
“When Phineas, Ferb, and Perry follow Dr. Doofenshmirtz through his ‘Otherdimensionator,’ they find themselves in an alternate universe where a second, truly evil Dr. Doof rules over his Tristate Area with an army of iron-fisted robots. To save his friends from certain doom, Perry makes the ultimate sacrifice by revealing his secret identity as Agent P. Phineas and Ferb escape, meet their 2nd dimension selves, and begin their own mission to rescue Perry” (We found this review on the Library Catalogue)

Amazon cover linkStar Wars. The padawan menace
“Tour guide Master Yoda leads a group of rambunctious Jedi younglings through Senate chambers when he senses a disturbance in the Force. Summoned to help save the Republic, he discovers that one of the younglings, Ian, has secretly boarded his ship– Meanwhile, C-3PO and R2-D2 are put in charge of the boisterous group and find themselves in over their heads. As the evil Sith prepare to wreak havoc, it’s up to Yoda and the Droids to ensure that their young charges aren’t torn to bricks” (We found this review on the Library Catalogue)