Great Te Reo Māori Reads for Kids!

Kia ora tamariki mā, pākeke mā! We’re sure you already know that all of our libraries have special sections where you can find books written in te reo Māori, with reorua (bilingual) books mixed in as well. What you might not know is that these sections have been growing, fast! Recently, and especially over the last few years, there have been many more books being written in te reo, some of which are translations of stories that already existed in other languages, and some of which are being written originally in te reo by tangata whenua authors. All of these gorgeous new books are so exciting to see, and we love to buy lots of copies for all of our libraries when they come out — but even more, we love to see those books being borrowed by you, the tamariki of Te Whanganui-ā-Tara!

To help you make that crucial choice of which book to borrow, and with Te Wiki o te Reo Māori being in full swing, we thought that we would share with you some of our favourite pukapuka in te reo Māori. Check them out next time you visit your local whare pukapuka, or use the links below to place a reserve on the ones you want most!

Ngake me Whātaitai / Ngaia, Ben
“A traditional story told in te reo Māori from the perspective of the Kāhui Maunga people about Ngake and Whātaitai. These two taniwha inhabited Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Wellington Harbour, long before the ancestral migrations. The story tells how the shape and landscape of Wellington, its harbour and the Lower Hutt area came about because of the actions of Ngake and Whātaitai.” (Catalogue)

Aroha te whai ora : he mahere piropiro mā te tamariki / Phillips, Craig
“Nau mai, hoake tātou ko Aroha, i a ia e kaupare ana i te taiatea, i te mataku, i te māharahara, me te anipā, ki ana tukanga māmā ka taea e te katoa. Come along on a journey with Aroha as she wards off nervousness, fear, worrying thoughts and apprehension, with simple, yet effective tools that everyone can use.” (Catalogue)

Kei hea a Spot? / Hill, Eric
“Join Sally, Spot’s mum, on her search to find where the mischievous puppy is hiding. A lift-the-flap story. This classic story, which has just turned 40 years old, is available once more in te reo Māori.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Ko wai e huna ana? / Ōnishi, Satoru
“Simple sentences, counting, colours, recognising emotion, the names of animals, beginner-level te reo Māori for children and learners. 18 fun-loving animals can be found on each question-posing page, sending readers into an up-close, attention-to-detail discovery.” (Catalogue)

Te Uruuru Whenua o Ngātoroirangi / Winitana, Chris
“This is the story of the arrival of Ngātoroirangi in Aotearoa and his exploration of the landscape and subduing of kaitiaki, such as the guardian of Tarawera, Tamaohoi; the guardian of water on Kaingaroa, Torepatutai; and the King of the Patupaiarehe, fairy folk, Ririō. This adventure story traces the places Ngātoroirangi travelled through, such as Waimahunga, the large spring where he conducted his cleansing ceremonies, and Te Whārua o Ngātoroirangi, where his footprints are still visible in the land today. The story is written in te reo Māori.” (Catalogue)

Hare Pota me te whatu manapou / Rowling, J. K
“No te huringa o te kopaki, i tana ringa e wiri ana, ka kite iho a Hare i tetahi hiri-wakihi waiporoporo e whakaatu ana i tetahi tohu kawai; he raiona, he ikara, he patiha me tetahi nakahi e karapoti ana i tetahi pu ‘H’ e rahi ana. Kaore ano a Hare Pota i paku rongo korero e pa ana ki Howata i te taenga haeretanga o nga reta ki a Mita H. Pota, i Te Kapata i raro i te Arapiki, i te 4 o te Ara o Piriweti…

Turning the envelope over, his hand trembling, Harry saw a purple wax seal bearing a coat of arms; a lion, an eagle, a badger, and a snake surrounding a large letter ‘H.’ Harry Potter has never even heard of Hogwarts when letters start arriving for Mr H. Potter, The Cupboard under the Stairs, 4 Privet Drive…

In the first volume of one of the greatest children’s stories of all time, Ron and Hermione, Dumbledore and Professor McGonagall introduce Harry and the reader to Quidditch and You-Know-Who, to the promise of magic and the inheritance of the past. Now inspirationally translated into te reo Maori by Leon Heketu Blake, the story starts here.” (Catalogue)

Kuwi & friends Māori picture dictionary / Merewether, Katherine Q.
“From the #1 bestselling and award-winning author and illustrator of the Kuwi the Kiwi series, Kat Merewether, comes a large scale, stunningly illustrated visual dictionary. Full of over 1000 basic words in te reo Maori and English, perfect for every New Zealander.” (Catalogue)

The standing strong house = Te whare tū māia / Kahukiwa, Reina
“The fictional story of hapū Ngāti Tū Māia revolves around multiple generations, weaving their stories together in a way that celebrates tīpuna (ancestors, grandparents), mokopuna (grandchildren, descendants), and kaitiaki (guardian).” (Catalogue)

Ko Hea rāua ko Ruru : he takitaro mārire / Shallcrass, Laura
“Ko te wāhi noho o Hea, ko tētahi kokonga mārire. Engari, he wāhi turituri tonu… E kōrero ana te pūrākau nei mō Hea e momou ana, ki te kimi i te mārire, tae noa ki ngā wahi ukiuki. Ka tāwhai haere e Hea kit te kimi whakamāramatanga. He pūrākau Hūmāeika, he pūrākau mānawa, hei pānuitanga mō ēra e mamae ana i ngā āhuatanga o te turituri, o te āwangawanga, o ngā whakaaro turituri.” (Catalogue)

Tio Tiamu / Kurahau
“Gentle, clever Toe Jam grows to be huge, and this causes a problem because his feet smell. The bigger he gets the worse the smell. Toe Jam is kind, but the people tease him and avoid him, and finally, they make him leave and live far away. Toe Jam never loses his kind heart, and when there are floods, wild winds and droughts, he returns to help his people. But afterwards, the people always send him away again. Until, one day, when Toe Jam saves the people from an eruption, they finally see Toe Jam’s goodness.” (Catalogue)

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