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)

Te Wiki o te Reo Māori 2021

Kia ora e te whānau! Te Wiki o te reo Māori is here! This year, we want as many people as possible to take part in the Māori Language Moment, a special time at 12pm on Tuesday 14 September where we can all come together to kōrero (speak), whakarongo (listen), ako (learn), tākaro (play), pānui (read) and waiata (sing) in te reo Māori with our friends, whānau, and community. Make sure you check out some of the awesome ideas from Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori (the Māori Language Commission), and get yourself signed up to take part!

Wellington City Libraries has heaps of resources that can help you take part in your own Māori Language Moment. Here are just a few of them! You might be wondering where all the books are — don’t worry, we’ll get to recommending some awesome books in and about te reo Māori a little later in the week!

Lingogo

Lingogo is an app that lets you read and listen to Māori stories, and it’s free to access through your library membership! It’s great for both beginner and intermediate learners of te reo Māori, and every story has native speaker audio attached for those who prefer to listen.

Leading research shows that reading and listening for pleasure is hands-down the most efficient way to acquire a new language, so download the app to enjoy great stories and immerse yourself in te reo Māori!

  1. Download the Lingogo app to your Apple or Android phone or tablet from the Google Play Store(Lingogo) or Apple App Store(Lingogo)
  2. Choose ‘Wellington Libraries’ and enter your library barcode number to log in and access the Lingogo collection
  3. Once logged in with your library barcode number, browse and explore beginner and intermediate-level stories in te reo Māori.
  4. Tap sentences for the English translation and tap the headphones icon to hear the sentences read aloud in te reo Māori.
  5. For an eAudiobook experience, read the story to the end and tap the ‘Extra for experts’ button to listen to the full story in te reo Māori.

OverDrive

Did you know that there are books that can help you learn te reo Māori on OverDrive and Libby? There are a whole range of different books to choose from, including some books that are more meant for grown-ups, and others meant for kids. Here are a few of our favourites for you to check out:

Overdrive cover At the Beach te reo Maori – Ki Te Tahuna, Pam Holden (ebook)

“He pai ki te nuinga o nga tangata te toro atu ki te tahuna, te mahahoki o nga mea hei kite, hei mahi kei reira. He aha nga mea pai ki akoe ki te tahuna?” Kupu Aronga (Sight Words) ki | kite | maua | te

Most people like to visit the beach. There are so many different things to see and do there. What do you like to do at the beach? (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Awatea and the Kawa Gang, Fraser Smith (ebook)

It’s the holidays, and Awatea is staying with his grandparents at the beach. He’s got lots of time and freedom to explore, visit the treehut and have adventures with Carrot, the talking parrot. Awatea catches fish, cooks over a campfire and spends a stormy night in the treehut with Carrot for company. When fending off some territorial magpies and keeping an eye on a pair of leopard seals, Awatea and Carrot notice signs of poachers. So Awatea and his friends at the beachwork out a plan to stop them. (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover A Quick Picnic te reo Maori – He Haerenga Whanau, Pam Holden (ebook)

“Kua haere koe mo tetahi haerenga? He aha nga taputapu paimo te haerenga? Kei tenei whanau nga mea tika mo te haerenga. Panuitia tenei e pa ana ki o ratou harenga.” Kupu Aronga (Sight Words) Anei | kino | pai | te

Have you had a picnic? What things do you need for a picnic? The people in this family have everything that they need for a good picnic. Read about what happens at their picnic. (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover A Maori Word a Day, Hemi Kelly (ebook)

A Maori Word a Day offers an easy, instant and motivating entry into the Maori language. Through its 365 Maori words, you will learn the following: – English translations – Word category, notes and background information – Sample sentences, in both te reo Maori and English Exploring the most common, modern and colloquial words in Maori today, A Maori Word a Day is the perfect way to kickstart your te reo! (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover My First 300 Words in Maori, Stephanie Collins (ebook)

Learn your first 300 words in Māori in this colourful book for children. This book introduces children to their first words in Māori. Learn the Māori vocabulary for animals, fruit and vegetables, everyday things, nature, colours, shapes, greetings, and much more, all with beautiful colour photos and illustrations throughout. (Adapted from Overdrive description)



Learn te reo Māori with Language Nut

Your library card gives you access to a whole range of resources to help you learn languages, and one of them, Language Nut, is meant just for kids! It includes a course in te reo Māori that is aimed at absolute beginners, featuring simple songs, stories, and games as well as some more traditional lessons so that you can learn on your own, or with an adult or friend to help you! You also earn points as you go, so you can put yourself against other learners from all over the world! It’s heaps of fun. Just visit this link and put in your library card number to get started!

A screenshot of the first stage in the Language Nut te reo Māori course, featuring simple greetings in both written and audio form.

Visit Language Nut with your library card to get started on your journey to ako reo Māori!


So what are you waiting for? There’s no time like the present to get started — or continue — on your journey in te reo Māori! Karawhiua atu!

 

Whakanuia a Matariki: Our New Celebration Collection

If you’re looking for a way to celebrate Matariki with your family during this festive, but chilly, season, look no further than your local library! If you pop down to any of our library branches this month, you’ll be able to find a special collection of books that look something like this:

A display of face-out childrens books about Matariki beneath a colourful sign decorated with silver star bunting.

Part of the Matariki Celebration Collection at Miramar Library

The books on these displays are part of our new Celebration Collection, and they will be on the shelves for a limited time only! They don’t appear on our online catalogue, so you won’t be able to reserve them, which means that unless they have all been borrowed, you’ll always be able to find some Matariki books on the shelf to take home!

After the Matariki celebrations have concluded, the books will be packaged up and sent back to Te Pātaka, our storage warehouse in Johnsonville, until the next time we need them. All of these extra books will help us deal with increased demand at certain times of the year — and help make sure that you aren’t disappointed when you come in looking for books about Matariki only to find they’ve all been borrowed already!

At the moment, we’ve only prepared a Celebration Collection for Matariki, but there are plans in the works to add Celebration Collections for other festivals and celebrations throughout the year as well, including Christmas, Easter, Eid al-Fitr, Ramadan, Chinese New Year, and Diwali, among others!

To whet your appetite, here are some of the wonderful titles that are part of the Matariki Celebration Collection at your local branch:

Ngā whetū Matariki whānakotia / Kamo, Miriama
“Sam and Te Rerehua search for the stars that have mysteriously gone missing.” (Catalogue)

Also available in Te Reo Pākehā as The Stolen Stars of Matariki.

Ko Flit, te Tīrairaka me te mahere Matariki / Quin, Kat
“Join Flit and his friends, Keri the kiwi and wise old Ruru, as they explore the night skies to work out how to capture a sparkling star. When the friends get lost, they follow the twinkling clues in the sky to find their way back home.” (Catalogue)

Also available in Te Reo Pākehā as Flit the Fantail and the Matariki Map.

Ngā manu tukutuku e whitu o Matariki / McClintock, Calico
“It is a special time of year. A time when the whispering wind blows warm from the east, and a crescent moon rises in the wintry night sky. Seven little sisters make kites with eyes of seashells to celebrate the New Year. But that playfulwind whips those kites away… Matariki is here!” (Catalogue)

Also available in Te Reo Pākehā as The Seven Kites of Matariki.

Te Huihui o Matariki / Rolleston-Cummins, Toni
“When Mitai’s seven handsome brothers are bewitched by seven beautiful women, Mitai seeks advice and learns that the women are patupaiarehe and must be cast far away. They are given to Urutengangana, the god of the stars, who places them in the far away heavens. Yet once a year, at winter solstice, he allows them to shine in the Eastern sky.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Also available in Te Reo Pākehā as The Seven Stars of Matariki.

Tā Daniel hākari Matariki / Beyer, Rebecca
“Starting something new is always difficult. How will Daniel fit in? Luckily for him Matariki is a time of sharing and new beginnings.” (Catalogue)

Also available in Te Reo Pākehā as Daniel’s Matariki Feast.

Matariki 2021 at your libraries!

Tēnā koutou katoa, e te whānau!

From 2 – 10 July, Wellington City Libraries is celebrating Matariki with a range of events, crafts, storytelling sessions, and experiences for whānau and tamariki all over our city. Don’t forget to also check out the Wellington City Council website to find out about the huge range of exciting activities taking place outside our libraries during Matariki.

Why do we celebrate Matariki? The star cluster Matariki (also known as the Pleiades) reappears in the dawn sky about Aotearoa in late May or early June. The new moon following the rising of Matariki signals the Māori New Year. Customarily, this was a time to remember the deceased of the past year and to plan for the new year. Today, Matariki has been revived as a celebration of people, culture, language, spirituality, and history. It is a time for whānau and friends to come together to reflect on the past 12 months and look forward to the year ahead. When you add your star to our purapura whetū, we invite you to send a message to someone you love, or reflect on the year that has just passed.

Some of the awesome crafty things you can find to make Matariki art with at your local library


Nau mai haere mai ki te whare pukapuka ki te whakanui i a Matariki! Join us for these fabulous events happening at library branches across the city:

Beginner’s Guide to Whakapapa

Join us for this short talk aimed at giving people with little to no experience researching their whakapapa some useful tips when navigating the resources accessible on the WCL website. Adults are very welcome.

  • Tuesday 6 July, 12.30pm at Te Awe Brandon St Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Awe

Explore the Stars in VR

Celebrate Matariki by joining us at Te Awe Library to take turns exploring the night sky in virtual reality. The stars have never seemed quite so close to touch! This event is great for mātua, rangatahi, and tamariki alike.

  • Friday 9 July, 2.00 – 4.00pm at Te Awe Brandon St Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Awe

Kōhunga Kōrero o Matariki

Nau mai haere mai ki te whare pukapuka ki te whakanui i a Matariki! Pakiwaitara i roto i te reo Māori. E 30 meneti pakiwaitara, rotarota, waiata hoki i roto i te reo Māori nō ngā kōhungahunga me ō rātou mātua kaitiaki. Join us for these special Matariki storytimes in te reo Māori! Featuring stories, songs and rhymes in te reo Māori, these 30-minute storytimes are open to anyone, and are recommended for children aged 2-6 years and their caregivers.

  • Friday 2 July, 10.30am at Johnsonville Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Waitohi
  • Tuesday 6 July, 10.30am at Newtown Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Omārōrō
  • Friday 9 July, 10.30am at Johnsonville Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Waitohi

Let’s Go LEGO®: Matariki Whetū!

Let’s build – let’s explore – let’s create! Come along to your library to create your LEGO® masterpiece. These sessions all feature special Matariki-themed activities as we celebrate this festive time with our friends and whānau. Our LEGO® activities are perfect for tamariki of all ages to participate in with their whānau.

  • Friday 2 July, 3.30pm at Khandallah Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Tari-kākā
  • Sunday 4 July, 11.00am at Te Awe Brandon St Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Awe
  • Thursday 8 July, 3.30pm at Cummings Park Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Korimako
  • Friday 8 July, 3.30pm at Johnsonville Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Waitohi

Matariki Storytimes

Come along and celebrate Matariki at your local whare pukapuka, or library, with Matariki-themed stories and waiata with our librarians. Our storytimes are family-friendly and fun for all ages. Weekday sessions are all at 10.30am; weekend sessions are all at 2.00pm.

  • Friday 2 July, 10.30am:
    • He Matapihi Molesworth Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o He Matapihi
    • Wadestown Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Ōtari
  • Saturday 3 July, 2.00pm:
    • Johnsonville Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Waitohi
    • Te Awe Brandon St Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Awe
  • Monday 5 July, 10.30am:
    • Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Takapū o Patukawenga
    • Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Awa-a-taia
  • Tuesday 6 July, 10.30am:
    • Brooklyn Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Moe-rā
    • Karori Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Māhanga
  • Wednesday 7 July, 10.30am:
    • Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Korimako
    • Karori Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Māhanga
    • Newtown Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Omārōrō
    • Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Awa-a-taia
  • Thursday 8 July, 10.30am:
    • Arapaki Manners Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Arapaki
    • Island Bay Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Tapu Te Ranga
    • Miramar Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Motu-kairangi
    • Te Awe Brandon St Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Awe
  • Friday 9 July, 10.30am:
    • He Matapihi Molesworth Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o He Matapihi
    • Wadestown Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Ōtari
  • Saturday 10 July, 2.00pm:
    • Johnsonville Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Waitohi

Matariki Storytimes: Virtual Edition!

Whakarongo mai, tamariki mā, pākeke mā! Celebrate Matariki wherever you are with our Matariki online storytimes. He korero paki i te reo Māori ēnei; these stories are in te reo Māori. The stories will be streaming live on our Wellington City Libraries Facebook page, and will remain up for your enjoyment throughout the holidays!

  • Thursday 8 July, 7.30pm — online!
  • Friday 9 July, 7.30pm — online!
  • Saturday 10 July, 7.30pm — online!

Pakiwaitara Matariki: Bilingual Storytelling

Join us at your local whare pukapuka for these special bilingual storytimes in celebration of Matariki! Featuring stories, songs and rhymes in te reo Māori and English, these 30-minute storytimes are open to anyone, and are recommended for children aged 2-6 years and their caregivers.

  • Saturday 3 July, 2.00pm at Karori Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Māhanga
  • Saturday 10 July, 11.00am at Cummings Park Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Korimako

Puoro Matariki: Stories and Music

Come along to Johnsonville Library on the first Tuesday of each month to enjoy a half-hour mash-up of stories and music. Literary and musical worlds will collide as we introduce your budding muso (and budding reader, of course!) to a world of rhythm, rhyme, song and dance from across the globe using stories, percussion instruments, and loads of imagination. Join us on the 6th of July for this special Matariki-themed session for all ages!

  • Tuesday 6 July, 10.30am at Johnsonville Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Waitohi

Whetū Toi: CRAFTerschool

Join us for this special after-school Matariki craft session! Make your very own Matariki constellation using one of our designs, or let your creative juices flow and create your own!

  • Monday 5 July, 3.30pm at Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Takapū o Patukawenga
  • Wednesday 7 July, 3.30pm at Miramar Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Motu-kairangi
  • Wednesday 7 July, 3.30pm at Johnsonville Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Waitohi

Whetū Toi: CRAFTivity

Bust the indoor boredom with a free Arts & Crafts session for tamariki, rangatahi and the whole whānau on Saturday mornings from 10.30am – 11.30 at He Matapihi Molesworth Library. At this session, we’ll be exploring Matariki with a simple craft project to be enjoyed by all!

  • Saturday 3 July, 10.30am at He Matapihi Molesworth Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o He Matapihi

Nō reira, nau mai, haere mai ki ōu tātou whare pukapuka ki te whakanui i tēnēi wā tino hirahira! So come on down to your library to celebrate this special time!

New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults 2021: Children’s Finalists!

The announcement of the finalists for the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults is always an extremely exciting time of year for us! This year saw a truly huge number of books entered by authors and illustrators from around Aotearoa — and the suite of books chosen for the shortlist are by turns beautiful, quirky, profound, funny, and all-in-all could only have come from here.

To help you make up your mind about which books you think should win their categories, we thought we’d share the full list with here, with links to all the books on our catalogue. Just click on the title and you’ll be able to reserve the next available copy to read. But get in quick — we don’t think they’ll stay on the shelf for very long!

PS — head over to the Teen Blog to find out about the books that have made the shortlist in the Young Adult Fiction category!

Picture Book Award

Judges’ comments: “This year’s Picture Book Award shortlist beautifully combines delicate illustrations that connect to and enhance sometimes delicate themes. There are laughs, tears, sighs (both contented and wistful) to be had in equal measure.”

Hare & Ruru : a quiet moment / Shallcrass, Laura
“This is the story of Hare, who struggles with an un-named mental malady self-described as ‘noise’. Noise could be runaway thoughts, voices in Hare’s head, or loud feelings and general anxiety. Hare goes on a journey to try and find a solution and finally gives up. Just when Hare thinks there’s no hope a friend, Ruru, flies calmly down and gives a suggestion. Hare ultimately feels better after doing three things: * Talking to someone; * Focusing on breathing; * Connecting to nature.” (Catalogue)

Read this book in te reo Māori!

Hound the detective / Andrews, Kimberly
“Meet Hound, a brilliant detective who ALWAYS solves his case. But this latest trail of clues has him perplexed … what has he missed? This gorgeous, multi-layered and engaging whodunnit by an award-winning writer has a delightful surprise at the end. Readers will love studying each action-packed illustration, poring over the details of Hound’s secret passages and map, spotting the adorable animals lurking in the pictures, and finding the caterpillar hidden on every page.” (Catalogue)

Kōwhai and the giants / Parker, Kate
“Kōwhai first appeared from the golden glow of a beautiful flower … and the voice was the rain and the sea and the cry of a bird. Follow Kōwhai as she discovers a tiny seed of hope and rebuilds a great forest.” (Catalogue)
The hug blanket / Gurney, Chris
“A heartfelt exploration of the unconditional love between a child and their grandparent. A book to help children understand grief. It smells like sunshine. It sounds like whispers. It looks like rainbows… It feels like love.” (Catalogue)

Read this book in te reo Māori!

This is where I stand / Werry, Philippa
“Provides a glimpse into the life of a soldier immortalised as a statue, reflecting the passage of time. The soldier on a war memorial tells the story of what he has seen over the years. Although the soldier is based on the ‘Untidy Soldier’ statue in Devonport, it could be any statue in any town. The story begins in a modern day setting, then moves back to WWI, WWII to finish again in contemporary times.” (Catalogue)

Wright Family Foundation Esther Glen Award for Junior Fiction

Judges’ comments: “The books vying for the Wright Family Foundation Esther Glen Junior Fiction Award presented the judges with eclectic plotlines and endearing characters, and they struggled to narrow down to a shortlist from the well-crafted titles.”

Across the risen sea / Bren MacDibble. / MacDibble, Bren
“Across the Risen Sea is an action-packed, compelling and heartfelt middle-fiction adventure, set in a post-climate change landscape, from the multi-award winning author of How to Bee.” (Catalogue)

Charlie Tangaroa and the creature from the sea / Roxborogh, Tania Kelly
“On a beach clean-up, thirteen-year-old Charlie and his brother, Robbie, find a ponaturi, a mermaid, washed up on a beach. An ancient grudge between the Māori gods Tane and Tangaroa has flared up because a port being built in the bay is polluting the ocean and creatures are fleeing the sea. This has reignited anger between the gods, which breaks out in storms, earthquakes and huge seas. The ponaturi believes Charlie is the only one who can stop the destruction. So begins Charlie’s journey to find a way to reunite the gods and discover why he is the one for the task.” (Catalogue)

Also available as an eBook!

Red edge / Hunt, Des
“Twelve-year-old Cassi Whelan and her dad have just moved into a repaired house on the edge of Christchurch’s Red Zone. Although Cassi was only four when earthquakes decimated Christchurch, her memories still haunt her. An obsessive runner, she finds the wide-open spaces of the cleared Red Zone suit her perfectly. However, she becomes suspicious about strange comings and goings at the broken-down house next door. A chance meeting with a boy who lives on the other side of the house, who is a tech geek, leads to them setting up a surveillance system to investigate what’s happening.” (Catalogue)

Also available as an eBook!

The Inkberg Enigma / King, Jonathan
“Miro and Zia live in Aurora, a fishing town nestled in the shadow of a mysterious castle. Miro lives in the world of books ; Zia is never without her camera. The they meet, they stumble upon a secret. With Zia determined to discover more, a reluctant Miro is pulled into a real-life adventure” (Catalogue) Also available as an eBook!

The tunnel of dreams / Beckett, Bernard
“In an abandoned house at the end of their street, twin brothers Stefan and Arlo discover a young girl hiding in its dusty shadows. Alice needs their help as her twin sister is locked in a cage suspended high above a mysterious mine in a strange parallel world and she asks an impossible favour. Will they meet her on the next full moon at the entrance to a tunnel they both know doesn’t exist? Except that it does…” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Also available as an eBook!

Elsie Locke Award for Non-Fiction

Judges’ comments: “The judges found the Elsie Locke Award for Non-Fiction a particularly strong category this year, stating ‘to say there is something for everyone is an understatement; this list has everything, for everyone!'”

Egg & spoon : an illustrated cookbook / Tylee, Alexandra
“A beautiful illustrated cookbook for children–and their families–that celebrates imagination and pleasure in cooking. A fun and modern cookbook for families packed with recipes for meals, snacks, treats, and a whole lot of humour. Alexandra Tylee’s lively inner ten-year-old knows exactly what food appeals to children and how to talk to kids about food. She trusts them to choose flavours and handle equipment in this joyful book that will set them on a lifetime love of healthy cooking and eating. Giselle Clarkson’s illustrations are salivatingly delicious and subversively playful.” (Catalogue)

Mophead tu : the Queen’s poem / Marsh, Selina Tusitala
“Selina is invited to perform for the Queen at Westminster Abbey. But when a colleague calls her a ‘sellout’, Selina starts doubting herself. Can she stand with her people who struggled against the Queen … and still serve the Queen? From the sinking islands in the South Seas to the smoggy streets of London, this is a hilariously thought-provoking take on colonial histories and one poet’s journey to bridge the divide.” (Catalogue)

New Zealand disasters : our response, resilience and recovery / Gill, Maria
“Inspiring stories of courage, resilience and determination in the face of disaster New Zealanders have endured phenomenal natural and human disasters throughout the ages. This inspiring book documents some of these key moments in our history and, more importantly, how we responded and grew stronger; what changes/improvements were made as a result. Cyclones, tornadoes, earthquakes, landslides, floods, volcanic eruptions, fires, aeroplane crashes, pandemics and other disasters are just some of the many themes covered in this comprehensive, vibrantly illustrated account.” (Catalogue)

North and south / Morris, Sandra
“A beautiful non-fiction picture book about animals around the world. This non-fiction picture book takes readers around the world through the months of the year, looking at seasons in both the northern and southern hemisphere. It focuses on a species in each hemisphere for that month, e.g. March in the northern hemisphere is polar bear cubs in the Canadian Arctic and also saltwater crocodiles in Australia. There are a range of countries, habitats, species and animal activities included.” (Catalogue)

You’re joking : become an expert joke-teller / Moffatt, Tom E
“Tired of no one laughing at your jokes? You don’t have to be. Joke-telling is a skill, like playing the piano or juggling live hedgehogs. This book teaches you that skill with easy-to-follow instructions and simple exercises. With 101 hilarious jokes (and lots of practice), you’ll soon get the laughter and applause you deserve. Without ever needing to juggle hedgehogs.” (Publisher summary courtesy of Wright Laugh Books)

Russell Clark Award for Illustration

Judges’ comments: “The judges faced an outstandingly strong and large pool of entries for the Russell Clark Award for Illustration. The finalists are characterised by a diversity of styles and media, but the books all have in common an expert use of colour and line to communicate emotion and pace and skilfully add texture to the narrative.”

Hare & Ruru : a quiet moment / Shallcrass, Laura
“This is the story of Hare, who struggles with an un-named mental malady self-described as ‘noise’. Noise could be runaway thoughts, voices in Hare’s head, or loud feelings and general anxiety. Hare goes on a journey to try and find a solution and finally gives up. Just when Hare thinks there’s no hope a friend, Ruru, flies calmly down and gives a suggestion. Hare ultimately feels better after doing three things: * Talking to someone; * Focusing on breathing; * Connecting to nature.” (Catalogue)

Read this book in te reo Māori!

I am the universe / Unka, Vasanti
“I am the Universe, an infinite space of glittering galaxies. It’s a starlit journey through space that will lead you to a wonderful planet brimming with all kinds of life – including yours. This stunning story demonstrating the scale of the Universe and our place in it was created specially for children aged three years and up by the award-winning author-illustrator Vasanti Unka, who lives in Auckland, New Zealand, the Earth, the Solar System, the Galaxy, the Milky Way, the Universe.” (Catalogue)

Kōwhai and the giants / Parker, Kate
“Kōwhai first appeared from the golden glow of a beautiful flower … and the voice was the rain and the sea and the cry of a bird. Follow Kōwhai as she discovers a tiny seed of hope and rebuilds a great forest.” (Catalogue)

Moon & Sun / Szymanik, Melinda
“Moon is sad. She feels dull next to her bright happy sister, Sun. She hides away at night until Sun tells Moon how special she is and how she would love to share the sky with her. This beautifully illustrated children’s book explains how our diffrerences are our strengths, and how together we can make the world a better place!” (Catalogue)

Te Uruuru Whenua o Ngātoroirangi / Winitana, Chris.
“This is the story, told in te reo Māori, 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.”

(Publisher summary courtesy of Huia Publishers)

Wright Family Foundation Te Kura Pounamu Award

Judges’ comments: “The finalists in the Wright Family Foundation Te Kura Pounamu Award for books written entirely in te reo Māori will appeal to a broad range of abilities. Te reo in its simplest form will lift the language for beginners, while there are also titles with a depth of language to send the imaginations of confident speakers soaring. The judges were pleased to see a marked increase in the number of books written in te reo Māori, rather than translated from English.”

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 effect tools that everyone can use.” (Catalogue)

Also read this book in te reo Pākehā!

Mihi / Bishop, Gavin
“This beautiful baby book introduces ideas of me and my place in the world in the shape of a simple mihi or pepeha… Repeating colours and shapes show the connections between waka, mountain, and iwi through to mama, papa, and the baby reader.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Pīpī kiwi / Taylor, Helen J.
“Young Kiwi Iti waits impatiently for his baby sister, Pīpī Kiwi, to hatch. Will she ever arrive? When will she be ready to play with him? His father Kiwi Nui explains to him that love takes time. Ahea RAWA pao ai te hua? This Māori-language story is for all children eagerly awaiting a new sibling.” (Catalogue)

Also read this book in te reo Pākehā!

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)

Te Uruuru Whenua o Ngātoroirangi / Winitana, Chris.
“This is the story, told in te reo Māori, 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.” (Publisher summary courtesy of Huia Publishers)

Best First Book Award

Judges’ comments: “The finalists for the Best First Book Award left the judges reassured that the future of children’s literature in New Zealand is in good hands. In fact, the standard is so high, that four of the books are also finalists in one or more of the main categories.”

Hare & Ruru : a quiet moment / Shallcrass, Laura
“This is the story of Hare, who struggles with an un-named mental malady self-described as ‘noise’. Noise could be runaway thoughts, voices in Hare’s head, or loud feelings and general anxiety. Hare goes on a journey to try and find a solution and finally gives up. Just when Hare thinks there’s no hope a friend, Ruru, flies calmly down and gives a suggestion. Hare ultimately feels better after doing three things: * Talking to someone; * Focusing on breathing; * Connecting to nature.” (Catalogue).

Read this book in te reo Māori!

Kōwhai and the giants / Parker, Kate
“Kōwhai first appeared from the golden glow of a beautiful flower … and the voice was the rain and the sea and the cry of a bird. Follow Kōwhai as she discovers a tiny seed of hope and rebuilds a great forest.” (Catalogue)

The Inkberg Enigma / King, Jonathan
“Miro and Zia live in Aurora, a fishing town nestled in the shadow of a mysterious castle. Miro lives in the world of books ; Zia is never without her camera. The they meet, they stumble upon a secret. With Zia determined to discover more, a reluctant Miro is pulled into a real-life adventure” (Catalogue)

Also available as an eBook!

The midnight adventures of Ruru and Kiwi / Scott, Clare
“Ruru and Kiwi invite you to their midnight forest feast, in this delightful twist on the tale of the Owl and the Pussycat. Drawing on a cast of nocturnal New Zealand creatures, with award-winning illustrations by Amy Haarhoff, Clare Scott’s story imagines Edward Lear’s famous nonsense poem taking place in a moonlit forest in Aotearoa.” (Catalogue)

The pōrangi boy / Kino, Shilo
“Twelve-year-old Niko lives in Pohe Bay, a small, rural town with a sacred hot spring and a taniwha named Taukere. The government plan to build a prison here and destroy the home of the taniwha has divided the community. Some are against it, but others see it as an opportunity. Niko is worried about the land and Taukere, but who will listen to him? He’s an ordinary boy who’s laughed at, bullied, and called pōrangi, crazy, for believing in the taniwha. But it’s Niko who has to convince the community that Taukere is real, unite whānau in protest against the prison and stand up to the bullies.” (Catalogue)

Te Reo Māori Challenge

The Māori language is known as te reo Māori or simply te reo (the language). Te reo Māori is an official language in New Zealand, along with English and New Zealand Sign Language. It was made official in 1987.
Have you thought about reading and speaking more te reo Māori in your day, or maybe you’d like to read to your younger brothers and sisters in te reo? Wellington City Libraries have got loads of first reader resources, translated picture books and online resources to get you started. 

Have you tried…

Kōhunga Kōrero

Kōhunga KōreroThese 30 minute immersive storytimes in te reo Māori are offered on a weekly basis at a number of our branch libraries. They are free to attend and you don’t need to have any former understanding of  te reo.

 


Lingogo App – Read and listen to te reo Māori stories

Lingogo is an app that lets you read and listen to Māori stories, and it’s free to access through your library membership! It’s great for both beginner and intermediate learners of te reo Māori, and every story has native speaker audio attached for those who prefer to listen.

Leading research shows that reading and listening for pleasure is hands-down the most efficient way to acquire a new language, so download the app to enjoy great stories and immerse yourself in te reo Māori!

  1. Download the Lingogo app to your Apple or Android phone or tablet from the Google Play Store(Lingogo) or Apple App Store(Lingogo)
  2. Choose ‘Wellington Libraries’ and enter your library barcode number to log in and access the Lingogo collection
  3. Once logged in with your library barcode number, browse and explore beginner and intermediate-level stories in te reo Māori.
  4. Tap sentences for the English translation and tap the headphones icon to hear the sentences read aloud in te reo Māori.
  5. For an eAudiobook experience, read the story to the end and tap the ‘Extra for experts’ button to listen to the full story in te reo Māori.

Bilingual books in Te Reo and English

Wellington City Libraries have lots to choose from. Here’s just a small taster:

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)


Nana’s veggie garden = Te māra kai a Kui / Munro, Marie
“This summer, Bella/Ngāpera, Jacob/Hākopa and Lucas help Nana/Kui grow, harvest and eat an amazing garden, and fill every day with heaps of fun, te reo Māori learning and bunches of awesome memories” (Catalogue)

Mahi = actions / Brown, Kitty
“Meet some of our favourite kiwi kararehe and find out what they like to do best! Learn to introduce yourself and your favourite activities too.” (Catalogue)

Kararehe = Animals / Brown, Kitty
“Beautiful bilingual board book about animals in Te Reo Māori and English.” (Catalogue)

The singing dolphin = Te aihe i waiata / Whaanga, Mere
“Every once in a while, a dolphin will come to the island beside The Pathway of the Whales. It will leap and play with people, bring gifts and sing songs. Award-winning author Mere Whaanga tells a story of land, sea and seasons; of living creatures and family ties, and the songs that connect us all.” (Catalogue)


Challenge yourself!

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Te Wiki o te Reo Māori (Māori Language Week) is held every year. This year’s date is 13 – 19 Mahuru (September), 2021.

Challenge yourself to learn a new te reo word a day. You can do this easily through this website: Kupu o te Rā

Or maybe you could challenge yourself to learn 100 words in te reo: 100 Māori words

“Poipoia te kākano kia puāwai.”

Nurture the seed and it will grow.

“Poi E” – a Living Legend!

Almost 40 years since its release the song Poi E will receive the Classic Record prize at the Taite​ Music Awards presented by Independent Music NZ on 20 April 2021 in Tamaki Makaurau (Auckland).

Poi E was written in 1983 by Ngoi Pēwhairangi​ (lyrics) and Māui Dalvanius Prime (music). Their single was the first song in te reo Māori to reach the NZ Top 40 Singles Chart, holding the top spot for two weeks after its release. Poi E was performed by the Patea Māori Club, and put this small Taranaki town on the map. The Pātea Māori Club even toured the United Kingdom in 1984, playing at the London Palladium and the Edinburgh Festival and gave a Royal Command Performance as part of an annual variety show staged for the British Royal Family.

In 2016 a documentary, Poi E: The Story of Our Song, received rave reviews and once again had everyone around the country singing along to this classic track.


If you’re interested in waiata, poi and performance, why not join the kapa haka group at your school? Each year a National Primary Schools Kapa Haka Festival – Te Mana Kurutahi – takes place twice a year at venues around Aotearoa. For more info, check out their website HERE.


St. Joseph's Maori Girls College – He Koha Waiata. A Gift Of Song (1995, CD) - DiscogsHe Koha (A Gift Of Maori Music) (2001, CD) - DiscogsBook Jacket for: Kia kaha! : together, standing strongBook Jacket for: Kei te peke ahau

if you want more waiata in your life, why not check out:

Wellington City Library’s waiata resources here

or…


Waiata mai : sing along with Aunty Bea / Yates, Piatarihi
“Waiata Mai is a compilation of the waiata Beatrice Yates has written and sung over the years. It is a beautifully illustrated bilingual book suitable for the younger children. It contains counting, colour, welcome, farewell, action songs and songs naming the body. This is a wonderful resource for any one wanting to learn some basic Maori and have fun with their kids.” (Catalogue)


Tutu taniwha / Kahukiwa, Robyn
“Tutu is a baby taniwha who loves to sing and dance. Story is designed to be sung to the tune of “Twinkle twinkle little star,” incorporating English and Māori words. Includes notes on pronunciation and translation. Suggested level: junior.” (Catalogue)

Hush : a Kiwi lullaby / Cowley, Joy
“Regarded by some as the mother of children’s publishing in New Zealand, it is fitting that Joy Cowley has penned this warm-hearted Kiwi version of a traditional lullaby, with words in both English and te reo Maori. From sheep to kowhai flowers, and from paua shells to silver ferns, this special picture book will be a treasured addition to any home library. Stunningly illustrated by Andrew Burdan with pictures that could easily grace the walls of any art-lover’s home.” (Catalogue)

Kia kaha! : together, standing strong / Pitman-Hayes, June
“Kia kaha! Kia kaha! Together standing strong. We join our hands in friendship, thats how we get along. All around our gentle land, no matter where were from … we fill the air with laughter and our kia kaha song! Find a friend and sing along to Aotearoas catchy KIA KAHA song. Featuring June Pitman-Hayes with childrens entertainer Pio Terei, singing in English and Maori.” (Catalogue)

Kōhunga Kōrero: Whāngaia tō Tama Toa ki te Pānui Pukapuka!

Kia ora e te whānau! Great news — Kōhunga Kōrero, our special storytimes in te reo Māori, are back for 2021! This year, in addition to Johnsonville, Karori, Miramar, and Newtown Libraries, we have Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library joining in on the fun.

Kōhunga Kōrero: whāngaia tō Tama Toa ki te pānui pukapuka! Pakiwaitara i roto i te reo Māori. E 30 meneti pakiwaitara, rotarota, waiata hoki i roto i te reo Māori nō ngā kōhungahunga me ō rātou mātua kaitiaki.

Kōhunga Kōrero: get your superhero hooked on books! Featuring stories, rhymes, and songs in te reo Māori, these 30-minute sessions are open to anyone, and are recommended for children (aged 2-6 years) with their caregivers.

Here’s the full Kōhunga Kōrero schedule for the year ahead — we’d love to have you along!

Ako Reo Māori!

Kia ora e te whānau! Te Wiki o te reo Māori is here!

Why not take the opportunity during Te Wiki to learn a little bit of te reo Māori? Whaea Suezanne at He Matapihi Library has been helping the librarians by showing us how we can talk about what we’re going to do on the weekend (mutunga wiki) using a little bit of te reo! Here’s what she had to say:

Ko te kauapapa o te rā nei (the topic of the day) is the mutunga wiki (weekend)!
If you would like to practice a small conversation with someone, you can ask:

Kei te aha koe ā te mutunga wiki? What are you doing this weekend?

Here are some ways you can answer:

Kei te kore noa iho! — I am doing nothing!
Kei te mahi. — I am working.
Kei te whakatā — I am resting.
Ka haere au ki te toro i ōku hoa! — I am going to visit my friends.
Ka mahi mara au. — I’m going to help with the gardening.
Ka haere māua ki tetahi wharekai! — We are going to a restaurant!

Then you can ask…

Kei te aha koe ā te mutunga wiki? What are you doing this weekend?

And all of a sudden you are having a whole conversation in te reo Māori! Special thanks to A Māori Phrase a Day by Hēmi Kelly for this idea!

You can learn more te reo Māori by visiting LanguageNut online, or by borrowing one of our many books for kids on learning te reo! Check some out below:

Everyday words in Māori
“This is a bright and busy book that will give Maori language learners of all ages hours of enjoyment. A pronunciation guide and an alphabetical Māori/English list of all the words in the book are included.” (Catalogue)

Kuwi & friends Māori picture dictionary / Merewether, Katherine Q.
“From the 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 Māori and English, perfect for every New Zealander.” (Catalogue)

Picture dictionary : te reo Māori words & sentences / Holt, Sharon
“The book is a compilation of many of the words and sentence structures used in the previous books in our Te Reo Singalong series as well as some new ones. Use the app to check your pronunciation, and increase your fluency in Māori vocabulary and sentence structure.” (Catalogue)

First thousand words in Māori / Amery, Heather
“This bright and entertaining book provides a wealth of vocabulary-building opportunities for beginner learners of Māori. Stephen Cartwright’s delightful pictures encourage direct association of the Māori word with the object, which will assist towards effective, long-term learning. At the end of the book there is an alphabetical Māori/English list of all the words in the book.” (Catalogue)

My first words in Māori / Morrison, Stacey
“My First Words in Māori equips your whanau with the first words you need to speak te reo at home together With lively pictures labeled in Māori and English, each page introduces the concepts and words children use as they first begin to talk, get to know people and explore the world around them. Designed for parents and tamariki to read together, with plenty of detail in the illustrations to point out and name. This is the perfect book to bring the Māori language into your home and have fun with the kids on their language journey” (Catalogue)

Te Wiki o te reo Māori: Kia toru ngā rā e toe ana!

Kia ora, e te whānau! Te Wiki o te reo Māori is just around the corner — there are just three days to go (kia toru ngā rā e toe ana) before the celebrations begin! We thought we’d help you get ready to celebrate by sharing some of our favourite pukapuka in te reo Māori with you. Check them out below — don’t forget you can click on the title to reserve a copy to pick up from your local library!

Tio Tiamu / Kurahau
This beautiful book won the Wright Family Foundation/Te Kura Pounamu Award for Te Reo Māori in the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults this year, and it really is the complete package. There is an incredible sense of balance throughout, where the weight of the storytelling is shared equally between the stylised, yet detailed illustrations, and entrancing, poetic, and playful language. We can’t guarantee there won’t be tears the first time it’s read – this tale certainly doesn’t pull its punches. Published in English as “The Smelly Giant.”

Ko te kī taurangi a Puanga: he ururoa ki te Whānau Matariki / Wadsworth, Kirsty
This enthralling tale tells the story of Puanga, cousin to the Matariki sisters, and how it was that she came to join them in the sky above Aotearoa. At its heart it’s a story of whānau, friendship, tradition and sacrifice. The text is evocative and powerfully paced; the illustrations atmospheric and perfectly matched. Published in English as “The Promise of Puanga.”

Ko Flit, te Tīrairaka, me ngā Hēki Muna / Merewether, Katherine Q.
A whimsical and playful tale about Flit the fantail chick and his discovery of a mysterious clutch of eggs. Action-packed and joyful. Published in English as “Flit the Fantail and the Mystery Eggs.”

Hineahuone / Hall, Xoë
A creation story of sorts, this book explores Tāne Māhuta’s creation of human life, sculpted from the sacred red earth of Papatūānuku. Xoë Hall’s stylistic and striking illustrations bring the story to life in a tangible way. Published in English as “The Clay Woman.”

Arapū toi / Wairama, Moira
Gentle, poetic, and image-laden text combined with detailed and engrossing artwork. This book is appropriate for readers of all ages, and reveals more with each successive read.

Te aihe i waiata / Whaanga, Mere
A lyrical story told almost in the style of a traditional legend, Te Aihe i Waiata must be read in its original language – te reo – for the poetry to be fully understood. The story ebbs and flows along with the expressive watercolour illustrations – an enchanting read. Published in English as “The Singing Dolphin.”

Ngā tae = Colours / Brown, Kitty
We can’t exclude the beautiful and important bilingual Reo Pēpi series, from Kitty Brown and Kirsten Parkinson at Reo Pēpi Tāpui in Dunedin, from this list. The six board books in this series intended for babies and early readers use simple, formulaic language and gorgeous illustrations to gradually introduce the reader to new words and concepts. A must-have for any parent who wants their child to grow up immersed in te reo.

He raiona i roto i ngā otaota / Mahy, Margaret
The te reo Māori translation of Margaret Mahy’s classic The Lion in the Meadow remains as captivating and delightful as ever. Piripi Walker’s translation preserves the whimsy and magic of the original text, all the while strengthening this book’s ties to the people and culture of Aotearoa.

Ngā taniwha i Te Whanga-nui-a-tara / Wairama, Moira
An exciting and captivating retelling of the local legend of the creation of Wellington Harbour by two taniwha who lived in what was once a lake, where the harbour now stands. Essential reading for anyone who wants to understand traditional stories of place and history. Published in English as “The Taniwha of Wellington Harbour.”

Kei hea te hipi kākāriki? / Fox, Mem
Rounding out the list with another translation – this time of Mem Fox’s classic “Where is the Green Sheep?” Children will love exploring the humourous illustrations, and the clever translation by Kawata Teepa keeps the reader engaged throughout.