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.

Kids’ Club Review by Genevye: Hazel and the snails

Hazel and the snailsHazel and the snails, Nan Blanchard ; illustrations by Giselle Clarkson

Hazel likes to care for her snails, all 10 of them because it makes her happy. They aren’t pink-crazy and they don’t speak French all the time like her best friend, Meg. And they don’t skulk about like her brother, Henry. But it’s all a bit strange and sad at home, her father passed away and she accidentally crushed a tiny snail.

I personally think this is a great, touching storybook. It’s set in New Zealand (I think?) and includes New Zealand things like WeetBix and Lilybee wraps. I would recommend this book to kids who are ages 7 or 8 because it’s not too complicated. Nan Blanchard is an awesome author and I look forward to getting more of her books out.

3 stars

Reviewed by Genevye from Johnsonville and , 9 years old

Kids’ Club Review by Solomon: Cook’s cook : the cook who cooked for Captain Cook

Syndetics book coverCook’s cook : the cook who cooked for Captain Cook by Gavin Bishop.

The book Cook’s Cook is about the story of captain Cook’s voyage from the perspective of his one handed cook. The book is filled with real life resapices that cook’s cook made on the voyage. I personally enjoyed reading the book because of the detail and amazing illustrations. I would recommend this book to everybody that likes a story from a different perspective. I think Gavin Bishop is a very talented author.

3 stars

Reviewed by Solomon from Tawa and Hampton Hill School , 10 years old

Kids’ Club Review by Josie: Lyla

LylaLyla, Fleur Beale

I enjoyed this book as I grew up near Christchurch and felt the earthquakes in Timaru when I was 4. I am a big fan of Fleur Beale’s I am not Esther series which is why I chose to read this, but I didnt like it quite as much.

4 stars

Reviewed by Josie from Cummings Park and Seatoun School , 12 years old

Kids’ Club Review by Isabella: The haunting

The hauntingThe haunting, Margaret Mahy

As 8 yr old Barnaby is continuously being spooked he and his older sisters head out on a mission to uncover the truth of the ghosts and their family. This book is definitely suited for older children

3 stars

Reviewed by Isabella from Miramar and Seatoun School , 10 years old

Kids’ Club Review by Isabella: Sticking with pigs

Sticking with pigsSticking with pigs, Mary-Anne Scott

13 yr old Wolf feels more like a distant friend rather than a family member when his brother Davey is suddenly diagnosed with Addison’s disease. So when uncle Jem agrees to take him on a hunting trip he’s definitely excited. But when the trip turn out to be more than he bargained for Wolf feels uncertain he’ll make it out alive.

4 stars

Reviewed by Isabella from Miramar and Seatoun School , 10 years old

Kids’ Club Review by Ann: The stolen stars of Matariki

The stolen stars of MatarikiThe stolen stars of Matariki, written byMiriama Kamo ; illustrated by Zak Waipara

i thought this book was wonderful! so what happened is one night grandma and the children spotted that there was only 7 stars in the Matariki and the patupaiarehe has stolen them to make clothes! will the children Sam and Te Rerehua get the two stars Pohutukawa and Hiwa-i-te-Rangi back into the matariki? i will recommend this book to everyone.

4 stars

Reviewed by Ann from Karori and Northland School , 7 years old

Kids’ Club Review by Isla: The bomb

The bombThe bomb, by Sacha Cotter ; illustrated by Josh Morgan

This book is about a boy who is trying to do the perfect bomb. He learns that sometimes you just need to do it your own way. Be yourself!

3 stars

Reviewed by Isla from Miramar and Seatoun School , 6 years old