Home > Intermediate Fiction, Junior Fiction, Picture book > The Stolen Stars of Matariki by Miriama kamo, Illus. Zak Waipara

The Stolen Stars of Matariki by Miriama kamo, Illus. Zak Waipara

May 7, 2018

matarikiThe Stolen Stars of Matariki by Miriama kamo, Illus. Zak Waipara. Pub. Scholastic, 2018.

When I went to school I never heard of Matariki or Pleiades as the Greeks called it. The Maori have always known about it and it is an important celestial entity in their culture.

I first read children’s literature about it in the 90’s and it has since been a point of celebration in schools and the community when it first swims into our ken.

Miriama Kamo in this excellent picture book has added mystery and legend to the existence of Matariki and she has added it to the mystique of that powerful piece of landscape known as Birdlings Flat, a place noted for it’s steep shingle shoreline , it’s eels and the thunderous surf that slams into it during a southerly storm.

Amongst the shingle beach are pieces of agate that look like gemstones and it is conjectured that they are part of two extra stars now missing from these Seven Sisters.

Zak Waipara’s digital animation gives life to the written text with the gems appearing in the stars of Matariki, the agate of the shingle beach and in the wonderous eyes of the children as they go eeling and searching with their grandfather and grandma.

We need these myths and stories to enhance our understanding of the place of humankind in this vastness of the Universe. Children of all ages will love it.

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