Posts Tagged ‘Maori language’

Tide’s Out. Tai Timu by Frances Plumpton. Illus. Stephanie Thatcher. Maori translation Na Darryn Joseph. Pub. Mary Egan Publishing, 2022

November 25, 2022 Comments off

Every child will study the seashore some time at school and this is a very good one for juniors and pre school children.

Set at Huia beach on the Manukau harbour, the water colour illustrations are superb and give life to the beach and the lifeforms that children can easily find if they search.

Narrated as a counting book and a bilingual English and Maori picture book this publication serves more than one function.

Each illustration is a two page spread with the harbour and hills in the background and the children and life forms easy to identify. Crabs, seaweed, scallop shells, driftwood sea anemones etc.

In the back are other creatures that can be found.

An excellent resource for school libraries and for home reading.

Out of the Egg – Ka Puta Mai I Te Heki and Fofoa Mai Le Fua Moa by Tina Matthews. Trans. Na Kiwa Hammond I Whakamaori (Maori)and Tafu Nicole Maynard (Samoan). Pub OneTree House 2022.

October 1, 2022 Comments off

I have known the story of the Little Red Hen for about 70 years and the essential theme of sharing, in order to benefit all, is still there, but with a strong conservation theme as well. A sign of the times.

An additional difference is that there are now two books one in English and Maori and the same story in English and Samoan.

The story revolves around the Little Red Hen, who plants a tree and seeks the help of Fat Cat, Dirty Rat and Greedy Pig, to assist her in planting and caring for the tree as it grows. They decline of course. When the tree grows and there is now a little cat, a little rat and a little pig who want to play in the tree, what will little Red Hen do? Read either book and find out for yourself.

Excellent illustrations with lino type black and white pictures with the little Red Hen and green plant standing out. Fat Cat, Dirty Rat and Greedy Pig are classic.

Paramount to the conservation and sharing themes are the two languages Maori and Samoan. These books are great for learning either language for primary and Intermediate students. The story is the key though and it hits the spot. Essential purchases for any multi cultural primary and intermediate school.

Pipi and Pou and the Raging Mountain by Tim Tipene, illus. Isobel Te Aho-White. Pub. OneTree House, 2022

September 27, 2022 Comments off

A short easy to read novel for 6-12 year olds, with large font and only eight chapters with a strong environmental message and all within the context of Maori myth and legend.

Pipi and Pou are cousins who have the same Nana with super powers and wisdom in the natural world of the Maori. Pipi can transform into a Pouakai or giant eagle and Pou can transform into a strong Taniwha who likes being in water. All three are guardians of the environment.

When earthquakes start shaking down south Nan knows that a mountain, Maungatinonui, is distressed, and she takes Pipi and Pou with her to sort it out. It seems that Maungatinonui is upset about the treatment visitors are giving to the environment of the mountain. Our three guardians set about finding a solution to the problem. Read it and see how they get on.

Maori language is used throughout the English language text and helps familiarise the reader with important terms and concepts. Some knowledge of Maori is required.

A good read with Book 2 Pipi and Pou and the River Monster already published too and soon to be reviewed on this blog. Illustrations by Isobel Te Aho-White enhance the text and provide understanding of the characters and issues of the novel

E Hoa by Gavin Bishop. Pub Gecko Press, August 2022.

July 8, 2022 Comments off

learning a new language starts with the very young. They need to become familiar with a language so that it becomes second nature to them.

This board book is one of three by author/illustrator Gavin Bishop that not only supports Maori language but also talks about those very important qualities – feelings.

Children love and trust pets more than they do humans and in this book a young girl learns that her dog can be silly, happy, angry, rowdy, sad and shy, just like children can, and still be your best friend.

Published in August 2022 along with two other titles Mihi and Koro.

A must for the home and pre school and being board books they can handle the treatment.

Categories: board books Tags: ,

Takaura: My Words of Winter Nga Kupu Maori mo te Takarua by Christine Dale. Translations by Kiwa Hammond. Pub. OneTree House, 2022

March 16, 2022 Comments off

This very attractive picture book has two main aims.

Firstly it is about winter in New Zealand and it uses very descriptive language that children would use. The language appeals to the senses or how you feel, see, hear, smell and taste winter. Words such as dark and looming (clouds), dank and pungent(puddles), cheering and chanting(Crowds at a rugby match) and rich and delicious(hot soup)

Secondly it is to build vocabulary in both English and te reo Maori about the season of winter. This vocabulary is enhanced by terrific photographs of a New Zealand winter featuring multi cultural children of junior age.

I tell you what the stacked pies that are tasty and flaky or Ka hongihongi i nga kopaki paraoa, he reka he pakapaka look very inviting I almost ate the page.

A similar book on summer has already been published. great resource for the school and in the home

The Maori Picture Dictionary. Te Papakupu Whakaahua. Illus. by Josh Morgan & Isobel Te Aho-White. Words by Margaret Sinclair & Ross Calman

January 30, 2022 Comments off

This picture book sized dictionary of Maori words translated into English is not the sort of book you pick up and read cover to cover although I did this and you might too as it is so interesting.

It is a dictionary formatted in alphabetical order with each word, concept and activity given the English word, the Maori translation and a picture of what it is all about. Simple and very effective for those young readers learning the Maori language or just needing to find out what a word is in either language.

Some of the concepts that are in here are whiteboard papa ma, photographer kaiwhakaahua, bald moremore, astronaut kaipokai tuarangi, judo nonoke and many other actions of modern living.

It brings the Maori language into the modern world for children and students of the Maori language.

The illustrations are superb for each word and in the back there are topics of the Home I te kaianga, The classroom I te taiwhanga ako and the marae ki runga marae in which all the language associated with these areas [presented.

This publication is finished with a Maori to English word list. A very useful and beautifully presented publication for schools and the home.

Ka Pai Kiwi Favourites 5 sing-along Stories. Pub Scholastic, 2021.

October 18, 2021 Comments off

A fun book with stories based on popular songs for children written in English first and then in Maori. To be used with reference to a free soundtrack at

All song stories feature NZ animals and birds and Maori Taniwha etc. The lyrics mimic popular songs and are sung by well known artists like Pio Terei, Jay Laga’aia and all are translated by Ngaere Roberts.

The illustrations are also by a number of illustrators like Deborah Hinde and Steve Mahardhika.

The overall feeling is one of fun and enjoyment with illustrations emphasising the fun.

Great for use in the pre school, primary school and the home. Songs are a great way to teach language and tunes like Row row Row your boat and the Hokey Tokey are well known.

A pleasing read and in hard cover so it will withstand wear and tear.

Blimmin’ Koro! Katahi ra e Koro e! by Jill Bevan-Brown, illus. Trish Bowles. Translated Mahaki Bevan-Brown. Pub. Oratia, 2021

September 15, 2021 Comments off

A lovely bilingual picture book for primary students written in both English and Maori.

Koro (granddad) is getting old and getting dementia. he plays gleefully with his grandchildren and they notice that he is getting their names wrong. Blimmin’ Koro says nana.

He lets his grandchildren swing on the clothes line blimmin’ Koro says Nana.

Nan takes Koro to the doctor and he forgets things. He gets lost, hides things and ends up in a wheelchair. The children still love his company and Koro and nan have photographs of their life together to share with the grandchildren.

message is old people are precious and special and the good thing is the children in this book know that.

Don’t miss this one it is heartfelt.

Excellent illustrations capture that look in the faces of the character and granddads dementia is wonderfully portrayed as is the kids bewilderment and joy.

I te Timotanga. In the Beginning Retold and Illus. by Peter Gossage. Maori translation Na Katerina Te Heikoko Mataira. Pub. Scholastic

May 9, 2021 Comments off

In the beginning there was Ranginui the father and Papatuanuku the mother. They had many children but they lived in a dark world. Tangaroa, Tane, Rongo and the other children tried to part their parents and bring light into the World. Read this excellent Maori creation legend and see how they did it.

This legend was first written 20 years ago and the author has since died but his work lives on, as does the legend. The written text is simple and easy to read with the Maori text coming first and the English translation next to it.

Peter Gossage’s “stained glass technique” illustrations always impressed me and give enhancement to the written text.

The overall result is that the creation myth is more accessible to young and older readers. Check it out it is good.

There’s A Bear in the Window by June Pitman-Hayes Illus. Minky Stapleton. Retold in Maori by Pania Papa.

March 28, 2021 Comments off

During Covid lockdown part of the being kind and caring culture was for people to put teddy bears in their windows for people passing by to see. We had one in our window which got many children stopping.

This picture book looks at things from the bears’ point of view, what did they see?

The first bear sees rainbows in the sky and a piwakawaka flitting through the trees. Other bears see families flying kites, people playing music, and the bear in gumboots with his arm in a sling sees a kereru and a tui. Check out what the other bears see.

This first half of the picture book is in English, the second half tells the same story in Maori language. The whole thing is put to music which can be downloaded or streamed in both English and Maori.

Bright breezy illustrations with photographs of bears in peoples windows and a glossary of Maori terms.

Great for music, read-a-loud and for study of Maori language. Also a reminder of lockdown from Covid.