Posts Tagged ‘Maori language’

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.

The Haka of Tanerore. Te Haka a Tanerore by Reina Kahukiwa, Illus by Robyn Kahukiwa. Maori translation by Ko Kiwa Hammond.

January 4, 2021 Comments off

Probably the best known aspect of Maori culture both here in NZ and overseas is the haka. Where did it come from? This is a creative interpretation based on the korero preserved in the traditions of Tupuna Maori. And a very interesting tale it is too.

Tamanuitera is the sun and he is a bit lonely and went down to Earth for a companion. He found Hine Takura, fell in love and lived where the sky merges into the ocean. While they lived there winter conditions existed in the land of Tane so Tamanuitera brought the sunshine back.

In the process he met and fell in love with Hine Raumati, they fell in love and had a son Tanerore.

Tanerore was a dancer and he began to dance and stamp his feet in rhythm. His mother liked his movements and learnt them herself and thus the first haka. Where the words came from I am not sure.

Robyn Kahikwa’s illustrations once again reflect Maori culture with the boy Tanerore a sight to see and there is a beautiful pohutukawa tree that springs to life when Tamanuitera returns to the land of Tane.

Great for teaching Maori legend and with bilingual text suitable for the teaching of Maori language.

The Standing Strong House. Te Whare Tu Maia by Reina Kahukiwa, Illus. Robyn Kahukiwa. Maori language translation by Greg Henderson. Pub. OneTree House, 2020.

January 4, 2021 Comments off

This is an excellent bilingual version of the story of a whare built by the Ngati Tu Maia people in honour of their kuia Kahurangi that lasted down through the centuries till the present day.

It begins with the ngati Tu Maia living on the land in balance with the birds and animals in Tane’s forests. Kahurangi with her white tui, is their leader until she dies and in her honour the tribe build a whare.

It is a magnificient building and in the centre is the heart post with a carved face and figure of a woman with a white tui in her hands. The people lived and used the whare and gave it it’s mauri or life force.

Settlers came to the land and built their towns and cities and the whare was swallowed up at the edge of a town. Then a homeless family living in a car are guided to the house by a white tui and the people refurbish the whare and it opens it’s arms to the homeless.

An inspiring story that brings Maori culture into the modern world.

Text is in both English and Maori with a glossary of translated words in the back.

As always Robyn Kahukiwa’s illustrations are spot on culturally and bring life to the story.

There’s a Weta on my Sweater. He Weta kei runga i toku Paraka by dawn McMillan, illus Stephanie Thatcher. Pub. Oratia, 2020.

November 27, 2020 Comments off

What do you do if “there’s a weta on your sweater… and he doesn’t want to leave’ or ‘a centipede in the bus… causing quite a fuss”. What if they are joined by a spider, a stick insect, a huhu and a frog?

And they all come to your class room and the teacher stands on a chair? You will have to read this bilingual picture book in English and Maori to find out.

Perhaps granddad has some answers?

Great fun with rhyming text and illustrations especially of the insects that stand out. A classy publication

Ma Wai E Hautu? by Leo Timmers.

August 6, 2020 Comments off

ma wai e hautuMa Wai E Hautu? by Leo Timmers. Pub. Gecko press, 2020.

This is an unusual board book in Maori language but it is funny and the illustrations are a treat to behold.

The left hand page always has the same four words which translate as we are the helpers. Then the right hand page has a fire engine, a blue car, a yellow racing car, a tractor and a number of other means of transport.

However the most valuable part is that each page introduces a wild animal with it’s Maori name. I wonder if many people know that Arewhana means elephant or kakiroa means giraffe.

A board book for juniors and pre schoolers which helps them learn the Maori language.

I talked to my Maori neighbour about the translation and she thought it was fun.