It is important that we as a nation have opportunities to read, listen to and appreciate the stories that have been handed down from generation to generation within Māori iwi. This book is an interesting collection of stories from Ngāti Kahungunu, and so will be of particular significance for the people of the Wairarapa.
Because I lived in this area for just over 10 years and taught in schools in and around Masterton, I was an attentive reader and could make connections with most of the places mentioned in this book. I enjoyed views of both Rangitumau and the Tararua ranges from my home there, respected their spiritual power or mana and treasured tramping in such an amazing environment, so this collection of stories was meaningful to me and would be a useful resource in schools.
They are factual accounts rather than exciting narratives and there are no illustrations. I thought that there were some good life lessons to be learnt within the book and some phrases that resonated and would be perfect to consider further with children. This one on page 88 is an example: ‘Well, it’s easy enough to laugh, but it’s foolish to mock’.
Title: First Flight: a collection of stories from Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa
Author: Retold by Rawiri Smith, Peta Campbell, Mick Ludden, Maxine Hemi, Bronwyn Waipuka-Callander and Henare Manaena
Publisher: Huia Publishers
Date of Publication: 2016
Reviewer: Ali Kersten, Teacher/Librarian, Hereworth School, Hawke’s Bay
How are you recommending this book? Recommended
What’s the book’s opening sentence? Kupe was a chief of power with a strong mind, who lived long, long ago, before people lived in our islands of Aotearoa.
You can buy this book here