What a great treasure of a story book! Included in this landscape-formatted hardback book are 18 stories based on the TV series Te Paki Taonga I A Māui.
Each story devotes a double-page spread to a taonga with a photo and an explanation. Then follows a beautifully illustrated story which includes that taonga. The illustrations were created by young Māori artists, some doing stories from their own iwi. The stories range from the historically true e.g. Captain Cook’s landing and a few stories of warfare between Māori and British soldiers to traditional myths e.g. How the Kiwi Lost His Wings. The stories also span a few centuries with the inclusion of Willie Apiata’s heroism in 2004, the Rainbow Warrior bombing and going back to the destruction of the Pink and White Terraces.
I love the language in this book. It is very kiwi, and has been brought into the 21st vernacular, including such words as ‘chocka’. Children listening to these stories will relate to and enjoy them.
This book also has a Te Reo translation in a separate edition. I, along with other librarians at most schools, would prefer an edition with the two languages side-by-side to help improve the fluency and confidence in Te Reo for students with only basic vocabulary.
Title: Māui's Taonga Tales
Authors: David Brechin-Smith, Ranea Aperahama
Illustrators: Reweti Awapere, Ariki Brightwell, Te Hana Goodyer, Miriama Grace-Smith, Isobel Joy Te Aho-White, Huriana Kopeke-Te Aho, Josh Morgan, Munro Te Whata
Translator: Stephanie Tibble
Publisher: Te Papa Press
Date of Publication: November 2019
Reviewed by: Nova Gibson, Librarian, Massey Primary School, Auckland
How are you recommending this book? Highly Recommended
Opening sentence: Kia ora e hoa ma, You know me, Māui, famous explorer and troublemaker all around Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa, and right here in Aotearoa.
You can buy this book here