Originally published in 2001, this book has been brought into a new decade with a revamped cover and illustrations by Tracy Duncan. The pages are a delight of colour and Tracy captures the emotions on the faces perfectly. Even the cover with nanny’s face says ‘Read me!’ This book includes all the elements of a great picture book and is a must-have for school or home libraries.
Nanny Mihi’s moko ma visit with her at her house by the sea. She has something special planned for the week’s activities. Each day Nanny Mihi takes the children to the beach to search for ‘treasure’. On Sunday they collect red things: flowers, stones and leaves; and lay them out in a curve on the beach. By week’s end, after collecting a different colour collection every day, there is a beautiful rainbow made on the beach. But on Saturday a storm comes and washes away the ‘rainbow’, much to the children’s dismay. But Nanny Mihi comforts the children by explaining that when the gods take something away, they give something back, and sure enough, there is a beautiful rainbow in the sky.
Nanny's love and patience for her mokopuna, who are keen to rush through things but upset to see it demolished by the sea, is evident. Nanny teaches the children creativity, connection to nature, and that sometimes the best things are those things we cannot keep.
This is a great book for introducing some basic Te Reo. The double-spread pages are headed with the days of the week in Maori and English. There are Maori words in the text including colours and some nouns which are pictured. These Maori words are translated on the bottom of each page.
I shall be regifting our 2001 copy of this book and look forward to adding this to our collection.
Title: Nanny Mihi and the Rainbow
Author: Melanie Drewery
Illustrator: Tracy Duncan
Publisher: Oratia Books
Date of Publication: 5 November 2019
Reviewer: Nova Gibson, Librarian, Massey Primary School, Auckland
How are you recommending this book? Highly recommended
Opening sentence: Nanny Mihi lives in her whare by the sea.
You can buy this book here