This is a beautiful little book to go alongside the author and illustrator’s other collaboration The Girls in the Kapa Haka.
It has a lovely rhythm and rhyme that will keep the little ones enjoying it while older readers will be enthused by the excitement of the race. It isn’t just about the race, though, it is about preparation, about the supporters and about the importance of working together to do things right.
There’s a glossary for the words in te reo Māori but they're also integrated seamlessly into the story which means that I am confident of learning them quickly with a few readings.
We’ve several students at our school who take part in Waka Ama and I know that they will love this book and I think there are others who are inspired to learn more.
Title: The Boys in the Waka Ama
Author: Angie Belcher
Illustrator: Debbie Tipuna
Publisher: Picture Puffin
Date of Publication: February 2020
Age range: Primary
Reviewer’s name: Esther Casey, Teacher Librarian, Sylvia Park School, Auckland
How highly are you recommending this book? Recommended
What’s the book’s opening sentence? Tahi, rua, toru, whā! Hoe! Hoe! Hoe!