This Land: The Search for Māui. Book one
Book one in an anticipated three-part series, this graphic novel is a quick read and a colourfully unique take on Māori mythology - inspired by Aotearoa’s abundant history and heritage.
The story follows a peculiar group of characters as they navigate a new ‘post-apocalyptic’ world together in search of Māui, the Demigod.
New Zealand born author Mark Abnett consulted with his Māori advisors to create this culturally immersive read, which is evident through the use of map explanations and strong, engaging illustrations that are similar to popular heroic style graphics.
I enjoyed that this story was told in graphic novel format. It opens Māori myth to a new audience of readers, as similar content I've seen is typically found through non-fiction books, which is a brilliant opportunity for more exposure into Aotearoa’s culture, history, and myth. And of course, a great way to engage readers in more NZ centric books.
Suitable for readers 8 years and up, I would recommend this as an option for reading logs, as it would allow the reader to reflect on the enriching storyline and better retain the information told throughout.
Title: This Land: The Search for Māui. Book one
Author: Mark Abnett
Illustrator: P.R Dedelis
Publisher: Scholastic NZ
Format: Paperback Graphic Novel
Date of Publication: October 2022
Ages: 8 years and up
Themes: Māori myth, adventure
Would this book work as a read aloud? No
Reviewer: Molly, assistant librarian, Kaipara Libraries Dargaville
How are you recommending this book? Highly recommend
What’s the book’s opening sentence? ‘Our journey begins within the future reborn world of Aotearoa, New Zealand.’
You can buy this book here.