This book is beautifully illustrated and the images accurately reflect the meaning of the story. The Māori story is also beautifully written and is an excellent resource to use with younger children to highlight the different roles of the Māori gods. The English version is a little different from the Māori and I feel it is somewhat misrepresented or misinterpreted. I would use the Māori story in this book but not the English translation, to read to young family members or to use in a classroom. It is sometimes difficult to translate between languages and in this case I feel the essence of the story has been lost in the English.
I also found the abrupt transition from the teacher and students being portrayed in the illustrations to the Nan and granddaughter slightly confusing and it was difficult to make the connection here.
The Glossary at the back was a good addition and a useful tool as it clearly explains the Māori gods, their relationships with each other and their whakapapa. I would recommend this book for Māori families or Māori full immersion schools, I would not however recommend the English translation of this story
Title: Whakarongo ki ō Tūpuna / Listen to Your Ancestors
Author: Darryn Joseph
Illustrator: Munro Te Whata
Publisher: Oratia Media
Date of Publication: September 2019
Age Range: 6 plus
Reviewer’s Name: Megan Ide-Neill
Reviewer: Te Reo Māori and Kapahaka teacher, Remarkables Primary School, Central Otago
How are you recommending this book?
First sentence: Kia tau, e hine mā, e tama mā, kia kaua tātou e manawapa. Relax now, girls and boys, and don't stress out.
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