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Reviewed by Ange Birks, Cultural Lead Teacher, Ohinewai School, North Waikato
Opening sentence
Early conflicts between Māori and Pākehā were short-lived.
'Patu: The New Zealand Wars' is the latest of Gavin Bishop’s large-format books about Aotearoa New Zealand’s History. Simply put, this pukapuka is miiharo!

With the introduction of the Aotearoa New Zealand Histories Curriculum in 2023 it has become inevitable that topics previously glossed over are now being talked about and taught in our classrooms.

This book states the facts, introduces key personalities and events and tells the story like it happened. It is very readable, and laid out in short, easily digestible paragraphs. Illustrations support the koorero beautifully with pictures, diagrams and sketches. The illustrations of pou would make wonderful studies in art and visual language.

The oversized pages pull out into a double spread to illustrate things such as the layout of the Rangiriri Trenches – an engineering feat that surprised the British – and other wars, conflicts and disputes.

Bishop gives just enough information on each topic to whet the appetite and encourage the reader to go in search of more. This book would be a brilliant launch into Aotearoa New Zealand History to allow aakonga to gain enough information to be able to pose further research questions on any of the topics.

'Patu: The New Zealand Wars' could be used in the classroom in so many ways but it is equally valuable to just read and look through and enjoy this rich journey through the history of our country.
Publisher: Puffin
ISBN: 9781761048616
Format: Large Format Hardback
Publication: Oct 2023
Ages: 5 - adult
Themes: Aotearoa New Zealand history, war