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Reviewed by Louana McCormack
Opening sentence
Nanny Mihi lives by herself in a small wooden house in the wop-wops.
At the heart of 'The Awhi Warrior' is Teina, feeling sad, isolated and unable to visit his Nanny due to pandemic restrictions.

Teina's Nanny is very wise and guides Teina to create connections between his Tupuna, Papatūānuku and his own wairua. She gently guides Teina to look for other ancestral connections, such as the light and warmth of Tamanuiterā, leading to an understanding that he can see, hear and feel his ancestors and is not as isolated as he think.

Te Ao Māori is woven throughout the story and this is a fabulous resource to share the intricacies of a Te Ao Māori worldview in a way that young readers (and adults) will be able to understand and appreciate.

A glossary is not included, so research may be required of readers who are unfamiliar with some Te Reo words and phrases.

The illustrations are gestural, with limited fine details, but what they lack in details they make up with emotion. We feel Teina's mamae, we feel him connecting to Papatūānuku through the powerful illustrations.

The expertise of the authors in the fields of Māori clinical and educational psychology shows through in the 'Awhi Warrior', it will empower tamariki to look for ways to create connections with others and the environment. They have created a valuable resource that has value far beyond an understanding of the isolation of the pandemic.

A must for every school library collection.

Do you have any advisory warnings for this book: No

Would this book work as a read aloud? Yes
Author & Illustrator: Author: Lisa Cherrington and Sarika Rona Illustrator: Amy Cameron
Publisher: Te Tihi o Ruahine
ISBN: 978-1-9911511-7-9
Format: Paperback
Publication: 2022
Ages: 5+
Themes: Connection, Te Ao Māori worldview