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Reviewed by Shelley Sutherland - Primary Teacher St Bernadette's Canterbury
Opening sentence
Te Rerehua and Sam know that nothing in nature is identical; not the eels, not the stones on the beach. Not even the twin stars of Matariki, Waitī and Waitā: one looks after fresh water and lakes, the other salt water – the ocean.
Miriama Kamo's latest book, 'Waiti and Waita: The Stars of Matariki,' offers a delightful and educational experience for young readers, building upon her previous work in 'The Stolen Stars of Matariki.' As a teacher, I introduced this book to my Year One students, and it immediately captured their imagination.

The story revolves around the twin stars, Waitī and Waitā, within the context of Matariki, a concept we had been exploring in our classroom. The conservation theme resonated deeply with our students, especially given our proximity to Te Mata Hapuku and Te Roto o Wairewa. The relevance of the narrative to their surroundings made it all the more engaging.

Kamo's storytelling prowess is complemented beautifully by the captivating artwork, which intricately weaves the story's essence through its illustrations. The muted color palette, while not overtly vibrant, manages to hold the reader's attention, creating a visually appealing experience.

What truly stands out in this tale is the message of environmental stewardship and perseverance. The children in the story's determination to improve their environment despite obstacles is a valuable lesson for young minds. This book will undoubtedly become a cherished tradition in our classroom and beyond, revisited each year during Matariki.

As a parent, I also shared this book with my primary school-aged children, who have been deeply immersed in Matariki-related studies. 'Waitī and Waitā' is not just a book; it's a reminder of the importance of preserving our environment for future generations. It's a testament to Miriama Kamo's ability to craft meaningful stories for young readers, and we eagerly anticipate any future Matariki tales she may create.
Author & Illustrator: Miriama Kamo, Illustrator: Zak Waipara
Publisher: Scholastic New Zealand Limited
ISBN: 9781775438250
Format: Paperback
Publication: Jun 2023
Ages: 2-12 years
Themes: Action and adventure, Aotearoa, Maori