Posts Tagged ‘Maori New Year’

Twinkle, twinkle, Matariki / Tirama, tirama, Matariki

Written and illustrated by Rebecca Larsen

ISBN 9780995114227

Imagination Press

This new picture book about Matariki has been a huge hit and for so many reasons.

The story tells us of friends, Kiwi, Hoiho and Pukeko who zoom off in to space and spend the night exploring the nine stars of Matariki; our Maori New Year.

The book was read out to many classes and it was with delight that I watched them counting down in Maori as the friends blasted off in to the night sky. The book comes with a CD which was also a hit.  There is an illustrative focus on food which is traditionally of utmost importance during the Matariki celebrations. The illustrations are very child-like, bright and innocent and just adorable. The text is in both English and Maori, as is also the CD.

Whether you choose to read the book on its own or listen to the CD, it is a story that is sure to become a favourite. It is a good book to share with family and for exploring more about our Maori traditions and festivals. It is also perfect for schools to share our Maori culture with everyone.

There is a QR Code in the back of the book which will take you the audio of this story so you can listen and sing along on your phone or iPad. Also at the back, on the last page is a gallery of characters in the book and the Matariki stars, which is very handy.

While the focus is Matariki, the stars, and kai, it is also a book about friends and one to be shared all year around.

A story for Matariki : The Promise of Puanga

By Kirsty Wadsworth

Illustrated by Munro Te Whata

ISBN 9781775435815

Scholastic NZ

There is a bright new star in the winter sky — Puanga, cousin to the Matariki sisters. Each year, she appears to the people of Aotearoa, a special sign (for those unable to see Matariki) that winter and the Māori new year are coming.

Hana and her best friend Puanga play together all the time. In spring they make daisy chains, in summer they play in the river and visit the beach to collect shells. In Autumn they ride their bikes together until they are suddenly faced with winter. The suddenness of the cold, harsh days and nights of winter causes problems with crops in the fields and many other things that make life difficult in the winter months. If only there was some way of knowing that winter was coming so that everyone could be prepared.

Puanga tells Hana a secret that might help and makes a promise but it will also change everything. Their friendship and love for each other, along with Tāwhirimātea the god of wind and storms, help make an amazing gift for all.

The bold illustrations bring a modern day feel to this Māori mythology-based story.

It’s great having some Māori vocabulary woven into the story too as we move between the changing seasons.

With Matariki just around the corner, this is an ideal book to add to school library collections and teacher resosurces.