Posts Tagged ‘Matariki’

Flit the Fantail and the Matariki Map

Written and illustrated by Kat Quin

ISBN 9781775436355

This is the third picture book about Flit the fantail. His popularity is as strong as ever. Flit’s cheeky smile is always what I notice first. His big brown eyes, beautiful wings and feathers, along with that smile, help create a very cute and likeable character. I’m delighted that his little ladybird friend is back to keep him company again.

Flit can’t sleep, he is restless and fascinated by the glowing moon in the night sky. He decides he wants to catch the moon. He flits down to the forest floor and when he looks back up into the sky he notices nine special, sparkling stars. His friend Keri, the Kiwi asks what he is doing awake at this time of night and when Flit tells him he wants to catch the light, Keri offers to help. Together they set off through the night but they soon realise they are actually quite lost. With some help from the wise old Ruru, the adventurous pair learn that by following the bright lights of the nine stars of Matariki, they can find their way home again.

Much like sailors of old, the stars will guide the pair back through the forest and to the safety and warmth of their families.

The illustrations are produced with 2B pencil and Adobe photoshop providing a gorgeous softness and just the right amount of cuteness. This is a lovely addition to the Flit the Fantail stories and a sweet introduction to the stories of Matariki.

There is also a Te Reo Maori edition available.

Takahe trouble (Inspired by true events)

By Sally Sutton

Illustrated by Jenny Cooper

ISBN 9781775437109

What do two Takahē  friends do when they are tired of the same routine and same surroundings? Well, if you are as curious as Walter and Manaaki are, then you escape, runaway and have an adventure. These two takahē did exactly that. They searched for fast cars and scary rats. They met a dog, a stoat and had a jolly good, scary, but very interesting adventure before they were caught and returned safely home again.

Sally Sutton shows her love of language with her very onomatopoeic choice of words.

Toddle-toddle-toddle, chatter, chatter, chatter.

A lovely reminder that home is often the best place to be. Jenny Cooper is one of my favourite illustrators. I love the quirkiness of her characters and their facial expressions. You can tell what they are thinking and feeling, especailly when they are being cheeky.

The last page provides details, and a photo of the real Walter and Manaaki. The two Takahē  now live on Motutapu Island; a predator free place where they can still have adventures but always be safe.

I’m an Inky Octopus

Written and illustrated by Stephanie Thatcher

ISBN 9781775436898

Inky the Octopus takes us on a trip around her home beneath the sea. Playing tag with her friend the jellyfish, Inky darts in and around the rock pools, through the ocean and through the kelp. She showcases her abilities to change colour and spurt out ink when danger is near.

This is a fun rhyming picture book, but it is also a great wee introduction to sea life and the life of an Inky Octopus. Who knew they had three hearts, or even nine brains? I didn’t. You will have to read the book to find out what colour their blood is, as well as other interesting facts. Who wins the game of tag? You’ll have to read the book to find that out too.

The illustrations were created using pencil watercolour and they really are very sweet. Inky is certainly having fun.

There is a Te Reo Maori edition as well.

Where’s Kiwi Celebrating?

Written by Lynette Evans

Illustrated by Miles Lawford

ISBN 9781775436157

Scholastic NZ

Our loveable Kiwi is back for another adventure. This time he is wandering in and out of different celebrations. Full-page colour illustrations with quirky cartoon-like characters focus on the many different, yet wonderful celebrations in New Zealand. This is an ideal book to share in classes and libraries in schools, and of course, in home collections. It celebrates different cultures and different occasions that make us special. There is Chinese New Year, Matariki, Waitangi Day, to name just a few.

Kiwi is hiding somewhere on each page and it is up to us, the reader, to find him and his many friends; like Tricky Tuatara, or Mystery Moa and more importantly, Kiwi’s Girlfriend.

There is a double page spread at the back of the book with lists of lots of other things to find. In fact there are over 800 things to spot.

Lots of bright, colourful and busy pictures to keep readers searching for hours.

 

Stink-o-saurus saves Christmas

By Deano Yipadee

Illustrated by Paul Beavis

ISBN 9781775435907

Scholastic NZ

 

 

 

The dinosaurs are back for another funny adventure and this time it is Christmas.

Bright and cheerful with lots of opportunities to use a big loud voice when you come to words like “Toot, Toot, Toot” or “chomp, Chomp, Chomp”. A good story to read aloud.

This picture book comes with a bonus CD so little ones can sing-along and enjoy the fun. Great for car rides or just listening to in the comfort of your own home.

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.

Oh, So Many Kisses!

By Maura Finn

Illustrated by Jenny Cooper

ISBN 9781775434924

A sweet picture book for preschoolers all about the wonderful warm kisses babies and children receive from everyone who loves them. So many different kisses. Fast, slow and tickly kisses are just a few. Kisses from mums, dads, grandads, and kisses for teddy bears, cats and dogs. My favourite are the slimy frog kisses. The illustration of the frogs is just gorgeous, as is the one of the pigs and the cat and her kitten. Jenny Cooper’s illustrations beautifully capture the humour and fun of Maura Finn’s story. The book provides a lovely rhythm and rhyme with a simplicity making it easily remembered by young children as it gets read again and again.  A lovely picture book to share and snuggle up close with a wee one.

 

Kiwi One and Kiwi Two

By Stephanie Thatcher

ISBN 9781775434962

 

 

Stephanie Thatcher does cute and does it very well.  There is definitely lovely cuteness in her illustrations of New Zealand wildlife in this delightful picture book about two cheeky kiwi who decide to wake up all the animals in the bush one night. Pukeko, fantails, kereru, gecko, and others are all woken from their sleep by Kiwi One and Kiwi Two. As we all know, kiwi are up during the night and here they are keen to play with their friends who really should be sleeping. However, now that the animlas and birds have been woken up, they start playing games, with Kiwi One and Kiwi Two. They venture all over the forest but it isn’t long though before the animals become sleepy again and return to bed.   The two young kiwi are still wide awake so keep going until dawn.  A lovely book to send to family overseas reminding them of our wonderful wildlife. Look out for the illustration of the exhausted pukeko as it is just delightful.

The book allows for discussions on what it is for animals or birds to be nocturnal and perhaps even why children need to go to bed when they are told to and why sleep is so important.

 

 

The Stolen Stars of Matariki

By Miriama Kamo

Illustrated by Zak Waipara

ISBN 9781775435402

 

 

There are usually nine stars in the Matariki star cluster but when Grandma, Poua and the children look up one night, there are only seven. Te Mata Hāpuku, which is also known as Birdling’s Flat is where Sam and Te Rerehua love to visit their Grandma and Pōua and it was there that they realised the stars were missing. The beach is wild and windy and the ground is covered in stones, millions of grey stones but hidden among them, are agates, coloured gemstones. They love searching for the agates by day and going eeling at night. It is a wonderful family tradition and one that inspired  Miriama Kamo to write this book.
The mystery of the missing stars takes the children on a night time adventure as they go searching for the stars.

Matariki is such a special time in the New Zealand calendar that it is always a pleasure to find a new picture book with a focus on different aspects. A family tradition of telling tales and spending time together makes this extra special.

 

 

 

Nee Naw and the Cowtastrophe

By Deano Yipadee

Illustrated by Paul Beavis

ISBN 9781775435174

This is another book in the adventures of Nee Naw the little fire engine who despite his little size, ends up in situations where he must overcome challenges. This time, Nee Naw has to rescue Ploppy the cow  who happens to become stuck up a very, very tall tree. An accompanying CD is great for young ones to listen to as they look through the pictures.

Paul Beavis illustrations, as always, are bright and quirky and bring Nee Naw and his friends to life. The characters are  easily recognisable from book to book and no doubt familiar to fans of Nee Naw books.

 

 

 

 

 

Tāwhirimātea A song for Matariki

By June Pitman-Hayes

Illustrated by Kat Merewether

Māori lyrics by Ngaere Roberts

Matariki is a time to celebrate Earth, sky, seasons and whānau. This new picture book with its accompanying CD is a treasure for families, schools and pre-schools.  Great to read aloud and great to sing along with the CD.

Mum, dad, children and grandparents go on a walk and have a picnic. They swim, catch fish, walk through the bush and spend a wonderful day together.

Tāwhirimātea, blow winds blow

Rā, warm us up with your sunshine glow.

Papatūānuku, we plant seeds in you.

Ua, rain, helps new life come through…

Lots of New Zealand wildlife make guest appearances throughout the story. Very good use of Te Reo throughout the story as well as a complete Maori version make this essential for school libraries.

Gorgeous use of colour in the illustrations, especially the blues and purples. Warm and friendly.

There are a number of picture books about Matariki which have been around for awhile but these two are newly published this year and deserve a place alongside of the old favourites.

 

The seven kites of Matariki

By Calico McClintock

Illustrated by Dominique Ford

ISBN 9781775434016

Scholastic NZ

kites

 

“It was deep mid-winter and all through the village preparations were being made to farewell the old year and greet the new. For the first time ever, the seventh little sister, Ururangi, was big enough to make her own celebration kite. But when the seven sisters take the finished kites to fly them, the east wind whips them all away into the sky …where they now appear as the stars of Matariki to welcome the Maori new year.’

I love the motifs running through the pages of this book. They are in the clouds and sky, and in the kites and all through the backgrounds of the illustrations. It is perfect for highlighting the significance of the New Year to Maori and the traditions which we all celebrate today.  This is easy to read and ideal for teachers to open up discussions on Matariki with their students. I love the use of colour too here, especially the different shades of blue. It is great to see New Zealand-themed picture books being published and this is definitely one to add to a school or home library collection.

 

The little kiwi’s Matariki

By Nikki Slade Robinson

ISBN 9781927305195

Duck Creek Press

kiwi

The little Kiwi is fast asleep in her burrow. A beam of moonlight shines right down into her burrow. She wakes, and realises it is time. Hurrying out into the night, she wakes each of her friends from their mid-winter slumber. ‘Kia tere! Hurry!’ she urges them.

 

As Kiwi runs through the forest, stopping to urge others to follow him,  we are introduced to many of New Zealand’s native birdlife as well as the katipo spider. I think this makes it quite special in terms of a New Zealand-themed  picture book. At the back of the book there is a double page spread outlining the facts about Matariki which is a great addition to have. Good to use at both pre-school and primary school as an introduction to one of our most special celebrations.