• Mihi Henare

Book Reviews: Te Reo Maaori Picture Books

In this wonderful batch of reviews, there are books with two different interpretations of the feats and antics of Māui-tikitiki-a-Taranga, a bedtime-shirking pīpī kiwi and a blanket filled with memories. Nā Mihi Henare, tētahi kaiāwhina i Te Puna Reo o Manawanui, i tuhi ēnei arotakenga reorua.

Te Hopu a Māui i a Te Rā & Te-Ika-a-Māui, nā Peter Gossage ngā kupu me ngā pikitia, nā Merimeri Penfold i whakamāori

Ko te pukapuka Te Hopu a Māui i a Te Rā e kōrero ana mo te hopu a Māui i a Te Rā. This book tells the story of how Māui caught the sun as well as how Māui slowed the sun. Me pēnei pea te kōrero, he pukapuka tēnei e whakaohooho ana i te wairua, he aha ai? Nā te mea he pukapuka tēnei i pānuitia e au i au e tamariki ana.

This book brings back all sorts of good memories, this was one of the many books we read at kura and I couldn’t be happier that they’ve re-released the translated version. It is a book that is unbelievably nostalgic, and I hope that these books give the younger generation a sense of happiness when reading the stories of Māui.

Through his words and illustrations, Peter Gossage takes his readers on a journey, one that many New Zealanders have taken. This is why these books are so intertwined in New Zealand culture.

Ko te pukapuka, Te-Ika-a-Māui he pukapuka anō tēnei i tuhi e Peter Gossage, nāna hoki ngā pikitia i tā, ā, nā Merimeri Penfold i whakamāori. Te-Ika-a-Māui is a book detailing the story of how Māui fished up Te-Ika-a-Māui or the North Island. Peter Gossage takes us along with Māui and his brothers, through his words and his illustrations.

These books give me such a feeling of wistfulness and happiness that only these books can give. He pukapuka ēnei hei whakahohe i te wairua, i te ngākau anō hoki.

Kō ngā pikitia o roto i te pukapuka nei, he pikitia e whakaatu ana i te tino ia o Māui, tōna āhua, ā-tinana, ā-wairua anō hoki. Growing up, these illustrations of Māui were how I envisioned how Māui would be, both physically and mentally. Peter Gossage’s Māui books were integral to my growing up as well as others who were lucky enough to have these books at school.

Growing up, these illustrations of Māui were how I envisioned how Māui would be, both physically and mentally.

One of the main takeaways from these books, and one thing that people talk about when talking about Māui, are these illustrations. Peter Gossage became such a big part of Aotearoa's culture because of these books. E hīkaka ana te ngākau te kite atu i ēnei pukapuka.

Nā Merimeri Penfold ēnei pukapuka i whakamāori, me te mea nei katahi anō ia i whakamāori, heoi, he mea whakamāori nō ngā tau 1981. It’s as if these translations were done recently, but in fact they were translated in 1981, so these translations have aged extremely well, and they are as understandable now as they were when these books were first released.

Ko ngā pakiwaitara mō Māui e titia ana ki te whatumanawa o te Iwi Māori, ā, ko ēnei pukapuka nā Peter Gossage i tuhi, i tā anō hoki, he pukapuka mā te iwi whānui o Aotearoa. The stories of Māui and his adventures are a part of the lives of Māori, and these books written and illustrated by Peter Gossage are now known by all New Zealanders.

te hopu a maaui i a te raa

nā Peter Gossage ngā kupu me ngā pikitia nā Merimeri Penfold i whakamāori

Penguin Books

RRP $20.00

Hokona ināianei/Buy now




te-ika-a-maaui


nā Peter Gossage ngā kupu me ngā pikitia

nā Merimeri Penfold i whakamāori

Penguin Books

RRP $20.00

Hokona ināianei/Buy now







Māui me te ahi a Mahuika, nā Donovan Bixley i tuhi, nā Darryn Joseph rāua ko Keri Opai i whakamāori

He pukapuka tēnei nā Donovan Bixley i tuhi, waihoki nā Darryn Joseph rāua ko Keri Opai i whakamāori. He pukapuka tēnei e whai ana i te pakiwaitara mō Māui me te ahi a Mahuika. This book, written by Donovan Bixley and translated by Darryn Joseph and Keri Opai, follows the story of Māui and the secret of fire.

Ko te pakiwaitara mō Māui me te ahi a Mahuika he pakiwaitara e noho tata ana ki taku ngākau, ko tēnei tētahi o aku tino pakiwaitara mō Māui. This story of Māui and the secret to fire was one of my favourite stories of Māui, which is why I was excited to read this interpretation.

Donovan Bixley is known for his interpretations of the familiar stories of Māui, not only does he do these stories’ justice with his words, he then gives us beautiful art work as well. What jumps out most to me while reading these books are the speech bubbles. These speech bubbles show clearly the banter between Māui and his siblings that give us a realistic understanding of how siblings interact with each other.

Ko ngā pikitia o te pukapuka nei he pikitia e kaha whakaatu ana i te tino ia o Māui. These illustrations capture the reader with their beautiful colours as well as the beautiful way they capture Māui's likeness.


Ko ngā pikitia o te pukapuka nei he pikitia e kaha whakaatu ana i te tino ia o Māui.

Me pēnei te kōrero, he pukapuka tēnei e whakaatu ana i te tino hīanga a Māui, This is one of the few books that I’ve read that really show how mischievous Māui really was. This was one of the reasons I really enjoyed Donovan Bixley’s interpretation of this story about Māui.

Heoi, me hoki tātau ki te āhuatanga whakamāori o te pukapuka nei, ahakoa he tika katoa te ahuatanga whakamāori, e whakamahi tonutia i ngā kupu tūmāro mō tētahi pukapuka e hāngai pū ana mō ngā tamariki. There is only one small fault I have with this particular book and that is with the translation. Although the translation makes complete sense, it’s the use of big words that put me off especially since this is a children’s book.

However, this is an incredibly beautiful book that really encapsulates Māui and his mischievous adventures. He pukapuka tēnei e whakaatu pū ana I te tino hīanaga o Māui.

Maaui me te ahi a Mahuika

nā Donovan Bixley ngā kupu me ngā pikitia

nā Darryn Joseph rāua ko Keri Opai i whakamāori

Upstart Press

RRP $20.00

Hokona ināianei/Buy now



Te Paraikete Tauawhi, nā Chris Gurney i tuhi, nā Lael Chisholm ngā pikitia, nā Ngaere Roberts i whakamāori

Te Paraikete Tauawhi, he pukapuka tēnei nā Chris Gurney i tito, nā Lael Chisholm ngā pikitia i tā, ā, nā Ngaere Roberts i whakamāori. He pukapuka tēnei e whai ana i tētahi kōtiro me tōna tungāne i a rāua e torotoro ana ki tā rāua kuia. This book follows a young girl and her young brother while they visit their grandmother for the holidays.

This book in particular was a beautiful read; it made me feel a number of emotions, it made me feel happy, content, grateful, and sad. The words were beautiful, and they tied together the illustrations perfectly. The illustrator seems to understand the importance of how illustrations can capture the reader; this is especially true in this book.


The illustrator seems to understand the importance of how illustrations can capture the reader; this is especially true in this book.

The author seems to know exactly how to pull on your heartstrings, but not in a bad way, they left me feeling a sense of gratefulness to know that I am still able to visit my grandmother. Ko te pukapuka nei e whakaatu ana i te āhuatanga o te aroha o te mokopuna ki tōna kuia, waihoki te aroha o te kuia ki āna mokopuna.

Nā Ngaere Roberts i whakamāori, ā, ko āna kupu he kupu e mārama whānuitia e ngā pakeke, e ngā tamariki anō hoki. Koinei pea te mea nui o te pukapuka nei, me mārama ki ngā kupu, katahi ka māma te mārama o ngā pikitia. It is important to understand the context of the translation, from that it becomes easier to understand the illustrations.

Nā reira, he pukapuka tēnei hei pānui mō te whānau katoa, he pukapuka tēnei hei whakaako i te rahi, i te hiringa o ngā kaumātua, waihoki te hiringa o ngā mokopuna. So, this is a book for the whole whānau, this is a book that teaches the importance of your elders, as well as the importance of grandchildren.

Te Paraikete Tauawhi

nā Chris Gurney i tuhi nā Lael Chisholm ngā pikitia nā Ngaere Roberts i whakamāori Published by Scholastic NZ RRP $18.99

Hokona ināianei/Buy now







He Wā Moe, Kiwi Pakupaku, nā Bob Darroch i tuhi, nā Stacey Morrison i whakamāori

He pukapuka tēnei nā Bob Darroch i tuhi, waihoki nā Stacy Morrison i whakamāori. This beautiful book follows Kōkara Kiwi in her search for her pīpī so she can put them to bed. While searching for her pīpī, Kōkara Kiwi comes across many animals in te wāo nui a Tāne.

He Wā Moe, Kiwi Pakupaku at its core is a simple book; however, when you look closely it shows the beauty of te wao nui a Tāne. Me pēnei pea te kōrero, he pukapuka tēnei i whakaatu ana i te ataahua, i te rerehua o ngā tamariki o te wao nui a Tāne.

This particular book is very reminiscent of the children’s book Kei Hea a Spot? If you know that book then you will certainly understand how this book will come across to younger readers. This book shows us how similar chicks are to children. Ko te mea nui o tēnei pukapuka e whakaatuatu and i te tauritetanga o ngā pīpī manu ki ngā tamariki.

Nā Stacy Morrison te pukapuka nei i whakamāori. He tangata e mōhio whānauitia e te iwi Māori mō ōna pukapuka, mō tōna āhuatanga whakamāori pukapuka anō hoki. Stacy Morrison is a well-known translator and writer in the Māori world and the quality of her translation is exceptional. This is especially apparent in her translation of this particular book; it is easily understandable, while at the same time it completely makes sense.

Stacy Morrison is a well-known translator and writer in the Māori world and the quality of her translation is exceptional.

Nā reira, he pukapuka tēnei mā ngā tamariki katoa o Aotearoa nei, nā te mea he pukapuka ātaahua, he pukapuka e whakaputa ana i ngā kare-ā-roto harikoa. This is one of the many books that should be read by all children in Aotearoa, New Zealand, not only because it is a beautiful book, but also because it gives off the feelings of happiness and nostalgia that we long for.

He Waa Moe, Kiwi Pakupaku

nā Bob Darroch i tuhi

nā Stacey Morrison i whakamāori

Published by Penguin Books

Hokona ināianei/Buy Now








mihi henare

Mihi Te Rina Henare is a kaiāwhina at Te Puna Reo o Manawanui which is fully immersed in Te Reo Māori. He uri ia nō Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Hine, me Te Whānau-ā-Apanui. While not working, she spends most of her time reading and reviewing books, while also posting and scrolling through bookstagram.