• The Sapling

perfect gifts for the littlies


The Sapling is dedicated to bringing you the best books from Aotearoa for gifting this holidays, and this year we are doing a little differently. If you are signed up to our newsletter, you'll receive ALL of our recommendations at once; or you can get them one at a time, once a week. This week we begin with holiday reading for the littlies in your life.

Mihi, by Gavin Bishop

A must-have book for those with wee ones, teaching babies about their whānau and their place in the world. This is an introduction for children of any age to the concept of a pepeha.



My Little Book of Bugs (taku pukapuka iti mō ngā pepeke), by Te Papa This charming little board book is the perfect way to introduce little ones to Aotearoa's natural world and basic te reo Māori.


Te-Ika-a-Māui - The Fish of Māui, by Peter Gossage, translated by Merimeri Penfold

Essential reading for all New Zealanders, these are new publications of old favourites: Peter Gossage's retellings of the tales of Māui. Te Ika-a-Māui tells the story of when Māui catches the best fish of them all.


Hare & Ruru, by Laura Shallcrass

A 2020 necessity, this gentle and calming tale provides three simple strategies to help tamariki manage their anxiety.






Sir Singlet, by Dawn McMillan, illustrated by Ross Kinnaird

Laugh out loud fun from Dawn McMillan and Ross Kinnaird, as Sir Singlet turns medieval fashion on its head. Plenty of bottoms to keep the little ones laughing till knight falls. (geddit?)



I am the Universe, by Vasanti Unka

Magical, vibrant illustrations that will transport you from the furthest reaches of space to the neighbourhoods we live in and the beds we cuddle up in with books. Heaps of cool detail in the illustrations and simple but effective text – and all bundled up in a styley purple hardback cover.



Migrants, by Issa Watanabe

As our migrants move from land, to sea, to land, we watch their numbers dwindle. Watanabe shows their character through their clothes, and their expressions, while animal, are also pure human.



Kuwi and Friends: Māori Picture Dictionary, by Kat Quin Merewether, translated by Pānia Papa

We've been blessed with all kinds of gorgeous picture dictionaries for reo Māori learners in recent times, and this recent addition is a total treat – Kat Quin's iconic illustrations are coupled with reo champion Pānia Papa's kupu for a comprehensive tool for anyone at any point in their haerenga reo.