Illustrated by Stevie Mahardhika, Sung by Pio Terei and Maori Lyrics by Kotuku Tibble. An illustrated children's picture book with CD of song sung in English and Maori.
If you're happy and you know it...
join in with a bunch of Kiwi Critters as they sing a song, flap their flippers, dig for worms and strut around!
I fell in love with this story after first being introduced to it a couple of years ago at a daycare centre where I worked by one of my work colleagues. The children who I worked with absolutely loved the story and the catchy CD that came with it and loved helping to make up some actions to go with it. When I left the centre nearly 2 years ago I started a search for the book, but never managed to find it until about 6 months ago, which is when I quickly brought it on the spot.
The book is very eye-catching and as soon as Miss 2 noticed the book at home she was drawn to it due to the pictures of all of the animals on the front especially the Pukeko as we often have these hanging around our house. The story follows the tune of "If your happy and you know it" and is very catchy and easy to learn the words to. This book has been requested a lot lately and Miss 2 has started to sing along and making up her actions for the book, she especially likes pretending to dive like a dolphin or to slither like an eel. Recently she has started to 'dig for worms' all the time, sometimes just pretending to do so inside, I couldn't work out why until one day it clicked that she had obviously got this from the story.
Last weekend we visited the Otorohanga Kiwi House and throughout our walk around Miss 2 made connections about the Tui, Kiwi and Tuatara that she saw saying that they are in her "song book" and singing the verses each time we saw each of the animals, when we got home she requested "If you're a Kiwi and you know it!" as her bedtime story and loved listening to the story and talking about the day at the Kiwi House.
The book is written in English, but at the back of the book it is written again in Maori, with smaller pictures, with a CD that is sung in both languages. As a Early Childhood teacher I am encouraged to speak Te Reo with the children however this is really not a strong point of mine, nor is it something I am comfortable in speaking so having CD's such as this one is really valuable and a great teaching resource to have in my collection. I would recommend this as a book for all Kiwi Kids.
This book has a really eye catching cover. The font looks friendly and all the animals on the front look cartoony, but with great attention to detail. They are all smiling and happy, and look like they are singing with each other. I think I was expecting this book to be a guide to knowing you are a Kiwi (New Zealander) and it isn't quite that. Its like the traditional "If you're happy and you know it" instead. The original is a great song and one I know from my own childhood, so I was eager to share this one too.
I really liked the native birds as did my daughter who is right into any native birds at the moment. She liked seeing what each animal does to prove themselves to be that animal, and she did some role playing as part of the reading. Most of the animals were familiar to us and easy to relate to. I was a bit weirded out by the spider being a red back. That just didnt seem very "kiwi" to me, but my daughter didnt notice or care.
I loved the fact that after the english version of the song, its there in Maori too. This is so important to grow a healthy respect and love of the Maori language. Its also great for any child to be exposed to another language especially in pre-school years. This comes with a CD as well so you can put that on and listen to it as you flick through the pages and sing along or have it in your car. $21 for a book with a CD is a pretty good price.
I love this book for so many reasons. When I first read it (sang it) to my daughters they had two very different reactions. My 2.5 year old sat next to me and talked about the pictures and sang along with me. Meanwhile her sister was acting out the story, digging for worms like a kiwi or slithering like an eel.
Having only shared the book once with my girls I was surprised that later in the day while we were on a long car ride my youngest started singing it. Between her and I we managed to recall most of the verses and made up a few of our own. She asked for it as her bedtime story and sang along with me.
The illustration are bold. The animals all have friendly faces even the ones that usually make my skin crawl (spider and eel). I also like how the other animals are copying what the current animal is doing. It is fun to see kiwi act like a penguin. It was great to see lots of native animals.
The book by itself is good value but it has the added bonus of a Maori translation and a CD. The CD is simple guitar and singing but it another way to hook children into reading. I wish I had the CD with me when we were struggling to remember the verses. It would be great in the car.
I love the cover on this book though am a little bemused that with all the native species that a horse is included and the illustration of the praying mantis appears to be the very invasive South African or Springbok Mantis rather than our rapidly disappearing New Zealand mantis! It would have been nice if this small detail had been noticed and perhaps an alternative to a horse used. Aside from this though this is a lovely book dedicated to a celebration of some of New Zealand's identifiable and iconic species.
The illustrations are all glossy and very true to life with very smiley birds, animals, insects and mammals. A nice twist on a very classic song this is a lot of fun as you strut like a pukeko, waddle like a penguin and slither like an eel. Miss Four loved this book and is very entertaining to watch!
The book is in the main part in English with beautiful glossy pictures and then in reduced size in Maori. Thankfully this book comes with a CD of the song sung both in English and then in Maori. I really needed the CD to help my pronunciation and it has been good as a family to try to pronounce our words correctly. We do however read and sing this mostly in English.
I would rate this book higher if the two aforementioned issues were addressed but overall this is a fun book and just brilliant for preschoolers.
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