Fifteen timeless and essential Maori myths and legends are retold by gifted storyteller Annie Rae Te Ake Ake in this stunning, one-of-a-kind treasury. Illustrated by young Kiwi artists, this classic collection is a testament to the many and vibrant cultures of Aotearoa - past, present and future.
Illustrations by Harley Carnegie, Daniel Yoon, Khan Ahokava, Stephanie Kim, Clara Choi, Jung-Ah Lim, Nick Sydney, Mark Hansen, Matt Wilmar, Shane Evans, Debbie Milne, Martin Mihaka, Reihana Pene, Tukukino George, Junita Browman, Elisha Bunn, Anita Best, Yi-Chang Lin, Angus Kerr.
I was not raised in New Zealand so I haven't had the pleasure of being taught about myths and legends of New Zealand. My two daughters aged 7 and 9 often come home from school telling me all about the different Gods and stories they have learnt so I was looking forward to reading 'Myths and Legends of Aotearoa'.
The hardback book is beautifully presented with some wonderful illustrations and paintings by young Kiwi artists. I found it really helpful that the book also features a map of New Zealand which details where each Myth or Legend originated from. The stories themselves are short and sweet, between 2 to 4 pages long. These make them ideal to pick up and put down and made for great bed time stories.
My 9 year old daughter really enjoyed reading the book by herself whereas my 7 year old loved me reading them to her.
The 'About the Author and Illustrations' section at the back of the book was a great read in itself. My girls were thrilled to see one of the paintings was done by a 16 year old from their local High School! The Glossary also provided a comprehensive list of Maori words and their definitions.
I loved reading this book and think it is a great resource for children and adults. I managed to totally immerse myself into these myths and have learnt a great deal. After reading one of the stories to my daughters, they went away and then came back and reenacted the story and there aren't many books that have that sort of impact on them! A wonderful book that should be in every household!!
A simply stunning book with beautiful illustrations that does a sound job of re-creating, describing and informing of fifteen essential Maori myths and legends that are so much a part of New Zealand history as well as tomorrow's generation of knowledge. My four year old daughter, along with the many 4-5 year olds I work with in the early childhood centre where I work have simply adored the opportunity to explore this book. My daughter in particular (I know because obviously I see more of her) is not only asking to read this book every day but she is also re-creating these myths and legends within her play and exploration.
I love that this book has wonderful re-readability and you can choose to read one, two or five stories depending on your time limit at any given time! I love that they are simple, yet use te reo and are introducing the language, the key gods and other important aspects in a simple yet effective mannerism; introducing the important bits and leaving out the bits we don't need. Many of these myths and legends I grew up with so to have a newer book to share the same myths and legends with my daughter now is also a special thing to me. We really value books/and literacy in our household so adding this book to our library collection is a real treat thank you to KIWIreviews and Scholastic!
The illustrations in this book are gorgeous and remind me of the traditional pastel creations we made at school of Maori myths and legends when I was a child! My daughter clearly thinks the same as she will easily "read" the whole book from front cover to back cover by simply looking at the illustrations and re-telling her own version of the myths and legends.
Although this book is on the expensive side; it's not when it contains so many stories and so much history! Definitely a price I wouldn't mind paying and will be buying this as a resource for our centre. I also have a few nieces and nephews who are likely to get a copy of this for either birthdays or Christmas this year. Without a doubt, a book I totally recommend to everyone.
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Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970)