Celebrating Matariki with books at Auckland Libraries

* STORIES ON THE GO, Te Ao Māori, Auckland City Libraries, Suitable for Young Readers
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The Commuting Book

Jul 09   ●  min read   ● 

We have found this great list prepared especially by Auckland Libraries staff and we want to share it with you. These titles are in their Matariki: Books About Te Ao Māori For Tamariki, check the links at the bottom to find out where to borrow them. Enjoy!

Weaving earth and sky : myths & legends of Aotearoa by Robert Sullivan and illustrated by Gavin Bishop

Random House New Zealand

Robert Sullivan retells the classic Maori legends in an accessible style and in a way that takes its inspiration from their original oral tradition. He writes from a pan-tribal viewpoint so that the myths can be enjoyed by all. Last year the author was on a fellowship at the University of Hawaii where he researched the myths going back to the first recorded accounts of them. Gavin Bishop illustrates them simply and clearly.

The awhi warrior by Lisa Cherrington and Sarika Rona

Massey University Press

For many children and their whanau, the social distancing and isolation of the last few years has been a real struggle. When you can’t awhi, or hug and care, for someone, it’s really hard. The Awhi Warrior helps families talk with their tamariki about the difficult emotions that arise when we are separated from the ones we love.

10 Questions with Lisa Cherrington and Sarika Rona

Te Wehenga: The separation of Ranginui & Papatuanuku  by Mat Tait

Allen & Unwin

Stunning retelling of the Māori creation story about the separation of Ranginui, sky-father, and Papatūānuku, earth-mother. Te Wehenga is the separation of Ranginui, sky-father, and Papatūānuku, earth-mother. Award-winning illustrator Mat Tait has written and illustrated this stunning retelling of the Māori creation story for a new generation. Te reo Māori and English are woven together in a seamless bilingual approach to the text, with the visceral illustrations powerfully underlining the mana of the story.

Ko te Wehenga te kōrero mō Ranginui te matua rāua ko Papatūānuku te whaea. Ko Mat Tait tētahi ringatoi kua whakawhiwhia ki ngā tohu, ā, nāna ngā kupu, nāna tonu ngā whakaahua o te pukapuka ātaahua nei mō te orokotīmatanga o te ao, hei pānui mā te reanga hou. Kua whiriwhiria te reo Māori me te reo Pākehā, e māmā ai te whai haere i ngā kupu, ā, ka whakatinanahia te mana o te kōrero e ngā whakaahua e kaha hāpai ana i ngā kupu.

Kura Toa : warrior school by Tim Tipene

Reed Publishing

Haki felt the road under his head. He wasn’t sure if he had survived the car crash, he wasn’t even sure if he cared. But then an old man arrives and instead of helping the wounded Haki, he snatches the pounamu that hangs from Haki’s neck. As it is the last reminder of his grandmother, Haki wants it back. His search brings him into conflict with his family, his friends and at school. In the process Haki must confront his fears and find a way to answer the challenge to serve his people, serve his land, fight a taniwha and ultimately become a warrior.

I’m Māori and Proud


An awesome story book resource that supports Te ao Māori. The book provides great examples of how tamariki may recognize Te ao Māori principles using Maui as a mentor. The book highlights everyday examples of children demonstrate manaakitanga, whakawhanaungatanga and other values in everyday activities and play.

Hinepau by Gavin Bishop


Hinepau is cast out by her tribe because they fear her difference, thinking she is a witch. But she is the one, with her upside down weaving, who is able to heal the land after it is destroyed by volcanic ash.

Hine and the tohunga portal by Ataria Sharman

Huia Publishers

Hine and the Tohunga Portal is a fast-paced fantasy adventure. Hine and her brother, Hōhepa, unwittingly step through a portal into an ancient realm inhabited by the atua Māori (Māori deities), Kea bird tribes, patupaiarehe (fairy people), moa and giant eagles.  This world is in turmoil as evil sorcerer Kae has built a cursed army and intends to rule this world and everything in it. He sees the opportunity to dominate the modern world as well, by kidnapping Hōhepa and using his life force to reopen the portal between the worlds. This sets Hine on a quest to learn ancient knowledge from the goddesses Hineteiwaiwa and Mahuika and her ancestors, find the medicine to revoke the curse on the warriors and gain the support of the Kea and patupaiarehe to fight Kae and rescue Hōhepa.

Falling into Rarohenga by Steph Matuku

Huia Publishers

It seems like an ordinary day when Tui and Kae, fourteen-year-old twins, get home from school – until they find their mother, Maia, has disappeared and a swirling vortex has opened up in her room. They are sucked into this portal and dragged down to Rarohenga, the Māori Underworld, a shadowy place of infinite dark levels, changing landscapes and untrustworthy characters. Maia has been kidnapped by their estranged father, Tema, enchanted to forget who she really is and hidden somewhere here. Tui and Kae have to find a way through this maze, outwit the shady characters they meet, break the spell on their mother, and escape to the World of Light before the Goddess of Shadows or Tema holds them in Rarohenga forever.

Atua : Māori gods and heroes by Gavin Bishop

Picture Puffin 

Gavin Bishop’s stunning, once-in-a-generation compendium introduces readers to the pantheon of Māori gods, demigods and heroes, and explores Aotearoa’s most exciting legends from the Creation to the Migration.

Meet the gods, demigods and heroes of the Māori people of Aotearoa in this breathtaking, large-scale illustrated book for children.

Margaret Mahy Book of the Year 2022
Elsie Locke Award for Non-fiction 2022
Russell Clark Award for Illustration 2022

Before the beginning there was nothing.
No sound, no air, no colour – nothing.
No one knows how long this nothing lasted because there was no time.
However, in this great nothing there was a sense of waiting.
Something was about to happen.

Meet the gods, demigods and heroes of the Māori world, and explore Aotearoa’s exciting legends from the Creation to the Migration. Fascinating, beautiful and informative, this once-in-a-generation compendium deserves a place on every bookshelf.

Amorangi and Millie’s trip through time by Lauren Keenan

Huia Publishers

WINNER, NZ Booklovers Award for Best Junior Fiction Book 2023
FINALIST, New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults 2022

Amorangi and Millie lost their mum. Their only clue to her whereabouts is a carving on a tree that says I’m in the past! Rescue me! To do this, Amorangi and Millie must travel up every branch of their family tree and collect an object from each ancestor they meet. They must then be back in the modern day before the sun sets, or they’ll all be trapped forever in the past. But can they do it in time?

In their travels, the children experience aspects of events in New Zealand history, such as the invasion of Parihaka, the Great Depression, World War Two, the Musket Wars and the eruption of Mount Taranaki. They also experience changes in the town and landscape, the attitudes of people and the way people live their lives.

Authors: #Robert Sullivan #GavinBishop #LisaCherrington #SarikaRona #MatTait #TimTipene #StephMatuku #LaurenKeenan

Publishers: #Allen&Unwin #MasseyUniversityPress #PenguinRandomHouseNZ #CulturalHubb #Scholastic #Huia