“Perfect Picture Book” Friday

Happy Multicultural Children’s Book Day everyone!   And since I have a lovely writing buddy due to visit me in a months time, all the way from a New England village in the USA,  I thought I would share a tongue-in-cheek story about how the North Island of New Zealand came about.  Since she loves fishing she will get a kick out of this.

Tales of Aotearoa HOW MAUI Fished up the North Island.

Retold by: Donovan Bixley  

Advised and translated by: Dr Darryn Joseph

Published by:  Upstart Press Ltd in 2018

Ages:   4 – 8 years

Theme: cultural, mythical, diverse, fishing, perseverance.

Opening Lines: Back in the day, in a time when the world was new and the sky was fresh, when ancient creatures still walked the land with gods and spirits.

Synopsis:  Maui a young boy dreamed of the day he could go fishing with his older brothers. Each time they came back from fishing they bragged about their catches. Whenever Maui asked to go they shunned and teased him. One night Maui sneaked into the hull of the waka with his own fishing line and his special hook made from the jaw of his late grandmother, and the next day when the brothers were out at sea ready to fish Maui revealed himself. His brothers were horrified and angry but eventually they allowed Maui to fish. When Maui’s line pulled taut they could not believe what he had caught… the biggest fish!   Te Ika-aMaui. The North Island of New Zealand.

Why I like this: This is a comical interpretation of a much loved Maori legend of Maui. It was not the only time he was known to get into mischief. From the colourful bold cover illustration you know that kids (and adults) will be curious and excited to read this story. Beautifully told in typical kiwi tongue-in-cheek such as “I can’t believe that annoying pipsqueak caught it!” and dotted with a few Maori words, the story is wrapped in bright colourful illustrations bringing humour and life to the text, make this delightful fun story easily enjoyed by international readers. Depicted as a young boy persevering to prove his worth Maui appears in many Legends in New Zealand storytelling getting into trouble and always proving that perseverance, patience, tolerance and strength wins out. As I mentioned the illustrations are colourful with great expressions and the inside front cover lists some Maori words with English translation complete with illustrations. The back inside cover has the map of New Zealand as it was first viewed by the Maoris (upside down) with a note from Donovan Bixley of why he depicted the legend as he has.

Resources/Findings:  Sold mostly in New Zealand you can find this book at….   https://www.wheelers.co.nz/books/9781988516257-how-maui-fished-up-the-north-island-te-reo-edition/#desc

And possibly here…   https://www.thewarehouse.co.nz/p/tales-of-aotearoa%3A-how-maui-fished-up-the-north-island-by-donovan-bixley/R2478128.html

I’m always happy reviewing Picture Books that come my way and share them with you.  If you would like to see more please pop over to Susanna Leonard Hills Blog where there are hundreds of books reviewed by other like minded authors and writers.  Thank you for popping in and I hope you return again soon.

About Diane Tulloch

Known also as the Patientdreamer I am a writer who loves to dream, and is passionate about writing stories for the young so that they may join me in the wonders of adventure in countries and cultures afar, and in special moments to remember.
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17 Responses to “Perfect Picture Book” Friday

  1. What a engaging cover and endearing story about a boy wanting to fish with his brothers. Like Maui’s determination. But a fish hook made from his grandmother’s jaw?? I always enjoy Maori tales you share. What a fun and perfect share for MCBD!

  2. Joanna says:

    Terrific choice for MCBD, Diane. We need more Maori tales. And I love the added humor layered into this one.

  3. Wow! I love the feel of the opening. And I also love how unusual it is to speak of the unspeakable: making a fish hook from your grandmother’s jaw. I’ve got to see if I can find this. Maybe through LINK+……

  4. This looks like so much fun!

  5. Darlene says:

    What a delightful tale! These legends make great picture books. Enjoy your time with your writer friend.

  6. Oh that cover is adorable. This sounds like a great legend book. I’ll definitely see if my library has or can get it.

  7. Sue Heavenrich says:

    That must be soooome fish! I love traditional tales. I’ve even made a few fish hooks in my day, but never out of a jawbone.Thanks for sharing this Maori legend.

  8. Wendy says:

    I admit to knowing little to nothing about New Zealand (other than finding it on a map!). Thanks for sharing this book.

  9. This looks like a wonderful book! It sounds really fun. 🙂

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