Recently I was sent some gorgeous board books to look at. Even though my boys are well past the board book stage I still have a large basket of 'perfect for little readers' at home for our littlest visitors.
Having the privilege of teaching in a Maori environment has made me think lately about how important it is for us to be publishing more books in Te Reo.
The joyful thing is that there are children growing up around Aotearoa in Maori speaking households. Children whose parents want to read them books that affirm their first language and give them the same joy that children get in discovering the wonder of beautiful books. It is my very strong belief that these books in Te Reo Maori need to be as well written and as beautiful as any book on offer in English or other languages. We also need to work in Aotearoa to make sure there are a wider selection of these books.
Imagine going into your favourite book store and only having 2 or 3 titles to choose from for your beautiful child?
I know our book market is smaller than most and so this makes it difficult for publishers to maybe justify these choices but thankfully there is also a swell of people who want these books, including non-fluent homes who want to learn, honour and embrace Maori language.
All this to say...! I was delighted to receive the board books Colours for Kiwi Babies and Counting for Kiwi Babies both by Matthew and Fraser Williamson. These simple colourful books feature iconic animals and objects (pavlova) and are written in both Te Reo Maori and English.
Also on offering is a Hide and Seek Hairy MacLary board book with lift the flaps on each page. Lynley Dodd is an iconic New Zealand author who has justifiable reputation around the world. This one is a nice robust introduction to some of our best loved characters. The book is only in English.
My boys loved Lynley Dodd growing up and we had a board book of Zachary Quack which I think was the first book I lost the will to read for the 4000th time - which goes to show how well it was loved. I remember a particularly long and car sick road trip where we tried to recite all the lyrics with our then 2 year old to distract him from the motion sickness.
Great books for little people you love and the present box.
Counting for Kiwi Babies, Penguin Random House, July 2017 RRP $12.99
Colours for Kiwi Babies, Penguin Random House, July 2017 RRP $12.99
Hairy MacLary, Hide and Seek, Penguin Random House, July 2017 RRP $17.99
love you more than a celebration of beautiful books xxx