A wonderful selection of children’s and young adults books was laid out on the tables in the Māori Collection at lunchtime on Wednesday as part of the library’s celebration of Māori Language Week. Subject librarians Liz and Helen offered a welcome in Māori to those of us able to stop by and look and them and gave useful insights into the variety of books available.
A growing number of books are being published in both Māori and English editions. A recent example of this is Rāhui written by Chris Szekely,and illustrated by Malcolm Ross (which won Best Picture Book at the NZ Post Book Awards this year) and one student asked several interesting questions around the theme of this book and how it and others could be used in the classroom. There are also still many books published in a bilingual format, and the benefits of both formats were discussed.
Liz and Helen pointed out kids books by important NZ authors such as Patricia Grace, Katarina Mataira and Gavin Bishop and also by more recent writers like Melanie Drewery. We were entertained by Liz reading the delightful Watercress Tuna and the children of Champion Street by Patricia Grace. Not only are there books written in Māori, and in English on Māori subjects, but also translations of English favourites such as Spot. Of course the session couldn’t end without mention of the amazing Margaret Mahy, who sadly died this week, and her book Kaitangata Twitch which was also made into a TV series.
It was awesome to look at these books and the discussion we had about them and also about Māori language in general was really engaging. A list is available of all the Maori Language Week's books
that were selected. This goes to the catalogue and you can see availability and locations of the titles. For more information click on the details tab for each book.