Topics: Education, Rereātea - Midday News

NZ's best te reo Māori children's book announced tonight

By Jessica Tyson
  • Wellington

The best books for young New Zealand readers will be revealed tonight, including the best book written in te reo Māori.

The ceremony for the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults will take place at the Te Papa in Wellington.

Winners will be awarded in six main categories including Best Picture Book, Junior Fiction, Young Adult Fiction, Non-Fiction, Illustration and te reo Māori.

The three finalists in the Wright Family Foundation Te Kura Pounamu Award for Books Written Completely in te reo Māori include Hineahuone, written and illustrated by Xoë Hall, and translated by Sian Montgomery-Neutze; Te Tamaiti me te Aihe, written and illustrated by Robyn Kahukiwa and translated by Kiwa Hammond; and Tu Meke Tūī!, written by Malcolm Clarke, illustrated by Hayley King and translated by Evelyn Tobin.

Hineahuone tells the legend of Hineahuone who was created from sacred red clay by Tane, son of Ranginui and Papatūānuku.

Hineahuone. Source: NZ Book Awards

Te Tamaiti me te Aihe shares the importance of kaitiakitanga by taking care of the environment and being kind to sea creatures.

A highlight in the book is the use of watercolour illustrations to supports the sea theme.

Te Tamaiti me te Aihe. Source: NZ Book Awards.

Tu Meke Tūī! includes kīwaha and playful rhymes to tell the courageous tale of manu against predators.

The adventure starts with Tere Tūī flittering from plant to plant, illustrated with native flora and fauna within Aotearoa.

Tu Meke Tui! cover. Source: NZ Book Awards

Earlier today some of the finalist authors will face their biggest critics at a press conference held by children from local Wellington schools.

The winners of the six categories will all compete to be named the Margaret Mahy Book of the Year.

Authors, illustrators and translators: