Brianne Te Paa
WINNER, Best Children's Book NZ Booklovers Awards, 2023
Storylines Notable Book List, 2022
Māori edition, WINNER, Storylines Te Kahurangi Kāterina Te Heikōkō Mataira Award, 2022
Māori edition, WINNER, Wright Family Foundation Te Kura Pounamu Award, 2023
A young boy learns about the customs around celebrating Matariki from his grandfather. They watch the stars from the top of a mountain, prepare their offering of food for the gods, and the boy learns about Te Waka o Rangi and the tradition of calling out the names of loved ones who have passed away so that they can become stars. Just before Matariki the following year, the boy’s Koro suddenly dies.
He gathers and prepares the food offering and asks each family member to come with him up the mountain when Matariki is due to rise, but they all make excuses, and he is disheartened. But when he tells them what Koro taught him, they all climb the mountain before sunrise, follow the rituals Koro carried out and call out Koro’s name so that he can become a star.
This book is also available as a Māori-language edition, Kua Whetūrangitia a Koro.
May 20, 2022
245 x 270 mm
ISBN (Soft Cover)
ISBN (Hard Cover)
"This is a simply stunning book, steeped in tradition, that moved our whānau to tears. Tears of joy that a book like this finally exists, tears of empathy as the little boy finds his whānau are all busy, and tears as we remembered our loved ones who are now stars."
"What a beautiful story. So much is shared between these pages. There is rhyme, and beautiful moving illustrations. There is the bond across generations and then the passing of custom to generations in between. There is a story of Matariki and one of a family re-bonding below it."
"This is a beautiful book; an important story wonderfully told and superbly presented."
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The use of rhyme creates a soft, rhythmic effect perfectly enhancing the sensitivity of the writing. The story gives young readers knowledge about the traditions surrounding Matariki while also bravely confronting grief and loss, making it an invaluable resource for both home, school and general libraries. The use of gold font on colourful backgrounds and exquisite illustrations enrich and perceptively interpret this story of a child’s loss of his grandfather yet the healing power of his Koro’s traditions which remain with him. This is a beautiful book; an important story wonderfully told and superbly presented.