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NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults: Te Kura Pounamu Award

Te Kura Pounamu Award

What a stunning assortment of books there are in te reo Maori, shortlisted for the Te Kura Pounamu Award. Click on the titles for more catalogue information.

He Wheke Wai Mamangu Au by Stephanie Thatcher, translated by Pania Papa
This is the second book about octopodes to be selected for an award (see also The Eight Gifts of Te Wheke up for both a Picture Book Award and Illustration Award). Here we can learn all about the wheke (octopus) – where it lives and what it eats, what makes it special in its underwater environment. Colourful illustrations spark the young reader’s imagination. Stephanie Thatcher is a prolific children’s book author and illustrator; Pānia Papa is a well known host on Māori Television and has been awarded the Te Waitī Award for Te Reo and Tikanga for her work in the revitalisation of te reo Māori.

I Waho, I Te Moana by Yvonne Morrison, illustrated by Jenny Cooper, translated by Pānia Papa
This book celebrates the various animals that live in our oceans, each with its own double-page spread, beautifully illustrated. With catchy rhyme and rhythm, each animal has its own action, while progressively counting one to ten through the pages – perfect for reading or singing together. Yvonne Morrison is a zookeeper who has written several children’s books; Jenny Cooper is a prolific illustrator of children’s books and a freelance designer; Pānia Papa is a well known host on Māori Television and has been awarded the Te Waitī Award for Te Reo and Tikanga for her work in the revitalisation of te reo Māori.

Ki Te Moe Aotearoa, written and illustrated by Donovan Bixley, translated by Darryn Joseph
This is the second book by Donovan Bixley to be shortlisted in this year’s awards. (See also the Elsie Locke Award for Non-Fiction). Onomatopoeia enlivens this story about bedtime, with the animals around New Zealand being put to bed by their parents. The te reo edition gives ample opportunity to expand children’s understanding of Māori language. Bixley has a load of best-sellers to his name including the Flying Furrballs series, his recent Maui series and ever popular Wheels on the Bus. Darryn Joseph is a Maori language tutor and lecturer and has written many stories in te reo for all ages.

Mokopuna Matatini by Pania Tahau-Hodges, illustrated by Story Hemi-Morehouse
This book is already up for a Russsell Clark Illustration Award, so we know it’s a bit special. With a terrific story where the world of kapa haka is brought to life, this is a book that brings a great text and vivid illustrations together.  Author, Pania Tahau-Hodges, is a kapa-haka geek, with a background in publishing. Story Hemi-Morehouse is a freelance illustrator working in Brisbane. They are the same team who brought us The Greatest Haka Festival on Earth which is shortlisted for a Picture Book Award.

Te Hipo Huna by Juliette MacIver, illustrated by Sarah Davis and translated by Karena Kelly
When a hippopotamus disappears from the zoo a teacher and her class all join the zookeeper in the hunt for the missing animal. Amid the kerfuffle, no one thinks to listen to what Liam has to say. Loads of humour with the reo like a jingle which will appeal to kids, along with discovering the hidden meanings in the wordplay. The English language version of this book won the Picture Book Award in 2017 for Juliette McIver, author of the much loved Marmaduke Duck books and many more. Sarah Davis is a multiple award winning illustrator and cupcake chef. Karena Kelly has translated many books into te reo and teaches the reo Māori programme at Te Kawa a Māui.

18 July 2022

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