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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

Asiasiga 'i le Falemata'aga i Te Papa - Going to Te Papa by Dahlia Malaeulu

This beautiful board book for babies, toddlers and their families, features measina, or treasures, from Sāmoa in the collection of Te Papa Tongarewa.

The bilingual book features warm and friendly text in both Sāmoan and English. With rich cultural content, it is an excellent learning resource for families and schools.

Ideal for younger children, it features bright and colourful text, gorgeous photographs and bold colour.

Author Dahlia Malaeulu is a Wellington-born Sāmoan author of Pasifika books. As a passionate educator she creates books that help develop cultural confidence amongst tamaiti (children), fanau (families) and faiā'oga (educators). Her passion and energy is clear to see in this book, it is a book that will keep cultural connections strong for those who live away from their homelands. There's rich family connections within the book too; it sounds odd, but it really feels like the book is giving you a warm hug, embracing readers. It's sturdy board construction means it will last across generations too.

The incredibly talented Niusila Faamanatu-Eteuati, a lecturer in Sāmoan studies at Victoria University of Wellington, lends her hand to the translations for the book.

Photographs of real items from Te Papa's collection, taken by Maarten Holl, are rich in detail. Each item has been given its own page within the book, and stands against a bright bold colour. The inside cover offers more detail on each of the measina, treasures, for those wanting to learn more.

An extra touch is the use of fonts within the book. Designed by Joseph Churchward, a Sāmoan-born graphic designer who handcrafted about 690 typefaces.

This is another gorgeous book from Te Papa Press, which promotes understanding of Sāmoan culture and Gangana Sāmoa, the Sāmoan language.

Reviewed by: Rebekah Lyell

Te Papa Press, RRP $19.99


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