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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

I Te Tīmatanga - In the Beginning by Peter Gossage

The creation myth of Māori legend is simply told in Peter Gossage's stunning, illustrative style.

Bold design and brief text introduces the struggle of this children of Ranginui and Papatūānuku as they try to part their parents and bring light to the world in this beloved New Zealand classic.

Gossage really needs no introduction to New Zealand readers, with his powerful combination of dramatic and distinctive illustrations with minimal yet evocative text earning his books a place among our beloved classics.

His books are visually wonderful and it really was a trip down memory lane for older readers. I spent hours poring over his books at primary school and have slowly been building up a collection for my own children. The appeal spans generations, as I often find my children curled up, pencil in hand attempting to recreate Gossage's stunning artworks.

This is the 20th anniversary edition of this story, this time featuring bilingual text on each page. Dame Kāterina Te Heikōkō Mataira translated Gossage's simple text in to te reo Māori. This is a fantastic book for learners of te reo Māori to add to their shelves, and not just our younger generation either. Bilingual books allow readers to see similarities, and differences, between words and sentence structure, which in turn encourages literacy. Seeing both languages written side-by-side allows readers to see both languages as being equally important.

Gossage's books are a gateway for children to explore the Māori visual interpretation of the stories of this land, and I Te Tīmatanga is no exception. This is a book every child should have on their bookshelves.

Both Gossage and Mataira have sadly passed now, but I Te Tīmatanga is a lovely homage to the skill and passion both creatives blessed New Zealand with.

Reviewed by: Rebekah Lyell

Scholastic, RRP $19.99


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