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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

Kia Kaha by June Pitman-Hayes and Minky Stapleton

Updated: Apr 6, 2020

As reviewed on The Cafe, TV3!

Two talented women have teamed up to create the picture book, Kia Kaha. June Pitman-Hayes writes children’s books, is a singer-song writer and as well as singing children’s songs, she is also a well-known jazz singer. Minky Stapleton is originally from South Africa and she worked there as a Creative Director. She now lives in New Zealand and is following her first love, which is illustration.

Kia Kaha has such a timely message! It is all about standing strong together and supporting each other. So as we go through the book children are in everyday situations where things can go wrong – like falling over and hurting your knee, or being stung by a bee, or getting stuck up a tree – and that’s when our friends are so important in helping us to overcome these problems. As a bonus the story is in English and Maori!

June has written a lovely song that children can sing along as they read the book. Listen to these beautiful lyrics: ‘Kia Kaha, Kia Kaha, together standing strong. We join your hands in friendship, that’s how we get along. All around our gentle land, no matter where we’re from…we’ll show each other how we care, and sing our Kia Kaha song.’

This is a fabulous book for younger children, with great messages about friendship and looking out for each other. And I love all the different people in the book. It’s just like the real life New Zealand with people who come from everywhere!

Reviewers: Milla McKenzie-Brown and Karen McMillan

Scholastic New Zealand


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