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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

My First Words About Tikanga Māori by Stacey Morrison

From the marae to the whare, from sharing kai to getting to know each other, this illustrated picture dictionary is the perfect introduction to tikanga.

Author Stacey Morrison has created this illustrated guide to Māori practices and customs for younger readers, as a companion to her My First Words in Māori.

Vibrant illustrations by Kurawaka Productions are labelled in Māori and English, and highlight ways of doing things and the special words we use when talking about tikanga. Kurawaka Productions is a studio of Māori creatives and their illustrations are simple yet full of character.

Each page is set in a different space or situation, explaining words, phrases and concepts people may encounter - from karakia to kai, mana to mihimihi, it's a very practical guide. Morrison is sure to include lots of easy-to-learn phrases on each page, simple sayings that can be incorporated into every day as a way to ensure te reo Māori is not only read but also spoken. For those not quite confident with te arapū Māori (the Māori alphabet) there is a handy guide at the back of the book, alongside a QR code that takes readers to an audio resource on pronunciation.

While it is aimed at children, it is also perfect for anyone beginning their learning journey- Māori or Pākehā, New Zealanders or visitors to Aotearoa.

As Morrison points out in her introduction, tikanga varies across Aotearoa. She encourages readers to use the four 'wh' words: whakarongo (listen), whanonga (behave with respect), whakawhetai (give thanks) and whakaiti (be humble). This book is the perfect way for people to begin or strengthen their language journey and embrace Māoritanga and those four little 'wh' words.

Reviewer: Rebekah Lyell


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