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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

Reo Pēpi: Bilingual Colouring Book by Kitty Brown and Kirsten Parkinson


This adorable bilingual colouring book features our native birds, sea creatures, and insects. It was created by Kitty Brown and Kirsten Parkinson from Ōtepoti, Dunedin. They are well known for their popular Reo Pēpi series of board books for young children.


The realistic illustrations in this colouring book will help people to recognise and name each of these creatures. And it covers key learning concepts: colours, spatial positions, actions, and feelings, in both languages.


It is especially pleasing that the text is written in simple, repetitive sentences, including questions and answers, which are used in everyday situations. These will be great to practise with the whole whanau and provide them with opportunities for talking Te Reo together e.g:


Ko Wētā ahau. I am Wētā.

Ke te peke ahau. I am jumping.


Kei te pēhea koe, Aihe? How are you dolphin,

Kei te harikoa ahau. I am happy.


He aha te tae o te Pūngāwerewere? What colour is the spider?

He pango. Black.


The Reo Pēpi: Bilingual Colouring Book also opens up opportunities for dramatic role-playing. Children could be asked to pretend to be a particular creature and behave and react in the way that creature would. Could they look incredibly sad like the sea lion, or exceedingly grumpy like the tuatara, or run like a pūkeko?


The bonus of 30 small coloured stickers at the end of the book adds another fun activity. Children will enjoy matching the stickers to each creature in the book.


With over 60 pages to colour the Reo Pēpi: Bilingual Colouring Book will provide hours fun for young children. As well as enjoying colouring in, it will increase their knowledge of the creatures who inhabit our natural world and extend their vocabulary in both Te Reo and English. Every family with young children should have one.


Reviewer: Lyn Potter

Allen & Unwin


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