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The Kai Stars of Matariki: Tupuānuku and Tupuārangi by Miriama Kamo

It's the day before Matariki and a big feast has been prepared. Eeling took place months ago and Te Rerehua and Sam are excited to give thanks to Tupuānuku and Tupuārangi, the stars connected to food grown within and above the ground. But the Patupaiarehe sneak in and start eating the uncooked tuna. Can Sam and Te Rerehua come up with a plan to save their Matariki feast?

Set in the wild and windy Te Mata Hāpuku (Birdling's Flat) this is a companion book to author Miriama Kamo's delightful The Stolen Stars of Matariki and The Twin Stars of Matariki. Once again Kamo (Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Mutunga) weaves entertainment and education together to create a beautiful book that will be treasured. She uses rich language that instantly places the reader within the haven that is Te Mata Hāpuku. As well as a great story that immediately captured imaginations, Kamo helps expand the reader's knowledge of Matariki and mātauranga Māori. As well as using everyday te reo Māori (with helpful, unobtrusive translations included at the bottom of pages for those that need it), Kamo explores traditions and knowledge in a simple yet informative way - from astronomy to conservation, folklore to food. While Matariki varies across the motu, this book will help ignite imaginations and a desire to learn more.

Illustrator Zak Waipara (Rongowhakaata, Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Ruapani, Ngāti Kahungunu) once again adds his flair to make the book a feast for the eyes. His stylised artwork bursts with energy and character. There has been a lot of thought put into this series, with each book having a distinct, yet somehow also subtle, palette. Waipara's modern graphic-style artwork brings pūrākau Māori into a more contemporary setting. Combined with Kamo's writing, the pair are helping pass on traditional understandings and systems to create intergenerational wisdom. 

The Kai Stars of Matariki: Tupuānuku and Tupuārangi will spark curiosity and wonder for readers of all ages. 


Reviewer: Rebekah Lyell



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