Book Review: Kia Ora, by Sharon Holt, illustrated by Deborah Hinde

Available now in bookshops nationwide.

cv_kia_oraAuthor, Sharon Holt, is a Pakeha who started learning Te Reo Māori when she was 42.

My daughter-in-law Sarah, who is a proficient Te Reo speaker, was given the task of reading this book to my 2 granddaughters Abby (5) and Quinn (2). Sarah got the girls to tell her what the story was about from the illustrations. Both girls got it pretty right.

There are several ways to ask “how are you?” in Te Reo, depending on the region and dialect. You may hear “Kei te Pewhea koe?” or Kei Te aha?” or other variations.
Suggestions for using this book are to encourage children to talk about what’s happening on each page. Why does the boy keep asking his family members how they are? How do we feel when people are too busy to really “hear” us? How can we help others to feel “heard?”.

I found this book fascinating and a wonderful concept to introduce Te Reo. The CD accompanying this book is a great addition. Guitar chords with words putting the story to music is a fantastic idea.

Reviewed by Christine Frayling

Kia Ora
by Sharon Holt, illustrated by Deborah Hinde
Published by Te Reo Singalong
ISBN 9780994117137

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