Rebecca Larsen continues to write and illustrate picture books with a true New Zealand flavour. She has already delighted young audiences with Row Row Your Waka and Tane Mahuta Has a Forest. In Twinkle Twinkle Matariki, we enjoy another musical tale. The appearance of Matariki, the Southern Cross, in our skies, has become the centrepiece of celebrations across the country. In Christchurch, we had a whole week of events. This book supports pre-schools and Junior classes in their activities. My own grandaughter already knew the story and song from her daycare centre. She was able to explain the ideas using the illustrations to help read the text.
Larsen uses simple illustrations based on New Zealand plants and animals. Her pictures are colourful and quirky. The text is in Maori and English so allows for a bi-cultural Reading. The inclusion of a CD song track allows the less musically inclined to enjoy the song. I found the music at a good pitch and speed to play to a class of 5 year olds.
Twinkle Twinkle Matariki is a new take on an old favourite. The pleasure of setting the song in Aotearoa allows an inclusive celebration of Matariki. This is a great addition to any family bookshelf.
Reviewed by Kathy Watson
Twinkle Twinkle Matariki
written and illustrated by Rebecca Larsen
Published by Imagination Press