Te Whare is a book aimed at children learning to speak te reo Māori. It is written in te reo Māori with pictures providing the other part of the meaning.
Te Whare follows a baby crawling through a house introducing the words for common everyday things associated with having a small child in the house. From pushchairs, bottles to keys to cots and everyday household furnishings. Even the household pets, the dog and the cat are involved in this simple but rather wonderful book.
There are very few trade books written solely in te reo Māori that haven’t been translated from English. This book is a welcome addition to an already slim selection written for New Zealand children by New Zealand authors.
I am not a te reo speaker but found I could easily understand what this book was trying to convey. If I had any difficulty I resorted to an on-line Māori to English translation. The joys of modern technology.
The illustrations are in black and white, with different coloured backgrounds portraying the various rooms in the house to show a normal New Zealand household. They are simply done, but help the reader get to grips with te reo Māori. I think that this would be a welcome addition to any Kōhanga reo, primary school or young child’s library.
Reviewed by Christine Frayling
Nā Ngaere Roberts
Rāua ko Christine Dale
Published by OneTree House