This is a delightful picture book in the tradition of The house that Jack built – a story which builds up rhyme by rhyme until it’s complete. There’s enough in the brief text to let the reader understand how much work goes into making a piupiu, and also that it’s probably not easy!
There’s good use of Te Reo, enough for you to learn something and the rhymes are good.
I have one or two issues with the metre and continuity in the text, but overall the story builds up well.
The illustrations really to me are the stand-out – well, that’s what you do want in a picture book, after all. But the clever use of side panels on the left of each double-page spread gives a hint as to the next component of the rhyme, and would certainly keep kids looking.
It’s good also that the girls in the Kapa Haka group are diverse, and although Koro seems far too young I think that’s my eyesight and not any other kind of issue!
All in all it’s a delightful little book which should appeal greatly to preschoolers.
Reviewed by Sue Esterman
The Girls in the Kapa Haka
By Angie Belcher, illustrated by Debbie Tipuna
Published by Puffin