Bilingual book takes top honors at New Zealand Children's Book Awards

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Press comment:
"A bilingual book about the Māori creation story has won the highest accolade in children's literature."
Awards Announcement:
"Te Wehenga: The Separation of Ranginui and Papatūānuku presents the Māori creation pūrākau in a bold design using universal elements recognised across iwi. The bilingual text is poetic, and integrated into the artwork on each page in a way that draws readers into an interactive experience, inviting them to turn the book as they become immersed …"

Publisher's blurb, with clickable thumbnails of some illustrations.
Wikip telling the myth, including comparisons to other creation myths.
Mai i te kore … ko te Pō. 
He pō nui. He pō roa. 
He pō mutunga kore.
He pō mārama kore. 
He pō marana kore.
"And the earth was without form, and void;  and darkness was upon the face of the deep." — seems to cover it.

Selected readings                                                                                                            

[Thanks to AntC]


  1. AntC said,

    August 27, 2023 @ 9:01 pm

    Thank you Victor,

    I've now obtained a copy: the artwork is rich and stunning.

    But I should warn also the plot is quite gruesome in places. (The publisher hasn't included those images in their thumbnails.) This isn't a 'fairy story' but more like the internecine rivalries in Greek ancient mythology; or the Norse legends/Nibelungenlied; the grimmer of Grimms' tales.

    The explanations are right there for why the earth mother is so angry and restless; the sky father is continually weeping and lamenting; their second-born, the god of storms and winds is furious.

  2. Michael Carasik said,

    August 29, 2023 @ 4:31 pm

    Not quite as mellifluous as the King James, but here is my translation of Genesis 1:2 – "at the time the world was a tohu-bohu, with darkness over Deep and a God-wind hovering over the water — "

    Discussed in these posts:

  3. FG said,

    September 1, 2023 @ 6:32 am

    Of course it won. It had to win. It's Maori and that's politics in NZ.

  4. Carol Lisker Kennedy said,

    September 7, 2023 @ 3:58 pm

    Thanks, Victor. I will look for the book!

  5. AntC said,

    September 8, 2023 @ 12:15 am

    Thanks @FG, since you're keen to brush up your reo, try 'Teach your dog Māori' — fun language games with your best friend. (The same author — I think that might be a nom-de-plume — offers 'Teach Your Cat Guernesiais'; and more topically 'Llyfr Lliwio Rygbi Cymru | Welsh Rugby Colouring Book'.)

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