One night in June 2016, Massey University language lecturer Darryn Joseph sat in a hospital room minding a teacher who had become a dear friend and mentor to him. Darryn wrote her a poem of appreciation, kissed her hand and said goodbye; the next day she passed away.
That poem is contained in Whakarongo ki ō Tūpuna/Listen to your Ancestors, which is written in te Reo Māori with English translation.
The story follows a beloved teacher giving her pupils and grand-daughter guidance by directing them to follow the examples of Māori gods and ancestors.
The book is illustrated by emerging artist Munro Te Whata, who has vividly brought to life settings in a school, the outdoors and a rest home in a colourful and fun style.
Whakarongo ki ō Tūpuna teaches the values represented by Māori gods and ancestors, and provides a much-needed tool for reading in te Reo. And at its heart this is a story of love and respect, harking back to the friendship that inspired its writing.
Reading Age: All children starting to learn Te Reo
RRP: Hard cover Picture Book NZ$24.99
Published by Oratia Books.