Monday, 9 March 2015

We Wish You a Kiwi Christmas: book review

We Wish You a Kiwi Christmas

Book review by Trevor Agnew  

We Wish You a Kiwi Christmas (2014) Lynette Evans, ill. Myles Lawford, Scholastic, Auckland NZ, 32 pages, paperback  ISBN 978 1 77543 267 8 

Little Kiwi she searched for signs of a sleigh.’

This picture book is an updated version of the traditional Christmas carol, We Wish You a Merry Christmas, stripped of religious references and figgy pudding. Instead it becomes a tale of Santa Claus’s delivery problems. Abandoned by his overworked reindeer, Santa has to rely on Little Kiwi who summons up a volunteer team of native New Zealand birds to draw his sleigh.

Brave Bellbird come along and shy Kokako,
You can all work together and see how you go.’

Both English and Maori versions of Lynette Evans’ text are provided.

The Maori lyrics – He Mihi Kirihimete Kiwi - were translated by Ngaere Roberts.

An accompanying CD has both the English and Maori versions of the song, using the talents of Pio Terei, Maria Burns and singers from the Marina View School, West Harbour, Auckland.

Myles Lawford’s colour illustrations capture the differing characters of the various native birds which help Santa.


Trevor Agnew 

10 Oct 2014  

No comments: