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.
10 Oct 2014