Here are the latest in the Rio Pēpi boardbooks, the ideal gift for every Kiwi chick.
Kupu Tauaro: Opposites
Kare ā-roto: Feelings
Kitty Brown Kirsten Parkinson (ill)
Allen & Unwin, (2020)
$18 individually or $50 box set.
to concepts that are sometimes trickier for young minds to grasp.
In Kupu Tauaro: Opposites we see a nest. Two just-hatching birds are roto [inside], while an adventurous fledgling is waho [outside]. A nui [big] whale eyes an iti [small] shrimp. Any parent can make a mini-story out of pictures and concepts like these.
The same applies to Mahi: Actions where once again Kirsten Parkinson’s charmingly realistic animal pictures convey ideas of action in vivid ways.
‘Ko patiki ahau. Kei te huna ahau.’ [I am Flounder. I am hiding.] The picture shows a school of flounder blending into their sandy surroundings – a lovely reminder that many of the illustrations are based on Otago Peninsula creatures.
Kare ā-roto: Feelings deals with the trickier topic of feeling sad, confused, happy hungry and so on. My favourite exchange is illustrated by a group of nest-building fantails:
‘Kei te pēhea koutou, e hoa mā?’ [How are you, friends?]
‘Kei te pukumahi mātou!’ [We are busy.]
The pages of these user-friendly boardbooks are not only pleasant to hold; they also wipe clean. At the end of each book, there is a simple Maori pronunciation guide and a well-organised glossary. Each one is a welcome way to build up vocabulary in both languages.
The pride of Portobello, Kitty Brown and Kirsten Parkinson are brave entrepreneurs whose work is truly valuable.