The adventures of young ducklings captured in photographs. Translated into Maori by Kāterina Te Heikōkō Mataira
This is a lovely story about a mother duck and her ducklings. It is entirely in te reo Māori and is aimed at fluent speakers. We are a bilingual family and are fluent in te reo Māori. My youngest son (age 2) attends kohanga reo and my older son (age 6) attends kura kaupapa. I would highly recommend this book for any family raising their children in te reo Māori.
The photos are very special. It is rare to find a book with real photos as opposed to cartoon-like illustrations. The photos support the story and provide lots of opportunity for questions and discussion. My youngest really enjoys listening to the story, we return to the same pages again and again, with him repeating key words. Ducks are a favourite in our household! Our favourite page is when the mother duck defends her ducklings. My older son can read the book himself now, the language is very suitable for early readers.
The reo used is natural and flows well as you would expect from Katerina Mataira. It is clear she is a native speaker. The reo is easy to understand and age-appropriate, however the sentence structures used are not the active sentence structures commonly seen these days. Therefore this book is a wonderful resource for second-language learners. It helps build vocabulary and exposes readers to a variety of different sentence structures.
What a beautiful book, the photos are just gorgeous, and my daughter delighted in looking at them...so proud and lovely. My Te Reo is somewhat limited to be perfectly honest, and I often find I have to ask my children the meaning or pronunciation of a word. However that aside, usually I can figure most out for myself.
I was surprised the book did not have English translation at the end of it, like most do, but this was neither here nor there, it just would have been a handy addition for those who, like me, are not fluent. Anyway no major drama. I sat with my 7yo daughter to read this one together. First we flicked through and looked at the pictures together, then I attempted to read it to her. As I said my Te Reo is limited, and as such she quickly became frustrated at me trying to figure out some of the words. Which in turn meant she lost interest reasonably quickly too. So we gave up for a little while.
Then next thing I know, miss 7 is sitting happily reading the book to her doll, and she is not having trouble deciphering the words at all, in fact she is reading it as though she has been speaking and reading Maori her entire life. I felt really proud of her. I know she has an understanding, and a reasonable base of words, but I did not know she could read it as well as she did.
All in all its a really lovely book, and any pre-school or school with fluent Te Reo speakers would really love to have this book on their book-shelf, plus who doesn't love ducks? Wonderfully presented, easy to follow, nicely set out. Price wise, possibly a little higher than I would pay, but this may be more because I am not fluent.
I am an early childhood teacher and part of our job is introducing Te Reo to the children. We weave it throughout our day through language, music and of course books. When the chance to review He Rakiraki kei te Puna came up I was keen to review it.
The first thing that struck me with the book was the amazing photos throughout the whole book. The next thing that stuck me was the amount of words on each page. I have basic knowledge of the language and recognised some words but not all of them. As with most books in Te Reo I expected to find a translation at the back it's the one thing I feel that the book is missing.
The first time I introduced the book to the children it was with my limited Te Reo. I was able to read some of the story and through the pictures we could guess most of the rest. Even though I didn't know all the words it didn't matter it was still a big hit. The children spent ages going through the book looking at the photos and talking about everything that was happening in them.
He Rakiraki kei te Puna has the most wonderful photos and is a beautiful book. Even if you don't have good understanding of Te Reo it is worth investing it just for the photos!
I am a primary school teacher and I love languages. I am very keen for my children to grow up as bilingual as possible and given that we are in New Zealand, their second language will be Maori. Books form a very important part of the learning process for children learning a language. We enjoy reading some basic books written in Maori and always find it useful to have some cues in English to assist us along the way.
The book He Rakiraki Kei te Puna is written entirely in Maori. It is, in fact, the first book I have attempted to read in Maori that does not an English translation of the text or main vocabulary in the back. I have a basic understanding of the language and sentence structure and this was well above my existing knowledge. It was a chance for both my four year old son and I to experience a massive learning curve as we worked our way through the book.
The photographic illustrations in the book were extremely appealing to both my son and me. We did a lot of talking about the pictures and this helped us to make sense of the text. Each page contains quite a bit of text in Maori with few repetitive phrases. This made it quite a slow process for us to work through the book. The topic of the book and the illustrations kept his interest going and we managed to get right through the book together.
The majority of the vocabulary was unknown to us, so we had a Maori/English dictionary beside us the whole time so we could figure out what some of the main words were. This book is obviously aimed at a fluent reader of the Maori language. Unfortunately, because of the lack of translation assistance within the book, we couldn't capture the full story. Based on the photos, I get the feeling that there are some very cute bits to the story but they were lost on us. It was very much a learning experience with using a dictionary and learning new words rather than a chance to gain full enjoyment from the book. We will tackle it more times with the dictionary in hand.
Perhaps, in order to get a wider audience (to include families such as ours), it would be a good idea to have a translation of the main vocabulary in the back of the book so we could read the book in a more fluid manner.
It is great to see books available in Te Reo Maori and although it was very challenging for my son and me, I love the fact that there are books for children at a higher level than just the basic sentence structures.
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