Join Flit and his friends, Keri the kiwi and wise old Ruru, as they explore the night skies to work out how to capture a sparkling star.
When the friends get lost deep in the dark forest, they follow the twinkling clues in the sky to find their way back home.
A heart-warming story about problem-solving which will appeal to all New Zealand children.
Matariki is a festival that is becoming more and more popular in New Zealand as tikanga Maori and Te Reo gain recognition as an integral part of our culture. For too long they were sidelined; a generation is now emerging that is enriched by new perspectives on our national heritage as a Pacific island rather than as an outpost of a European system. Of all the different times that are celebrated, Matariki appeals particularly to children. Winter nights are often clear and perfect for stargazing, and bring home the idea that our ancestors were expert navigators who used the stars to guide them here.
Mr Two and Miss Four are already familiar with other books in the Flit the Fantail series, so were overjoyed to be asked to review this one with me too. Miss Four is old enough to understand what Matariki means so the book had instant meaning for her even before she looked inside. Mr Two can recognise stars, but after reading the book he too had some idea of what Matariki itself was all about. The story was just the right length to keep the children interested, and the pictures were so delightful that they needed to be looked at over and over. They were so effective that the words were supplementary to the graphics; the story pretty well told itself.
By the third reading, the children were well and truly into the narrative and delighted in pointing out what was happening in each picture. Both of them enjoyed counting the stars with Flit; Miss Four is very proud of her ability to count up to nine in Te Reo, and she was able to follow the words as she said each number. Mr Two is quick to follow his big sister's example; it will not be long before he, too, is able to recite the numbers with confidence.
We all loved the way that Flit assumes he can catch the moon. Although he and Keri are very silly to wander off in the dark and get lost, it is reassuring to see that other children can be naughty too! Part of growing up is exploring and trying to reach the unattainable, but it is important that somebody is there to rescue little ones when things do not work out as they expected. In this case it is Ruru who comes to the rescue and shows them how the Matariki stars can help them to get back home. The Matariki map which Flit makes in the kawakawa leaf is a work of art, and a most appropriate tool for finding your way home - just as the ancestors did when they were finding their way across the Pacific to their new country. (Although I don't think they would have had kawakawa leaves to help!)
Finally, the ending shows an unrepentant Flip planning yet another adventure. Time to regroup: Matariki cannot help him this time because you cannot see stars until it is dark. Miss Four thought he should think again before venturing out on his own into the big world. She thought he was extremely foolish!
Random listing from 'Books'...
What child doesn't imagine being able to fly? Well, Bear is no different. When he sees seagulls at the beach whirling and diving, he must learn how. Luckily, there are four children who know exactly how to make that happen: Take a trip to an amusement park and play on all the rides. "Swoopy swoopy swoopitty swoop"!An exhilarating story that showcases Rosen's signature lyrical style, "Bear Flies High" is another perfect read-aloud with a familiar and lovable character.
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