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Home > Categories > Books > Kids - Junior > Te Ra Kura Ki Aotearoa review

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Score: 10.0/10  [1 review]
5 out of 5
ProdID: 9157 - Te Ra Kura Ki Aotearoa
Written by Donovan Bixley, translation by Darryn Joseph

Te Ra Kura Ki Aotearoa
Sample/s Supplied by:
Click to search for all products supplied by Upstart Press

Disclosure StatementFULL DISCLOSURE: A number of units of this product have, at some time, been provided to KIWIreviews by Upstart Press or their agents for the sole purposes of unbiased, independent reviews. No fee was requested, offered nor accepted by KIWIreviews or the reviewers themselves - these are genuine, unpaid consumer reviews.
September 2023

Te Ra Kura Ki Aotearoa product reviews

Proud to promote NZ productsStarting school is a big step up. Te Ra Kura Ki Aotearoa familiarises children and their whanau with the structure of a typical school day in Aotearoa and puts them at ease with elements of the school curriculum.

- What do you do at school?
- Who will be there?
- What will you learn?
- What will your classroom be like?

Author and illustrator Donovan Bixley has created a friendly introduction to school. It gently incorporates the values of the marautanga (curriculum): matatini, kotahitanga, manaakitanga, matatau, whanaungatanga, and te ao Maori. The original text has been translated into Maori by Darryn Joseph.

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akomanga   aotearoa   curriculum   darryn joseph   donovan bixley   kaiako   koro   kura   marautanga   school   te ra kura ki aotearoa   nzmade
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Product reviews...

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Review by: savta (Jo)
Dated: 1st of October, 2023

Link to this review Report this review


This Review: 10/10
Age Appropriate:
Score 10 out of 10
Score 10 out of 10
Score 10 out of 10
Personal Choice:
Score 10 out of 10

Mr Five recently started school at his local kura kaupapa, and has settled in as if he had been there all his life. Some of his classmates were previously in kohanga reo with him, so that made the transition painless. His three older sisters are also at the same kura so he has really felt at home. His parents speak some Maori at home, but they are both on their own learning journey to upskill themselves. Books like Te Ra Kura Ki Aotearoa make it fun as they learn along with their son. With his sisters at school with him and using Te Reo as their main learning medium during the school day, he has been given the best possible start for growing up bilingual.

Whatever a child's first day at school might be, the prospect can be quite scary. Routines are much more rigid than they might have been at a preschool, early childhood centre, kohanga reo, or kindergarten. After all, at the mature age of five, a child is no longer a baby and should theoretically be ready to cope with the real world of school. Nonetheless, children mature at different ages, and while many are ready for the next big adventure, others are apprehensive. No matter how welcoming the new teacher might be, he or she is still an unknown adult about to spend several hours a day with the new entrant. Mr Five was lucky because he had his sisters already there to help him.

Looking at the pictures in the book, Mr Five recognised many of the situations that would apply to everyday life in his own school. He had almost forgotten the anticipation of that first day, but the picture of Jamie seeing his friend Nikau from kohanga reo reminded Mr Five of seeing two of his own kohanga friends already in the playground when he walked through the school gate. He also laughed at Jamie when he could not join in with singing the waiata because he did not know it. That had happened to Mr Five too!

Having already read Donovan Bixley's original story in English, I was impressed with Darryn Joseph's translation. He captures the essence of the narrative to perfection; when I read it aloud to Mr Five, he hung on every word. I especially appreciated the endpapers with the extra words and phrases depicting everyday school items and values children acquire in the process of interacting with other children and adults in a school setting. These values are presented in simple language so that very young children can understand them.

I asked Mr Five whether he would keep his new book or pass it on when he grew out of it. He thought he would keep it for a few years then maybe pass it on to another child who is about to start school at a kura kaupapa. I wonder if it will survive that long! He has already printed his name on the title page in case his sisters "borrow" it and forget to give it back!

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