A Selection of International Children's and Youth Literature

Māori / New Zealand

Taka ki rō wai. He kōrero pūrākau mō tētāhi hoiho
(Fell in the water. A story about a horse)

Kaa, Keri (text)
Page, Martin D. (illus.)
[Rotorua]: Tania & Martin, 2013. – 59 p.
ISBN 978-0-473-18406-3

Storm – Birth – Rescue – Friendship 

Well-known elder Keri Kaa, a great advocator for the preservation of the Māori language, is renowned for her various contributions to Māori film, literature, and education. Her children’s book debut was inspired by a true incident on her farm, when she noticed that a mare that had given birth during a heavy rain storm was in trouble. The little foal was still trapped in its birth sack submerged in deep water. The owner and some friends managed to drag the tiny horse towards higher ground; then a friendly pig stepped in to coax it back to life, because its mother was too exhausted to take care of it. Written in the local dialect spoken by the Ngāti Porou people in the author’s home community of Rangitukia, the touching and humorous story is complemented by a map as well as a compilation of photographs and illustrations, typographic elements, and traditional patterns that lend authenticity to the tale. The carefully designed book is a little gem that has already received several awards. (Age: 8+)