New Children’s Book In Pacific Languages
Whānau Manaaki Kindergartens has published a new children’s picture book in seven languages about starting school.
There is a shortage of books in Pacific languages particularly for the smaller Pacific communities in New Zealand, and this book will help fill the gap.
The book is in Māori, Samoan , Cook Island Māori, Tongan, Tokelauan, Niuean, and Tuvaluan, and it is designed so that teachers and families can easily read it to children.
It features four-year-old Atanise Marsters Lotomanu who attends Toru Fetu Kindergarten, and her extended family.
One of the editors , Caroline Mareko, says starting school can be an anxious time for children and parents, and the book can help prepare for the big day. “We wanted to show the experience as positive and happy for children and families.” Maraeroa School in Porirua East also features in the book.
Caroline says the publication could open the door for publishing books featuring other cultures.
“There’s a shortage of literacy materials for young children in different languages. It’s also important for children to see their community and their experiences reflected in books. “
The book “I am going to school” is being lauched at Atanise’s kindergarten, Toru Fetu in Cannon’s Creek in Porirua East on February 25. Reverend Falkland Liuvaie will bless the book, and the kindergarten children will perform.