Monday, February 20, 2017

Reo Pēpi

Reo Pēpi, Kitty Brown (illustrator Kirsten Parkinson)
This second resource series from Dunedin Te Reo Māori publishers and advocates Kitty Brown and Kirsten Parkinson comes in beautiful board format.  I find these look sharper than their predecessors (still lovely) in a very clean matte white.  These are bilingual (as opposed to Māori language only), with the Māori text in a bold, larger font above its translation.  The illustrations are warm and darling, without edges.  I think the final pages in each book are a great addition, with each featuring a related glossary and pronunciation guide.  I'm a little sad that -- like most pronunciation guides for Māori phonetics -- it only works for readers with a New Zealand accent, but that's not a predicament unique to this series!  For scale: these are the same size as The Gruffalo board book. I hope frequent reading of these in families may incite improvised play thereafter, because there's definitely plenty of potential for extension of these.  The boxed set would make a beautiful gift for a baby shower, first or second birthday or Aotearoa arrival, but a single pukapuka would also be lovely.  Haki has been reading these to all three of our daughters, and Esky (age 7) has been equally happy to listen (and play along) as Mia (3).  Check out the close-ups on these lovely covers:

I'm pleased these books are helping to fill a gap in the early childhood Te Reo Māori book market, as there is quite a range of early readers (5years+) in paper available, but nothing that so aptly blends tough, simple and classy as the Brown-Parkinson offering.  You can pre-order these direct from the creators here (available in March) along with a range of other related products OR if you're in Dunedin, swing by The University Book Shop to pick up your limited edition.
Review copy received from Reo Pēpi.

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