Little Kiwi's Matariki
The skilfully woven story of Little Kiwi, snug in her burrow, woken by the glow of the moon on a special night. Little Kiwi takes the reader on a rapid journey, rousing the forest creatures from their slumber as she urges them to come and see the most wonderful sight. English and te reo Māori are blended together naturally, and comfortably. There is tension and excitement in both text and illustration, which work in unison expressing urgency and anticipation, and revealing the distinct personalities of Kiwi’s friends. The landscapes are superb, from the utter black of the forest night, to the deepest green of native plants, to the pink-streaked sky and pebbled foreshore. There are extra details and layers — the face of the moon illuminating the pathway for Little Kiwi, the shadows of small creatures and the textures and movement of the text echoing the creatures as they hurry towards the light. The finale, of course, is the glittering appearance of Matariki, followed by useful information on the celebration and the constellation itself. This is a marvellous introduction to Matariki, a picture book to be enjoyed by young readers, or to share at story time.