Kararehe – Animals

Kararehe is a beautiful board book - 1 in a series of 3 - that teaches young children (and their parents!) the Maori words for animals. A simple but lovely book that is great for kids up to the age of 6.

Action Men is growing more action packed by the day.  I’m exhausted, he’s exuberant. But we do have these beautiful still(ish) moments when he wants to cuddle up and listen to stories.

I’ve just recently removed around 100 miscellaneous children’s books from the lower two shelves of our living room bookshelves. Instead, I’ve put back about 15 books with their front covers facing out.

This has two benefits. Firstly I don’t have to reshelve 100 books every day. And secondly, each week I can rotate books I don’t mind reading, or haven’t read for a while, but Action Man still gets to choose which story he wants to hear.

So story time has been revitalised this week. One of the current favourites is a wonderful wee board book published by Reo Pepi, a printing company on the Otago Peninsula.

Kararehe
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Summary

A beautiful children's book. Using simple Te Reo Māori followed by English. A great way to learn easy, everyday Māori words. Recommended as a great addition to any Kiwi home. Best for children 1-6.

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There are three books in the series. We have and love them all, but the one in rotation this week is Kararehe – Animals.

One of the things I love about being a Kiwi is the opportunity to learn about the rich beautiful Maori culture. However growing up in a pretty Pakeha part of NZ, my Te Reo skills are limited. Kararehe is a perfect read with no prior knowledge needed (although my primary school basic vowel sounds help a little). There is an excellent and easy to follow pronunciation guide on the last page.

Each page has a beautiful pencil sketch of an animal, accompanied by a simple phrase — “He heihei tenei”. This is followed by the English translation — “This is a chicken”. So basically a billingual first reader. The Young Engineer (5) can easily read the English, and I’m pretty sure he’ll be able to read the Te Reo independently in no time.

There are a fairly recent release, published in 2015. And I’m not sure how widely available they are, as I bought ours straight from the publisher. But I think they would be a great addition to every kiwi home library for children under six.

And actually if I’m being honest a pretty good tool for any parent wanting to include a little Te Reo in their home. Now when go to feed our chickens we can use the word “heihei” (pronounced hay-hay).

The other books in the series cover faces and getting dressed. So pretty normal toddler conversation points. A great basis for introducing the Maori language into family life.

Awesome or Average: Awesome

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