by Robyn Kahukiwa
“Aotearoa is home to many marvellous gods.
They are special.
They are unique.
They are awesome.”
So begins this beautifully presented picture book.
Atua, in Maori is not a gendered term, so female and male deities are included - a welcome change from earlier sources that ignored the presence of the female element and acknowledged male deities only. What else would we expect from Robyn Kahukiwa who years ago gave us that great gift of Wahine Toa: Women Of Maori Myth.
Tāne, Hine-te-iwaiwa, Tangaroa, Hinemoana, Mahuika, Tāwhiri-mātea, Muri-ranga-whenua, Tūmatauenga, Māui, Hinetītama/Hinenuitepō, Rūamoko, and Uenuku are each honoured with a brief explanation and full-page full-colour illustrations.
Kahukiwa’s art displays her talent for combining Maori and modern traditions. The figures are bold, active, and compelling – there is no doubt about their presence as divinities and ancestors.
There’s no attempt made in the text to deliberately simplify the language for very young readers, so this book can serve as an introduction for a wider spread of ages.
A hardback book with high quality paper to suit the content.
Author: Robyn Kahukiwa
Publisher: Oratia Books
Available: Bookshops or direct from www.oratia.co.nz