My children were straight away able to bring their prior knowledge/experiences of their own pet/s and how they look after them.
The illustrations were real-life photographs of children being caring, responsible pet owners – interacting positively with their mōkai. Accompanying text introduced the Māori word for each animal and its name.
The repetition of the last line “ia rā, ia rā…..ia rā, ia rā” was the part in the story that my kids learnt first, and they immediately joined in reading out loud.
The consistency in the sentence patterns became familiar, and before long they were able to anticipate the text.
The audio CD meant the book could be a read-along. It fully supports readers with the pronunciation of te Reo, and gives all English translations. The waiata helps the tamariki learn and remember the words.
The guitar chords were so simple, even I was able to play it!
The book has clear links to the learning curriculums – Te Whariki and Te Aho Arataki Marau. (It would’ve been helpful for our immersion setting if Te Marautanga curriculum was included!)
The teacher notes suggest various ways the book could be used, and provided a lot of follow-up ideas too.
A pictorial glossary (Kupu Hou) introduced the new words that were used in the book – in this case, the kupu Māori for each animal.
The pictures and themes would be most suitable for younger readers, particularly animal lovers who enjoy singing.
Title: Taku Mōkai
Author: Sharon Holt
Illustrator: Sophie Holt
Publisher: The Writing Bug Ltd
Date of Publication: 22 July 2016
Reviewer: Mrs Tatai Takuira-Mita and Te Rea (Room 20) Year 1 & 2 children
Position: Teacher and Tamariki
School: Toitoi Manawa, Fairhaven School, Te Puke