Before even reading a word of this book, I flicked through the pages and fell in love with the bright, simple, crayon-style pictures. My year 2 class agreed that they were eye-catching and amazing.
Upon beginning the story, we realised that it was uniquely Kiwi and it had an easy-to-read rhythm to each page. As we read each verse, it was a pleasant surprise to get to the punch-line and we loved each one more and more as the book went on. The inclusion of Te Reo vocabulary was natural and easy to follow, even for young children who have had little exposure to the language. If one were new to the language, they would easily pick up what was going on based on the accompanying and clearly matching graphics. The story lent itself to a little bit of drama, which the all children enjoyed, particularly a hearty pūkana and haka towards the end. As a classroom teacher, this is a lovely addition to our bookshelf (and my resource collection) that could be used for many purposes; rhyming, illustrations, Kiwiana, oral language and fluency when reading aloud. The sing-along CD was a lovely addition which we all appreciated.
Title: Row, Row, Row Your Waka
Author: Rebecca Larsen
Illustrator: Rebecca Larsen
Translator: Tania Solomona
Publisher: David Bateman
Format: Paperback with CD
Date of Publication: December, 2016
Reviewer: Mel Heke
Position: Primary School Teacher (Year 2)
School: Summerland Primary School