Donovan Bixley’s playful Te Reo picture book retelling Old MacDonald’s farm is an absolute visual delight. For those beginning to learn Te Reo Māori, it’s a fun and accessible introduction to the language through the use of a very familiar song and clever illustrations with a strong New Zealand flavour.
As well as being a popular interactive read-aloud/sing-along for teachers and librarians, there are also a number of ways to use it as a teaching resource. The repetition of the song lyrics cements the learning of new words, while students can be encouraged to infer the new words on each page from the pictures. The visual glossary on the end pages is a welcome addition to support the story.
Teachers could also use this picture book to help teach basic sentence structure, as a guided reading and writing resource in classes, and to extend students by getting them to grow the picture glossary with new additions to Koro Meketanara’s farm.
This is an essential addition to all school libraries that is destined to become a much-loved favourite by young and old alike.
Title: Te Pamu o Koro Meketanara
Author: Donovan Bixley
Illustrator: Donovan Bixley
Date of Publication: May 2017
Ages: All ages
Reviewers: Senga White and Leon Dunn
Position: Research & Learning Coordinator and Head of Maori
School: Southland Boys’ High School, Invercargill