Author branches out with new book
Pa¯pa¯moa author Rebecca Larsen will launch her second book in the same place as her first next week.
Rebecca has chosen to launch Ta¯ne Mahuta has a forest in Te Puke, just as she did her first book, Row, row, row your waka in 2016.
Ta¯ne Mahuta has a forest sees characters Pu¯keko, Kiwi and Hoiho back in another story illustrated and written by Rebecca, who is also EPIC Te Puke marketing manager.
In her new book Pu¯keko, Kiwi and Hoiho explore the forest and readers can sing along with them to the waiata and join them as they perform the actions. Ta¯ne Mahuta has a forest is sung in English and Ma¯ori to the tune of Old MacDonald had a farm.
Rebecca has taken this wellloved song and created a story that will help children sound out their vowels, accompanied by her lively illustrations.
The book has been translated into Ma¯ori by Justin Kereama and Tania Solomona, and features a bonus CD of the song in English and Ma¯ori sung by Paul Inia with music by Richard Larsen. It’s the same team that was behind Rebecca’s first book.
All of them will be at the launch at Te Puke Paper Plus at 3.30pm on November 2.
“It will be very special to have the whole crew there for the launch,” she says.
“Otanewainuku Kiwi Trust will also be at the launch to raise awareness of the forest we have behind Te Puke and the work they are doing.”
Earlier in the day Rebecca will be at Te Puke Library at 10.30am and will then read from the book at Fairhaven and Te Puke Primary schools.
Rebecca was so encouraged by the enthusiastic response to Row, row, row your waka it motivated her to create her second story, with a mix of English and Ma¯ori plus a fully translated version with fun actions.
Rebecca’s inspiration for the book came from a family bush walk when they visited a small forest on the outskirts of Opotiki called Hukutaia.
“It was a super-hot day, but when we entered the forest we were well covered — and the temperature dropped, and we entered a living world of waiata — birdsong, clicks and rustle noises. Ta¯ne Mahuta, god of the forest and our precious ancient Northland kauri tree, is of course important to note as inspiration. We visited this tree many years ago and I remember it being a spiritual and awe-inspiring experience.”
Pupils at Arataki School will perform a play inspired by the book on November 9 under the guidance of deputy principal and reo rua/bilingual classes team leader Tania Solomona, who has offered Rebecca guidance on both books.
“[Pupils] have seen the books from before they were published all way through to now,” says Rebecca.
Tania says seeing the process has been impacted on pupils’ learning.
“Rebecca explained the journey she was going on, how she wrote the book for her own tamariki, how she drew the pictures, what she had to do to find a publisher and, of course, she shared the book,” says Tania. “The tamariki were inspired, and they loved the book. Their reaction was quite amazing.”
There will also be book readings at Tauranga Library on November 13, Mount Library on November 15, Greerton Library on November 21 and Pa¯pa¯moa Library on November 28. All will start at 10.30am.
Rebecca Larsen with her second children’s book, November 2. to be launched in Te Puke on