Maori Language Week is in the closing moments – it’s been a great event this year – it just keeps going from strength to strength. For readers outside of New Zealand it might seem a little strange to have a week dedicated to another language, but be assured, it’s part of the essential nature, the natural essence, of New Zealand. I think it’s just wonderful. Although I don’t speak Maori, I think that the fact that the language is not only alive, but is busy becoming a Google language option is a great thing.
One of the ways of dipping your toes in to explore Maori culture is though their stories, and you can do this online. Maori Legends for Young New Zealanders is an illustrated book, scanned and made available but the National Library of New Zealand. The book, by Katarina Mataira, contains 11 legends – and they’re just great to read and the illustrations by Clare Elizabeth Bowes are lovely as well. If you can’t find a kid to read these stories to, why not just read them to yourself.
I love the way the Children’s Library’s ‘Simple Search‘ works. In addition to the the usual search by subject or topic or author, the Children’s Library, very sensibly (and finally) sorts books by the colour of the cover. Yep, you can search by yellow. Or rainbow. At long last! I’m completely in love – what a perfect solution. Why aren’t all libraries sorted this way?