This arresting board book of first words in both Maori and English by award-winning Gavin Bishop pairs whanau and toys to show connections while building vocabulary for shapes, colours, objects—whatu/eye, kikorangi/blue, weri/feelers, pahau/beard.

A member of the extended family looks directly at the reader alongside a familiar toy.

Labels give the Maori and English words for what we see—colours, shapes, eyes, ears, nose, hair—and there are more connections to find in every illustration pair.

Words and images are chosen to include the unexpected and imaginative alongside the obvious, making this more than just a first-words book.

This is a bilingual book to ask questions, point and talk, for adult reader and child to learn and explore together—or to enjoy quietly alone.


Gavin Bishop ONZM, Tainui, Ngati Awa, is a leading Maori illustrator living in Christchurch, New Zealand. He has published over 70 books internationally and been translated into 12 languages. He has written for television and theatre, as well as a libretti for the Royal New Zealand Ballet. His awards include the New Zealand Children’s Picture Book of the Year multiple times, the Sir Kingi Ihaka award for lifetime contribution to Maori art and culture, and the Prime Minister's Award for Literary Achievement – Non Fiction.

Other books you'll love