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Tales of Aotearoa How Maui fished up the North Island


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Tales of Aotearoa How Maui fished up the North Island – By Donovan Bixley

Donovan Bixley re-tells the story of Maui fishing up North Island! This treasured and traditional tale of how Aotearoa (New Zealand) came to be has Donovan’s unique twist and trademark humour within the pages and will engage the young tamariki with words and illustrations. The pictures are vibrant and bring the book to life and they add humour to the book.

Format: This book has a Hard cover.

Language: This book is written in English.

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“Initially I turned down the offer to write and illustrate a book on Māui,” says Donovan. “He’s such an important part of Pacific culture and I felt didn’t have the knowledge or the mana to take on this legendary figure. But the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to bring my own interpretation.” Māui is reimagined as a cheeky younger brother, on the type of hilarious fishing trip with the whanau that will be familiar to many Kiwi youngsters. “I wanted my book to focus on the part of Māui who is tinihanga and pōtiki – the smallest brother and cheeky trickster. He’s the type of character a lot of children can connect with and I hope they are going to really love reading this book because it has a lot of attitude in it.” Underneath the fun, is a real desire to honour the cultural significance and importance of Māui. Donovan worked under the guidance of Dr Darryn Joseph, who also translated the te reo edition, along with Keri Opai. “Working with Darryn really opened my eyes to some of the deeper layers and meaning behind Māui’s story. Even though my version is aimed at young readers, there are a lot of other layers of Māui’s story woven in.” Donovan hopes his book will give readers insight into a new side of Māui they haven’t seen before. “I absolutely adored illustrating this book. Every day on this project was like escaping to wonderful place when the world was fresh and colourful and new. I hope that it’s a world readers will want to return to again and again too.”


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