Tangaroa's Gift by Mere Whaanga (Scholastic)
Tangaroa's Gift was first published in 1990 and received the Gaelyn Gordon Award for a much-loved book in 2011 - it's so popular it is still in print!
Author illustrator Mere Whaanga wrote the legend of how paua received its beautiful colours of blue, green, pink and purple after collecting pieces of paua shell from a beach. She tells how paua first felt lonely; so drab no one noticed him. Tangaroa asked Paua why he was sad and he replied he wasn't fast or clever or pretty like other marine animals. Tangaroa thought about how he could make life better for paua, but at first his gift brings unwanted attention. Read this delightful tale of how Paua became the most beautiful shellfish in all of New Zealand. An excellent resource to go with your books of Maori legends.
The artwork complements the gentle tale with its water colour blues and greens. Mere has swirled colours to mimic the curve of waves and the koru. Also complementing the text is the Maori version on the left and the English version of the story on the right.
Reviewed by Maria Gill