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Modern version of Rona and the Moon myth publishes for Te Wiki o te Reo Maori

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

An imaginative bilingual retelling of the Rona and the Moon myth hits the bookstores of Aotearoa this week for Te Wiki o te Reo Mâori/Mâori Language Week 2020.

In Rona Moon / Ko Rona Mâhina, award-winning writer and youth counsellor Tim Tipene recasts the myth in a modern setting. Rona is a young girl who gets angry with everyone - her brother, her Nana and Papa - until one night she calls the moon stupid! Taken to meet her ancestor Whaea Rona on the moon, she learns a lesson in how to control her temper:

‘Everything looks so small from up here,’ said Rona.

‘I know,’ Whaea beamed. ‘Even the reasons we felt angry seem so little.’

‘Hanga nohinohi te ao katoa atu i konei,’ tâ Rona.

‘E mea ana koe,’ te mene atu a Whaea. ‘Kua hanga nohinohi hoki ngâ take i pupû ai ô tâua riri.’

Stephanie Huriana Fong has translated Tim’s sensitive telling, and Tai Tokerau artist Theresa Reihana makes her first foray into children’s books with striking, luminescent illustrations.

Aimed at primary school readers, students of te Reo and anyone who loves a traditional story, Rona Moon / Ko Rona Mâhina is a companion to Tim’s 2016 book Mâui - Sun Catcher. Both are published in Oratia’s Indigenous Voices series.

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