Saturday, 23 March 2013


NZ Writer and Photographer
Jill MacGregor
Tareima’s String
Puriri Paddocks (33 Puriri Road Waikanae) 2013        $29.99pb   28 pages
ISBN 978 0 4732 1918 5
Themes:  Kiribati, Pacific Ocean/  Pacific Islands -Life and culture

Kiribati (pronounced Kiribas) is a large area of low-lying islands in the Pacific Ocean north west of New Guinea. On the Tarawa Atoll in the village of Abatao 
lives Tareima who, from the photos, looks around 7 or 8 years old.  She has been given a certificate showing her good work at school and needs some string to hang it on the classroom wall so she goes to Kabuatekai, the string maker. In what is almost a photo essay we see the whole process of string making from the gathering of the green coconuts, the removal of the husks and the soaking in the salty waters of the lagoon. Tareima then begins the long and painstaking job of rubbing the fibres into strands. This is one of those great books where the photos don’t just accompany the text, they tell the story as well. One of an on-going collection of titles in the Children of the Pacific series produced by an author who believes in documenting the life and culture of the Pacific Islands in a time of great change. (Soon Tareima will just go into the supermarket and buy a ball of string or even just stick it up with cellotape.) 

Other titles in the series to date are:
Wrapping it up – Samoa
Kelea’s clothes – Tonga
A nest of pigs – Cook Islands
They are all available from the author at the address given above.
I am sure teachers (and individuals too) will fall gratefully upon these books as a much needed part of the Pacific Islands collection.
Year 2 up/ Age 6 up


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