Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Picture Book

NZ Writer, Translator and Illustrator
Chris Szekely, illustrated by Andrew Burdan and translated into te reo Maori by Scotty Morrison
Swim / Tahoe
Huia Publishers 2013         $24.00hb                  32 pages
ISBN 978 1 7755 0079 7 (English version)
ISBN 978 1 7755 0105 3 (Maori version)

Themes:  Epic swims/ Flute playing/ Hinemoa and Tutanekai/ Lake Rotorua/ Love stories/ Stories in te reo Maori/ Survival

This is the story of the two young lovers, Tutanekai and Hinemoa who, in spite of paternal disapproval and a vast stretch of lake water, finally manage to be together.

I was privileged to be at the AGM of the Friends of the Dorothy Neal White Collection last night where the guest speaker was Chris Szekely, the author of Swim and Chief Librarian, Turnbull Library. Chris gave us the very first public airing of this book as he read and projected the magnificent images on the screen. His audience sat quite mesmerized as the well-known story unfolded  - although, as Chris explained, he has taken a small poetic licence or two especially in removing the gourds that Hinemoa traditionally used to keep her afloat as she swam out to the island. As he said gourds as life rings and love stories somehow don’t match. 
I am so impressed with this book – the whole production – and am sure it will be received with enthusiasm by a very wide audience indeed.
Swim will be officially launched in Rotorua near the spot where Hinemoa started her swim, at the beginning of June. 
Chris was the winner of last year’s (2012) New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards Picture Book Section with Rāhui which he also shared with us last night.
It was a very special evening.  

Preschool up/ Age 4 up (including secondary schools)
Photo of Chris: acknowledgments to Huia Publishers

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