Whakarongo ki ō Tūpuna
Listen to your Ancestors

Darryn Joseph
Illustrated by Munro Te Whata

Back in an attractive paperback edition is the award-winning book that helped launch Darryn Joseph as a leading author and promoter of children’s literature. 

Darryn had penned a score of readers for Māori immersion education, before Whakarongo ki ō Tūpuna / Listen to your Ancestors came as his first book for the general market, in 2019. 

That hardback book won the NZSA Heritage Book Award, Māori section in 2020, and is now available in a lower-priced paperback. 

Set in a school and a rest home, Darryn’s story follows a teacher giving life lessons to her students based on the example of Māori gods and ancestors.

As the story unfolds, the teacher ages and retires, and her granddaughter cares for her until her death. Her granddaughter also a teacher, then begins to pass on to her pupils lessons from the ancestors.

Beautifully illustrated by Munro Te Whata, the book dives deep into te Ao Māori, the connection to tūpuna and to the natural world, the concepts of aroha and manaakitanga.

Darryn has gone on to a range of collaborations and translations with noted author-illustrator Donovan Bixley, as well as judging for the New Zealand Book Awards and being a trustee of the Storylines Children’s Literature Trust. 

The authors

Darryn Joseph (Ngāti Maniapoto) is an author and language consultant who was for over 20 years a senior lecturer in Māori language at Massey University, Palmerston North. He is the author or translator of some 30 books, mainly for Māori immersion education. 

Munro Te Whata (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Porou, Niue) is an animator, artist and writer who has illustrated several books. He lives with this family in Auckland where he works in and teaches animation and illustration.

Publication: 5 March 2024  |  ISBN: 978-0-947506-67-4  |  RRP $22.99

Paperback, 270 x 210 mm portrait, 32 pages, colour