A new bi-lingual picture book for children is teaching the meaning and significance of Waitangi Day. Aimed at early readers, it follows the story of a Chinese boy William who lives in New Zealand. He first hears about Waitangi Day at school, unclear on its significance, his friends tell him all about it. William hears about the Te Tiriti O Waitangi, finds out what a waka is, and learns about a hangi. The story concludes with William and family enjoying a hangi with a schoolfriend’s family. Written in both Mandarin and English, it was published by Kiwi publisher Duck Creek Press. After Chinese Language Week last week, a free copy of the book will be distributed to 750 schools that have Mandarin classes or a Mandarin language assistant.
“I wrote this book to provide an enjoyable story that opened up the opportunity for conversations between young children and their parents or teachers about the significance and meaning of Waitangi Day,” explained Kiwi author David Ling. “I’m delighted to see it now also in a bilingual English/Chinese edition. It is a wonderful way of opening this opportunity to Chinese speakers, taking conversations and understanding a lot further and into this important community.”
New Zealand Chinese Language Week Trust co-chair Jo Coughlan added that an increasing number of children are learning Chinese at primary school and William’s Waitangi Day by David Ling is a fun and informative addition to school libraries. “It will assist in Chinese language learning and deepen cultural understanding,” said Coughlan.