If anyone knows which kinds of books fly off the shelves, it is librarian Chris Szekely – one of the New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards finalists announced yesterday.
Both the Maori and English versions of Mr Szekely's picture book, Rahui, will go up against four other authors in the picture book category.
Mr Szekely said Rahui was "warm and joyful, but at the same time a wistful reflection" drawn from pieces of his childhood and set in a rural Maori community.
The book is about cousins' holidays at a beachside community and the rahui – temporary ban – placed on the beach after a death.It was published in October, 20 years after he and illustrator Malcolm Ross produced the content but "put it to one side".Mr Ross died years ago and never lived to see the final product.
"I'm very much aware that there still is a relative lack of Maori language material, for both kids and adults," Mr Szekely said.
Full report at The DomPost