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From two aunties playing cards to an old soldier eating ice-cream ... from two birds building their nest to a great mountain looking down ... follow Jack as he travels deeper and deeper into the heart of Te Reo Māori where he discovers a new way of looking at a world he once thought he knew. 


In this book Glenn Colquhoun and Rautini O’Brien tell the story of a young Pākehā boy learning Te Reo Māori. The journey takes him from the small girl who lives next door, through the landscape surrounding his town and brings him back home to a street that will never quite seem the same again. 


"A wonderful book for tamariki and all learners of the Māori language. A simple compelling story takes the reader on a journey through the ages. The voice of the people, our ancestry, and the land we spring from, is beautifully evoked through a tale of a not-so-chance encounter between a boy and a girl. The insights into the mana of our language, and the reasons we cherish it so, are lovingly offered.


Children’s stories, the best of them, need to be in a league of their own to succeed. The Small Girl Who Lives Next Door is a superior children’s book. It will prompt discussion about our language in the easiest and best of ways. I am sure teachers will especially value this taonga. I gave a sneak preview to some Māori educators, and their children. They said “That’s spectacular!” It is.


E mihi nui ana ki ēnei tokorua me te whakatairanga i a rāua o te reo o wheinga ki te taumata e tika ana. He mārama ngā kōrero, he rawe ngā ataata. Koia katoa e hāngai ana ki te tōtika ki te tū tika o te reo Māori. Waimarie kē a tama mā a kōhine mā noki i tēnei kawenga o te aroha." – Tainui Stephens

The Small Girl Who Lives Next Door

  • Format: Hardback, 48 pages

    Dimensions: 260 x 200 x 100 mm

    Publisher: OldKing Press

    ISBN: 978-0-473-557662-1