KidsBooksNZ ~ A death in the family, whether it’s a close family member, extended family or a pet is hard for young people to understand. Books like ‘Farewell Anahera’ help children process that someone/something has passed on. Vanessa has approached this delicate subject with tenderness. The language is lilting, rhythmic, and descriptive with the use of alliteration and repetition to good effect. Read the full review.
WhatBookNext ~ This landscape style bilingual ( Māori/ English picture book is a beautiful story of a tangi (funeral / burial)of a loved one in a Māori family. Farewell Anahera might show a special piece of Māori life but is a a comforting read for anyone of any place, who has lost someone. The ethereal illustrations capture the grief, respect and peace as a family say goodbye and a journey to a sacred place (no matter a reader’s belief or religion) begins. Read the full review.
Farewell, Anahera follows the wairua (spirit) of Anahera as she journeys from her marae to Te Rerenga Wairua (Cape Reinga). This northern-most part of Aotearoa holds spiritual significance in Māori culture as it is the place where spirits depart this world to return to their ancestral homeland. There are different traditions – in some, the spirit travels across the sea to Hawaiki, while in others, the spirit descends to Rarohenga, the underworld realm of Hine-nui-te-pō (Goddess of Night and Death) where they are welcomed by her, and their ancestors.
Meet the Kiwi author
Find out more about Auckland author Vanessa Hatley-Owen on her author page.