The Boys in the Waka Ama

Tahi, rua, toru, wha! Hoea to waka!

Meet the team of boys who are training hard for the big competition in this exciting story about waka ama racing!

A story celebrating the traditional Polynesian sport of outrigger canoe racing, from the creators of the bestselling The Girls in the Kapa Haka.
These are the crew of the waka, which race
side-by-side at a heart-thumping, breath-taking pace.
Their whanau have gathered along the shore –
“Kia tere! Kia tere! Kia tere – give more!”
The waka glides faster, the boys dig in deep.
There will be no rest till this race is complete
as they race in the waka ama.

With a lovely singing text and vibrant illustrations, this timely story celebrates all aspects of this incredibly popular and fast-growing sport that is so special to Aotearoa.

Written by Angie Belcher and illustrated by Debbie Tipuna

$21.00 incl. GST

2 in stock

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Otago Daily Times ~ Angie Belcher’s text beautifully conveys the young crew’s determination, urgency and achievement. A glossary of te reo Maori terms used in waka ama is a welcome feature, and the paddle-adorned endpapers are a lovely touch.

What Book Next ~ Waka Ama is the sport of racing outrigger canoes as many Pacific people used in the past. This story follows six boys on their way to race in a Waka Ama competition from a stretch and a yawn in the morning, through the day, the race and stretching tired muscles at the end of an exciting challenge. Told in a rhythmic format, including te reo and rhyme, this picture book will suits ages 5 up. A glossary is included in the back. A great way to learn about this growing sport.

About the Kiwi author

Angie Belcher
Photo: Bruce Barnard

Angie Belcher is a writer and a teacher from Māketu in the Bay of Plenty. Find out more on her author page.

Additional information

Dimensions22.7 × 19 cm
First published



Softcover edition



Page count


Published by

Puffin Books, an imprint of Penguin

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