Battle of the Mountains

Written by Peter Gossage

Illustrated by Peter Gossage

Published by Reed, 2005

ISBN: 978-0-14-350338-5

NZC activities for this picture book here.

In this book Gossage tells the traditional Maori myth of the battle between the mighty Tongariro mountain and three smaller mountains in the central North Island for the love of the beautiful female mountain Pihanga. Incorporating traditional Maori illustration featuring moko designs in his brightly coloured illustrations, Gossage shows the battle raging with volcanic lava and hurling rocks as weapons. Battle over, and Tongariro victorious, the myth explains to the reader why the geography of the central North Island is as it remains today, with the conquered mountains Taranaki, Tauhara and Putauaki retreating to where they stand now.

Summary written by Marion McKoy

Book cover used with permission of publisher

5 thoughts on “Battle of the Mountains”

  1. I’ve only looked at a few things so far but felt compelled to write and say what a fabulous resource this will be.
    We’re looking at places in NZ that are significant as part of our Cultural Diversity theme and this book will be fantastic to make the link with the mihi we have just learnt to mountains that are significant for all NZers.
    Great stuff guys, keep it up.

  2. Hi I have used this book for so many things, we live in the area so is an even more precious resource. The illustrations are great for visual stimulation and subsequently visual art lessons, the plot is great for plays and making music. The whole concept of Nga Toi thanks, wonderful!!

  3. it is very interestin and i really liked the bit at the back , how to make your own mountain

  4. This is a fabulous book that I have used repeatedly in the classroom. The activities look great. In addition I think the book might be used as a starting point for discussion in Science – as a link to both Planet Earth and Beyond and the Nature of Science strand, as it illustrates how explanations for natural phenomena change over time and are changed by science and its evolution.

  5. I have made the mountains at the back of the book. and I love how you make them stand up. I liked it where all the mountains are now so now you know if it’s a real story or not.

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