Written by Lino Nelisi
Illustrated by Gus Hunter
Publshed by Scholastic, 1997
NZC activities for this picture book here.
Young Tane feels left out and unwanted when everyone else has something to practise for Uncle Kokela’s wedding on Saturday. He tries to join in with the big boys doing the meke, but they say he is too little. He tries to join in with the girls doing the hula, but they say he can’t because he is a boy. The men don’t want him drumming or playing the ukelele and the women don’t want him singing with them. Poor Tane watches them and learns anyway, and on Saturday he ‘steals the show’ by getting up and performing with the boys, the girls, the men and the women at Uncle Kokela’s wedding. Everybody loves it and the illustrations show how proud Tane feels. This story shows what it feels like to be small and overlooked – a theme which most children can relate to. It also provides insight into the roles and traditions in Pacific Island cultural celebrations.
Summary written by Marion McKoy
Book cover used with permission of publisher