Written by Patricia Grace
Illustrated by Robyn Kahukiwa
Published by Puffin, 1984
NZC activities for this picture book here.
A tuna (eel) with a magic throat travels to Champion Street, a typical inner city New Zealand street with compact state housing and power lines. There the tuna presents gifts to the children who live there. The gifts all represent the children’s own cultural heritages – a kie for Kelehia and a hau for Kava (Tokelauan), a piupiu for Hirini and a poi for Roimata (New Zealand Maori), a pate for Tuaine and a pareu for Nga (Cook Island Maori), and an ula for Losa and an ailao afi for Fa’afetai (Samoan). The theme of this story is Pasifica, with four key Pacific cultures being represented within the story. Grace also alludes to gender roles within each culture, by assigning gender specific ‘gifts’ from the tuna.
Summary written by Marion McKoy
Book cover used with permission of publisher