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About the book
  • Published: 4 February 2020
  • ISBN: 9780143774297
  • Imprint: Picture Puffin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 32
  • RRP: $18.99

The Boys in the Waka Ama

Formats & editions

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.

  • Pub date: 4 February 2020
  • ISBN: 9780143774297
  • Imprint: Picture Puffin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 32
  • RRP: $18.99

About the Authors

Angie Belcher

Angie Belcher is a writer, teacher and adventurer whose several books for children include the now classic Girls in the Kapa Haka. She lives in Rotorua, New Zealand.

Debbie Tipuna

Debbie Tipuna is a children’s author and illustrator, a children’s librarian and a cool Nana. She lives in the beautiful coastal city of Tauranga, New Zealand with her husband, approximately sixty-three seagulls and a couple of pukeko. Her home studio has inspiring views of the harbour and is a short walk from the beach and Opopoti (Maungatapu) Marae. She has won a number of awards for her art and in 2017 was the inaugural recipient of the Tautoko Maori Foundation’s Basilicata art residency in Italy. A mixed media artist, Debbie especially loves working with gouache paints to convey her vibrant representations of the flora, fauna and folk of Aotearoa.

Praise for The Boys in the Waka Ama

“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.”

Otago Daily Times

“This book follows the boys in the waka ama team as they get ready for a race. After a karakia they get down to the race, with their whanau yelling encouragement — Kia tere (give more)! The text is predominantly in English and includes a glossary of Maori words at the end. It is a lively story on a popular sport with colourful illustrations and should hit the spot for young readers.”

Ann Kilduff, Rotorua Daily Post

“This book sees a young team rise to a big challenge. From training to racing, as this book reveals, there’s no time to rest because the crew must dig deep (quite literally) as friends and whanau cheer them on.”


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