Top Ten Matariki Titles

Top Ten Matariki Titiles 2021

Matariki is the Māori celebration of family and the marker of the new year. It is the Māori term for the rising of the Pleiades star cluster, and in traditional times marked the time of harvest and preparation of the ground for the coming year. The Pleiades, or seven sisters, star cluster is an important astronomical phenomenum celebrated across the world, with tales told dating back to Greek and old Pacific Legend. In Māori mythology, Matariki is the story of the speration of earth mother Papatuaanuku and sky father, Ranginui by their children. From this seperation came the stars of Matariki and her children, who travel across the sky to mark the time of renewal and to build connections with whanau. Discover more on this important celebration by checking out our top ten most popular Matariki titles that we have in our collection across the Waitaki District Libraries.


Celebrating Matariki by Libby Hakaraia
(Palmerston Library, Children's Non-Fiction, 394.2614 HAK)

Learn about Matariki, a constellation of stars that have been known to Māori for hundreds of years. Celebrating Matariki covers the story of Matariki, the Māori calendar and crop growing, fishing and birds, and how you can celebrate Matariki. Includes related activities, and sound disc of one story and four songs.

Matariki by Libby Hakaraia
(Ōamaru Library, Children's Non-Fiction, 394.2614 HAK)

An introduction to the star group Matariki. Known in other cultures by names including the Pleiades and the Seven Sisters, Matariki featured strongly in pre-European New Zealand. Includes interviews with astronomers Richard Hall and Vicki Hyde, and well known navigator Hekenukumai Busby, and Hapimana Rikihana. Also included is a guide to finding Matariki in the night sky.

The Seven Stars of Matariki by Toni Rolleston-Cummins
(Ōamaru Library, Children's Picture Books)

A contemporary myth of love, magic, and adventure that celebrates Matariki. When Mitai's seven handsome brothers are bewitched by seven beautiful women, Mitai seeks advice and learns that the women are patupaiarehe and must be cast far away. They are given to Urutengangana, the god of the stars, who places them in the far away heaven, only allowing them shine in the Eastern sky once a year at winter solstice.

The Promise of Puanga: a story for Matariki by Kirsty Wadsworth
(Ōamaru Library, Children's Picture Books)

Puanga, cousin to Matariki, is a bright new star in the winter sky. Each year she appears to people of Aotearoa, a special sign for those unable to see Matariki, that winter and the Māori New Year are coming. With themes of friendship, family, Māori tradition and the empowerment of young women.

Matariki by Melanie Drewery
(Ōamaru Library, Children's Picture Books)

A family celebrate the Māori New Year and talk about what Matariki means to different people.

Daniel's Matariki Feast by Rebecca Beyer and Linley Wellington
(Ōamaru Library, Children's Picture Books)

Daniel is nervous on his first day of school but through the class activities that mark the Matariki Festival, he learns the true importance of Māori New Year, and how it is a time of sharing and beginning new friendships. 

Matariki by Sharon Holt
(Ōamaru Library, Children's Kit Set Audio Books)

A fantastic Matariki picture book for teachers, parents and children to enjoy during Māori New Year celebrations. A family wakes at dawn to see the Matariki star cluster and follows the family throughout the day as visitors arrive for traditional Matariki feast. As evening drwas in, the children create their own stars using sprinklers. Includes a Te Reo singalong CD.

Little Kiwi's Matariki by Nikki Slade Robinson
(Ōamaru Library, Children's Picture Books)

A gentle tale about celebrating Matariki, following Little Kiwi and her friends as they make their way to watch the constellation of Matariki rise for the first time. The tale also explains the origins, traditions and and how Matariki is celebrated today. The constellation is also shown, with the Māori names for each star. Contains some simple words in Te Reo Maori alongside the English equivalent.

The Seven Kites of Matariki by Calico McClintock
(Ōamaru Library, Children's Picture Books)

A fictional retelling of the tradition Matariki sotry. For the first time ever, the seventh little sister, Ururangi, was big enough to make her own celebration kite. But when the seven sisters take the finished kites to fly them, the east wind whips them all away into the sky...where hey now appear as the stars of Matariki to welcome the Maori New Year.

Matariki: the star of the year by Rangi Matamua
 (Ōamaru Library, Adult Non-Fiction, New Zealand & Pacific, 394.261 MAT)

A deeper look into the tradition of Matariki, looking into the meaning and significance of Matariki, how to locate Matariki and when, traditional customs and knowledge regarding Matariki and current-day practices.


Linda Robertson