Dear Lipa Villagers, we have another stunning story for you and your children.

A fluid storytelling combined with traditional and modern culture shows an interesting picture of how boys and girls being treated unequal in tribes. It’s a powerful way to acknowledge how girls are just as brave and strong as boys are. Your children will love the little Kahu and her gift for talking to whales, as well as the way she rides them on the waves of the amazing Pacific Ocean.

The Whale Rider

The Whale Rider

Author: Witi Ihimaera

The Whale Rider is a beautiful story about Maori culture and tradition of a tribe in Whangara the East Coast of New Zealand.

In their society, the boys are the ones destined for heir. As the chief’s only great-grandchild is a little girl named Kahu, the tribe worries over their future. One day, a massive stranding of whales happens on the New Zealand’s shore, and the one who saves them happens to be the little girl Kahu, as she reveals the whale rider’s ancient gift of communicating with whales.
This beautiful story of Maori legend emphasizes women strength as the little girl tries to find her place in the male society. Also, it and speaks about life on Earth and enchanted whales’ journeys in the depths of the Ocean during which underwater swimming becomes vivid, tangible and sensational. This is the kind of story that will enlighten you and your child, as well as to raise your interests in amazing sea creatures like whales.

Quotes and praise



A gem that glistens. Beautiful. A contemporary rewriting of an ancient Maori legend.
I enjoyed this book as this gave me an insight into the Maori culture but also told a story of a determined little girl and her quest to find her way into her grandfather’s heart.
The lyrical, almost magical, descriptions of the herd of whales’ journeys through the depths of the great oceans contrast beautifully with Rawiri’s simple, down-to-earth narrative.
Such a beautiful, challenging book. Witi Ihimaera weaves a lush story, combining land and sea, past and present.
Overall the book was a superb piece of literature, kudo’s to my son’s teacher for choosing it!
This book was fantastic. I loved how the narrator was in Rawiri, and how different Kahu was from the movie, very feminine, not a tomboy who was ashamed in a way of being a girl.