Strum a tune when you’re happy, kei te pai

Pūkeko, Kiwi, Hoiho and friends express their emotions with musical instruments and colour.
Author: Larsen, R., Kereama, J., Solomona, T., & Larsen, R.
Book Year: 2023
Publisher: David Bateman Limited
ISBN: 9781776890866
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Strum a tune when you’re happy, kei te pai

This is a pretty fun pukapuka - incredibly bright, colourful and has the ability to support children’s wellbeing in so many ways.

We love that Rebecca Larsen presents this story in both English and te Reo Māori, exploring the spectrum of emotions that we all have, assigning each one a colour and sound. We get to see characters Pūkeko, Kiwi and Hōiho all express their emotions through waiata. On the surface this seems like a simple story of three native animals experiencing emotions, but Larsen strategically incorporates music orientated activities in the story, providing opportunity for children to develop strategies to navigate, articulate and express their emotions

A fun added feature of this book is the inclusion of a music score, accompanied by a CD and QR code for accessing the widely known ‘If you’re happy and you know it’ in both English and te Reo Māori. Whānau or kura may even have some of the instruments used in the story and be able to expand this pukapuka into an activity.

As a whole Larsen has done a beautiful job of creating a pukapuka which explores emotions in a fun and exciting way while supporting our tamariki to waiata and kōrero te Reo Māori.

Review by Logan Moore, who has a background in health education working across Real Collective and Real Parents developing resources to support children's wellbeing in both schools and at home.

Strum a tune when you’re happy, kei te pai

Disclaimer: Please note these reviews are not intended as endorsements or recommendations from the Mental Health Foundation. This feature introduces resources that may be useful for individuals with an interest in mental health and wellbeing topics.