by Lino Nelisi
Auckland, New Zealand: Ashton Scholastic Ltd
ISBN: 1869431448/9781869432096 (English)
ISBN: 1869432355/8781869431761 (Maori)
ISBN: 1869432355/9781869432355 (Samoan)
In this book, Lino Nelisi tells a Pacific Island version of The Enormous Turnip story. When Sione finds a talo growing on his plantation, he tries to pull it out, but it won’t budge. Sione asks his wife, sons and daughters to help, but in the end it is a tiny ant which gets the talo out of the ground. And that night there is plenty of talo for everyone, including the ants. This is a beautifully and simply told story, which shows the reader what life is like in the Pacific Islands. The illustrations show the characters climbing coconut trees, weaving flax, arranging flowers into leis and eating together on flax mats.
This book is available in English, Samoan, Maori and Niuean translations.
It was recommended for the collection because of the way it represents Pacifika culture and shows language diversity. It was also recommended because it allows Pasifika children to see themselves, and their culture represented. This book was awarded Best Picture Book in the AIM Children’s Book Awards (1993).
A New Zealand Curriculum-linked activity for this picture book can be found here.