by Angie Belcher
This is a story about treasures, set in New Zealand. When Rawiri tells his nanny about his class trip to the Whirinaki forest, she gives him an old, worn flax kete to collect his treasures in. Although Rawiri does not want to have to lug the old kete with him, he takes it to please his Nanny and looks for some “treasures” from the forest to put in, as he walks through the forest. However, Rawiri can not find anything to put in, and the kete comes back empty. But why is it so heavy? Rawiri learns that “treasures” can come in many forms – and that the real treasures he has collected along the way are the qualities of Leadership, Guidance, Care, Encouragement and Co-operation. The beautiful watercolour illustrations feature many New Zealand icons – totara, kereru feathers, giant weta and of course the woven flax kete. This book was nominated because it is a beautifully woven story about friendship. It was shortlisted for a LIANZA Pounamu Award (2004).
A New Zealand Curriculum-linked activity for this picture book can be found here.