Battle of the Mountains

Written by Peter Gossage

Illustrated by Peter Gossage

Published by Reed, 2005

ISBN: 978-0-14-350338-5

NZC activities for this picture book here.

In this book Gossage tells the traditional Maori myth of the battle between the mighty Tongariro mountain and three smaller mountains in the central North Island for the love of the beautiful female mountain Pihanga. Incorporating traditional Maori illustration featuring moko designs in his brightly coloured illustrations, Gossage shows the battle raging with volcanic lava and hurling rocks as weapons. Battle over, and Tongariro victorious, the myth explains to the reader why the geography of the central North Island is as it remains today, with the conquered mountains Taranaki, Tauhara and Putauaki retreating to where they stand now.

Summary written by Marion McKoy

Book cover used with permission of publisher