Kimi and the Watermelon

Written by Miriam Smith

Illustrated by David Armitage

Published by Puffin, 1983

ISBN: 0-14-050950-x

NZC activities  for this picture book here.

Kimi lives with her grandmother and her Uncle Tau in the country. Together they plant a huge vegetable garden, including one tiny watermelon plant. When Uncle Tau has to go to the city to work, he asks Kimi to look after the watermelon plant so it will be ready to eat when he gets back. Kimi diligently waters and cares for the watermelon plant, which grows and lightens perfectly, ready to eat. She waits and waits, through the seasons, but Uncle Tau has not returned. Just when she is about to give up on him, he appears and they can finally share the watermelon together. A heartwarming story about the importance of family, and what it is like to miss someone when they are gone. The text and illustrations show New Zealand themes throughout, including fishing for eels, precious greenstones and images of flax kete, as well as rural New Zealand landscapes.

Summary written by Marion McKoy

Book cover used with permission of publisher