Riwia and the Stargazer

Book Author & Illustrator Linda Tuhiwai-Smith & Isobel Joy Te Aho-White
Rights Available World excl. NZ

Since he was born, Riwia’s baby brother, Tawa, has been in Auckland Hospital, and his family has come to stay in Auckland. While Riwia goes to school and Dad works as a cook, Mum stays with Tawa. Their Aunty Sue’s house is full, and renting is expensive, so Riwia and her parents live in a van, the Stargazer, in the park. Sometimes it’s scary at night when people shout at them in the park, but the weekend is good when they go to Aunty Sue’s and Dad cooks a boil-up and they all have a shower. But Tawa is getting sicker, and he dies. The family travels back home to Te Teko, taking Tawa to the meeting house for his funeral and burial. Riwia learns about the journey Tawa’s spirit will make to farewell Aotearoa New Zealand and join the boat of stars that gathers the spirits of the dead. And at Matariki, the Māori new year, the family remembers Tawa and gathers to see his spirit burning brightly as a star.

About the Author
Linda Tuhiwai Smith
(Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Porou) is a professor in Māori and Indigenous Studies at the University of Waikato. She is a world-renowned, leading scholar and researcher in indigenous studies, indigenous education and research methodologies and has written many publications in this area. She was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2013 for her services to Māori and education.

Isobel Joy Te Aho-White (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāi Tahu) is a freelance graphic artist and illustrator. Isobel studied design at the Whanganui School of Design and Massey University and uses both digital and traditional media. She specialises in symbolism and metaphor, and her work is influenced by mythology and folk tales, botanical illustration and life experience.


Huia Publishers


200 mm x 180 mm



Picture Books

Age range
5-11 years

Publication Date
February 2023

Rights Available:
World excl. NZ

Rights Agents:


Eboni Waitere

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