Ōtea Rock of Ages by Zak Waipara

Ōtea Rock of Ages by Zak WaiparaPanekire Bluff to the West Some rights reserved

Stories written in graphic format have been around since the 1700’s. Researching how these books have evolved and become so popular would be an interesting project for students.

Perhaps an author study relating to Waipara’s work could also be included in this challenge. The book Ōtea Rock of Ages, published by Tuakore with the assistance of Te Waka Toi Creative NZ, is the story of a tuatara, Mokotawhito and Kurutai who embark on a quest to recover the broken mauri of Ōtea.

It’s a story that will appeal to students, the legend styled genre being one they are familiar with. As Zak indicates in his notes, the first part of Ōtea appeared in the children’s collection titled, ‘Storylines’. This was published in 2003 to celebrate the Tenth Anniversary of the Storylines Festival of NZ writers and illustrators. Using details like this would help students with their research process.

I would encourage students to read these two stories, and to possibly also look at titles by Queenie Rikihana that Waipara illustrated back in 1997. The graphic styles are similar. How do they change? It is rewarding to enjoy the stories with high quality graphics, and the opportunity they provide to learn about the writing and illustrating process.

Also included in the notes are some early drafts of layouts for Ōtea. Altogether the book is a wonderful resource for teachers and students and a very tempting prologue of what we can expect in the future from this innovative author.

Read more about Graphic novels

Image: Panekire Bluff to the West by Kathrin & Stefan on Flickr

By barbara

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