Author(s): Toni Rolleston-Cummins
An adventurous young man called Mitai lives with his seven handsome brothers in the village of Maketu. He watches his brothers become bewitched by seven beautiful women, and under their spell, the brothers no longer eat, look after themselves, work in their gardens or hunt. Realising the women are patupaiarehe, fairy women, he knows they must be cast far away. They are given to Urutengangana, the god of the stars, and he places the patupaiarehe in the heavens farthest from the earth. Yet once a year, at winter solstice, he allows their beauty to shine in the eastern sky.
Toni Rolleston-Cummins has a journalism degree and has written poems and stories from a young age. Finding a shortage of good books about Matariki, she originally wrote this story to engage and entertain her class and make the story of Matariki come alive and have meaning. This is her first published book. Nikki Slade-Robinson has worked as a freelance illustrator since 1989. Nikki's passion is drawing for children, and she has illustrated over 20 children's books and readers, including award-winning The Puriri Tree/Te Puriri (Huia Publishers).