It will be a day of celebrating and learning as families come together for the launch of tri-lingual books.

​Ngā Reo e Toru - The Three Languages is being held in the children's area of the ground floor of Rotorua Library, Te Aka Mauri on Wednesday September 12, 11am to 12pm.

Rotorua Library Kaiurungi Matauranga Māori Anahera Sadler says this unique event will involve Rotorua mother Jenny Chapman officially launching her tri-lingual series of illustrated books Speak to me, Kōrero Mai.

Rotorua parents, children and whānau will have the opportunity to learn a few phrases in te reo Māori and sign language alongside the English equivalents.


There will be storytelling, waiata and activities for the children, as well as useful tips and techniques for parents who wish to communicate in tri-lingual ways with their tamariki or sign their children up for library membership and children's programmes.

Chapman said it was exciting to be launching her books to her local community and whānau first "particularly with Rotorua being reorua/bilingual, it's really exciting to support that".

She encouraged people to come along because it was a great way to see the books first-hand, to celebrate Te Wiki o te reo Māori with other people in the community, as well as celebrating sign language.

"I think you can't separate language and culture. Teaching our children the three official languages from a young age is helping to understand all of our cultures with te reo Māori and New Zealand Sign Language."

Chapman said the Rotorua Lakes Council had done amazing work with te reo Māori in Rotorua.

People will be able to buy her books at the event.

Jenny Chapman's books. Photo / Supplied
Jenny Chapman's books. Photo / Supplied

Sadler said these were the three languages of Aotearoa, and all of them needed to be elevated and celebrated by Rotorua tamariki and whānau as part of an ongoing conversation about the increased cognitive benefits of being exposed to more than one language.

"According to research, speaking more than one language can enable a better attention span and increased skills in multi-tasking, as opposed to monolinguals, as the brain becomes used to switching from one language to another.


"Te Reo Rotarota/Sign Language also varies from English to Māori and it is important in a reorua city to be exposed to and remember these cultural nuances."

Sadler said Chapman was a local mother who had hands-on experience in the effectiveness of using tri-lingual communication with her children, and was an example of what could be achieved by determined parents who wanted to expose their children to different ways of communicating.

"She is also an exemplar of the reorua/bilingual status of Rotorua, being non-Māori and learning te reo, while extending herself by using sign language as well.

"Jenny is easy to relate to and will no doubt be an inspiration to many parents."

The event is free and bookings are required through the library.