I saw the movie years ago, and I enjoyed it very much. I didn't realize the film was based on the book until earlier this year. I decided to check out the book because since I enjoyed the movie, I will most likely enjoy the book.
I was thrown off by the choice of the narrator of this story. I expected the narrator to be Kahu, not one of Kahu's uncle. But, the narrator grew on me as I continued to read the book. Even though the story was short, I thought the pacing was just right. The story doesn't wander around aimlessly. I thought the story's straightforward approach is refreshing after reading and watching stories that cram too much stuff in one story. Though I do wish to learn more about Kahu's life and personality. I enjoyed Granny Flower's character because she was sweet and sassy.
Unfortunately, my memories of the film are fuzzy, so I can't comment on how the movie and book differ from each other.
Also, the book is hard to find, which is a huge bummer. I bought a used copy from an eBay seller since I couldn't find it at bookstores like Barnes and Noble. If you come across this book somewhere and sometime, I recommend checking it out because it's a short and satisfying story.