Finalists, finally!

It’s always tough waiting for this one every year. Luckily you can munch on FREE Hell Pizza while you wait.

But.. the wait is over! Today the finalists for the NZ Children’s and Young Adult Book Awards have been announced. These are the best books written or illustrated by New Zealanders in the last year:

 

Picture Book:

Granny McFlitter the Champion Knitter, written by Heather Haylock and illustrated by Lael Chisholm

 

 

 

 

I am Jellyfish, written and illustrated by Ruth Paul

 

 

 

 

 

That’s Not the Monster We Ordered, written by Richard Fairgray and Terry Jones, and illustrated by Richard Fairgray

 

 

 

 

The Gift Horse, written by Sophie Siers and illustrated by Katharine White

 

 

 

 

The Longest Breakfast, written by Jenny Bornholdt and illustrated by Sarah Wilkins

 

 

 

 

 

Junior Fiction:

How Not to Stop a Kidnap Plot, written by Suzanne Main

 

 

 

 

 

How to Bee, written by Bren MacDibble

 

 

 

 

 

Lyla: Through My Eyes – Natural Disaster Zones, written by Fleur Beale (Also available as an eBook)

 

 

 

 

Dawn Raid, written by Pauline (Vaeluaga) Smith

 

 

 

 

 

The Thunderbolt Pony, written by Stacy Gregg (Also available as a Digital Audiobook)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Junior Non-Fiction:

Aotearoa: The New Zealand Story, written by Gavin Bishop

 

 

 

 

 

Explore! Aotearoa, written by Bronwen Wall and illustrated by Kimberly Andrews

 

 

 

 

New Zealand’s Great White Sharks, written by Alison Balance

 

 

 

 

 

Sky High: Jean Batten’s Incredible Flying Adventures, written by David Hill and illustrated by Phoebe Morris

 

 

 

 

The New Zealand Wars, Written by Philippa Werry

 

 

 

 

 

 

Illustration:

Abel Tasman: Mapping the Southern Lands, illustrated by Marco Ivančić

 

 

 

 

Bobby, the Littlest War Hero, illustrated by Jenny Cooper

 

 

 

 

 

Giants, Trolls, Witches, Beasts, illustrated and written by Craig Phillips (also available as a eBook)

 

 

 

 

I am Jellyfish, written and illustrated by Ruth Paul

 

 

 

 

 

 

Te Reo Māori:

Tu Meke Tūī! Written by Malcolm Clarke, translated by Evelyn Tobin and illustrated by Hayley King (Also available in English)

 

 

 

 

Hineahuone, written and illustrated by Xoë Hall and translated by Sian Montgomery-Neutze

Te Tamaiti me te Aihe, written and illustrated by Robyn Kahukiwa and translated by Kiwa Hammond

 

 

Check out the YA (and other) categories.

 

The winners will be announced on August 8th. Stay tuned…

Top 10 Children’s Fiction Summer 2018

Great children’s series with new additions! Author Rachel Renee Russell wrote her first book when she was still at school, she was around 10 years old! It was a birthday gift for her brothers.  The Dork Diaries books are inspired by her daughter Nikki and Erin.  Does one of those those names seem familiar?  Russell credits her daughters in authoring the books. Cool!

Have you ever written a book for anyone’s birthday?  It would be a such a great gift.  Or an terrible one if you wrote awful things. Maybe don’t write terrible things!

But definitely check out these popular authors for some great ideas:

 

  1. Diary of a wimpy kid, by Jeff Kinney
  2. Captain Underpants, by Dav Pilkey
  3. Storey Treehouse series, by Andy Griffiths
  4. Tom Gates, by Liz Pichon
  5. Dork Diaries, by Rachel Renée Russell
  6. The World’s Worst Children, by David Walliams
  7. Fantastic beasts and where to find them, by J. K. Rowling
  8. Harry Potter and the prisoner of Azkaban,  by J. K. Rowling
  9. Magnus Chase and the ship of the dead, by Rick Riordan
  10. The bad book, by Andy Griffiths

BIG BOOK BASH: Wairarapa & Wellington Kids & Youth Festival

Love writing and making Zines? Enjoy storytimes and want to meet some of your favourite authors and illustrators? How about learning to make Ginomee hats or paper bag dogs? These are just some of the 30+ free events that are going to be on offer at the BIG BOOK BASH! With so much cool stuff on offer your day will be jam packed but don’t forget to come along to the Wellington City Library stand and pick up a Scavenger Hunt entry form so you can go into the draw to win a bag filled with BOOKS! Be prepared for a feast of books and a fabulous array of authors, illustrators and activities at the BIG BOOK BASH, Saturday 2nd December in Carterton, Wairarapa. Here’s too a fun filled and (fingers crossed) sunshine filled day, hope to see you there!

What: BIG BOOK BASH: Wairarapa & Wellington

Where: Caterton Library, Event Centre and Courthouse

When: Saturday 2nd December, 11am – 6pm

All events are free but some require registration contact Carterton District Library to register

Feel Brave Event!

It’s sometimes really hard to be brave especially when you have nightmares or feel all alone but there are wonderful books that can help you to feel brave. Come along and meet Wolfgang the Wolf and Clarissa the Cat who are best friends from the Feel Brave series of books. These books use rhyme and pictures to help make you to feel a little braver, especially when the wonderful author, Avril McDonald, is here to introduce you to them. There are so many feeling and emotions to deal with sometimes it can be over whelming but Wolfgang can help you as he makes discoveries about bullying and kindness, anxiety and fears, loneliness and friendship.

Join UK based Wellington author Avril McDonald as she tells her Feel Brave children’s stories and demonstrates simple games and activities to help you with big emotions and gain confidence! The Feel Brave books are officially for 4 – 7 year olds but all ages enjoy them, I’m always up for learning how to feel a little braver! So come along to this special free Feel Brave event.

Where: Central Library

When: Saturday 26th August

Time: 10.30 – 11.30am

Special Pre-School Storytime and Kids Press Conference!

All systems are go, down at Central Library on Monday the 14th of August as the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults kicks off with a day full of exciting events. These unique awards celebrate the wonderful writers and illustrators from Aotearoa who give us so many great books to read and help to shape our identity as a country. I’m sure many of you have already been reading some of the finalists along with getting clips on your HELL Pizza Wheels!

The day starts with 3 fantabulous Storytime sessions featuring finalists from the Book Awards so come along to hear the stories being read by their very own authors and illustrators.

Storytime sessions

9.30am: “My Grandpa is a Dinosaur” read by Richard Fairgray and “The Day the Costumes Stuck” read by Toby Morris. Both of these books are very funny and destined to become family favourites. What would you do if your Grandpa’s pants needed tail holes? Imagine if you couldn’t get your party costume off and your parents didn’t even notice!

 

Continue reading

Author Visit: Des Hunt at Central Library.

Attention all literary fans! Come on down to the Central Library and learn how to create amazing stories with a master storyteller! Join 2017 Margaret Mahy Medal and Lecture Award winner Des Hunt for a writing workshop like no other. This event is part of Beyond the Page, a literary festival for children and youth on from 8-23 July, for more information, check out the website.

Where: Wellington Central Library, Young Adults area.

When: Tuesday 11th July, 1pm to 2pm.

Age Group: This workshop is aimed at ages 9-12 and spaces are limited. Make sure you register to secure a spot.

About Des Hunt: Des Hunt was a science and technology teacher for many years, interspersed with periods of curriculum development both in New Zealand and overseas. During this time he had several textbooks published to support the New Zealand curriculum. Over the last twenty years he has experimented with other ways of interesting youngsters in science, creating computer games and writing non-fiction and fiction with scientific themes.

After living in Auckland for much of his life he moved with his wife, Lynne, to Matarangi on New Zealand’s Coromandel Peninsula. He retired from the classroom in 2007 to concentrate on writing fiction for children. He continues his aims of fostering young peoples’ natural interest in the science of their surroundings by visiting schools and libraries where he runs workshops and presentations.

Five Des Hunt books have been finalists at the Children’s Book Awards. Cry of the Taniwha was awarded the 2016 Storylines Gaelyn Gordon Award for a Much-loved Book. Then, in 2017, Des was the recipient of the Storylines Margaret Mahy Medal and Lecture Award for lifetime achievement and a distinguished contribution to New Zealand children’s literature and literacy.

Find out more about Des and his books: www.deshunt.com

While You’re at it, check out some of Des Hunt’s books that you can find at your local library.

Enjoy!

image courtesy of syndeticsPhantom of Terawhiti.

“It’s the school holidays and Zac thinks he might go crazy with boredom. He’s living in exile with his disgraced father on the remote Terawhiti Station on Wellington’s wild south-west coast. Zac and his father witness a shipwreck off the coast. Investigating further, he finds a set of unusual paw prints on the beach. Whose yacht it is? And what animal could have made the paw prints? Soon Zac is drawn into a mystery which threatens his life and those around him. He must protect the secret of the Phantom of Terawhiti from those intent on hunting it – and him – down”–Publisher information.

image courtesy of syndeticsFrog Whistle Mine.

Twelve-year-old Tony has travelled all around New Zealand with his nomadic mother, and desperately wants somewhere to belong. When they arrive in Charleston, a gold-mining ghost town, he is almost afraid to hope this might finally be the place. But things aren’t as they seem, and he finds himself caught up in mysterious events.

 

image courtesy of syndeticsWhere cuckoos call.

Twelve-year-old Ben is a keen ornithologist who looks after endangered birds on his family farm in the Coromandel Peninsula. But Ben must grow up fast in the face of threats to his home, his family and his beloved birds.

 

 

image courtesy of syndeticsWhale Pot Bay.

Jake lives with his father in a remote part of the Wairarapa, where he can surf and watch the whales. But then Jake’s dad begins a relationship with a new partner, who moves in with her daughter Stephanie, and at the same time a local photographer starts stalking their next door neighbour Milton Summer, an international rock celebrity, and Jake’s peaceful life erupts into violence and deceit. An when a whale and her calf get into trouble on the treacherous coast, the history of Whale Pot Bay seems doomed to repeat itself unless Jake, Milton and Stephanie can survive the deadly tide.

image couresty of syndeticsCry of the taniwha.

Matt Logan isn’t looking forward to spending the school holidays in Rotorua with his grandmother and her new husband. Matt has taken his metal detector along, and when he and Juzza – the boy next door – unearth a handcuffed skeleton, a dangerous chain of events begins to coil around them.

 

Finalists in The Children and Young Adults Book Awards!

Wow! The finalists have been announced for this years New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults and what an amazing line up! It’s so great to be able to celebrate our wonderful home grown talent in Aotearoa so check out some of these books. Oh and don’t forget you can read some of these books as part of the Hell Pizza Challenge and get stamps on your pizza wheels. Yum!

Love Joy Cowley’s books and the snake and lizard series is one of my favourites. Check out their latest hilarious adventures and escapades in “Helper and Helper”.

Tania Roxborogh’s latest book “My New Zealand Story: Bastion Point” is a great way to explore New Zealand history from the perspective of a young girl called Erica Tito, whose parents decide that instead of going on their usual summer holiday they will join the protesters at Bastion Point. A moving and insightful account of real life events through the eyes of a fictitious young girl.

 

 

Sent to live with his grandmother in Hastings after his father is jailed, Matt becomes the victim of bad friends and false accusations. Sent off to a military-style school camp in the wilds of lake Waikaremoana, Matt is once again in trouble. Find out more about Matt and the friendships he makes by reading “Sunken Forest” by Des Hunt. This popular author will also be coming to Wellington Central Library on the 11th of July as part of the Beyond the Page festival, more about that on the blog soon!

“The Discombobulated Life of Summer Rain” by Julie Lamb tells the story of Summer, who loves to make people laugh, it’s how she fits in. Living with her crazy family she is surprised when Juanita suddenly wants to be her friend… Find out more about Summer and her friends and family when you read this book.

 

 

Ever had an imaginary friend? Ben has one called Vincent in “The Impossible Boy”, who has helped Ben survive in the war torn streets which are his home. But can an imaginary friend become real? How powerful is Ben’s imagination. A beautiful and powerful book  to immerse yourself in, by Julie Lamb.

So many more books up for awards so expect more blogs soon. Other categories include: non-fiction, illustration, te reo Māori, picture book, and first book award. So keep those peepers peeled for more exciting reads.

Top 10 Children’s eBooks March 2017

Dowloading popular titles is great way to read though your favourite authors, or make sure you get to read all the books in a series.  You can reserve an eBook – just like a regular shelf one.  So when someone has finished their loan or returns the eBook you can read it.  Books that are movies are really popular at the moment with the likes of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, being enjoyed by library e-users.

Do you have a favourite? if you had to choose the book or movie as the best which would pick?

  1. Harry Potter eBook series, by J. K. Rowling
  2. The Hunger Games eBook Series, by Suzanne Collins,
  3.  Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, by Jack Thorne, John Tiffany and J. K. Rowling
  4.  The Mortal Instruments eBook Series, by Cassandra Clare
  5. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs
  6. The Twits, by Roald Dahl
  7. Rodrick Rules: Diary of a Wimpy Kid, by Jeff Kinney
  8.  James and the Giant Peach, by Roald Dahl
  9. The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me, by Roald Dahl
  10. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, by J. K. Rowling

ComicFest is here!

Who likes comics? I do and I know where I’m going to be on Saturday the 6th of May from 9.30am to 5pm, at Wellington Central Library for ComicFest!

We have all sorts of fun activities on offer. Learn how to create your own comic book character, dress up as your favourite comic book character and enter the Cosplay competition, hear about how the new “Thunderbirds Are Go” movie was re-imagined for todays audience and lots of other exciting stuff.

Best of all there are free comics being given away and lots of exciting prizes to be won!

Don’t forget to check out all the wonderful comics and graphic novels that we have at the libraries. One of my favourites has to be Tintin by Herge. This comic hero has his faithful dog Snowy by his side and is aided in his adventures by a cast of colourful characters (see if you can spot Snowy at ComicFest.)

 

 

Syndetics book coverAsterix by Goscinny and Underzo of course is an all time classic and the names of the characters still make me laugh! Set in a little village in Gaul the comics tell the story of Asterix and his best friend Obelix and their numerous adventures through the ancient World. This comic series is one of the most popular all over the World.

 

 

 

Image from SyndeticsBut comics can also have little or few words and really focus on the story through the pictures. Polo: The Runaway Book by Regis Faller, tells an exciting story through colourful pictures taking you on an adventure over the sea and flying through the sky as the characters make friends with each other while searching for the stolen book.

 

 

Image from SyndeticsLittle Robot by Ben Hatke uses very few words to tell the story of a friendship between a lonely child and a small lost and confused robot. They both show initiative and courage to overcome another evil robot and save the day.

So why not try reading some of our fabulous comics here or better still try writing and illustrating your own!