Top 10 Children’s Non-Fiction March 2017

Great books to get your brains tingling! If you’re building a Minecraft empire or brushing up your acting skills with the Harry Potter script the top issuing non-fiction books have something you’ll love.

Batman and Lego fans are loving the new movie, The Batman movie : the essential guide, by Julia March and The Batman movie : the making of the movie, by Tracey Miller-Zarneke will give you inside knowledge into creating the new Lego legend.  Want to build your own Lego Batman? Minecraft may be the creative space you’ve been looking for!

  1. LEGO series, by Daniel Lipkowitz
  2. Minecraft, by Stephanie Milton
  3. Hacks for Minecrafters, by Megan Miller
  4. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, by Jack Thorne, John Tiffany and J. K. Rowling
  5. Minecraft, by Nick Farwell
  6. Star Wars character encyclopedia, by Simon Beecroft
  7. Minecraft : Construction Handbook, by Matthew Needler
  8. The Batman movie : the essential guide, by Julia March
  9. Dog, by Juliet Clutton-Brock
  10. Guinness World Records 2017, Craig Glenday editor in chief

Beauty and the Beast overload in the library!

This is a blog post that pays tribute to popular fairy tale, Beauty and The Beast. Beauty and the Beast  is a traditional fairy tale written by French novelist Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve and published in 1740 in La Jeune Américaine et les contes marins (The Young American and Marine Tales).

The story that a young woman named Beauty, who offers herself in exchange for her father, who has been imprisoned by the Beast, after stealing a rose from the beast’s garden, which was intended for Beauty as a gift. She discovers that her captor is an enchanted prince in disguise, who must find true love, despite his ugliness, to revert back to his former self. The question is can Beauty look beyond the beast’s ugly exterior and find true beauty within his heart?

Check out other versions and retellings of this classic fairy tale that the library holds:

image courtesy of syndeticsBeauty and the Beast, illustrated by Dan Taylor.

Beauty and the Beast is a perfect introduction to this classic fairytale. Push, pull, and turn mechanisms bring the story to life and introduce all the main characters: Beauty, her father, and of course the Beast! This well-loved fairytale is beautifully imagined for a new generation by children’s illustrator Dan Taylor.

 

image courtesy of syndeticsBeauty and the beast / retold by Michael Morpurgo ; illustrated by Loretta Schauer.

A captivating retelling of the nation’s favourite fairy tale, from the nation’s favourite storyteller, Michael Morpurgo. After encountering a fearsome beast at a mysterious palace, down-on-his-luck merchant Marco is forced to make a promise in exchange for his life: he must persuade one of his three daughters to return to the palace in his place – but she must come of her own free will. Beautiful, kind-hearted Belle agrees at once to return to the palace, and there she and the Beast exist companionably, with the Beast asking of Belle the same question at the end of each day: “Dearest Belle, will you marry me?” After a return home to consult with her father, Belle resolves to follow her heart and return to the Beast, but her plans are thwarted by the trickery of her jealous sisters. When, at last, Belle is able to find her way back to the palace, she finds her beloved Beast lying as still as death on the ground. As Belle’s tears fall on his face, the Beast is transformed into a handsome prince the ancient spell upon him broken by Belle’s tears of true love.

image courtesy of syndeticsBeauty and the Beast / by Melissa Lagonegro ; illustrated by the Disney Storybook Art Team.

Belle is trapped in a castle, under a terrible curse. Can she break the spell?

image courtesy of syndeticsBeauty and the beast / [retold by] Berlie Doherty ; illustrated by Jane Ray.

image courtesy of syndeticsBeauty and the beast / Ursula Jones ; Sarah Gibb.

image courtesy of syndeticsBeauty and the beast  retold by Max Eilenberg ; illustrated by Angela Barrett.

image courtesy of syndeticsBeauty and the beast by Geraldine McCaughrean ; illustrated by Gary Blythe.

 

 

 

 

image courtesy of syndeticsThe Fairytale Hairdresser and Beauty and the Beast by Abie Longstaff & Lauren Beard.

image courtesy of syndeticsThe beast within : a tale of beauty‘s prince  by Serena Valentino.

Presents an adaptation of the classic Beauty and the Beast fairy tale from the perspective of the cursed prince who is transformed from a beloved and jovial ruler into a reclusive and bitter monster in search of true love.

Love to watch stories? Now we have Walt Disney’s Animated classic of Beauty and the Beast available on DVD at your local library!

image courtest of amazon.comWalt Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.

A Walt Disney movie about a tough no nonsense heroine, named Belle (French word for Beauty), who offers herself in exchange for her father, who has been imprisoned by the Beast, and discovers that her captor is an enchanted prince in disguise. While the situation is anything than ideal, this Beauty and the Beast must learn, in a very Pride and Prejudice-like way to overcome their pride and stubbornness, in the hopes of falling in love and breaking the beast’s enchantment. This film is beautifully constructed and made! Filled with lots of quirky characters, in the form of Lumiere (a candle stick), Cogsworth (a cynical clock), Mrs Potts (a mother-hen teapot) and many musical numbers. A film that the entire family can enjoy – especially on a Saturday night!

 

image courtesy of amazon.comMovie Review: Beauty and the Beast.

Belle (Emma Watson), a bright, beautiful and independent young woman, is taken prisoner by a beast (Dan Stevens) in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the beast’s hideous exterior, recognising the kind heart and soul of the true prince that hides on the inside.

This film is beautifully constructed and made! Overall it was an interesting revamp of the original animated 1992 classic. Filled with the same musical numbers and dance sequences, there a few twists, turns and few surprises during the film. Sorry, no spoilers in this review. The ballroom scene where Belle and the beast are dancing is fantastic. Belle’s dress and the dance moves – WOW, could possibly put the previous Disney Princess, Cinderella to shame!

All the characters had a part to play, had more depth, personality and beautifully showcased their uniqueness on screen. Even actor, Luke Evans did a very good job at playing arrogant, vain and sadistic baddie, Gaston, who foolishly hopes to win Belle’s hand, who in turn politely, but firmly rejects him! He didn’t have a bad singing voice either.

The characters:  Lumiere, Cogsworth and Mrs Potts were wonderful and entertaining. I particularly loved Lumiere’s number “Be Our Guest”, beautifully sung by Ewen McGregor.

Dan Stevens is phenomenal (and perhaps a tad bad tempered) as the beast. I always cracked up over his dry sense of humour. Overall he did the character of the beast justice to its original predecessor. I found there was more depth to the characters: Belle and the beast, and perhaps more of a back story as to how their background, experiences and personalities shaped the people that they came to be. I think in a sense these two are portrayed as mirror images of each other and have great, not to mention a unique chemistry.

I think Emma Watson plays Belle as more lady-like in this film. Not as openly stubborn and strong willed as the original Belle, but more quietly assertive and determined. Not to mention she is very polite in standing up to the beast and Gaston.

As always, the story encourages viewers to look beyond the superficial and to be compassionate, curious, humble, and generous. This movie is a must see and has been worth the long wait. A film that the entire family can enjoy on a night out on the town– especially on a Saturday night! 9/10 all the way!

Also check out the trailer and some musical numbers from the film.

 

 

 

Movie Review: Footrot Flats: A Dog’s Tale.

Rattle your dags, boys and girls and feast your eyes on an oldie but a goodie Kiwi Classic and childhood favourite of mine that comes to the small screen in the form of Footrot Flats: A Dog’s Tale. Featuring the characters from the late Murray Ball’s “Footrot Flats” – New Zealands most beloved local cartoon strip.

image couresty of Amazon.com

Join Dog, Jess, Wal, Cooch, Horse, Major, Rangi, Pongo, Cheeky and “those bloody Murphys” , where Dog goes on ‘a journey of a thousand miles’, and an epic adventure. You will bear witness to his first encounter with the sexy Jess, his loyal devotion to Wal Footrot, whom he saves from a fate worse than death; his adventures with Horse, the cat with the barracuda jaw and fishhook claws; his brilliant cowardice and mighty nose, pitted against the dastardly schemes of the villainous Murphys, their hell hounds and the Croco Pigs.

This film will also keep you entertained and glued to the small screen. Not to mention it’s jam packed full of Kiwi words, sayings and slang and references to Kiwi culture! The soundtrack, by Dave Dobbyn is mind blowing filled with famous popular Kiwi classics such as Slice of Heaven and You Oughta to be in love. Overall this film is VERY FUNNY! I laughed all the way through, especially during the part where Wal is serenading Cheeky with a love ballad  aka You Oughta to be in love, (see youtube clip down below!), Dog gets ambushed by an army of rats and the battle to the death with the deadly croco-pigs!

A film that can be enjoyed by all ages and a great film to watch with the family over fish and chips on a Saturday night. 6/10 all the way!

 

Movie Review: Moana

Around the Christmas break, I went to see the movie, Moana on the big screen and it is in a word… AMAZING!

image courtesy of amazon.comA tribute to the Polynesian culture and mythology, and full of heroic exploits of the heroes and heroines that Kiwis will be familiar with, namely Maui, the demigod. The plot follows the adventure and journey of Moana , a spirited teenager, who like most Disney princesses has a lot on her plate. This involves sailing out on a daring mission to save her island, restore the heart of Te Fiti – the island goddess, fulfill her ancestors’ unfinished quest and save the world. During her journey, Moana meets the once-mighty demi-god Maui, and together, they traverse the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous fiery creatures against impossible odds. Once again, Disney has put together a movie of epic proportions filled with quirky and memorable characters, as well as an amazing cast, including Kiwi actors, Temuera Morrison, Jemaine Clement and Oscar Kightley. Kids, if those names don’t ring a bell, ask your parents and a Disney Princess in the form of Moana who embodies the qualities of an adventurous, headstrong, practically fearless, and physically capable heroine. An 8/10 all the way!

Also check out these youtube clips from the movie soundtrack: “How far I’ll go” and “You’re Welcome!”

Enjoy!

Beauty and the Beast – US Official Final Trailer.

The final trailer for the 2017 live action movie, Beauty and the Beast has been released and this trailer definitely illustrates the potential for this film to be one of the greatest and highly anticipated films for 2017. The characters and CGI effects are fantastic! Emma Watson owns the role of Belle and as for the beast, well he is monstrous on the outside, but a real softie underneath, not to mention has a very dry sense of humour.  So save the date, March 17, where you will get to rediscover one of the classic fairy tales as old as time in your local cinema. Enjoy!

Official Beauty and the Beast Trailer is here!

Believe it or not, the official trailer for the 2017 live action movie, Beauty and the Beast has been released and what you will see so far shows promise!

image courtesy of amazon.comThe animation and special effects are fantastic! The beast is monstrous on the outside, but perhaps a gentle soul inside and the Beauty in the story, well I think she has the potential to steal the show.

Based on the much loved classic fairy-tale, a monstrous prince is transformed into a beast.  In order to break the horrible enchantment, the beast must fall in love with a beautiful young woman named Belle, played by none other than Emma Watson (Hermione from the Harry Potter movie), but to complicate things further he must earn her love in return.

Now is the time to pen in the date, 17th March 2017, to be a guest for one of the most highly anticipated Walt Disney movie releases of all time!

 

Dreamworks Children’s DVDs: Shrekfest!

The countdown to the release of movie, Trolls from Dreamworks Animation continues! Today we will pay tribute to that other amazing Dreamworks series – Shrek! Read on to check out all the movies…

 

Disclaimer: Shrek 2 and Shrek the Third are not available at Wellington City Libraries. But if you feel that the library should purchase these fantastic DVDs, you can fill in a suggestion to buy form.

 

image courtesy of amazon.comShrek.

The movie that started it all! A bad tempered ogre becomes a reluctant hero when his swamp becomes overrun with banished fairy tales characters. So in order to get the fairy tale characters back to their land of Far, Far, Away and regain his peaceful and solitary life, Shrek signs a pact with the devil himself, known more commonly as Lord Farquaad to go on an epic quest, with an unlikely and perhaps annoying companion in the form of Donkey, to rescue a Princess named Fiona, who like Shrek is more than what she seems, which is… well let’s just say she’s no pampered princess. Perhaps even more remarkable is that Shrek may have met his match in the feisty kung fu fighting princess!

Check out my favourite scene from the movie that sets Shrek’s heroic quest in motion!

 

image courtesy of amazon.comShrek forever after.

Shrek seems to have it made in this film: Beautiful wife, three adorable children, a famous celebrity among the residents of Far Far Away, a picket fence, all the trimmings of happy, suburban life. However being a family man and a celebrity does not agree with our favourite ogre hero. Longing for the days when he was a ‘real ogre’, Shrek signs a deal with Rumpelstiltskin to get his roar back, but turns his world upside down in the process. Donkey suddenly can’t remember his best friend, Fiona is now a tough warrior princess, and Puss in Boots is one fat cat! Together, they have just 24 hours to reverse the contract and restore happily forever after. Moral of the story kids: always read the fine print in a contract and never trust a short curly toed weirdo.

 

image courtesy of amazon.comShrek’s thrilling tales.

Join Shrek, Donkey, Puss and B.O.B. as they get the fright of their lives in five spooktacular stories the will keep you howling with laughter. It’s a Shrektastic halloween treat that’s ogre-the-top fun for the whole family.

 

 

image courtesy of amazon.comPuss in Boots.

A spin off of the Shrek franchise, featuring sword fighting feline, Puss in Boots, who made his first appearance in Shrek 2A story about the events leading up to the sword fighting cat’s meeting with Shrek and his friends.

 

Dreamworks Children’s DVDs: Madagascar Extravaganza! and… special screening of the movie, Trolls!

It’s down a matter of days before the latest movie, Trolls  from DreamWorks Animation is released. Any believe it or not, there are special screenings of the movie coming up in Wellington on Sunday 13th of November at local theatres. Might pay to check what time they are on and where. But nonetheless, the DreamWorks theme continues with this post that pays tribute to the Madagascar franchise! Check out all the movies!

 

image courtesy of amazon.comMadagascar.

The movie that started the franchise and the “I like to move it, move it” catch phrase! Spoiled by their upbringing with no idea what wild life is really like, Alex the lion, Marty the zebra, Melman the giraffe, and Gloria the hippopotamus from New York Central Zoo find themselves on route to Madagascar.

 

 

image courtesy of amazon.comMadagascar. 2, Escape to Africa

Follow Central Park Zoo animals, including, Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe and Gloria the Hippo, along with the delusional King Julien, psychotic penguins, the monkeys, and the lemur leaders as they unexpectedly are now stranded in the middle of Africa in Survivor/Castaway style, while having to deal with the locals – some good, some not so good, and human castaways adapting into Survivor mode . While Alex, (Reuniting with Mum and Dad), Marty, (putting his potential to full use) Melman, (finding multiple kindred spirits) and Gloria (finding a potential life mate) are rather happy with their new environment, they quickly realize that it’s not all that it seems. Meanwhile, the penguins attempt to repair the plane that they accidentally destroyed and find themselves having to deal with a few problems all the way, mainly union strikes with the monkeys. Overall a pretty funny movie from start to finish!

Check out the trailer here. Barrel of laughs all the way!

 

 

image courtesy of amazon.comMadagascar. 3, Europe’s most wanted.

Goodbye cruel world, I’m off to join the circus.” Such as the case with Alex, Marty, Melman and Gloria and the whole crew, as they run off to join the circus to escape Captain Dubois of Animal Control also known as “the fickle woman who turned their whole world upside down.” A barrel of laughs all the way!

 

 

image courtesy of amazon.comThe penguins of Madagascar. Operation: Antarctica.

The delightful and quirky penguins finally get their own staring role in the delightful  spinoff: The penguins of Madagascar. The penguins embark on their own covert missions in the heart of Antarctic and watch as the wacky Penguins discover it takes a lot more than cute and cuddly to pull off their coolest caper yet!

 

 

Walt Disney DVD recommendations: All time classics and an upcoming movie release.

Term 4 has started and the countdown to the Christmas holidays has began!

The library is still  choc-a-block full of Walt Disney DVDs in the collection that you can get your hands on and may come handy for the Christmas holidays if you fancy a relaxing day of veging out in front the telly with your choice of favourite snacks.

This is the FINAL blog post for Walt Disney DVDs, for this year at least as I will be moving onto blogging about other cool movies and categories. Some I watched throughout my childhood that still remain favourites of mine today and some that I have only watched in the last few years.

In this blog post, you will encounter Walt Disney movie recommendations filled with heroes/heroines, sleeping princesses, animal friends and the odd bit romance.

So check out the following DVDs below and believe me… I think I have saved the best for last… and see further down below for an extra special treat!

(Click on the linked titles to find out which libraries you can find these DVDs at)

 

image courtesy of amazon.comLady and the Tramp.

Probably one of the best Walt Disney classics and romances to date! Join Lady, a pampered cocker spaniel and Tramp, a jaunty freedom loving mutt, with a heart of gold who share an enthralling romance and thrilling adventures.

The infamous Bella Notte Spaghetti/kissing Scene is always a favorite mine, as I’m sure it is with a lot of people. See the scene for yourself and decide if this is a movie you like to see, especially with your own canine pal!

 

image courtesy of smazon.comMulan.

In truly Shakespearian style, a brave young Chinese girl named Mulan fashions herself as a male solider in her aging father’s place and leads her fellow soldiers with remarkable courage and tactical brilliance in the battlefield – and a legend was born.

A truly magnificent film that showcases that not all heroes are born, but made. A great movie for girls and a true celebration of girl power! Check out this awesome music clip “True to your heart” from the movie soundtrack.

 

image courtesy of amazon.comThe Princess and the frog.

This is truly a different take on classic fairy tale, The Frog Prince, where the story takes place in New Orleans, Lousiana, during the roaring 20s where jazz music, prohibition fine dining, flappers and social dance were on the rise.

Not to mention, both the prince – Arrogant, carefree Prince Naveen, and… the princess – hardworking, no nonsense waitress Tiana, are transformed into frogs!

With the help of a trumpet-playing alligator, a Cajun firefly, and an old blind lady who lives in a boat in a tree, Naveen and Tiana must race to break the spell, and fulfil their dreams.

Overall a fantastic film! Absolutely loved it! This is a very entertaining girls movie and a celebration of the Creole culture that will make you want to get up and dance the foxtrot and the Charleston.

 

image courtesy of amazon.comThe Little Mermaid.

Oh my goodness, this is the one movie I watched religiously throughout my childhood with my mates from school where we were continuously reciting lines and singing along to the songs!

Based on the all time classic by Hans Christian Anderson – the same guy who wrote The Snow Queen, which Disney adapted into the movie, Frozen… Anyway I am getting way ahead myself.

The Little Mermaid is about Ariel, a fun-loving and mischievous mermaid with a fiery personality – hmm, explains the red hair, who is enchanted with all things human and falls in love with Prince Eric, who also happens to be a human to the disgust and horror of her father.

Determined to be human, she strikes a bargain with the devious sea witch, Ursula, and trades her fins and beautiful voice for legs. However the catch is that in order for her to be a human forever, her prince has to kiss her. Always true love’s kiss to either break or hold a spell. Ah, the things we do for love.

So poor Ariel has a lot on her plate: become human, win the prince’s love and save her father’s kingdom and her love’s kingdom from Ursula, but luckily she has a few friends to aid her in the form of her best friend Flounder, and her reluctant chaperon aka singing crab, Sebastian at her side.

Not easy being a Disney princess and heroine. But overall a fun, enjoyable Disney classic to watch when having a night in with the family. You might enjoy this clip “Kiss the girl” sung by Sebastian where he tries to encourage Prince Eric to kiss Ariel to break the spell. Will it work? Watch, be entertained, laugh and find out.

 

image courtesy of amazon.comSnow White and the seven Dwarfs.

This was the very first movie I saw at the cinema at the tender age of 3 years old and nearly thirty years later, still remains a favourite and timeless classic to this day!

This The beautiful and kind-hearted princess Snow White must go on the run into the deep dark woods after she incurs the wrath of her jealous and wicked stepmother, the Queen by being fairest in the land. There, she befriends the lovable seven dwarfs, Doc, Sneezy, Grumpy, Happy, Bashful, Sleepy and Dopey.

However things go pear shaped when The Queen finds Snow White and tricks her with an enchanted apple. Only the magic of her true love aka Prince Charming’s kiss can save her.

 

image courtesy of amazon.comSleeping Beauty.

Princess Aurora is cursed by the evil fairy/witch/fire breathing dragon, Maleficent, into a deep sleep and can only be awakened by her true love’s kiss.

This is one of my favourite Walt Disney movies of all time. I loved it so much that my aunt ended up buying me the video for my seventh birthday, which was probably the most memorable birthdays ever! I loved everything about this movie! Loved the music by Tchaikovsky, which he originally composed for the ballet version of Sleeping Beauty; the playful banter and bickering between three good fairies, especially when they debate about the color of Aurora’s birthday dress, hmmm pink or blue? You decide. Not to mention, the chemistry between Aurora and her true love, Prince Philip.

A big spoiler and perhaps uncanny about Aurora and Philip is that they were betrothed when they were little and they end meeting and falling in love anyway, WHOA! Another favourite (probably more than Snow White) and timeless Walt Disney classic from childhood to the present day!

Also check out my review of Maleficent for an alternative interpretation of Sleeping Beauty and decide whether Maleficent is evil or misunderstood.

 

image courtesy of amazon.comUpcoming Walt Disney Movie release for next year: Beauty and the Beast.

If you are a fan of the Disney animated movie, Beauty and the Beast, then brace yourselves… next year Walt Disney is releasing a live action adaptation of the classic fairy-tale about a monstrous prince transformed into a beast.  In order to break the horrible enchantment, the beast must fall in love with a beautiful young woman, played by none other than Emma Watson (Hermione from the Harry Potter movie), but to complicate things further he must earn her love in return.

Check out the official teaser trailer! So why not pen in the date: 17th March 2017 to be a guest for one of the most highly anticipated Walt Disney movie releases of all time!

 

 

Top 10 Children’s DVDs for August 2016

dvd coverChildren’s animation has some really creative people doing fun stuff in this month’s Top 10.

The Octonauts are a great cross-over from screen to page with their puzzle books and picture books.  Beatrix Potter’s characters also have a to offer, stretching vocabulary in her classic Children’s tales.

Do you have a favourite book to screen character?  Let us know in the comments.

1. dvd coverOctonauts

2. My little pony, friendship is magic

3. Peter Rabbit

4. Fireman Sam

5. Bananas in pyjamas

dvd cover6. Strawberry Shortcake

7. Inside out

8. Minions

9. Legends of Chima

10. Hotel Transylvania