Top 10 Recommended Halloween movies for kids.

Hey kids! Halloween is just around the corner (AHHHWWOOOOOO!) Wellington City Libraries has some spooktacular DVDs in the collection for your viewing pleasure and frightful night in. Let the scare fest begin!

Enjoy!… and Happy Halloween.

Casper.

Join Casper the friendly ghost is a kind young ghost who peacefully haunts a mansion in Maine. When specialist James Harvey (Bill Pullman) arrives to communicate with Casper and his fellow spirits, he brings along his teenage daughter, Kat (Christina Ricci). Casper quickly falls in love with Kat, but their budding relationship is complicated not only by his transparent state, but also by his troublemaking apparition uncles and their mischievous antics.

Frankenweenie.

What if you could bring your pets back to life? Young Victor successfully proves that theory when he revives his best friend back to life. However problems emerge when his class mates want follow suit in bringing their pets to life and ensues disastrous consequences. Overall a heart-warming and hilarious tale about how far a boy will go for his best friend. A must see movie for Halloween.

Coraline.

A young girl walks through a secret door that she has found in her new home and discovers an alternate version of her life. On the surface, this parallel reality is eerily similar to her real life, but much better. When her adventure turns dangerous, and her counterfeit parents, including the Other Mother, try to keep her forever, Coraline must count on her resourcefulness, determination, and bravery to get back home – and save her family.

image courtesy of amazon.com

Shrek’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.

 

Toy story of terror!

What starts out as an exciting road trip for the Toy Story gang takes an unexpected turn for the worse following a detour to a roadside motel. After Mr. Potato Head suddenly disappears, his friends find themselves caught up in a hilarious mystery that must be solved before they suffer the same fate in this thrilling story of TERROR!

image courtesy of amazon.comThe Goonies.

“From the imagination of Steven Spielberg, The Goonies plunges a band of small heroes into a swashbuckling, surprise-around-every-corner quest beyond their wildest dreams! Following a mysterious treasure map into a spectacular underground realm of twisting passages, outrageous booby-traps and a long-lost pirate ship full of golden doubloons, the kids race to stay one step ahead of bumbling bad guys… and a mild-mannered monster with a face only a mother could love. A family adventure classic from start to buccaneering finish, The Goonies is a cinematic treasure trove of breathtaking action, dazzling effects and shiver-yer-timber thrills!” –Container.

Hotel Transylvania 1 and 2.

The Hotel Transylvania, run by Dracula, is a unique, high-end resort catering only to the finest monsters and their families. Dracula is preparing for an extra special weekend – his daughter Mavis’s 118th birthday – when trouble arises: a human has stumbled upon the resort for the first time ever! Even worse: the human has taken a liking to Mavis!  In the sequel, everything seems to be changing for the better at Hotel Transylvania. Dracula’s rigid monster-only hotel policy has finally relaxed, opening up its doors to human guests. But behind closed coffins, Drac is worried that his adorable half-human, half-vampire grandson, Dennis, isn’t showing signs of being a vampire.

 

The Witches.

Nine-year-old Luke finds that saving the world from witches is a tall order for a boy who has been turned into a mouse.

Monster High. Ghouls rule.

Ghouls Rule unearths an old conflict between ‘Normies’ and monsters – and things are about to get scary. For years, students at Monster High were warned that Halloween was a night to stay inside and avoid conflict at all costs. But Frankie and her friends discover that ghouls and ‘Normies’ once loved to spend the holiday together. The ghouls decide to turn back the clock and use the night to celebrate their individuality and show that it’s okay to ‘Be Yourself. Be Unique. Be a Monster’.

Room on the broom.

“The story of a kind witch who invites a surprising collection of animals to join her on her broom, much to the frustration of her cat. When the gang saves the witch from a fearsome dragon she rewards them with a magnificent new broom which has room for everyone!”–Container. Based on the book by Julia Donaldson.

Top 10 Children’s fiction September 2017

 

Want to know the most popular children’s books? Well September’s list has some strong favourites.

Roald Dahl had his birthday in September and three of his books reached the Top 10! He would be 101 this year which is a fine age for an author with such a great relationship with words.

Have you met the Oxford Roald Dahl dictionary? This book is a great source of Dahl language, the unique way, jumbly way, some would say frothbuggling way, fresh words can describe something in a way that your brain recognises it instantly.  Or that you can puzzle out from the context.  These words are a great way to engage you with a story and make you feel a part of a different world.

The Library is still waiting for the latest of Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid series to be released.  There are 19 in the reserve queue already!

  1. Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, by Jeff Kinney
  2. Storey Tree House series, by Andy Griffiths
  3. Just series, by Andy Griffiths
  4. Tom Gates series, by Liz Pichon
  5. Where’s Wally, by Martin Handford
  6. The Enormous Crocodile, by Roald Dahl
  7. Matilda, by Roald Dahl
  8. The Secret Seven, by Enid Blyton
  9. Dirty Bertie, Alan MacDonald
  10. George’s Marvellous Medicine, by Roald Dahl

6 New Non Fiction just in time for the school holidays.

Hey Kids! The last few weeks have been full on with Elections 2017, Day Lights Savings, and now school holidays and sunny days! Whoohoo! Time to bring on the sunscreen and sunnies finally! While you’re at it, come on down to your local library and check out the latest releases of new junior non fiction. This blog post will feature new books to awaken and enhance your creativity in the minecraft world, real life stories about influential women that changed the world and a impact on the people around them and back to school read – I know, early at this stage – to help improve your grammar and punctuation.

Enjoy!

image courtesy of sydneticsMinecraft: Guide to Creative.

Get into Creative Mode with this official Minecraft book from Mojang. Learn the finer points of architecture, art and other creative disciplines with Minecraft Guide to Creative, and put theory into practice to build incredible constructions in Minecraft. Find out how to combine colours and textures to create different themes, devise intricate plans for complex builds, and discover secret hacks to use blocks in clever ways. With insider info and tips from the experts at Mojang, this is the definitive guide to creating in Minecraft.

 

image courtesy of syndeticsMinecraft: Guide to the Nether & the End.

“Survival is difficult in the perilous Nether and End dimensions, and you’ll need to up your game if you want to make it back to the Overworld. The official Minecraft : Guide to the Nether & the End will teach you how to navigate the alien terrain, battle the native mobs and find rare blocks and items. With insider info and tips from the experts at Mojang, this is the definitive guide to survival in the Nether and the End”–Back cover.

 

image courtesy of syndeticsMinecraft: Guide to Exploration.

The mysterious world of Minecraft is just waiting to be explored. But danger lurks around every corner and survival can prove difficult for even the bravest adventurer. The official Minecraft Guide to Exploration from Mojang will help you to survive and thrive. You’ll learn how to find resources, craft equipment and protect yourself from hostile mobs. Discover which biomes to avoid when starting out, how to build a mob-proof shelter and where to look for naturally-generated structures laden with loot. With insider info and tips from the experts at Mojang, this is the definitive guide to exploration and survival in Minecraft.

 

image courtesy of syndeticsWho says Women Can’t be Doctors?

The inspiring and highly recommended story, life and achievements of Elizabeth Blackwell, the first female doctor – and certainly not the last- doctor in America. This book also describes the limited career prospects available to women in the early nineteenth-century, the opposition Blackwell faced while pursuing a medical education, and her pioneering medical career that opened doors for future generations of women. A Librarian’s choice all the way!

 

image courtesy of sydnetics
Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls.

What if the princess didn’t marry Prince Charming but instead went on to be an astronaut? What if the jealous step sisters were supportive and kind? And what if the queen was the one really in charge of the kingdom? Illustrated by sixty female artists from every corner of the globe, Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls introduces us to one hundred remarkable women and their extraordinary lives, from Ada Lovelace to Malala, Amelia Earhart to Michelle Obama. Empowering, moving and inspirational, these are true fairy tales for heroines who definitely don’t need rescuing. Another Librarian’s choice all the way!

 

image courtesy of syndeticsVisual guide to grammar and punctuation.

Get to grips with grammar and punctuation with this simple clear visual guide. Supports curriculum teaching for ages 6 and up.

 

 

 

Step into Spring with this great selection of new kids fiction from your Library!

Image courtesy of SyndeticsRubies and Runaways by Janine Beacham

“During a service at Yorke’s Cathedral, a young boy bursts in, declaring that his sister has been kidnapped. Soon Rose finds herself tangled up in a mystery involving fake antiques, a maodorous factory and a secret society of chimney sweeps. Tea is brewing and so is murder…” – back cover.

 

Image courtesy of SyndeticsArchie Greene and the Raven’s Spell by D.D Everest

Archie Green and his friends have been rewritng the magic spells contained within books, but someone is using their power for evil.

 

 

 

Image courtesy of SyndeticsRowan Oakwing by E.J Clarke

“There’s a strange magic to London parks. When the sun sets and the gates are closed, tiny winged creatures come to life. The only way to meet them is to become one. And if you become one, there’s no way back. Rowan cries herself to sleep in Hyde Park and wakes up ten centimetres tall, with tiny oak-leaf wings. She’s about to go on an adventure in the hidden world of fairies and foxes. But Rowan’s quest will be perilous, with fearsome enemies at her heels. If she wants to get home, she’ll need to find the courage she never knew she had, and discover powers she’d never even imagined …” — Back cover. 

 

Image courtesy of SyndeticsLet’s Pretend We Never Met by Melissa Walker

If it were up to Mattie Markham, there would be a law that said your family wasn’t allowed to move in the middle of the school year. After all, sixth grade is hard enough without wondering if you’ll be able to make new friends or worrying that the kids in Pennsylvania won’t like your North Carolina accent. But when Mattie meets her next-door neighbor and classmate, she begins to think maybe she was silly to fear being the “new girl.” Agnes is like no one Mattie has ever met — she’s curious, hilarious, smart, and makes up the best games. If winter break is anything to go by, the rest of the school year should be a breeze. Only it isn’t, because when vacation ends and school starts, Mattie realizes something: At school Agnes is known as the weird girl who no one likes. All Mattie wants is to fit in (okay, and maybe be a little popular too), but is that worth ending her friendship with Agnes?

DVD Review: A Dog’s Purpose.

A Dog’s Purpose.

A heart-warming movie about the eight life journey of Bailey/Ellie/Tino/Waffles/Buddy and Bailey.. again as he tries to find himself and his purpose in life.


This movie will make you laugh, make you cry, feel warm and fuzzy, and will make you develop an appreciation, as well as respect for the aptly named man’s, as well as woman’s best friend, which Bailey/Ellie/Tino/Waffles/Buddy and Bailey proves time and time again throughout the movie, clearly staing his purpose and teaching a few lifelong lessons along the way. Be prepared to have tissues on hand. I haven’t seen a better movie dogs since Red Dog. A librarian’s choice all the way!

7/10!!!

Top 10 Children’s Fiction July 2017

The school holiday meant heaps of books going to people’s homes from our libraries.  So which ones did they like best?  There are three solid favourites for childrens reading, Diary of a wimpy kid, Tom Gates and the Storey Tree house series where the floors keep getting more intriguing! The New Diary of a Wimpy Kid is set for release of November 7, 2017. Place your reserves to at the front of queue in November =)

Roald Dahl of BFG fame was also a great holiday favourite.  Three of his books are in the top ten!  Did you know that you can find out which Roald Dahl character by height, if you visit the Road Dahl museum in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire – so if you’re not fully grown you can go through several versions!  I wonder who you would be?

  1. Diary of a wimpy kid (series), by Jeff Kinney
  2. Tom Gates (series), by Liz Pichon
  3. Storey treehouse (series), by Andy Griffiths
  4. Where’s Wally? by Martin Handford
  5. The enormous crocodile, by Roald Dahl
  6. Matilda, by Roald Dahl
  7. George’s marvellous medicine, by Roald Dahl
  8. The Secret Seven, by Enid Blyton
  9. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, by J.K. Rowling
  10. Demon dentist, by David Walliams

Top 10 Children’s Comics June 2017

So who doesn’t love an anthology! They take a heap of comics, join them up and place them carefully between a cover that creates one bumper book.  The Smurf Anthologies are great because you get to see a story through.  Also it looks like you’re reading a lot!

Did you know the original name for Smurfs was Les Schtroumpfs! Pierre Culliford, more famously known as Peyo came up with the name as a nonsense word.  Les Schtroumpfs were originally encountered in a Peyo comic Johan et Pirlouit” take a look at the these Peyo creations.  Of course you can always take more comics out of the library… Peyo is also the author of Benny Breakiron =)

  1. Big Nate, by Lincoln Peirce
  2. Tintin, by Hergé
  3. Pokémon, by Hidenori Kusaka
  4. Peanuts, by Charles M. Schulz
  5. Adventure time, by Ryan North
  6. Amulet, by Kazu Kibuishi
  7. Garfield, by Jim Davis
  8. Chi’s sweet home, by Kanata Konami
  9. The Smurfs anthology, by Peyo
  10. Asterix, by Goscinny and Udzero

Walt Disney Children’s DVDs in the library.

Winter has finally arrived in the Capital and in the library. Why not head down to your local library and issue some DVDs, which you can watch in the comfort of your own home, with a warm blanket and a cup of cocoa.

Why not check some new (and old) DVDs produced by Walt Disney and as an added bonus, two special non Walt Disney movie that the entire family will enjoy, as well as entertain and capture hearts of all ages.

Enjoy!

Moana.

A 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!

The Lion Guard: Life in the Pride Lands.

Rough, tough and roarin’ to go, your favorite heroes are back for even more epic adventures! Join Kion and his fearless friends as they defend the Pride Lands and protect the Circle of Life in five action-packed episodes featuring King Simba, the spirit of Mufasa and the hilarious Timon and Pumbaa.

 

 

The Lion Guard: Unleash the Power.

Alone, every hero has his or her own special talent. But when champions work together, the results are “un-Bunga-lievable”! Defend the Pride Lands with Kion and his courageous team in Disney’s breathtaking adventure series based on the legacy of the Lion King. You’ll run like the wind, move mountains and save the day with these five brave friends as they summon their inner powers and help protect the Circle of Life. Packed with action, music and over two hours of fun, The Lion Guard: Unleash the power proves that when heroes join forces, they’re truly a force to be reckoned with!

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. 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 for a quiet night in– especially on a Saturday night! 9/10 all the way!

An added Bonus and non Walt Disney DVDs:

image courtesy of amazon.co.ukRed Dog, True Blue.

Every legend has a beginning. When eleven year old Mick is shipped off to his grandfather’s cattle station in the remote Pilbara region of Western Australia, he prepares himself for a life of dull hardship, but instead finds myth, adventure, and a friendship with a scrappy, one-of-a-kind dog that will change his life forever.

 

image courtesy of amazon.co.ukFinding Dory.

This movie is in a word, FANTASTIC! Finding Dory reunites the friendly but forgetful blue tang fish, Dory, along with her friends, Marlin and Nemo on an epic quest to find Dory’s family. The questions that hangs on everyone’s lips are what does she remember? Who are her parents? And where did she learn to speak whale? Favourite moments in the film include Dory as a baby – Boy, she’s adorable!, Marlin and Nemo’s encounter with the seals, Still can’t get the ‘OFFOFFOFFOFF’ aka the seal talk out of my head, Dory making new friends with Hank, an octopus with seven tentacles and who, for a guy with three hearts is very bad tempered, Dory reuniting with her childhood friend, Destiny and the odd cameo of previous characters from Finding Nemo. Even the Pixar short film, Piper that was released alongside Finding Dory is beautiful and heart warming. Two movies for the price of one, you can’t go wrong. Overall, I loved the film! It will make you laugh, it will make you cry and it will make you want to watch it over and over again. It is truly unforgettable. A well deserved 9/10.

Don Bluth Children’s DVDs in the library.

Winter has finally arrived in the Capital and in the library. Why not head down to your local library and issue some DVDs, which you can watch in the comfort of your own home, with a warm blanket and a cup of cocoa.

Why not check some DVDs produced by Don Bluth, one of the greatest chief animators since Walt Disney. Also while you’re at it, learn interesting facts about some of the movies, voice actors and encounter some uncanny (Walt Disney) connections.

Enjoy!

New in the collection:

All Dogs Go to Heaven.

“Set in 1939 New Orleans, this colourful musical animation centres on Charles B. Barkin, who gives up a stay in Heaven to a return to Earth. Charlie is a roguish German shepherd with the charm of a con man and the heart of a marshmallow. He’s out for revenge against the double-crossing former partner who killed him, a pit bull terrier known as Carface. Charlie finds himself an unlikely guardian to a lonely little orphan named Anne-Marie. Her astounding ability to talk to animals and her strong sense of right and wrong leads this unlikely pair on an adventure packed with thrills, laughs, tears and love as Charlie seeks redemption, all the while risking damnation.”–Container.

Thumbelina.

Follow your heart and nothing is impossible. A girl no bigger than her mother’s thumb feels all alone in the world knowing she is the only person her size. Her wish for a companion at last comes true when the prince of the faerys arrives at her window sill. However, the niave Thumbelina’s life goes downward from there when a toad kidnaps her. While she tries to find a way home, she begins to grow up and learns about hope with the help of the friends she always wanted.

FACT: The actress, Jodi Benson, who voices Thumbelina also voices Ariel in Walt Disney’s animated film, The Little Mermaid. Both films are based on the books written by Hans Christian Andersen.

FACT: The actor, Gilbert Gottfried, who voices Beatle also voices Iago in Walt Disney’s animated film, Aladdin.

You may also like:

Anastasia.

An animated film based on the true story of the lost Russian princess Anastasia and her quest for her true identity. A mix of adventure, romance, comedy and music.

FACT: The actress, Angela Lansbury, who voices Anastasia’s grandmother also voiced Mrs Potts in Walt Disney’s animated film, Beauty and the Beast.

American Tail Trilogy.

Three for the price of one, check out the American Tail trilogy which consist of An American tail, An American tail : Fievel goes west and An American tail : the treasure of Manhattan Island which chronicles the story of Russian mouse, Fievel and his family emigrating to the United States and having lots of exciting adventures along the way, as well as trying to settle into a new country, forming new friendships and alliance’s  and dodging feline enemies along the way.

image courtey of amazon.comThe land before time. 6 disc collection.

Six for the price of one, check out all six movies in The Land Before Time series. “Everybody’s favourite pre-historic friends are back in movies 1 to 6 in the exciting Land Before Time series. This collection features fantastic animation, enchanting songs and touching storylines that guarantee hours of fun for the whole family. You will get to know Littlefoot, Cera, Spike, Ducky, Petrie and all the other Land Before Time characters as their exciting adventures unfold. So come along and join the enchanted world of Land Before Time with stories about friendship, bravery and adventure!”–Container.

FACT: The actress, Judith Barsi, who voices Ducky in the first movie, The Land Before Time, also voices Anne-Marie in All Dogs Go to Heaven.

 

NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults – Picture Book Award Finalists!

Well, the shortlist for the Picture Book Award in this year’s NZ Book Awards is out, and there are some fabulous books on there! We love getting to see all these fantastic new books by New Zealand authors coming in through the library doors, so read on to see what we thought of this year’s batch of finalists. Check out these beautiful, funny, and touching picture books at your local library, or click the link to reserve a copy!

Syndetics book coverFuzzy Doodle / written by Melinda Szymanik ; pictures by Donovan Bixley.

A gorgeously illustrated book whose wonderfully whimsical doodly protagonist will whisk you up and take you on a journey through the world of words and your own imagination. The poetic text puts us somewhat in mind of Margaret Mahy. This is a book that will give you something new to think about each time you pick it up. And, it’s a favourite in library storytimes!

Syndetics book coverGwendolyn! / Juliette MacIver ; Terri Rose Baynton.

This brightly-coloured, uplifting book about friendship and learning to find your place in the world puts us right inside the jungle home of Gwendolyn the penguin. Hold on — a penguin in the jungle?! Each page gives us a fresh new world of colours, textures, and places to explore. We’d recommend it for ages 2 and up!

Syndetics book coverMy grandpa is a dinosaur / Richard Fairgray and Terry Jones.

What do you do when your grandpa’s footprints attract palaeontologists to your door? Anyone in need of a good laugh will love this hilarious story about Wanda and her somewhat unconventional family. We loved the stylised illustrations and the laugh-out-loud twist at the end — we’re sure you will too!

Syndetics book coverThat’s not a hippopotamus! / written by Juliette MacIver ; illustrated by Sarah Davis.

The wonderfully clever and deft wordplay in this rollicking tale of a school trip gone awry had us hooked from the very beginning. The character we most identified with was the teacher, for reasons that will become increasingly obvious as the book pulls you towards its hilarious conclusion!

Syndetics book coverThe singing dolphin = Te aihe i waiata / by Mere Whaanga.

Award-winning author Mere Whaanga’s new book, The Singing Dolphin/Te aihe i waiata, is the only book in te reo Māori to make it onto this year’s shortlist, and it certainly is fantastic. This enchanting story, told in Māori and English side-by-side, weaves a touching story of family, acceptance, and transformation. The evocative illustrations, particularly towards the end of the book, make this a really satisfying read.

That’s it for the Picture Book Award shortlist! Let us know in the comments what your favourites were 🙂 Keep an eye on the blog for more upcoming book reviews for NZ Book Awards finalists! We can’t wait to share them with you!