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!

Top 10 Children’s Non-Fiction May 2017

Taking centre stage in the month of May… screen-plays and scripts galore!

We are heading towards the 20th anniversary of the first Harry Potter book reaching the shelves! Delve back into the magical world of Harry Potter with the scripts for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and the new original screen play of Fantastic Beasts and where to find them.

 

  1. The LEGO ideas book, by Daniel Lipkowitz
  2. Minecraft Annual 2017, by Stephanie Milton
  3. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, by Jack Thorne, John Tiffany and J. K. Rowling
  4. Minecraft : Redstone handbook, by Nick Farwell
  5. Terraria, by  Daniel Roy
  6. Awesome LEGO creations with bricks you already have, by Sarah Dees
  7. Star Wars Character Encyclopedia, by Simon Beecroft and Pablo Hidalgo
  8. Small Scenes from a Big Galaxy, by Vesa Lehtimäki
  9. Master builder : Hack for Minecrafters, by Megan Miller
  10. Minecraft : the survivors’ book of secrets, by Stephanie Milton.

Top 10 Children’s Fiction May 2017

So the Heffley family are taking over the internet! And the movie theatre! And the Library… well they can be found everywhere, you can even make your own Heffley family!

Here’s one I created earlier =)

Do you want to become the expert on Diary of a Wimpy kid? Right here, you can find quizzes, crosswords and activities all based on Greg Heffley! (Find out the answers first and then impress your friends =) It’s not cheating – it’s research!)

So how are the other favourites looking? Fun, dramatic fantasy and clever detecting all play a part in this May list.

 

  1. Tom Gates series, by Liz Pichon
  2. Diary of a wimpy kid series, by Jeff Kinney
  3. Storey treehouse series, by Andy Griffiths
  4. Harry Potter series, by J K Rowling
  5. Where’s Wally? by Martin Handford
  6. The Secret Seven, by Enid Blyton
  7. Fantastic beasts and where to find them, by J K Rowling
  8. Gangsta Granny, by David Walliams
  9. Dirty Bertie series, by Alan MacDonald
  10. Demon dentist, by David Walliams

 

 

How do you think these measure up? Let us know in the comments =)

Top 10 Children’s DVDs March 2017

The library is home to some great rent-able movies. Animation featuring talking animals has taken a bold step with The Secret Life of Pets. There are some bold animals in here that have little respect for humans! Some scary scenes in here for sensitive younger viewers, so watch with a weather eye! And then there are the animals that love humans so much they make sure only the best happens to them.  In the movie Storks, the birds famous for delivering babies make sure that the little human they care for reaches the best possible home.

Is your favourite in the Top 10?

  1. My little pony, friendship is magic.
  2. Zootopia
  3. Pete’s dragon
  4. Finding Dory
  5. The secret life of pets
  6. The BFG
  7. Ice age.
  8. Strawberry Shortcake.
  9. Storks
  10. LEGO Nexo knights

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

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

Top 10 Childrens fiction March 2017

David Walliams is in the Top 10 again for adventures set in Lord Funt Hospital.  You can hear David Walliams read the start of the book on his website.

Do you have a talent for comedy?  Well… now you can pit your jokes against Raj from the Demon Dentist!

Or, you could make us laugh! Leave a joke in the comments =)

  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. Dork diaries series, by Rachel Renée Russell
  5. Puzzle mountain, by Susannah Leigh
  6. Dirty Bertie series, by Alan MacDonald
  7. The Secret Seven, by Enid Blyton
  8. Where’s Wally? by Martin Handford
  9. The BFG, by Roald Dahl
  10. The midnight gang, by David Walliams

Top Ten Children’s Comics March 2017

 

So… library borrowers are big fans of Snoopy and Charlie Brown!

Did you know that there is a museum dedicated to Charles M. Schulz the Charlie Brown creator!  Snoopy was based on his childhood pet dog Spike. At the museum there is a mural showing the way Spike became the Snoopy character we all recognise today.

What would a comic character of your pet look like?  Let us know in the comments below =)

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

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.

 

 

 

Top 10 Children’s DVDs February 2017

Rainy days ahead? Check out some of these favourite movie titles =)

Animal adventures and awesome animation.  Some of these movies are full of characters we’ve come to know and love over time and some are brand new ideas full of fun and adventure!  Ice Age : The great eggscapade tells the tale of a dinosaur egg hatching service, what could possibly go wrong? Easter is only a couple of weeks away, imagine a dinosaur sized Easter egg!

  1. My little pony, friendship is magic.
  2. Zootopia
  3. Finding Dory
  4. Ice age
  5. The BFG
  6. The secret life of pets
  7. Storks
  8. PAW patrol.
  9. Kubo and the two strings.
  10. Hotel Transylvania.