Boredom Busters!

Want to confuse and astound your family these holidays? Learn some cools magic tricks, such as the vanishing coin, or balancing a ball on a piece of string! Practise with the step-by-step instructions in these books and see who you can fool. You can find great magic trick books on the shelf under 793.8.

Why not check out our newest book? Magic tricks with coins, cards and everyday objects by Jake Banfield

 

 

 

 

Want to listen to music or an audio book on your smartphone or tablet? Find out how to make your very own speakers for them! Feeling competitive? Build a balloon-rocket car or a soap-powered boat, then challenge your friends to a race and see whose creation is fastest! Check out these great inventions and more in Home Lab: exciting experiments for budding scientists by Robert Winston

 

 

Want to create your very own animated video clip masterpiece? Find out how easy it is to do this by checking out Creating Digital animations: Animate stories with Scratch by Derek Breen. Follow the simple steps and projects using Scratch (free online software). Build a character, create a world and animate your story!

 

 

Want the ultimate challenge these holidays? Work your way through mind-bending  puzzles, riddles and brainteasers in The Mysterious Benedict Society : Mr. Benedict’s book of perplexing puzzles, elusive enigmas, and curious conundrums by Trenton Lee Stewart, based on his Mysterious Benedict Society Books. Check out the Helpful resources on page 130, and the hints on page 140 if you get stuck. Want a good puzzle to start with? Try finding Milligan hiding in a crowd on page 67!

 

And finally…become a master at the dark art of shadow-puppets. Create over a hundred animals from unicorns and crocodiles to dogs and owls, from one-handed to two, easy to challenging. Make your next sleepover story extra creepy with these shapes! Check out The art of making shadows by Sophie Collins.

 

Hot new back to school reads!

Whether you are still in holiday mode or gearing up to head back to school, Wellington City Libraries have got you covered when it comes to juicy reading material!

You need some great reads so you can brag to your friends about what’s cool when you get back to school, and start up a new trend.

Read on for a taste of some of the awesome new fiction we have coming to a shelf near you…

 

The Fairy Caravan by Beatrix Potter

A new edition of a 1929 creation from beloved children’s author Beatrix Potter (she wrote the Peter Rabbit books).

Meet Tuppenny the guinea pig, who leaves home determined to start a new, more exciting life. He is soon adopted by an animal circus who are travelling the countryside, performing for the animals of the farms and fields. Join Tuppenny and his new friends for many magical adventures and enjoy the beautiful illustrations hidden away in the middle of the book. Perfect for those who love animal stories!

 

Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce

The first book in the ‘Song of the Lioness’ series from popular fantasy fiction author Tamora Pierce.

Alanna has always craved the adventurous life only allowed to the boys of her village, while her twin brother Thom dreams of learning the art of magic, a special skill reserved for girls. So they switch places, a decision that will change their lives forever. Join Alanna as she begins on her road to knighthood, filled with swords and sorcery, adventure and intrigue, good and evil.

 

How Harry Riddles Mega-Massively Broke the School by Simon Mayle

Book two from the hilarious and equally ridiculous ‘Shoutykid’ series (we also have books one, three and four by the way).

Harry’s dad has been nagging him to do more sport and less gaming, which is really dumb because Harry sucks at sports but is totally awesome at gaming and has been working on a new zombie game that could make him a mega-millionaire. So he’s written to some famous sports stars for advice (and also to some other people in the hope of getting rid of his sister Charlotte). Told through emails, letters and text messages, this one is sure to tickle your funny bone!

 

Word of Mouse by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein, illustrated by Joe Sutphin

A new release from number one bestselling author James Patterson.

Isaiah, a blue haired mouse that was raised in a science laboratory, is super smart but scared of almost everything. When he escapes, leaving his family behind, Isaiah finds himself alone in the big wide world and more terrified than ever. However, he soon meets a girl that is just as unusual as he is, and who teaches Isaiah that even someone small and frightened like him can have the power to change the world.

 

Don’t forget, reserves are free when you use your Children or Young Adult card!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top 10 Children’s eBooks October 2016

So what were the most popular eBooks for October online readers?  Classics, modern and old feature in the Top 10,  British authors, J. K. Rowling, Tolkien and Kenneth Grahame are leading with their adventures taking their characters through dangerous encounters. Valuable friendships are the magic ingredient to these tales.  So keep your friends close people, who knows when adventure will knock on your door!

 

1. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by Jack Thorne, John Tiffany and J. K. Rowling

2. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, by J. K. Rowling

3. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, by J. K. Rowling

4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, by J. K. Rowling

5. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, by J. K. Rowling

6. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, by J. K. Rowling

7. The Bungalow Mystery : Nancy Drew Mystery series, by Carolyn Keene

8. The Hobbit, by J. R. R. Tolkien

9. The Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame

10. Rodrick Rules : Diary of a Wimpy Kid, by Jeff Kinney

 

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 movies and… countdown to the release of Trolls!

As the year almost draws to a close, as well as concluding my blog posts on Walt Disney movies – for now at least, I have put together a list of must see Children’s DVDs produced by the animation company, DreamWorks, who released movies such as Shrek, Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda, which will be featured in future blog posts.

This is to celebrate the impending release and countdown to the release of the latest DreamWorks Animation picture: Trolls - featured previously in the upcoming movie release blog post. So why not check out this post and see what movies tickle your fancy and that you want to watch during the drizzly spring weather and upcoming Christmas/Summer break! Stay tuned for more movies still come in future posts!

 

bee movie5_Bee Movie.

Having just graduated from college, Barry B. Benson finds himself disillusioned with the prospect of having only one career choice – honey. As he ventures outside of the hive for the first time, he breaks one of the cardinal rules of the bee world and talks to a human, a New York City florist named Vanessa. He is shocked to discover that the humans have been stealing and eating the bee’s honey for centuries. He ultimately realizes that his true calling in life is to set the world right by suing the human race. That is until the ensuing chaos upsets the very balance of nature. It is up to Barry to prove that even a little bee can spell big changes in the world.

 

croodsjpgThe Croods.

The Croods is a prehistoric comedy adventure that follows the world’s first family aka Cave People as they embark on a journey of a lifetime when the cave that has always shielded them from danger is destroyed. Traveling across a spectacular landscape, the Croods discover an incredible new world filled with fantastic creatures, and their outlook is changed forever. Probably one of the funniest films I have ver seen! Love the inventions that The Croods come up which ranges from a hug, a pet, a joke and shoes. I especially love the reaction from Eep, the teenage daughter she tries on a pair of shoes. Check out the clip here.

FACT: The cave people lived on a diet of meat, fish, vegetables, and fruit and excluding dairy or cereal products and processed food, which is commonly known today as the paleo diet.

 

flushed awayFlushed Away.

Pampered pet mouse, Roddy thinks he’s got it made– until he’s literally flushed away, (down the toilet!) to a bustling underground world of ninja frogs, hench-rats and singing slugs. Funniest film I have ever seen! The slugs are definitely my favourite of this movie, especially when they shriek and sing. Check out the trailer for this movie here. Also I have added some preview clips that will hopefully entice you to watch this movie. Featured are scenes where the slugs sing Mr Lonely, and the chase scene where rats are using 1980 style kitchen mixers as speedboats, not to mention a malfunction with a toaster and go-go purple custard with Bohemian like you by The Dandy Warhols playing the background.

 

IMAGE COURTESY OF AMAZON.COMHome.

A lovable misfit from another planet meets a girl named Tip. The two unlikely friends embark on the greatest journey of all time.

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!

 

 

Movie recomendations and reviews : Walt Disney from E to H

Continuing the list of must-see Walt Disney DVDs, in alphabetical order, this covering movies from E to H. Looking for A-D? Here it is! Check out the list and see what movies tickle your fancy and that you want to watch during the drizzly spring weather and during the next round of school holidays.

 

image courtesy of amazon.comEnchanted. Prepare to go on a journey where the world of animation and live action collides. Giselle (Amy Adams) finds herself in a bit of pickle when she torn away by the “love of her life”, Prince Edward and banished from the animated “fantasy” land of Andalasia by the evil queen into a “harsh reality” in the form of the gritty streets of the real, modern-day Manhattan that does not abide by the principles of happily ever after.

So now this pampered princess must rely on her wits alone, (no fairy god mother, fairy dust and enchantments to help her out of this one) survive in the real world and figure out how to get back home, but add further complication, Giselle begins to fall in love with the cynical, no-nonsense divorce lawyer who has come to her aid, making her question her choice of who Prince Charming is in her eyes.

What I love about this movie is the transition that Giselle under goes from pampered princess waiting for a knight in shining armour to sweep her off her feet to  a tough, no-nonsense heroine that must save the day, not to mention the world and her true love from the evil clutches of the wicked queen. I think girls will really enjoy this movie.

 

 

image courtesy of amazon.comFrozen. I never get sick of this movie, nor do I ever get sick of renditions of “Let It Go“.

Frozen takes you on magical and icy journey where fearless optimist Anna, teaming up with Kristoff, his reindeer Sven  and a hilarious snowman named Olaf must  find Anna’s sister Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter.

I cannot stress enough how fantastic this film is! I absolutely loved it! This is a very entertaining girls movie and a celebration the bond of friendship, sisterhood and  the Scandinavian culture that is sure to thaw a frozen heart. I haven’t enjoyed a Disney film this much since The Lion King.

 

 

image courtesy of amazon.comThe Good Dinosaur. If you loved the movie, The Land Before Time, then this is the movie for you.

What if an asteroid never hit earth and giant dinosaurs never became extinct? In this epic journey into the world of dinosaurs, an Apatosaurus named Arlo makes an unlikely human friend.

While traveling through a harsh and mysterious landscape, Arlo learns the power of confronting his fears and discovers what he is truly capable of.

 

 

image courtesy of amazon.comThe Hunchback of Notre Dame. Quasimodo, after being trapped and ridiculed by his guardian, the sinister Frollo, for the way he looks, finally ventures from his tower to take part in the joyous festival of fools.

However things go pear shaped when  the crowd cruelly rejects him because of the way he looks. But he finds a likely friend and ally in the equally persecuted, gypsy Esmeralda, who rescues him in knight in shining armour style. Together, as well as joining forces with dashing soldier and three comical gargoyle statues, named Victor, Hugo, and Laverne. They have to do battle with Frollo to save the people and the city of Paris.

This film is a reminder to see people as they are rather than how they appear and that sometimes beauty is held in the eye of the beholder. Another great family movie about the true meaning of friendship and celebrating individuality!

Top 10 Children’s eBooks September 2016

 The Harry Potter fans know where to download their eBooks!

Right here folks, the library has what you like, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child!  I was surprised that it wasn’t at the top of the list last month, but it sure is now.  The new script version of Harry Potter’s future has been mighty popular. Olympian and time travelling heroes are also highly prized, with accomplished authors Rick Riordan and Eoin Colfer in the run up for the Top 10.

Do you want to queue up some books for the upcoming school holidays? You can reserve eBooks if someone has what you want out already. So now you can catch up with you favourite characters.

 

1. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, by J. K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne

2. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, by J. K. Rowling

3. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, by J. K. Rowling

4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, by J. K. Rowling

5. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, by J. K. Rowling

6. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, by J. K. Rowling

7. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, by J. K. Rowling

8. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, by J. K. Rowling

9. Fortune Cookie, by Cathy Cassidy

10. The Son of Neptune: The Heroes of Olympus Series, by Rick Riordan

Movie recomendations and reviews : Walt Disney from A to D

Since the 1920′s. Walt Disney has brought some fantastic movies to for families’ enjoyment and entertainment, whether it is in a busy movie theatre or in the quiet comfort of your own home. I have put together a list of must see Walt Disney DVDs, in alphabetical order from A to D. Check out the list and see what movies tickle your fancy and that you want to watch during the drizzly spring weather and during the next round of school holidays.

 

A is for Aladdin

This movie will take you on a journey of wonders, non stop laughs, thrills and magic carpet rides.  In the heart of an enchanted city, a commoner named Aladdin battle to save (and win the heart of)  the free-spirited Princess Jasmine from the schemes of the evil sorcerer Jafar. Aladdin’s whole life changes with one rub of a magic lamp as a fun-loving, shape shifting Genie, voiced by the late Robin Williams, appears and grants him three wishes, setting him on an incredible journey of discovery, love and true meaning of friendship. This movie is 100% recommended! Robin Williams owns the role of Genie and brings a comical and warm hearted presence to the story and absolutely love Princess Jasmine, who is the embodiment of a tough, no nonsense free spirit feminist  who refuses to settle for less and abide by the traditions and expectations set out for her, I still recall when my best friend and I went to saw this in the movie theatre, then watched it home on video (Yes, in my day it was video cassettes instead of DVDs), singing along to the songs and wishing we too could soar away on a magical carpet ride.

 

image courtesy of amazon.comB is for Brave

Another movie about another tough no nonsense Scottish heroine, named Merida, who determined to be in control of her own destiny sets off a catastrophic chain events that could affect her destiny, as well as the destiny family forever. Now this brave beauty must keep her wits and rely on her bravery and her archery skills to undo a beastly curse. Seriously, I don’t words can stress enough how much I love this film. As I have mentioned in previous posts, this is one of my favourite Pixar/Walt Disney films and a tribute to my Scottish ancestry. Have a read of my review and my post of Pixar films to be furthered sold on why this is a great movie.

 

image courtesy of amazon.com

image courtesy of amazon.co.uk

C is for Cinderella and… Cinderella

There’s a saying I am very fond of, courtesy of a wise Chinese philosopher, which is “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” In Walt Disney’s animated adaptation, originally released as a motion picture in 1950, the story of Cinderella is told in that context, where she undertakes a magical journey to the palace ball, taking her first step in glass slippers, to escape the life of servitude, the clutches of her abusive step-family and win the heart of the prince that begins all before the clock strikes midnight. Also you might want to check out the live-action reboot of the animated version, have a read of my review to get an idea on why this is a great DVD to watch.

 

image courtesy of amazon.comD is for Dumbo

A favourite childhood classic of mine, not to mention one that I cried buckets over! A baby elephant named Dumbo is ridiculed because of his enormous ears, despite his mother’s best efforts to protect him. However a guardian angel arrives in the form of Timothy the mouse, who puts Dumbo’s tormentors in their place and helps Dumbo achieve his full potential and soar to fame as the world’s only flying elephant. A great family movie about the true meaning of friendship and celebrating individuality!