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!

Boredom Busters!

Want to confuse and astound your family these holidays? Learn some cool 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.

 

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside!

Yay – Summer is here and there is nothing better than going to the beach. Swimming in the surf, picking up driftwood, finding pretty shells and looking in rock pools.

We are so lucky in New Zealand because nine out of ten New Zealanders live within 40 km of the coast.  We have a very long coastline. When you put our three main islands together there is over 18,000 km of coast in total length. If you decided to walk along our coast it would take you about 6 months and that’s if you could keep walking day and night non-stop!  I don’t think I will try that!

Have you thought about becoming a seaside scientist? Why not study some rock pools. You might find some sea anemones or maybe a starfish.  Perhaps you might like to hunt for crabs.  Watch out that they don’t bite your toes though. Or maybe you like to look at all the different types of seaweed that may have washed ashore.

Whatever you like doing there is always plenty to see and do at the beach.

And don’t forget to build your sandcastle or create your own artwork in the sand. Draw a face and then use shells, pebbles and seaweed to decorate it.

Have fun!

 

 

 

 

Discover your green thumb and get into gardening this summer!

Gardening is a fun activity to get involved in during the summer months, and one that many people all around the world find very fulfilling.

Gardening is also really good for you in all sorts of ways. Firstly, gardening outside is a great way to get out in the sun and soak up some vitamin D, just don’t forget to be sun smart and chuck on a sunhat and sunscreen before you head outside.

Gardening is  good exercise and an enjoyable way to keep busy and stay active in the summer months. It is also a fun introduction to science and enables us to learn about the natural world around us using all of our senses (sight, smell, taste, touch, sound).

But best of all, gardening makes you happy! In fact, scientific experiments have shown that when you connect with soil, your brain releases a feel-good chemical called serotonin that actually helps to improve your mood. How cool is that!?

Gardening is also a very rewarding activity, as you get to watch all of your hard work grow and flourish (and it might even end up on the dinner table).

Gardening can be a peaceful activity to do on your own, but you can have fun gardening with a friend or family member, or even in a group. You might know someone that likes gardening, perhaps your Grandparent or a neighbour, that you could help out their garden.

If you have limited outdoor space at your house, try starting small using a planter box, an old car tyre, or plant straight into a bag of compost.

The libraries have HEAPS of awesome books on gardening to inspire you and help you get started. Check out the catalogue to find out what’s available in your local branch library and don’t forget children can place reserves for free using your library card all summer long!

Summer safety summed up

Summer is finally here! BBQs, long evenings, sunbathing, swimming and days at the beach are just some of the things we’ve been looking forward to. But as exciting as this time of year can be (especially once school finishes for the year –  wahoo!) it is really important that we keep reminding ourselves about keeping safe in the sun, in the water and at the beach.

Sun SmartSun safety

Exposure to UV (ultraviolet) radiation is what causes our skin to burn and potentially lead to skin cancer, the most common form of cancer in New Zealand. We have to be especially careful here, because the UV levels in our country are higher than other countries around the world, so it is easier to get sunburnt in a short amount of time. Although it is good for us to get out in the sun to build up the vitamin D in our bodies, it is really important that we keep our skin protected.

During daylight savings months (September to April) it is recommended that we wear sunscreen, particularly during the middle of the day (between 10am and 4pm) when the sun is at its hottest. It is a good idea to wear a sunhat at all times outside, and cover up whenever possible. This could mean sitting under an umbrella or a tree, and throwing a t-shirt on over your togs when you’ve finished swimming. The sun can also damage your eyes, so a pair of sunglasses is also a great summer addition. Check out the Sunsmart New Zealand website for more sun safety tips.

 

Water safety

Taking a dip is a great way to cool off during the hot Summer months, but sadly a large number of kiwis and people from overseas drown in New Zealand every year. We are lucky to have lots of wonderful places to swim, be it rivers, beaches or swimming pools, but we must always remember to keep ourselves safe from harm while in the water. Learning to swim, using appropriate equipment like life jackets and arm bands, and keeping an eye on others (especially young children) is the first step to preventing drowning.

If we are swimming in a river, we can also check for shallow rocks, floating trees or other debris, and fast flowing currents before jumping in to ensure that it is a safe spot. When swimming at the beach, getting caught in a rip that can pull you out to deeper water is a very scary possibility. Check the water before you get in for discolouration or a rippled look – this could indicate a rip. However, your best bet is to swim between the flags, where trained lifesavers can keep an eye on you, and never go deeper than you feel comfortable. The Water Safety New Zealand website has answers to any other water safety questions you might have.

 

And don’t forget, if the weather is bad there’s no need to be stuck at home because you can always visit our libraries for some summer fun.

 

 

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!

 

The Summer Reading Challenge is coming…

You’ll be excited to hear that the annual children’s Summer Reading Challenge is on again this year! It starts on 1st December 2016, and finishes on 31st January 2017 – that’s 2 months of reading, reviewing and winning prizes.

The Challenge is open to all 5-12 year olds with  their own library card. It’s free to do, and you don’t have to register.

Keep your eyes peeled for more announcements about the Challenge. We’ll be posting information here and on our Kids’ home page.

You’ll be able to pick up a Summer Reading Challenge booklet from our libraries from later November onwards, or print from our website. Inside the booklet is the Challenge booklist.

Your mission over December and January is to read and review as many titles from the booklist as you can. Each review will earn you rewards, and will also gain you an entry into the main prize draw (Which is drawn in the first week of February).

 

More details soon! Watch this space…

7 new children’s non fiction about deadly beasts, famous people and cooking up a storm!

Kids, the school holidays are flying by and the library has some new and exciting non fiction books for your viewing and reading pleasure. So come on down and grab books about deadly beast that roamed the earth a million years ago, as well as some that only exist in the world of fiction and fantasy; famous people who changed the world and cooking up a storm in the comfort of your own kitchen where the world of Science and The Gruffalo comes to life that will make your tummy rumble.

 

image courtesy of syndeticsDay of the Dinosaurs.

Travel back in time to a period where dinosaurs roamed the earth. This amazing book features eye catching illustrations, as well as information about dinosaurs in terms of diet, how they lived on land, water and in the skies, as well as how they defended themselves and their territory  from four different prehistoric periods: the Triassic, the early Jurassic, the Late Jurassic and the Cretaceous. This is a thrilling read for any budding palaeontologist.

 

image courtesy of syndeticsAtlas of Animal Adventures.

Prepare for a  journey of amazing discovery. Featured in this is an amazing collection of images and information about every animal known to existence, as well as nature’s most unmissable events from between the two poles, including epic migrations, extraordinary behaviours, and Herculean habits.

 

image courtesy of syndeticsGruffalo Crumble and Other Recipes.

Delights such as  Owl Ice Cream, Scrambled Snake, Roasted Fox, and of course… Gruffalo Crumble from the lovable picture, The Gruffalo comes life with this awesome cookbook, filled with recipes and ideas for every meal, that is bound to keep Gruffalo fans of all ages busy in the kitchen. Other tasty favourite that catch eye are caterpillar twists, orange eyes and even a Gruffalo cake. With this book, you are all set for a Gruffalo themed morning/afternoon tea, birthday part or even a Halloween party. These tasty delights are already starting to make my tummy rumble!

 

image courtesy of syndetics.How to draw orcs, goblins, and other wicked creatures.

Where the world of orcs, goblins and artistic creations collide. This simple and easy to read book will teach readers how to draw orcs, goblins, hags, and several other wicked fantasy creatures where you will be able to bring your own Lord of the Rings to life.

 

 

image courtesy of syndeticsFrida Kahlo : the artist in the blue house.

The artwork and the photographs of Frida Kahlo comes to life with this gorgeous new art book with a charming narrative and fascinating pictures that provide an engaging introduction to the life of Frida Kahlo and her creations.

 

 

image courtesy of syndeticsScience Experiments you can eat.

Dig into a feast of fun where you’re the scientist and the kitchen is your laboratory. This book that gives you all everything you need where you can test your science theories, make some amazing discoveries and eat your results!  Includes information on how to make rock candy, grape jelly, cupcakes, and popcorn.

 

image courtesy of syndeticsNadia : the girl who couldnt sit still.

A cute and easy to read biography of the young Romanian gymnast, Nadia Comaneci. This book goes into full detail of how some of the ways her energy got her into trouble as a child, how she became involved in gymnastics, and how practice and determination led her to become an Olympic champion. This is the greatest picture book biography since Different like Coco.