I know we’re only halfway through the school term, but we had some big news we couldn’t wait to share with you — the Beyond the Page festival is returning from 6-21 July 2019! Beyond the Page is New Zealand’s largest literary festival for kids and their families, and this year we’ve organised over 140 free events at libraries and community centres from Island Bay to Ōtaki!
We’re super excited to be able to introduce our four headline acts to you here. For full details about these events, check out the Beyond the Page website, or follow the festival on Facebook!
First up is Bea Lee-Smith from the Royal New Zealand Ballet. Join her on a magical journey into the world of Hansel and Gretel. Through music and mime, children will learn simple ballet steps and positions. This interactive telling of an old favourite tale will be a great appetizer for you and your family in advance of the RNZB’s exciting new production of Hansel and Gretel later in the year. Suitable for pre-schoolers and primary school aged children.
Next up we have the amazing New Zealand author Donovan Bixley. Donovan has had over 100 books published around the world — I can’t even imagine what it’s like having one book published! His show will have you laughing with amazement as you dive into a world of letters, words, and fuzzy doodles. Suitable for children aged 5+ with their caregivers.
Our next headliner is the fabulously spellbinding storyteller Tanya Batt. Tanya describes herself as a “green-fingered witch, a word warbler and a story stitcher” — which sounds like just my cup of tea! You can join Tanya in one of her imagined worlds as part of this year’s festival, with amazing costumes, live music, and tantalising tales to boot. Suitable for children aged 4+ with their caregivers.
Last but certainly not least is Toro Pikopiko, New Zealand’s most established puppetry theatre company. Yep, you heard that right — puppets! And over 80 of Toro Pikopiko’s amazing hand-crafted puppets star in their incredible rock-art musical extravaganza, Te Rereka (The Flight). This incredible show is bound to inspire and amaze — so don’t miss out! Suitable for children of all ages with their caregivers.
There will be heaps more info coming out soon about the rest of the festival schedule. There’s everything from zine-making and book-creating workshops to robots, coding, and theatre-making. Keep checking the Beyond the Page website and at your local library as the school holidays draw closer to keep up to date with what’s on in your neighbourhood!
The countdown begins to the release of the live action film, The Lion King!
Released in theatres on July 18th and 25 years since the release of the original and animated film. Just in time for the school holidays!
A new trailer has been released and overall, it is amazing!
You will get to see all the beloved characters of the film, including Mufusa, Rafiki, Scar and Simba, (as a baby, child -EEEKK! Prepare for an overload of cuteness- and an adult), and of course, lovable duo: Timon and Pumbaa!
It shows promise that this film will be even better than the original, as well as the most anticipated movie of the year.
The Lion King boasts an all-star cast featuring Beyoncé as Nala, Donald Glover as Simba, Billy Eichner as Timon, Seth Rogan as Pumbaa, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar and James Earl Jones returning to his role as Mufasa.
So what are you waiting, check out the trailer!
In the mean time…
Why not watch the original movie and relive the magic of a timeless Disney classic of all time. DVDs are available at various Wellington City Library branches.
I cannot recommend The Lion King enough! You will laugh. You will cry. You will be guaranteed to sign along to songs such as Circle of Life, Hakuna Matata and Can you feel the love tonight.
The school holidays have begun! There will be days during the Easter break where the library will be closed. So if are looking for some entertainments, why not have a read of my latest reviews of new DVDs: Mary Poppins Returns and The Nutcracker and the four realms.
And some oldies but goodies, Maleficent, (which aired on TV 2 last weekend), and Despicable Me 3, (which aired on TV 3 last weekend).
But you better get your hands on these DVDs quick … before someone else does!
They saved the best for last! Gru, the reluctant antihero of the previous films has come a long way from being a supervillian. He is married to his Anti-Villain league partner, Lucy, an involved father to Margo, Edith and Agnes and is working for the good guys bringing in the bad of the bad. However things go pear-shaped when Gru is fired from the Anti-Villain League for failing to take down the latest bad guy, Balthazar Bratt, a character completely stuck in the 80s with his music and his dance moves and armed with expanding bubble gum as his weapon of choice. But when a mysterious stranger shows up to inform Gru that he has a long-lost twin brother-a brother who desperately wishes to follow in his twin’s despicable footsteps-one former super-villain will rediscover just how good it feels to be bad. Will Gru complete his path back to the dark side?, you have to watch the film to find out.
Overall, a hilarious film! The minions are funnier than before! Agnes’ obsession with unicorns intensifies where she embarks on a quest to find a long lost legendary unicorn… only to end up with a one horned goat, (spoiler) and the showdown or “dance fight” between Gru and Balthazar Bratt, is funny and cheesy.
This it The Nutcracker as you have never seen it before!
Based on the original story and ballet of The Nutcracker, Clara finds her way into a mysterious parallel world. She teams up with a soldier named Philip aka The Nutcracker in search of a key to unlock a box from her late mother. However things take a turn when it is up to Clara to brave the Fourth Realm to find the key and return harmony to the unstable world. Throughout this film, things aren’t always what they seem. You will find yourself wondering what lies is the mystery box, at times second guessing who the true heroes and villains are throughout this film and whether Clara will find what she is truly looking for.
This film is very entertaining and a fresh retelling of the original story and ballet of The Nutcracker.
This is Sleeping Beauty as you have never seen it! The bad fairy was once a good fairy.
Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there lived a beautiful, pure-hearted young woman called Maleficent, who had anidyllic life growing up in a peaceable forest kingdom, until one day when an invading army threatens the harmony of the land and she is betrayed by her childhood friend, King Stefan. Bent on revenge, Maleficent places a curse upon Stefan’s newborn infant Aurora. However things take a turn while acting as an unofficial fairy godmother, Maleficent becomes fond of Aurora.
Poor Maleficent experiences conflict, similar to iconic Star Wars villain, Darth Vader, whether being trapped in the dark side is permanent or whether there is still good in her… and she will save the day.
Overall a great (alternative) retelling of the classic fairy tale Sleeping Beauty.
I rate this movie: 7/10.
Have a look at the trailer to the upcoming sequel: Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, which is scheduled to be released late October 2019.
After Mary Poppins departed London, Jane and Michael Banks grew up into loving and responsible adults. When Michael becomes a single father of three children: John, Annabel and George, (named after and is a polar opposite of George Banks), after the death of his wife, Mary Poppins revisits the Cherry Tree Lane home again to try to help Michael and his family cope and move beyond their grief. Time passes quickly for most normal mortals. Mary Poppins has never been normal. Although it’s now the 1930s, she looks exactly the same. Her message to Michael, Annabel, John, George and Ellen, the family’s housekeeper, about enjoying life and loved ones is also still the same, even during hard and uncertain times..
This film is Mary Poppins at its best! With a fresh cast, new songs and additional characters, Mary Poppins Returns is fresh story and promising sequel that also stays true to the original film.
Help the library celebrate around Earth Day by coming along to this special storytime all about the environment – and how we fit in it!
Come along for magical eco-stories including The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein and many beautiful new tales of sustainability and our relationship with nature.
We’ll also be making incredible zines about the environment!
Time: Saturday 27th April from 11am to 12pm
Place: Karori Library Children’s area
No registration required!
Here are some of our favourite books about the environment for you to check out!
Here we are : notes for living on planet Earth / Jeffers, Oliver
Well, hello.And welcome to this Planet.We call it Earth. Our world can be a bewildering place, especially if you’ve only just got here. Your head will be filled with questions, so let’s explore what makes our planet and how we live on it. From land and sky, to people and time, these notes can be your guide and start you on your journey. And you’ll figure lots of things out for yourself. Just remember to leave notes for everyone else… Some things about our planet are pretty complicated, but things can be simple, too: you’ve just got to be kind. (Catalogue)
Where’s the elephant? / Barroux
“Where’s the elephant? Where’s the parrot? Where’s the snake?…And where are the trees? What starts as a game of jungle hide-and-seek quickly turns into something more significant in this charming, unique book by award-winning illustrator, Barroux. (Catalogue)
Easter is just around the corner and Wellington City Libraries is chocablock of DVDs for your viewing pleasure and night of “scoffing chocolate”. Wellington City Libraries will be closed on Friday 19th April, (Good Friday), Sunday 21st April (Easter Day) and Monday 22nd April, (Easter Monday), so now would be an excellent time to stock up on DVDs (…and chocolate!) so you can be entertained over the Easter Break.
Check out my top 5 movie recommendations to watch over Easter.
Also, as an added bonus, this post features a couple of surprises that shows why you must go down to your local movie theatre and see Dumbo, which is now showing, and… Artemis Fowl!
When an evil spirit known as Pitch lays down the gauntlet to take over the world, the immortal Guardians must join forces for the first time to protect the hopes, beliefs, and imagination of children all over the world.
The one-and-only Willy Wonka makes the world taste good for a whole new generation in this magical family classic sparkling with brilliantly restored picture and sound! Also included is the all-new documentary Pure Imagination, featuring interviews with Gene Wilder and the Wonka kids and revealing production secrets from the movie!nWhen they find prized Golden Tickets inside their Wonka candy bars, five lucky children win a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the legendary candy factory run by the mysterious Willy Wonka. Now, on a whirlwind tour of Willys incredible, edible realm of milk chocolate waterfalls, elfish Ooompa-Loompas and industrial-sized sugar-coated creations, one very special boy will discover the sweetest secret of all: a generous, loving heart.
Storks used to deliver babies, they now deliver packages for a global internet store. Junior, top delivery stork, is about to be promoted when he accidentally activates the Baby Making Machine which produces an unauthorized baby girl! Desperately Junior must deliver the bundle of joy before his boss finds out. Get ready for this wild revealing journey that could make more than one family whole and restore the storks’ true mission in the world.
When their village is invaded by the grumpy Bergens, two mismatched friends must work together in perfect harmony to save the day. Featuring hit songs performed by Justin Timberlake, Anna Kendrick, and more.
Bob Parr, Mr. Incredible, has unwittingly demonstrated repeated that Supers can cause as much damage as villains while protecting the world, which causes his wife — Elastigirl — to be chosen as the face of a movement to make Supers legal again. Still, it will take the entire gang to take down a new supervillain bent on mind-controlling the entire world!
Surprise #1: Movie Review: Dumbo.
Last weekend I went to see Dumbo at the Roxy Cinema and it is in a word, FANTASTIC!
Tim Burton, (director of the 2005 movie, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), directs this live-action retelling of the original animated 1941 Disney classic. Struggling circus owner Max Medici enlists a former star and his two children, Milly and Joe, to care for Dumbo, a baby elephant born with oversized ears. When Milly and Joe discover that Dumbo can fly, with the help of feathers as a good luck charm, it soon becomes the main attraction — bringing in huge audiences and revitalizing the run-down circus. The elephant’s magical ability also draws the attention of villain, V.A. Vandevere, an entrepreneur who wants to showcase Dumbo in his latest, larger-than-life entertainment venture, however with less than honorable, and perhaps sinister intentions. And it’s up to Milly, Joe and the circus performers to save the day by rescuing Dumbo, and his Mum from the evil clutches of Vandevere.
Overall I feel Tim Burton did an amazing job with this live action retelling of Dumbo.
Dumbo steals the show with his cuteness, baby blue eyes, inquisitive nature and flying antics. I enjoyed the moments where Dumbo was able to confront and give his tormentors their just deserts by hosed down, the tender moments he had with his mother and the love and kindness he received from the children and circus performers.
All the other characters, even the villain, brings the film to life, gives it depth and will keep you entertained from start to finish, and eager for the long awaited and well deserved happy ending for Dumbo.
As promised, the film delivered at being amazing, entertaining, heartwarming, and definitely heart breaking where it is recommended to have tissues on standby.
A highly recommended movie that the whole family can enjoy at the weekend and Easter break!
The wonderful world of Artemis Fowl comes to life on the big screen on September 19 2019!
Based on the beloved book by Eoin Colfer, the film follows 12-year-old genius Artemis Fowl, a descendant of a long line of criminal masterminds, as he finds himself in a battle of strength and cunning against a powerful, hidden race of fairies who may be behind his father’s disappearance.
Christmas comes early this year… around Easter with the release of the third screen adaptation of the Grinch, made by the film company, Illumination, who also made Sing, The Secret Life of Pets and the Despicable Me film series, and who has epic, and sometimes disastrous plans on running Christmas for the citizens of Whoville. A movie guaranteed to make you laugh and definitely not ruin your Easter break.
With the grand opening of Jurassic World’s new super-secret dinosaur exhibit just days away, only one thing is missing, the dinosaurs! In order to get the job done, Simon Masrani enlists his newly-hired assistant, Claire Dearing, to ensure the new attraction opens on time, or else. Unfortunately, Owen Grady, the animal behaviorist Claire hired to deliver the dinosaurs, is late. Owen’s mission turns out to be far more difficult than anyone could have imagined.
Ralph and Penelope are faced with a new challenge when they begin the search for a spare part to fix a beloved videogame: how to navigate the internet. When trying to fix Sugar Rush the pair become engrossed in the World Wide Web after a router is plugged into the local arcade space, forcing them to find a wheel to replace the router with and get the arcade up and running again. Traversing through this new, technological landscape won’t be easy, with the duo coming across new worlds, cultures, and characters that present difficulties along the way.
Explore earth science, learn about the environment, kick back and watch a movie, or let your creative side out to play, during the school holidays at Wellington City Libraries.
Let’s Go Lego!
At Let’s Go Lego, your creative skills will be put to the test as you use our Lego collections to design and build your masterpieces. Each session will have a different theme that will inspire you to hone your skills and become a Lego Legend. Bookings not required. Suitable for ages 5+
Monday 15th April, 3.30 – 4.30pm at Newtown Library
Tuesday 16th April 1 – 3pm at Island Bay Community Centre
Thursday 18th April 10am – 12pm at Churton Park Community Centre
Saturday 20th April 2 – 3pm at Karori Library
Earth Science 101
Join experts from Victoria University to learn about the amazing geology of our city – rock formations, fault lines, earthquakes and more. Come along prepared to do some hands-on science as well! Suitable for ages 5+.
Monday 15th April 2 – 3pm at Johnsonville Library
Tuesday 16th April 2 – 3pm at Karori Library
Wednesday 17th April 11am – 12pm at Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library
Wednesday 17th April 2 – 3pm at Miramar Library
Bring a blanket and pillow, and relax at our fun family movies. A different G rated movie from the library collection will be showing each time, and are suitable for the whole family. Recommended for ages 4+.
Thursday 18th April 4 – 5.30pm and 6 – 7.30pm at Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library
Easter Rock Painting
Paint up some special rocks to hide around the suburb for Easter. We’ve got the rocks, the paint, the brushes and more, just bring yourself and your imagination! #WGTNRocks. Suitable for ages 4+.
Thursday 18th April 1 – 3pm at Island Bay Community Centre
Let out your inner artist as we use recyclable material to create inspiring artworks from scratch! Join in to make a huge collaborative sculpture, or make your own piece to take home. Suitable for ages 4+.
Wednesday 17th April 2 – 3.30pm at Newlands Community Centre
Thursday 18th April 11am – 12pm at Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library
Wednesday 24th April 10am – 12pm at Churton park Community Centre
Friday 26th April 11am – 12pm Wadestown Library
Virtual reality (VR) offers us a new and exciting way to learn about science and the world around us. Explore the wonders of our planet’s most extreme locations from the comfort of your local library. Numbers are limited, bookings required. Reserve your seats by contacting the event library. Suitable for ages 6+.
Tuesday 23rd April 2 – 3pm at Johnsonville Library
Wednesday 24th April 2 – 3pm at Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library
Friday 26th April 11am – 12pm at Khandallah Library
Friday 26th April 2 – 3pm at Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library
Help the library celebrate the lead-up to Earth Day by coming along to this special storytime all about the environment – and how we fit in it! Magical eco-stories and crafts for the whole family to enjoy. Suitable for all ages
Tuesday 16th April 2 – 3pm at Brooklyn Library
Saturday 27th April 11am – 12pm Karori Library
All events are free. Bookings are not required, except for the VR experience. All children must be accompanied by caregivers at every event.
Come along to our free movie night on Friday 4th January at 5.30pm at Johnsonville Library.
This month our mystery movie is about a giant bull with a big heart who is mistaken for a dangerous beast and torn from his home. Watch as he rallies a misfit team of friends, and begins an epic journey travelling back home to his family. This is a love-a-bull family adventure (!).
This film is rated G.
Can’t guess what film we’re talking about? You can call the library or talk to a librarian to find out what is playing each month.
Bring your own cushion for a comfy night in. Movies will play in the Children’s section of the library.