Move over, Thomas Edison! Nikola Tesla takes center stage as the man responsible for lighting our lives with electricity! Here is the story of the ambitious young man who brought life-changing ideas to America, despite the obstructive efforts of his hero-turned-rival, Thomas Edison. From using alternating current to light up the Chicago World’s Fair to harnessing Niagara to electrify New York City and beyond, Nikola Tesla was a revolutionary ahead of his time. Fantastic resource to use for science homework on electricity and a project on a famous scientist.
FACT: Technology such as remote controls, fluorescent lights, X-rays, speedometers, cell phones, even the radio all resulted from Nikola Tesla’s inventions.
FACT: Pets can provide excellent social support, stress relief, helps children develop and other health benefits like improving your mood, lowering blood pressure and improves immunity.
Prepare to be bombarded with cuteness. If you have a weakness for baby animals (like I do), then you are going to love this book. This book provides information about over one hundred baby animals and their parents, including chameleons, sloths, and elephants. Learn interesting and amazing facts such as sloth babies are born in trees, jackal pups babysit their siblings and koala joeys are cousins to kangaroos.
Sammy, a young Wilson’s warbler, wakes up one frosty August morning near the Arctic Circle, he instinctively knows that it’s time to make his first migratory journey south to Panama. But there’s one problem — where’s Panama? Overall I loved this book! A captivating tale of adventure and discovery as Sammy embarks on his first solo migratory journey south to Panama, while encountering other animals making a similar journey on the way. A great story to educate children on how birds and animals migrate. This is one story you have to read from start to finish if you want to find out whether Sammy makes it to Panama.
The award-winning much-loved children’s picture books Where the Wild Things Are and In The Night Kitchen have now translated into te reo Maori!, which still retains the simplicity and imagination of Maurice Sendak’s wonderful stories. Now is your chance to relive the same lively, creative stories where we join Max on his adventure to ’where the wild things are’ where ‘wild rumpuses’ take place, and the pleasure of things returning to normal and Mickey’s dream of falling into cake mix and flying in a plane of bread dough to find milk for the cake batter ‘in the night kitchen’.
You may also like Te Tanguruhau, (The Gruffalo), The Māori language version of the children’s picture book, The Gruffalo about a clever mouse who uses the threat of a terrifying creature to keep from being eaten by a fox, an owl, and a snake, only to have to outwit that creature as well.
Just in time for Race Relations Day that takes place each year on the 21st March.
Have you been able to watch any of the Winter Olympics yet?
The athletes are so amazing – the figure skaters are so graceful – the ski jumpers can fly sky-high - the bobsleigh goes crazy fast and the ice hockey players crash a lot.
This morning I watched Julia Lipnitskaia a Russian figure skater perform. She is incredible and is only 15 years old.
How are you feeling now that you are back at school? Ready for new challenges? Are you getting confident with reading short stories all by yourself? If so, this selection of easy chapter books will be perfect for you!
Spooky house, by Sally Rippin
Billie and her friends have started a Secret Mystery Club! There’s just one problem – they don’t have any mysteries to solve. But then Billie thinks of the spooky house at the end of her street. She has always wondered who lives there. Is it a witch or a ghost?
It is up to the SMC to find out!
Age 7 and +
Stink it up! A guide to the Gross, the bad and the smelly, Megan McDonald
Stink has a nose for yuck and muck, and this book is full of it: moose-poop festivals, mouse-brain toothpaste, maggot cheese, and more.
The pages are packed with more than two hundred facts and bits of trivia about things that are gross, bad, and smelly – loads of P.U. served up just for YOU!
Age 7 and +
Thea Stilton and the Spanish dance mission, by Geronimo Stilton
The Thea sisters are visiting friends at a lively festival in Spain. But the theft of a precious fan turns their trip into an investigation! They end up hot on the trail of a secret treasure… but they’re not the only ones searching for it. Can the mouselets solve the mystery in time? It’s a mission full of flamenco dance!
Age 7 and +
Lulu Bell and the Cubby Fort, by Belinda Murrell
Lulu and her family are visiting their uncle’s farm for the Easter holidays. There are horses to ride, a creek to swim in, and they can even sleep outside in a tent. What fun!
Lulu loves being a cowgirl on the farm, especially when all the cousins decide to build the best cubby fort ever. But when she sees a calf get stuck in the mud, Lulu has to find help – fast!
Age 7 and +
Near Nelson a bunch of cavers have been busy – they’ve discovered the deepest cave in New Zealand and in the Southern Hemisphere.
The passage is about 10kms long and drops around 1200m down below the earth’s surface. Th discovery was made when a link between two previously known cave systems, called Stormy Pot and Nettlebed, was found. There was a problem however – the link had previously been used as a toilet for cavers exploring the area – yuk! The link was full of rubble, which took the cavers 2 days to remove.
They plan to return to the cave systems soon and explore the area completely. More information here.
New Zealand is full of caves, there are many places underground to explore. Find out more about caving in these books:
Boris Gets a Lizard by Andrew Joyner
Boris has a lot of pets, but what he really wants is a Komodo dragon, so he comes up with a plan–and invites his class to come and see his lizard.
The Kensington Reptilarium by N.J Gemmell
This is the story of how four loud, grubby urchins from the Aussie outback find themselves in the heart of London, where the first peacetime Christmas after the six long, hard years of World War II promises to be a big one…
Oliver and the Seawigs by Philip Reeve
Oliver grew up in a family of explorers but his biggest adventure is about to begin! Along with his new friends, a grumpy old albatross, a short-sighted mermaid and a friendly island called Cliff, Oliver goes off in search of his missing parents. But before he can put his rescue plan into action there’s the evil Stacey de Lacey and an army of greasy, green sea monkeys to contend with.
Get Yourself Gone by Oisin McGann
‘Vulgar Pluck is in trouble. Big trouble. He’s tangled with the wrong people and now he’s on the run from Psycho Cyrus and his gang of Lost Boys. Vulgar needs to get out of town – fast. But first he’s got one last job to do. And he’s got to do it quick, before some really dark magic is unleashed… ‘ (from book cover).
A Question of Magic By E.D Baker
Serafina is summoned from her village to the magical cottage of a great aunt she has never heard of and learns that she is meant to become the new Baba Yaga, whose magical role is answering the first question any stranger might ask her with the truth.
Forget two minute noodles. Check out Noodlemania. This cool book contains 50 playful pasta recipes that make dinnertime more fun and gives you an excuse to play with your food. This book has been cleverly written as the author, Melissa Barlow adds twists to dishes to indeed make them playful, for example making robots out of macaroni and pretzels, etc. However my personal favorites were making ladybugs (or ladybirds as we call them) out of tomatoes and black olives, making gnomes out of hard boiled eggs and tomatoes and purple pasta monsters… You have to read the recipe to find out how to make them, (one key ingredient being purple food coloring) This is one book you will go noodle crazy over!
Well Lonely Planet, you have done it again by releasing another awesome book! (not for parents.) Kids this is your chance to read everything you need to know about being a young explorer (and perhaps the next Bear Grylls), how to become a famous dinosaur hunter, covering what it was like in the age of the dinosaur, what clues to look for and what equipment to pack, Danger ratings show which dinos are safe to approach and which will eat you for lunch!
Another brand new read from the Country Series Book from Lonely Planets that is not a guidebook and it is definitely not for parents. Great for ages 8 to 11 years. Also check out Not for Parents U.S.A. Everything you ever wanted to know.
You are in for a treat with the retelling of Homer’s The Odyssey, one of the greatest stories of Greek mythology and literature of all time. Read all the exciting and thrilling adventures of the hero of the story, Odysseus as he faces a storm, shipwreck, terrifying monsters and the fury of the gods as he journeys home after the Trojan war. The question on everyone’s lips is will he ever make home and what happens when he does? In order to find out, you have to read the book.
You might also be interested in reading The Adventures of Achilles by Hugh Lupton, Daniel Morden and Carole Henaff.
This book with definitely make you THINK AGAIN about everything you thought you knew, but most importantly gives you all the gives you account of all the TRUE facts about all the body bloopers, animal errors, science slip-ups, historic howlers, world wonders, blunders and perhaps even some facts you may not find in Ripley’s Believe it or not and Guinness World Records. This book will also be good for homework and research as it covers curriculum-linked subject areas.
This book brings to life ten of the greatest stories from the world of Greek mythology starring meschievous gods and goddesses, brave heroes and heroines, and amazing magical animals. Read all about how spirited girls like Atalanta who can run faster than all her unwanted suitors only to be tricked by three golden apples, the goddess Athena challenging the over-proud Arachne to a weaving contest and the deeds of heroes, such as Perseus’s killing of the Gorgon Medusa and rescuing the princess Andromeda from a dragon by turning it to stone. This book also features the story of Orpheus and Eurydice. This is a treasure that will be enjoyed by kids of all ages.
Are you a fan of mysteries of the world and Richard Hammond? Well, you are going to love this book. Richard Hammond’s great mysteries of the world gives the low down of some of the greatest mysteries around the world and a crash course on how to an world explorer. Prepare to be taken on a journey to discover the truth behind the world’s strangest occurrences, explore the ancient pyramids, stonehenge and the Bermuda Triangle, hunt for werewolves, vampires, aliens and the Abominable Snowman. Overall this is a great book for all ages. A great resource to use for history homework and assignments.
Want something to distract you from the start of school? Here are some movies that are coming out in the next few months to look forward to. http://www.flicks.co.nz/coming-soon/family-kids/
Saving Mr Banks (releases on 6th February)
This is the story of how Walt Disney convinced the author P. L. Travers to allow him to turn her novel Mary Poppins into a movie.
The Seventh Son 2D and 3D (releases on 20th February)
This movie is based on the first book in the Wardstone Chronicles series written by Joseph Delaney. It is the story of a mystical knight and his 14 year old apprentice as they battle a powerful witch called Mother Malkin
Mr Peabody and Sherman 2D and 3D (releases on 27th March)
Mr Peabody takes his adopted son Sherman back through history in an attempt to fix changes made to history when Sherman and his classmate, Penny, tampered with the WABAC machine.
Muppets: Most Wanted (releases on 10th April)
The Muppets are back! Featuring celebrities like Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey and Christopher Waltz, the muppets are on a world tour and find themselves caught up in a jewelry heist lead by a Kermit look-alike.
Rio 2 2D and 3D (releases on 17th April)
The sequel to Rio – Jewel and Blu and their three children leave their domesticated life in the city and return to the Amazon jungle.
The LEGO movie (releases on 17th April)
LEGO comes to life in this comedy movie about an ordinary LEGO guy who everything believes is the chosen one to fulfill a prophesy and save the LEGO world. Lots of familiar LEGO character make an appearance.
The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet (releases on 24th April)
Based on Reif Larsen’s children’s book. A 12 year old child genius secretly leaves his family’s country home in Montana to receive an award at the Smithsonian Institute, who think that he is an adult.
Tarzan 2D and 3D (releases on 12th June)
An animated movie of the classic story of an boy who survives a plane crash in the jungle and is raised by apes.
Maleficent 2D and 3D (releases on 19th June)
A dark retelling of Disney’s tale of Sleeping Beauty. The story is from the view of the witch Maleficient, and the eevnts that harden her heart and cause her to curse princess Aurora
How to Train your Dragon 2 2D and 3D (releases on 3rd July)
This story starts 5 years after the first movie. Hiccup and Toothless set out to discover new worlds and unmapped lands. They come across a land that’s home to hundreds of new dragons, and find them selves caught in the middle trying to keep the peace.
Here are the most popular children’s comic books and series for January:
1. Big Nate seriesby Lincoln Peirce
2. Pokemon seriesby Hidenori Kusaka
3. Chi’s sweet home series by Konami Kanata
4. Amulet series by Kazu Kibuishi
5. Asterix omnibus series by Goscinny
6. The complete Peanuts series by Charles M Schulz
7. Garfield series by Jim Davis
8. The Baby-sitters Club series by Ann M Martin
9. Warriors series by Dan Jolley
10. Red Rackham’s treasure by Herge
Looking for some last minute school holiday DVDs before going back to school? Here are the most popular DVDs for January – why not choose one of these?
1. My little pony, friendship is magic series
2. Strawberry Shortcake series
3. Dino Dan series
4. Dinosaur train series
5. Ninjago, masters of Spinjitzu series
6. Shaun the sheep series
10. Arthur Christmas