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.

 

Top 10 Children’s DVDs December 2016

Its summer holidays! But we all know Wellington is tricksy when it comes to beaching weather, so having a couple of DVDs up your sleeve for a wet day is a good plan.

Movies and TV programmes with your favourite characters are a great way to fill in a few hours and inspire imaginative play. Do you have dress ups as your favourite characters?

 

bananas in pajamas1. Octonauts

2. Fireman Sam

3. Thomas and Friends

4. My Little Pony, friendship is magic

5. Peter Rabbit

6. Bananas in pyjamas

kidsblog27. Zootopia

8. Chuggington

9. Inside Out

10. The Angry Birds Movie

 

Top 10 Childrens’ DVDs November 2016

kidsblog1Animal adventurers find themselves in and out of trouble in a number of November’s favourite animations.  Is your favourite among them?

The Octonauts, topped the charts in November.  The underwater explorers show us loads of exciting submarine creatures.  Sometimes we get to see them on our door step.  Did anyone see the Orcas in Wellington Harbour the other day? Here’s a quick video someone took of one them at Matiu/ Somes Island.

kidsblog21. Octonauts

2. My little pony, friendship is magic

3. Zootopia

4. Bananas in pyjamas

5. Peter Rabbit

6. Fireman Sam

cover image7. Strawberry Shortcake

8. Thomas & friends

9. Inside out

10. Hotel Transylvania

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 Children’s DVDs: Madagascar Extravaganza! and… special screening of the movie, Trolls!

It’s down a matter of days before the latest movie, Trolls  from DreamWorks Animation is released. Any believe it or not, there are special screenings of the movie coming up in Wellington on Sunday 13th of November at local theatres. Might pay to check what time they are on and where. But nonetheless, the DreamWorks theme continues with this post that pays tribute to the Madagascar franchise! Check out all the movies!

 

image courtesy of amazon.comMadagascar.

The movie that started the franchise and the “I like to move it, move it” catch phrase! Spoiled by their upbringing with no idea what wild life is really like, Alex the lion, Marty the zebra, Melman the giraffe, and Gloria the hippopotamus from New York Central Zoo find themselves on route to Madagascar.

 

 

image courtesy of amazon.comMadagascar. 2, Escape to Africa

Follow Central Park Zoo animals, including, Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe and Gloria the Hippo, along with the delusional King Julien, psychotic penguins, the monkeys, and the lemur leaders as they unexpectedly are now stranded in the middle of Africa in Survivor/Castaway style, while having to deal with the locals – some good, some not so good, and human castaways adapting into Survivor mode . While Alex, (Reuniting with Mum and Dad), Marty, (putting his potential to full use) Melman, (finding multiple kindred spirits) and Gloria (finding a potential life mate) are rather happy with their new environment, they quickly realize that it’s not all that it seems. Meanwhile, the penguins attempt to repair the plane that they accidentally destroyed and find themselves having to deal with a few problems all the way, mainly union strikes with the monkeys. Overall a pretty funny movie from start to finish!

Check out the trailer here. Barrel of laughs all the way!

 

 

image courtesy of amazon.comMadagascar. 3, Europe’s most wanted.

Goodbye cruel world, I’m off to join the circus.” Such as the case with Alex, Marty, Melman and Gloria and the whole crew, as they run off to join the circus to escape Captain Dubois of Animal Control also known as “the fickle woman who turned their whole world upside down.” A barrel of laughs all the way!

 

 

image courtesy of amazon.comThe penguins of Madagascar. Operation: Antarctica.

The delightful and quirky penguins finally get their own staring role in the delightful  spinoff: The penguins of Madagascar. The penguins embark on their own covert missions in the heart of Antarctic and watch as the wacky Penguins discover it takes a lot more than cute and cuddly to pull off their coolest caper yet!

 

 

5 New children’s non-fiction to read during November.

You might be thinking ahead to the summer holidays, but that’s no reason not too keep filling your head with cool facts and amazing information. Here’s some great new non-fiction to cram into your heads (not actually – we’d rather like it if you read and returned them to the library instead)

 

image courtesy of syndeticsOrigami Festivals Divali.

I realise it’s a little late, but this is a great book to have on hand for Diwali next year. Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, is celebrated for five days with various activities and food. This book explores the festival and the story behind it and features six simple origami projects for your own festive fun! The book shows how people around the world decorate their homes with lights and rangoli patterns, and how they end the Diwali celebration with a special day for brothers and sisters.

 

image courtesy of syndeticsAnimation lab for kids : fun projects for visual storytelling and making art move.

In Animation Lab for Kids, artists, teachers, and authors Laura Bellmont and Emily Brink present exciting, fun, hands-on projects that teach kids a range of animation techniques.

 

 

 

image courtesy of syndeticsThe Olympic Games.

This book brings you all the excitement of the biggest multi-sport event in the world. Comes complete with dramatic photos of competitors in action and charming illustrations telling the story of the Olympics.

 

 

 

Ingri and Edgar Parin d’Aulaire’s Book of Greek myths.image courtesy of syndetics

An introduction to the gods and goddesses of ancient Greece includes all of the D’Aulaires’ original detailed illustrations. In a relaxed and humorous tone, these splendid artists bring to life the myths that have inspired great European literature and art through the ages.

 

 

image courtesy of syndeticsSuch stuff : a story-maker’s inspiration.

A wise Chinese philosopher once said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” This book beautifully chronicles Michael Morpurgo’s journey to becoming one of the greatest of Children’s literature to date. In this book, he shares his insights and dreams to reveal some of the fascinating ingredients he uses to create the tales we love.

 

 

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.

Top 10 Children’s DVDs from October 2016

Rainy days and road trips mean time to catch up your favourite series on DVD. October’s top pick is the Octonauts! These guys have sooo many games on their web page.  As they are really popular at the moment you can always go online to borrow their eBooks. Overdrive have a great selection of children’s material that you can look up on the Easyfind catalogue or go through the app or webpage.

 

kids dvds11. Octonauts

2. Thomas & friends

3. My Little Pony, Friendship is magic

4. Fireman Sam

5. Bananas in pajamas

cover image16. Peter Rabbit

7. Zootopia

8. Strawberry Shortcake

9. Snoopy and Charlie Brown

10. Inside Out

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!

 

 

Top 10 Children’s DVDs September 2016

dvd cover

Unpredicatble weather predicted for the school holidays? Set yourself up with some great movies and favourite series incase you get stuck indoors!

The Disney movie Zootopia has placed soooo many different animals together in one city.  Rookie cop, Judy, is the first bunny on the force meeting a huge range of characters that have their own ideas of who Judy is.  The directors of Tangled and Wreck-it Ralph have created a movie that looks at how different people treat each other.  Worth a watch this holidays.

bananas in pajamas1. Octonauts

2. My little pony, friendship is magic

3. Peter Rabbit

4. Zootopia

5. Bananas in pyjamas

6. Fireman Sam

cover image7. Inside out

8. Minions

9. Thomas & friends

10. Strawberry Shortcake