Author Visit: Des Hunt at Central Library.

Attention all literary fans! Come on down to the Central Library and learn how to create amazing stories with a master storyteller! Join 2017 Margaret Mahy Medal and Lecture Award winner Des Hunt for a writing workshop like no other. This event is part of Beyond the Page, a literary festival for children and youth on from 8-23 July, for more information, check out the website.

Where: Wellington Central Library, Young Adults area.

When: Tuesday 11th July, 1pm to 2pm.

Age Group: This workshop is aimed at ages 9-12 and spaces are limited. Make sure you register to secure a spot.

About Des Hunt: Des Hunt was a science and technology teacher for many years, interspersed with periods of curriculum development both in New Zealand and overseas. During this time he had several textbooks published to support the New Zealand curriculum. Over the last twenty years he has experimented with other ways of interesting youngsters in science, creating computer games and writing non-fiction and fiction with scientific themes.

After living in Auckland for much of his life he moved with his wife, Lynne, to Matarangi on New Zealand’s Coromandel Peninsula. He retired from the classroom in 2007 to concentrate on writing fiction for children. He continues his aims of fostering young peoples’ natural interest in the science of their surroundings by visiting schools and libraries where he runs workshops and presentations.

Five Des Hunt books have been finalists at the Children’s Book Awards. Cry of the Taniwha was awarded the 2016 Storylines Gaelyn Gordon Award for a Much-loved Book. Then, in 2017, Des was the recipient of the Storylines Margaret Mahy Medal and Lecture Award for lifetime achievement and a distinguished contribution to New Zealand children’s literature and literacy.

Find out more about Des and his books: www.deshunt.com

While You’re at it, check out some of Des Hunt’s books that you can find at your local library.

Enjoy!

image courtesy of syndeticsPhantom of Terawhiti.

“It’s the school holidays and Zac thinks he might go crazy with boredom. He’s living in exile with his disgraced father on the remote Terawhiti Station on Wellington’s wild south-west coast. Zac and his father witness a shipwreck off the coast. Investigating further, he finds a set of unusual paw prints on the beach. Whose yacht it is? And what animal could have made the paw prints? Soon Zac is drawn into a mystery which threatens his life and those around him. He must protect the secret of the Phantom of Terawhiti from those intent on hunting it – and him – down”–Publisher information.

image courtesy of syndeticsFrog Whistle Mine.

Twelve-year-old Tony has travelled all around New Zealand with his nomadic mother, and desperately wants somewhere to belong. When they arrive in Charleston, a gold-mining ghost town, he is almost afraid to hope this might finally be the place. But things aren’t as they seem, and he finds himself caught up in mysterious events.

 

image courtesy of syndeticsWhere cuckoos call.

Twelve-year-old Ben is a keen ornithologist who looks after endangered birds on his family farm in the Coromandel Peninsula. But Ben must grow up fast in the face of threats to his home, his family and his beloved birds.

 

 

image courtesy of syndeticsWhale Pot Bay.

Jake lives with his father in a remote part of the Wairarapa, where he can surf and watch the whales. But then Jake’s dad begins a relationship with a new partner, who moves in with her daughter Stephanie, and at the same time a local photographer starts stalking their next door neighbour Milton Summer, an international rock celebrity, and Jake’s peaceful life erupts into violence and deceit. An when a whale and her calf get into trouble on the treacherous coast, the history of Whale Pot Bay seems doomed to repeat itself unless Jake, Milton and Stephanie can survive the deadly tide.

image couresty of syndeticsCry of the taniwha.

Matt Logan isn’t looking forward to spending the school holidays in Rotorua with his grandmother and her new husband. Matt has taken his metal detector along, and when he and Juzza – the boy next door – unearth a handcuffed skeleton, a dangerous chain of events begins to coil around them.

 

4 new children’s non fiction that will blow your mind!

Diary of a Time Traveller.

Join Augustus on his global adventure back in time and meet hundreds of history’s most interesting characters, including Einstein, Columbus and the young Mozart. Packed with interesting facts, awesome illustrations and even a timeline of events, this diary makes a million years of history accessible at a glance.

 

 

David Walliams.

Author, actor, comedian, charity fundraiser, TV talent show judge – David Walliams ticks all the boxes! Now you can read his biography, and discover some of his greatest achievements, how he began his comic career, where he finds his inspiration for his hilarious children’s books and the enormous amount of work he does for charity.

 

 

The Best (& Worst) jobs in Ancient Rome.

Here is your chance to explore the job market in Ancient Rome. Discover which jobs brought wealth and glory and which were dirty, smelly and dangerous.

 

 

 

Ripley’s Believe it or not! : eye-popping oddities.

Brace yourself for some eye-popping oddities. There is an all new Ripley’s believe it or not and it is jam packed with even more odd and bizarre things you never thought was possible such as a man pulling a track with his nose, a woman marrying a Ferris wheel, cow farts blowing up building and many more crazy stories! Proceed with caution when you read, it’s earth shattering!

 

Writers Week events featuring children’s books, authors and illustrators

The Festival of New Zealand is here! As part of the festival there is a whole week dedicated to books, reading, writing, authors and illustrators – it’s Writers Week!

It’s not just for adults though – there’s some cool children’s books, illustrators and writers that feature in the programme for the week. You might be interested in going along yourself, or have adults, friends and family who are keen. Here are some good picks:

Live Drawing with Leo Timmers – Monday 10th March, Cost $45

Practising illustrators keen to propel their work into hyperdrive are invited to a character development workshop with Belgian illustrator Leo Timmers (Who’s Driving?, Bang), who “gives his larger-than-life characters a rotundity that has them virtually rolling off the page” (New Zealand Listener).

 

 

Kei Reira Ngā Weriweri – Sunday 9th March, Cost $18

Engage all your senses with storyteller and teacher Te Kahureremoa Taumata and learn the translation of Maurice Sendak’s classic Where the Wild Things Are – possibly by heart.

 

 

 

Collected Stories of the Odd and Marvelous – Sunday 8th March, FREE

Some of New Zealand’s best writers read a quirky mix of tales and poems from a new anthology, The Curioseum: Collected Stories of the Odd and Marvellous. Bring the family to hear Joy Cowley, Kyle Mewburn, Jo Randerson, Dave Armstrong, Antonio Te Maioha and Elizabeth Knox share their magical, funny or provocative stories from this unique new collection for children – a collaboration between Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand and Whitireia Creative Writing.

Weta Digital Presents the Desolation of Smaug – Saturday 8th march, Cost $18

In this enlightening session, Weta Digital insiders will talk about how they created Smaug and other amazing creatures and environments in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Discover how visual effects artists blend art and science to help translate a beloved fantasy novel into a spectacular cinematic experience, and transform the New Zealand landscape into Peter Jackson’s vision of Middle-earth.

 

 

Jack Lasenby – Saturday 8th March, Cost $18

“Responsible adults may read my books, provided they sit an exam afterwards” says Jack Lasenby, one of New Zealand’s most popular children’s book authors. His writing is characterised by its honesty, vigorous language and adventurous spirit. Lasenby will join author Kate De Goldi for an entertaining talk about his award-winning books.

 

 

The Curioseum Overnight Adventure – Friday 7th March, Cost $100

Te Papa is offering a small group of 11 to 13-year-olds the chance to spend the whole night in the museum, exploring its collections and listening to stories by writers featured in the new book The Curioseum: Collected Stories of the Odd and Marvellous. These lucky kids can also write their own fabulous stories and create a book to take home. Dinner and breakfast are included, and on Saturday they can go to any exhibition in the museum for free.

 

Ulf Stark – Sunday 9th March, Cost $18

The author of around 30 books for children and young adults, Ulf Stark credits his mother with helping him to become a writer: “That’s how I came into contact with the great adventurers. Babar tramped around our sitting-room, Biggles flew among the cut-glass chandeliers…” Stark has also written film, TV and theatre scripts and won many prizes in Sweden and internationally. He has been nominated twice for the Hans Christian Andersen Award. Enjoy this “Astrid Lindgren of our time” of our time in Swedish, together with his translator and publisher in New Zealand Julia Marshall.

 

 

Check out the family events that are happening in the festival. It’s going to be great!

 

Te Reo translations of classic books

Huia Publishers have recently released more Te Reo translations of classic children’s books.

Check them out:

Kei Reira Ngā Weriweri (Where the Wild Things Are) by Maurice Sendak, translated by Te Tumatakuru O’Connell

 

 

 

 

Kei te kīhini o te pō (In the Night Kitchen) by Maurice Sendak, translated by Brian Morris

 

 

 

 

 

Te mīhini iti kōwhai (The Little Yellow Digger) by Betty Gilderdale, translated by Brian Morris

 

 

 

 

Te Tanguruhau (The Gruffalo) by Julia Donaldson, translated by Brian Morris

 

 

 

 

 

 

50th Birthday of The Giving Tree

2014 marks the 50th anniversary of a classic children’s book – The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein.

The Giving Tree was published in 1964, and is his most well known book. BUT… Shel Silverstein was busy in 1964 and also had 3 other books published, which means that they all turn 50 years old this year too.

So happy birthday to the following books:

The Giving Tree

(also in French)

 

 

 

A Giraffe and a Half

 

 

 

 

Who Wants a Cheap Rhinoceros?

 

 

 

 

(Don’t Bump the Glump!  is the 4th book having a birthday but, sorry- we don’t have this one in the library.)

Check out the official Shel Silverstein website for info, games, videos, printables, e-cards, and oggle at the cool illustrations and cartoons.

Children should read the books they love

One of my favourite authors – Neil Gaiman, has given an awesome speech about how he sees the future of books, reading and libraries.

He reckons that you should be able to read what ever you enjoy and that adults could destroy a child’s love a reading forever by making them read books that they like instead of what the child likes. He believes that there is no such thing as a bad book and that adults should never try to stop a child from reading what they want to read.

The popularity of eBooks does not mean that physical books are a thing of the past, and he is very keen to see that libraries continue to stay open and stock lots of books. Neil Gaiman believes that reading fiction is one of the most important things we can do to ensure we have a successful future.

So go and grab some fiction today! How about one of Neil Gaiman’s excellent books:

 

A library poem

 

Author Julia Donaldson has written many awesome books, that you’ll probably know – The Gruffalo, The Smartest Giant in Town and Room on the Broom,  and has now written a really cool poem about libraries and the special places they are:

 

 

 

Everyone is welcome to walk through the door.

It really doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor.

There are books in boxes and books on shelves.

They’re free for you to borrow, so help yourselves.

Come and meet your heroes, old and new,

From William the Conqueror to Winnie the Pooh.

You can look into the Mirror or read The Times,

Or bring along a toddler to chant some rhymes.

The librarian’s a friend who loves to lend,

So see if there’s a book that she can recommend.

Read that book, and if you’re bitten

You can borrow all the other ones the author’s written.

Are you into battles or biography?

Are you keen on gerbils or geography?

Gardening or ghosts? Sharks or science fiction?

There’s something here for everyone, whatever your addiction.

There are students revising, deep in concentration,

And school kids doing projects, finding inspiration.

Over in the corner there’s a table with seating,

So come along and join in the Book Club meeting.

Yes, come to the library! Browse and borrow,

And help make sure it’ll still be here tomorrow.

Author Nick Sharratt visiting Wellington

Author and illustrator Nick Sharratt will be visiting Wellington in December and will be appearing at the Kilbirnie Children’s Bookshop to meet his fans and sign books.

Fans of Jacqueline Wilson’s books will know his art – he’s the illustrator behind her awesome book covers. He has also written and illustrated many of his own books. Here are just a few:

 

Meet Nick Sharratt at the Kilbirnie Children’s Bookshop at 11am on December 1st 2012.

 

Neil Gaiman’s 8 rules of writing

Neil Gaiman, successful and fantastic Author of great books like:

 

 

(both of which are a little bit scary – you have been warned), has offered his 8 rules for writing for those that like to grab a pen and paper and create stories. His rules are:

  1. Write
  2. Put one word after another. Find the right word, put it down.
  3. Finish what you’re writing. Whatever you have to do to finish it, finish it.
  4. Put it aside. Read it pretending you’ve never read it before. Show it to friends whose opinion you respect and who like the kind of thing that this is.
  5. Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.
  6. Fix it. Remember that, sooner or later, before it ever reaches perfection, you will have to let it go and move on and start to write the next thing. Perfection is like chasing the horizon. Keep moving.
  7. Laugh at your own jokes.
  8. The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you’re allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it’s definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it ­honestly, and tell it as best you can. I’m not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter.

There you go -no excuses now! Happy writing.

Book Launch: The Queen and the Nobody Boy by Barbara Else

New Zealand Author Barbara Else, who wrote the popular and award winning book The travelling restaurant: Jasper’s voyage in three parts is launching her newest book very soon.

The Queen and the Nobody Boy: A tale of fontania will be launched at the Kilbirnie Children’s Bookshop (26 Kilbirnie Plaza) on Wednesday 19th of September at 6pm. Everyone’s welcome to attend. RSVP by 14 September to jane@geckopress.com

We don’t have The Queen and the Nobody Boy in the library yet – it’s that new! But we will soon and then you’ll be able to take it out and read it.

 

In the meantime, you might like to read The travelling restaurant. It really is an excellent story; there’s a reason why it has won so many awards. Here’s the blurb from our catalogue:

In the city of Fontania, during the reign of the Lady Gall, magic is forbidden. When twelve-year-old Jasper Ludlow’s parents flee the city, leaving him behind, Jasper finds refuge on The Travelling Restaurant, a sailing ship. Jasper embarks on a journey to find his baby sister and his parents and to find the true monarch of Fontania. Suggested level: primary, intermediate.