Kids’ Club Review by Rachel: Cupcake catastrophe

Cupcake catastropheCupcake catastrophe, by Yvette Poshoglian

Cupcake Catastrophe is a really good book about cooking with Ella (7 years old) and Olivia (5 1/2 years old). They are going to make cupcakes for a special celebration and they are a surprise for their Dad. This is a good book for girls around 5 or 6 years old. Thanks

4 stars

Reviewed by Rachel from Tawa, 8 years old

New Non Fiction: Celebrating Mothers, Artists, Animal Heroes and 100 inventions that has shaped and changed the world forever.

Amazing Babes.

Amazing Babes was originally written as a gift from a mother to her son. This is a great picture book that celebrates inspirational women from around the world and across generations. All the women in this book had the ideas, determination, and creativity to bring about change in the world, and in learning about their stories we honour their achievements. Overall a fantastic read with striking pictures and simple text that celebrates the achievements of inspirational women such as Gloria Steinman, pioneer of the American women’s movement and Malala Yousafzai, a passionate advocate of worldwide access to education. A great book to celebrate International Women’s day. You may also like Of thee I sing : a letter to my daughters by American president, Barack Obama, where he  writes  a moving tribute to thirteen groundbreaking Americans and the ideals that have shaped our nation in the form of a beautiful letter to his daughters.




Mummy & Me Cook and Craft.

Great books to read and use for  gift ideas for Mum on Mother’s day, like whipping up a yummy pancake  breakfast to serve Mum in bed or making up a bead necklace as a gift. Either way or something that you and Mum can do together. Mummy & Me Cook serves as a great introduction to cooking for kids with its blend of over 20 healthy recipes and fun activities as well as fabulous food facts about everyday ingredients. While Mummy and Me Craft introduces kids  to the wonderful world of crafting. Great was for you and Mum to spend quality time together.



The noisy paint box : the colors and sounds of Kandinsky’s abstract art.

If you have a project which involves studying a famous artist and abstract art, this biography on Kandinsky is a great resource to use. A fantastic picture book biography that explores how one ordinary little boy named Vansa Kandinsky became one of the most (and first) accomplished painters in abstract art and describes how Vasya Kandinsky’s creative life was profoundly shaped by a neurological condition called synesthesia which caused him to experienced colors as sounds and sounds as colors. A biography, art and music book rolled into one.





100 inventions that made history : brilliant breakthroughs that shaped our world.

The wheel, the light bulb, the telephone, the toilet, antibiotics,  denim jeans… This book holds information about 100 inventions that has shaped and changed the world forever. This book is a great resource to use if you are doing a project on inventions.






Animal Bravery in Wartime.

Read this book and find out all about the brave animals from horses on cavalry charges to messenger dogs and carriers, that helped and risked their lives to help humans in frightening and dangerous situations during the war.The first page of this book opens with the sentence, “Although much is made of human bravery in warfare, the role of animals has been neglected.” I couldn’t agree more.





Midnight: The Story of a light horse.

‘A foal is born at midnight, on the homestead side of the river. Coal black. Star ablaze. Moonlight in her eyes.’ On October 31, 1917, the 4th and 12th Regiments of the Australian Light Horse took part in one of the last great cavalry charges in history. Among the first to leap the enemy trenches was Lieutenant Guy Haydon riding his beloved mare, Midnight. This is their story.’

We all know the epic story of War Horse by Michael Morpurgo , but are you ready to read the true story of a real-life war horse? This book tells the story of Midnight, an Australian light horse who took part of one of the great cavalry charges on October 31st 1917 during World War I. Prepare to have tissues on stand by when reading this story.


Kids’ Club Review by Tuhina: Cupcake catastrophe

Cupcake catastropheCupcake catastrophe, by Yvette Poshoglian

This book of Ella and Olivia is about the girls making cupcakes on their dad’s birthday and the fun after it.
The girls are helping mum make cup cakes for dad’s special day.Olivia who is learning to read brings a packet with says “S” ….(sugar????) on it.With their sparkling dresses on and Granddad ,Nanna and the cousins sing the birthday song to dad.Dad takes a bite of the cup cake and…..oh no!!!!!!!!!something’s wrong..They used salt instead of sugar.But eventually they forget and play games.I wonder what would happen next.
This is a very much real life experience and reminds my first experience with baking.Great for readers of all ages!!

4 stars

Reviewed by Tuhina from Khandallah, 7 years old

Kids’ Club Review by Sarah: Cupcake catastrophe

Cupcake catastrophe, by Yvette Poshoglian

Ella and Olivia are sisters. Ella is 7 and Olivia is 5 and a half. They live with there Mum and little brother Max Dads birthday party is thay afternoon so Ella and Olivia are making…
Who would have thought anything could go wrong?
I reccommend this book for 6-8 year old girls
By Sarah (10)

5 stars

Reviewed by Sarah from Central City, 10 years old

New Non Fiction: Ideas for the Holiday Festive Season and Summer.

10 Minute Crafts for Summer.

Summer’s around the corner. This new addition to Wellington City Libraries will give you craft ideas for summer you can complete in ten minutes. Use this book to make a fluttery butterfly peg, create a kite and race you very own raft.






Let’s Make Faces.

Feeling bored around home? Why not rummage through your household items  and use this book to get ideas on how to  make faces in unexpected places using everyday objects.






Noah’s Ark.

Lucy Cousins, the creator of the Maisy has adapted from the Bible story: Noah’s Ark  into a picture book  that young children will enjoy. Cousins stays true to her creative style  with using simple language and vibrant colors that is sure to fascinate and entertain children. This serves as a good introduction to Bible literature. Also great for children that are a fan of the Maisy books.





Christmas Jokes.

Christmas is around the corner. How about some Christmas jokes to share with the family? You will laugh yourself silly (or youle laugh yours-elf silly!) with this collection of christmas jokes that is bound to tickle your funny bone. This is one Christmas joke book that you would have to be Christmas crackers not to issue this book out during the holiday period.

Also check out The funniest Christmas joke book ever if you are in the mood for more Christmas jokes.



Party Cakes to Bake and Decorate.

If you are looking some baking or make tasty treats fro Christmas, check out Usbourne’s new book on how to bake and decorate party cakes. You might even find an idea for an alternative gingerbread house,  (See Gingerbread Cake recipe) over Christmas and house and star decorations that fit perfectly with the Christmas theme. The recipes for multicolored meringues look fantastic and girls, you will be tickled pink with the pink layer cake recipe.  Overall this book is jammed packed with simple and scrumptious party cake recipes that anyone can bake.

For more cooking and baking ideas over the festive season, also check out this year’s previous blog post on Ready. Steady, Cook.

Maia and What Matters – Book Blog tour

Welcome to our book blog tour for Maia and What Matters, by Tine Mortier.

What’s going on here, you ask? This week there is a tour happening across blogs from around the world about Tine Mortier’s new book –Maia and What Matters, published by BookIsland. We are very lucky to be participating in this and, even luckier, we get to interview the author -cool!

Here’s a little info about the book from the publisher’s website:

Maia is an impatient little scamp. When something pops into her head, she wants it. Now! Right this minute! Her grandma’s just the same and they get along like a house on fire. One day Grandma falls ill and loses her control over words. The grown-ups don’t seem to understand her, but Maia never loses sight of her strong, wonderful grandma and knows exactly what she means.

This blog has info about a baking competition, so read through the interview to find the competition details at the end. The next blog on the tour is Munch Cooking, so make sure you visit them to keep going on the book blog tour (the previous stop on this tour was Stephanie Owen Reeder).


And now for the interview…

1. The themes tackled in ‘Maia and What Matters’ are not the easiest. What inspired you to write this story?

TINE: I have a very wonderful family doctor, with whom I have a very good relationship. We always talk a lot when I go to see her about some problem or other. Once, she told me the story of her great-aunt, who had had a stroke and could no longer communicate with her family. My GP was the only one who understood her, so she had to be a kind of translator between the aunt and the rest of the family. Her story almost made me cry, so that same day I decided I had to do a book about it.


 2. The Illustrations by Kaatje Vermeire are amazing. Did you get to work with her closely when she was designing the illustrations for the book?

TINE: Not really. She showed me some sketches occasionally, but it’s not like we really communicated about the work. Mostly, I feel like author and illustrator should be able to do their work independently. I had all the faith that she would do a wonderful job, and she did.


3. Do you have a favourite page in the finished book?

TINE: I really adore the page where the grandfather dies. It is very intense. When I first saw it, it made me cry. Although I knew what was coming, of course, since I wrote the book, the harshness and still the poetry of that page took me completely by surprise.


4. What’s your favourite food from your country?

TINE: I am absolutely fond of chocolate. It even sometimes gets out of hand. I could eat a shelf full of it, and I have no control about it whatsoever. I’m a real disaster when it comes to chocolate…


5. What’s your favourite memory of your Grandma?

TINE: There are so many things. She died only two weeks ago, so it is all very fresh still.

I will forever remember her incredible cooking. She was a very direct and down to earth woman, who never told us literally she loved us. But the way she looked after us and cooked for us, showed us that time and time again.


 6. Your books, and in particular ‘Maia and What Matters’, have been translated into a dozen languages now. How does that feel and which language do you have most affinity with? Is there a particular language that would you like to see ‘Maia and What Matters’ translated into?

TINE: It feels incredible. The very thought that children all over the world are reading the book, makes me shiver at times.

The language I have most affinity with up to now, is English. But frankly: most of the other languages I don’t understand at all. I really would love the book to be translated into Spanish, because half my family are Latin Americans. It would be wonderful if they could read the book as well.


 7. Please tell us what you love about libraries?

TINE: I’m fond of everything that’s got to do with paper and books, so libraries are a kind of candy store to me. I do prefer private libraries to public ones, since I love to have my own books. I do visit public libraries, but I almost always buy the books I like. I find it kind of comforting to be surrounded by them.


8. Over the past ten years you’ve been doing hundreds of workshops with children. What was the most intriguing question you were asked by a child?

TINE: It is very difficult to pick out one particular question, since there have been so many of them. One question that keeps coming back though, is ‘if it is all true’. It applies to nearly all my books, both those that are pretty autobiographically inspired, and those that are cheer fantasy. I always answer it the same way: all is true. Absolutely all of it. Even if children fly (as in Zooperman) or run around as rabbits (Silly Rabbit), or a hurricane gets out of control because she was given the wrong name (Angelica the Terrifying). I then tell them it’s because children’s authors cannot tell lies. That’s forbidden. We never lie. We only exaggerate from time to time.


9. What is the most important message or lesson you would like readers of your book to take away with them?

TINE: That’s a tough one. I don’t really think about messages too much when writing a book. I just hope people will enjoy it, and maybe grow to love it. In that case, they will get exactly what they need from the book, I suppose.


 10. What’s your next project?

TINE: That is very secret, so don’t tell anyone else.

I’m currently writing a book about a young boy who wants to become a train. He has all sorts of reasons for it, and he wishes it so hard, he gets to realise his dream in the end.


As promised, here’s the competition info (click on the picture). Good luck!


Next stop in the tour is Munch Cooking. Go there now! (Find the other tour stops here)


Thanks for visiting everyone.

New Non Fiction: Ready, Steady, Cook!

Almost two-thirds of the winter has now gone!  We have had cold and nasty periods of gale winds, hail, snow, rain and storms in the Capital. So now that the school holidays have started, why not come in from the cold and check out Wellington City Libraries’  new range of cooking and baking non fiction in the Children’s collection for your enjoyment and pleasure.

Our new range of cookbooks contains information on how to make an assortment of savories and sweets for ideal for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks parties, and high tea. Also included are ideas on how to make Italian dishes, Kiwiana themed cupcakes, Narnian themed food and meals that meet the nutritional guidelines  of healthy eating.

Fancy some Italian…

The Silver Spoon for Children.

Fancy some Italian this winter? This delightful book holds 40 Italian recipes adapted from The Silver Spoon by a specially commissioned expert on children’s food and nutrition. The recipes have been chosen for their simple instructions, fresh and healthy ingredients and delicious flavor, and are guaranteed to appeal to the fussiest of children, so parents can rest easy knowing that their children will be eating healthily. You will learn how to make your own pizza, spaghetti and ice cream. Every step is described and illustrated to make the recipes easy to follow and there are photographs so that you can see what the finished dishes are suppose to look like.



Take a trip back to Narnia…

The Unofficial Narnia Cookbook.

We all know the series (and the movies). Have you ever wished you could travel through the wardrobe and simply taste some of the wondrous food featured? With The Unofficial Narnia Cookbook, you can recreate the delicious meals from Narnia in the comfort of your own home without worrying about the White Witch or epic battles. Menus include more than 150 easy-to-make recipes for breakfast, snacks, lunch, dinner, and of course dessert. Relive the magical and glorious world of Narnia as you cook your way through foods so good, you’ll think Aslan delivered them himself.

If you’re visiting your local library, you might also want check out the books and the DVDs.

Books: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair, The Horse and his boy, The Magician’s Nephew and The Last Battle.

DVDs (BBC): The Lion, The Witch and The WardrobePrince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and The Silver Chair

DVDs (Motion Picture): The Lion, The Witch and The WardrobePrince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.


Simple, easy (and healthy recipes) for kids…

4 Ingredients Kids.

This is a cookbook that all health conscious parents should read (or perhaps own.) 4 Ingredients Kids is loaded with healthy and fun recipes that will encourage kids to eat healthily without spending a fortune nor taking hours to make. I was very impressed with how the author, Kim McCosker has come up with imaginative themed recipes for children, like Volcanic eggs, grape wands  and Cinderella’s pumpkin soup that makes meal times fun and enjoyable. I also liked the idea for creating butterfly themed snack bags, (see the recipe for Play Date Buddies.)



Cookbooks by Sabrina Parrini.

Little Kitchen.

In the mood for quick after-school snacks, impressive dinners and sweet desserts. Then look no further. Little Kitchen is a beautifully designed and photographed collection of forty recipes for children aged six years and up. With clear, step-by-step instructions, each recipe will teach you how to make all the tasty treats you long to  eat and when to ask a grownup for help. Included are recipes for: Little Egg and Bacon Breakfast Pies, Minestrone, Yummy Mini Burgers, Meatballs, Tutti Frutti Salad, Gingerbread Snowflakes, and more! Yum!



Half-Hour Hungries.

Got the munchies? Want an easy meal in less than 30 minutes? Then Half-hour Hungries is the book for you! This book contains information on 36 awesome dishes for kids to make when the time is short, like Nacho-flavoured popcorn, Sloppy Joes and Croque Monsieur that are bound to satisfy rumbling tummies.





Celebrating Kiwiana…

Party Food for Girls.

Sugar and spice and all things nice. That’s what little girls are made of. And this book goes to show that the proof is definitely in the pudding. (No pun intended)  Written by Italian-born, New Zealand based food writer and travel journalist, Alessandra Zecchini, Party Food for Girls is perfect for girls who want to create scrumptious sweet treats, like teapot biscuits, and healthy snacks, like lavash salad rolls for birthday parties and high tea events.




Kiwiana Cupcakes, Cake Pops and Whoopie Pies.

“Kirsten Day does cupcakes, cake pops and whoopie pies Kiwiana-style, creating delectable treats to celebrate our Kiwi culture. In full colour with never-fail recipes, tips and hints, advice on Kiwiana styling and variations on design.” – Publisher information. Day’s take on Kiwiana styling of cupcakes is fantastic, especially with the Chocolate Kiwi, Chocolate Kiwifruit, Tomato sauce bottle and even Fish and Chips themed cupcakes. This book puts all cupcake recipes you know and heard of to shame.


New Non Fiction: Homework Help, Sweet treats for winter and Boredom Busters!

One Day: Around the world in 24 hours.

This is a beautifully illustrated book that gives children an introduction to the idea of time and time zones. This book follows the story of 15 different children around the world and the time zones they live in throughout one day. There are 24 hours in a day, so there are 24 time zones. Discover and learn all about time zones around the world, how they work and what’s happening on one side of the world while the other side sleeps. This book is a great resource for homework help and assignments on time zones around the world.




For anyone who wants to study and explore the history of cars, bicycles, scooters, trains and even an oil tanker, this is the book you must read! So hop on board and take an express journey through every vehicle and travel known to man and how each engineering milestone has changed and  transformed world history. This book is a great resource for homework help and assignments on the history of transport, vehicles and even a section on the history of the wheel.




A troop of chimpanzees, and other primate groups.

How do chimpanzees use tools? Why do chimpanzees groom each other? What does it mean when one chimpanzee grins at another? Find out all the answers to these questions and more by reading this book on chimpanzees and primates. You will also discover and get to explores the behaviors and daily life of a chimpanzee troop, as well as their habitat, environmental threats, and the advantages of group living.  Great for children of  Primary and Intermediate school age.





Explorer Tales.

This is a great series to read if you are interested in finding information about famous landmarks and destinations. These are great homework resources to use for projects on world exploration. This year marks the 60th anniversary of  Sir Edmund Hillary and  Sherpa Tenzing Norgay climbing to the  Mount Everest, why not have a read of one of the books from the series, Mount Everest. Reread and relive how Hillary and Tenzing being the first men to climb one of the most dangerous places to explore. How about exploring New Worlds? Read all about them in New Worlds, where you will read and learn all about famous first voyages to new and undiscovered lands and famous explorers like Christopher Columbus, Marco Polo and Captain James Cook. In South Pole, readers don’t just learn about this cold and dangerous location. They also learn about the explorers who went to great lengths to discover it! I think you will also like reading all about The Amazon, which is home to many amazing plants, animals (Jaguars that wait ready to pounce and piranha fish fish that strip the flesh off your bones in five minutes – Wow!) and land forms that runs over 6,000 kilometers across South America. You will also read stories about people who have explored and survived in the Amazon.





100 yummy things to cook and eat.

With winter around the corner, why not make some tasty treats and  goodies to share with your friends and family, like a good old fashioned apple crumble?, a spicy bean soup or vegetable casserole?  You will find the recipes and more in this book. This cook book, published by Usborne has 100 yummy sweet and savory recipes to choose from for some good old comfort food during the cold, blizzardy days and nights. There are also a lot of fantastic baking ideas for school fairs and gifts. I liked the recipes for Oranges and Lemons and Chocolate dipped fruit. I am fan of the recipes for Marzipan toadstools and chocolate nests. This is a book that can be enjoyed by both children, parents and adults.


Look inside a burrow.

This is a great picture book for young children (or for parents and teachers to read to children) about creatures that interact within burrow habitats. You will read and learn about all the different types of burrows. (I must confess I wasn’t aware there was more than one type of burrow.) Lots of amazing pictures of various types of animals that live in burrows, including a photo of a toad flicking its tongue, a close up of ants carrying food back to its nest and an even bigger close up of a centipede’s face!



The Usborne Big Book of Holiday Things to make and do.

School holidays may be a while away, but still now is the time to think ahead of ideas of banishing boredom in the long school holidays. How about reading this book from the Usborne Activities series? You are bound to find ideas for  seasonal activities for each holiday, such as reindeer wrapping paper and an Easter egg card, sit alongside things to make and do all year round including a coral necklace, a pirate cutlass and fairy wings. You will find  easy to follow step-by-step instructions and photos for each activity. Great book to use for gift ideas .