Beyond the Page is back in July 2019!

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!

ComicFest 2019 is nearly here!

Do you like free comics? Do you like winning prizes just for wearing a cool costume? Or for drawing a super nerdy picture? Would you like to meet some of the awesome people behind some of your favourite comics, including the Tea Dragon Society, Snarked, and even Batman?

You can do all that and more at ComicFest 2019, running from Thursday the 2nd to Saturday the 4th of May. Come on down to the National Library, just across the road from the Beehive, for all kinds of super-amazing stuff to do, from drawing workshops to drawing competitions, making your own comic zines to winning your own comic at Free Comic Book Day. ComicFest is one of our favourite times of the literary year, and we’d love to see you all there!

Check out some of the comic books by some of the artists and writers you might get to meet at ComicFest 2019:

Snarked!. Book one, Forks and hope / Langridge, Roger Roger Langridge is one of the insanely talented comic book creators joining us for ComicFest. He’s well known for his work on Thor: The Mighty Avenger and The Muppet Show, but the Snarked! books are probably my favourite by him! They’re set in the crazy world of Lewis Carroll (Alice in Wonderland), which only makes them cooler!

The Tea Dragon Society / O’Neill, Katie I totally love Katie O’Neill’s Tea Dragon Society — apprentive blacksmith Greta’s amazing journey is told through the some of the most beautiful art you’ll ever see in a comic book. Don’t miss Katie’s Tea Dragon Workshop during ComicFest — join her in the National Library Programme Rooms on Saturday the 4th of May at 9.00am to see a new species of Tea Dragon take flight before your eyes. I know I can’t wait!

Helen and the Go-Go Ninjas / Sang, Anthony Ant Sang’s Helen and the Go-Go Ninjas should be a go-to comic for older kids. Set in Auckland deep in the future, Helen is enlisted by a group of time-travelling ninjas to save the world from the tyranny of the Peace Balls — will she succeed in her quest? It’s truly a read that keeps you on the edge of your seat right ’til the end. Love it!

There’s heaps more to see and do, and heaps more books to read, at ComicFest 2019. Can’t wait to see you there! Click the banner below to see the whole programme of events.

Kids’ Club Review by Keya: This book is not good for you

This book is not good for youThis book is not good for you, Psuedonymous Bosch ; illustrations by Gilbert Ford

In this hilarious book by Psuedonymous Bosch, Cass’s mum has been kidnapped by Senor Hugo, a blind chef! In order to get her mother back, Cass must give Hugo the tuning fork, an ancient Aztec instrument that can turn water into wine, beer into rum, and so forth. Can Cass, Max-Ernest and Yo-Yogi find the magical fork before it’s too late?

5 stars

Reviewed by Keya from Central City, 11 years old

Kids’ Club Review by Keya: Knife

KnifeKnife, R.J. Anderson

Knife: an amazing, almost sentimental book. Many of us can relate to the helpless, lost faery as she discovers secrets about her realm, and experiences betrayal, loss, love and friendship.

A story like no other, R.J. Anderson creates beautiful pictures in your mind as you live the story with Knife. Soon, you’ll be pining to read more of this fabulous author’s work.

5 stars

Reviewed by Keya from Central City, 11 years old

Kids’ Club Review by Keya: Rubies and runaways

Rubies and runawaysRubies and runaways, Janine Beacham

A marvelous sequel to Rose Raventhorpe: Black cats and Butlers.

It’s Christmas in the ancient town of Yorke, and Rose Raventhrope is being forced to spend the holidays with (Ghastly) Herbert, her cousin who, despite Rose’s many disgusted looks, thinks they’re engaged. But soon Rose finds herself helping the butlers of Silvercrest Hall once again, this time helping a lost orphan boy find his missing sister. Suddenly, things go downhill as two murders take place, and the butlers are blamed for them by a secret society of Chimney Sweeps. Can Rose prove their innocence before it’s too late?

4 stars

Reviewed by Keya from Central City, 11 years old

Kids’ Club Review by Keya: Pink & green is the new black

Pink & green is the new blackPink & green is the new black, Lisa Greenwald

In the third book in the Pink and Green series, Lucy Desberg’s life could not be better. Her dad lives in the same city as her, she finally has her own boyfriend, Yamir… and he’s her best friend’s brother! Plus, the eighth grade masquerade is coming up, and Lucy’s in charge of all the make-up!

But she’s keeping a secret – Yamir isn’t answering any of her texts or e-mails. And whenever they meet, he seems very vague. And what’s up with that new boy, Travis? Even worse, Lucy can’t get her head around so many things at once! She’s overwhelmed, and when all this drama’s over, she just wants to relax.

But is it to be, or not to be?

4 stars

Reviewed by Keya from Central City, 11 years old

Kids’ Club Review by Keya: Artemis Fowl [electronic resource]

Artemis Fowl [electronic resource]Artemis Fowl [electronic resource], Eoin Colfer

Artemis Fowl wants fairy gold. He wants to make the Fowl name better again, especially after the death of his father.

Now he’s succeeded in kidnapping Captain Holly Short, the only female LEPrecon officer. The ransom: one ton of 24 carat gold.

Julius Root, commander of LEPrecon, is furious, as he nearly always is. With the help of the sarcastic computer-genius centaur, Foaly, they devise a plan to get their captain back.

But will it work? Or will Artemis become rich once again?

4 stars

Reviewed by Keya from Central City, 11 years old

Kids’ Club Review by Affan: Rise of the earth dragon

Rise of the earth dragonRise of the earth dragon, by Tracey West ; illustrated by Graham Howells

I started reading this book and I thought it was interesting because of the action scenes.
My favourite part of this book was when worm turned the rocks to dust. They were just going at night and suddenly a red ball came towards them then vulcan got angry and rocks fell down. The moral of this story was always listen to your friends or parents and if you don’t you’ll get in trouble.

5 stars

Reviewed by Affan from Central City and Amesbury School , 8 years old

Kids’ Club Review by Affan: Secret of the water dragon

Secret of the water dragonSecret of the water dragon, by Tracey West ; illustrated by Graham Howells

I started reading this book and I felt good about it because the story was really interesting and awesome. My favourite part of this book was when worm and shu saved drake and bo. They saved drake and bo because emperor song had them. The moral for this story was never listen to strangers.

5 stars

Reviewed by Affan from Central City and Amesbury School , 8 years old

Kids’ Club Review by Affan: Saving the sun dragon

Saving the sun dragonSaving the sun dragon, by Tracey West ; illustrated by Graham Howells

I started reading this book and it felt to me as if someone very curios has written this book, I feel like this because the story is very interesting. My favourite part in this book was when wati saved kepri. All the dragon masters had to cure kepris illness but they couldn’t so wati cured it. The moral for this story was never do crime stuff and never rob stuff.

5 stars

Reviewed by Affan from Central City and Amesbury School , 8 years old