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!