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!

Kids’ Club Review by Lily: Paper towns

Paper townsPaper towns, John Green

I really enjoyed reading this book because it took me into another world and it really got me thinking about the mystery. I especially like Margo’s personality because she does whatever she pleases and doesn’t let anyone tell her what to do. I would recommend this book for anyone that likes mysteries and fun characters.

3 stars

Reviewed by Lily from Kilbirnie and Seatoun School , 12 years old

Kids’ Club Review by Lily: How to bee

How to beeHow to bee, Bren MacDibble

I really enjoyed this book as it made me think about how this world would have to function without bees. Peony is a brave and all round kindhearted character who just wants the best for her and her family and I think that she is just the type of character that a story like this needs.

4 stars

Reviewed by Lily from Kilbirnie and Seatoun School , 12 years old

Kids’ Club Review by Lily: Wundersmith : the calling of Morrigan Crow

Wundersmith : the calling of Morrigan CrowWundersmith : the calling of Morrigan Crow, Jessica Townsend

This book is a great follow on to the first book in the series and it really got me hooked. It is full to the brim of magic, plot twists and characters each with their own personalities, all of which just makes me want to keep reading. Every thing that happens in this book has been carefully structured to bring out the best and worst of all of the characters, which makes it a really engrossing read.

4 stars

Reviewed by Lily from Kilbirnie and Seatoun School , 12 years old