Feel Brave Event!

It’s sometimes really hard to be brave especially when you have nightmares or feel all alone but there are wonderful books that can help you to feel brave. Come along and meet Wolfgang the Wolf and Clarissa the Cat who are best friends from the Feel Brave series of books. These books use rhyme and pictures to help make you to feel a little braver, especially when the wonderful author, Avril McDonald, is here to introduce you to them. There are so many feeling and emotions to deal with sometimes it can be over whelming but Wolfgang can help you as he makes discoveries about bullying and kindness, anxiety and fears, loneliness and friendship.

Join UK based Wellington author Avril McDonald as she tells her Feel Brave children’s stories and demonstrates simple games and activities to help you with big emotions and gain confidence! The Feel Brave books are officially for 4 – 7 year olds but all ages enjoy them, I’m always up for learning how to feel a little braver! So come along to this special free Feel Brave event.

Where: Central Library

When: Saturday 26th August

Time: 10.30 – 11.30am

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.

 

Kids’ Club Review by Francesca: The seven kites of Matariki

The seven kites of MatarikiThe seven kites of Matariki, by Calico McClintock

I enjoy poetry at my school and wrote a Matariki poem. This story is about Mataraki – which is the name for the Maori New Year. The sisters build kites. The kites represent a star in the sky. I liked the story and the illustrations and the designs on the clothes and kites. A good read for all ages.

4 stars

Reviewed by Francesca from Khandallah and , 8 years old

Kids’ Club Review by Kimberley: Saffron, so quite excellent

Saffron, so quite excellentSaffron, so quite excellent, by Victoria M. Azaro

Saffron’s mum sang in a very high pitch voice and she played the piano. She liked to do some very strange singing exercise every morning. Star Anise liked to sleep in the day and play at night. That’s why Saffron’s mum kept yarning and yarning. Saffron tried to help her but that got even worse. They went to the airport to collect their dad. The police had come and asked what’s wrong. Sage said mum had abandoned us. And then they ran away from the police and they yelled. They cried people people help. They ran and ran and ran.

5 stars

Reviewed by Kimberley from Tawa and , 8 years old

NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults – Picture Book Award Finalists!

Well, the shortlist for the Picture Book Award in this year’s NZ Book Awards is out, and there are some fabulous books on there! We love getting to see all these fantastic new books by New Zealand authors coming in through the library doors, so read on to see what we thought of this year’s batch of finalists. Check out these beautiful, funny, and touching picture books at your local library, or click the link to reserve a copy!

Syndetics book coverFuzzy Doodle / written by Melinda Szymanik ; pictures by Donovan Bixley.

A gorgeously illustrated book whose wonderfully whimsical doodly protagonist will whisk you up and take you on a journey through the world of words and your own imagination. The poetic text puts us somewhat in mind of Margaret Mahy. This is a book that will give you something new to think about each time you pick it up. And, it’s a favourite in library storytimes!

Syndetics book coverGwendolyn! / Juliette MacIver ; Terri Rose Baynton.

This brightly-coloured, uplifting book about friendship and learning to find your place in the world puts us right inside the jungle home of Gwendolyn the penguin. Hold on — a penguin in the jungle?! Each page gives us a fresh new world of colours, textures, and places to explore. We’d recommend it for ages 2 and up!

Syndetics book coverMy grandpa is a dinosaur / Richard Fairgray and Terry Jones.

What do you do when your grandpa’s footprints attract palaeontologists to your door? Anyone in need of a good laugh will love this hilarious story about Wanda and her somewhat unconventional family. We loved the stylised illustrations and the laugh-out-loud twist at the end — we’re sure you will too!

Syndetics book coverThat’s not a hippopotamus! / written by Juliette MacIver ; illustrated by Sarah Davis.

The wonderfully clever and deft wordplay in this rollicking tale of a school trip gone awry had us hooked from the very beginning. The character we most identified with was the teacher, for reasons that will become increasingly obvious as the book pulls you towards its hilarious conclusion!

Syndetics book coverThe singing dolphin = Te aihe i waiata / by Mere Whaanga.

Award-winning author Mere Whaanga’s new book, The Singing Dolphin/Te aihe i waiata, is the only book in te reo Māori to make it onto this year’s shortlist, and it certainly is fantastic. This enchanting story, told in Māori and English side-by-side, weaves a touching story of family, acceptance, and transformation. The evocative illustrations, particularly towards the end of the book, make this a really satisfying read.

That’s it for the Picture Book Award shortlist! Let us know in the comments what your favourites were 🙂 Keep an eye on the blog for more upcoming book reviews for NZ Book Awards finalists! We can’t wait to share them with you!

Kids’ Club Review by Carson: NZ shore and sea

NZ shore and seaNZ shore and sea, by Dave Gunson

This book talks about creatives coming from the sea, like crabs, oysters, and big whales. I like the Hermit crab the best. Its shell is very decorative, and different from other crabs. The shell protects them from getting eaten.

5 stars

Reviewed by Carson from Tawa and , 5 years old

Kids’ Club Review by Carson: A summery Saturday morning

A summery Saturday morningA summery Saturday morning, by Margaret Mahy

This book talks about dogs chasing geese. There was a fat goose and six babies. The dogs chased the geese and the geese chased the dogs back. If you don’t want the geese to follow you, you should not disturb them. Like when someone’s doing silent reading, you should not scream at him. You just have to leave them in peace.

4 stars

Reviewed by Carson from Tawa and , 5 years old

Kids’ Club Review by Carson: Hairy Maclary, sit

Hairy Maclary, sitHairy Maclary, sit, by Lynley Dodd

This book is so good. When the dogs were sitting down, Hairy Maclary run away and other dogs followed. At the end, all the dogs ran away and all tied in a knot. They were running and then splat in the pool.

5 stars

Reviewed by Carson from Tawa and , 5 years old

Kids’ Club Review by Carson: NZ bugs and critters

NZ bugs and crittersNZ bugs and critters, by Dave Gunson

It’s a good book. I like it because it talks about many different bugs, like beetles, ants, snails, and gigantic flies. I know that moths like to follow light, and daddy longlegs spiders have very long legs.

5 stars

Reviewed by Carson from Tawa and , 5 years old