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 Stephanie: Maddigan’s Quest

Syndetics book coverMaddigan’s fantasia by Margaret Mahy

I love the book so much that I have read it more than four times in a row. It is about a girl who loses her dad while being sent on a mission around the map. I like it because, it brings out my imagination. She is the daughter of the new leader (her mum) and a travelling circus participant. Her name is Garland. It is also a TV series on Lightbox.

4 stars

Reviewed by Stephanie from Tawa and , 10 years old

Seaweek 2019 – Kaupapa Mōana – is here!

New Zealand Seaweek 2019 has officially begun!

This year the theme of Seaweek is Tiakina i tātou Mōana — Caring for our Seas, and it runs from the 2nd to the 10th of March. We know that looking after the ocean is really important. We rely on it for food and fun (and a whole bunch of other things, too!), but sometimes the things we do can have a bad effect on the overall health of our seas. Plastic packaging is often thrown away carelessly, and ends up in the ocean, where it can be eaten by sea creatures who mistake it for food. Fertilisers that we use to grow our food on land can make it into the ocean due to runoff into streams and rivers, which feed into the sea. Fertilisers in our waterways often cause toxic algae to grow, which makes it impossible for most animals to live in the area.

Seaweek 2019 is your chance to learn about how you can help! Zoom out to the beach and see if you can help organise a local clean-up, or head along to one of the over 40 events taking place in Wellington for Seaweek this year!

Your library has a bunch of books that can help you learn about what you can do to care for our seas. Check the list below, or ask a friendly librarian to help you find the perfect read for Kaupapa Mōana 2019!

Ocean / Howell, Izzi
This book helps you learn all about ocean habitats, what creatures live there, and what we can do to protect these precious parts of the planet’s ecosystem.

The sea book / Milner, Charlotte
Featuring fascinating fishy facts accompanied by bright, bold, and beautiful illustrations, this book takes you on a journey through the sea and all its zones.

Go green! / Gogerly, Liz
Learn all about ways you can reduce, reuse and recycle your way to a healthier planet — and a happier ocean!

Hero of the sea : Sir Peter Blake’s mighty ocean quests / Hill, David
Read this awesome and inspiring book about the life of Sir Peter Blake and how he contributed to safeguarding our oceans and waterways for future generations.

Under the ocean : explore & discover the seas around New Zealand / Candler, Gillian
Learn more about all of the amazing animals that live in and around the oceans of Aotearoa New Zealand, and find out what makes our little corner of the marine world so special!