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

Finalists in The Children and Young Adults Book Awards!

Wow! The finalists have been announced for this years New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults and what an amazing line up! It’s so great to be able to celebrate our wonderful home grown talent in Aotearoa so check out some of these books. Oh and don’t forget you can read some of these books as part of the Hell Pizza Challenge and get stamps on your pizza wheels. Yum!

Love Joy Cowley’s books and the snake and lizard series is one of my favourites. Check out their latest hilarious adventures and escapades in “Helper and Helper”.

Tania Roxborogh’s latest book “My New Zealand Story: Bastion Point” is a great way to explore New Zealand history from the perspective of a young girl called Erica Tito, whose parents decide that instead of going on their usual summer holiday they will join the protesters at Bastion Point. A moving and insightful account of real life events through the eyes of a fictitious young girl.

 

 

Sent to live with his grandmother in Hastings after his father is jailed, Matt becomes the victim of bad friends and false accusations. Sent off to a military-style school camp in the wilds of lake Waikaremoana, Matt is once again in trouble. Find out more about Matt and the friendships he makes by reading “Sunken Forest” by Des Hunt. This popular author will also be coming to Wellington Central Library on the 11th of July as part of the Beyond the Page festival, more about that on the blog soon!

“The Discombobulated Life of Summer Rain” by Julie Lamb tells the story of Summer, who loves to make people laugh, it’s how she fits in. Living with her crazy family she is surprised when Juanita suddenly wants to be her friend… Find out more about Summer and her friends and family when you read this book.

 

 

Ever had an imaginary friend? Ben has one called Vincent in “The Impossible Boy”, who has helped Ben survive in the war torn streets which are his home. But can an imaginary friend become real? How powerful is Ben’s imagination. A beautiful and powerful book  to immerse yourself in, by Julie Lamb.

So many more books up for awards so expect more blogs soon. Other categories include: non-fiction, illustration, te reo Māori, picture book, and first book award. So keep those peepers peeled for more exciting reads.

Come and Celebrate Matariki!

As the nights draw in and the days get shorter it’s time to snuggle up and share stories with friends and family. Step back in time and discover the myths and legends of long ago that helped shape Aotearoa. Listen to the legends of Matariki and how those stars came into being so that next time you look up at the night sky it will have a whole new meaning for you.

This is the time to celebrate the Māori New Year and we would love you to join us for a special Matariki story time. Come and write a wish on a star and hang it up for the New Year – wishes for your family, peace in the World or your best friend. What’s your wish going to be?

Star Wishes from the 19th – 30th of June at Wellington City Libraries

 

Matariki Story Times:

Tawa: 1st June 6pm

Brooklyn: 19th June at 6pm

Central: 21st June 6pm

Kilbirnie: 22nd June 6pm

Johnsonville 23rd June 6pm

Khandallah: 29th June 6pm

Keep looking at the blog for more about Matariki!

School Journal Exhibition & ComicFest!

Imagine being 110 years old! Well that’s how old the School Journal is turning in May and to celebrate Wellington Central Library is having an exhibition about the School Journal as part of the cool ComicFest 2017.

The School Journal was first published in May 1907, the same year New Zealand became a dominion and it has been going ever since. It’s packed full of stories, cartoons and articles by New Zealanders and many of the people who write and illustrate it are now famous all over the World! The School Journal has helped New Zealanders to find their own voice and has given us an opportunity to show who we were and what it is like to live in Aotearoa.

Over last 40 years comics have been a big part of the School Journal and many comic writers and illustrators have made there “bread and butter” through its pages.

Ask your parents or grandparents what they remember about the School journal and chances are they will have fond memories to tell you. Why not bring them down to Central Library to help prompt their memories.

The exhibition is on now and will run until the 9th of May. Better still come down for ComicFest on the 6th of May, grab some free comics and join in with the many free activities on offer. So hurry on in and find out more about the School Journal and all the amazing people who have contributed to it.