Movie recomendations and reviews : Walt Disney from E to H

Continuing the list of must-see Walt Disney DVDs, in alphabetical order, this covering movies from E to H. Looking for A-D? Here it is! Check out the list and see what movies tickle your fancy and that you want to watch during the drizzly spring weather and during the next round of school holidays.


image courtesy of amazon.comEnchanted. Prepare to go on a journey where the world of animation and live action collides. Giselle (Amy Adams) finds herself in a bit of pickle when she torn away by the “love of her life”, Prince Edward and banished from the animated “fantasy” land of Andalasia by the evil queen into a “harsh reality” in the form of the gritty streets of the real, modern-day Manhattan that does not abide by the principles of happily ever after.

So now this pampered princess must rely on her wits alone, (no fairy god mother, fairy dust and enchantments to help her out of this one) survive in the real world and figure out how to get back home, but add further complication, Giselle begins to fall in love with the cynical, no-nonsense divorce lawyer who has come to her aid, making her question her choice of who Prince Charming is in her eyes.

What I love about this movie is the transition that Giselle under goes from pampered princess waiting for a knight in shining armour to sweep her off her feet to  a tough, no-nonsense heroine that must save the day, not to mention the world and her true love from the evil clutches of the wicked queen. I think girls will really enjoy this movie.



image courtesy of amazon.comFrozen. I never get sick of this movie, nor do I ever get sick of renditions of “Let It Go“.

Frozen takes you on magical and icy journey where fearless optimist Anna, teaming up with Kristoff, his reindeer Sven  and a hilarious snowman named Olaf must  find Anna’s sister Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter.

I cannot stress enough how fantastic this film is! I absolutely loved it! This is a very entertaining girls movie and a celebration the bond of friendship, sisterhood and  the Scandinavian culture that is sure to thaw a frozen heart. I haven’t enjoyed a Disney film this much since The Lion King.



image courtesy of amazon.comThe Good Dinosaur. If you loved the movie, The Land Before Time, then this is the movie for you.

What if an asteroid never hit earth and giant dinosaurs never became extinct? In this epic journey into the world of dinosaurs, an Apatosaurus named Arlo makes an unlikely human friend.

While traveling through a harsh and mysterious landscape, Arlo learns the power of confronting his fears and discovers what he is truly capable of.



image courtesy of amazon.comThe Hunchback of Notre Dame. Quasimodo, after being trapped and ridiculed by his guardian, the sinister Frollo, for the way he looks, finally ventures from his tower to take part in the joyous festival of fools.

However things go pear shaped when  the crowd cruelly rejects him because of the way he looks. But he finds a likely friend and ally in the equally persecuted, gypsy Esmeralda, who rescues him in knight in shining armour style. Together, as well as joining forces with dashing soldier and three comical gargoyle statues, named Victor, Hugo, and Laverne. They have to do battle with Frollo to save the people and the city of Paris.

This film is a reminder to see people as they are rather than how they appear and that sometimes beauty is held in the eye of the beholder. Another great family movie about the true meaning of friendship and celebrating individuality!

Happy 100th Birthday, Roald Dahl!

Who ever said that September was a boring month.

Not where Roald Dahl is concerned!

September is Roald Dahl’s birth month, and each year around the world, libraries, schools and the like celebrate this day, also known as Roald Dahl Day.

However this year, on the 13th of September, a big event, not to mention the biggest party in history, is about to take place. Roald Dahl will be 100 years old, that is if he was still alive, and there are celebrations around the world for Roald Dahl 100, focusing on Roald Dahl’s stories, characters and delivering a year packed with surprises and treats for everyone.

image courtesy of syndetics

image courtesy of syndeticsimage courtesy of sydnetics








Want to take part in the celebrations? Here’s how!

Visit the Roald Dahl website, where you will find  information about Roald Dahl as well as activities, games and quizzes.

Dress up as your favourite Roald Dahl book character for Dahlicious Dress Up Day.

Download your Roald Dahl Day 2016 party pack, whether you’re celebrating at home, in school or out and about.

Get crafty and whip up a delicious feast inspired from Roald Dahl’s novel. Fore more ideas, click here.

Read and relive your favourite Roald Dahl stories. Wellington City Libraries holds a huge array of Roald Dahl books, including The BFG, Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and movies for your reading pleasure. Also check out this previous blog post for ideas on what are great  Roald Dahl movies to watch.

This year marks the 50th anniversary since The Magic Finger was published – another milestone moment in the history of Roald Dahl, not to mention the some new Roald Dahl junior non fiction added to the collection: Roald Dahl Whizzpopping joke book and Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary.


image courtesy of syndetics

image courtesy of syndeticsimage courtesy of sydnetics








Well you’re at it, why not read about his remarkable life. Read Boy, that presents  humorous anecdotes from the author’s childhood which includes summer vacations in Norway and an English boarding school, and Going Solo, that tells the story of his adventures as an adult, first in Africa, then learning to be a wartime fighter pilot and discover what led him to becoming the world famous author that he is known as today.

image courtesy of syndeticsimage courtesy of sydnetics


Top 10 Children’s DVDs August 2015

Fairy tales retold makes number four in August’s children’s movie faves. Cinderella has gone through so many adaptions! This is latest from Kenneth Brannagh as director (he did the first Thor movie) features a stella cast with Helena Bonham-Carter as the fairy godmother and Kate Blanchette. Brannagh is also slated as director for the new Artemis Fowl movie – based on the series by Eion Colfer. If I was a betting type I would defiantely back that movie as making the Top 10 when it hits the library shelves!

1.  My little pony, friendship is magic.

2.   Legends of Chima.

3.   Strawberry Shortcake.

4.   Cinderella

5.   Dragons

6.   Home

7.   Lego friends.

8.   Paddington.

9.   Dino Dan.

10.Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.




Top 10 Children’s fiction July 2015

Heaps of library books were taken home over the school holidays! So what were the favourites? Below are the Top 10

Pippilotta Delicatessa Windowshade Mackrelmint Ephraim’s Daughter Longstocking a.k.a. Pippi Longstocking has made a daring foray into the Top 10. The Delicatessa is tongue in cheek, of course due to her amazing feats of superhuman strength!  Astrid Lindgren has been honoured with her own bank note.  Her visage – with a drawing of our heroine Pippi – will grace the kr20 note to be released in Sweden October 2015,  that’s the average price of a hot chocolate here in New Zealand.

1.   Diary of a wimpy kid by Jeff Kinney

2.   Tom Gates by Liz Pichon

3.   Where’s Wally? by Martin Handford

4.   Dirty Bertie by Alan MacDonald

5.   Big Nate by Lincoln Peirce

6.   Ruby Redfort by Lauren Child

7.   The 39-storey treehouse by Andy Griffiths

8.   The 26-storey treehouse by Andy Griffiths

9.   The boy in the dress by David  Walliams

10. Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren

Top 10 children’s fiction for April 2015

The series books are holding their own in the popularity stake but, classic author, Roald Dahl has a serious fan base out there

1. Diary of a wimpy kid by Jeff Kinney

2. Dork Diaries by Rachel Renée Russell

3. Where’s Wally? by Martin Handford

4. Dirty Bertie by Alan MacDonald

5. Big Nate by Lincoln Peirce

6. Matilda by Roald Dahl

7. Ruby Redfort by Lauren Child

8. The 52-storey treehouse by Andy Grifiths

9. Awful Auntie by David Walliams

10. Fantastic Mr Fox by Roald Dahl

New movies to look forward to

Want something to distract you from the start of school? Here are some movies that are coming out in the next few months to look forward to.

Saving Mr Banks (releases on 6th February)

This is the story of how Walt Disney convinced the author P. L. Travers to allow him to turn her novel Mary Poppins into a movie.


The Seventh Son 2D and 3D (releases on 20th February)

This movie is based on the first book in the Wardstone Chronicles series written by Joseph Delaney. It is the story of a mystical knight and his 14 year old apprentice as they battle a powerful witch called Mother Malkin


Mr Peabody and Sherman 2D and 3D (releases on 27th March)

Mr Peabody takes his adopted son Sherman back through history in an attempt to fix changes made to history when Sherman and his classmate, Penny, tampered with the WABAC machine.


Muppets: Most Wanted (releases on 10th April)

The Muppets are back! Featuring celebrities like Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey and Christopher Waltz, the muppets are on a world tour and find themselves caught up in a jewelry heist lead by a Kermit look-alike.


Rio 2 2D and 3D (releases on 17th April)

The sequel to Rio – Jewel and Blu and their three children leave their domesticated life in the city and return to the Amazon jungle.


The LEGO movie (releases on 17th April)

LEGO comes to life in this comedy movie about an ordinary LEGO guy who everything believes is the chosen one to fulfill a prophesy and save the LEGO world. Lots of familiar LEGO character make an appearance.


The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet (releases on 24th April)

Based on Reif Larsen’s children’s book. A 12 year old child genius secretly leaves his family’s country home in Montana to receive an award at the Smithsonian Institute, who think that he is an adult.


Tarzan 2D and 3D (releases on 12th June)

An animated movie of the classic story of an boy who survives a plane crash in the jungle and is raised by apes.


Maleficent 2D and 3D (releases on 19th June)

A dark retelling of Disney’s tale of Sleeping Beauty. The story is from the view of  the witch Maleficient, and the eevnts that harden her heart and cause her to curse princess Aurora


How to Train your Dragon 2 2D and 3D (releases on 3rd July)

This story starts 5 years after the first movie. Hiccup and Toothless set out to discover new worlds and unmapped lands. They come across a land that’s home to hundreds of new dragons, and find them selves caught in the middle trying to keep the peace.


The Hobbit production video #2

A couple of weeks ago we posted the first in the new series of The Hobbit: The desolation of Smaug production videos on this blog.

It’s time for video number 2! Enjoy.


The Hobbit official website is really cool – check it out now! (Best viewed in Chrome) You can find out all about the story behind the movie, the cast and crew, and watch heaps of cool and funny videos. There are also posters and wallpapers you can download.

The movie is released in New Zealand on December 12th.

Top 10 Children’s Comic for June

Are you a comic fan? Here’s are the most popular ones for the month of June:

1. Pokemon  by  Hidenori Kusaka (series)

2. Big Nate  by Lincoln Peirce

3. Warriors  by Dan Jolley (series)

4. Amulet by Kazu Kibuishi (series)

5. Babymouse by Jennifer L. Holm (series)

6. Chi’s sweet home by Kanata Konami (series)

7. The complete Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz (series)

8. The Baby-sitters Club by Ann M. Martin ( short series)

9. Tiny Titans by Art  Baltazar (series)

10. Garfield by Mark Evanier (series)


Warm winter reads

Here are some snuggly reads for those cold yukky winter days ahead. These have all been suggested by librarians, so ask at your local library if you’re after more reading ideas.

The dark is rising by Susan Cooper

Book 2 in her Dark is rising series. On his eleventh birthday, Will Stanton discovers he is the last of the Old Ones, dedicated to fighting the forces of evil. Will searches for the six magical signs that will be needed for the battle between the Dark and the Light.




Help! I’m a prisoner in the library! By Eth Clifford ; illustrated by George Hughes.

Two sisters -Mary Rose and Jo-Beth, spend an adventurous night trapped inside the public library during a terrible blizzard. First their car runs out of gas in an unfamiliar city and their father goes in search of a gas station. Then Jo-Beth makes Mary Rose go with her to find a bathroom and they stumble across a curious old library. And then, worst of all, they get locked in! But their troubles are just beginning. Is Jo-Beth right about the library being haunted by banshees? Or is there a logical explanation, as Mary Rose claims?


The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder

They begin an impossible journey across the frozen prairie in search of provisions, before it’s too late. Based on the real adventures of Laura Ingalls Wilder, THE LONG WINTER is the seventh book in the award-winning Little House series.




The Lion, the witch and the wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

When Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy took their first steps into the world behind the magic wardrobe, little do they realise what adventures are about to unfold. And as the story of Narnia begins to unfold, so to does a classic tale that has enchanted readers of all ages for over half a century.



The storm maker : a hair-raising adventure for all weathers by Alex Williams ; illustrated by David Roberts

Madeline and Rufus Breeze come from a long line of fantabulous fanmakers – they’ve been keeping people cool in style for centuries. And their eccentric inventor father has stubbornly continued the tradition . . . even though their village has been covered in snow for several years. Now the Breeze family is so in debt, local tyrant Bartholomew Tullock is threatening to take their home. Then a smooth-tongued stranger and his blue-haired dog arrive in town with a solution to the Breezes’ problem. Soon determined Madeline and her father are off on a death-defying journey to sell their breathtaking and breeze-making fans to the residents of the one nearby city that is (strangely) still hot. If only they didn’t have to face a mini-cyclone, stolen fans, enemy spies, eclectic elements and desert dunes hotter than an oven to get there . . . And in their absence it’s up to Rufus to keep his mother and their house safe from greedy Tullock and his nightmarish skeletal sidekick, Scratskin.


The Divide Trilogyby Elizabeth Kay.

The Divide, Back to the Divide, and Jinx on the Divide

The Divide is a magical place on a mountain ridge that separates two river systems – the watershed.

Felix visits Costa Rica with his parents. This will probably be their last holiday together as Felix is very sick and does not have long to live. He straddles The Divide, passes out, and wakes up to find himself in another dimension. In this place fabulous creatures are real, and Felix is the mythical being. He is befriended by Betony, a spirited tangle-child, and together they set out to find a cure for his illness, and the way back home.


The Puffin Treasury of Classics

A collection of excepts from some of the best-loved children’s stories ever written, together with many famous poems.





The Eleventh Hour by Graham Base

When Horace the elephant turns eleven, he celebrates in style by inviting his exotic friends to a splendid costume party. But a mystery is afoot, for in the midst of the games, music, and revelry, someone has eaten the birthday feast! Rhyming text and detailed illustrations provide clues to help readers find out who committed the crime. A puzzle/game book you’ll want to keep reading for hours!


Finn’s Quest: The Queenseekers by Eirlys Hunter

Finn gets absorbed in a computer game with amazing graphics, so absorbed that he finds himself actually in the game world, a world of magic, evil, war, and danger, where Finn embarks on a dangerous journey with a girl he meets, Gala. Eirlys Hunter is  a New Zealand Author who lives locally in Wellington City.


The Silver Sword by Ian Serraillier

The night the Nazis come to take their mother away, three children escape in a terrifying scramble across the rooftops. Alone in the chaos of Warsaw, they have to learn to survive on their own. Then they meet Jan, a ragged boy with a paperknife, the silver sword that they recognize as belonging to their long lost father. The sword becomes their symbol of hope as, with Jan, they begin the hazardous journey across war-torn Europe to find their parents. Based on a true story



Inkheart Trilogy by Cornelia Funke (for older children)

Inkheart:  Twelve-year-old Meggie learns that her father, who repairs and binds books for a living, can “read” fictional characters to life when one of those characters abducts them and tries to force him into service.

Inkspell: Although a year has passed, not a day goes by without Meggie thinking of INKHEART, the book whose characters became real. But for Dustfinger, the fire-eater brought into being from words, the need to return to the tale has become desperate. When he finds a crooked storyteller with the ability to read him back, Dustfinger leaves behind his young apprentice Farid and plunges into the medieval world of his past. Distraught, Farid goes in search of Meggie, and before long, both are caught inside the book, too. But the story is threatening to evolve in ways neither of them could ever have imagined

Inkdeath: The fire-eater Dustfinger is dead, having sacrificed his life for his apprentice Farid’s, and now, under the rule of the evil Adderhead, the fairy-tale land is in bloody chaos, its characters far beyond the control of Fenoglio, their author. Even Elinor, left behind in the real world, believes her family to be lost – lost between the covers of a book. Facing the threat of eternal winter, Mo inks a dangerous deal with Death itself. There yet remains a faint hope of changing the cursed story – if only he can fill its pages fast enough.


Castle of adventure Enid Blyton

What is the secret of the old castle on the hill, and why are the locals so afraid of it? When flashing lights are seen in a distant tower, Philip, Dinah, Lucy-Ann, and Jack decide to investigate—and discover a very sinister plot concealed within its hidden rooms and gloomy underground passages.



Sea of adventure by Enid Blyton

When Bill takes Philip, Dinah, Lucy-Ann and Jack on a mysterious trip to the desolate northern isles, everything looks set for an exciting time. But then Bill is kidnapped and the children, marooned far from the mainland, find themselves playing a dangerous game of hide-and-seek with an unknown enemy



Circus of Adventure Enid Blyton

What on earth did Bill have to bring the wimpish Gustavus with them on holiday? Neither Jack nor Kiki the parrot like the boy at all. But when Gustavus is kidnapped, along with Philip, Dinah, and Lucy-Ann, Jack must bravely follow them to a faraway country and unravel a plot to kill the king.

Karori BookBusters Reviews – MORE!

Elena recommends Ripple and the Wild Horses of White Cloud Station by Trudy Nicholson, a story about three girls who really love ponies.  Elena rates it 9/10.

Nina is loving the Roman Mysteries series by Caroline Lawrence and recommends these books to other kids who enjoy mysteries and history.  The series begins with The Thieves of Ostia.  Nina rates this series 9.5/10!


Shivani is really enjoying a classic – The Adventures of Milly Molly Mandy.  She rates it 10/10.

Daniel is loving all the Where’s Wally? books.  He says that the best thing about it is that every page is hilarious.  Where’s Wally? The Fantastic Journey is a great one to check out.



Joshua recommends the classic adventure story Treasure Island and he rates it 10/10.

Matthew recommends the Goosebumps series so if you enjoy chills and thrills you should definitely read some R.L. Stine!  One of the libraries latest Goosebumps books is When the Ghost Dog Howls.