Happy Birthday, Roald Dahl!

Whoever 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 a very special day, also known as  Roald Dahl Day. This year on the 13th of September, Roald Dahl Day strikes again, marking 105 years since his birth! So let’s celebrate his birthday! But first…

Who was Roald Dahl

He was a spy, ace fighter pilot, chocolate historian and medical inventor. He was also the author of The BFGMatildaCharlie and the Chocolate Factory, and many more brilliant stories. He remains THE WORLD’S NUMBER ONE STORYTELLER! For more information about Roald Dahl and his amazing life, click on his “about” and “timeline” pages.


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However if you want to find out and read about his remarkable life, then read Boy, which 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 syndeticsimage courtesy of syndeticsimage courtesy of syndetics
Dahl’s life story is also featured in Stories for boys who dare to be different and Before they were authors : famous writers as kids.

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

Visit the Roald Dahl website!
image courtesy of roalddahl.com

You will find  information about Roald Dahl as well as activities, games and quizzes. If you’re suffering from lockdown blues? Not need to worry, the Roald Dahl website has created a page called Things to do indoors, that might help distract, entertain, or simply keep kids busy right on this page until they’re out and about again.


Create your own Roald Dahl birthday party with food, games and jokes!

image courtesy of syndeticsRoald Dahl’s revolting recipes.

For ideas on creating your own Roald Dahl themed birthday party tea is Roald Dahl’s revolting recipes. “From Willy Wonka’s nutty crunch surprise to the mound of spare ribs consumed by Hansel and Gretel in Rhyme Stew, food has been an essential ingredient in Roald Dahl’s writing for children. Felicity Dahl has created a practical guide to making some of the dishes which appear in Dahl’s books.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsWhizzpopping joke book.

A party would not be complete without party jokes. ‘This collection of hundreds of great jokes would make even the Trunchbull laugh! Inspired by Roald Dahl’s wonderful world, these hilarious humdingers are guaranteed to raise a chuckle from human beans young and old.’ — From Back cover.


New to the world of Roald Dahl is…

image courtesy of syndeticsHow to trick a Twit.

A party would not be complete without party games. So for inspiration, why not read How to trick a Twit. “Mr and Mrs Twit love playing tricks and unfortunately they are very good at it. But just imagine if you could trick an actual Twit? Wouldn’t that be amazing? Well, this book can help you do just that. Packed full of fiendish pranks (as well as quizzes, recipes, fun facts and more), this is exactly what you need to outwit a Twit.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsAlso inspired by Roald Dahl and due to be released in October is Never grow up. “A brand new picture book inspired by Roald Dahl and illustrated by Quentin Blake. Inspired by the work of the world’s number 1 storyteller, this picture book is a guide to growing up the Roald Dahl way, with gloriumptious illustrations by Quentin Blake. A celebration of all the tremendous things children have in store – from adventure to inventions, chocolate cakes to rhino poo – along with a reminder that the very best grown ups are those who hold on tight to the kid inside.” (Catalogue). Reserve your copy now!



Read and relive your favourite Roald Dahl stories!

Wellington City Libraries holds a huge array of Roald Dahl books, both fiction and non fiction, including Fantastic Mr FoxThe Magic Finger and Danny the Champion of the World for your reading pleasure. Also check out this previous blog post for ideas on what are great Roald Dahl movies to watch.

image courtesy of syndetics image courtesy of syndeticsimage courtesy of syndetics
 You might also like:

image courtesy of syndeticsRoald Dahl’s rotsome & repulsant words. 

“This book is the perfect introduction to the naughtiest words and phrases created by Roald Dahl with redunculous language notes. Find insulting similes and learn a load of poppyrot. Use words in a brilliantly disgusterous way”. (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsOxford Roald Dahl dictionary.

A dictionary of real and invented words used by the world’s best storyteller. The Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary reveals what they mean, where they came from and how he used them in his stories. It will inspire you to choose and use each word brilliantly in your own writing – whether it’s a real word, a Roald Dahl word or your own made-up one!” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsThe gloriumptious worlds of Roald Dahl.

“HAVE YOU EVER wanted to know what actually happened to James Trotter’s parents when they encountered an angry escaped rhino? Or how to make the Twits’ infamous bird pie? Well now you can find out, with The Gloriumptious Worlds of Roald Dahl. The book is a brilliant extension to Dahl’s wonderful stories, and gives fascinating insights into the characters and events from Roald Dahl’s writing in a humorous, exciting and downright gloriumptious way. For the very first time, the stories behind the stories are brought to life in this brand new title. Inside, Quentin Blake’s iconic illustrations are combined with previously unpublished reproductions of imagined letters, artefacts and posters, and editing notes from Dahl himself, to bring all of Roald Dahl’s characters alive. Whether you have read all of Roald Dahl’s stories, or are just beginning to enjoy them, this is a great companion book that will help you delve even deeper into Roald Dahl’s worlds.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsDirty beasts.

“A collection of (mainly) grisly beasts out for human blood, ranging from Crocky-Wock the crocodile to Sting-A-Ling the scorpion. Described in verse with all Dahl’s usual gusto and illustrated in a suitably wicked style by Quentin Blake. Was that CROCKY-WOCK galumphing up the stairs? Is STING-A-LING hiding in your bed? And what foul fate has PIGGY planned for Farmer Bland? WARNING This book contains wickedly funny verse, prickly surprises and the most despicable creatures you could ever hope (not) to meet.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of sydneticsRevolting rhymes.

“Humorous retellings in verse of six well-known fairy tales featuring surprise endings in place of the traditional happily-ever-after, as well as rhymes about pigs, crocodiles, and tummy beasts.” (Catalogue).


image courtesy of syndeticsThe witches : the graphic novel.

“Witches are real, and they are very, very dangerous. They wear ordinary clothes and have ordinary jobs, living in ordinary towns all across the world – and there’s nothing they despise more than children. When an eight-year-old boy and his grandmother come face-to-face with the Grand High Witch herself, they may be the only ones who can stop the witches’ latest plot to stamp out every last child in the country! This full-colour graphic novel edition of Roald Dahl’s The Witches, adapted and illustrated by Eisner Award winner Penelope Bagieu, is the first-ever Dahl story to appear in this format.” (Catalogue).


Where to find more information?

Get your poetry game-face on!

person doing wall graffiti

Image: Upsplash free images & pictures

Do you know why August 2021 is special? No, not because we’ve gone into another lockdown 🙁 At the end of this month, it’s Phantom National Poetry Day! (Friday 27 August).

Now I know some of you may sigh and think “poetry-smoetry!” but the poetry world is all around us in the music lyrics we sing along to, the books we read (many picture books and even some chapter books are written in verse), to even the random thoughts that pop into our heads! It’s also a great way to express how your feeling in this topsy-turvy world of ours right now.

And it’s fun to do because there are no rules! You can start your sentence halfway through, OR WRITE THE ENTIRE POEM IN CAPITAL LETTERS, or don’t use any capital letters at all! Your poems don’t even have to rhyme to still be poetry. It’s up to you – it’s your creation.


Here are just a few ideas to get you started:

Predictive poetry

Grab you phone and start a text by writing the first couple of words from a book (or newspaper article). Then simply keep adding the next word in the predictive text that you feel fits the poem you’re creating.

Here’s my example which I’ve named “The unnamed thing”:

The Unnamed Thing

And itself was very good but

The pussycat was a bit surreal.

The lake was still

Not sure how to feel…

Blackout Poetry

Blackout poetry is when you take a written piece of text from a book, newspaper, or magazine and circle the words you want to keep and cross out the ones you don’t, in order to come up with your very own poetry!

If you’ve got an iPad at home, why not try your hand at some digital blackout poetry:

Here’s my blackout poem using this Stuff Kea Kids news article:

Teddy Takes Lead

Teddy is a therapy dog

Helps people

providing plenty of cuddles

maths games and reading

See Teddy in action!

Poetry Box Lockdown Challenge

On this great NZ poetry page, there’s a new theme for you to explore every month. The August theme is

“Look at the sky and skydream”

Want to read more poetry?

…but your stuck at home? Don’t worry! Wellington City Libraries have got loads of e-resources for you to borrow. Check out our OVERDRIVE KIDS POETRY RESOURCES HERE

Want to find out more about poetry?

Brain Bunny

New Zealand Poetry Society

Family Friendly Poems

poetry4kids.com

Rainbow Poetry

World Poetry Day: 21 March 2021

What I say is: “Yay for this day”, becauseSunday 21 March is World Poetry Day!

This special day was adopted by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) in 1999 to encourage and keep alive poetry and verse in its many forms and languages throughout the world. Poetry has been around since ancient times, with this form of expression being part of a rich oral history in many cultures. Today poetry can be as diverse and vibrant as the cultures that write, read and speak it, and even the simplest verse can be a catalyst for change in a community.  Just think how powerful the recital of “The Hill We Climb” by Amanda Gorman at President Joe Biden’s inauguration in January 2021 was, and you’ll get some sense of the power of poetry. Speaking before the inauguration, Amanda said: “Poetry is a weapon, it is an instrument of social change. Poetry is one of the most political arts out there.”

At Wellington City Libraries, 2021 has seen an exciting focus on children and youth poetry with our inaugural edition of Tūhono: A journal of poetry by children and teens / 2020 now out on the shelves and e-library for you to borrow. All the poems in this volume were written by Wellington kids and teens, with the poetry reflecting on ‘connection’ and what that means for them in these turbulent times. Some are inward looking, some look to the universe and the future. Some are sad, some are happy. Some are short and some are long, but all are about connection:

Book Jacket for: Tūhono. a journal of poetry by children and teens / 2020 :For connection you must first love
and create relationships.

Feel empathy, care
and show compassion to others.

Make a link,
Make a bond,
Make a friend.

You can’t make connections without people.

So love,
And share your love.

(By William, aged 8)


Verse is here for you
Just check our website for more
You will be amazed…

What is poetry? : the essential guide to reading & writing poems / Rosen, Michael
“A detailed and very personal guide to reading and writing poetry by one of the country’s leading children’s poets. Over many years as a working poet, Michael Rosen has thought a great deal about what poems are, what they can do and the pleasure that comes from writing and reading poetry. In this invaluable handbook, he shares this knowledge and experience in book form for the very first time. Starting with a detailed analysis of a number of classic poems, he offers a real “writer’s guide” to writing and performing poems, as well as a wealth of technical information and tips.” (Catalogue)

Feel a little : little poems about big feelings / Palmer, Jenny
“Feel A Little is a colourful, character-filled book about big feelings for little ones. Youth emotional and mental health are huge issues in our communities, with children maturing earlier and facing an isolating modern world with modern challenges. As a community we need to start focussing on understanding and encouraging communication around feelings from an early age – equipping children with the tools they need to best face the ups and downs (and in-betweens) of life. Parents, caregivers and educators need a variety of ways to encourage these conversations and the safe space of engaged reading together is a proven, effective beginning. Feel A Little creates poetic and imaginative word prompts and a visual language for emotions, providing a starting point for discussions that you can come back to again and again.” (Catalogue)

Tiger, tiger, burning bright!
“A breathtaking, illustrated anthology featuring an animal poem for every day of the year by award-winning artist, Britta Teckentrup.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

With my hands : poems about making things / VanDerwater, Amy Ludwig
“Brief, lively poems illustrated by a New York Times-bestselling duo invite young makers and artists to tap into creativity and enjoy the hands-on energy that comes from making things.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Poems aloud / Coelho, Joseph
“A wittily illustrated anthology of poems, written to be read aloud. 20 poems arm children with techniques for lifting poetry off the page and performing with confidence. Poems are made to read OUT LOUD! There are tongue twisters, poems to project, poems to whisper, poems to make you laugh. There are poems to perform to a whole class and others to whisper in somebody’s ear.” (Catalogue)

100 best poems for children
“A collection of the very best poems for children, edited by Roger McGough.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

New Zealand Music Month!

New Zealand Music Month is back again!

May is New Zealand Music Month, which celebrates music from New Zealand, and the people who make it.
So we thought we would share some music, (and picture books) by Kiwi musicians from the children’s collection!

 


image courtesy of nzcurriculum.tki.org.nz

 

For more information, on events and ideas on how to celebrate, visit the following websites:

NZ Music Month official website.

New Zealand Curriculum Online – New Zealand Music Month.

NZ History – New Zealand Music Month.

Enjoy!… and Happy New Zealand Music Month!


 

Songs for Bubbas by Anika Moa.

Move over, The Wiggles! There’s a new (solo) performer, cheeky and beautiful Kiwi songwriter, Anika Moa returns with her albums for children: Songs for Bubbas One and Two. Filled with songs about love, laughter and… animal noises that will keep children… and parents entertained for hours on end!

The albums are half Te Reo Maori, half English. These songs will be enjoyed in every primary school and kindy around the country for years to come.

 

Music box. Vol. 5.

A collection of songs from the NZ Children’s Music Awards performed by various Kiwi musicians.

 

Baby Rock and Rhyme.

Homegrown and performed by Wellington City Libraries’ finest, Baby Rock and Rhyme’s CD contains 33 classic songs and rhymes that babies and parents will enjoy!…

Babies, toddlers and parents can also come, and sign along to these songs during the  weekly interactive sessions of Baby Rock and Rhyme. Available at the following branches:

Miramar Library Tuesday, 10.15am
Island Bay Library Tuesday, 9.30am
Johnsonville Library Wednesday & Thursday, 9.30am
Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library Tuesday, 10.30am
Karori Library Thursday & Friday, 10.30am
Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library Friday, 10.15am
Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library Friday, 9.30am


 

Topp Twins Series

Kiwi performers, and sisters, The Topp twins have published picture story books for children featuring the illustrated text, and CD of classic children’s song, which includes:

image courtesy of syndeticsDo your ears hang low?

“The traditional song ‘Do Your Ears Hang Low?’, performed by the Topp Twins,  featuring a number of animals with differently shaped ears, which includes a hound dog, a mouse, lop-eared rabbit, llama, pig, etc”.

image courtesy of sydneticsThere’s a hole in my bucket!

Henry’s bucket has a hole and as Liza gives the instructions on how to fix it, he in turn gives her all the reasons why he can’t.

image courtesy of sydneticsSkip to the loo, my darlin’

“”Skip, skip, skip to the loo, Skip, skip, skip to the loo, Skip, skip, skip to the loo, Skip to the loo, my darlin’!” There’s a hullaballoo down on the farm. Animals are here, there and everywhere—even in the loo. Sing along to this song with Topp Twins Lynda and Jools. The barn animal mayhem includes sheep, cows, chickens, dog, tractor, horse – and a possum!”–Publisher information.

image courtesy of syndeticsOld MacDonald had a farm.

“Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O, and on that farm he had some fun and games and DRAMAS with those rascally, rowdy farm animals! Cluck, moo, woof and hum along to this all-time favourite song by the Topp Twins”–Publisher information.

 

Other NZ picture books, with music CDs:

image courtesy of syndeticsJungle bells / sung by Anika Moa ; illustrated by Stephanie Thatcher.”

Based on the traditional Christmas song Jingle Bells but rewritten (to same tune) as a jungle holiday animal Christmas. Featuring a cast of jungle characters including elephants, hippos, monkeys and even a dung beetle. Recording sung by Anika Moa”–Publisher information.

image courtesy of syndeticsThe Kiwi hokey tokey.

“New Zealand animals all come together to dance to the Kiwi Hokey Tokey. Sheep, Tuataras, Kiwis, you name it!”–From publisher.

You also might like Row, kiwi, row your boat.image courtesy of syndetics


image courtesy of syndeticsThe Wonky Donkey.

An oldie, but a goodie! Winner of the 2010 New Zealand Post Children’s Choice Awards, New Zealand Post Children’s Choice Award, Picture Book Category winner and APRA Children’s Song of the Year, 2008, this very funny, cumulative song, each page tells us something new about the donkey until we end up with a spunky, hanky-panky, cranky, stinky, dinky, lanky, honky-tonky, winky, wonky donkey which will have children in fits of laughter!
You also might like Willbee the Bumblebee. image courtesy of syndeticsWillbee’s yellow and black stripy jumper catches on a thorn and unravels completely, he’s too embarrassed to move. How will he make it home? Suggested level: junior.

image courtesy of syndeticsRow, row, row your waka.

An illustrated picture book and CD audio recording of the song ‘Row, row, row your waka. “New Zealand friends Pūkeko, Kiwi and Hōiho go on a journey. Join them in their waka, perform actions and sing along while you row, row, row. “–Back cover.


 

Non Kiwi Music, (and books) you might enjoy!

Music CDs:

Hits for Kids 2017.

Hits for Kids 2017 features 20 of the hottest hits of the year from some of the biggest names in pop music.

Disney Pixar All time favourites.

Walt Disney Records presents the All Time Favorite songs and scores from favorite Disney-Pixar films in one CD. The album includes music from Toy Story 1, 2, and 3, Cars 1 & 2, Brave, Finding Nemo, and more!

Disney Icon Volume 1,2 3 and 4.

These CDs are part of a series of releases that includes some of Disney’s biggest and best titles from their top animated films.

 

Picture Books… with CDs:

image courtesy of syndeticsHappy!

“Grammy Award winner Pharrell Williams brings his beloved hit song to the youngest of readers in a blend of illustrations and photos of children celebrating what it means to be happy.”–Book jacket front flap.

image courtersy of syndeticsFootloose / music & lyrics by Kenny Loggins & Dean Pitchford.

In this version of the pop rock song “Footloose,” zookeeper Jack joins the zoo animals in an all-night dance party.

Kids’ Club Review by Macy: Hairy Maclary’s showbusiness

Hairy Maclary's showbusinessHairy Maclary’s showbusiness, Lynley Dodd

Hairy Maclary’s Showbusiness, By Lynley Dodd, is a rhyming book for younger children, but all children will enjoy. Both genders will love this book, as the main character is a boy. This book is about a dog that is tied to a tree, he escaped the tree and entered the annual cat show. All and every cat were terrified of Hairy Maclary. Hairy Maclary was chased by all the hosts; finally Miss Plum caught him. It was a big mess after that chase! Hairy Maclary is very scruffy, therefore, he won the scruffiest cat prize. I would recommend reading this book because it has lots of catchy rhymes, this made it enjoyable to read. I wanted to keep reading the book because… What would the cats do to Hairy Maclary? I learnt that even if you’re not meant to get the prize, you can still have a chance; everyone has a chance. It made me feel overjoyed because Lynley Dodd is a great author, and this is another great book wrote by her. Other children would enjoy reading this book because it will teach them a lot. All Lynley Dodd’s books have lots and lots of repetition and rhymes, making her books exciting to read.

By Macy – (7)

5 stars

Reviewed by Macy from Khandallah and Khandallah School , 7 years old