Top 10 Childrens DVDs July 2016

Long winter evenings are a great time to catch up with the latest movies.

It’s not just the one off movies people love to borrow from the library, there are the DVD series where you can follow characters through their many adventures. Building adventures with lego is great for your imagination and construction skills.  These building blocks have inspired quite a few series – do you know them all?

There’s: Legends of Chima,  Justice League, Ninjago Masters of SpinjitsuLEGO friends, Star Wars, Nexo KnightsBionicle and there’s a LEGO Scooby-Doo! Try saying all that in one breath!  Have I missed any? Let us know in the comments.

Here’s your Top 10 for July 2016: 

1. My little pony, friendship is magic

2. Inside out

3. Legends of Chima

4. Minions

5. Snoopy and Charlie Brown 

6. The good dinosaur

7. Strawberry Shortcake

8. Goosebumps

9. Geronimo Stilton

10. Rabbids invasion

Get ready for some creepy Halloween Fiction!

Is your Halloween costume ready yet? Have you prepared revolting and scary decorations for your house? Do you have the recipes prepared for a horrendous and disgusting diner with your eerie friends? Did you read the latest Fiction about Monsters, ghosts and ghouls that we have at the Library?

I can’t do anything about the outfit, the decoration and the food but… I can help you with the books!!! So choose one of these stories if you already feel the tension of Halloween growing inside you!

The heart of glass, by Vivian French

Prince Marcus’s adventure is going horribly wrong : gracie Gillypot has disappeared, the dwarves have struck a dangerous bargain with the King of the Trolls and Princess Marigold is in peril- if only she’d stop complaining long enough to realize it. Throw in a scheming goblin, meddling bats and a mysterious heart of glass and you have all the ingredients for another wickedly funny story from the Five Kingdoms.

9 and +


Rise of the Zombie rabbit, by Sam Hay

Joe is just an ordinary boy until he makes a wish on a spooky Egyptian amulet… Now he is the protector of Undead Pets… and there’s a rampaging rabbit hopping about!

Fluffy the rabbit was snapped up by a hungry fox. Can Joe help her owner stay out of trouble, so Fluffy will hop off to the big rabbit hutch in the sky?

7 and +


Monster and chips, by David O’Connell

Have you ever eaten a plateful of parp tarts, got stuck into a stinky coughy pudding or filled your belly with chewy worm spaghetti?


Well you’ve probably never been to a monster-diner. So come on in… We have the best chips ANYWHERE. Just be careful that the customers don’t think YOU’RE the menu!

7 and +


Home sweet horror, by James Preller

Welcome. Have a seat. Let us tell you a story. But be warned. Home sweet Horror isn’t just any tale. This is a SCARY TALE.

Meet Liam Finn, who’s just moved into a new home with his father and sister. But this old house that seems empty, isn’t. Bloody Mary is here- she’s been called back from the dead and she’s just DYING to talk.


8 and + (but only for very brave children!)


Gustav Gloom and the nightmare vault, by Adam-Troy Castro

Gustav Gloom’s neighbors think he is the unhappiest little boy in the world. But what they don’t know is that the strange, dark house Gustav lives in is filled with more wonders and mysteries than could ever be explained. But explain is exactly what Gustav needs to do when Fernie What moves in across the street. And that’s when the adventure really begins…

9 and +


Brand New Fiction!

The Skull in the Wood by Sandra Greaves

In Old Scratch Wood, cousins Matt and Tilda find a buried skull.  From that moment, black things begin to happen: Birds and Animals go bad, and there’s talk of the return of an Ancient Curse.  But what can Matt and Tilda do to stop it…? –(from book cover)




Wild Born (Spirit Animals Book 1) by Brandon Mull

As a dark force engulfs the land, the fate of Erdas has fallen on the shoulders of four young strangers who each have forged a rare bond with their spirit beasts — a bond that gives great powers to all of them.




A friend for Grace by Sofie LagunaImage courtesy of Syndetics

It’s 1808… and Grace is on board the ship Indispensable with her friend Hannah.  The girls wonder what the new land will be like – the convict women say there are gigantic rats and other strange animals!  Then sickness strikes the ship… Will they survive to reach the shores of New South Wales?  Follow Grace on her adventure in the second of four exciting stories about a convict girl who is given another chance.  –(from book cover)



Monsters, Mayhem and a Sprinkling of Crumbs by Tracey CorderoyImage courtesy of Syndetics

Trouble has a way of finding Otto, Marth and Scarlett Crumb no matter where they are! –(from book cover)





Diamond by Jacqueline WilsonImage courtesy of Syndetics

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! Tanglefield’s Travelling Circus is proud to present *THE INCREDIBLE* *THE EXTRAORDINARY* *THE MAGICAL*; *DIAMOND* the acrobatic child wonder!  Pull back the curtain, enter the big top and discover her amazing story of heartbreak, danger, courage and friendship! –(from book cover)


Do you prefer creepy or splashy Fiction?

The two options kind of have nothing to do with each other, but that’s one of the fun things about books! You can jump from one universe to another in just a blink!

Let’s start with the creepy scary books first…

Gustav Gloom and the people taker, by Adam-Troy Castro

Gustav Gloom’s neighbors think he is the unhappiest little boy in the world. But what they don’t know is that the strange, dark house Gustav lives in is filled with more wonders and mysteries than could ever be explained. But explain is exactly what Gustav needs to do when Fernies What moves in across the street. And that’s when the adventure really begins…

Age 9+


Class is not dismissed! by Gitty Daneshvari

Madeleine Masterson is deathly afraid of bugs. Theodore Bartholomew is petrified of dying. Lulu Punchalower is scared of confined spaces. Garrison Feldman is terrified by deep water.

After discovering that each of her former students has slipped back into their old fears, headmistress Mrs Wellington, brings Madeleine, Theo, Lulu and Garrison back for mandatory summer school at “School of Fear”.

Facing their fears is terrifying enough, but when they are joined by a fifth student (and a mysterious entity lurking in the woods) things get even scarier.

Age 8+


And what do we have for watery splashy Fiction?

Below, by Meg McKinlay

The Mayor flipped a lever, and everyone cheered as Old Lower Grange was submerged beneath five thousand swimming pool’s worth of water. But Cassie’s family wasn’t there to see it – they were too busy rushing to the hospital to deliver an eight-weeks-early Cassie.

Now twelve years later, Cassie feels drawn to the mysteries hidden beneath the surface of the manmade lake- and she’s not the only one. Her classmate Liam joins Cassie on the lake’s forbidden side. As the summer heats up, the water drops lower and lower, offering them glimpses of the ghostly town and uncovering secrets. But like a swimmer who ventures too far from shore, Cassie realizes she can’t turn back. Can she bring their suspicions to light before it’s too late?

Age 10+


Charlie Joe Jackson’s guide to Summer vacation, by Tommy Greenwald

It’s like permanent opposite day, where the dorks are the cool kids and the cool kids are the losers. But Charlie Joe is determined to convince the entire camp to hate reading and writing-one genius at a time. Can he pull it off? Or will he turn into one of them? It’s finally summer vacation! But instead of hanging out with his friends and playing with his dogs, Charlie Joe Jackson has to face his worst fear : academic summer camp. Camp Rituhbukkee is exactly hoe Charlie Joe pictures it: books and nerds as far as the eye can see.

Age 8+

So just dive into one of these books and you will either get soaked or petrified!


Gruesome Fiction

Monster Mountains by Marcus Sedgwick

Eep! Those mountains are scary! Saving the world is not going very well for Elf Girl and Raven Boy. It’s not the strange wailing noises they hear in the dark, or the gigantic yeti who wants to eat them for breakfast that they find alarming, so much as the crazy wizard, who wants to add them, and Rat, to his collection of all too life-like stone statues.

Perfect for you if you like scary, creepy stories!!

Age 8+


The great Weta Robbery by Peter Friend and Alicia Ponder

When your after-school job is looking after weta the size of cats, it’d be understandable if you thought that your life couldn’t get any more exciting or dangerous. But there is a darker secret lurking in the laboratories of Krell Research and it’s down to one boy to get to the bottom of it.

Do you love big creepy-crawlies ? If so you’ll enjoy this book!

Age 6 +

In a glass Grimmly
, by Adam Gidwitz 

If you dare, join Jack and Jill on a harrowing quest through a new set of tales from the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen, and others. This book will lead you into creepy forests, gruesome deeds, terrible monsters, and – far worse- the dark places of the human heart…

A fantastic eerie, subversive, and hair-raising companion novel to A Tale Dark and Grimm

Age 10+


When fairies go bad, by Ursula Vernon

Danny’s mother has disappeared into a fairy ring growing in her backyard vegetable garden, and Danny and his friends, Wendell and Christiana, must go to Faerie to try to save her.

And if you like this story, don’t miss the other books in the smoking hot Dragonbreath series !

Age 8+

My favs from the new books pile

I was just flicking through some new books that have arrived recently (looking for something good to read), and I thought these ones looked great.

What do you think?


Gustav Gloom and the People Taker by Adam-Troy Castro

This one has a very cool cover – one of those ones with a clear plastic peep-hole in the cover. It also looks like the first in a new series, judging by the large number 1 on the spine. It’s a hard cover book (I LOVE hardcovers!) and also has illustrations inside. Here’s what its’ about (from the book cover):

Do you know where your shadow is? Gustav Gloom’s neighbours think he is the unhappiest little boy in the world. But what they don’t know it that the strange, dark house Gustav lives in  is filled with more wonders and mysteries than could ever be explained. But explain is exactly what Gustav needs to do when Fernie What moves in across the street. And that’s when the adventure really begins…



The High-Skies Adventures of Blue Jay the Pirate by Scott Nash

Another hard cover book, and another with pictures! This one looks really great and I can’t wait to read it. Here’s the blurb:

Hoist the Jolly Robin! Captain Blue Jay famed commander of the sky-faring vessel The Grosbeak takes to the skies with his stalwart crew for a rousing aero-nautical adventure of flying and freedom parked with Danger and Mystery! Blue Jay and his band of avian pirates sail the skies searching for ships laden with cargo, avoiding run-ins with the dastardly crows, dodging doldrums and bad weather, and evading the long arm of the Colonial army.



Waterloo & Trafalgar by Oliver Tallec

This one’s a bit different – though it does have a hard cover and illustrations. Waterloo & Trafalgar is a picture book without words, but this one’s not for preschoolers- it’s for you! You have to figure out what’s happening by examining the pictures, and the story’s pretty funny.

It’s about two soldiers (one called Waterloo and the other called Trafalgar) who are watching each other very closely using telescopes from behind walls. Watch what happens in their lives as they both endure winters and summers, all while watching each other very closely. The ending is great!


Spectacular New Fiction!!!!

Judy Moody and Stink: The Mad, Mad, Mad Treasure Hunt by Megan McDonald.

Avast, ye scum buckets and swashbuckling buccaneers! Come on board and plunder with the best of Judy Moody and Stink’s newest adventures.  The Moody  family drops anchor on ” Artichoke” Island ; yes you heard me correctly, Artichoke Island. Here they are greeted by the mysterious Cap’n Weevil, a one-eyed pirate with a scaggley beard and of course a treasure map! Ooooooooha!! Stinky and Judy start an exciting adventure to find the missing gold!!!! Check it out at your local library!!!!!



 The Haunted School by Deborah Abela.

This spine-tingling adventure will raise the hairs on your arms!!!! Angeline and Edgar have to go to their senior school sleepover, but Angeline is dreading having to talk to the other kids. The night goes wrong when a ghost appears in the dormitory where they are camped out. Their classmates are terrified – and Principal Primm is not happy! With the aid of Ghost Club, Angeline and Edgar must find out who the ghost is so they can help her.



Dragon Breath No Such Thing as Ghosts by Ursala Vernon.

Not only must Danny and Wendell trick-or-treat with skeptical classmate Christiana, school bully Big Eddy dares them to enter a haunted house on Halloween night, where they may have to sacrifice their candy to a ghost.Will Danny DragonBreath stand tall in the face of danger or cower in the corner eating candy ? Be brave and read this super read!!!!




The Spindlers by Lauren Oliver.

Hands up if you love  rats; if so check this awesome book out! Accompanied by an eccentric, human-sized rat, Liza embarks on a perilous quest through an underground realm to save her brother Patrick, whose soul has been stolen by the evilest of creatures–the spider-like spindlers. Both riveting and bewitching this is the book for  you !!!!!!



Om Shanti Babe by Helen Limon.

Winner of the 2011 Frances Lincoln Diverse Voices award this amazingly well written book is both  laugh- out-loud- funny and a real roller-coaster of discovery.Cass is on buying trip to India with her mother who owns a fair-trade craft shop in London. Although Cass has been looking forward to the trip, she finds that nothing is as she expected. First Cass discovers her mother is romantically involved with an Indian man, then she’s involved in a stand-off with fashion-mad Priyanka, and finally she finds out that her mother’s business is on the rocks. When pop idol Jonny Gold arrives in Kerala to film a music video, Cass is caught up with a mystery, new friendships and a race to save the mangrove swamps.



 Utterly Me  Clarice Bean by  Lauren Child.

An utterly fantastic book!  I utterly think you should utterly read it!!  Mrs Wilberton wants Clarice Bean and his classmates to write a book project which sounds UTTERLY dreary.Until Clarice finds out there is an ACTUAL prize. Utterly fantastic!!!!!

New non-fiction: Things that go bump in the night

Paranormal Files

We’ve got a cool new series of books called the Paranormal Files, for all you ghost hunters and alien watchers out there. While there are plenty of reasons to be skeptical about such things, these books are a fun read. They contain many interesting stories from all over the world, like the terrifying story of the Kuchisake-onna, a Japanese ghost who you wouldn’t like to meet on a dark night! You might think you have read all you need to know about such things as stories are often repeated across different books. Any ghost enthusiast will be able to tell you about Borley Rectory or Glamis castle, but this book has a whole load of new stories that will send a shiver up your spine…or convince you to go looking for ghosts yourself.

The other books in the series are interesting, too. For cryptozoologists (people interested in animals whose existence has not been confirmed by science)  there’s a cool book on Bigfoot and other Ape-men. Sadly it doesn’t mention New Zealand’s own Moehau man, but there are stories from almost every other continent.


Fossilized Series

If you’ve got an interest in the remains of the past, check this series out. They’re a good introduction to Paleontology (the study of fossils ) with some great pictures and information about where fossils are found, how the paleontologists find out how old they are,  and what they show about the creatures and people of the past.


Draw 50…

After reading those books you may need  some light relief. Or you may want to make your own stories about all the things you’ve found out.  In that case, the “Draw 50” books are great. As the title suggests, there are 50 things in here that the book will teach you to draw.  The instructions are a lot more detailed than a lot of ‘how to draw’ art books; you start out with simple lines and then add detail on top of that. That’s pretty cool, as it helps you create a drawing with the correct proportions. There are many books in the series, so have a look through the catalogue.


The History of Halloween

Halloween is celebrated on October 31st by people in countries all over the world, such as Canada, England and the USA.

Halloween comes from an ancient holiday that was celebrated by the Celts – the ancient people of Ireland, Scotland and England. It was called Samhain – said as SAH-ween. The Celts believed that on October 31st people who had died crossed over to the next world, and they lit bonfires to help the dead pass on their way.

Centuries later The Pope, who is leader of the Catholic Church, named November 1st All Saints, or All Hallows Day, because Hallows is an old word for saint. The night before All Hallows Day was called All Hallows Eve. Eventually it became known as Halloween.

The Pope and other church leaders wanted Halloween to be a holy night, but because it had started out as a Celtic festival, many Celtic traditions remained. People put out food and drink for wandering ghosts, and for other spooky creatures. Then children and adults started dressing up as spooky creatures so they could get given yummy food and drink!

Because Halloween is in the Northern Hemisphere’s autumn, it is during their traditional harvest time. Harvest celebrations have become a part of Halloween, like apple-picking, hayrides and pumpkin carving.

Turnips were originally carved instead of pumpkins. The tradition comes from an English legend about a man named Jack. He was too bad to go to heaven, so he was doomed to wander the earth at night. He carved a turnip and put a light inside so he could see where he was going in the dark. It was a lantern, so it became known as a “Jack-o-lantern.”  Now pumpkins are usually carved as Jack-o-lanterns.

All the facts in this post came from the book Celebrate Halloween by Deborah Heiligman.

Here are some other new books you might want to read about Halloween:

The Five Masks of Dr. Screem by R. L. Stine

Horrid Henry: Tricks and Treats by Francesca Simon

How to Create Spectacular Halloween Costumes by Louann Brown

How to Make Frightening Halloween Decorations by Catherine Ipcizade

Night of the Living Dust Bunnies by Erik Craddock

The Peculiar Pumpkin Thief by Geronimo Stilton

Scary Godmother by Jill Thompson