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!
The countdown begins to the release of the live action film, The Lion King!
Released in theatres on July 18th and 25 years since the release of the original and animated film. Just in time for the school holidays!
A new trailer has been released and overall, it is amazing!
You will get to see all the beloved characters of the film, including Mufusa, Rafiki, Scar and Simba, (as a baby, child -EEEKK! Prepare for an overload of cuteness- and an adult), and of course, lovable duo: Timon and Pumbaa!
It shows promise that this film will be even better than the original, as well as the most anticipated movie of the year.
The Lion King boasts an all-star cast featuring Beyoncé as Nala, Donald Glover as Simba, Billy Eichner as Timon, Seth Rogan as Pumbaa, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar and James Earl Jones returning to his role as Mufasa.
So what are you waiting, check out the trailer!
In the mean time…
Why not watch the original movie and relive the magic of a timeless Disney classic of all time. DVDs are available at various Wellington City Library branches.
I cannot recommend The Lion King enough! You will laugh. You will cry. You will be guaranteed to sign along to songs such as Circle of Life, Hakuna Matata and Can you feel the love tonight.
The school holidays have begun! There will be days during the Easter break where the library will be closed. So if are looking for some entertainments, why not have a read of my latest reviews of new DVDs: Mary Poppins Returns and The Nutcracker and the four realms.
And some oldies but goodies, Maleficent, (which aired on TV 2 last weekend), and Despicable Me 3, (which aired on TV 3 last weekend).
But you better get your hands on these DVDs quick … before someone else does!
They saved the best for last! Gru, the reluctant antihero of the previous films has come a long way from being a supervillian. He is married to his Anti-Villain league partner, Lucy, an involved father to Margo, Edith and Agnes and is working for the good guys bringing in the bad of the bad. However things go pear-shaped when Gru is fired from the Anti-Villain League for failing to take down the latest bad guy, Balthazar Bratt, a character completely stuck in the 80s with his music and his dance moves and armed with expanding bubble gum as his weapon of choice. But when a mysterious stranger shows up to inform Gru that he has a long-lost twin brother-a brother who desperately wishes to follow in his twin’s despicable footsteps-one former super-villain will rediscover just how good it feels to be bad. Will Gru complete his path back to the dark side?, you have to watch the film to find out.
Overall, a hilarious film! The minions are funnier than before! Agnes’ obsession with unicorns intensifies where she embarks on a quest to find a long lost legendary unicorn… only to end up with a one horned goat, (spoiler) and the showdown or “dance fight” between Gru and Balthazar Bratt, is funny and cheesy.
This it The Nutcracker as you have never seen it before!
Based on the original story and ballet of The Nutcracker, Clara finds her way into a mysterious parallel world. She teams up with a soldier named Philip aka The Nutcracker in search of a key to unlock a box from her late mother. However things take a turn when it is up to Clara to brave the Fourth Realm to find the key and return harmony to the unstable world. Throughout this film, things aren’t always what they seem. You will find yourself wondering what lies is the mystery box, at times second guessing who the true heroes and villains are throughout this film and whether Clara will find what she is truly looking for.
This film is very entertaining and a fresh retelling of the original story and ballet of The Nutcracker.
This is Sleeping Beauty as you have never seen it! The bad fairy was once a good fairy.
Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there lived a beautiful, pure-hearted young woman called Maleficent, who had anidyllic life growing up in a peaceable forest kingdom, until one day when an invading army threatens the harmony of the land and she is betrayed by her childhood friend, King Stefan. Bent on revenge, Maleficent places a curse upon Stefan’s newborn infant Aurora. However things take a turn while acting as an unofficial fairy godmother, Maleficent becomes fond of Aurora.
Poor Maleficent experiences conflict, similar to iconic Star Wars villain, Darth Vader, whether being trapped in the dark side is permanent or whether there is still good in her… and she will save the day.
Overall a great (alternative) retelling of the classic fairy tale Sleeping Beauty.
I rate this movie: 7/10.
Have a look at the trailer to the upcoming sequel: Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, which is scheduled to be released late October 2019.
After Mary Poppins departed London, Jane and Michael Banks grew up into loving and responsible adults. When Michael becomes a single father of three children: John, Annabel and George, (named after and is a polar opposite of George Banks), after the death of his wife, Mary Poppins revisits the Cherry Tree Lane home again to try to help Michael and his family cope and move beyond their grief. Time passes quickly for most normal mortals. Mary Poppins has never been normal. Although it’s now the 1930s, she looks exactly the same. Her message to Michael, Annabel, John, George and Ellen, the family’s housekeeper, about enjoying life and loved ones is also still the same, even during hard and uncertain times..
This film is Mary Poppins at its best! With a fresh cast, new songs and additional characters, Mary Poppins Returns is fresh story and promising sequel that also stays true to the original film.
Help the library celebrate around Earth Day by coming along to this special storytime all about the environment – and how we fit in it!
Come along for magical eco-stories including The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein and many beautiful new tales of sustainability and our relationship with nature.
We’ll also be making incredible zines about the environment!
Time: Saturday 27th April from 11am to 12pm
Place: Karori Library Children’s area
No registration required!
Here are some of our favourite books about the environment for you to check out!
Here we are : notes for living on planet Earth / Jeffers, Oliver
Well, hello.And welcome to this Planet.We call it Earth. Our world can be a bewildering place, especially if you’ve only just got here. Your head will be filled with questions, so let’s explore what makes our planet and how we live on it. From land and sky, to people and time, these notes can be your guide and start you on your journey. And you’ll figure lots of things out for yourself. Just remember to leave notes for everyone else… Some things about our planet are pretty complicated, but things can be simple, too: you’ve just got to be kind. (Catalogue)
Where’s the elephant? / Barroux
“Where’s the elephant? Where’s the parrot? Where’s the snake?…And where are the trees? What starts as a game of jungle hide-and-seek quickly turns into something more significant in this charming, unique book by award-winning illustrator, Barroux. (Catalogue)
Head off on an adventure this Easter with the world’s best-loved storyteller. From the boy who helps a lamb in trouble to the fairies hidden inside Easter Eggs, excitement and magic are never far away in this collection of stories to read and share.
Santa has it so easy: a workforce of elves to make the presents, a team of reindeer to deliver them, even a hi-spec factory! The Easter Bunny has to make and wrap all the chocolate eggs in his garden shed, and deliver them himself on foot. No wonder you often find them thrown all over the place in your garden! Now Bunny has had enough – he hatches a genius, chocolately plan with unexpected results. 10 minute Easter crafts.
Using readily available, seasonally related materials, this series is packed full of fun crafts for special occasions. The projects are explained in easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions, and are perfect for teachers looking for original ideas as well as time-poor parents. In 10 Minute Crafts: Easter, children can learn how to make an Easter bonnet, fluffy Easter chicks, a sparkling shower hanging and cute bunny egg cups for their Easter eggs, along with lots of other great Easter crafts for kids.
Grace’s fun-loving Mum has found a lump. Her north London world of sleepovers, tap dancing and playing the clarinet fall apart when she is sent to live with her grumpy old granddad on his farm in Yorkshire while her mother goes into hospital to get better. Grace misses her mother so much it hurts, and doesn’t quite understand what is happening to her. And things go from bad to worse when she starts school and becomes the bullies’ latest target. But Grace is no longer alone when she meets Rainbow Girl Megan and her pig, Claude – when she’s with them she feels as if she can confront anything. At Easter time when Grace misses her mum the most, she knows she must find a way to get to London. With Megan’s help, she hatches a plan to run away that involves Claude, chocolate Easter eggs and a risky ID swap. But it’s all worth it if it means that she finally gets to see her mum.
Learn about the diverse and vibrant festivals that are celebrated around the world. This series encourages children to consider religious beliefs and cultural practices via easy to read text and informative, full colour images.
In search of a key to unlock a box from her late mother, Clara finds her way into a mysterious parallel world. She teams up with a soldier named Philip in order to brave the Fourth Realm to find the key and return harmony to the unstable world.
The monster family embarks on a vacation on a luxury monster cruise ship so Drac can take a summer vacation from providing everyone else’s vacation at the hotel. It’s smooth sailing for Drac’s Pack as the monsters indulge in all of the shipboard fun the cruise has to offer. But the dream vacation turns into a nightmare when Mavis realizes Drac has fallen for the mysterious captain of the ship, Ericka, who hides a dangerous secret that could destroy all of monster kind.
Although he has been missing for several years and the entire town thinks her father has abandoned her family, Meg steadfastly believes the best and protects her younger brother, Charles Wallace, from the brunt of the rumors and taunting. It is he, however, who convinces her to join him, the school sports star Calvin, and three unusual women on an interplanetary voyage to rescue their father from a vast evil.
The young boy, who loved taking adventures in the Hundred Acre Wood with a gang of spirited and lovable stuffed animals, has grown up and lost his way. Now it is up to his childhood friends to venture into that world and help Christopher Robin remember the loving and playful boy who is still inside.
Despite his family’s generations-old ban on music, Miguel dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz. Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector, and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history.
Easter is just around the corner and Wellington City Libraries is chocablock of DVDs for your viewing pleasure and night of “scoffing chocolate”. Wellington City Libraries will be closed on Friday 19th April, (Good Friday), Sunday 21st April (Easter Day) and Monday 22nd April, (Easter Monday), so now would be an excellent time to stock up on DVDs (…and chocolate!) so you can be entertained over the Easter Break.
Check out my top 5 movie recommendations to watch over Easter.
Also, as an added bonus, this post features a couple of surprises that shows why you must go down to your local movie theatre and see Dumbo, which is now showing, and… Artemis Fowl!
When an evil spirit known as Pitch lays down the gauntlet to take over the world, the immortal Guardians must join forces for the first time to protect the hopes, beliefs, and imagination of children all over the world.
The one-and-only Willy Wonka makes the world taste good for a whole new generation in this magical family classic sparkling with brilliantly restored picture and sound! Also included is the all-new documentary Pure Imagination, featuring interviews with Gene Wilder and the Wonka kids and revealing production secrets from the movie!nWhen they find prized Golden Tickets inside their Wonka candy bars, five lucky children win a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the legendary candy factory run by the mysterious Willy Wonka. Now, on a whirlwind tour of Willys incredible, edible realm of milk chocolate waterfalls, elfish Ooompa-Loompas and industrial-sized sugar-coated creations, one very special boy will discover the sweetest secret of all: a generous, loving heart.
Storks used to deliver babies, they now deliver packages for a global internet store. Junior, top delivery stork, is about to be promoted when he accidentally activates the Baby Making Machine which produces an unauthorized baby girl! Desperately Junior must deliver the bundle of joy before his boss finds out. Get ready for this wild revealing journey that could make more than one family whole and restore the storks’ true mission in the world.
When their village is invaded by the grumpy Bergens, two mismatched friends must work together in perfect harmony to save the day. Featuring hit songs performed by Justin Timberlake, Anna Kendrick, and more.
Bob Parr, Mr. Incredible, has unwittingly demonstrated repeated that Supers can cause as much damage as villains while protecting the world, which causes his wife — Elastigirl — to be chosen as the face of a movement to make Supers legal again. Still, it will take the entire gang to take down a new supervillain bent on mind-controlling the entire world!
Surprise #1: Movie Review: Dumbo.
Last weekend I went to see Dumbo at the Roxy Cinema and it is in a word, FANTASTIC!
Tim Burton, (director of the 2005 movie, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), directs this live-action retelling of the original animated 1941 Disney classic. Struggling circus owner Max Medici enlists a former star and his two children, Milly and Joe, to care for Dumbo, a baby elephant born with oversized ears. When Milly and Joe discover that Dumbo can fly, with the help of feathers as a good luck charm, it soon becomes the main attraction — bringing in huge audiences and revitalizing the run-down circus. The elephant’s magical ability also draws the attention of villain, V.A. Vandevere, an entrepreneur who wants to showcase Dumbo in his latest, larger-than-life entertainment venture, however with less than honorable, and perhaps sinister intentions. And it’s up to Milly, Joe and the circus performers to save the day by rescuing Dumbo, and his Mum from the evil clutches of Vandevere.
Overall I feel Tim Burton did an amazing job with this live action retelling of Dumbo.
Dumbo steals the show with his cuteness, baby blue eyes, inquisitive nature and flying antics. I enjoyed the moments where Dumbo was able to confront and give his tormentors their just deserts by hosed down, the tender moments he had with his mother and the love and kindness he received from the children and circus performers.
All the other characters, even the villain, brings the film to life, gives it depth and will keep you entertained from start to finish, and eager for the long awaited and well deserved happy ending for Dumbo.
As promised, the film delivered at being amazing, entertaining, heartwarming, and definitely heart breaking where it is recommended to have tissues on standby.
A highly recommended movie that the whole family can enjoy at the weekend and Easter break!
The wonderful world of Artemis Fowl comes to life on the big screen on September 19 2019!
Based on the beloved book by Eoin Colfer, the film follows 12-year-old genius Artemis Fowl, a descendant of a long line of criminal masterminds, as he finds himself in a battle of strength and cunning against a powerful, hidden race of fairies who may be behind his father’s disappearance.
Christmas comes early this year… around Easter with the release of the third screen adaptation of the Grinch, made by the film company, Illumination, who also made Sing, The Secret Life of Pets and the Despicable Me film series, and who has epic, and sometimes disastrous plans on running Christmas for the citizens of Whoville. A movie guaranteed to make you laugh and definitely not ruin your Easter break.
With the grand opening of Jurassic World’s new super-secret dinosaur exhibit just days away, only one thing is missing, the dinosaurs! In order to get the job done, Simon Masrani enlists his newly-hired assistant, Claire Dearing, to ensure the new attraction opens on time, or else. Unfortunately, Owen Grady, the animal behaviorist Claire hired to deliver the dinosaurs, is late. Owen’s mission turns out to be far more difficult than anyone could have imagined.
Ralph and Penelope are faced with a new challenge when they begin the search for a spare part to fix a beloved videogame: how to navigate the internet. When trying to fix Sugar Rush the pair become engrossed in the World Wide Web after a router is plugged into the local arcade space, forcing them to find a wheel to replace the router with and get the arcade up and running again. Traversing through this new, technological landscape won’t be easy, with the duo coming across new worlds, cultures, and characters that present difficulties along the way.
Explore earth science, learn about the environment, kick back and watch a movie, or let your creative side out to play, during the school holidays at Wellington City Libraries.
Let’s Go Lego!
At Let’s Go Lego, your creative skills will be put to the test as you use our Lego collections to design and build your masterpieces. Each session will have a different theme that will inspire you to hone your skills and become a Lego Legend. Bookings not required. Suitable for ages 5+
Monday 15th April, 3.30 – 4.30pm at Newtown Library
Tuesday 16th April 1 – 3pm at Island Bay Community Centre
Thursday 18th April 10am – 12pm at Churton Park Community Centre
Saturday 20th April 2 – 3pm at Karori Library
Earth Science 101
Join experts from Victoria University to learn about the amazing geology of our city – rock formations, fault lines, earthquakes and more. Come along prepared to do some hands-on science as well! Suitable for ages 5+.
Monday 15th April 2 – 3pm at Johnsonville Library
Tuesday 16th April 2 – 3pm at Karori Library
Wednesday 17th April 11am – 12pm at Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library
Wednesday 17th April 2 – 3pm at Miramar Library
Bring a blanket and pillow, and relax at our fun family movies. A different G rated movie from the library collection will be showing each time, and are suitable for the whole family. Recommended for ages 4+.
Thursday 18th April 4 – 5.30pm and 6 – 7.30pm at Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library
Easter Rock Painting
Paint up some special rocks to hide around the suburb for Easter. We’ve got the rocks, the paint, the brushes and more, just bring yourself and your imagination! #WGTNRocks. Suitable for ages 4+.
Thursday 18th April 1 – 3pm at Island Bay Community Centre
Let out your inner artist as we use recyclable material to create inspiring artworks from scratch! Join in to make a huge collaborative sculpture, or make your own piece to take home. Suitable for ages 4+.
Wednesday 17th April 2 – 3.30pm at Newlands Community Centre
Thursday 18th April 11am – 12pm at Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library
Wednesday 24th April 10am – 12pm at Churton park Community Centre
Friday 26th April 11am – 12pm Wadestown Library
Virtual reality (VR) offers us a new and exciting way to learn about science and the world around us. Explore the wonders of our planet’s most extreme locations from the comfort of your local library. Numbers are limited, bookings required. Reserve your seats by contacting the event library. Suitable for ages 6+.
Tuesday 23rd April 2 – 3pm at Johnsonville Library
Wednesday 24th April 2 – 3pm at Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library
Friday 26th April 11am – 12pm at Khandallah Library
Friday 26th April 2 – 3pm at Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library
Help the library celebrate the lead-up to Earth Day by coming along to this special storytime all about the environment – and how we fit in it! Magical eco-stories and crafts for the whole family to enjoy. Suitable for all ages
Tuesday 16th April 2 – 3pm at Brooklyn Library
Saturday 27th April 11am – 12pm Karori Library
All events are free. Bookings are not required, except for the VR experience. All children must be accompanied by caregivers at every event.
For all you Little Pony fans, check out their Christmas themed movie. The “Here Comes Christmas Candy Cane” is an important part of Ponyville – it’s the beacon that shows Santa Claus the way to the town during the holiady rounds each year. But when Minty accidentally breaks it, Minty is determined to do anything tov save Christmas, and together with all of her friends, they discover that Christmas can come any way.
It looks like Santa (Jim Broadbent) has got himself in a bit of a pickle when he crashes his sleigh in a garden shed, his reindeer are found running loose through the streets of London, and to top things off he is wanted by the police! Desperate to return to Lapland in time for Christmas, Santa asks Tom (Kit Connor) and his dad Steve (Rafe Spall) for help. Overall, a hilarious and heartwarming Christmas adventure for the whole family.
Join Barbie and her sisters Skipper, Stacie, and Chelsea as their holiday vacation plans turn into a most unexpected adventure and heartwarming lesson. After a snowstorm diverts their plane, the girls find themselves far from their New York destination and their holiday dreams. Now stranded at a remote inn in the tiny town of Tannenbaum, the sisters are welcomed by new friends and magical experiences.
Young siblings Eric and Pattyare about to take off on a thrilling, and chilling, adventure! After damaging their grandfather’s most treasured possession, a strange clock, they throw the whole world into a crazy time continuum, where Christmas Day is repeated over and over. The only way they can restore order is to travel to the North Pole and repair the clock in Santa’s workshop. With less than a day to go, Eric, Patty, and Grandfather frantically zip off to the frozen wonderland. All they have to do is figure out the complicated solution, carefully mend the clock, and get back home in time to fix Christmas!
“We follow Nicholas, a 7 year old Australian boy on his adventure as he struggles with the ups and downs of being the next Santa Claus. It’s a big responsibility that would scare the bravest boy. Nicholas wants to be the best Santa ever and will learn a few lessons along the way. But Christmas has a way of making even the biggest mishaps alright and thanks to his loving mentors, Santa and Waldorf, Nicholas learns, as we all do, the true meaning of Christmas”–Container.
Check out the trailer for “Mary Poppins Returns“, an all new original musical and sequel, Mary Poppins is back to help the next generation of the Banks family find the joy and wonder missing in their lives following a personal loss. Released on New Year’s Day!
And as a final Christmas gift… Check the official teaser trailer for the live action movie, The Lion King, based on the original animated movie… and one of my favourite films! It is scheduled to be released on July 18th 2019, which marks the 25th anniversary of the release of the original film. Exciting! While you’re waiting, why not come on down to your local library and rent the original film! As a recap, The Lion King, tells the story of Simba, a delightful lion cub who is heir to the throne of the pride lands. However, when Simba’s father is killed… by Simba’s treacherous uncle, Scar, poor Simba, feeling guilt ridden lion cub flees into exile until the moment where he must confront his uncle and reclaim his identity , as well as destiny as the future King.
On behalf of the Children’s team at Wellington City Libraries, we would love to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a safe and happy new year!
A very cute story about two elves and a reindeer that land themselves on the dreaded “Naughty List.” But when the entire the North Pole comes down with food poisoning, they must redeem their Naughty List status by finding a way to save Christmas. This film will make you think again about doing anything naughty during Christmas.
What started as a simple school nativity play turns into a royal fiasco of quarrelling parents and over-excited children, when primary school teacher Paul Maddens boasts that his ex-girlfriend Jennifer, a Hollywood Producer, is coming to see his show with a view to turning it into a film. (Major lie!). Maddens’ only hope is to get back in touch with Jennifer and lure Hollywood to town so that everybody’s Christmas wishes come true.
Join Manny, Sid, Diego, Ellie, Peaches and Scat during this holiday season in Ice Age : A Mammoth Christmas. When Sid accidentally destroys Manny’s heirloom Christmas rock and ends up on Santa’s “naughty list,” he leads a hilarious quest to the North Pole to make things right – and ends up making things much worse. Now it’s up to Manny and his prehistoric posse to band together and save Christmas for the entire world! Over 25 minutes of humour, laughter and holiday cheer from start to finish. Anyone who is a fan of the Ice Age movies will love this!
If you are a cat lover, this is one movie to snuggle up with your kitty and some popcorn to watch! When Santa suffers a major allergic reaction where he can’t fly the sleigh or deliver presents anymore, it’s up to a litter of kittens to deliver the rest of the presents to all the boys and girls before sunrise and save Christmas.
‘Twas the day before Christmas and all through the yard the Cat in the Hat and his guests partied hard. When the party was over, and the guests all departed one poor baby reindeer was left broken-hearted! Can the Cat in the Hat, Sally, Nick and the Fish help make come true little Ralph’s Christmas wish? To be with his family, in far-off Freeze-Your-Knees. Will you help see him home? Come be our guests, please!
Check out the trailer for “Elliot the littlest Reindeer“, and another Christmas themed movie to watch on the big screen this holiday season.
When Blitzen announces his retirement on December 21st, a miniature horse has 3 days to fulfill his lifelong dream of earning a spot on Santa’s team at the North Pole try-outs.