Kids’ Club Review by Sophia L.: School’s first day of school

School’s first day of school / Rex, Adam

It was a good book. It was about “School” as the main character. It is about the first day of the school because it just got built. At first, the school was scared. Some people did not like school and it was shy. But the rest liked school. The shy girl liked school and when they were drawing pictures, she drew a picture of the school and the teacher even pinned her picture on the school.. I liked this book.

4 stars

Reviewed by Sophia L. from Tawa and , 8 years old

Kids’ Club Review by Jessie: Matilda

Matilda / Dahl, Roald

I liked the part when she put her mother’s shampoo into her father’s shampoo and his hair turned white 🙂 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

5 stars

Reviewed by Jessie from Cummings Park and , 8 years old

Kids’ Club Review by Sophia L.: Bullies and buddies

Bullies and buddies / Zombie, Zack

I rate it 4 stars because there is a lesson. There was a zombie and one day when he went to school his mum kissed him goodbye in front of his classmates and he was embarrassed. On the same day a new person called Mutant joined and he was humongous! and there was this other kid named Mike one of Zombie’s friend’s cousin which Zombie and his friends were against. Mike and Mutant became friends so Zombie and his friends thought they were doomed. One day Zombie’s class played Dodgeball and all the teams were picked and Zombie and his friends Slimey, Skelee and Creepy were an extra group and Mike and Mutant counted as a team because Mutant counted as three people because he is so big. Another day in the weekend Zombie’s Dad gave him some money. Zombie was so happy! The next day Mutant and Mike were walking together and then they saw Zombie and the bad thing that happened they heard Zombie’s coins from Zombie’s pocket so they headed towards Zombie. When they came up to Zombie Mike told Mutant to hold Zombie upside down so the coins fall out. When the coins fell out Mike and Mutant caught them and mutant dropped Zombie. One day when Zombie went to a place, Mutant was also there but they did not notice each other at first until Zombie found a bunny he thought it was cute but then it started attacking him!!! Moments later he saw Mutant playing with the same kind of bunny that started attacking Zombie suddenly Mutant’s little brother said” Oh! hope you’re not playing with those bunnies again”! Then another voice started talking it was Mutant’s big brother and he said, “YOU ARE SO ANNOYING MUTANT!!!!!!!!” Then Mutant started crying then Zombie came up and said, ” Stop bullying him!” Mutant’s big brother replied” Take him we don’t want him!” The next school day they played Dodgeball again because Mutant was not there so Mike made his team with the best players and a bit the naughtiest. Then again Zombie and his friend’s team was an extra. Firstly Mikes team got Slimey and Creepy out but Skelee was amazing! he got out two players in Mikes team. but then Mikes team mate got Skelee out suddenly the gym doors opened and Mutant came in bursting out when Mike saw him he tried to give Mutant a high five but Mutant just walked right past him like he did not even see him and came to me he put his pinky out for a high five for Zombie and joined his team and won!!!!! So the lesson is that Bullies can become your buddies 😀

4 stars

Reviewed by Sophia L. from Tawa and , 8 years old

Wellington Pride Festival 13 – 27 March 2021

colorful rainbows photo, Textures, Candy, multi colored, large group of objects, full frame, backgrounds, abundance, variation, choice, no people, sphere, high angle view, indoors, still life, close-up, celebration, fun, shape, design, pattern, arts culture and entertainment, shiny, 4K, CC0, public domain, royalty freeThe Wellington Pride Festival | Tū Whakahīhī e Te Whanganui-ā-Tara is an annual two week festival, the beginnings of which started 34+ years ago! It’s a celebration of our LGBTQIA+ Community across Wellington.

Wellington Pride Festival traces its history back to the first Newtown Lesbian and Gay Fair in 1986, which was organised as part of the campaign for the Homosexual Law Reform Bill which passed on July 9th, 1986. This Act decriminalised relationships between men aged 16 and over, and meant that the gay community couldn’t be discriminated against.

Since then, Wellington has been home to rainbow festivals, parties, and other events which have celebrated, represented, and supported the LGBTQIA+ community, including adults, youth and children.

Did you know?

flag, gay, pride, various, blue, color, dom, green, lGBT, march, orange, purple, rainbow, red, yellow, multi colored, striped, day, group of people, people, outdoors, protection, nature, real people, patriotism, crowd, umbrella, incidental people, wind, 4K, CC0, public domain, royalty freeThe rainbow flag – the symbol of gay pride –  was created in 1978 by artist, designer, Vietnam War veteran Gilbert Baker. He was commissioned to create a flag for San Francisco’s annual pride parade.

“What I liked about the rainbow is that it fits all of us.
It’s all the colors.
It represents all the genders.
It represents all the races.
It’s the rainbow of humanity” – Gilbert Baker

Have you seen?

Image result for carmen rupe


Image result for carmen pedestrian traffic lights

Image: Wikipedia Commons

Have you noticed the pedestrian crossing images on traffic lights around Cuba Street, Wellington? Instead of the usual ‘green walking man’ they depict an image of Carmen Rupe, who was a tireless gay rights advocate and popular performer in and around Wellington. Carmen passed away in 2011 aged 75 years old.

Get Involved

National Schools Pride Week happens yearly in term 2. This year: 14 – 20 June 2021. This event is organised by Inside Out, which supports rainbow young people throughout Aotearoa to have a sense of belonging in their schools and communities.

Talk to your teacher, and register your school HERE

Some links:

Out on the Shelves – an online reading resource connecting rainbow young people with the stories that represent them.

Rainbow Youth – provide support, information, resources & advocacy for Aotearoa’s
queer, gender diverse, takatāpui and intersex youth.

Bullying Free NZ – LGBTQIA+

National Library of NZ – Queer History

Some reading:

Wellington City Libraries have loads of books and online resources about gender, sexuality, diversity and community acceptance. I simply typed in ‘GENDER JUVENILE’ into the the search engine and came up with seven pages of fiction, non-fiction, picture books, board books and e-books to chose from! Wellington City Libraries – Gender Juvenile

Book Jacket for: What Riley woreBook Jacket for: Princess KevinBook Jacket for: Understanding sexuality : what it means to be lesbian, gay or bisexualBook Jacket for: Pink is for boys

When the Ground Shook – 1931 Hawke’s Bay Earthquake

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Almost all of Napier’s roads, houses and buildings were damaged or destroyed in the quake. Image: Hawke’s Bay NZ / Archive

2021 (3 February 2021, to be exact) marks 90 years since the Hawke’s Bay Earthquake, which occurred on the 3rd of February 1931. This earthquake devastated the cities of Napier and Hastings and goes down in Aotearoa’s history as our worst natural disaster to-date. The quake was measured at 7.8 on the Richter Scale with 256 deaths – 161 in Napier, 93 in Hastings, and 2 in Wairoa. Many thousands more required medical treatment.

Lascelles kids (1929). Annie is wearing the bow in her hair. Image: Courtesy Sue Jane

The following is an account of that terrifying day written by Annie Lascelles who was 8 years old at the time. Annie went on to have a long and interesting life, playing the piano until her death in 2019, aged 96… but I think you’ll agree that she had a lucky escape! Annie never lost her fear of earthquakes and would refer to Aotearoa as “The Shaky Isles”:

On the 3rd Feb. 1931 I set off for school, it being the first day of the 1st term at St. Joseph’s School (now Reigner School),
Greenmeadows (just 4 miles from Napier).  It was my first day in Standard 2 (year 4) – I remember it was a mild, slightly cloudy morning.  We had a new teacher, also as being a Tuesday I had taken my music.  The previous year it had always been my piano lesson at play time (10.40am).  With this in mind I was about to go over to the nun’s convent adjacent to the school.  This was a new two-storied brick building, erected about 12 months before.  

The new Convent collapses in the quake. Sadly, Annie’s music teacher was killed. Image: Courtesy Doreen Keogh

However, my friend Molly asked me to go over to the shop as she had to get some slate pencils (we used slates in those days, sort of like mini-chalkboards) so  I went, thinking I would go over and see my music teacher when I returned. Mr Russell’s shop was through the horse-paddock at the back (a few of the children used to ride horses to school).  Molly  spent half her money on the slate pencils, but the other half on an ice cream each!  We were heading back across the shingle road to school when the earthquake struck (10.47am).  We were both thrown to the road.  I remember looking along the road.  It reminded me of a rough sea with breakers coming in but instead of spray on the ridge of each wave it was dust and shingle.  Of course my ice cream was squashed into my new uniform, about which I was more concerned (what would Mum say!).  Mr Russell rescued us and we spent the next half hour clutching onto him, each had a leg I think – every time the quakes jerked and shook we pulled at his trousers!  After some time my Mum appeared.  Dad had rushed home from his work, hopped in the car and drove Mum down to see we were OK.  They found my four brothers but not me. Mum gave one look at the Sisters’ Convent which had collapsed like a pack of cards, and thought the worst (I can remember watching the convent crumble and the roof just sliding down over the top of the bricks, looking for all the world like a big tent top).  Also, there was so much noise from the quake, which seemed to be a continuous shake after the first 2 big shocks.  Fortunately, someone remembered seeing Molly and I going through the horse-paddock to the shop so no doubt Mum was pretty relieved to see me clutching Mr Russell’s trousers…but I was still concerned about the mess I had made of my uniform!

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Napier burns post earthquake. It was thought that the fires started in two chemist shops in central Napier. Image:

We were all  put in the dodge (a big black car, with side curtains) and drove into Napier to get my older sister who was having her first day at Sacred Heart College on Bluff Hill. I can remember Dad being concerned as the road kept opening up with cracks and closing again, he was afraid a wheel could become entrapped.

Only for the fact that trucks, Army I think, were transporting patients from the Napier Hospital out to the Greenmeadows Racecourse (now Anderson Park) we were able to follow the trucks on return, as the two bridges over a couple of river outlets had risen by quite a few feet and the soldiers were stacking timber up to fill the gaps to allow the trucks through and they beckoned us on.  We parked to the south of Clive Square as it was impossible to go further.  The town was ablaze and razed practically to the ground with firemen and hoses and rescuers doing what they could.  Mum and another brother had to follow the path up the side of the hill to approach the Convent that way.  They eventually came back with my sister and another girl who lived out our way (a sister of Molly, by the way).

At home the exterior looked OK but the chimney had moved about a lot.  Inside was chaos, cupboards emptied on the floor, jams, pickles etc. Just a mess; furniture pitched here and there, pictures fallen and smashed. It was impossible to use the coal range in the house for cooking, as with the chimney so damaged, it would be dangerous.  Dad made a temporary stove out in one of the out-buildings, erecting a pipe chimney through the corrugated iron roof, enabling Mum to cook food and boil the kettle.  No mean task I imagine, as there were six of us in the family.  Dad and the boys brought out mattresses and we slept in the garage for nearly six weeks while the house was made safe to live in again. We also brought our grandparents from Taradale out to live with us too.  They slept in a tent on the back lawn for a few weeks.  Their chimney had collapsed and went through the dining room table, which grandfather was following around the dining room during the worst of the initial shocks – he was underneath, but escaped injury.  Nana was confined to bed at the time.

We had an artesian well, fortunately, which never ceased running, so water was not a problem.

Want to know more?

Many Answers – Hawke’s Bay Earthquake 1931

Te Ara Dictionary of New Zealand – Historic Earthquakes

Napier City Council – The 1931 Earthquake

Christchurch City Libraries – Hawke’s Bay Earthquake

Want something to read?

Earthquake! : the diary of Katie Bourke, Napier, 1930-31 / McVeagh, Janine
On the day of her father’s funeral, 11 year-old Katie Bourke begins a diary. It is 1930 and New Zealand is in the grip of the Great Depression. Money is scarce and even basic necessities are hard to find. Katie describes how she longs to escape the boredom of school and do something to help her struggling family. Then a disaster happens which turns every body’s world upside down. (Catalogue)  Continue reading

Kids’ Club Review by Ann: Matilda

Matilda / Dahl, Roald

I loved this book from start to end! It’s about a girl called Matilda who loves reading more than anyone. She soon discovers that she has hidden powers. Whenever her mean parents yell at her, she somehow controls it. Matilda practices every day to build up her power. Then she and Miss Honey-her school teacher-go to get revenge on the principal who hates children. My favorite part was the end where Matilda decides to live with Miss Honey.

5 stars

Reviewed by Ann from Johnsonville and Northland School , 8 years old

Kids’ Club Review by Ara: Matilda

Matilda / Dahl, Roald

Be ready for a great tale for all ages! This book is about a 7 or 6 year old girl who is very smart but her parents, who are ratbags don’t let her go to school. Matilda’s father sells second hand cars that look like they work but they don’t because they run on sawdust. Matilda’s mother on the other hand just stays at home doing nothing. They think she’s four years old!!! When she goes to school she meets two teachers: Mrs trunchbull and Mrs honey. Mrs honey is Matilda’s teacher in her first year and is amazed at how smart she is. Mrs trinchbull is the evil principle who is Mrs honey’s only living relative. Join Matilda on her journey as she unfolds the mystery of her secret powers and the life of Mrs honey. This book is rated 5 stars
because of how heartwarming it is and the beautiful language.

5 stars

Reviewed by Ara from Island Bay and Island Bay School , 10 years old