Powerful Performance @ New Brighton Library

Kapahaka group performances are a wonderful way to achieve so many things. Watching Central New Brighton School’s  kapahaka performance yesterday at New Brighton Library, I was  reminded of how important it is for children to perform in a supportive environment.

The kaiako – teachers – brought out the best of the group of over 5o children and the tauira – students – had a great time performing to the maximum of their abilities. There were newbies and oldies but the way everyone performed together was encouraging to see and a pleasure to hear. They always bring out those goosebumps!

Picture books to brighten your day

CoverOn a cold, dark and miserable winter’s day,  reading and sharing picture books is one of the best things to brighten up your day.  The words bounce, float, and soar along the page and the illustrations can transport you to places far, far away.  The good thing about picture books is that they almost always have a happy ending that leaves you smiling.  Here are a couple of fantastic new picture books:

Hester and Lester is the latest book by award-winning New Zealand author, Kyle Mewburn and  it’s beautifully illustrated by Harriet Bailey,  the winner of the inaugural Storylines Gavin Bishop Award for Picture Book Illustration.  The book is about big sister Hester who finds her brother, Lester sitting sadly in the forest.  She tries to cheer him up and so they go on an imaginary adventure in the forest, building a castle, filling it with gold and jewels and assembling a troop of snail soldiers.  This is a great story about siblings and using your imagination, with beautiful illustrations that highlight our special flora and fauna.

CoverWaiting for Later is the new book by Tina Matthews, author and illustrator of the award-winning Out of the Egg.  Nancy is bored so she goes to each of the members of her family to ask if they will play cards, come for a swing, or tell her a story, but they all say ‘Later.’  Nancy decides to climb a tree to wait for later, when her family will have time for her.  In the tree she sees her mother ‘wondering up words and writing them down,’ and hears the little creatures in the tree and the autumn leaves saying ‘We will tickle you, until you wriggle and giggle.’  I loved this sweet story with all the descriptions of the things Nancy sees and hears, and the wood cut and stencil illustrations are stunning.

We have heaps of amazing picture books for all ages that you can borrow from your library.
You’re never to old to enjoy them and they’re perfect for sharing.

The Displaced Reader leaves town

We haven’t even left the city properly, and already I am wondering if this is a mistake.  It’s COLD.  Really really cold, and although there was blue sky earlier, the direction we are heading today looks ominously grey and damp.  Still, I know for a fact that at the end of the road there is at the very least a couple of warm and toasty cafes, and another library waiting.  Surely this is enough to guarantee a great road trip.

And as it turns out, it is!  We are off to Little River, and although the weather is inclement, the scenery is still gorgeous – mist over Lake Ellesmere, fields full of black sheep, and cows (heard of cows?) – one particularly clever cow standing in a wee cave while her friends look jealously in at her from the wet.  I love the road to Little River, and it’s only a short 40 minutes till we are pulling up outside the library.  It’s on the main road, and there is heaps of parking out the back, although you can also park at the cafe and brave the crossing.

The library building shares with a few other groups, and the hours reflect this – open weekdays from 8.30 to 4.30, with a bit of a break for lunch, and Saturday mornings too.  Inside there is not only the expected rows of books, but also a post office, Christchurch City Council service centre, earthquake info, community police, pest control, and something to do with noxious weeds.  The building itself is a bit Tardis-like: so small from the main road, but inside there is room after room, even including a rather splendid boardroom with portraits of august persons peering down at me (although no swimming pool, as far as I can see).

The staff are friendly, and tolerate my silly questions and squee of excitement at finding a mystery door that turns out to be a walk-in safe.  The shelves are full of shiny books, and once again DVDs that I’ve somehow never seen anywhere else.  Like Halswell, Little River offers jigsaws to borrow, and there is also a warm and inviting kid’s area full of picture books and cushions.  Despite the gloom outside the library is sunny and cosy, and we leave (reluctantly) with books and brochures and a promise to call in again soon.

Now, lunch, I think, and a wee spot of arty-fartery in the gallery across the road.    Then home to reality and several piles of laundry.  Still, even a quick mini-break to the Peninsula has done wonders for the spirit, and I cannot recommend it highly enough!

Rāpare / Taite – Te kupu o te rā

Kia oraKia ora, it is Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori and each day we will bring you a new word related to this year’s theme Manaakitanga (hospitality, kindness, and making visitors welcome).

Rāpare / Taite – Thursday

Today’s phrase can be used on the phone:
Kia ora, ko Jane tēnei.
Hello, this is Jane.

Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori — Māori Language Week runs from 4 Hōngongoi — 10 Hōngongoi 2011 / 4 July — 10 July 2011. Each year The Māori Language Commission sets a theme, and in 2011 it is “Manaakitanga” — hospitality, kindness, and making visitors welcome.