The 2013 New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards winners

The finalists in the 2013 New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards gathered in Christchurch on Monday night for the awards ceremony. The awards night is always themed, and this year the organisers went for a Witch in the Cherry Tree theme in honour of Margaret Mahy. The book of the year was also renamed the “New Zealand Post Margaret Mahy Book of the Year”.

I was  nervous myself, hoping that my favourites would take out the award, so I’m sure the authors and illustrators themselves were incredibly nervous. Overall, I was pleased to see a couple of my favourites win awards, but I was disappointed that others missed out. I think that Red Rocks and The Nature of Ash are amazing books and if I could give Rachael King and Mandy Hager an award I would.

Judges’ Picks

Cover: Into the River Search catalogue Search catalogue Search catalogue Search catalogue Search catalogue

Children’s Choice

  • Overall Award winner and Picture Book category winner: Melu Kyle Mewburn, Ali Teo & John O’Reilly
  • Non Fiction category winner: Kiwi: the real story Annemarie Florian and Heather Hunt
  • Junior Fiction category winner: My brother’s war David Hill
  • Young Adult Fiction category winner: Snakes and ladders Mary-anne Scott

Cover: Melu Search catalogue Search catalogue Search catalogue

Our pages on the NZ Post Children’s Book awards list current and previous winners, as well as category finalists.

Have you planted your garlic yet?

Cover: Garlic, The Mighty BulbI’m hoping that maybe you haven’t planted your garlic yet… We were getting ready to do this, and then luckily saw the weather forecast before we made firm plans. I think if we had gone ahead, our garlic might have been washed out to sea in the deluge and may have decided to swim to Australia to seek some warmer weather!

Everyone seems to have a different idea about when the best time to plant garlic is. The first time we planted it was on the 21st of June several years ago. It is an easy date to remember, being the shortest day, and because we had good results we’ve always aimed for that date (weather permitting).

I love planting garlic, mainly because there’s not really that much that you can do wrong. It just seems to need a sunny spot, a bit of moisture, and away it goes. It is usually ready in about 6-7 months, which is conveniently just in time for the barbecue season, and there’s just something so satisfying about growing your own. It looks great when it is braided too, although I seem to end up with more of a knotty mess myself.

Anyway, this got me thinking that I must check and see what else I should get ready to plant over the next few months. We always seem to plant the same things, so I really need to branch out (pardon the pun!).The Good Life

There’s always the Yates Garden Guide of course, which is great for practical gardening advice, but I decided to check our catalogue for inspiration, and The Good Life caught my eye. Having watched the Good Life TV series when I was growing up, the title evoked some great memories and it just sounded too good to miss!

It is hot off the press, published earlier this year, and a quick flick through it suggests that it’s just the ticket. It is divided up into seasons and I’ve instantly spotted a couple of recipes that I’ll be keen to try, including pickled garlic, and pickled nasturtium seeds (otherwise known as poor man’s capers).  There look to be some good tips in there which I’ll soak up – gardening just seems to be one of those areas where you are continually learning. Maybe that is part of what makes it so much fun!

The only downside to this book is that every time I pick it up and see the title I hear the theme song for the Good Life TV series in my head!  Just in case you want a dose of nostalgia, you’ll be glad to know that we have the Good Life TV series available at our libraries on DVD.

If you have any experiences about planting garlic or about your own good life that you would like to share then we would love to hear your comments.

Mr Moorhouse, in his chair: Picturing Canterbury

William Sefton Moorhouse statue
William Sefton Moorhouse statueWilliam Sefton Moorhouse statue

William Sefton Moorhouse statue

William Sefton Moorhouse was Superintendent of the Province of Canterbury from 1858–1862 and again from 1866–1868 and he is chiefly remembered as being instrumental in bringing about the rail tunnel through the Port Hills linking Christchurch and Lyttelton. His statue, executed in London in 1885 by G. A. Lawson, is located in the Botanic Gardens facing the western end of Hereford Street.