Fast Five with Julia Eccleshare

There are some wonderful authors and illustrators for children who are coming to Auckland in August as part of the 2016 IBBY Congress. You can read all about who we are excited to meet in our post about the IBBY Congress here on the blog. We approached some of the speakers and asked them a few questions about books and libraries.

Cover of Beatrix Potter to Harry Potter: Potraits of children's writersToday’s featured speaker is children’s literature expert and reviewer Julia Eccleshare:

What are you most looking forward to when you visit New Zealand for the 2016 IBBY Congress?

IBBY Congresses are the most amazing places to explore the discuss the ways in which children’s literature is both culturally universal and specific. Four days of talking about children’s books with like-minded colleagues from around the world is one of the best ways of spending time!

What is your favourite memory of libraries?

The local library of my childhood was a wonderful treasure trove which we visited every week, swapping the little paper ticket for the magic of a book. It would look very old fashioned nowadays. And it smelt of floor polish.

What are 5 of your favourite books?

Warrior Scarlet by Rosemary Sutcliff

Cover of The illustrated mumThe Illustrated Mum by Jacqueline Wilson

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff

The Arrivals by Shaun Tan

What do you love most about the world of children’s literature?

Working in a world full of imagination, hope and a largely benign and optimistic view of human nature and behaviour. Buried within their stories, children’s literature transmits values which will shape their lives. Every day I feel lucky and privileged to be part of that.

What do you believe is the most important thing that adults can do to encourage children to read?

Tell them stories, read them stories and encourage them to dream and wonder.


Storylines Christchurch Free Family Day – Sunday 28 August at Upper Riccarton Library

If you are looking for something for the family to do next week, do I have news for you! The annual funfest that is the Storylines Christchurch Free Family Day is on Sunday 28 August at Upper Riccarton Library between 10am and 3pm. Find out all the cool stuff on offer by viewing the full programme [220KB PDF] and:


What’s happening?

There are plenty of workshops, events, and competitions including:

  • *Lily Max* Satin Scissors Frock Arts and Crafts (ages 7 to 12)
  • Tyre Repair at the Library! (teens and adults)
  • Writers’ Workshop: Designing Characters
  • Kapa Haka (All ages)
  • Face Painters Galore (All ages)
  • Treasure Hunt (All ages)

CoverThis year’s Storylines Christchurch Family Day will feature a special performance at 2pm by the TKKM o Te Whanau Tahi immersion school Kapa Haka group. They will bring the book He Taniwha i Te Kura to life – te reo Māori – as part of the Books Alive programme. This book by Tim Tipene is about how to overcome classroom bullying.

Great New Zealand authors, illustrators and performers will be there, including:

And waaaay more. Get in amongst it!

Storylines Christchurch Free Family Day 2014
Storylines Christchurch Free Family Day 2014. Upper Riccarton Library. Sunday 24 August 2014. File Reference: P1040738.JPG

Ten years for King Tuheitia

It does not seem like it’s been over 10 years since the Māori Queen Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu passed away. Ten years since, as a nation, we stopped and watched her tangi live on television, watched as she was carried along the Waikato river in a waka to her final resting place at Taupiri Mountain.

A few months later on 21 August of that year, her son Tuheitia Paki succeeded her and became the 7th Māori monarch.

Koroneihana (coronation) celebrations take place at this time each year at Tūrangawaewae Marae, Ngaruawahia for several days leading up to the anniversary of the coronation.

Waka at the Tainui settlement celebrations, Turangawaewae, Waikato, New Zealand, 22 August 2008
Waka at the Tainui settlement celebrations, Turangawaewae, Waikato, New Zealand, 22 August 2008, Photo by Phillip Capper, Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Throughout the week visitors and iwi members will take part in political debates on matters important to the Kingitanga and to Māoridom. Cultural performances, sports competitions, education expo and other festivities also take place. Koroneihana is one of the key events on the Māori calendar.



Quick questions with Rachael Craw – WORD Christchurch

We are asking quick questions of writers and thinkers coming to the WORD Christchurch Writers and Readers Festival on from 24 to 28 August.

Rachael Craw is the author of YA sci-fi crossover trilogy Spark, Stray and Shield.

Rachael Craw. Image supplied.
Rachael Craw. Image supplied.

What are you looking forward to doing in Christchurch?

I was born in Christchurch and lived there my whole life till 4 years ago so all my friends and whānau are there which means catching up with as many people as I can in 48 hours in between going to as many festival events as I can. So basically, I should just give up on eating and sleeping, right?

What do you think about libraries?

Enablers? Suppliers? Dealers? They fed my Trixie Belden addiction in childhood so my love for libraries is large.

What would be your “desert island book”?

CoverThe Lord of the Rings. Which is kind of cheating – 3 books in 1. But it is still my favourite book. The Grey Havens choke me up every time.

Share a surprising fact about yourself.

I can sing.