Children


Cover of We're going on a bear huntIt seems to be a year for anniversaries of children’s books and lucky for me it has included the indisputably cute Alfie and now the perennial read aloud We’re Going on a Bear Hunt. This Interview with author Michael Rosen and illustrator Helen Oxenbury gives some lovely insight into how this book evolved and is a delightful exchange by two icons of children’s book publishing. I especially enjoyed hearing how the author (Rosen) envisaged a totally different set of characters than Helen Oxenbury created, yet the book still works wonderfully well.

This was the story that we read over and over again, I only wish I could have made the wonderful squelching noises that Michael Rosen can produce.  The line

We’re going on a bear hunt, it’s going to be a big one, we’re not scared

still resonates in my mind and is equal to

and along came Hairy Maclary from Donaldsons Dairy

in terms of repetition that never grows tiresome. Michael Rosen says he has told this story thousands of times, and at times I feel that I wasn’t far behind him as night after night all sorts of squelching, wooshing and sploshing noises emanated from my childrens’ bedrooms.

They are are older now, but I would love to know what are today’s great re-alouds, perhaps I will be able to put some aside for the hoped for grandchildren!

 

Some picks from our March Kids’ Books newsletter:

Cover of Children's Book of Mythical Beasts & Magical MonstersCover of The Ghosts of Tupelo LandingCover of Ophelia and the Marvelous BoyCover of The Lego MovieCover of Ice DogsCover of Canterbury QuakeCover of The Monster Fun Joke BookCover of The Sea of MonstersCover of The Pirate's Eye

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For more great reads for kids, check out our Fun to Read page – it links you to reading lists, if you likes, interactive quizzes and lots more.

Since 1967 people all over the world have celebrated International Children’s Book Day. Timed to coincide with Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday, it takes place on 2 April. Its aim is to promote books and reading to young people.

The perfect way to celebrate this event is to introduce a youngster to a fab new story. Here’s some places to get reading ideas:

To make it easy to choose we have written a blurb for each author or book so you know how to choose just the right one.
Search catalogue for Fairy talesSearch catatalogue for Wheels on the busCover of The Girl of the wish garden

Some picks from our March Picture Books newsletter:

Cover of Aotearoa to Zespri Cover of Yikes Stinkysaurus Cover of What's your favourite animal Cover of Dream Dog Cover of The Hueys in It wasn't me Cover of Little Poems for tiny ears

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The South Learning Centre eBook Club were totally inspired by staff member Yang Song. His knowledge, skill and expertise of Chinese New Year, Martial Arts and nunchucks had the children mesmerised.

He explained the harmony between control, the body and skill to ensure that the nunchucks were used for meditation and self discipline rather than weaponry and combat.

Each child made their own nunchucks and learned some difficult coordination skills. Together Yang and the children performed in front of a library audience full of parents, staff and other library customers.

We all need a tidy up every once and a while and online resources are no different. Encyclopedia Britannica has moved from dusty heavy paper tomes to an online version that was in need of an upgrade to be honest. Luckily the folks at Britannica have a reputation for striving for the best in information provision so they have cleared the decks and with a bit of spit and polish come up with something as useful as it is gorgeous! Let us welcome …

Have a play and see how in this information-saturated world there are still those who know how to excel. We salute you Britannica!

3D craftsCheck our the Learning Centre holiday programme – starting after Easter. Digital storytelling, Lego animation, Minecraft craft in combination with the awesome MakerCrate crew – lots of fun and learning for kids.

Take a look at what the kids did in the January holidays.

Film School Competition
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Film School 1st Prize Winner

Film School 2nd Prize Winner

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Digital Illustration
Digital Illustration Best Of

Laine 2

March 21 is the 78th anniversary of the birth of Margaret Mahy. Although it has been nearly two years since she passed away on July 23 2012, her name is still in the news.Book Cover of Magical Margaret Mahy

Plans are full steam ahead for the Margaret Mahy Family Playground. Billed as ‘the most amazing playground’ the city has ever seen, it promises activity zones aimed at different ages, comfortable places for adults to supervise and relax, and challenging play equipment, all inspired by the stories of Margaret Mahy.

It’s almost time for the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards to begin. The finalists will be announced on Tuesday 8 April, and the winners will be announced on Monday 23 June. The supreme winner wins the title of New Zealand Post Margaret Mahy Book of the Year, and an additional $7500 prize. The award was re-named in honour of Margaret Mahy in 2013 and Into the River by Ted Dawe won the inaugural award.

If you are itching for some Margaret Mahy screen goodness, you can check out full episodes of her award-winning TV adaptions and scripts on NZ On Screen:

The Haunting of Barney PalmerCover of The Haunting
Which ’80s kid wasn’t totally freaked out by this spooky film?

Strangers
This thriller inspired many a secret gang and clubhouse in the playground.

Cuckoo Land
If you haven’t seen this psychedelic, video-effect laden show, narrated by Paul Holmes, you should stop reading this and check it out immediately. I don’t remember seeing it as a kid, possibly because my parents thought it was some sort of medication-induced hallucination.

For the full list of Margaret Mahy media, head over to the NZ On Screen site.

If watching these makes you want to get back into some the source material, check out our full list of Margaret Mahy titles  on our catalogue and revisit some childhood favourites.

Then get onto our Margaret Mahy pages and check out the latest, and sadly last, titles published by this Kiwi taonga.

Cover of Footsteps through the FogCover of The Man from the Land of FandangoCover of The Green Bath

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