The publication of this picture book just happens to coincide with the announcement of the closure of the Cadbury chocolate factory in Dunedin, a decision prompted by profit motives. And factory farming is not far from the news either. This story is surprisingly topical on both fronts.
How do you think chocolate eggs are made? Chickens eat chocolate and then lay chocolate eggs, of course! There is a factory… run by a bunny… and in the factory works some chickens …underpaid and overworked. Take a look inside the inner workings of this chocolate factory about to fracture… you’ll find great greed, a big bad boss and weary workers.
If you fancy a serving of morality along with your morsels of treats, Mr Bunny is a wonderful way to engage young children with the ideas of greed and excess and reflect on how people – or animals – should be treated. This is story for our times, in more ways than one.
BIRD + YOUNG sounds like a firm purveying fancy jewellery. But for Hera Lindsay Bird (poet) and Ashleigh Young (poet, writer, editor), it is words and ideas that are the things they are making and selling. This WORD Christchurch event at the Christchurch Art Gallery auditorium was introduced by WORD’s programme director Rachael King and chaired by Amy Marr, the Visitor Programmes Coordinator of the Art Gallery.
Hera Lindsay Bird is a poet whose works have pretty much gone viral – you might have read the one about Monica from Friends, and that Keats one – everywhere, BAM! Ashleigh Young is a poet and writer who recently became the first New Zealander to win Yale University’s Windham-Campbell Prize, worth US$165,000 (NZ$230,000), for her collection of raw, real, beautifully honest essays, Can you tolerate this? Their books are both on the shortlist for the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.
It was a soggy evening, but that didn’t deter the crowd. It was full to the gunnels.
How do they get time to write when they work full time (Hera at Unity Books, Ashleigh at Victoria University Press)? It ain’t easy, but great employers help. Hera gets a paid day off each week. Ashleigh’s boss has offered time off for writing, while keeping her job open.
What followed was a discussion that ranged widely – from influences, to the IIML, sexy stuff, humour, and processes – with a good amount of Q&A time (surprise fact: lots of questions asked by men). Here’s some of the things we learned:
Ashleigh edited Hera Lindsay Bird’s book which she said required barely a single change. She read the manuscript on the floor, weeping and cackling.
Hera enjoys reading crime fiction, humour, and heaps of poetry. She’s currently reading the Adrian Mole books by Sue Townsend.
Ashleigh has lots of self help books concealed on her Kindle.
Ashleigh said she can’t remember not wanting to write (but always knew she’s need a day job to pay the bills)
Hera’s parents had star charts – not for good behaviour but for writing, and she would get paid to write poems. She wondered if her Coromandel hippy parents fancied her as the next Laura Ranger (remember Laura’s Poems?)
Hera feels the support of her family and knows that even if she writes something explicit, her Dad will be chill with it.
Highly-respected British historian and biographer A. N. Wilson, author of The Victorians;
Science writer James Gleick exploring the mysteries of time travel;
Novelist and Kiwi expat Stella Duffy, who is currently completing Ngaio Marsh’s unfinished novel Money in the Morgue;
Canadian storyteller Ivan Coyote, who was the breakout star of last year’s popular WORD Christchurch Writers and Readers Festival.
WORD Christchurch’s programme director Rachael King says:
The audience for our last festival increased by 50% on the previous festival, showing there is a real appetite for these thought-provoking events in Christchurch. We are thrilled to collaborate with the Auckland Writers Festival to be able to bring such high-calibre speakers to the city.
Get your tickets now. If you buy tickets by 21 April, you do in the draw to win a 10-session pass to the Auckland Writers Festival, which runs 16 to 21 May.
Another great option is the Autumn Season Pass – it costs $90 plus $3 booking fee and gets you into all six events. All season pass holders automatically also go in the draw to win books from all six writers, courtesy of UBS.
Get reading these six writers – visit our page WORD Autumn Season and find their books in our collection. Or go to your local bookshop.
Science Alive’s annual Under 5 Fest gives kids under the age of 5 (and their parents and caregivers and educators) a heap of hands-on science fun. It’s on from Tuesday 21 to Sunday 26 March, 9.30am to 4.30pm at Table Tennis Canterbury stadium, 294 Blenheim Road, Riccarton. Library staff will be there from 11am to 12pm daily, doing a 20 to 30 minute Storytimes / Wā Kōrero at 11am, sharing stories, rhymes, music and play.
The Science Alive team say there will be some cool new exhibits as well as old favourites. Entry is $6 for all ages, except under 2s get in for free. Make sure you bring some coins, there’s a balloon creator and face-painter on site. If you are there and want to share your pics and vids, use the hashtag #U5FEST
Visit the Science Alive website to find out all you need to know about parking, food (and coffee) etc. You can also subscribe to the Under 5 Fest Facebook event to get the latest info.
Science Alive at libraries
For older kids, Science Alive also offer Science Snippets, an after school science programme at five libraries across Christchurch.
Science resources for kids
Last year we interviewed Geni McCallum of Science Alive! about the Under 5 fest and kids and science: “Science is about doing”.
Libraries have plenty of science-themed fun for kids:
Where: Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial, between the Montreal Street Bridge and Durham Street, Central City, Christchurch
When: Wednesday 22 February 2017, 12 noon to 2pm
Who: All welcome.
Oi Manawa Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial will be a place for people to reflect on the devastating earthquakes that changed Canterbury and its communities forever, honouring those who lost their lives on 22 February 2011, acknowledging those who were seriously injured and everyone who helped in the rescue and recovery operation.
River of Flowers Earthquake Commemorations provide people with a chance to be together across the city to commemorate the sixth anniversary of Canterbury’s earthquakes. This ongoing partnership between Flourish-Inc-ChCh and Avon-Ōtākaro Network supports sites along Canterbury waterways and this year will be part of the unveiling of the National Earthquake Memorial.
Our community remember the 22 February 2011 earthquake in a number of ways – by visiting a particular place, or by having a moment of silence and remembrance. We share that reflection together, wherever we are.
With the Holi festival approaching its fourth year of being held in Christchurch, people should no longer be surprised by the sight of respectable adults running around, throwing coloured powder and water at each other in the first week of March.
The first Holi festival held in the Garden City was organised by Hitesh Sharma and Sandeep Khanna of Revel Events, and took place at the Pallet Pavilion on 23 March 2014. The festival has grown in size and popularity since and is now one of the many Indian cultural events which are becoming commonplace on the Christchurch social calendar.
There are food stalls, games and dance performances, all the while coloured powder is continuously being thrown around. Those who are attending are encouraged to wear clothing and shoes which are old (as the colour might not wash out). Sunglasses can help keep the powder out of your eyes. The coloured powder supplied at the event is corn based and non-toxic.
This year the festival will be held on the grass space at 221 Gloucester Street. Entry to the festival is free (though bring money to purchase coloured powder and food!)
The festival is traditionally celebrated throughout the Indian subcontinent on the last full moon of the Hindu month of Phalgun.
Holi derives its name and origins from a narrative found in the Hindu scripture, Bhāgavata Purāṇa, which tells of the sinful king, Hiranyakashipu. Believing himself to be more powerful than the gods, Hiranyakashipu was angered that his son, Prince Prahlad, who was a devotee of the god Viṣṇu, refused to worship him. Holika, the demoness sister of Hiranyakashipu, who was immune to fire, tried to kill Prahlad by leading him into the flames of a pyre. In order to save his devotee, Viṣṇu manifested in the world as the lion faced avatar, Narasiṃha, and saved Prahlad. This symbolises the victory of good over evil.
To celebrate the defeat of Holika, a holika dahan, a bonfire with an effigy of the demoness, is burned on the night before the festival. On the next day, the streets are awash with colour as people of all different ages and communities bombard their friends and strangers with coloured powder and water. People are encouraged to lose their inhibitions. Anyone, at anytime, can suddenly find themselves surrounded and doused with colour. In this way, the festival also represents the putting aside of grievances and the celebration of community.
One game, which is commonly played, involves teams forming a human pyramid to reach a pot of butter which hangs high above the street, while bystanders throw coloured water on them. The game has its origins in the story of Krishna (another avatar of Viṣṇu), who tried to steal butter from Radha and the gopis (female cowherders). The game has featured at previous Holi events in Christchurch.
To prepare yourself for the fun of Holi, watch this scene from the Bollywood film, Mangal Pandey, based on the historical events of 1857.
Also make sure to check out Christchurch City Libraries’ collection of India related material.
One of the great things about living in Parklands is there are lots of parks. Great if you have children who like to swing, slide, run or need a safe place to ride a bike. Fantastic if you want to take a walk or go for a run. The Parklands Reserve on Queenspark Drive is big and a perfect place for children to play. It’s located near the Parklands Library, so there is another plus.
If you are in Parklands on Sunday 19th February, come over and join the fun. If you have a bike, pedal along for a bike check and try the bike obstacle course. Local sports clubs will be there so you can have-a-go. A great way to try a new sport and maybe join a local club. Kelly Sports and Waimairi Golf Club will be there, so you can try SNAG and putting golf.
Would you like to try out the bubble balls and mega slides? What about pedalmania or table tennis? Did you enjoy watching The Karate Kid and secretly wish you could learn karate? What’s Zumba?
The pre-schoolers are welcome too with Toy Library ride-ons, story time, bouncy castle, messy play and face painting.
Do you own a ukulele? Have you always wanted to try one? Then join in with the Ukulele band. Maybe you prefer the sound of brass. Have a go at playing wind instruments provided by Northwest Brass Band.
By now you are probably feeling a bit tired and hungry. There will be food for sale including a Devonshire Tea tent.
Will I see you there? I hope so. I’ll be the one with the camera.
Dragon Springs Road by Janie Chang has as many layers as a Chinese puzzle. This beautifully painted tale is a saga containing a mystery, with elements of romance, fantasy, fairy tale and Chinese spiritualism. The story is set against the dramatic backdrop of the 1911 Chinese Revolution; the last reign of the Xing Dynasty.
Jialing is a young hun xue (mixed breed) girl abandoned by her mother. The other word used to describe her isn’t very nice. Jialing’s mother was Chinese, her father British. Her plight highlights the status of women and those of mixed race in a changing society. Women at this time were regarded as property, with little options for independence.
Grandmother Yang, the Matriarch of a well respected family, takes Jialing in as a Bond Servant. She is property of the family until she can buy her freedom. Unfortunately for Jialing, her options as an adult are limited. Although educated, discrimination against her Eurasian appearance makes her almost unemployable.
When a family finds itself in financial difficulty, even wives can be sold; or as servants, or worse, into brothels. Jialing can only hope to be a mistress or a prostitute, unless she is lucky. Aided and protected by a Fox Spirit, Jialing attempts to find a home, friendship, her mother, independence and love.
In the lead up to Waitangi Day, why not find out more about one of the most signficant Treaty claim made to date. Wai 262 is sometimes known as the “flora and fauna” or “intellectual property” claim. Noted academic, Sacha McMeeking will present a talk on this topic with time available for questions and answers.
Every year Ngāi Tahu commemorates Waitangi Day at one of three locations where the iwi signed the Treaty — Awarua, Ōtākou and Ōnuku. In 2017, the Ngāi Tahu Treaty of Waitangi commemorations are at Ōtākou Marae, Tamatea Road, Otago Peninsula.
Subscribe to the Ngāi Tahu Treaty of Waitangi commemorations event on Facebook.
On Monday 6 February, the Okains Bay Maori and Colonial Museum has its 42nd annual family day to commemorate the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. Highlights include a pōwhiri (traditional welcome), hangi lunch, children’s races and the paddling of the magnificent waka on the Opara River 1pm. View the Museum’s collections and enjoy continuous demonstrations all day including bread baking in a traditional clay oven, master weavers, wood chopping and sheep shearing. Crafts, stalls, pony rides, lolly scramble, sausage sizzle, espresso coffee, garden bar, cafeteria and more.
Entrance cost: Adults $10, Children $2. Please bring cash. No ATM available. Gates open at 10am. Pōwhiri commences at 10:30am. Phone the Okains Bay Museum 03 304 8611 for more details.
Commemorate Waitangi Day at the Christchurch Art Gallery with performances, art and family-friendly activities that celebrate Aotearoa New Zealand and tangata whenua. The day will include including harakeke weaving, and a kapa haka demonstration at 1pm.This will be followed by a performance of Dudley Benson’s incredible ‘A Wedding’ at 3pm — a bold and visceral declaration of our relationship with the land, expressed through engaging pop music.
The “I Love New Brighton” Annual Event is a local festival day that celebrates New Brighton — south, north, central and beyond. The 2017 event is at Thomson Park, Marine Parade from 11am to 3pm. Lots of free activities, have-a-go sports, market stalls, food stalls, bouncy castles, face painting, games and a LIVE stage featuring local bands.
Subscribe to the I love New Brighton event on Facebook.
Kaiapoi’s Annual Waitangi Day family celebration event is on again at Trousselot Park, Kaiapoi from 10am to 2pm on Monday 6 February. Activities include: live entertainment, school kapa haka performances, market and food stalls, bouncy castle, pony rides, face painting and ‘walk about’ quiz. Support Kaiapoi High School and buy a hangi meal for lunch, tickets are on sale from the Kaiapoi i-site $10 each.
Free fun activities for the whole family at Darfield’s Waitangi Day Community Country Picnic. Pedalmania, bouncy castles, pony rides, petting zoo, games — plus market stalls and more. Bring a picnic and top up at the food stalls while listening to local storyteller and puppeteer Liz Weir. Local emergency services will be there including rides on the old fire engine with a lolly scramble. Join in a game of backyard cricket, enjoy a Devonshire tea, ice cream, candyfloss and lemonade.
I was about 20 when I encountered Chinese New Year for the first time. We were holidaying in Hong Kong, which was British in those days and went across the border to The People’s Republic of China.
It was amazing. Bicycles were loaded up with decorations. Everyone was getting readily for New Year. I wished that I was going to be in China for a while longer. I would have loved to have seen it.
During New Year, red is everywhere. It is the colour of luck and happiness. Children receive money wrapped in red paper. Adult exchange poems written on red paper. The Chinese New Year is also an opportunity to remember ancestors, and to wish peace and happiness to friends and family. The lunar new year begins on Saturday 28 January. 2017 is the year of the Red Fire Rooster.
Are you a Rat, a Rooster or one of the other animals? Find out!
The holiday ends with the Festival of Lanterns. In Christchurch, The Lantern Festival will be held on 17-19 February. The best time to see the lanterns is after dark, but if you can’t get there at night, a day time visit is worth while. At night, the lanterns are bright colours in a dark park. During the day, the lanterns are not lit, but are colourful reds and yellows in a green park.
If you are interested in learning Mandarin and Cantonese Chinese, We have a collection of books and language courses to suit all levels. We also have Mango Languages. This is an online learning system that will help you learn many languages. It also has lessons for learning English for speakers of Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean and Japanese speakers. Use at a library or enter your library card & password / PIN.
CINCH is our Community Information Christchurch database. It has a list of a range of religious, arts and cultural organizations that meet the needs of the Chinese community.
See how the libraries have celebrated Lunar New Year in previous years.