Welcome to the Greatest Show on Earth!

You know sometimes when you see a book and instantly fall in love? I had one of those moments recently when I laid my eyes on Creaturepedia by Adrienne Barman. I first saw this book on one of my favourite book websites, Love Reading 4 Kids and the cover really caught my eye. When I finally got my hands on a copy of the book from my library I fell in love.

Creaturepedia is a visually stunning book about creatures from all over the world. The book’s by-line is ‘Welcome to the Greatest Show on Earth,’ and it’s not wrong.  Adrienne Barman introduces us to creatures great and small, huge and miniscule. Adrienne has split the book up into different sections, with names like ‘The Champion Breath-Holders,’ ‘The Masters of Camoflage,’ and ‘The Show-Offs.’

The beauty of this book though is that it is perfect for dipping in and out of. You could pick any page at random and it would make you go ‘Wow!’ Curious children could flick to ‘The Lilliputians’ and discover that the Bee Hummingbird is the world’s smallest bird at 5.7cm long or that the Dwarf Gecko is the world’s smallest reptile at 1.6cm long.

The text in the book is sparse, letting the reader focus on the gorgeous illustrations that portray these creatures. Children will discover creatures that they never knew existed and will want to find out more about them. Adrienne’s illustrations are vibrant, quirky and fun. Each of the creatures has its own unique personality. Take a look at just a couple of the page spreads from the book:

Artwork credit: This is an excerpt from Creaturepedia by Adrienne Barman, published by Wide Eyed Editions.

Artwork credit: This is an excerpt from Creaturepedia by Adrienne Barman, published by Wide Eyed Editions.

Before you even open the book you can tell you’re holding a work of art in your hands. The publisher of Creaturepedia, Wide Eyed Editions, clearly knows what makes a great book. The love that went into producing this book is evident, from the hardcover to the binding and the vibrant colours to the high-quality paper.

Get your hands on a copy of Creaturepedia by Adrienne Barman and fall in love with this stunning book!

It’s kick-off time – celebrate with some great soccer books

FIFA U-20 World Cup TrophyThe FIFA U-20 World Cup has kicked off and will run until 20 June. Quite a few of the games are being played in Christchurch so you could even get along to watch a game or two.

The tournament is held every four years and there are teams from all over the world competing, including Hungary, Nigeria, Uzbekistan, Honduras, Brazil and of course New Zealand.

We have heaps of books in the library about football (or soccer as it widely known), from learning how to play the game to stories about soccer.

To find more about soccer try these:

For more information about the FIFA U-20 World Cup see their website.

Bad weather great news for crafty kids

CoverWith the winter weather continuing, it is now time for children to either tidy their bedroom or get crafty. The library has a huge collection of kids craft books, with easy-to-follow instructions.

Most activities require paper, paste, paint, string and scissors, plus items that can usually be found  in pencil cases and junk drawers.

I was pleased to find that for each project I ended up with something that looked similar to what was in the book. Then I got adventurous!

Some library staff were being creative with junk and making  masks, so while they were doing that, I found some newsprint and with the help of   ‘Make it!’ I made a papier mache bowl. The hardest part was deciding how to decorate it. I’m not sure if I would like to turn my woolly hat and gloves into toys just yet, but the paper pots and jeans bags look pretty cool.

Have you made anything crafty lately? Got any tips for the best craft book you’ve found?

See also:

Anzac Day for children

Anzac Day is celebrated on 25 April every year in New Zealand and Australia to remember all the members of the armed forces who served in the two World Wars and other major conflicts, such as the Vietnam and Korean Wars.  Children can learn some interesting facts about Anzac Day and some of the wars that our troops fought in by:

There are also a number of dawn parades and memorials around Christchurch and Canterbury that you could go along to to remember those that died fighting for their country.

Boys of the High Country

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live on a farm, miles away from any town with only your family for company?  For some people this may be your worst nightmare, but for Ben and Mark Smith this is a life they love.  Ben and Mark: Boys of the High Country is a great new book from Random House New Zealand, written by Christine Fernyhough and John Bougen that gives an interesting insight into life at Mount White Station in the Canterbury High Country which is managed by Ben and Mark’s parents, Richard and Sheri.  The book illustrates what life is like for the boys who have grown up helping out on the farm.  It is filled with information on farming life, such as the animals they look after, their daily routines and what they do for fun. 

The easy to read text and stunning photos make this a great book for children and adults, and would be a wonderful educational resource for teachers.