Afternoon tea in the Treehouse with Andy Griffiths

CoverThere’s nothing cooler than meeting your hero – especially when they are super funny! Thanks to WORD Christchurch and Macmillan we ran a competition where the prize was afternoon tea with Andy Griffiths and a double pass to his sellout Saturday show at Te Hāpua: Halswell Centre.

The lucky winner was Jorja who came along with Casey, Zac (librarian at Halswell School), and me. Jorja also scored a signed copy of Andy’s newest book The 78-storey treehouse (Kia ora Macmillan!)

Jorja and Andy Griffiths
Jorja meets Andy Griffiths. Flickr 2016-09-16-IMG_6037

Jorja’s question was:

What was your inspiration to start writing books?

CoverAndy talked about his time as an English teacher. His students didn’t like books much, so they started making up stories, then photocopying copies and leaving them in other classrooms and the library. Even earlier, as a schoolkid, he drew cartoons for all his friends.

He loved Enid Blyton’s The Faraway Tree, Dr Seuss, and scary comics.

CoverOne of the books that inspired him was at his Nana’s place. Heinrich Hoffmann’s Der Struwwelpeter featured scary stories like a girl setting her dress on fire by playing with matches. The stories were funny and totally over the top. His Very Bad Book is based on that book and in it kids do really dangerous things, and their parents give permission … Baaaad parents!

Weird humour?

At first the stories did seem weird – but people didn’t realise how weird their senses of humour are! Andy writes with the philosophy “I think this is funny – hopefully lots of people agree with me”.

I am interested in unusual ways of looking at things.

Jorja, Andy Griffiths, and Zac
Jorja, Andy Griffiths, and Zac McCallum. Flickr 2016-09-16-IMG_6039

Advice for young writers

I’ve never personally eaten a dead fly.

But someone’s dog did just that during a piano lesson, so it slipped into one of Andy’s stories.  “Little details are really fun”.

His top tips for aspiring writers:

  1. Read a lot of books.
  2. Get your own notebook and write in each day. 3 to 4 minutes, then build up to hours. It’s the same as training for a sport. Practice!
  3. Write out chapters of books that you love. This will give you insight into how a story is made. Imitate – get better at making it up.
  4. Learn to touch type.

Andy has a collection of first lines and reckons a lot of work goes into the first line. Except in the Treehouse, where it’s always Andy addressing the audience. A bit like Roald Dahl and Enid Blyton.

Andy’s a fan of Tristam Shandy by Laurence Sterne – a black page,  a white page, a marbled page … and as Jorja found out – a BLAM! and a KABLAM! page.

Kia ora Andy – we loved having you visit.

Jorja and Andy Griffiths
Blam! Kablam! Jorja and Andy Griffiths. Flickr 2016-09-16-IMG_6042

Questions for Andy

Thanks to all of you who entered, and all the Mums, Dads, caregivers and teachers who helped. There were so many great entries  – here are some questions you had for Andy Griffiths:

Did you have a tree house when you were a kid?

Maisy

What is the most important piece of advice you would give to an 8 year old boy that loves to write?

Lucas

Hello, my son Thomas would ask Andy Griffith if he could tell us about any tree house stories there will be in the 91 storey tree house. His idea is to have a bungy jumping level at the top of the tree : )

My seven year old daughter would ask how old he is. I would ask if he liked to write stories at school and what did the teachers think of them?

Nadia

My son Freddie would ask why is your sense of Humour so weird? Lol I would ask him at what age did he realise he wanted to be an author or at least thought about it and what a fab movie his books would makes.

My question for Andy would be: if you hadn’t become an author, what other career would you have chosen?

Hope

“will there be a 91-Storey Treehouse?”

(He pestered the book store daily while waiting for the 78-Storey Treehouse to arrive!) Mac

I have read all your bad and treehouse books! You are very naughty, but I do have a question! Why do you always use the number 13 in your treehouse books?

Keiran

How come you involve Jill Griffiths but not your daughters? (:

with great respect, osher

My question is Have you ever actually made a treehouse, and if you have what was in it?

Harry

I would ask Andy if he would add a slide to his treehouse that could take you to different countries.

Matthew

I would ask Andy if he would extend his treehouse to have a level to attract aliens so we could study them and have marshmallow eating competitions.

Ava

To Mr Andy Griffiths:
You write great stories but are you any good at drawing?
From Alex

aNdy, is all your stuff in your books real? tHomas aged 10
tHis is the best I could get out of Thomas, he is reading so his nose is in his pile of books. mUm and Dad have the tv muted, peace and quiet. his friend Alex has your latest book.

Elsie (8 years old-budding author)…..wants to know” What is it like to be an author?”

How many more wacky books are you going to write?

Hugo

Win an interview, VIP afternoon tea with Andy Griffiths, & two tickets to his show!

Christchurch kids, you can win the chance to interview Andy Griffiths and share a VIP afternoon tea in town with him – as well as two tickets to see his show – thanks to WORD Christchurch and Macmillan!

Have you read all of Andy Griffiths’ books? Do you know all the floors in the 78-storey Treehouse? Have you read The Bad Book over and over? If you answered yes to all these questions we have the most amazing chance for you!

Andy Griffiths, the author of the Treehouse series, the ‘Just’ series and The Bad Book, is coming to Christchurch on Friday 16 September for a special presentation by WORD Christchurch. Andy is going to be talking at a SOLD OUT session on the Friday night, as well as a morning session at Te Hāpua: Halswell Centre on Saturday 17 September.

But wait, there’s more! You can win the chance to interview Andy Griffiths while having a VIP afternoon tea with him. All you have to do is email competition@ccc.govt.nz and tell us the one question that you would ask Andy if you had the chance to interview him. Make sure to include your name, phone number and address so that we can contact you if you win.

This prize includes afternoon tea with Andy Griffiths for you and a caregiver at 3:30pm on Friday 16 September, and tickets for two to his show at Te Hāpua: Halswell Centre on Saturday 17 September.

Competition closed Wednesday 7 September. The winner was Jorja.

Thanks to publishers Macmillan and WORD Christchurch for bringing Andy to town! The WORD Christchurch Writers and Readers Festival kicks off today (Wednesday 24 August) and includes cool events for the whole whānau.

Terms and conditions

  • To enter this competition you must be between 8 and 13 years old and live in Christchurch. We may ask for proof of your address and your age.
  • If you are a winner, you consent to your name, photograph, entry and/or interview being used for reasonable publicity purposes by Christchurch City Libraries.
  • The winner must be available to come to the afternoon tea at 3:30pm on Friday 16 September.
  • The winner must bring a caregiver to the afternoon tea with Andy Griffiths.
  • Staff of Christchurch City Libraries and their immediate families are not able to enter.
  • The competition ends on Wednesday 7 September at 6pm.
  • We will notify the winner by telephone and/or email on Friday 9 September.
  • The judge’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  • Prizes are as stated and are not transferable.
Image supplied.
Andy Griffiths. Image supplied.

Win tickets to Disney’s The BFG!!!

How BIG can you dream? Here’s a competition for library members aged 16 and under. We’d like to see your biggest, friendliest and giant-est hopes and wishes! Pick up an entry form from any library (or download one in PDF here), fill your dream jar and be in to win movie tickets to a special preview of Disney’s The BFG on Sunday 26 June, 10.30am at Hoyts Riccarton.

Your entry can include photos, magazine clippings, drawings, and/or words.
Hand it in to your local library by Monday 20 June to be in to win!

BFG

See the official trailer for Disney’s The BFG:

Want to read The BFG before you see the movie? We have it in book, eBook, and in French!

Terms & Conditions

• Competition open to all Christchurch City Libraries’ members aged 16 years and younger. Not a member? Join today!
• Competition closes at 5pm on Monday 20 June.
• Winners will be randomly drawn.
• Winners will be notified by telephone by 5pm on Friday 24 June. Christchurch City Libraries reserves the right to reallocate tickets if winners cannot be contacted.

Note – you can’t take your cellphone!
Full security is going to be present at this screening of THE BFG because it is being held before the US opening of this film. This means that cellphones will need to be collected before the screening by security guards for piracy reasons.

The BFG is in cinemas July 7 2016
Copyright: ©2016 Disney Enterprises, Inc
Cert: TBC

Win tickets to Cinema Italiano Festival NZ!

Love Italy? The scenery, the language, the culture? If so, rejoice, for the first ever Cinema Italiano Festival NZ is coming our way, bearing an exciting selection of almost 20 Italian features, as well as 2 New Zealand films with an Italian connection.

Wondrous Boccaccio film
Wondrous Boccaccio

It’s a heartwarming turnaround for Kiwi Italophiles, who just last year were mourning the demise of the Italian Film Festival, after a 19-year-run.

Enter Paolo Rotondo to the rescue. It is in fact thanks to the considerable efforts of the Kiwi-Italian actor, director and playwright that this new celebration of Italian cinema is gracing silver screens throughout the country.

Christchurch will host the Cinema Italiano Festival from 15 to 25 June and we are very lucky to have two double passes to give away to our readers for any screening following the opening night. There is something guaranteed to please all tastes, with features spanning from drama to rom-com to documentary.

My personal, rather uninformed, picks?

  • Wondrous Boccaccio, because it promises a stunning setting – castles, towers and medieval ruins in Tuscany and Lazio – while serving up a dose of historical comic drama. Plus you get Literature with a capital L: the film is based on Boccaccio’s The Decameron, which is one of the classic masterpieces of Italian literature. (Boccaccio has arguably been described as the Italian Chaucer, though it would be more accurate to describe Chaucer as the English Boccaccio).
  • The Mafia Kills Only In Summer: it was a huge sleeper hit in Italy in 2014, and who can resist such a catchy title?
  • The Wonders: the synopsis says it all. “Winner of the Grand Prix Award at Cannes, Le Meraviglie / The Wonders is a poignant semi-autobiographical coming of age story set in the countryside of Umbria. An ecological film where a back-to-nature lifestyle wins out over the world of reality TV. A film charged by intimate performances, female camaraderie and stunning cinematography.”
  • Zoran, My Nephew The Idiot, because it’s set in Friuli, on the border with Slovenia, a very different location from the stereotypical image of Italy.
  • Orphans & Kingdoms: Paolo Rotondo’s directorial debut feature of worlds colliding on Waiheke Island has received great reviews and strikes close to home, while retaining Italian touches such as the musical score which was composed in Rome.

Entering the competition is easy but you have got to be quick to be in!
Email competition@ccc.govt.nz with the subject line “Cinema Italiano Festival competition” by 12pm on Friday 10 June. (Sorry, staff of Christchurch City Libraries and Christchurch City Council are not eligible to enter).

The Wonders film Zoran My Nephew The Idiot film

So uncork the spumante: the Italian Film Festival is dead – long live Cinema Italiano Festival NZ!

The Strange Sagas Short Story and Illustration Competition for Canterbury kids aged 6 to 12 years old

We’d like to share information on this local competition for kids – entries must be received by 6 May 2016.  Local author and NZSA member Michele Clark McConnochie is celebrating the release of the final book in The Strange sagas of Sabrina Summers trilogy. This competition is dyslexia friendly – just have fun with your imagination. You can enter the illustration contest or costume competition too!

Go to Michele’s website to find out more about how to enter.

Find out about the 13 May prizegiving at Central Library Peterborough, 4.30pm. You can meet local authors Gavin Bishop, Heather McQuillan, Helen Mongillo and Michele Clark McConnochie, find out if you’ve won and join in the fun! Spot prizes for best fractured fairytale costumes, readings from Michele Clark McConnochie and from the winning entries, plus games and more.

Sabrina

How to enter

WHAT?

Short stories of between 200-500 words on the theme “The Day I became a Fairytale Character.” Extra points for making the judges laugh!
OR
A colourful illustration of one of your favourite fairytale characters, but make it strange!

WHEN?

Entries opened on 2 April 2016 and must be received by 6 May 2016.

Judges are
Illustration: Gavin Bishop & Helen Mongillo
Story: Bob Docherty, Heather McQuillan and Michele Clark McConnochie

This comp is open to all Canterbury residents aged between 6 and 12 years of age.

Prizes

Best story: $50 Smiggle voucher & copy of The Uncooperative Flying Carpet
Best illustration: $50 Smiggle voucher & copy of The Uncooperative Flying Carpet
Surprise spot prizes for best costume on Friday, 13th May!
School or homeschool libraries will receive copies of all three books in both dyslexia-friendly format and traditional paperback.

Get ready for Summertime Reading Club

With only a couple of weeks left of school you can start thinking about how you want to spend your summer holidays.  It looks like it is going to be another hot summer, which means you’ll either want to be outside enjoying the sun or find somewhere cool. Reading is something you can do in all sorts of places; lazing in the sun at the beach, perched in a tree, beside (or in) the pool, or in a tent.  While you’re soaking up some rays and a good book you can also be participating in our Summertime Reading Club.Summertime reading club The Summertime Reading Club is our annual reading competition, that is open to anyone from 0 to 16 years who is a member of Christchurch City Libraries. This year the Summertime Reading Club challenges you to read for as many minutes as you can throughout the summer.

All you need to do is pick up a reading adventure map from your local library, keep track of how many minutes you read for each day of the competition, then bring it back to the library after Monday 18 January and get a librarian to enter you in to the draw. There are some really cool prizes this year, including iPads, books, pool passes and movie passes.

Summertime Reading Club runs from Friday 18 December until Monday 18 January. Check out our Summertime Reading Club page for more information.

We have heaps of suggestions for books that you could read over the summer holidays. Check out our kids’ booklists for ‘If you like’ suggestions.  We’ve also just released our 2015 Holiday Reading Guide which includes some of our favourite reads for kids and teens in 2015.

Take a trip with the 2015 Christchurch Photo Hunt

Since 2008, Christchurch City Libraries has been pursuing your old photos. Why? Because they are a fantastic record of local history. The pics go onto our Kete Christchurch – the repository of all kinds of Ōtautahi images.

This year’s theme is ‘Arrivals and Departures — The journeys that have shaped us’. We want your images related to this subject. You could win a tablet or eReader. Find out more, and enter in a library or online.

Christchurch Photo Hunt

There are four cool postcards you’ll spot in libraries – feel free to grab a few. They feature some top travel pics – perfect inspiration!

Christchurch Photo Hunt postcards
Christchurch Photo Hunt postcards [2.24MB PDF]

Akaroa Regatta
Regatta. Akaroa. 1907. Kete Christchurch 1907_Regatta_Ship_R_3391B.jpg
Boyce Refrigerated Truck being manoeuvred off the steamer Hinemoa
Boyce Refrigerated Truck being manoeuvred off the steamer Hinemoa, Kete Christchurch CCL-Kete001-002.jpg
London to Christchurch Air Race 1953
London to Christchurch Air Race 1953, Kete Christchurch IMG_0001.jpg
Waka, Okain’s Bay, 1977
Waka, Okain’s Bay, 1977.  Flickr HWC08-SO-101

Have a look back at Photo Hunts gone by:

Winners of the Summertime Sounds Competition

Summertime Sounds Teen Music CompetitionOver the Summer we ran our Summertime Sounds competitions which challenged teens to create a theme song or a playlist for their favourite young adult book.  We had some amazing entries for both of the competitions and the judges were blown away by the creativity of all the teens who entered.  It was a tough task choosing the winners because we could tell how much effort went into each entry.  The winners each receive a $50 Westfield voucher.

Drumroll please…The winners are:

  • Original theme song 15-18 years – Matthew P with Divergent inspired by Divergent
  • Original theme song 11-14 years – Izzy C and Sarah H with More Than This inspired by The Giver
  • Playlist 15-18 years – Grace C playlist for Princess Academy
  • Playlist 11-14 years – Sara D playlist for Clockwork Angel

You can listen to all of the song entries on our playlist.

Matthew describes his theme song for Divergent:

My theme music is for Divergent by Veronica Roth. It is scored for symphonic orchestra and has a sinister and mysterious feel to match the dystopian setting of post-apocalyptic Chicago, but has happy, joyous parts to portray the romantic subplot of the relationship between Triss and Four despite the society they live in. The structure loosely matches the plot- The mysterious opening as the protagonist explores her identity and doesn’t know which faction to choose. The driving triplet rhythm in the strings signifies her choosing the Defiant faction. The piece builds up in intensity to match the exciting moments in the plot, with quiet parts when the action and conflict aren’t present. It builds to a thrilling climax like the novel and abruptly fades away, sounding unfinished, portraying the end of the novel as they board the train, setting it up for the next book in the series. The main theme represents the character if Triss and the variations of this theme explored throughout the piece represent her experiences throughout the novel.

Izzy and Sarah describe their theme song for The Giver:

Our song is about the character of Jonas and the development of his views and opinions about the world he lives in. At the beginning of the song Jonas suspects there may be more to his sheltered life, and he feels he is different from others. As the song progresses, Jonas becomes more suspicious, as he gains more knowledge about the community. By the end, he has seen colour, memories of the past, and he has experienced pain, all of which have strongly influenced his view on the way the community functions. Jonas now knows for certain that there is ‘More Than This’

We have tried to give double meanings to some of the lyrics in the song. For instance ‘We’re black and white’ shows how they are literally living in a world without colour, but also shows how the people in the community are always open and honest, without any ‘grey areas’.

For some of the lyrics in the song, we have been inspired by particular quotes in the novel, Such as the lyric, ‘But when you lose something, there’s always something to gain’ was inspired by ‘We gained control of many things. But we had to let go of others.’. We have slightly flipped the meaning of the lyric, making it more positive. This shows Jonas’s hope for the future, that even though he let go of his life in the community, he gained freedom and true emotion.

Thanks to everyone who entered our Summertime Sounds competitions and congratulations to the winners. Find out more this and our other competitions for teens on The Pulse.

Time to vote on Halswell library, pool and community facility’s new name

Thanks for all your excellent suggestions on a name for the new library, pool and community facility in Halswell. We now have a shortlist. You can vote for one of these six options:

  • The All’s Well Centre
  • Community Spirit
  • The Halswell Centre
  • Halswell Manawa (manawa to mean heart)
  • Heart of Halswell
  • The Well

You can vote now until Sunday 8 February at www.ccc.govt.nz/YouNameIt. The person or people whose suggestions get the most votes will receive a pass to any Christchurch City Council pool. The announcement of the winning name is scheduled for March, when the results will go to the Riccarton–Wigram Community Board for the final decision.

Read the media release: Pick your favourite name for the new Halswell facility

Halswell-landscape

Name this library!

Construction on the new library, pool and community facility in Halswell is coming along nicely. We need your creative input to suggest a name for what will be a major facility and permanent touchstone in the Halswell community.

I’ve got some ideas!:

  • HAL (for the 2001 fans amongst you – nice and short)
  • Splash’n’read’n’meet
  • Halswellarama

But I’m sure you’ve got some more appealing suggestions. How cool to see your name light up for generations to come – please visit www.ccc.govt.nz/YouNameIt and enter our competition.

The competition runs from Monday 15 December to Sunday 18 January 2015.
The best suggestions will be voted on in early 2015.

Halswell-landscape