KidsFest 2015

KidsFest is full of winter holiday fun for kids in Christchurch and Canterbury. It runs from 4 to 18 July 2015. Bookings open 9am Tuesday 2 June – it pays to get in early as KidsFest is always popular and many events book out quickly.

KidsFest

KidsFest at the library

2015 KidsFest events at libraries include:

Stop motion animation 8 to 12 year olds
Discover the process of producing animated movies. Plan an original story, create your own characters and craft your own movie using stop motion photography.

Minecraft 8 to 12 year olds
Minecraft game zone is a 3D gaming experience, and also sessions about Minecraft for absolute beginners.

Minecraft

Family game time
Game on! This is a chance for a family play-off using both traditional board games and online games.

Book ‘n’ Beats 10 to 13 year olds
This is an introduction to the iPad music app Garageband.

Let the book bug bite 4 to 7 year olds
Children will re-create their own bug story using a ‘story creator’ app on the iPad.

Creating comics: Who’s the star? WORD Christchurch event for 8 to 13 year olds
Creating comics: Your wonderful world WORD Christchurch event for 8 to 13 year olds
Join famous cartoonist, author and designer Sarah Laing and find out about creating cartoon characters and worlds.

NZ stories with Sharon Holt
Join award winning author Sharon Holt as she presents her Te Reo singalong books.

Cover of Mahi Tahi Cover of Anei Kē Cover of Kei te Peke ahau

Back with the future 8 to 12 year olds (and their grandparents)
Bring your family history into the future! Record a conversation between you and your grandparent/grandchild using old family photographs and the interactive story telling iPad app, Puppetpals.

Fly story Fly – Kirsty Collett
Fly Story Fly is an interactive storytelling experience that brings picture books to life

Science Alive! will be bringing their Mindball sessions to our libraries too.

See the full list of KidsFest events at Christchurch City Libraries. Bookings open 9am Tuesday 2 June.

More KidsFest events

Here’s a few events that sound awesome:

See the full list on the KidsFest website.

Find out more

Keep calm and read Haruki Murakami

The crowd waiting for Murakami was a fragrant one. I smelled Commes des Garcon, something from L’Artisan. There were lots of cool looking young uns. And when we got into our seats, Haruki came on stage in a tshirt saying “Keep calm and read Murakami”, pinkish pants, and nifty sneakers. Older than I know him from his author photos.

The crowd gave him a mighty round of applause after a fine intro by John Freeman.

Readers, we were in for a treat. We got to learn so much about Murakamiworld, from his own mouth. The audience was one of the most attentive, attuned, and excited I’ve ever sat in. We weren’t allowed to tweet, take pics, – but I don’t think that was why the crowd was so focused. We all wanted to be there – big time – and didn’t want to miss a thing.

Haruki told us first about the moment he decided to become a writer. He was 29, watching a baseball game, and it came to him: “I can write”:

Something fell from the sky, and I caught it. I  can still feel the feeling, I was so happy.

He went to the stationers to get a pen, and voila.

His background was in film, he wanted to write screenplays but didn’t have anything to say. When he began to write, he first wrote in Japanese, then translated it into English, then back into Japanese. This combination gave him his distinctive style:

My English vocabulary is so small. What I write is very simple and very clear. That is what I want. I made up my style.

He doesn’t do that now, but that initial double translation made that Murikami style.

We journeyed through Murikami’s life, he talked about being a teenager in the 1960s,  being part of an idealistic generation:

As we grow up the world should be saner, more reasonable  – it’s not … I am still holding my idealism in my mind … it’s a kind of warmth.

His literary inspirations are diverse. He has parents who are teachers of Japanese literature, but he bonded with Brautigan, Vonnegut, Dostoyevsky, Balzac, Raymond Chandler.

And he loves cats, and has 11,000 records!:

I love my books. I love my music. I love my cat. … Cats and music and books are very important to me.

Cover of UndergroundHaruki left Japan when he was “hated” on by the Japanese mainstream literature crowd. He went to Italy and wrote there, then to the States. But he returned home to Japan in 1995 after the twin disasters of the Kobe earthquake and the Tokyo sarin gas attack. From this time came the book Underground.  He interviewed 60 survivors:

Everybody as his or her own story. They are my people on the train. I got to know my people better.

This led to a strain of questioning on evil:

I go into the darkness of my mind. Everyone has a basement beneath the ground. Some people have a basement in their basement … It’s easy to go into the darkness, sometimes it isn’t easy to come back.

What sort of books does Murikami write? Gotta like his classification system:

  • Big
  • Medium
  • Short stories

I  come and go. When I want to write big ones, I write big ones.

And he doesn’t always know which one it is going to be.  His latest – Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his years of pilgrimage started out as a short story, but it got longer. The story made it happen.

It’s not an easy job to do being a writer, so Haruki runs to keep fit.  A day in his life goes a bit like this:

  • Get up at 4am. Not using an alarm clock.
  • Drink coffee.
  • Start writing.
  • Sometimes he works while listening to music – low volume, classical background music.
  • 4 to 5 hours writing.
  • Do translations in the afternoon.
  • Don’t work after sundown.
  • Watch baseball.
  • Go to bed at 10pm, no nightlife.
  • “Just so”.

The translating he is working on at the moment (English into Japanese) is a book he discovered during a trip to Oslo – Novel 11 Book 18 by Dag Solstad.

1Q84 What I Talk About When I Talk About Running Kafka on the Shore Norwegian Wood

Why are your stories so sad, Haruki?

I am always looking for the bright side of things … But most of my fictions are not happy endings. I don’t know why. He is looking for something, finds it, but it’s not what he expected.

And what happens at the end of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his years of pilgrimage with the marriage proposal?

I have no idea. I don’t know what is going to happen. That is life.

And with that it was question time. We had questions about being a writer, more about cats, and the surprising revelation that Haruki’s favourite foods:

I am a donut addict … Doughnuts and Tofu.

And finally:

The stories must be unpredictable to myself.

Congratulations to the Auckland Writers Festival crew for getting Haruki Murakami here, and Kia ora Haruki.

After the Quake  Sputnik Sweetheart The Elephant Vanishes Cover of The Colorless Tsukur Tazaki

Gangsta Mum, Dad, & Kid go David Walliams

Me and my whanau are very excited about seeing David Walliams at his WORD Christchurch event tonight. I’d tell you to buy tickets – but he blooming well sold out in 24 hours.

That’s not surprising. I’ve been reading Gangsta Granny to my six-year-old. When Ben discovers his granny’s biscuit tin filled with jewels, my daughter’s eyes went round. I didn’t think that actually happened in real life, but David Walliams did it.

Plus we watched Mr Stink in the weekend. Twice.

Cover of Gangsta Granny Cover of Mr Stink Cover of Awful Auntie Cover of The Boy in the dress

Cover of Awful AuntieDavid Walliams

Happy Mother’s Day

Kia ora and Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mums. Here are some Mums of days gone by:

Mothers and babies gathered outside St. Helen’s Hospital, Sydenham CCL PhotoCD 2, IMG0075

The hospital, a wooden building in Durham Street, Sydenham, had been opened about two years earlier. It was a birthing place for the wives of working men. The hospital was, like other hospitals, named St. Helen’s to commemorate the birthplace of the recently deceased Premier, Richard John Seddon (1845-1906).


Proud mothers and their chubby children. Prize- winners in the baby competition, which was a feature of the picnic held at Kowhai [Kowai] Bush, by the combined staffs of the Christchurch City Council. The weekly press, 1 Feb. 1928, p. 37

And some mother photos from our Flickr site:
Mother and daughter Mother and Daughters in Cathedral Square Family Portrait Off to Church Four Generations   The Riley Elf

Four Generations of women

For more Mother pictures, have a look at the Digital NZ set Mums.

Te Kupu o te Wiki – The Word of the Week

Kia ora. To celebrate Te Reo Māori we are publishing kupu (words).

Kīwaha (colloquialism)

Te āhua nei.
It certainly looks that way.

Kupu (word)

manu
bird

He kererū, he kea rānei te manu rā?
Is that bird a kererū or a kea?
Maori

NZ Music Month 2015

Celebrate New Zealand music throughout May with Christchurch City Libraries, CHART, RDU and live gigs. NZMM launches in Christchurch on Friday 1 May 7pm at Central Library Peterborough. The gig features the legendary Martin Phillipps from The Chills performing a short solo set, along with smooth sounds from The Bats offshoot – Minisnap – featuring Kaye Woodward’s songs plus Amiria Grenell and Amy Grace as The Swan Sisters.

Sound Garden (across the road from Central Library Peterborough) will be hosting Beat in the Street before the launch gig (6 to 7pm on 1 May). Come along, bring the kids and get creative.

Explore more NZ Music Month events including jazz, sax, violin, folk, choirs, and ukulele pirates.

NZMMbrochure2015

Looking at the Anzacs

As Anzac Day approaches, we have some interesting First World War displays for you to explore:

The Changing Face of Veterans (exhibition at Upper Riccarton Library until Monday 4 May). This photographic exhibition is about New Zealand’s war veterans since the First World War – our changing perceptions of veterans, and how we remember them. It’s a collaborative community project by Rannerdale Veterans’ Care, Upper Riccarton Library, and Riccarton High School.

There is also a poppy blanket display.
ANZAC display with poppy blanket

ANZAC display with poppy blanket. Flickr Upper-Riccarton-Displays-ANZAC-Display-2015.JPG

World War One at home and at the front (exhibition at Central Library Peterborough until Sunday 24 May) – A display of uniforms, equipment, photographs, publications, badges and letters, and even gas masks – all generously loaned by Barry O’Sullivan, private collector. Read Alina’s post to get a flavour, and view the O’Sullivan collection online.

The New Brighton Boys (exhibition at New Brighton Library until the end of May)
Staff from Christchurch City Libraries, have put together a display of the stories of the 62 soldiers with strong links to New Brighton, who served and died in the First World War. The display includes stories of each soldier and some photographs. Find out more about the New Brighton Boys on Kete Christchurch.

First World War talks

We will also host a series of talks on First World War subjects:

Find out more:

Te Kupu o te Wiki – The Word of the Week

Kia ora. To celebrate Te Reo Māori we are publishing kupu (words).

Kīwaha (colloquialism)

E nge!
Serves you right

Kupu (word)

Papatūānuku
earth/Mother Earth

Me tiakina a Papatūānuku, ka tika!
We need to look after Mother Earth.

Maori

Te Kupu o te Wiki – The Word of the Week

Kia ora. To celebrate Te Reo Māori we are publishing kupu (words).

Kīwaha (colloquialism)

E kī, e kī.
Is that right.

Kupu (word)

maumahara
remember

Kua maumahara au!
I remember.

Maori

Te Kupu o te Wiki – The Word of the Week

Kia ora. To celebrate Te Reo Māori we are publishing kupu (words).

Whakataukī

Ka mate te kāinga tahi, ka ora te kāinga rua.
When one house dies, a second lives.

Historically used when two houses or families are merged due to the unfortunate circumstances of one particular family. However this could be used when something good emerges from misfortune

Kīwaha (colloquialism)

Aua hoki!
No idea!

Kupu (word)

horoi
wash

Māku ngā rīhi e horoi.
I will wash the dishes.

Maori