Archive for May, 2010

It’s wet and cold and I’m bored!

It’s been a horrible week here in Christchurch and the weekend doesn’t look like it’s going to be much better.  You’re probably going to be stuck inside for most of the weekend so here’s some ideas for things you could do to keep you from getting bored:

  1. Come to the library.  We have lots of books, DVDs, CDs, audiobooks and magazines you can take home and look at while you’re cuddled on the couch with a nice cup of hot chocolate.
  2. Bake something yummy with your family.  You could bake a cake, biscuits, muffins or cupcakes.  We have lots of cookbooks in the library if you want some ideas.
  3. Get crafty.  You could do some painting, drawing, colouring, make paper planes, draw some cool cartoons or knit a scarf.  There are lots of ideas on our Craft page on the Internet Gateway.
  4. Play some board games with your family.  There are so many different ones to play, from chess to battleships, and Scrabble to Monopoly.
  5. Write a fantastic story and we could publish it on the blog.  You might be the next J K Rowling!

If you have any other brilliant ideas for spending a wet, cold weekend inside, post a comment and let us know.  Have a fun-filled weekend!

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2010 NZ Post Book Award winners

Here’s a list of the 2010 NZ Post Book Award winners.  Did you pick the winners?  Click on the title or author of the book to see if we have a copy in your library .

Picture Book  and Book of the Year – Old Huhu by Kyle Mewburn & Rachel Driscoll

Nonfiction – E3 Call Home by Janet Hunt

Junior Fiction – The Loblolly Boy by James Norcliffe

Young Adult – Blood of the Lamb: The Crossing by Mandy Hager

Children’s Choice Award – The Wonky Donkey by Craig Smith and Katz Cowley

Children’s Choice Nonfiction – Dear Alison by Simon Pollard (editor)

Children’s Choice Junior Fiction – Friends: Snake and Lizard by Joy Cowley and Gavin Bishop

Children’s Choice Young Adult – Brainjack by Brian Falkner

Honour Award – The Word Witch by Margaret Mahy and David Elliot, edited by Tessa Duder

Best First Book Award – The Bone Tiki by David Hair

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Writing Tip of the Week – Patrick Ness

This week’s writing tip comes from Patrick Ness, author of the amazing Chaos Walking Trilogy.  If you’re a really good reader and you like fast-paced, thrilling, futuristic books, check out the first book in the trilogy, The Knife of Never Letting Go.

“If you have a good idea, wait – ideas always attract other ideas.  No matter what age you are, you are never too young to have ideas.”

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Funky Word Friday – nemesis

nemesis (noun)

Pronunciation: nem-uh-sis

What does it mean?:

1 a : one that punishes or avenges

b : a formidable and usually victorious rival or opponent

2 a : an act or instance of just punishment

b : a source of harm or ruin

How do you use it?: Spiderman’s nemesis, The Green Goblin, came flying through the air straight at him.

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Science Project Time!

CoverIf your teacher has just sprung the whole Science Project thing on you, and you’re wondering how on earth you’re going to build a fully functioning computer out of kitchen waste and a couple of old coat hangers, don’t panic!  We are here to help.

There’s a whole range of good books on the subject at Christchurch City Libraries. If you’re looking for inspiration check out titles such as 46 Science Fair Projects for the Evil Genius or Prize Winning Science Fair Projects for Curious Kids – guaranteed to get the creative juices flowing.

If you’re a born science fiend, you may already have your own area of expertise. Check out books on specialty areas such as:

These books are chocka with great ideas and practical instruction.

The CCL website has some good advice and helpful links on a wide range of science topics. For background reading check out the Internet Gateway.

On the web it’s worth checking out the National Library of New Zealand. This site has a webpage of links that may inspire you.  Super Science Fair even gives you tips on organising your time and some insight into how judges think.

So, no need to despair. Get reading and get inventing. You may just be the next great scientific genius of the century.

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What is your favourite movie of all time?

Pop cornThis horribly wet and cold weather that we’re having across New Zealand at the moment gives you the perfect excuse (when you’re not at school) to chill out and watch some of your favourite movies.  I have so many movies that I love that it’s hard to pick my favourite ones.  I love the classic kids movies like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Labyrinth and Mary Poppins, but I also like science fiction movies like Star Wars and Back to the Future. 

My favourite movie of all time though is Princess Bride.  It has everything that a great movie should do, sword fights, goodies, baddies, action, adventure and it’s hilarious.  It’s one of those movies I can watch again and again and never get sick of.

Check out our cool Read the Book, See the Film page on our Kids site for books that have been made into movies.

What’s your favourite movie of all time? Why do you love it?  Is it the story or the characters?  Post a comment and let us know.

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Puffin Short Story Awards – win win win!

You’ve got till 11 June 2010 and prizes include an iPod Touch for the Junior and Intermediate categories.

The Theme is … “My Puffin” and you can let your imagination run wild!

Visit the Puffin Short Story Awards and enter now.

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Funky Word Friday

spoof (verb)

Pronunciation: SP-OO-F

What does it mean?: to make good-natured fun of

How do you use it?: The book Nightlight is a spoof of Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight.

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RL Stine – and all things rotten

Summer readingIf you want to be totally entertained, check out the ‘Rotten School’ series by R L Stine. The antics of Bernie Bridges, Sherman Oakes, April-May June and the gang will gross you out and have you in stitches. All sorts of crazy things happen at Rotten School.

The kids are always getting up to no good and driving their teacher, Mrs Heine, and Headmaster I. Will Upchuck crazy. The first book in the series is the ‘Great Blueberry Barf-Off.  Bernie and the gang compete in a blueberry pie eating competition against the wimps at NYCE House. Will they win? Who will barf first? You’ll have to read it and find out!

R L Stine started writing at the age of nine to entertain his friends. He’s gone on to write hundreds of titles including the infamous Goosebumps series.  The author started Rotten School 2005 and there are 16 books to keep you entertained. Give them a go. They’re LOL funny and you’re guaranteed to squirm. Totally good fun and totally gross!

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Move over Zac Power, here comes Battle Boy and Space Scout

If you are obsessed with the Zac Power books you need to read this!  There are two new series that have just started  that are perfect for you if love Zac Power and we’ve just got the first few books in the series. 

Battle BoyBattle Boy is a new series of books, written by Charlie Carter, about BB005 (whose real name is Napoleon) who gets sent back in time to spy on some of the greatest battles in history.  Equipped with some cool gadgets and top-secret information, Napoleon must go back in time and set the record straight.  If your children like spy stories, history stories or adventure stories these books are for them. 

Space ScoutSpace Scout is another new series that’s written by the author behind Zac Power, H. Badger (or H.I. Larry as we know her).  The books are about Kip Kirby and his co-pilot, Finbar, who are scouting the universe for a new Earth that they can call home.  Like the Zac Power books, there are lots of cool diagrams and gadgets throughout the book.  Kip and Finbar journey to weird planets and meet all sorts of weird alien creatures.   There’s also a really cool Space Scout website to check out so you can find out some more information about the books and play games.

You can borrow the first few books in both series from your local library now or if they’re not available you can always request them.

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Have you read any NZ Post Award books?

The winners of the 2010 NZ Post Children’s Book Awards are announced next Wednesday night at a big awards ceremony in Auckland.  We’ve all been reading lots of the finalist books and there are some really good ones this year.  I’d hate to have to choose the winners, but here are some of my favourites:

My favourite picture book is definitely Wonky Donkey by Craig Smith and illustrated by Katz Cowley.  The song is really funny and the illustrations are hilarious.  If you haven’t seen it you should reserve it at the library, even if you think that you’re too old for picture books.  Trust me, you’ll have a good laugh.

Des Hunt’s Cry of the Taniwha is my favourite in the Junior Fiction category.  It’s got lots of action, adventure, mystery, and it’s set in New Zealand (Rotorua to be precise).  Des Hunt is a great writer and he writes so many books it’s hard to keep up with him.

Brian Falkner’s Brainjack is my favourite in the Young Adult Fiction category.  A new piece of technology called a Neuro Headset has been introduced and is becoming popular all over the world.  While wearing the headset you are able control your computer using only your brainwaves without the need for a  keyboard or mouse.  However, if people can hack into your computer through the internet, does this neuro connection allow them to hack into your brain?  Sam, an experienced hacker, finds himself in deep trouble when he hacks into the White House computer system, but when cyber terrorists threaten the world, he will have to use all of his skills to save the human race.

Which ones have you read?  You can read about some of the other finalists on our NZ Post Children’s Book Awards page.

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Writing Tip of the Week – Jacqueline Wilson

This week we have 3 writing tips for the price of 1 from the marvelous Jacqueline Wilson, author of Candyfloss, Girls in Love, Jacky Daydream and many, many more.

” Persist in your dreams. “My mum and dad didn’t believe I could make a living out of being a writer. But I kept on trying,” said Jacqueline.

Don’t be scared to use your imagination.

When creating a character it is all about getting that character to do what will make sense and show what kind of person they are. That means much more than the name you give them.”

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Jellie Park Sunday Funday – 9 May 2010

Book coverCome along to Jellie Park this Sunday afternoon 9 May from 1pm onwards and experience the cool new inflatable pontoons, free hydroslide plus loads of fun activities and competitions.

Sunday Fundays are open to all ages, so everyone is welcome!

The games and activities are for kids from 6 and 12 years old.

If you love swimming, try some of our books on swimming.

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If You Are Into


STORIES, then read any of their books:

David Borgenicht  
Cressida Cowell  
J. A. Mawter  
Paul Jennings  
Andy Griffiths  
Andy Stanton 
Michael Lawrence 
Dav Pilkey   
R. L. Stine  

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Writing Tip of the Week

This week’s writing tip comes from illustrator Gus Gordon, who created a cool picture book called Wendy about a stunt-driving chicken.  He’s also illustrated lots of other picture books and some Aussie Bites.

“Spend lots of time looking out the window daydreaming and imagining weird things happening.”

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Word of the Day – spectacular

spectacular (adjective)

Pronunciation: spek-tak-ya-lar

What does it mean?:

  1. of, relating to, or being a spectacle
  2. exciting to see

How do you use it?: The All Whites scored a spectacular goal to take them into the lead.

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Who is your favourite book character?

Is it Harry Potter, Willy WonkaHiccup Horrendous Haddock III, Percy Jackson or Zac Power?  There are so many fantastic characters that we remember from our favourite books.  Some of them make us laugh and some of them make us want to hide under the bed.  Some of them save the world, while others are set on destroying it.

One of my favourite characters is Despereaux the mouse from The Tale of Despereaux.  He’s tiny but brave and he has a big heart.

Who is your favourite book character?

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