Archive for May, 2011

Book Character Naming Competition

Hello again everyone

I have finally decided on the names for the four main characters in my next book. The characters are four children aged 10-12.

The names will be Tierney, Rhys, Rozyczka and Fabian.

The other people who entered their names in the competition will also appear in my book. They will be friends of the four main characters.

Their names are Amy, Holly, Hana, David and Saoirse.

I would like to have an adult character named Mr or Mrs Ozich – if Lucy agrees!

And there will definitely be a dog named Biggles!

Thanks to everyone for your wonderful names. I will let you know how I am going with progress on the book.

Happy June!


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Last day of the Month – sob… sob…


It’s the last day of May and that means it’s my last day as the Star Author. It feels a bit sad to be saying goodbye to all my new Christchurch library friends, but Zac says I can come back and visit with a blog post now and then so that’s wonderful. I’ve really enjoyed blogging this month and your feedback has been excellent. My last job is to choose the names for the characters in my next book. I have about 10 to choose from, which means I will have four main characters and I will definitely use the other names in the book as well. I can’t make a final decision yet, but I plan to do that later today and create a new post then. Thanks again everyone.

Talk again soon


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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 trailer

The final Harry Potter movie, Part 2 of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is released in cinemas on 14 July.  While you wait, you can borrow all the books in the series and the movies on DVD from your library.

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Star Guest – Tina Matthews talks about illustrating

Hi, my name is Tina Matthews and I’m an author and an illustrator.  This is International Year of the Forests so I’m pretty pleased that my two books, which are both about trees , have been published in 2011. Not only are they about trees, wood was an essential part of making the pictures for both books.

The top of a tree always seemed a very safe place to me when I was small. Even at school we were allowed to climb the huge trees  and I can remember how smooth and shiny the bark was in the places where shoes and feet had found their footing as kids of all ages climbed to the top. In the weekends and after school, from way up in the big trees at home, I could see places I knew, tiny in the distance.  I could hear people I  loved near by. And I could feel the world turning as the sun and the sickle moon went down. Those pleasurable recollections led me to write Waiting For Later. I think kids still love climbing trees, but adults are more nervous about children hurting themselves than they used to be. So I’m very pleased with the cover Walker Books chose for Waiting for Later.

My first book Out of the Egg has just come out in paperback. It’s about a hen, a seed, a little red chick and a great green whispery tree.  It’s about not giving up on a good idea, and children not accepting the silly things their parents sometimes say. It’s a bit like the old story of The Little Red Hen but I’ve given Out of the Egg a new generation and a new ending.

I did all the pictures for Out of the Egg using woodblock prints. It’s a long process which involves drawing the picture on paper then transfering it to a woodblock, carving the picture out of the wood, inking it, then printing it. This is an old way of making pictures and it seemed just right for Out of the Egg. With Waiting for Later I did simpler wood block prints then stencilled over the top of them. I even drew in a few of the tiny details by hand.


People sometimes ask why I go to all the trouble and effort of doing pictures this way. But however you do pictures they can take time and I love the way wood makes its mark on mine. It gives me a hand to get the pictures right.

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Finders Keepers by Emily Rodda.

Finders Keepers is about a boy called Patrick, who takes part in a bizarre game show that’s out of this world. He travels across the Barrier, an invisible force separating Patrick’s world from another, where he meets bubbly Boopie Cupid, grumpy Max, and presenter Lucky Lamont. Patrick has no intention to win this game show, he just wants to get home… until one of the prizes turns out to be his dream computer. Patrick accepts, and the game is explained. The Barrier often breaks, sucking random items through to the other world. The aim of the game is to retrieve these items, and return them to their owners. Three people step forth, and give Patrick tricky riddles that he’ll have to solve to be able to start looking for the items. Will Patrick suceed?
I loved Finders Keepers, as well as it’s sequel, The Time Keeper, because the characters seem real, but different. My favourite character is Boopie Cupid, because she’s very talkative,which I can relate to. Both boys and girls would like these books, or maybe boys would like them more. I’m not too sure.
Having a Barrier that leaks things is a really good idea, I thought. Now I know where all of my odd socks went! Emily Rodda has also written other books, such as the Deltora series, the Rondo series, and the Fairy Realm for younger children. I give this book a 10 out of 10.

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Poetry by Kezia

Hi everyone

At my school lately, we’ve been writing poetry about sadness.

I’m putting mine on the blog because it goes in deep and you really feel it.

It’s a sad sad day, when you feel deaths ice-cold fingers.

It’s a sad sad day, when your curiosity turns on you.

It’s a sad sad day, when anxiety presses on your mind.

It’s a sad sad day, when your hopes are crushed.

It’s a sad sad day, when your struggle was for nothing.

On happier terms,

we also did lots of poetry on Autumn surrounding the senses.

For example,

Autumn is the bliss of warm water, as it runs through your fingers.

Autumn is the taste of smoke, as you sit by the fire.

Autumn is silence, nothing at all.

And lots of others.

We’ve also done Quinquan.


By Kezia.

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At the Lake by Jill Harris

The lake is almost like a second home to brothers Simon and Jem.  They’ve gone there every summer holiday for years to stay with their granddad, Barney.  They’ve explored the bush, the bays and coves, and swum and fished in the lake.  They feel safe here and it makes them happy.  But this year, things have changed.  Their dad has gone to Australia to look for work, Simon has been getting more and more annoyed with his little brother Jem, and the old farm is now a holding yard for old houses, guarded by a fierce dog and surrounded by barbed-wire fences.  What’s going on behind the fences and why is there so much security?

When Simon breaks into the yard and tries to find out what’s happening, he has a run-in with the owner, Squint Lewis who warns him never to come near the yard again.  Simon stays as far away from Squint as he can, but when he and Jem meet Squint’s children, Rosie and Tommy, they decide they have to figure out what’s going on in the yard before someone gets badly hurt.

At the Lake is a mysterious, adventure story set in New Zealand.  Jill Harris’ description of the ‘dark green’ lake, surrounded by ‘the bush, warmed by the sun, which was alive with insects and birds’  made me want to be there.  At first, I didn’t like the character of Simon, because he was always being mean to his brother, but he makes up for his behaviour throughout the story.  Squint Lewis matched his name perfectly and he was a very sinister character.  At the Lake is a great book that will keep you reading and is perfect for fans of Des Hunt.  

Recommended for 9+    8 out of 10

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