Archive for December, 2013

Kids’ Books: picks from our December newsletter

Looking for something to read during the school holidays? Check out these great picks from our December Kids’ Books newsletter:

Cover of Is That A Word?Cover of The Runaway DragonCover of RooftoppersCover of From Mud Huts to SkyscrapersCover of Handbook for Dragon SlayersCover of From Norvelt to NowhereCover of Even My Ears Are SmilingCover of Where the Mountain Meets the MoonCover of The Abominables

Did you know that you can subscribe to our newsletters and get our latest titles and best picks straight to your inbox? It’s easy and you’ll be the first to know.

For more great reads, check out our Fun to Read page – it links you to reading lists, if you likes, interactive quizzes and lots more.

Don’t forget also to take part in the Summertime Reading Club to be in to win some great prizes!

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Tell us what you’re reading and WIN

The Summertime Reading Club is on now and throughout the Summer holidays you have lots of chances to win on the Christchurch Kids Blog.  Each week we’ll have a competition that you can enter to win book vouchers from PaperPlus, one of our fantastic sponsors.  Did you know that you get a $5 PaperPlus voucher when you’ve completed your reading log?

Our first competition is super easy to enter.  Just leave a comment on this post telling us about a book that you’re reading for the Summertime Reading Club.  Make sure you put your name and your email address or phone number so that we can contact you if you win.  We’ll draw one lucky kid who will win a $40 PaperPlus voucher.   So get commenting and you’ll be in to win.  Competition closes Thursday 2 January 2014.

See below for terms and conditions   Read the rest of this entry »

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Free online fun at the library these holidays

Now that you are free from school what plans do you have for the summer holidays that stretch before you? (I am so jealous!) I have a few suggestions that you may want to try if you start to get a bit bored. They are free, enjoyable and all for you!

  • BusyThings: Fun games and activities for 3 to 7 year olds that include creating music and art.
  • TumbleBook Library: Animated books which include games, quizzes, videos and puzzles.
  • Literacy Planet: Create characters and earn rewards in return for completing fun tasks.
  • OverDrive: Over 1200 children’s fiction and non fiction e-books and downloadable audiobooks for your enjoyment!

Far be it from us to encourage you to play online more, but there will be wet days when playing outside will not be an option. This is where we can help. All you need to access any of these online resources is an imagination and a  library card number and password / PIN.

Oh and don’t forget to come and visit us  at your local library this summer!

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Author of the Week – Emily Rodda

Author of the Week is a new feature on the Christchurch Kids Blog.  It’s where we’ll introduce you to some great authors whose books you’ll find in our libraries.  If you love the featured author and have read some of the books, we’d love to hear what you think.

Each of the author profiles comes from one of our really cool databases, called Novelist.  If you’re looking for some new books or authors you should really check it out.  This week’s author is Emily Rodda.

The Key to Rondo

Through an heirloom music box, Leo, a serious, responsible boy, and his badly-behaved cousin Mimi enter the magical world of Rondo to rescue Mimi’s dog from a sorceress, who wishes to exchange him for the key that allows free travel between worlds.

The Golden Door

At night the skimmers fly over the Wall looking for human prey and the people of Weld huddle in their houses, but after his two brothers set out through the magic doors in an attempt to find the Enemy and don’t come back, young Rye knows that he must follow and find them.

Tales of Deltora

A fantastical anthology that provides the stories behind the stories of the characters and events of the popular Deltora series.

Rowan of Rin

Because only he can read the magical map, young, weak, and timid Rowan joins six other villagers to climb a mountain and try to restore their water supply, as fears of a dragon and other horrors threaten to drive them back.

The Forests of Silence

The evil Shadow Lord is planning to take over the land of Deltora and enslave all its people. In order to stop him 16-year old Lief and former palace guard Barda must find all seven stones from the magic belt of Deltora.

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Book Reviews with Bite

One of the great things about the Christchurch City Libraries Catalogue is that you can add your own book reviews.

One of the great things about South Christchurch Library eBook Club is that the kids in it LOVE to do book reviews. Can you see where this is going?

Recently we read some fantastic animal books and recorded some quick video reviews using Mojo Masks, an app that lets you wear a virtual mask while you record videos.

Video TabTo see these awesome videos, click on the catalogue links, scroll to the bottom of the page and choose “Videos” under Community Activity. Why not make your own video reviews of books and add them to the catalogue?

ABC Zooborns by Andrew Bleiman

Top 10 Minibeasts: deadly and incredible animals by Jay Dale

Manukura: the white kiwi by Joy Cowley

Foxes by Sally Morgan

Birds by Terry J. Jennings

Killer Pets by Tony Hyland

And if you do add a video review to the catalogue, let us know in the comments below, so we can check it out!

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Bundles of Book Lists

Did you know the Library has lots of book lists that we’ve made especially for you? There’s nearly 50 lists of books that we’ve chosen from our catalogue about different subjects. So if you like spy stories, animal stories or ghost stories, you can find some good reads on here. As well as HEAPS of others.

We’ve also got a whole lot of “If you like…” lists. These are lists that tell you some more good books to read if you like a particular series or author. Some of our lists are Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Jacqueline Wilson and Geronimo Stilton. Check out our lists to see if we’ve got some good suggestions for your favourite book or author.

If you’re looking for suggestions for the Science Alive Reading Adventure challenge of the Summertime Reading Club, we’ve made some lists for that too! Check out ALL of our kids lists on our Catalogue.

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Inside Asperger’s Looking Out

Cover of Inside Asperger's Looking Out

“OK, let’s get a few things settled right from the start. People with Asperger syndrome are not broken, or damaged, or somehow less than ‘normal’ people… Sure, we may think and act and learn differently from others, but different can be a good thing.”

These are the opening words of Inside Asperger’s Looking Out by Kathy Hoopmann. It is a book all about what it is like to have Asperger’s Syndrome.

Page Scan of Inside Asperger's Looking Out

This book is packed with cute photos of animals to help explain the feelings and ideas in the text. The text is also put on the page lots of different ways. Chimpanzees hold up signs with the text on them, it shows up in speech and thought bubbles from the animals and it spirals around the page.

Inside Asperger’s Looking Out is a fast, fun read that can help you learn more about what it’s like to have Asperger’s Syndrome, and has lots of cute, funny and thoughtful animal pictures.

The Library has lots of kids; books about Asperger’s Syndrome. Click to see them all on our catalogue. One of my favourites is The Asperkid’s (Secret) Book of Social Rules. This book is divided into  heaps of categories like school or friends, and it tells you the social rules about that situation that you might not know. EVERYONE can learn a lot from this book.

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Author of the Week – Frank Cottrell Boyce

Author of the Week is a new feature on the Christchurch Kids Blog.  It’s where we’ll introduce you to some great authors whose books you’ll find in our libraries.  If you love the featured author and have read some of the books, we’d love to hear what you think.

Each of the author profiles comes from one of our really cool databases, called Novelist.  If you’re looking for some new books or authors you should really check it out.  This week’s author is Frank Cottrell Boyce.

British author Frank Cottrell Boyce’s background as a screenwriter is evident in his well-paced books for older kids and tweens. While the genres in which Cottrell Boyce writes vary (realistic fiction, fantasy and science fiction), all his works contain his trademark humor — almost slapstick in some books while more gentle in others. Another common thread among his books: his wonderfully interesting, well-developed characters and spot-on, witty dialogue. His always-warm treatment of sometimes difficult subjects (illegal immigrants; brothers, grieving over the death of their mother) adds to his books’ upbeat charm.


Would a lot of money be an answer to your prayers? Damien, a young expert on patron saints, thinks so after he finds 229,370 pounds sterling in a bag thrown by robbers from a passing train. With only a few short weeks until Euro Day, the day the “Great British Pound” would be replaced by the euro, Damien and his older, fifth-grade brother begin spending like daft nutters. The schoolyard economics quickly change, and soon adults are looking for the source of the cash–not to stop the flow, but to get in on the action. Naturally, the thwarted robbers are looking for their loot.


Dylan and his sisters have some ideas about how to make Snowdonia Oasis Auto Marvel into a more profitable business, but it is not until some strange men arrive in their small town of Manod, Wales with valuable paintings, and their father disappears, that they consider turning to crime.

The Un-forgotten Coat

When two Mongolian brothers inexplicably appear one morning in her sixth grade class, Julie, who lives in a town near Liverpool named Bootle, becomes their new friend and “Good Guide,” navigating them through soccer, school uniforms, and British slang.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again

The Tooting family is in a bit of a lull – Dad has just been laid off from his job, and Mum, in an attempt to keep him occupied, has brought home a beat-up old camper van for him to tinker with. But after Mr. Tooting and his son Jem pull a strange old engine out of a tree in the junkyard and install it in the van, not only does the van come to life – it starts to fly! As the flying van whisks the entire family off on a quest, its history begins to come to light (but, as this is just the 1st of a planned new series, the fun is only beginning). Based on the beloved children’s classic Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, this high-energy, hilarious adventure is a blast whether or not you’ve heard of or read the original.

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