Archive for June, 2014

Just got this photo from Saffron!

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Hola!! My last post!

I can’t believe that June is about to finish! When I was little I felt that time was slow…never ending weeks…months…waiting for holidays…putting up with school. Now, I am not so little and time is RUSHING by me like lightning, like a  shooting star. My good trick to make time slow down is to sit by my desk and to contact little Saffron or any other character that I might be working on.

Last night Saffron called me. She was cooking with her mum. She was making a bruschetta. She was so excited. She said that bruschetta is so delicious. She told me that It’s this toasted bread with amazing Italian things on top. But it’s nothing like ordinary toast. Compared to bruschetta, ordinary toast is the most boring food in the entire world!

So here is Saffron’s bruschetta recipe:

What you must do first:

  • Wash your hands
  • Preheat the oven to 200°C (ask an adult to help with this)

 

What you need is:

  • loaf of bread (1 of these): Mum says her favourite bread for bruschetta is sourdough
  • big onion (1 of these too)
  • salt and pepper
  • butter (4 teaspoons of this)
  • serrano ham (lots of this!)
  • tomato (you only need one)
  • oregano (oregano is a delicious herb. 2 tablespoons of this)
  • mozzarella cheese (you need 24 slices)
  • grated cheese (about a quarter of a cup)
  • adult (one of these, to be your very excellent kitchen assistant)

This is how I make it:

IMPORTANT NOTE: For the next steps you need an adult to help for safety reasons. Even if you are totally excellent at cooking.

 

Melt the butter (I do this in the microwave for 30 seconds)

  • Cut the tomato into slices and set aside
  • Cut the bread into slices. Paint them with the melted butter and put them in the oven
  • Cut the onion in thin slices and cook them in a pan with the leftover melted butter
  • When the bread is golden brown take it out of the oven

 

IMPORTANT NOTE: For the next steps you can tell an adult to simply watch you and take lots of photos.

 

  • Turn the bread upside down so that the golden brown side is facing down
  • On each slice put:

o   a layer of onions

o   a little bit of salt and paper

o   a slice of tomato

o   a sprinkle of oregano

o   a layer of ham

o   2 slices of mozzarella cheese

o   a sprinkle of grated cheese

 

IMPORTANT NOTE: You need an adult to stop taking photos and watching you now. Get them to help you again!

Put the bruschetta back in a hot oven until the cheese is golden brown. In my oven this takes exactly eight and a half minutes.

Presto and enjoy!!!!! (If the adult has behaved well, then it would be nice of you to share some of the bruschetta. But only if they have been very good!!!!!)

Ciao

Saffron

This photo came with the recipe.

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Champion reads – the New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults

Are you looking for a great read? Try the New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults – what a bunch of brilliant books.

Vasanti Unka’s The Boring Book wins the New Zealand Post Margaret Mahy Book of the Year is all about the award-winners.

The full list of winners of the 2014 New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults is:

Cover of The Boring Book Cover of The Beginner's guide to hunting and fishing Dunger Joy Cowley (Winner) Cover of Mortal fire Cover of A necklace of souls Cover of The Three Bears Cover of Bugs

New Zealand Post Margaret Mahy Book of the Year and winner of Best Picture Book category: Prizes: $7,500 for the New Zealand Post Margaret Mahy Book of the Year and $7,500 for Best Picture Book The Boring Book by Vasanti Unka (Penguin Group (NZ), Puffin)

Best Non-Fiction: Prize $7,500: The Beginner’s Guide to Hunting and Fishing in New Zealand by Paul Adamson (Random House New Zealand)

Junior Fiction: Prize $7,500: Dunger by Joy Cowley (Gecko Press)

Best Young Adult Fiction: Prize $7,500: Mortal Fire by Elizabeth Knox (Gecko Press)

Best First Book: Prize $2,000: A Necklace of Souls by R L Stedman (Harper Collins Publishers (NZ), HarperVoyager)

Children’s Choice: Prize $2,000: The Three Bears…Sort Of by Yvonne Morrison and Donovan Bixley (Scholastic New Zealand)

Honour award: Prize $500: Bugs by Whiti Hereaka (Huia Publishers)

Māori Language award: Prize $1,000 (announced on 8 April) Taka Ki Ro Wai by Keri Kaa and Martin D Page (Tania&Martin)

 

Our own wonderful librarian Zac Harding – you might know him from this very blog – was a judge, along with Ant Sang and Barbara Else.

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Saffron calling from Uruguay again!

Hola again,

Remember Saffron’s story from Uruguay? Here is what happened next…by Saffron

 

This is what happens when I take my two little sisters for a walk in Colonia del Sacramento:

‘Why is everything so old?’ Sage asks

I tell her that Colonia is very old and precious and that that’s why it needs to be preserved.

But Sage is not listening and keeps complaining about everything being really old. She keeps saying that there is no one around and that she feels scared.

We start walking around the block. Then we stop. Then we try to walk. Then we stop again.

‘Saffron, I told you this place is all broken,̕̕ Sage says.

The street is all made of sharp pointy stones. Star Anise’s pram is completely stuck. I can’t move it. She starts crying. Sage starts whining. I tell Sage and Star Anise to be calm. I tell them that we are just stuck in a charming street. I also tell them not to worry because we are definitely protected by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization.’

 

‘Saffron, are you sure you are all right? Your little sister seems very distressed.’ Lovely lady says on the phone.

‘Yes, I am quite excellent at the moment. Mum’s uncle Bonifacio is meeting us in an hour to take us around the tourist attractions in Colonia del Sacramento. Bye now. I might call you later.’

 

Star Anise’s crying is getting really loud now and Sage is saying she needs to go to the toilet straight away. I keep pushing the pram but it’s still not moving. I think my little sisters need me at the moment so chau, chau for now.

Oh, forgot to explain: chau chau means bye, bye in Spanish.

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Pick Your Winner and Win Books

The winners of the 2014 New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults are announced in just one week, at the awards ceremony in Auckland on Monday 23 June.  There are some fantastic finalist books this year that we highly recommend.  Some of them will take you to new, exciting places, and some of them are set in our own backyard.  You can learn how to create a piece of wearable art or how to hunt and stew up a possum.

We want to know who you think will win.  We’ve got some copies of the junior fiction finalists to give away and a couple of Subway vouchers.  Just enter your winning book in the form below, along with your name and we’ll draw 5 winners next week.  Competition closes Friday 20 June (Canterbury residents only).

This competition has now closed.  Thanks to those who entered.

 

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Boy eBooks and girl eBooks?

I know that boys are different to girls but I prefer not to generalize. I personally bit the head off my sister’s Barbie and had a farm set. So not all girls like pink and are sweet and not all boys are trouble and like noise! Regardless of what your personality is like there are eBooks and downloadable audiobooks to suit all tastes on OverDrive. I have added some images of new OverDrive titles for you below –  lines of eBooks aimed at girls,  lines aimed at boys and then lines for those who  feel neither blue nor pink! See if you can pick which line belongs to whom!

Snake attack!

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Lovely children

Hola again!

One of the cool parts of my job is going to schools as a guest author and illustrator. Last week I was lucky enough to visit Al Madinah School in Auckland and what a lovely group of children they are! The best thing was that they were celebrating their book week so every day they were having a different activity to do with books.

From the moment I arrived teachers and children welcomed me into their school. Have a look at this:Image

I am the author on the right, the one on the left is lovely Sally Sutton who had visited the school the day before. I was so impressed with the children’s enthusiasm for books and for the craft of writing and illustrating. A real treat for me to see!

Do you have Book Weeks at your school? If so, what kind of activities do you do?

Victoria M. Azaro

http://www.victoriamazaro.com

http://www.saffron-sage.com

 

 

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