Monday, 29 August 2016


I did have such a personal disappointment 10 days ago when due, as they say, to circumstances totally beyond my control and after having been one of the first people to enrol and pay my fee late last year, I discovered I was not going to be able to attend the IBBY Congress held at the Aotea Centre, Auckland. However, thanks to some amazing ‘reporting back’ from kind friends and being able to get more first hand knowledge at Storylines, Wellington this past Saturday I now know what a wonderful success it all was.  Congratulations to everyone concerned and especially to Dr. Libby Limbrick and Rosemary Tisdall who headed the committee and helped give the 500 plus participants something to remember with pleasure for years to come.  And yes, someone from Auckland was able to use my ticket so the space was not wasted.
Storylines at the Michael Fowler Centre last Saturday was a totally enjoyable experience for children and adults. Possibly due to the rather scant marketing and the number of other events on in Wellington on Saturday there were not nearly as many children as usual (and I noticed this because I have been to every Storylines since the event was first held here over 10 years ago). However, in many ways this worked as a plus as there was plenty of room at the activities (many and varied) and the storytelling sessions had comfortable amounts of listeners gathered around Bob Kerr, (see photo below in last post)  Nikki Slade Robinson, Ruth Paul and many others as they read from their own books.
Do go into both the IBBY and Storylines Facebook pages  - there are some wonderful images here.

Jack Lasenby and Bob Kerr join forces in a new children's book

 Available from Wednesday September 1st 2016

NZ Writer and Illustrator Jack Lasenby, illustrated by Bob Kerr Grandad’s Wheelies Puffin 2016 $16.99pb 143pp

ISBN 978 0 1435 0733 8 Themes: Funny stories/ New Zealand landscape/ Short stories

 There are 31 short stories (and some  are very short indeed) in this collection of outrageous and often OTT tales told by a granddad and grandma to their grandson, Jack. There are dragons and trains, false teeth and sponge cakes and lurking somewhere not too far from the surface a whole pile of home truths – some of which may be true. It is set in an almost recognisable New Zealand in the days before the Internet, IT and mobile phones. Bob Kerr has illustrated the collection and must have had a hard time deciding just which incidents to draw. A good book for reading aloud in the short minutes before bell time - even if the children have already read it....  
Bob reads from Changing Times at Storylines Wellington 27.8.16 Image: Barbara Murison
Year 3 up/ Age 7 up 
Jack - acknowledgments to the NZ Festival  2014


Friday, 26 August 2016

Bacha Posh - girl into boy

USA Writer
Nadia Hashimi
One Half From the East
HarperCollins 2016   $16.99pb 256pp
ISBN 978 0 0625 7219 6
Themes: Afghanistan/ Bacha Posh/ Family life/ School life
Set in modern day Afghanistan this is a poignant and involving tale. Obayda is only young and enjoys the things most small girls do but when her father loses his leg in a bomb explosion she is forced to be strong and her family has to move to a small village in order to survive. Obayda becomes Obayd and is part of the old Afghan custom of bacha posh. This is when a girl is ‘turned’ into a boy to change the fortunes of a family or household.  See below. This is the first novel for young people written by Nadia Hashimi  (she has written many for adults) and she will be reading from it in Christchurch this Saturday August 27th at The Word Festival – Google for details.
Year 6 up/ Age 10 up

Bacha posh is a cultural practice in parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan in which some families without sons will pick a daughter to live and behave as a boy.


It's National Poetry Day 2016
Google for many many details.

Paula Green NZ - an iconic poet (acknowledgements to photographer not traced)

New books will follow later....

Sunday, 21 August 2016

More about the World Finals of the Kids' Lit Quiz, Aotea Centre, Auckland 19.8.16

Here are the winners  - Wellesley College Days Bay New Zealand captured on film just after the event. 

Acknowledgement to Storylines for the image

Fantastically close behind them were Hamilton College from the United Kingdom and then  Kinross Wolaroi School from Australia.
Hopefully now all the pressure from the actual quiz is over all those very special young readers and their families will be able to continue enjoying the Auckland hospitality and the amazing programme of places to see and things to do that have been so carefully planned for them. 
And  - congratulations to Wayne Mills, Quiz master without whom none of this would have happened..
Please use Google for much more information!

New Picture Books in Te Reo Maori

NZ Writer and Photographer Sharon Holt, with photos by Sophie Holt Taku Mokai Te Reo Singalong Books Series  (with CD) Number #13 The Writing Bug Ltd 2016   $25.00pb 24pp

ISBN 978 0 9941 1714 4 Themes: Books in Te Reo Maori/ Disabled children/ Pets/ Series

Another book in the helpful Te Reo Singalong Series in the form of a story, song and happy photos of children looking after their pets. It follows the very successful format of the earlier books with extension ideas for adults and children/ simple sentence structure/ glossary/ English translations - all in a book that is a pleasure to look at.

Another book in the same series and published at the same time is:

Sharon Holt Kia Ora  Illustrated by Deborah Hinde ISBN 978 0 9941 1713 7

Preschool up/ Age 3 up

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Wellesley College Wellington wins the World Finals of the Kids' Lit Quiz

Hurrah and double hurrah for Wellesley College Days Bay Wellington the winners of the 2016 World Finals Kids' Lit Quiz held in Auckland last night at the IBBY Congress at the Aotea Centre. How I wish I had been there - I was booked to go but at the last moment was not able to make it to Auckland (nothing dramatic - just a minor hiccup but very disappointing for me). See this BLOG tomorrow for more details and up to date photos of the win.

The Wellesley Team at National Library in Wellington when they won the New Zealand finals just a few short weeks ago  (Image Barbara Murison)