I am spending much time at present out in the garage of my new home, unpacking the 3000 books for which, even as I type, I hope the builder who lives just down the road, is busily hammering and sawing and painting, putting together the 30 shelves that will hold them in my still empty and echoing sitting room. Why was it such a fast job to pack them just over a week ago and now it seems endless trying to unpack them and sort them into some sort of librarian-like sequence? I guess the fact that I keep finding old friends amongst them that someone else must have packed, that I can’t resist looking at, probably doesn’t help. The photo only shows the half of it!!
Sunday, 8 December 2013
Book One in The Hidden series
Allen & Unwin 2013 $23.99pb 313pp
ISBN 978 1 7433 1434 0
On an ancient and rusting icebreaker that has been circling the southern icecap for the past three hundred years are three warring tribes -the Cooks, the Officers and the Engineers. All the knowledge in the world is now kept on the ship. Everyone belongs to one tribe or another – that is everyone except 12- year-old Petrel whose parents committed such a terrible crime for which they were thrown overboard that she has been totally ostracised. She is a complete loner until one day a boy is discovered, frozen half to death on an iceberg and is brought on board. This is an absorbing and exciting fantasy/adventure story that readers who loved The Keepers series should find equally enthralling. The Hidden series, Part 2 is due to be published in October 2014.
Year 6 up/ Age 10 up
Lian Tanner, who lives in southern Tasmania, has had many career paths to follow. She has been a professional actor, an editor, a community arts worker, a tourist bus driver, a freelance journalist and a teacher.
Image of Lian Tanner acknowledgements to Matt Thompson, Mercury Newspaper, Tasmania
Wednesday, 4 December 2013
Puffin Books 2013 $19.99pb 216pp
Themes: Courage/ Cowardice/ Korean War 1952
There is a very thin line between cowardice and bravery, between right and wrong as 16-year-old Boy Seaman, Russell Purchas finds out when he is stationed on HMNZS Taupo on its way to take part in the Korean War. Russell’s Uncle Trevor died fighting in World War II and all his family have always revered his memory for his extreme bravery but Russell and his mother have heard a very different story. They feel that Uncle Trevor was no hero – he was a deserter and a coward.
In true David Hill style there is pace, action and real adventure here plus a satisfying and totally unexpected ending and explanation.
Year 8/ Age 12 up
Monday, 2 December 2013
Where Are The Books?
After a few heart stopping days when it really looked as though I was going to have to drop the whole idea of this Blog and only use web mail for my emails, my wonderful computer guru has come to my rescue. With a flick of a switch and the typing in of some magic stmp letters and digits I am now totally reinstated (and with better Broadband than I have ever had before). The move from Wellington to Waikanae is now completed with about 3,000 children’s books out in the garage waiting for 30 shelves to be built on which to house them! As so many people reading this message will understand, when you are used to being surrounded by books all day long, to be suddenly faced with blank walls, however freshly painted, is an unnerving experience. The room seems to echo… However the builder is coming in the morning and then the question will be, should I put them all in strict alphabetical order or just have a general genre collection?
Hopefully I will be back in the blogging business by this time tomorrow.
The room doesn't really look like this but it is what it feels like!
Saturday, 23 November 2013
NZ Writer & Illustrator
Kyle Mewburn, illustrated by Patrick McDonald
A Perfect Chirpy Christmas
Random House 2013 $19.99pb 32pp
ISBN 978 1 7755 3495 2
Themes: Northern Hemisphere Christmas/ Wishes
Flit is a small, oval shaped bird that longs for a White Christmas with all the trimmings. He sets off from his warm nest in the South to see life in the Northern Hemisphere. And what does he find? A white Christmas was wonderful. But there was no Christmas more perfect than a Christmas with family and friends. A gentle and subtly told story with meticulous images by a newcomer to this genre, Patrick McDonald, who was the winner of the 2013 Storylines Gavin Bishop Award for Picture Book Illustration.
Preschool up/ Age 4 up
I took this picture of Kyle and Patrick at the launch at the Children’s Bookshop at Kilbirnie last night. Kyle told us that Flit’s wishes have a parallel in real life. Some time ago he and his wife wanted to experience the magic of a White Christmas so they left their warm home in Millers Flat and travelled to the Northern Hemisphere. However what met them was not sparkling snow – just cold and damp. This year they will celebrate in the (hopefully) broiling hot sun in Millers Flat, Central Otago.
Thursday, 21 November 2013
Next week, on Thursday November 28th I will, for a few hours become a person without a landline or a box number. Then, hopefully, the cogs will click into the right places and from then on I will be able to be contacted at:
Phone: 04 293 1247
Box Number: PO Box 113 Waikanae
Mobile: 021 2173217
(It’s moving day that day and the forecast is for – wet and windy both where I am leaving from (Wellington) and where I am headed (Waikanae).
How to Betray a Dragon’s Hero
Hodder Children’s Books 2013 $19.99pb 398pp
How to Train Your Dragon series
Penultimate title in the series
ISBN 978 1 4449 1398 9
Themes: Dragons/ Funny stories/ Series/ Vikings
This title is number 11 in the series about Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third who grew to be a fierce and strong Viking warrior but in the books he is still quite a young man and has much to learn – often at his peril. In this, the second to last story in the series, although Hiccup with his companions, is hiding high up in the mists of the Murderous Mountains and the fates seem to be gathering against him, he is determined to reach his dream and become King of the Wilderwest. This is a series that has kept its impetus, humour and appeal since the first book, How to train your Dragon was published ten years ago in 2003. There have been spin-offs in the form of a movie, a TV series and short stories but I think you get the very best of Horrendous from the real thing - the book. This would be a great book to share with a group but it would need to be told by a really skilled reader-aloud because of the tongue-twisting names of the characters and the pace of the plot.
Year 5 up/ Age 9 up