Monday, 31 August 2009

National RAK Day tomorrow

"So what is National RAK Day? It's as simple as Random Acts of Kindness. Taking the attention off 'self' and being kind to someone else through a Random Act of Kindness, where you're not seeking credit or something in return.

The idea has been around for awhile, but the concept of making it a New Zealand National Day was brought to fruition over coffee between Marshall Gray and Josh de Jong mid 2004 who felt it was time Kiwi's had a day they could focus on doing something great others ~ without the retail pressure! A day where you could ‘RAK' a family member, a friend.... or a complete stranger by shouting them coffee, mowing their lawn, giving them flowers or even something as simple as visiting the many lonely elderly or sick around our country!

The reason to make it a national day is the desire for people to remember the importance of people! With life getting busier all the time, consciously putting aside a day where we are randomly kind will hopefully show people that it is not hard to do something thoughtful, and that we then adapt it as part of our lives . . . on occasion . . . randomly . . ."

Friday, 28 August 2009

LiveStrong - Lance Armstrong

Today is Daffodil day and it seems appropriate to write about the man who is possibly the most famous cancer survivor in the world - Lance Armstrong. He's a cancer survivor making headlines at the moment by starting a new cycling team. Team Radio Shack will make its debut at the 2010 Tour Down Under around Adelaide from January 17-24. Oh, and he won the Tour de France cycle race 7 times after nearly dying from cancer that had spread throughout his body.

While he was undergoing treatment, before he knew he would recover, he'd started a charitable foundation to focus on prevention, access to screening and care, improvement of the quality of life for cancer survivors and to invest in research.

You can read about his amazing story in the following books

It's not about the bike : my journey back to life / Lance Armstrong with Sally Jenkins.
In 1996, 24-year-old Lance Armstrong was ranked number one cyclist in the world, but that October, tests revealed that advanced testicular cancer had spread to his lungs and brain. In this book, he reveals his journey from a 20% chance of survival, to victory in the 1999 Tour de France.

Every second counts / Lance Armstrong with Sally Jenkins.
Continuing where "It's Not About the Bike" left off, recounts Armstrong's life after cancer, his relationship with the French, disproved accusations of doping, and his work restoring a chapel in Spain. In this title, Lance Armstrong offers us his life philosophy - his thoughts on training, competing, winning and failure. He also recounts the work done to the Foundation he set up following his dramatic recovery from testicular cancer and introduces further inspirational tales of cancer survival.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Daffodils and Dogs

Daffodils and Dogs - a strange mix but with a better ring to it than Daffodils and Cupcakes (my old English teacher would be most impressed by my alliteration).

Daffodils is, of course, a reference to Friday 28 August which is Daffodil Day to support the Cancer Foundation. This day has been an institution in New Zealand for many years now. We celebrate spring, new life, quality of life and do all we can in recognition of those who are fighting the battle, who have lost the battle and those of us who know people in both camps together with the medical professionals who are at the front lines. Whether you are looking for inspiration, guidance, comfort, practical advice or just information, the library can help you. Click on this Cancer link for all the different subject headings and holdings we have on this subject. Go to the Daffodil Day website for more information.

Dogs and cupcakes is a little more obscure, but is something that may soon take on the same following. Cupcake Day is a new fundraising initiative by the SPCA and is on Monday 31st August. People are encouraged to bake cupcakes and sell them to raise funds, with prizes for taking part. You don't even have to be a good cook as one of the prizes is for the most unusual place to eat a cupcake. To register and get more ideas go the Cupcake Day for SPCA website. Check out our cooking section for books on the subject or click on this Cupcake link for three of best specifically on this wonderful little item.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Storylines festival

The Storylines Festival is a celebration of New Zealand Children's Writers and Illustrators. (By rights I should let kowhai reader write about this one but the programme for Sunday's free family day is just so exciting that I can't help myself.)

Doors open at the Aotea Centre at 9.45am. There are 5 levels of activities plus Borders. Facepainting, puppets, story reading, crafts, theatre - there's something for everyone and it's all FREE.

Who'll be there? Our very own Maria Gill along with Margaret Mahy, Martin Baynton, Penelope Todd and more. One of the highlights has to be the Kids Lit Quiz with QuizMaster Wayne Mills. I reckon there'll be plenty to keep the kids amused.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

New Zealand Book Month - in October

Although New Zealand Book Month isn't happening until October we're gearing up for some pretty special events at Rodney Libraries. Here's a sneak preview...

Lauraine Jacobs (one of my favourite food speakers) will be speaking about food and life in association with the three northern libraries - Warkworth, Mahurangi East and Wellsford Libraries.

Michael Irwin, author of "Educating boys" will be speaking at Orewa Library.

New Zealand Book Month aims to "celebrate and showcase the brilliant writing talent we have, to support new and upcoming writers in our country, to tap into the pride we feel in our literary landscape and show you that whatever your taste, there’s a fantastic New Zealand book for you."

Monday, 24 August 2009

Keep Rodney Beautiful

From the 4th -11th September communities across New Zealand will be joining together to help clean up their neighbourhoods. Keep New Zealand Beautiful week is being celebrated once again this year through a wide range of clean up activities throughout New Zealand.

Within Rodney District, known for its fabulous beaches and miles of stunning coastlines, Keep New Zealand Beautiful week will be celebrated with an aquatic theme.

Puhoi River Canoe Hire if offering free use of their kayaks to people who participate in a Puhoi River clean up on Sunday 13th September. People will be able to enjoy the spectacular scenery along the river, as well as improve the river environment for other users. The event starts at 12.15, and departs from the Puhoi River Canoe Hire, in Puhoi Village. Those taking part should bring their own water bottles, gloves and bags and wear suitable clothing. A sausage sizzle will follow the clean up. Prior booking is recommended to secure a free kayak and can be done be contacting Kathy on 09 422 0891 or emailing

Rodney District Council is also keen to support other community clean ups by providing gloves and helping to dispose of rubbish. The Council is also coordinating a Respect Rodney Graffiti Eradication Project which provides free paint to volunteers to remove graffiti.

Anyone who would like to get involved with a clean up event or graffiti removal project can contact the Council on 0800 426 5169 or email for more information.

Clean Ups can also be registered on the Keep New Zealand Beautiful website,

For further information about community clean ups please contact:

Sarah Stead
Rodney District Council
Phone 0800 426 5169

For further information about the Respect Rodney graffiti eradication project please contact:

Roslyn Prictor
Rodney District Council
Phone 0800 426 5169

Friday, 21 August 2009

Going to the Dogs

In celebration of the new animal shelter that was opened this week at Silverdale, the subject of today's blog is DOGS.

As you can see if you click on the link above, if you do a subject search in the Rodney Libraries catalogue, you get three pages of subject headings on dogs - from dog behaviour and dog training, through to dogs use in war and dog anecdotes.

There are plenty of dogs in fiction, both children's and adults. Think Hairy Maclary from Donaldson's Dairy, Spot, Walter the Farting Dog and Clifford the Big Red Dog for the children. Marley has taken all age groups by storm and is among the dogs that win in the cute stakes. However at the other extreme are dogs like Cujo and the were-wolves. Of course - one of the all time favourites for a lot of us is LASSIE. We have a couple of Lassie books and movies, but for the real fan you need to head somewhere like

The Northern Animal Shelter is a joint project between Rodney District Council and North Shore City Council. The shelter was officially opened yesterday by Rodney Mayor Penny Webster and North Shore Mayor Andrew Williams. It provides state of the art accommodation for up to 40 dogs. The partnership with North Shore City Council reduces the constructing and operating costs of providing the shelter through cost sharing.
photo credit - Rodney District Council - one of the cuter current members of the shelter

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Kumeu Library Book Club

It's only a week until the next meeting of the Kumeu Library Book Club which is on Thursday 27th August at 7pm.

The author for August is Kate Atkinson, with a choice of 2 titles (you can read either both titles or just one). They are:

Behind the scenes at the museum
When will there be good news?

If you want to get started on your reading for upcoming months, the Book for September is A celibate season by Carol Shields and the Book for October is Adam Bede by George Eliot.

The Club has also created a Wiki to provide information for memberes if they cannot attend the meetings. The address is Please get in touch with Anne or Tina at the Kumeu Library if you would like help or more info about this. They are also the people to talk to if you want to know more about or join the Book Club.

credit - author photo from website

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Red Faced over BPANZ short list

A couple of weeks ago, it was pointed out to me that when I blogged about the Book Publishers Association of New Zealand Book Design Awards 2009 awards shortlist, I didn't actually acknowledge the designers - which is after all, what the awards are for. So to all those people that design the look and feel of our books, my sincere apologies.

Here is the full list of finalists for the 2009 BPANZ Book Design Awards (with the designer mentioned first):

Scholastic New Zealand Award for Best Children’s Book
Sarah Healy (The Apple, Ben Brown & Tracy Duncan, Penguin NZ)
Sarah Nelisiwe Anderson (The Were-Nana, Melinda Szymanik, Scholastic New Zealand)
Sarah Elworthy /Gavin Bishop (Piano Rock: A 1950s Childhood, Gavin Bishop, Random House New Zealand)

Hachette New Zealand Award for Best Non-Illustrated Book
Robbie Burton (Internal), Sarah Maxey (Cover) (Doubtless: New and Selected Poems, Sam Hunt, Craig Potton)
Katrina Duncan (Internal), Sarah Maxey (Cover) (Poems 1951-2006 CK Stead, Auckland University Press)
Katy Yiakmis (Diggers Hatters & Whores, Stevan Eldred-Grigg, Random House New Zealand)
Random House New Zealand Award for Best Illustrated Book
Alan Deare (Ladies, A Plate, Alexa Johnston, Penguin NZ)
Katy Yiakmis (Mates & Lovers: A History of Gay New Zealand, Chris Brickell, Random House New Zealand)
Alan Deare (White Silence, Grahame Sydney, Penguin NZ)

Pearson Award for Best Educational Book
Book Design Ltd (Internal), Brenda Cantrell (Cover) (Excellence in Biology III, Martin Hanson, Cengage Learning)
Marie Low & Esther Chua (Internal), Marie Low (Cover) (Saying What you See, Alison Annals, Abby Cunnane and Sam Cunnane, Pearson)
Meredith Biberstein (Through a Gap in the Fence: Journal of Secondary Students’ Writing and Visual Arts 2008, Ministry of Education, Learning Media)

GA Pindar & Son Award for Best Typography
Sarah Maxey (How to Look at a Painting, Justin Paton, Awa Press)
Katy Yiakmis (Into the Wider World: A Back Country Miscellany, Brian Turner, Random House New Zealand)
Arch MacDonnell (Certain Words Drawn, John Reynolds, Random House New Zealand)

For more information you can head to the BPANZ website.

Discover Mexico at Orewa Library, 2pm today

Forget Swine Flu and discover Mexico in the Library!
Patrick Drum has spent over 25 years in Mexico and has explored the country extensively. He and his wife, Alejandra, now live in Orewa. Some of you may know her from Orewa's Wednesday Spanish storytime. Pat's unique perspective of Mexico comes from his arrival as a young backpacking Kiwi to raising a family and becoming an integral part of this fascinating country. Hear more about Mexico - its colourful cultures, fascinating history and what lies ahead.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Whangaparaoa Library hosts SOSSI fundraising event

This Thursday from 7pm Whangaparaoa Library is hosting the SOSSI (Shakespear Open Sanctury Society Inc) group. They will be joined by ARC rangers who will be speaking about the wildlife and the Predator Fencing project out at Shakespear Park on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula.

As well as hosting the event there is a display of Jeff Thomson artwork that he has been commisioned to do as a fundraiser for SOSSI. There are different pieces which will be signed limited editions and will sell for $150 - Jeff will donate $50 from every sale to SOSSI.

Support SOSSI and pick up some great art at the same time!

Monday, 17 August 2009

Snippets to start the week

The most intriguing story of the week involves the works of Jane Austen. If you can imagine Sense & Sensibility with sea monsters or Pride & Prejudice with zombies, then the latest trend about to hit the shelves is for you. I'm not sure if I can, although the idea of Mr Darcy as a vampire does have some appeal. To find out more about the latest HOT thing that is coming our way check out the full report here at

There are several book adaptations in the pipeline or due out soon. I mentioned the two Maurice's earlier this week, but there are more, many of which you can already watch trailers of on the World Wide Web.

Where the Wild Things are, Maurice Sendak
Under the Mountain, Maurice Gee
My Sister's Keeper, Jodi Picoult
The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold (and directed by Peter Jackson)
Angels and Demons, Dan Brown

This week it was also announced the Kiwi Andrew Adamson (Shrek, The Chronicles of Narnia) is going to direct a movie based on award winning novel Mr Pip by Lloyd Jones.

And rather than reinvent the wheel for the rest of my snippets, I will just point you to the guru of all things books Graham Beattie and his Blog There's lots of news both local (i.e. Kiwi) and international including book launches, new books and author news.

Have a great week everyone.

Alistair Te Ariki Campbell

Radio New Zealand News reports that poet Alistair Te Ariki Campbell has died, age 84, after a short illness. In 2005 he received a $60,000 Prime Minister’s Awards for Literary Achievement for poetry. That same year he was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM).

You can listen to him reading one of his poems in the book/cd set "Classic New Zealand poets in performance "

For more information about Campbell - New Zealand Book Council .

Friday, 14 August 2009

Library Week Snippets

The New Zealand History Online website provides some interesting facts and figures on Kiwi libraries to celebrate library week. The oldest public library is recognised as being Port Nicholson, founded in 1841. Fires, floods and fashion are all covered in this entertaining entry. There is also a media gallery and a small quiz to test your library knowledge.

The idea of a Living Library (which I touched on yesterday without mentioning the actual phrase) is an international one which you can find out more about at the website link.

Closer to home have a look at these pages from our fellow eLGAR partners (Libraries in the Greater Auckland Region) which now includes Papakura to find some great links and ideas for reading.

Auckland City Libraries
North Shore Libraries
Waitakere Libraries
Manukau Libraries
Papakura Library

Today is the day to LOVE YOUR LIBRARY! So come in and say hi to us today.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

The Detective Librarian

Did you realise your library is a living, breathing beast?

The information you find in the library is not just words on pages or screens. Sometimes the right information is not available in either of these formats (book or world wide web) at the very instant that you desire it. That's where the mighty power of Librarian Magic comes into play. Or if you prefer because you don't believe in magic, the sleuthing skills of the information professional (otherwise known as your local Librarian). Many of use liken what we do to the work of the detective as we ferret out information and try to join the dots to find the book that our customers want.

For instance, so far today I have found an address for a Births Deaths and Marriages Registry in another country, managed to find the title of a book from a reasonably vague description (slightly more detailed than it had a blue cover, but vague nonetheless), and although I determined that I couldn't find a book the gentleman wanted on Highland Dancing, I could put him in touch with people locally who would be able to help as they learnt, danced and taught. I particularly like it when someone starts the conversation with "This is probably a bit tricky.." as I know my powers of deduction will be required.

My point is that it is not just the information stored in the library in either print or via the internet that makes up the library. It is the knowledge and skills of the people in the library that are just as important to the Library experience.

So don't feel shy about asking us questions. The "DISCOVER" part of the theme from this year's Library Week, often applies to our voyage of discovery as much as yours. It's one of the reasons we love what we do - because there is always something new out there to learn about.

"Welcome to the record books"

Congratulations Dean Veale! Mr Veale from Kaukapakapa has set a new land speed record. For the full story check out the article.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

National Storytime

As part of LIBRARY WEEK it was National Storytime Day today. At 10.30am throughout New Zealand, children (and children at heart) were listening to Itiiti's Gift, a charming story by Melanie Drewery and illustrated by the bubbly Fifi Colston (I can say that as I met her in person last week and she is extremely bubbly and fun). I had a group from Warkworth Primary School down for their regular visit this morning (they come in at least once a term) and National Storytime was part of it.

This New Zealand picture book was first published in 2006 by Reed Publishing. "Itiiti feels small and clumsy and shy next to her big, jumbly family... When her mum tells Itiiti that she has her own gift, Itiiti sets out to find it. To her surprise, her gift finds her."

Melanie Drewery and Fifi Colston have items on both our picture book and children's fiction shelves so check them out on our catalogue. One of my personal favourites by Melanie (so much so that an autographed copy of the book was one of the first gifts I bought for my niece last year) is The Treasure (which is also available in Te Reo) as she is a very special taonga for our family. This is the second time Melanie Drewery has been the author of the National Storytime Book. The Grumble Rumble Mumbler was a previous read aloud success. To find out more about Melanie, check out the NZ Book Council biography.

Meanwhile Fifi Colston has a new children's fiction book about to hit the shelves. Glory will be launched during the Storylines Festival in August/September. Glory is for all those kids who "thought they were going to win a prize, but didn't". Fifi told us last week she is now looking for someone to publish a book "1001 things to do with an empty egg carton", presumably so they don't threaten to overtake her workroom (which does make an interesting mental picture). You can read more about what Fifi is up to on her Blog "Fifi verses the world"

Goodie in a hoodie

It's International Youth day and Hoodie Day all rolled into one today.

Hoodie Day organisers NZ Aotearoa Adolescent Health and Development (NZAAHD) work to support, inform and connect organisations that work with youth across New Zealand . NZAAHD will pass on 10% of funds raised in schools and workplaces today, to their partner organisation Age Concern - to help show that young people care about their older people. Age Concern work to serve the needs of older people in NZ.

For more information check out the Hoodie Day page on Bebo or Facebook or TakingITGlobal

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

2009 LIANZA Children's Book Awards Announced

New Zealand's oldest book prize, the Esther Glen Award, was presented at the LIANZA Children's Book Awards ceremony in Wellington on Monday 10 August.

The Esther Glen Award was established in 1944 and is presented to the author whose work is considered a distinguished contribution to fiction for children. The prize was presented to Wellington writer Fleur Beale for her young adult novel Juno of Taris (Random House). The judges said Beale "excels in descriptions of life as a feisty teenage girl. Juno is a remarkable character, the reader delights in her triumphs and commiserates in her disappointments."

Dunedin based author and illustrator Robyn Belton received the Russell Clark Award for Herbert: The Brave Sea Dog (Craig Potton Publishing). The Russell Clark Award was established in 1975 and celebrates a distinguished contribution to illustrated children's books. The judges could imagine "librarians uming and ahing about whether to place this book in the true story, non-fiction, or picture-book sections of the library. We thought the connectivity of text and illustration resonates with readers of all ages and the superb endpapers intrigue the reader. An entirely satisfactory and uplifting ending that touches all reader's hearts."

For the first time the Te Kura Pounamu Award has been won by a novel. Mihiroa by Peti Nohotima with illustrations by Misty (He Kupenga Hao I te Reo) caught the judge's attention for its skill in capturing a teenage perspective. "From texting to teenage jealousy, from budding relationships to the intensity of sporting competition, one of the most captivating features is how the language is used to develop the characters and their interactions. The delightful line drawings add to the story's attraction too." This award was established in 1995 and celebrates works written in te reo Māori for children and young people.

Radio New Zealand host Veronika Meduna and science historian Rebecca Priestly were the recipients of the Elsie Locke Award for Atoms, Dinosaurs and DNA (Random House). The judges noted that the book had developed out of a 2006 National Library science exhibition, and delighted in the insights it gives to the lives of the sixty eight New Zealand scientists profiled. "Did you know that entomologist George Hudson did his field work in a three piece suit? Beneath his suit he wore head to toe pink woolen underwear. As librarians we knew that this book filled a gap in our collections."

Together the LIANZA Children's Book Awards celebrate the unique contribution New Zealand authors and illustrators make to our cultural heritage and national identity. Award recipients are selected from a shortlist of five titles and receive a medal or taonga and $1,000 prize money.

Monday, 10 August 2009

I escaped. I explored. I discovered.

It wasn't exactly in celebration of Library Week but that's what I did last weekend. Here is my story.

As my days are spent in the wonderful world of the Library and books here at Warkworth, ESCAPE is hardly the word I would use for leaving the library and heading off down to the Hawkes Bay, especially as the prime focus of the trip was a Children's and Teenagers Librarians seminar. But as it was a change of scenery for me, that constitutes the Escape part of Library Week.

I certainly EXPLORED. Not only by exchanging ideas with other librarians, but also wandering around the wonderful Hawkes Bay, including visits to the Hawkes Bay Museum in Napier and the Hastings Library, one of our fellow War Memorial Libraries. They have a wonderful mural and acknowledgement in their entry hall which I took some time to read and admire, bearing in mind our recent rededication up here in Warkworth. I also wound my way up to the top of Te Mata Peak above Havelock North, passing dedicated cyclists and trampers who made it to the top under their own power. The view was stunning, if the wind a little chilly, and I was very impressed by one young girl who did a tandem para-pont (hopefully the right terminology) off the peak.

And I DISCOVERED. That it is time to read and re-read the New Zealand classic Under the Mountain (Maurice Gee) and the internationally renowned Where the Wild Things Are (Maurice Sendak) before the movies premiere later this year. I saw trailers of both and they look absolutely stunning. If you want a sneak preview of Under the Mountain go to the official website. I met and shared ideas with colleagues, heard from Kiwi authors Vince Ford (The Chronicles of Stone) and Ted Dawe (Thunder Road) and also discovered how to do craft things from the bubbly Fifi Colston (who also happens to be the illustrator of the children's picture book we are using on Wednesday for National Storytime, Ititi's Gift).

I also realised on the flight home last night (unfortunately not a window seat) from what little I could see, that the myths and legends we read about how New Zealand were created come alive from that height. It looks just like the Gods or giants, used large sticks and dragged them through the ground to create the craggy ridges and landscape. Or that mountains moved far away to create the rivers and gullies. The romantic in me veers towards the Maori myths and legends of creation, while the realist is fascinated by the geology.

I'm back on the ground, behind my desk here at Warkworth. But that doesn't mean the adventure stops. I discover a whole different world every time I turn a corner or get asked a new question here in the library. There's always something new out there, so why not find out today by escaping, exploring, discovering, or even all three at once, at your local library.

Happy Library Week!

Escape, explore and discover the world in your library!

This week is library week across New Zealand. It began over 35 years ago to "honour the role that libraries play in our communities." From the North to the South libraries have been a part of their communities for much, much longer than that.

The national Library Week website has competitions (create a video; graphic novel or short story) and a space for you to share why you love your library. Or you can do that here - why do you love your library?

Friday, 7 August 2009

Top 9 DVD titles from last year

To qualify for this list, titles had to be checked out 30+ times between July 1 2008 and June 30 2009.

1. The devil wears Prada

Miranda, editor of "Runway" magazine, is a terror to everyone around her. Her first assistant strives to please her, but can't quite pull it off. Enter Andy, a young woman who knows nothing of the fashion industry and has never read the magazine. Nonetheless, Miranda, hires her as second assistant. When Miranda demands that she obtain the next unpublished Harry Potter manuscript, it forces Andy to dig it up in order to please her boss. With the help of one of the magazine's fashion editors, she gets a complete makeover and new security, and as she is whisked away to Paris with Miranda, Andy faces all of the glamor that could be hers and is forced to make the decision of where she wants to be in her life.

2. Little Miss Sunshine

Olive Hoover is supported by her dysfunctional family when she goes to California to compete in the "Little Miss Sunshine" pageant.

3. Babel

A wealthy American is touring Morocco with his wife. The two become the focus of an international incident also involving a poor Moroccan farmer who is struggling to keep his two young sons in line and his family together. A San Diego nanny, with her employers absent, makes the disastrous decision to take her charges with her to a wedding in Mexico. A deaf-mute Japanese teen tries to deal with a relationship with her father and the world in general that has been upended by the death of her mother. It's about a gun. It's about communication - or the lack of it - both intercultural and intracultural. Raises issues like terrorism and immigration, and is as basic as husbands talking to their wives and parents understanding their children.

4. Happy feet

Emperor Penguins from Antarctica each express their true love with a special heartsong of their own that expresses their very being. However, the misfit Mumble cannot sing. Instead he has an extraordinary talent to tap dance with almost magical energy and expression. Nevertheless, the leadership of the colony fearfully blames the young penguin's unorthodox ways for the lean fishing that threatens them all. Defiant in the face of unjust rejection, Mumble and his true friends set out to find the true cause of the famine. Through the friends trials and perils, Mumble learns many things about his frozen world, not the least of which being that his toe tapping talent may be what he needs to save his people.

5. Miss Potter

In an effort to give their younger brother, Norman a project to keep him busy now that he has joined the family publishing house, the older Warne brothers agree to publish Miss Beatrix Potter's first children's book. They don't expect the book to sell well, but they need to keep Norman busy. As a single woman living in Edwardian London, Beatrix suspects this endeavor may provide her with a small measure of freedom. But she also has very specific ideas about how the book should be published. As they work together, Norman and Beatrix become close. After the first book is published, Beatrix goes on to a second book and that sells well. One day at lunch, she meets the rest of Norman's family, including his sister, Millie and the two women become fast friends. Norman proposes, but Beatrix's parents object to the marriage proposal. After much argument, they agree to let Beatrix marry Norman provided they wait until the end of the summer.

6. The secret

Documentary-style film about manifesting and using the Law of Attraction to create whatever you want in your life. Helps you understand how important it is to consciously choose the thoughts you hold each day and to keep your thoughts and actions focused on what you really want to attract into your life.

7. The white Masai

Based upon an autobiographical novel by Swiss writer Corinne Hofmann, the film tells of a girl, Carola, whose vacation in Kenya takes an interesting turn when she becomes infatuated with a Masai. Carola decides to leave her boyfriend to stay with her lover. There, she has to adapt to the Masai's way of life and get used to their food which includes milk mixed with blood. She also has to face her husband's attitude towards women and what he expects from a wife. Nonetheless, Carola is welcomed warmly into the tribe she has chosen to join.

8. Casino Royale

Casino Royale introduces James Bond before he holds his license to kill. But Bond is no less dangerous, and with two professional assassinations in quick succession, he is elevated to "00" status. "M" (Judi Dench), head of the British Secret Service, sends the newly promoted 007 on his first mission that takes him to Madagascar, the Bahamas and eventually leads him to Montenegro to face Le Chiffre, a ruthless financier under threat from his terrorist clientele, who is attempting to restore his funds in a high stakes poker game at the Casino Royale. "M" places Bond under the watchful eye of the Treasury offical Vesper Lynd. At first skeptical of what value Vesper can provide, Bond's interest in her deepens as they brave danger together. Le Chiffre's cunning and cruelty come to bear on them both in a way Bond could never imagine, and he learns his most important lesson: Trust no one.

9. Night at the museum

Larry Daley is a divorced father who can't seem to keep a job for more than a week. He applies for a job at the Museum of Natural History and is assigned as a night guard. However, a seemingly easy job turns out to be an adventure when he finds that an ancient curse has caused the "inhabitants" of the museum to come to life.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Beach alert (via RDc)

The public are urged to take care following recent reports of dog and sea life deaths on eastern beaches and within the Hauraki Gulf. Various agencies are investigating these deaths to determine the cause.

Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS), will be unable to rule out risk to the public until results are received, . Therefore, ARPHS strongly recommends that the public follows this advice:
• People should avoid contact with sea water and sea life in the Hauraki Gulf

• People should avoid exercising pets along Hauraki Gulf beaches
• Children should not be taken to Hauraki Gulf beaches
• People should not collect shellfish from the Hauraki Gulf

Pet owners are advised to contact their local veterinary clinic should their pet develop symptoms from exposure on the beach. People developing any symptoms within approximately an hour of exposure to sea water or sea life should also see their GP and inform ARPHS.

Further questions relating to public health issues and water safety can be directed to Auckland Regional Public Health 09 623 4600.

Oringal location Rodney District Council website

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Magic is a slippery fish at the best of times

Mostly I spend a reasonable amount of time crafting my blog posts. Researching sources, tracking down links from various places etc all takes time. Every so often though I stumble across an article or a website that doesn't need anything other than a link.
Therefore I present to you...

Gandalf v Dumbledore: who is the greatest wizard of all?
by Damien G Walter from the Guardian.
"Gandalf and Dumbledore may have legions of fans behind them, but the time has come to decide who wields the most power under their pointy hat."

Thanks to Bookman Beattie who linked to this on his blog.

NB. The comments list several other candidates so here they are in order with links.
Merlin in John Boorman's Excalibur (M. Suitable for mature audiences 16 years and over. Note: Contains violence)
Paul Daniels
Rothron the Wise
Pug or Milamber
Alberto Malich

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

What they are reading in the north

Wellsford Library provide regular book reviews to their Local Matters. Here is one of their latest.

Freedoms’s Land
By Anna Jacobs
Once again Anna Jacobs has written a ‘can not put down book’. This one has a slightly different twist to it. A great Aussie yarn.

World War 11 has just finished and families are trying to deal with the new life that has been left for them to cope with. The Western Australian Government is giving the British ex-service men and their families land to develop and farm. All that is asked from them is to be strong and willing. What they are not told, is that, nothing will be the same as what they are used to in England. Both the landscape and the weather is the going to be a challenge, which some will cope with and some will not.

New friendships will be forged and marriages will be tested. Will the main characters Norah and Andrew make it all work for them and their children?
Book cover courtesy of Syndetics via Rodney Libraries catalogue

Monday, 3 August 2009

Top 11 popular picture books

Following on from the top 12 most popular information books across Auckland a couple of weeks ago, here are the top 11 popular picture books. (Nice to see New Zealand and Australian authors well represented.)

To qualify for this list, titles had to be checked out more than 20 times each between July 1 2008 and June 30 2009.

1. Greedy cat and the sneeze by Joy Cowley
2. Where is Hairy Maclary? by Lynley Dodd
3. Harry and the dinosaurs go to school by Ian Whybrow and Adrian Reynolds
4. Hairy Maclary's hat tricks by Lynley Dodd
5. Grandma McGarvey goes camping by story by Jenny Hessell ; illustrated by Trevor Pye
6. The other ark by Lynley Dodd
7. Mr McGee and the big bag of bread by Pamela Allen
8. Kiss! Kiss! Yuck! Yuck! by Kyle Mewburn ; illustrated by Ali Teo & John O'Reilly
9. My wobbly tooth must not ever never fall out by Lauren Child
10. Where's the gold? by Pamela Allen
11. Schnitzel von Krumm : dogs never climb trees by Lynley Dodd