Saturday, May 08, 2010

Kid’s Books Come Alive For New Zealand Post Children’s Book Festival

Some of our best writers and illustrators take to the streets, parks, trams, buses, libraries and schools all over the country next week in celebration of this year’s New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards.

Twenty-five of this year’s Awards finalists will visit twenty five regions – from Whangarei to Stewart Island - from the 10th to the 19th of May. They’ll be entertaining children of all ages; from tiny tots to teenagers with events as diverse as literary scavenger hunts, readings by torchlight in parks, book gigs, book character dance shows and farm visits.

Booksellers New Zealand chief executive, Lincoln Gould says virtually every corner of New Zealand can look forward to events where books and their characters come to life next week.
‘More writers and illustrators than ever before are touring to celebrate this years New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards.
‘I urge parents, littlies and teenagers to check out what is happening in their region; there are some treats in store.’

This year’s New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards finalists are on tour as part of this annual nationwide festival of children’s reading and literature. Now in their 14th year, they are the nation’s most prestigious book awards, celebrating writing and publishing for children and teens.

The celebrations culminate in the announcement of the winners at the Auckland Town Hall on Wednesday 19 May.

Some of this year’s highlight events are:

Northland: Tuesday 11 May, 4.00pm. Hear how John Lockyer brought the biography, Willie Apiata VC: The Reluctant Hero to life on the printed page at a public event at Whangarei Central Library.

Auckland: Saturday 15 May, 10.30am. Scavenger Hunt at Auckland Botanic Gardens. Join in the fun and see if you can find the characters from the New Zealand Post Book Children’s Awards Finalists.

Tauranga: Saturday 15th May, 9.30am. Visit to Claire's Farm at Oropi! 
Come and celebrate non-fiction finalist, Ben and Mark: Boys of the High Country by milking cows, feeding pigs/chooks, collecting eggs and a tractor ride!

Gisborne: Thursday 13 May, 10.00am. Pied Piper Parade: Dress as a book character and meet outside the City Faith Centre, opposite the Gisborne District Council.

Rotorua: Tuesday 11 May, 6.00pm.  Night Magic at the Government Gardens!
 Celebrate the wonder of words and illustration, and through a blend of storytelling, drama and readings this night promises to bring a selection of the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Award finalists alive. Bring along a torch, picnic tea, and a rug. Dress up as your favourite book character!

Porirua: Wednesday 19 May, 9.30am. Dance spectacular at Te Rauparaha Arena. More than 1100 children have booked to come to watch Deborah Hale and performers from Dance Plus Performance Studio put on a performance of a number of the picture book finalists.

Wellington: Sunday 16 May, 1.30pm. LIVE in concert with Piggity-Wiggity Jiggity Jig Goes to Dad’s Café finalist author Diana Neild and illustrator Philip Webb AND Wonky Donkey finalist author, Craig Smith. Wellington City Library - Mezzanine Floor.

Nelson: Sunday 16th May, 2.00pm. Lift Off! The Granary, Founders Park.
Dress up as your favourite winged book character, flying creature, aeronaut or astronaut and lift off with great books and fantastic stories.

Christchurch: Tuesday 18 May, 10.00am and 10.30am. Preschoolers Story Tram. Cathedral Square, Tram Stop one. Take a free circuit on one of Christchurch's restored trams while listening to, and participating in, stories, songs and rhymes performed by Liz Weir.

West Coast: Saturday 15 May, 11am – 3.00pm. Remembering the Brunner Mine Disaster. Hear readings from the book, The Mine’s Afire and learn about the history of Brunner Mine.

Southland/Stewart Island: Saturday 15 May, 10.30am. Meet the Wonky Donkey Man, Craig Smith! Craig hosts a roaring time of singing and dancing at Stewart Island Community Centre.

For full details of the hundreds of events happening in your region, and around the country, and for a full list of finalist books go to .

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