Monthly Archives: May 2013

Two ways to ‘Remember that November’

Remember that November by Jennifer Beck and Lindy Fisher

Remember that November looks at two historically important events that both happened on a 5th of November:

Lana from Room 2 thinks:

“The picture on the cover is very detailed along with the rest of the pictures inside. This book had history, facts and information which made it more interesting to read. I enjoyed this book, because it had to do with New Zealand and its history. I found the information about Parihaka very fascinating. It has a lot of meaning in it. I don’t think the author or illustrator could have done anything extra to put in the book. I liked that the book was also full of mystery. The people who I think will like this book are the people who like reading about New Zealand and finding out information and facts about history.”

And if you would like to know what the book is about, Nathan, Phoenix and Tino from Room 3 have put it quite succinctly:

“The book was in two halves. One was about a man called Guy (who had) fireworks. He tried to blow up the king and his men…
Part 2
The government tried to take the Maori land. The government won, but MAORI came back and WIN IT BACK.”

At an event at the National Library branch in Parnell a couple of months ago Jennifer Beck and Lindy Fisher talked about how this book came about. It was quite an interesting story in which a feather paid an important role. Lindy uses all kinds of materials for her illustrations, including feathers. Have a close look at the illustrations in the book and see what other materials you can discover.

Jennifer Beck (writer)
Jennifer Beck is an award-winning writer and author of more than forty-five children’s books. Her books have been recognised at the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards, the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards in the picture book, book of the year and children’s choice categories and have been included in the Storylines Notable Books Lists.

Lindy Fisher (illustrator)
Lindy Fisher is an artist, graphic designer and illustrator. She has illustrated over 75 postage stamps and illustrated children’s picture books. She and Jennifer Beck have won awards for Nobody’s Dog (Children’s Choice Award, New Zealand Post Book Awards, 2006), A Present from the Past (Honour Award, New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults, 2007) and Stefania’s Dancing Slippers (Silver Medal, Moonbeams Children’s Book Awards, 2008).

This book has been translated into Maori by Kawata Teepa
Kawata Teepa (Tūhoe) has been a translator for number of years, carrying out translation work with the Ministry of Education, Te Kete Ipurangi, Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori, the New Zealand Translation Centre to name a few. Working at Huia Publishers has opened another avenue for me with regards to translations for children’s books, trying to keep the integrity of the original version (English) whilst keeping the Māori language rich but simple as well.


Take a look at the growing display of reviews at Green Bay Primary

2013-05-29 08.52.09

And, kids, don’t forget, you have only until tomorrow to vote for your favourite finalist:


Almost all children at Green Bay have already voted. Make your vote count.

Amazing artefacts and stories from Te Papa

100 Amazing Tales from Aotearoa by Simon Morton and Riria Hotere
Now you can pay a regular visit to Te Papa, even if you don’t live anywhere near Wellington. In fact, you can keep Te Papa at your house. 100 Amazing Tales of Aotearoa is based on the TV Series ‘Tales from Te Papa’. The book comes with two DVDs containing all episodes of the series, as well as some bonus material.

Here is what David from Room 2 (Year 5/6) thought of the book:

‘What are you doing reading this review, when you can be off looking for this book? This is an AMAZING book. I myself loved it. It’s FULL of AMAZING tales from Aotearoa. Did you know that moth’s eggs can be sent through the mail? I bet you didn’t know that.
But, I thought that the author could have made the book more EXCITING by putting more enthusiasm in it and describing things more than he/she did. As I read this book I was astonished at how many things I did not know about New Zealand.
This book was truly fascinating, but another thing I thought the author could have changed was making the book a wee bit simpler by adding more simple words, instead of adding hard complicated words, because it was very hard trying to understand the words that the author put in. But besides that the book was fine.
The photographs taken were taken professionally. That was one of my favourite things about the book.
It made me think quite a lot on how it was possible to send moth’s eggs through the mail without them getting damaged.
I actually recommend this book for people who just like knowing facts and also people who just like reading non-fiction.’

Simon Morton (writer)
Simon Morton is a Wellington-based broadcaster and presenter of the Radio New Zealand National show This Way Up and the TV series Why We Buy and Tales from Te Papa.
His first proper job was a three-year stint for bungy jumping pioneer AJ Hackett. Simon also worked at the BBC World Service in London producing the weekly technology series, Digital Planet, and produced work for National Public Radio in the US and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
He’s usually seen around Wellington on his bike, and is dead keen on a game of soccer.

Riria Hotere (writer)
Riria Hotere (Ngāti Maniapoto, Te Aupōuri) is an actor in the Maori Television language series Kōrero Mai and a former member of Te Papa’s education team. Currently she works for Huia Publishers as a Resource Developer.
As well as being a core cast member in Kōrero Mai, she has also been behind the camera as a director on the weekly soap Akina.
Fluent in te reo, Riria also grew up with Japanese and Spanish cultures and studied Spanish at University.

The Millennium Tree

The Millennium tree by Marnie Anstis, illustrated by Patricia Howitt and Kelly Spencer


Tayla Nasmith from Room 13, Green Bay Primary writes the following:

The Millennium tree is filled with facts about the past of New Zealand, amazing pictures and useful information. The pictures are very detailed and tell a story. The illustrators have painted and drawn the pictures exceptionally well. There is lots of information about New Zealand’s past, like what happened during war time and other events that are special to New Zealand and that we should always remember. The story in the book made me think of why we remember the sad tragic events in New Zealand. The book has facts and told me things I did not know. The words painted a good picture in my head. The parts I found interesting were when it talked about war and the plague. I think the book is suitable for children and adults.

And look at Tayla’s expert penmanship:

There is an excellent website to go with the book:

Marnie Anstis (writer)
Marnie’s literary endeavours developed from reading aloud to her children and enjoying the sounds and effects of word-combinations. Initial efforts were frequently published in the NZ Gardener and NZ Dairy Exporter magazines.

Her major writing achievement has been writing and publishing the book Taketakerau: The Millennium Tree, which received a prize in the 2012 Ashton Wylie Children’s Book Award, and was included in the Listener 50 Best Children’s Books, 2012.

Patricia Howitt (illustrator)
After years of painting and drawing the New Zealand high country while working full-time as a lawyer, Patricia Howitt now lives on 10 acres in the Far North, adjacent to virgin bush – one of the continuing inspirations for her work. She freelances in art, illustration, and Internet design and graphics from her home, and recently received an award through the Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust for her 36 paintings for the book Taketakerau: The Millennium Tree.

Kelly Spencer (illustrator)
Kelly is a freelance illustrative artist, moonlighting in graphic design.
Her ‘fine art’ work is strongly influenced by the essence of the natural world – she has great respect for the creatures who share this earth.
Currently based at Honey Badger Creative Studios in Wellington, Kelly’s work includes book illustration, webpage design, tee-shirt graphics, branding and poster design… and painting a fiberglass life-sized baby elephant for the Melbourne Zoo.
She has exhibited in group shows in Wellington, Melbourne, and Atlanta.

Green Bay Walks among the clouds

Mr Bear Branches and The Cloud Conundrum by Terry Rose Baynton

Bear Branches is a book about friendship and about making somebody else’s dream come true. The children at Green Bay loved the illustrations, but what got them most excited was all these interesting words. After usually a minute of stunned silence the brave ones came forward and had a go at pronouncing conundrum, amoebae and pterodactyl ( I secretly practised the last two myself, before reading the story to Year 1 students).
And here’s another one that might come in handy when talking about Bear Branches :
Bear Branches sparked a big discussion among the kids on whether it was actually possible to walk among clouds:
We came up with two possible ways:
1. When you are in an aeroplane that is just flying up through the clouds
2. Just up the road from Green Bay, on top of the hill in Titirangi, especially on a cloudy rainy day

Mason, Harrison, Ben and Leo from Room 6 add their impression of the journey to sit among the clouds:
Bear cropped

Author and illustrator Terri Rose Baynton
Terri Rose Baynton lives in the beautiful seaside town of Waihi Beach, New Zealand, amongst good friends, warm waves and a menagerie of animals.
She is a scriptwriter and storyliner for children’s television, working with Weta Productions on Jane and the Dragon and The Wotwots, alongside her father, Wotwots creator Martin Baynton.

Green Bay follows Melu down to the glittering green sea

Melu by Kyle Mewburn, illustrated by Ali Teo and John O’Reilly

The children of Green Bay Primary have been at it again. This is what Isaac from Room 7 thinks about Melu:
“What I like about Melu is that Melu wants to be different than every one ELSE. I like all the describing words in the book like ‘glittering green sea’. My favourite character is Melu. The best part of the story is when they are playing in the water and on the grass. I also like the part when the others tell him to come with him and he goes the other way. It was a really good story. I loved it. It is great.”

Who can spot the title of the German translation of Melu in Isaac’s review? The solution can be found on Kyle Mewburn’s facebook page. Just paste ‘Kyle Mewburn children’s writer’ into facebook. And did you know that Melu is a clop-clipped spelling of mule?

Arlynn and Jellah from Room 3 have this colourful review on offer:
Melu review

The children in Room 6, that is Ben, Harrison, Zahra, Christopher and Leo have outdone themselves again with their interpretations of Melu:
Melu Ben Melu Harrisson Melu Zahra<
Melu christopher Melu Leo

Kyle Mewburn (writer)
Kyle Mewburn has had over 20 children’s books published in nine countries. He has won numerous awards, including the New Zealand Post Children’s Book of the Year for the picture book Old Hu-Hu. His other titles include Kiss! Kiss! Yuck! Yuck!, Duck’s Stuck! and the Dinosaur Rescue series.
Originally from Brisbane, Kyle lives with his wife Marion in South Otago. When not writing, Kyle is usually found in his garden singing to his vegies, in his creek swimming, or off exploring the strange land he’s discovered at the back of his wardrobe.

Ali Teo and John O’Reilly (illustrators)
Ali (an illustrator by trade) and John (a designer) live and work together from their home in Papamoa Beach. Picture book work is a labour of love for them and an opportunity to create something from the heart, outside the commercial work which is their ‘day job’.
Ali and John spend much of their spare time on the beach with their young son, Tiger, and their two ex-SPCA dogs. John also works with his business partner creating games and apps for digital mobile devices.

Green Bay samples ‘A Great Cake’

‘A Great Cake’ By Tina Matthews

The children of Green Bay Primary liked this book very much. Indeed, they liked it so much that several children from Room 20 tried to crawl inside the book to get a closer look at the snails, lizards and butterflies hiding on the pages. There is so much to see in the pictures, which author Tina Matthews carved out of a block of wood first. You can see pictures of that on her website (see links).
The book also made the children very hungry and there were great discussions on who was the greatest cake baker. The answer was usually Mum. I wonder how many of them went home that day making a cake of cricket shells, autumn leaves and holey gum boots? This book is a clever cake creation catering to curious kids.

Here are some cake impressions:

Christopher's great cake_NEWEmily
Christopher (7) from Room 6 enjoys his favourite cake lovingly decorated with creepy crawlies, a camera, several cases of TNT and a butterfly. Emily (6) from Room 24 has gone for the square princess cake variety. Delicious.

Tina Matthews (writer and illustrator)
Tina_Matthews%202 Tina Matthews was born in New Zealand and now lives with her family in Sydney. She is an artist and designer who has worked in children’s theatre and television for 25 years, including on Bananas in Pyjamas, The Ferals, The Upside Down Show and Jim Henson’s Labyrinth. Tina teaches puppetry at NIDA and is designer of the best-selling Black and White Baby Mobile.
Her first title with Walker Books Australia, Out of the Egg won the Best First Book Award in the 2008 New Zealand Post Book Awards and Waiting for Later was a finalist in the Picture Book category of the 2012 New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards.

Interesting links:
You can listen to Tina read her book here:
Tina interviewed on Radio New Zealand National:
Tina on her website – about her book: