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YOLO Kids Book Club 2020 – Term 4

Have you ever read a book that was so GOOD you told all your friends they had to read it? Or a book that was so AWFUL you can’t stop talking about how bad it was?

Come and share stories about books – good and bad. Fun activities. For kids aged 8-12 years. All welcome – join anytime.

When and where?

Dannevirke Library : Mondays 4.00 to 5.00pm;  (1st) 12 October,  (2nd) 2 November, (3rd) 23 November, (4th) 14 December.

Pahiatua Library : Mondays 3.30 to 4.30pm; (1st) 12 October,  (2nd) 2 November, (3rd) 23 November, (4th) 14 December.

Woodville Library : Thursdays 3.15 to 4pm; (1st) 15 October,  (2nd) 5 November, (3rd) 26 November, (4th) 17 December.

Eketahuna Library : Thursdays 3.15 to 4pm; (1st) 15 October,  (2nd) 5 November, (3rd) 26 November, (4th) 17 December.

THEMES:  each session has its own theme that will be discussed at that session:   (1st) Animals ; (2nd) Travel ; (3rd) Favourite author ; (4th) Finale.

Pahiatua Yolo

Little Ears Story Time for Toddlers – Term 4, 2020

Tararua District Library 2020 Poetry Competition – Winners!

WINNER of the Adult Category : Blue Mountains Bushfires by Shirley Silvester (Woodville)

Judge Sue McCauley said: “Twelve poems  –  so maybe half a dozen poets  (aspiring or otherwise) who entered. Come on Tararua, we can surely do better next time; that’s not even half a rugby team of word-wielders! But a thank you to those who did enter; your poems were intriguingly wide-ranging in style and subject matter, and lack of quantity did not equate to a lack of quality.

I would like to say that my choice of a winner was based on a deep and technical knowledge of poetry, but that would be a lie.  All I can claim is a whole lot of years as an enthusiastic and highly opinionated reader.   My choice is subjective, with all the limitations and prejudices that come with the territory.  Another judge might well have chosen differently, but this is how I went about it….

First, I wanted to feel the poem was speaking to me.  This ruled out a number of poems that seemed intended for other recipients. There were the deeply personal and passionate –  therapeutic? –   poems (Mother ,  Soft Spring Rain,   You call me a Sheep )  that addressed a specific person.   And there were poems ( Lament -for America  and Moving Into Second)   that dealt, thoughtfully or amusingly, with topical themes and felt better suited to a social media type of mass audience.

But after that what was I looking for?  Emotional substance.  A poem that grabbed my attention,  then lurked in my head for hours or days.  A poem that had something to say and did so with emotional integrity. A poem of vivid imagery and verbal precision. I drew up a short-list of poems that sort-of achieved these aims,  but the winner stood out from the start.   Blue Mountain Bushfires  has all those virtues,  plus it breaks my heart each time I read it.   Raw emotion constrained by reality and a snort of cynicism.  Vivid. Concise. Entirely memorable. Congratulations!

The  three other poems on my short-list were: Catch YaComposition for Two Pianos, and  Muriwai.”   Sue McCauley


WINNER of the Children’s Category : Blunder and Thunder by Ronya (Dannevirke)

Judge Badger Bloomfield said “I have chosen a poem called Blunder and Thunder , which is a very imaginative  poem by a very capable young wordsmith .”


Thank you very much to all the people who entered. We enjoyed reading them all. 


Tararua District Library 2020 Poetry Competition Entry: Two Pianos



The piano is a crocodile.

It smiles

Showing sharp white teeth.

Its would be master feeds it carefully.

A false note causes it to snarl

And too many will produce

Bitten fingers.

A dangerous pet.



The ebony grand piano stands open on the stage.

Everyone can see it is empty

Hiding no tricks inside.


The musician sits,

dips his electric fingertips into the void,


crisp icy stars and shards of moonlight,


dark wraiths of cloud to blot out sky,


barbed lightning bolts and thunderclaps


Rabbits from a giant black hat.


by Shirley Silvester (Woodville)

Tararua District Library 2020 Poetry Competition Entry: Mother


My mother is my shelter from many

do’s and don’ts!

9 months

being nurtured within my mother’s womb!

What, where, who, how, what!

All became a nurturing beginning

within my mother’s womb.

Mother who has placed in me “passion”

Pass! I! On!

Yes! Mother

Pass! I! On!

Passion for joy, unconditional love,

laughter, pain and tears.

“Peace” to my mother for her many years.

PS love you Mum! xxx










by Erena Te Pau Konui Rahui

Category: Adult


Tararua District Library 2020 Poetry Competition Entry: ‘Blue mountains bushfires’


All night long as we stood with hoses ready

The fire advancing,

We could hear the wallabies.

In bush behind the houses we heard their

terrified blundering,

imagined the blinding stinging smoke dissolving

their gentle night eyes.

We smelt their soft muzzles searing,

tried not to hear the screaming

and thudding death leaps from rocky outcrops

into blistering gullies.

At last merciful silence fell.





Some months have passed.

Among charred stumps and black bare earth

at the road’s end in “a desirable cul-de-sac”

only one road in or out but

“Isn’t it a premium view now the trees have gone!”

The land agents hurry to replace their blackened signs

with bright new ones in primary colours.

They are ready for the weekend sightseers.


by Shirley Silvester

This poem is the 2020 Winner of the Adult Category!

Tararua District Library 2020 Poetry Competition Entries: Sister Gertrude’s Class

St. Anthony’s school students wrote some poems all by themselves:

Storm Days – by Haidyn  (Age 8)
Stormy night
Morning light
But still might rain
Stars in the sky
Show it’s night.

Cheetah – by Haidyn  (age 8)
Spotted cat stalking its prey,
Stomach filler for the day
Can’t help it,
He was born that way.

Personal Feelings – by Bella (Age 8)
There are feelings
Like mad and sad.
You are Rad.
Is that bad?

Sun and Moon – by Isaiah  (age 8)
Sun and moon so shining bright,
Just don’t get too excited coz the moon won’t shine in the day…
The sun is out and just shines so bright.

Cat vs Rat – by Maia-Jane  (age 9)
A cat chased a rat with a hat,
Cats hate rats but this cat likes to chat with rats
But not black rats.
Cats think rats don’t like to chat.




My Life – by Rose  (age 8)
I live in a peaceful country,
I like running freely.
I love learning things,
Like reading peaceful, quiet books.

Tararua District Library 2020 Poetry Competition Entry: Muriwai

A storm was blowing

under an enormous moon;

madness rose from the trippy light,

blood boiled

and an ugly shadow of time,

barely needing legs,

pounded forest, butted sea

and ripped at the road,

leaving rain water sweat

and the smell of black rock.

















by Emma Elliott

Category: Adult

Tararua District Library: 2020 Poetry Competition Entry: ‘The Pet’


There was once a lonely little boy

Who lived in a far off land,

In a hut in a tiny village

Amongst wind swept trees and sand.


The prized possession of the village

Was a communal T.V. set,

And after watching foreign movies

He thought he’d like a pet.


The pet that he decided on

For which he’d sell his soul,

The one he wanted – would really like

Just had to be a troll!







He knew trolls lived under bridges

And bossed Billy Goats around,

So he searched under every one

There were none to be found!


His dad took him to the city

He thought he’d buy one there,

With a silver coin clutched in his hand

He hoped they weren’t too dear.


He enquired at a pet store

They had no trolls to sell,

He asked in every shop they passed

And at the zoo as well!


When suddenly he saw a sign

That had the needed information,

What sign could make a happy child?

“DIESEL – PETROL  at this station.”


by C. Beale

Category: Adult

Tararua District Library: 2020 Poetry Competition ‘Catch yah’

Catch Yah

No matter how fast you run
No matter how good you are
No matter how hard you try

It is there
It is near
It is


by [name withheld]

Category: adult

Tararua District Library: 2020 Poetry Competition ‘A witty ditty’


One day, a lass named Em,

Who loved a bit of fun.

Learned of a competition

With prizes to be won.


To write the best verse in the district,

Was the challenge set.

She hadn’t written for quite some time,

Alas she didn’t fret.








The closing date was pending

She didn’t want to miss out,

Only one problem though,

What would she write about?


Should it be something saucy?

(And I don’t mean with her chips)

Or should it be about romance,

Or maybe sailing ships?


She thought and thought and scratched her head,

And drove poor hubby potty.

She tossed and turned and didn’t sleep

And started feeling grotty.


After days and nights of no ideas,

She plonked down on her chair.

“I can’t do it, I give up,

I’m starting to despair!”


Oh no! Poor Em, she missed the chair,

But only by a fraction.

She screamed with fright, oh what a sight,

Em was losing traction.


Down with a splat, she missed the cat,

The din brought hubby flying.

With a frown, he looked down,

Said “Em, this is getting trying!”


“Why don’t you write what’s in your head?”

He said with a cheeky grin.

And so she did,

And so I did,

I only hope I win!


by Mandy Sutherland

Category: Adult

Tararua District Library: 2020 Poetry Competition Entry “You call me a sheep”

You call me a Sheep, because I follow the rules and point out the flaws

You call me a Sheep, because I’m up to date on my shots, while you’re not

You call me a Sheep, because I trust a Doctor over a Mocha

You call me a Sheep, because I wear a mask, while you gasp

You call me a Sheep, because I stay home, while you roam

You call me a Sheep, because I take my medication, while you try to survive on only meditation

If we all follow your way, the world would be a disaster but you would think you were a master

But in the end I would rather be a Sheep than the sleeping Sloth.


by Tabitha Lamont

Category: Adult


Tararua District Library: 2020 Poetry Competition Entry ‘My Bike’

I like to rid my bike.

My bike is what I like.

But if I run over a spike,

I cannot ride my bike.

I’ll have to take a hike,

like Mike.


by Campbell M [name withheld]

Category: 8-12 years

Review: ‘The girl with the louding voice’ by Abi Dare.

I must admit the title of this book had me intrigued.  “The girl with the louding voice” by Abi Dare, had me thinking the character in this book had to be someone pretty special.  And I wasn’t wrong.

Set in modern day Nigeria, the story is centred around a 14 year old girl called Adunni who lives in a small village with her father and two brothers.  Her mother died when Adunni was a child and she never got over her death.  Her mother wanted Adunni to have an education, as Adunni was a smart girl.

Adunni is sold by her father to an aging taxi driver as a third wife.  After a tragic event, she “escapes” to the big city of Lagos, hoping for a new life as a domestic servant for “Big Mama”, a successful self-made fabric retailer.  Her life as a domestic servant is little more than poorly disguised slavery.  But still Adunni cannot be knocked down, as she stays focused on her dream to have an education and a voice – a “louding voice”.

This book highlights to me the hypocrisy and the sorry state of women’s rights still, in these modern times. In this book, Big Mama is a self-made, successful business woman, but her husband still beats her. The human race has gone to the moon and back – and so much more – but it is still okay to sell a child into a life of servitude.  It’s still okay to rape and beat a 14 year old girl, disguising it as “marriage”.

If you find this offensive, I’m not sorry. “A truly great library contains something in it to offend everyone,” said Jo Godwin (2019).  By reading about other people’s lives, we learn empathy and tolerance.  We gain insight and clarity.  We are moved, angered, inspired, disgusted, shamed.  Our exposure to other people’s lives shape who we become and sometimes shape our actions.   This book is depressing, tragic, inspiring and funny.  Adunni would not be silenced.  She wanted a Louding Voice.  You will have to read the book to see if she realised her dream..


Tararua District Library: 2020 Poetry Competition Entry “Lament for America”

Lament (for America)  

I fear our friend is dying.

The poison is within.

Nasty pussy boils and sores

are breaking through his skin.


We’ve had a long-time friendship.

We’ve been through many scrapes.

He once was strong and loyal, true,

Though not without mistakes.


We’ve many times stood shoulder to,

In war time and in peace.

Strong bonds are forged in battle,

That should be hard to crease.


But over time his mood has changed.

Success comes with some loss.

A growing sense, entitlement.

And friendships bare the cost.









He has been living high and wide.

Indulging every whim.

And not afraid to ‘borrow’,

when others won’t give in.


A nation, like a living thing

Of great complexity

Has parts interdependent

That nourished all must be.


But when you live on richer fair.

The body becomes frail.

And blood don’t go to all the parts,

Those parts begin to fail.


We have those vital organs;

Of course we know that’s true.

But even the humble anus,

Has a vital job to do.


The human body normal,

A balanced diet takes,

Maintains itself in healthy trim,

Tries not to make mistakes.


Our friend had become greedy.

His parts begun to fail.

They’ve sent the usual messages,

Alas to no avail.


And then akin to panic.

An untried cure he tried.

The side effects have not been good,

His head has not been as it should,

His medicine it surely would,

Be wise to modify.


The risk for body weakened.

The failure to unite,

Against a threat of any kind.

Against itself it fights.


Our friend he does not listen,

Or watch or read or learn.

The tumour at the head grows on,

The body’s fever burns.


The tumour brings delusions.

“I’m smart and strong and great”

“I have a magic trick or two,

Just watch and have some faith.”


You cannot just by talking,

Make pathologies abate.

It takes courage and takes action,

It takes leadership old mate.


But circulations weakening,

Although the heart seems strong.

He still has time to make amends.

That time is not too long.


Our good friend now must save himself,

By strength of will alone.

To find a saner measured voice.

To make a better medicine choice.

So healing may atone.


If not the future’s gloomy.

Delirium awaits.

A thrashing self-destructive fall.

Humpty Dumpty off the wall.

The great things lost in funeral pall.

The world a poorer place.


We stand aside in helplessness.

We cannot lend a hand.

We watch it all with heavy hearts.

As cities tear themselves apart.

The noble aims that at the start,

Showed, we thought, a great bold heart

Now flawed, divisive, fragile and…….


David Chapman

(July-August 2020)

Category: Adult