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YOLO kids book club : Term 3, 2018


Little Ears toddler storytime for Term 3, 2018

Adult Winter Reading Challenge : 23 July to 7 September 2018.

Cold winter days and nights are the perfect time to catch up on your reading. And while you’re doing that, you can also complete our Winter Reading Challenge (18+) and put your name in for some fantastic prizes!

Pick up your challenge card from your local library, or print  Winter Reading Challenge Card pdf. Then visit your local library and tell your librarian what challenge/s you’ve completed (and stock up on more books)!

Each week, people who’ve let us know (in person) that they’ve completed a challenge that week, will go in the draw for a weekly prize (book, coffee and movie vouchers).

Those who complete all nine challenges will go in the draw for the Grand Prize:

  • $150 meal voucher from Pahiatua Black Stump
  • Pahiatua Regent Cinema movie experience for two
  • Winter pamper hamper

*Tararua District Council employees and immediate family are not eligible for prizes, but may still take part in challenge.


Poetry competition 2018: Metamorphosis / Receptor


The blood flowing through

my veins





My limbs lengthen, 

and become


My cerulean eyes -

which mirrored the sky, 

are dulled.

A thousand follicles

of hair


growing new green shoots

and leaves.

My feet - firmly rooted

in the ground,

my fingers -

now branches,

are beckoning clouds.

Needles of grass,

are nature's tiny 

reminders - 

I drank the tonic,

the tonic of 


© Amy Phillips



People bellow


looming over

valleys below –

hoping to catch their own echo,

when they can’t catch their breath,

hear their heartbeat,

or stop,

and listen –

to the gentle wind

carrying whispers and rustles,

to the vibration of wings

as birds fly by and sing.


and inhale –

nature’s oxygen, rising

out of millions of leaves

that cloak

thousands of trees.

People bellow


hearing the sound of their own echo,

and finding no peace.

© Amy Phillips


Poetry competition entry 2018: Hand that remembers / Funeral

Hand that remembers

From the sunny side of the world

I look back out of curiosity

Things have changed on the dark side of the world

As they’ve changed over here

Where light still hangs on by the skin of its teeth


I meddle in the past out of nosiness

Cannot stop I’m curious

Things have changed too much over there just as they’ve changed here

Where the darkness of the night hangs on by the skin of its teeth

I snoop into the history’s business to learn from mistakes

It doesn’t help much

Mistakes are still being repeated


I hold my little daughter’s paper parasol waiting stoically

For her to return home to play with it in the heat of summer

But my little girl has grown up and has children of her own

Put the parasol back in to the past

It must stay where it belongs


I pry into the days of yore – unsolicited

An inquisitor who will never receive adequate answers

To questions never posed

I am grateful to patient paper

And to my hand that remembers

© Mila Sakowski



These fucking ashes impersonated my father

Smiling trees meted out a blow

The sun boiled in the heat of the day

And the funeral

Like a queue for cheap fuel

Scurried in a hurry


By a sharp pain

© Mila Sakowski

Let’s talk genealogy : Family Search seminar

Pahiatua/Woodville Genealogy Group is pleased to invite you to a seminar at Woodville Library, where Jenny will discuss how to use the Family Search website, plus some tips & tricks.

When:  Monday 23 July 2018
Time:   1.30pm
Where: Woodville Library, 45 Vogel Street, Woodville.

Click above for free printable family tree

FamilySearch, historically known as the Genealogical Society of Utah, which was founded in 1894, is dedicated to preserving the records of the family of mankind. It is operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  In February 2014, FamilySearch announced partnerships with, findmypast and MyHeritage, which includes sharing massive amounts of their databases with those companies. They also have a standing relationship with BillionGraves, in which the photographed and indexed images of graves are both searchable on FamilySearch and are to link to individuals in the family tree.  [source: Wikepedia]
Remember, there are free public computers and free unlimited wifi at all our libraries.  So you can work on your Farmily Search tree, and utilise our Ancestry Library Edition subscription, to find historical records like census, church, court and immigration records. If you’d like a few pointers, try here or see some books.

Poetry competition entries 2018 : Athritus / The Pace of Time


Like the sting of a bee its sharp pain is felt
– momentarily
It arrives unannounced – has no regard for timing
– or invitation
It doesn’t stay long – but it will return
– heartless
Its cousin is always in residence – begging for attention
– always
At times like a gentle reminder letter for an unpaid account
– subtle but burning
At times like a rap on the knuckles – over and over
– and over
Ath-wrong-us I call them both – nothing right about them
– nothing at all.

by ©Murray Orchard




“Time marches on”, I’ve heard them say
as if it moves in measured steps
Awareness of the pace of time
relies upon our consciousness
Some days slip by behind our backs
we sometimes wonder where they went
But others seem to go too slow
like dragging days with in-laws spent
When tasks need concentration tense
we cram much more into our time
So time moves faster writing this
than when you read or hear this rhyme.

by ©Murray Orchard


NZ Children’s Book Awards – 9th Annual TDL Children’s Quiz 2018 – Enter now!

NZCYA_logo_jpg_largeTararua District Library is once again celebrating the best of New Zealand’s books for young people with our ninth annual Children’s Book Awards Quiz.  Primary schools from Tararua District have been invited to submit team(s) who will answer questions based on the finalist books listed here. See rules below for all the details.


Pahiatua School are the current District Champions. Can any other Tararua school knock them off their coveted perch?  The Champion Team get possession of a trophy for a year, plus a prize.  The highest scoring team in each town also get a small prize.  Time to get reading!

2017 Winners: Pahiatua School

Registration:     Entries close 5pm on Friday 3 August 2018

(entry forms available at your school office or download the Entry Form 2018)

Quiz Location:  Your local library

When:               Wednesday 8th August 2018 at 6.30pm (ends about 8.30pm)


Where are the books?

Each of our libraries has one copy of the finalist books.   They may be available on the shelves, but most likely you will have to reserve them.  Holds for these items are free, if on a child’s library card.  Each child may only issue the book one time, for a two week period with no renewals. To hold,  contact the library, or log into the online catalogue and do it yourself.


Use this link to see books in our catalogue.  A list of all the finalist books is also available here, and they are shown on the reverse of the entry form too.

Notes:  Parents, caregivers and teachers may attend the quiz to observe only. Smartphones or tablets are not allowed. Children may bring their own water bottle to the event.  Photographs of the winning team will appear on our Facebook page (not tagged), this blog and possibly the Bush Telegraph newspaper ; if you prefer not to be photographed, please advise a librarian prior.


  1. Primary school teams from within the Tararua district are eligible.
  2. Each team will consist of at most 4 students. Small country schools are permitted to combine their students with students of other small country schools to make up a team. Schools can enter more than one team.
  3. The quiz will be held simultaneously at each of our community libraries in the Tararua district. If entry numbers are low, the library reserves the right to hold the quiz in just two libraries. Results will be constantly updated.
  4. The questions will be from the finalist books in the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults 2018 in the picture book, junior fiction, junior non-fiction and illustration categories. Questions from the non-fiction titles will be sourced from the first 10 physical pages only. This may include publishing information.
  5. Each team will need to have collectively read all the finalist books in the relevant categories. All district libraries will have copies of the books available for loan.
  6. Teams will be able to quietly confer before writing their answer down on the answer sheet provided.
  7. Please do not forget to write the name of your school and names of team members on each answer sheet. You will be given time to do this at the beginning of each round.
  8. After each question is asked, there will be 20 seconds for you to write down the answer. At the end of 20 seconds the bell will ring and you must stop writing.
  9. In the event of a tie, the top teams will compete in a playoff round.
  10. No adult will be permitted to sit with or confer with the teams until the quiz is finished.
  11. Each contestant is permitted a water bottle if they choose but no food is to be taken into the library.
  12. Please ensure all cell phones are switched off.
  13. The adjudicator’s decision is final.
  14. No papers will be returned to schools after the quiz.
  15. The winning team of the Tararua District Library Children’s Book Awards Quiz will be awarded a prize and a trophy. The trophy is to be returned prior to the following year’s quiz. The highest scoring team in each particular town will also receive a small prize.



Blackout Poetry Event : 24 August 2018

As one of our poetry events for National Poetry Day, we are encouraging the art of Blackout Poetry. What is that?  Well, it’s when a page of text is completely blacked out with a marker, except for a select few words.  When only these words are visible, a brand new poem is created from the existing text. Some people prefer to mark out the text with colours or artwork rather than straight black.  Awesome, right?!

So bring along felts or supplies, plus an old tattered book (that won’t mind being recycled), or an old magazine/newspaper (we will have a limited supply available too). Sit yourself at our reserved table and get creative! Boys and girls, women and men, of all ages are most welcome. There is no charge.

Where:  Dannevirke, Pahiatua and Eketahuna Libraries, during opening hours August 24 2018.

If you want to get a little more creative, adults may enter our poetry competition.  See the details here
Woodville Library is also hosting a poetry slam evening on 23 August at 6.30pm – you might want to share your blackout poem there!  See full details here

Woodville Poetry Slam 2018

Delight other poetry lovers & recite your own or favourite poems at our poetry recitation evening at Woodville Library.  Or just come along to listen! Light non-alcoholic refreshments provided. BYO permitted.

Entry Details: Gold coin donation/koha. Adults 18+ only

Date/Times: 23 August 2018, 6.30pm-9pm

Location: Woodville Library, 45 Vogel Street, Woodville

Think you’ll come? Please tell us by 5pm 20 August 2018 by :


9 July to 17 August 2018 – Enter our annual Poetry Competitionsee this post

Click this pic for tips:



Winter 2018 – School holiday entertainment!

Fancy Rhubarb? Take the internationally renowned duo Mary Kippenberger and Peter Charlton-Jones, mix in some fairytales, a bit of pantomime, slightly wicked songs, throw in costumes and a child or two and you have…RHUBARB!…interactive storytelling, music, fun and laughter for the whole family. Sessions last about 45 to 60 minutes.  Everybody welcome – free.

Wed 11 July – Pahiatua Library at 11am

Wed 11 July – Eketahuna Library at 2pm

Thu 12 July – Dannevirke Library at 11am

Thu 12 July – Woodville Library at 2pm

Poetry Competition 2018 … on your marks, get set, GO!

From 9 July to 17 August 2018, Tararua District Library is celebrating National Poetry Day with our annual Poetry Competition, for New Zealand.

Win the prize!  Get the glory!  Winners announced on National Poetry Day,  24 August 2018.

Need some tips?  Learn about writing poetry here or you can be a manly poet or a slam poet, or check out one of our many poetry books.


Submit up to two of your own poems – please  read the rules:

  1. Open to all New Zealand residents aged 18 and over (employees of Tararua District Council are not eligible to enter)
  2. The winner will be announced on ‘Phantom Billstickers’ National Poetry Day Friday 24th August 2018, on this blog and our Facebook page.
  3. All entries must be in English, and can be emailed to or handed in at any branch of Tararua District Library.  If emailed, they can be in the body of the email or via Microsoft Word or Publisher attachment. Hand written entries will be accepted, however, they must be printed and legible.
  4. A maximum of two entries per person will be accepted; at least one poem per person will be published online, as chosen by us.
  5. All poems to be an original creation of the person submitting it, and previously unpublished.
  6. Entries to be accompanied by the name, address and contact details of the submitter.
  7. No late entries will be accepted. Entries close 5pm 17 August 2018.
  8. Judges decision is final.  Prizes will be awarded as follows:
    a)  Best poem as judged by Lyn McConchie, local author.
    b)  People’s choice


PS, if you search poems or poetry in the blog search bar, you’ll find the wonderful entries from previous years to get your creative juices flowing. 

New Zealand Poetry Society



Winter sale – July 2018

What is it really like for asylum seekers?

Every so often, a book comes along that really gets under your skin.  The Boat People by Sharon Bala did this to me.

To be honest, it was lucky that I did actually read the entire book, as the first quarter or so was difficult for me.  I found it hard to follow, and difficult to work out who the characters were and what their role was in this story.  However it may not be the book that is the problem, it may be the reader!  I can tend to be a lazy reader, wanting the book to “grab” me instantly.  This didn’t, and I had to work at it.  But something told me to keep going with it.

Inspired by the  MV Sun Sea incident in 2010, when a Thai cargo ship ferrying 492 Sri Lankan asylum seekers was intercepted off the coast of British Columbia,  this story hits you hard.  Going backwards and forwards in time between Sri Lanka and Canada, it’s told from the perspective of the refugees – in particular Mahindan (a father with a young son), his lawyer Priya, and the adjudicator Grace, who is third generation Japanese-Canadian.  It gives you a real insight into the lives of the refugees, who were victims of a terrible civil war between the Sinhalese and the Tamils.  The asylum seekers were detained upon reaching Canada, while each case was examined to prove they were not, or had not been, involved in terrorist activity as part of the Tamil Tigers (LTTE).  There was much suspicion and controversy surrounding this situation at the time, which made it very difficult for the authorities to make the right decision with each case.  The ones who were sent back would have faced certain death.  A  terrible situation all round.

The story highlights such a tragic situation surrounding conflict, war and the innocents who are caught up in it.  It makes for a very confronting and illuminating read.  I had no prior knowledge of the Sri Lanka civil war.  This book relayed it to me in a very personal way, and the reality of what so many innocent people went through, and in fact are still going through in so many countries around the world.  Confronting, tragic and inspiring.  A very important read.   I would be interested to hear comments from other readers on whether they found it hard to get into and get a grasp on as I had.  I am tempted to read it again actually.



“An asylum seeker is a person who flees their home country (usually as a political refugee or victim of war), enters another country and then applies for asylum, i.e. the right to international protection, in this other country. The request for refugee sanctuary is yet to be processed.  A migrant is different – they have chosen to move not because of a direct threat or persecution, but to improve their lives. They may safely return to their country if they wish.” 

Another viewpoint

New Zealand Children’s Book Awards 2018

Five finalists are selected for each category, and from these a category winner is selected. All awards carry prize money of $7,500. In addition, the judges will award a best first book prize of $2,000 to a previously unpublished author or illustrator. The overall prize, the Margaret Mahy Book of the Year award, carries a prize of $7,500. Winners are announced in August.  For more information about the titles, and the Young Adult / Te Reo / Best First Book Awards,  you can check this website

Tararua District Library’s  annual quiz for children Year 7/8 will be based on the  finalists below. The quiz will be held 8 August 2018, and details and entry forms will be sent out to all schools at the beginning of Term 3.  In our quiz, questions are based on finalist books in the Picture Book, Junior Fiction, Junior Nonfiction, and Illustration categories. Only the first 10 physical pages of non-fiction books will be quizzed also (e.g. title page onwards). Young Adult and Te Reo titles are not included. 


Picture Book Award finalists:

Granny McFlitter the Champion Knitter

Written by Heather Haylock and illustrated by Lael Chisholm

Granny bursts upon the scene, to the dismay of her family, which is fed-up with knitting. The rhyme dances and urges the reader along, through twists and turns flying as fast as Granny’s knitting needles. Lael Chisholm’s beautiful swirls and colour choices for the illustrations perfectly complement the bouncing rhyme and warm character of Granny McFlitter.


I am Jellyfish

Written and illustrated by Ruth Paul

Delicious jokes and humour drift through this book, beautifully matching evocative and playful illustrations. With deft rhythm the text gently educates and informs the reader about the secret life of jellyfish while entertaining with laugh-out-loud moments. Colours, style and page production all come together to create a perfect story about the perils and triumphs of an unlikely sea hero.

That’s Not the Monster We Ordered

Written by Richard Fairgray, Terry Jones and illustrated by Richard Fairgray

Neighbour rivalry and one-upmanship get a gentle poke in this fun tale about pet monsters. Turning advertising and reviews on their heads with sly humour and clever illustrations, the story has you laughing with every page. The story and illustrations perfectly complement each other, and the attention to detail rewards with something new to notice every time the book is picked up.


The Gift Horse

Written by Sophie Siers and illustrated by Katharine White

A gentle story about a sad little girl and the horse she bonds with, which will sit with the reader long after it is finished. Sensitive pastel illustrations work well with the text, setting the emotional tone, and reflecting the themes of patience and grief. Layered with meaning, the story deals with complex emotions in a thoughtful way, giving readers a sense of hope that life will get better.


The Longest Breakfast

Written by Jenny Bornholdt and illustrated by Sarah Wilkins

Waffles, cake, doughnuts and pudding are offered up in this captivating poem about breakfast. Every family will instantly recognise the perils of breakfast communication with a toddler. Playful illustrations in a warm colour palette make your mouth water as you turn the pages, trying to find out just what ‘toot’ and ‘buzz’ might mean. An engaging book with a light-hearted and amusing text.


Wright Family Foundation Esther Glen Award for Junior Fiction finalists:

How Not to Stop a Kidnap Plot

Written by Suzanne Main

When Michael overhears some men plotting to kidnap a student at his school, he and Elvis decide they must prevent the crime, even if it is his sworn enemy Angus who is the victim. A series of misadventures and wild assumptions see them zipping across town by bike, staking out the school painters and breaking a few rules. This fast-paced romp will keep the reader wondering until the very end.


How to Bee

Written by Bren MacDibble

Peony lives with Gramps and her sister Mags on the Boss’s orchard where she longs to be promoted to ‘bee’. But then Ma tries to take the unwilling Peony to work in the city. Peony is feisty and fiercely loyal, torn between her mother and the rest of the family, and her love for country life. This delicately balanced dystopian tale takes us to a future without bees, where children perform the essential task of pollination.


Lyla: Through My Eyes – Natural Disaster Zones

Written by Fleur Beale and edited by Lyn White

A dramatic teen-view of the Christchurch earthquakes. Lyla is at the mall when the big quake strikes. Having lost touch with her friends and family, she finds her way home through a crumpled city. The long days and weeks that follow bring new challenges, and Lyla works with others to help with the clean-up and opening their home to those in need. A vivid insight into terrifying events and the impact on those who experienced them.


My New Zealand Story: Dawn Raid

Written by Pauline (Vaeluaga) Smith

The lively 1976 diary of 13-year-old Sofia. A shadow is cast when her brother gets involved with protests over the unjust treatment of Pacific Island overstayers. Then, on a trip to Auckland, the whole family is caught up in a terrifying police dawn raid. This becomes rich and emotional subject matter for Sofia’s entry in a dramatic speech competition. A warm, well-told story about a dark era in our history.


The Thunderbolt Pony

Written by Stacy Gregg

When the small town of Parnassus is hit by the destructive Kaikōura earthquake, everyone must be evacuated. Evie’s injured mother is helicoptered out, but Evie refuses to leave her horse, cat and dog behind, and heads off with them on an intrepid journey across rugged terrain, torn apart by the quake. As she travels, Evie relives the recent death of her father, and deals with her OCD issues. A tale where bravery and resilience trump fear and injury.


Elsie Locke Award for Non-Fiction finalists:

Aotearoa: The New Zealand Story

Written and illustrated by Gavin Bishop

This wonderfully bold and abundant book, large in format and scope, takes us from Aotearoa’s prehistory to the modern day with stories of the people, places and events that have shaped us. The dramatic and detailed illustrations, with taha Māori integrated throughout, are complemented by minimal text providing context and inspiration to find out more. A book for every home, school and library.


Explore! Aotearoa

Written by Bronwen Wall and illustrated by Kimberly Andrews

An engaging, informative and richly illustrated book that shares the thrilling true stories of resolute and dauntless men and women, whose sense of adventure and intrepid spirit led them to explore New Zealand’s uncharted territory — crossing oceans, climbing mountains, and going deep beneath the earth or waves. The effective blend of text, photos and illustration inspires and informs, inviting readers to become explorers themselves.


New Zealand’s Great White Sharks

Written by Alison Ballance

From the cold waters of Stewart Island to the warm tropics of the Pacific, New Zealand’s great white sharks are tracked by scientists seeking answers about these magnificent ocean predators. In this book, vivid descriptions and plentiful photographs capture the excitement, demands and rewards of tagging and tracking great white sharks. They demonstrate how a career in science can lead to all sorts of adventures, and how sharks and the marine environment deserve our respect and protection.


Sky High: Jean Batten’s Incredible Flying Adventures

Written by David Hill and illustrated by Phoebe Morris

The true story of pioneer aviator Jean Batten, who made several record-breaking journeys across oceans and continents in her tiny plane. Exquisitely illustrated and beautifully written, with clear, informative and dramatic text, graphic simplicity, a subtle colour palette and elegant design, this biography provides a fitting tribute to Jean Batten’s passion, flying skill, enormous bravery and indomitable spirit.


The New Zealand Wars

Written by Philippa Werry

The New Zealand wars — their causes, events, locations and protagonists — are described in an accessible and absorbing narrative, with handsome illustrations and excellent referencing. This important book explores how these wars have since been viewed through the decades, portrayed in the arts, and how we are now gradually working towards a new understanding and place of reconciliation.


Russell Clark Award for Illustration finalists:

Abel Tasman: Mapping the Southern Lands

Illustrated by Marco Ivančić

The story of 17th century Dutch explorer Abel Tasman, one of the first Europeans to come to Australia and New Zealand, is brought to life in meticulous, hyper-realistic digital paintings, which capture the tenacity and determination of this adventurer, and the complexities of the ship and the wild oceans that Tasman and his crew faced on their journeys. Finely detailed maps are the perfect touch as endpapers.


Bobby, the Littlest War Hero

Illustrated by Jenny Cooper

Bobby the canary, whose ability to detect dangerous gases saved the World War One tunnellers he accompanied, is the bright spot in accomplished illustrations that use a natural palette of khaki, sandy yellows and grimy browns. The warmth of the relationships and the personality of each soldier is captured, gritty textured paint replicates the dirt of tunnel walls and the rubble of the broken town, and a clever use of layout adds drama to the tunnel scenes.


Giants, Trolls, Witches, Beasts

Illustrated and written by Craig Phillips

Myths and legends from around the world featuring witches, dragons and mythical creatures are brought to splendid life in a range of comic formats. Each tale has its own distinct style and colour palette. A skilful use of different viewpoints and a range of frames and layouts make for lively reading and bring freshness and vitality to the familiar and lesser known tales, providing a rich visual storytelling experience.

I am Jellyfish

Illustrated and written by Ruth Paul

Jellyfish is a thoroughly original hero, a fragile but tenacious aquatic creature, who wafts and swirls through the ocean currents, encountering a diverse cast of characters, from the steely swordfish and unusual luminous fish to a splendidly pink giant squid. The pages are cleverly designed, changing orientation as we dive into the inky darkness of the watery depths, and young readers will love the glow-in-the-dark cover highlights.


Sky High: Jean Batten’s Incredible Flying Adventures

Illustrated by Phoebe Morris

Clean lines and flat colour are used to capture the dramatic adventures of the trail-blazing New Zealand pilot, Jean Batten. Much is revealed with minimal detail: a few lines transform a face from happy to mournful, young to old. A diversity of page layouts, from the dramatic blue-grey opening double-page spread to vignettes in white space, provide momentum and spotlight significant moments in time.