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Book review: Let sleeping dragons lie

I give the book “Let Sleeping Dragons Lie” of the fantasy/medieval genre, written by Garth Nix and illustrated by Sean Williams, a 5/5 rating because like the book, “Have sword will travel” this is the sequel to it.

It is jam packed with adventure, tension and a medieval theme which helps to make this book such an interesting and fun read at a staggering 271 pages.

Shawn D.


Wai Word : events in Wairarapa

 Rawiri Smith, storyteller, presents “Environmental Writing as Voice”, at the Community Courthouse, 60 Holloway Street, Carterton. Free entry.


Saturday 12th October, 10.30 – 1.30pm
Acclaimed author Pip Adam is highly regarded for her skills in facilitating creative writing workshops. The author of The New Animals (which won NZ’s top fiction prize at the 2018 Ockham Book Awards), I’m Working on a Building, and Everything We Hoped For (NZ Post Best First Book Award). The emphasis of this workshop will be on building skills to equip participants to reflect on their writing work. Note: venue is not accessible to wheelchairs. Adults only.
Aratoi Meeting Room (above i-Site)
Corner of Dixon & Bruce Streets, Masterton 
Tickets @ i-Sites and online:
Presented by Wairarapa Word and Kokomai.
Supported by Masterton Creative Communities Scheme.
Photo: Victoria Birkinshaw

A free and friendly way to meet other writers.
Supported by Carterton Creative Communities Scheme unless otherwise stated.

For information, or to volunteer, contact Almo’s Books: 379 7103.
Our Facebook page is here at this link.

6 OCTOBER – Environment & Te Ao Māori with Rawiri (Ra) Smith 
12 OCTOBER – Writing workshop with
Pip Adam as part of Kokomai (this event is sponsored by Masterton Creative Communities Scheme)
3 NOVEMBER – Tour of Outdoor Poems (in Masterton) with Chris Daniell
1 DECEMBER – End of Year Gathering at Almo’s Books / Page 42 Cafe


Tuesday 17 September
12.30-1.30, “First Map” Book Launch with Tessa Duder

at Aratoi, 12 Bruce St, Masterton.
Meet Tessa Duder and hear the story of how James Cook charted Aotearoa New Zealand. Presented by Hedleys and HarperCollins. Free entry. Please RSVP: / 06 378 02875

Tuesdays, 17 September – 3 December 
1:30-4:30 p.m, Carterton Library’s Writer in Residence: Free writing coaching sessions
Author and writing coach Catherine Cooper offers  one-hour sessions at the library for individuals or small groups. All styles and genres are welcome, although her focus is on fiction and memoir writing. Telephone (379 4080) or visit the library (open Mon-Sat) to reserve your place. Supported by Carterton Creative Communities Scheme.

Tuesday 24 September 
3.30-4.30pm – THE BOOK LOVERS CORNER on Arrow FM (92.7fm)

A radio show on 4th Tuesday of month, and available online anytime!
Presented by Almo’s Books

Maths Is Fun School Holiday Programme 2019

Maths is fun “Shapeshifters” programme  for children school Year 1 to 8

Facilitated by REAP, and run by qualified teachers, our libraries offer this free numerical literacy programme for school Year 1 to Year 8.  Enrolments open 16 Sept 2019 – contact your library.

The sessions are designed specifically for each age group, with fun maths activities that spark the imagination, and let children see how maths can be used in real life. Kids cannot be registered in levels outside of their school year level. More info:  Maths is Fun website

What is your level?

Level 1 = Year 1 & 2
Level 2 = Year 3 & 4
Level 3 = Year 5 & 6
Level 4 = Year 7 & 8

SESSIONS (MUST be booked in as places limited)

Dannevirke Library (NZ)

Level 1 : Monday 7 Oct / Tuesday 8 Oct : 9.30am to 12pm both days

Level 2 : Monday 7 Oct / Tuesday 8 Oct : 1pm to 3.30pm both days

Level 3 : Wednesday 9 Oct : 11am to 1pm, 1.30pm to 4.30pm (bring lunch & drink)

Level 4 : Thurs 10 Oct : 9.30am to 12pm, 1pm to 3.30pm (bring lunch & drink)

Pahiatua Library

Level 1 : Monday 30 Sept / Tues 1 Oct : 9.30am to noon both days

Level 2: Monday 30 Sept / Tues 1 Oct : 1pm to 3.30pm both days

Level 3 : Wednesday 2 Oct : 9.30am to noon, 1pm to 3.30pm (bring lunch & drink)

Level 4: Thursday 3 Oct 9.30am to noon, 1pm to 3.30pm (bring lunch & drink)

Woodville Library

Level 1: Monday 30 Sept / Tues 1 Oct : 10.30am to 12.30pm both days

Level 2: Monday 30 Sept / Tues 1 Oct : 1.30pm to 4.00pm both days

Level 3 : Wednesday 2 Oct : 10am to 12.30pm, 1.30pm to 4.00pm (bring lunch & drink)

Level 4: Thursday 3 Oct : 10am to 12.30pm, 1.30pm to 3.30pm (bring lunch & drink)

Eketahuna Library

Level 1: Monday 7 Oct / Tuesday 8 Oct : 10.30am to 12.30pm both days

Level 2: Monday 7 Oct / Tuesday 8 Oct 1.30pm to 3.30pm both days

Level 3 : Wednesday 9 Oct : 10.45am to 3.30pm (bring lunch & drink)

Level 4: Thursday 10 Oct : 10.30am to 3.30pm (bring lunch & drink)

Some wonderful cut up poems!

by Murray Orchard


by Muriel Cowan

by Lynette Morgans

by Dale Moore

by Allie Lundon

by Chris Cape

Cut Up Poetry – Event 2019

Have you heard of cut out poetry? In a nutshell, it’s when you use words you’ve cut out from old magazines or newspapers, and use them to create poetry. “Created by the poet Tristan Tzara, ‘cut up’ is the deconstruction of a primary text using the random cutting up of words and phrases to form new sentences and thus a new piece of writing. It is a process of extraction and reconstruction of a new meaning of language, based on chaotic intuition and the free creative flow.”

Winner A. Lundon

For National Poetry Day in August 2019, Dannevirke Library hosted an event for people to come along and create cut out poems.  We were very impressed with the quality of the results. The librarians chose a winner (by popular choice) which was created by Ms. A. Lundon, who won a book voucher.

The winning poem

2019 Poetry Evening: Woodville and Eketahuna


Had a fabulous night on 22 August, with 24 people attending our poetry slam. Dot Johnstone read a very funny poem called “Snoring” and Murray Orchard read his poem called “I don’t like poems”!

















We had a small and intimate evening of poetry – our guests bought both their own and ones they loved by other poets. Although there weren’t a great many people, it was a fun evening of rhyme and stories.

2019 Poetry Competition : WINNER and runner-up

Our judge was very impressed by the quality of all 56 entries in this years competition. Thank you to everyone who participated ; we enjoyed reading your poems.  But there can only be one winner, and that is …. ‘The Present‘ by C Beale. Congratulations!   And the runner-up is ‘In not so golden days‘ by Lyn McConchie.


The Present

Way up in Alaska

Where the weather’s always cold,

An Inuit lived in an igloo

And he was brave and bold.


He caught fish and walrus

And polar bears and seals,

For his dear wife to skin and gut

To make delicious meals.


One day he had some money

So off he went to town

To buy a present for his wife—

He began to look around.


He walked into every shop

Trying to decide

He couldn’t make up his mind

No matter how he tried.


Then suddenly he saw it

Tall and gleaming white,

A refrigerator-the latest style,

They delivered it that night.


He showed his wife quite proudly

The left hand opening door,

His wife just glared and coldly said

” What did you buy that for?”


Feeling rather hurt he said

“So you don’t want it dear?”

She said “No you silly bugger

There’s no electricity in here!”

Mrs Beale











Runner-up, author Lyn McConchie, wrote “In not so golden days”

Lyn McConchie with Librarian Pamela Allen

Poetry Competition Entry 2019: Falling for a monster


© Tabitha Lamont

Poetry Competition Entry 2019: To be

To Be

“I’m not a writer.” I say, because I’m not.
I’d much rather think of myself as a poetess,
someone who whispers to the wind,
whom whispers right back.

Or, a word wrangler – what? It could be a thing,
like, I see a line far away on the horizon and track it –
rope it backward and hogtie sentences
until they sit on the page, tamed.

Perhaps, I’m a written tattooist,
drawing inspiration to stain onto the page –
pen in hand I tattoo its papery skin
until the ink sinks through and sets.

I’m a dream crafter, weaving poetic passion
into something someone can hold like a lover;
caress lovingly, hold it against their heart
and smile dreamingly into sleep, peaceful.

I could be a host, my muse a virus
that worms its way inside me –
vomit splatters onto my laptop and somehow
forms metaphors who come alive.

I’m a God, creating new life through shear will,
determination an ink that leaks
from every pore – I breathe creation
and kill it within a heartbeat.


© Ashlee-Ann Sneller

NZ Children’s Book Awards – 10th Annual TDL Children’s Quiz 2019

NZCYA_logo_jpg_largeTararua District Library is once again celebrating the best of New Zealand’s books for young people with our 10th 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.


Registration:     Entries close 5pm Friday 30 August 2019 (entry forms available at your school office or download Quiz Entry Form Tararua District Library New Zealand Children s Book Awards 2019)

Quiz Location:   Your local library

When:                 Wednesday 25 September 2019 at 6.30 pm (ends about 8.30)



South School winning team!

South School of Dannevirke are the current (2018) 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!


What/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 ; checkouts cannot be renewed.  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 shown on the reverse of the entry form.

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 a maximum of 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 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 2019 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 answer 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.
  16. In the event of a tie after four rounds, another set of 5 questions will be asked of the tied teams. This will continue until a winning team is found


Poetry Competition Entry 2019: Wairua Haerenga






















© A. C. Lundon

Poetry Competition Entry 2019: Again – Nature



















© Badger Bloomfield

Poetry Competition Entry 2019: Lift


Time to lift up,


drink in the glow of horizon,

chew a mint leaf,

leap the fence,

run slap-dash through damp ferns,

sit on lichen-clad rock under the crack willow,

dip your toe in translucent cold,

search for kokopu in ripples,

make friends with a hedgehog,

build a hut from bark and branches,

the wind knocked off the kānuka,

and a roof from trusty flax,

laugh the high-joy-cloud-swept way

that only children can,

release yourself from that

pulsing neon magnet

whose charisma outdoes

the rest of us hands down-



come outside and play,


you used to.


© Sophia Wilson

Poetry Competition Entry 2019: The joyous laugh of Joy

Her laughter floats around the room
Not quiet-but a sonic boom
Erasing any hints of gloom
The joyous sound of Joy

People stop to hear the sound
Put their phones down look around
Find the source of the profound
Joyous life of Joy

Their ‘happy’ bubbles up inside
One or two have even cried
Past hurts and sadnesses denied
By the joyous sound of Joy

Strangers wake up and remember
The blessing received from last December

Or was it June? July? September?
They recall the laugh of Joy

A merrier sound was never heard
Not a baby, nor a bird,
Not a giggle, nor a word
But the joyous sound of Joy

The laugh was given as a blessing
Stops the things in life from stressing

Makes the worries seem less pressing
Thank-you for the laugh of Joy

© Danielle Dean

Poetry Competition Entry 2019: Then and now

Then and Now

The gold card arrives in the post

I slip it away behind the credit card

Grit my teeth

The nation owes me a discount

For getting old?

Celebrate with a trip instead

My list includes Days Bay

Katherine Mansfield’s other home

The bay of my childhood holidays


I arrive at the ferry office to buy a ticket

Lovely young person asks without pause

“Your gold card?”

And the tickets are free,

Ahh well, the nation is paying its debt


There is a raucous gale blowing across the water

I am undeterred.

The ferry guys charge at the waves with gleeful cool

And we bounce across the harbour,

They, proving their manhood,

Me, just proving.

I step off the ferry with some inelegant clinging

And then


The pebble and shell beach sparkles

With Mansfield’s subtle prose

And a dancing memory,

Where I am leaning over the wharf

Dangling my coat hook and twine

With crusty, white bread bait

Ever hopeful

But more so delighted

To be on an adventure


with the sharp smell of the sea*

And memory leaps over the years

To bring exquisite lightness to now.


*Katherine Mansfield, At the Bay


© Helen Anderson