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Inspiring talent on tour with Children’s Book Awards

Inspiring talent on tour with this year’s New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards Festival

Some of New Zealand’s most talented writers and illustrators showcase their work and ideas in May, as they take to the road in celebration of the 2011 New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards.

Twenty-one of this year’s finalists will visit 24 regions – from Northland to Southland – from 9th to 18th May. They include seasoned writers Fleur Beale and Ken Catran, and newcomers Evie Kemp (illustrator) and food writers Claire and Glenda Gourley.

The finalists will be entertaining children of all ages – from toddlers to teenagers – in a nationwide programme of events put together by a dedicated team of booksellers and librarians.

The 2011 New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards features activities as diverse as pirate parties, quiz nights, writing workshops, diorama and creative writing competitions, treasure hunts, Kiwiana treats and bush survival tours.

Booksellers New Zealand chief executive, Lincoln Gould says that “this very comprehensive tour is a wonderful way to expose children to those who write the stories of this country that engage, entertain and inspire our young people.”

He encourages parents, school children and teenagers to find out what is happening in their region, as there is a treasure trove of learning and fun to be unpacked and enjoyed.

This year’s 2011 New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards finalists are on tour as part of an annual nationwide festival of children’s reading and literature, now in its 15th year. The New Zealand Post awards are the nation’s premier children’s book awards, celebrating writing and publishing for children and young adults.

The celebrations culminate with the announcement of the winners at the Auckland Convention Centre on the evening of Wednesday 18 May.

Some of this year’s highlight events are:

Northland: Sunday 15 May, 10am.The Storytime Character Hunt. Find your favourite storybook characters; once found, get your entry card stamped and receive your completion certificate from His Worship the Mayor.

Auckland: Thursday 12 May, 4pm. Who Dunnit? Murder Mystery Evening for Teens at Mangere Bridge Library. See the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards finalist characters come alive and work out who committed this murder most foul!

Palmerston North: Friday 6 May, 6pm. Stories @ 6 at Palmerston North City Library. A Kiwiana extravaganza – dress-up and readings from the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Award finalists.

Lower Hutt: Saturday 7 May, 7-8.15pm. 7 for Seven at the War Memorial Library. Story time with this year's picture book finalists. Enjoy pikelets and marmalade, and marmalade tasting, with fun activities and prizes.

Gisborne: Wednesday 11 May. High School Debates. Local high schools go head to head debating a hot literacy topic.

Hawkes Bay: Monday 16 May at Waipawa Library. Representatives from local schools to tour a local military display and hear first-person accounts about the Anzac’s on the Western Front.

Nelson: Sunday 15 May, 2-4pm. Beyond the Haystacks. Family fun at the Granary, Founders’ Heritage Park – dress in your farm gear to win spot prizes; musical entertainment, surprise animal guests, gumboot throwing and much, much more.

Grey District: Wednesday 11 May. Pirate Party evening. Dress up, party games and hear children’s poet Grey O’Connell break open his treasure chest of pirate poems.

Canterbury: Monday 9 May. The Big Read. Finalist picture books donated to low-decile Bromley School by Christchurch City, so that they can host a Big Read event and host a visit from New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards finalist, Kyle Mewburn.

Otago: Wednesday 11 May. Weaving ideas into a story. Talk and writing workshop with New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards finalist and veteran writer, Fleur Beale.

Southland: Friday 13 May. Editing workshops with veteran writer and finalist, Fleur Beale. And get creative by making your own fossils from plaster and other materials, to talk about and display in the Invercargill Public Library.

To find out what’s happening in your region, contact your festival coordinator. Find the full list online:

New Zealand Post has supported the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards since 1997 to help promote literacy and literature throughout the country. The partnership has seen the awards flourish, growing from strength to strength over the last decade. Working closely with Booksellers NZ, New Zealand Post and other dedicated segments of the community actively encourage New Zealand children to read and enjoy books. For those with limited access to new works, New Zealand Post also purchases and distributes books by the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards finalists through the Books in Homes programme each year.

The New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards are also supported by Creative New Zealand and Book Tokens (NZ) Ltd and are administered by Booksellers NZ.


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