27 February 2017

Science and trash collide!

Flex your science muscle and save the planet at the same time! Check out exciting ways to repurpose bottles and other recyclables into cool science experiments. 

Bring out your science genius with plastic bottles, potato chip bags and lots more unexpected stuff.

Dig into your recycling bin and get started!

24 February 2017

A wonderful pictures book about shapes.

A determined little spider named Walter is trying to make a sturdy web that will stand up to the blustery wind. The webs he makes at first are woven in special shapes--a triangle, a square, a circle--but they are still wibbly-wobbly. Can Walter make a web that is both wonderful and strong? 

This simple, vibrant adventure is a lively companion to our two previous Hopgood "first books" about colors and the senses.

23 February 2017

New from the living water series

http://ils.stdc.govt.nz/cgi-bin/koha/opac-detail.pl?biblionumber=164352In this captivating retelling of a classic biblical story, Jesus shocks the town of Bethany with Lazarus's resurrection from the dead, leading Martha--a seemingly perfect woman trapped by the secrets of her past--to hope and a new life.

Everyone in Bethany admires Martha--the perfect Jewish woman. She feeds and clothes her loved ones, looks after the family farm, and meticulously follows every precept of the Pharisees' strict laws. But Martha is hiding a secret. At her sister's marriage feast, she gave her heart and her innocence to a young musician who promised to return and marry her, but instead betrayed her love and abandoned her.

Seven years later, only two people in Bethany know of Martha's secret sin: her brother, Lazarus, and Simon, the righteous Pharisee to whom Martha is betrothed.

When Lazarus falls ill, Martha is faced with a choice: send for Jesus to save her dying brother--risking the wrath of Simon who threatens to betray her--or deny Jesus' healing power and remain trapped in her tomb of secrecy and lies.

Meanwhile, on the shores of Galilee, Isa roams the wilderness, tortured by demons and knowing only that someone is waiting for him. When he is healed by Jesus, he finds that seven years have passed since his descent into madness. Isa journeys home to Bethany only to find he is too late to win back Martha's love.

When Martha risks all to heal Lazarus, will Jesus arrive in time, or will he--like Isa--come too late?

22 February 2017

MummyJi, Knitting & Top-Dressing

Now back in a fully revised, redesigned edition with newly commissioned photography, the author reveals in over 100 recipes the secrets of British Asian food. These are the recipes from her family and friends; Indian cooking but adapted using British ingredients. 

Vicky says 'our home food is much simpler than the food you find in Indian restaurants. We use very few spices. The same ingredients are generally used for everything but, like musical notes, can be combined in many different ways to create beautiful melodies.' Many of the names of her dishes will be familiar to afficianados of high-street Indian restaurants but Vicky's versions are healthier, with fresher, more vivid flavours.

Knitters will love making these 60 adorable garments and accessories--and little kids will love wearing and using them!

 Every project is stylish, playful, and practical, from a Cat Hat with pointy ears, button eyes, and an embroidered face to a Raccoon Blanket, Striped Cardigan, Clown Mittens, and pencil-shaped scarf. 

As they work, knitters will master vital skills, from garment shaping to construction and more.

As a small boy, Bruce Aitken dreamt of flying. Little did he know of the thrills and spills he would endure and the joy he would feel soaring above the earth.

Bruce survived many crashes in his planes in the thirty-three years he was an aerial top-dressing and stunt flying pilot.His business, Farmers Aviation, perhaps had nearly as many near-fatal crashes as his planes.

Bruce became an aerial trop-dressing legend. At the end of that time he turned to stunt flying, thrilling spectators as well as himself.

Even America welcome this extraordinary man.

21 February 2017

Spiced apple, the countryside and Beale Street


Actor Tyler Fairfield is Spencer Hollow's only home-grown celebrity. To Brianna MacDougall, he's a friend who became a lover over the course of one wild night in New York City. They both agreed it was a mistake--so why can't Bri forget? Maybe because Tyler makes her feel like the only person in a crowded room. Or because his kisses melt her like warm caramel over ice cream. Tyler back in town means temptation 24/7. Bri has more than enough on her plate producing a holiday play and running her family business, but this new secret fling can't last (right?) so she intends to enjoy every minute of it...

Bri's like no woman Tyler's known--including Gabrielle, his former costar. Fairfield Orchard and Tyler himself are part of the plan to rehabilitate Gabrielle's image, but scorching encounters and tender moments with Bri make Tyler wish he hadn't signed on. He'd trust Bri with anything; she's his heart and his home. But proving it to her may bring more drama than either of them bargained for..
http://ils.stdc.govt.nz/cgi-bin/koha/opac-detail.pl?biblionumber=164359When Kitty inherits Bluebell Lodge from her grandmother, a farm in the beautiful Staffordshire countryside, it's time for fresh air and a fresh start. Up to her elbows in chickens and ponies, Kitty soon realises there's an awful lot to learn about farming. Still, at least the locals seem friendly, not least her handsome neighbour Tom... But just as Kitty is beginning to find her feet, and the possibility of love, the discovery of a long-hidden diary, by a mysterious character called Violet changes everything. 
Who is Violet and what is her message for Kitty? As Kitty fills in the lost pieces of her family jigsaw and discovers some shocking revelations, will her countryside dream and blossoming relationship fall to pieces? When it comes to life in the country, nothing is ever quite as it seems ..
 A cryptic plea for help from a childhood friend sends cousins Nate and Nicki Price from New Orleans to Memphis, the home of scrumptious barbecue and soulful blues music. When they arrive at Danny Andre's last known address, they discover signs of a struggle and a lifestyle not in keeping with the former choirboy they fondly remember. 

Danny's sister, Isabelle, reluctantly accepts their help. She and Nate aren't on the best of terms due to a complicated past, yet they will have to get beyond that if they want to save Danny.

On top of Danny's alarming disappearance and his troubled relationship with Isabelle, Nate also has to rein in his favorite cousin's overzealousness as a new and eager PI. Confronted with a possible murder, mystery, and mayhem in the land of the Delta blues, Nate must rely on his faith and investigative experience to keep one or more of them from getting killed.

20 February 2017

My name is Chase Cooper, and I'm a 6th grade ninja

Continuing the havoc-meets-hilarious adventures of Chase Cooper, who is the leader of a secret society of ninjas at his school.

It's been one disaster after another lately, and things aren't slowing down. During talent show rehearsals someone trashed the stage and set a penguin loose. (Seriously!) Now I'm on the hunt for a pet penguin and the kid who set him free.

This week is gonna be wild...My name is Chase Cooper, and I'm a 6th grade ninja...

As always, there's trouble brewing in the school halls, and you'll never guess who wants to team up with me... There's a thieving bandit on the loose, and as each day passes, his list of victims grows. Zoe says I should stay out of it...but staying out of trouble isn't my style.

My name is Chase Cooper, and I'm a 6th grade ninja

The Scavengers invited me to join their secret club. Turning them down was a bad idea...It's election week and I'm trying to help Zoe become president...while fending off the creepy Scavengers and a school reporter who's trying to expose my ninja clan.

Yeah, my week is packed...My name is Chase Cooper, and I'm a 6th grade ninja...

Click HERE to find the rest of the series

16 February 2017

Something is rotten

I"m not much of a New Zealand fiction reader which might sound very strange coming from a Librarian, but I've been like it long before I became one!

This book was recommended by a friend of mine and I do hope there is going to be more by this author. Adam Sarafis writes an excellent suspense story that pulls no punches. It is direct, gripping and tense and leaves the reader in no doubt that the book is aptly titled.

It's a very good start to a new series that touches liberally on the dark side of politic, tragedy, big business and the media.  I am very much looking forward to more from Adam Sarafis. 

13 February 2017

The man who created the Middle East

The story of the catastrophic British mishandling of the Middle East, told through the career of Sir Mark Sykes - Edwardian aristocrat, traveller, writer, politician and co-author of the infamous 1916 Sykes-Picot agreement, a shady deal between Entente powers to carve up the Middle East that lies at the heart of many of region's problems today. 

At the age of only 36 Sir Mark Sykes was signatory to a notorious treaty, drawn up in May 1916, between the French and the British, that divided up the Ottoman Empire in the event of an allied victory in the War. Written without any Arab involvement, it negated an earlier promise that the British Government had made to the Arabs they would gain independence. 

Drawn up in secret, a controversy has raged around it ever since. 

Following the Second World War, waves of Arab nationalism revealed cracks in these countries - most recently after the 2011 uprisings - as old frictions came to the fore, leading to the situation in the region today. 

Appointed to Kitchener's staff during WWI, Political Secretary to the War Cabinet and a member of the Committee set up to consider the future of Asiatic Turkey, where he was thirty years younger than any of the other members, the precocious Mark Sykes was considered the ideal diplomat for the task of finding a peaceful solution in the Middle East. 

Unrelenting in this search Sykes worked himself to death just two years later, following the Paris Peace Conference, a victim of the Spanish Flu. Drawing from previously undisclosed family archives, Christopher Simon Sykes analyses his grandfather's notorious legacy as we approach the centenary of its creation.

10 February 2017

Face your fear. Uncover the truth.

It's been three months since that night - the night that Detective Micki Dare almost died. Physically, she's healed but the nightmares remain, and she can't shake the feeling that more happened that night than her partner Detective Zach Harris is telling her. The only thing she can do is try to carry on as normal and solve the latest case she and Zach have been assigned to.

A string of brutal home invasions are rocking the city and the families targeted have nothing in common. Why were these victims chosen? The deeper Micki and Zach go into the case, the more they realise something isn't right. There's something . . . familiar about the person doing this - and it's a familiarity Micki has been trying to forget. 

Suddenly, this case is hitting too close to home and Micki has to decide if she really wants to learn the truth about that night . . .

09 February 2017

He's hiding in plain sight... (large print title)

A gunman is stalking the wards of a local hospital. He's unidentified and dangerous, and has to be located. Urgently.

Police Firearms Officer Aden McCarthy is tasked with tracking him down. Still troubled by the shooting of a schoolboy, Aden is determined to make amends by finding the gunman - before it's too late.

To psychologist Imogen, hospital should be a place of healing and safety - both for her, and her young niece who's been recently admitted. She's heard about the gunman, but he has little to do with her. Or has he?

As time ticks down, no one knows who the gunman's next target will be. But he's there. Hiding in plain sight. Far closer than anyone thinks...

08 February 2017

Despite the rather dull cover...

What we talk about when we talk about getting your shi*t together:

Small shi*t: nailing down the day-to-day to build a better future.

Tough shi*t: getting older, getting ahead, getting healthy, and getting better at life in general. 

Deep shi*t: mental health, existential crises, and making big life changes.

This book provides a straight-talking, humorous, and helpful guide to shedding self-doubt and finding one's own path to success.

07 February 2017

A whip-smart suspense

To all appearances, Dan Chase is a harmless retiree in Vermont with two big mutts and a grown daughter he keeps in touch with by phone. But most sixty-year-old widowers don't have multiple driver's licenses, savings stockpiled in banks across the country, and a bugout kit with two Beretta Nanos stashed in the spare bedroom closet. 

Most have not spent decades on the run. 

Thirty-five years ago, as a young hotshot in army intelligence, Chase was sent to Libya to covertly assist a rebel army. When the plan turned sour, Chase reacted according to his own ideas of right and wrong, triggering consequences he could never have anticipated. And someone still wants him dead because of them. 

Just as he had begun to think himself finally safe, Chase must reawaken his survival instincts to contend with the history he has spent his adult life trying to escape. Armed mercenaries, spectacularly crashed cars, a precarious love interest, and an unforgettable chase scene through the snow--this is lethal plotting from one of the best in crime fiction.

06 February 2017

A lovely favourite looking brand new!

When the Banks family advertise for a nanny, Mary Poppins and her talking umbrella appear out of the sky, ready to take the children on extraordinary adventures.

Mary Poppins is strict but fair, and soon Michael and Jane are whisked off to a funfair inside a pavement picture and on many more outings with their wonderful new nanny!

Needless to say, when at last the wind changes and she flies away, the children are devastated.

But the magic of Mary Poppins will stay with the Banks family forever.

04 February 2017

Slow stitch

Slow stitch: mindful and contemplative textile art by Claire Wellesley-Smith shows how a pared-down approach can create stunning textile art that is meaningful and personal. The book is illustrated with work by the author and other international artists. It includes practical projects such as stitch journals and mapping local walks in stitch, alongside ideas for working with local materials and natural dying.
I create mixed media works and this lovely book has inspired me to try adding hand stitching to some pieces, and perhaps even make a fabric journal. If you'd like to try your hand at slow stitching, or are looking for general arty/crafty inspiration, this is a great book.
Cath S

03 February 2017

Brown Girl Dreaming

It's taken more than a year for me to get my hands on Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson. A finalist in the National Book Awards, this book is described as "unforgettable stories of her childhood in mesmerizing - and inspiring - verse". High praise indeed, so would it live up to the hype or was I going to be disappointed?
I was everything I had hoped for! Brown Girl Dreaming, written in free verse, is lyrical and deeply moving. I don't read a lot at the moment, preferring to flip through art and craft books, but found it hard to put this down.
Jacqueline was born in Ohio just seven years after Rosa Parkes refused to give up her seat on the bus, and where the remnants of Jim Crow remained. She tells of her growing awareness of the civil rights movement, the feeling of being different as a Jehovah's Witness, and the constant deep love of family.
This is a beautiful read, I highly recommend it. Cath

Ann-Louise reviews...

"We were inseparable until the day she killed my sons..." -- Cover.

I was gripped by this over New Year while at a bach in Mokau. As there were lots of people around I read it for hours in my bottom bunk bed by the light of the torch on my phone.

It’s a suspense about a woman who lives in a small island community. Her two children have died due to a moments carelessness.

I’ve not read The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins however she describes it as a dark and haunting thriller that creeps under your skin and doesn’t let you go.

The blurb:

Three friends have had their lives ripped apart. Their pasts haunt them. They are consumed by guilt. And they don't trust anyone. Not even themselves. But in their small, isolated, island community, trust is the only way to survive.

Now a child has gone missing. And no one knows who to believe.

There can only be one killer. So why are three people confessing to the same crime?

02 February 2017

3 wonderful picture books

Benny the baker leads a simple life. He makes delicious cakes, cookies, and muffins, and keeps his customers well fed and happy. When a skinny brown dog shows up on Benny's doorstep, nothing Benny says can convince him to go away. While Benny insists that the dog isn't his, customers soon grow as fond of the skinny brown dog as they are of Benny's yummy treats. The children even name him Brownie--the perfect name for a baker's dog.

Benny starts to wonder what it might be like to have a dog of his own. But it's not until Brownie comes to his rescue that Benny realizes a dog can make for a very good friend. Full of winning characters (and delicious treats!) from the award-winning Kimberly Willis Holt, this book celebrates a very special friendship.

This old dragon is very hungry! And he's not going to stop until he's gulped down almost the entire kingdom, knight's armour and all. But is there any way of escape from a lazy dragon's gut? Perhaps a good belch will help...

Penny Parker Klostermann's adventurous play on the classic nursery rhyme, There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly, is brought to life through Ben Mantle's vivid illustrations. This silly tale is perfect for reading aloud, with rollicking rhymes that will have both children and parents giggling.

With funny word play and bold imagery, actor Ben Bailey Smith and artist Sav Akyuz introduce a trickster to remember. 

If there's trouble, one thing is certain: Bear was there. In (and out) of his outrageous purple outfit, Bear can do anything - steal honey from the bees, do magic tricks, steal doughnuts from a police officer, and annoy a certain pesky squirrel. 

This hilarious picture book debut of actor Ben Bailey Smith (aka rapper Doc Brown) and artist Sav Akyuz will keep young mischief-makers in stitches.

01 February 2017


Father Rodrigues is an idealistic Portuguese Jesuit priest who, in the 1640s, sets sail for Japan on a determined mission to help the brutally oppressed Japanese Christians and to discover the truth behind unthinkable rumours that his famous teacher Ferreira has renounced his faith. 

Once faced with the realities of religious persecution Rodrigues himself is forced to make an impossible choice: whether to abandon his flock or his God

31 January 2017

A new graphic novel for Barbie fans!

Barbie has explored many worlds and careers but none more "out there" than Para-Den, the strange alien planet where a girl named Barbie lives with her father and her flying pet, Pupcorn. But something is not right in Barbie's galaxy. One by one the stars are going out an no one seems to know why.

Of course, no one is more surprised than Barbie when she is chosen by King Constantine to join a special mission to make the stars dance once again. Along with Prince Leo, hover board champion Sal-Lee and the colorful twins Kareena & Sheena, Barbie must solve the mystery of the creatures known as Whailens and find a way to bring the starlight back before the stars stop dancing forever!

When the stars start going out in her galaxy, Barbie is chosen by King Constantine to make the stars dance once again.

30 January 2017

Understanding the Muslim faith

In the last couple of days US President Trump has put a temporary ban on Muslims from seven countries entering the United States. If you’d like to understand more about the Muslim faith, and the lives of Muslims in today’s world, here is a reading list to get you started:
What do Muslim's believe? By Ziauddin Sardar
Just your average Muslim by Zia Chaudhry
Good Muslim boy by Osamah Sami
Heretic: why Islam needs a reformation now by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Muhajababes: meet the new Middle East - cool, sexy and devout by Allegra Stratton
The great Arab conquests:, how the spread of Islam changed the world we live in Hugh Kennedy
Do I kneel or do I bow? - what you need to know when attending religious occasions by Akasha Lonsdale
Devotion and defiance: my journey in love, faith and politics by Humaira Awais Shahid