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New Zealand Book Month in March 2011

Dorothy - 18/02/2011


In 2011 New Zealand Book Month is being celebrated in March.

To many readers the most newsworthy part of this statement is that the celebration is being held earlier in the year than usual. However to senior citizens like me who can easily look back over more than half a century the remarkable aspect is that there are so many New Zealand books to honour on this occasion.

When I was at secondary school and at university the prescribed reading list for English literature included only books written in England. A few years after I graduated I went back to enrol for a course on New Zealand literature taught by Patrick Evans a new experience. Among those attending were a number of mature students keen to discover new recommended reading.

The brief for NZine is "to show New Zealand to the world". This means that I review only books about New Zealand or by New Zealanders. Some years ago this would have provided the reviewer with very lean fare. Now there is a wide range of fiction and non-fiction. There is also a very pleasing growth in books by Maori authors, both in English and in Maori.

View the list of books discussed in NZine and choose what you would most like to read.

A book like Joy Cowley's "Friends" can be shared and enjoyed by readers of all ages.

Gavin enjoys sharing 'Friends' with his grandmother
Gavin enjoys sharing Friends with his grandmother
Click here to view a larger version

New Zealand Book Week is being celebrated New Zealand wide. A non-profit initiative, New Zealand Book Month aims at promoting books and reading, highlighting the talent of new and existing kiwi authors and illustrators.

To discover what is on in your area go to the website.

Christchurch City Libraries' wide range of activities
To celebrate New Zealand Book Month, Christchurch City Libraries have organised some great events for all ages and best of all, most are totally free.

Highlights include:

  • story time sessions for babies and children
  • a workshop to create your own mini-book with illustrator of The Wonkey Donkey, Katz Cowley
  • an online competition for all ages to Create the first New Zealand Superhero with digital cameras up for grabs
  • a book launch for Siobhan Harvey's latest release Lost Relatives
  • workshops to create your own digital calendars, cards and newsletters (a fee applies)
  • a blogging workshop with Donna Robertson
  • a workshop to animate your own characters with graphic novelist and tattooist Steve Malley
  • a chance to meet Picton writer and Eco Artist Julie Kennedy and hear about her book Katherine Mansfield in Picton
  • The Great NZ Quiz Night, with special guest Joe Bennett as MC.

The cover for 'Fidgety Itch' designed by Katz Cowley Katz Cowley beside two of her designs
The cover for Fidgety Itch designed by Katz Cowley

Katz Cowley beside two of her designs

Click on image to view a larger version

Carolyn Robertson, Libraries and Information Unit Manager says the change in month from October to March follows a consultation with publishers, booksellers, librarians and schools throughout the country, who collectively decided on March as a better fit with the book industry's annual calendar.

"We are delighted Book Month is back for 2011. Reading isn't just about written words. It's about the design, the illustration, the characters involved. As well as discovering new authors and celebrating old favourites, New Zealand Book Month also provides the perfect excuse to get involved with the creative side of reading such as illustrating and animation, as well as social media and blogging."

Mrs Robertson says with free events for the whole family, from babies right through to adults, there's a little something for everyone.

"After a tough few months here in Christchurch, this will definitely bring some light relief for the whole community to enjoy," says Mrs Robertson.

Some events will require pre-booking. See the website for more information, including the full programme.



 
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