Thursday, 1 September 2022

Bookmark competition

Happy Spring! I hope the clear skies are a tonic for you. They are for me!

I mentioned that we had a bookmark design competition during Book Week, and realise that I haven't shared them yet. The theme was around books and pets, linked in with Scholastic's Paws for Books theme.

There were so many clever designs, and the judges struggled to choose the top three from each school whanau. Congratulations to the winners, and to everyone who participated.

Here they are in no particular order:

Sunday, 28 August 2022

National Poetry Day

 National Poetry Day, 26 August 

We celebrated National Poetry Day in the library for the whole week. On Monday 22nd, the Poet-Tree (inspired by a poem by Shel Silverstein) was rather bare, but by the end of Poetry Day, it was laden with spontaneous poems written by children during their library visits!


Thursday, 18 August 2022

Reflecting on Book Week 2022

Book Week 2022 was a bookish blast! Our Book Week this year fortuitously coincided with SLANZA's first ever Aotearoa NZ School Library Week. This is a week that celebrates school libraries around the motu. 

Our Book Week kicked off with the Scholastic Book fair, which was well supported. Thank you to WPS parents and whanau for supporting the fair. We have raised almost $2000 in books for the school library. It is great to be able to stock the shelves with new, exciting books for the children.

We celebrated books by inviting community guest readers to read to children including parents and whanau. Past principal, Liz Manley visited and read to children. Debra from the Titirangi Community Library read The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors to a class, followed by a Rock Paper Scissors challenge. We all celebrated together with a morning tea.

On Thursday of Book Week, Weng Wai Chan, visited our school. The visit was organised through Read NZ Te Pou Muramura who run an excellent Writer's in Schools programme. Weng Wai won the Wright Family Foundation Esther Glen Award for Junior Fiction at the NZ Children's and Young Adult Book Awards in 2020, and received a Storylines Notable Book Award in the same year.

Weng Wai Chan was warm, friendly, engaging and sincere. She shared some of her early life in Singapore bringing in humour and educational information. She shared a picture book she had written in younger days, making the process of writing and illustrating tangible for the students. A bit of Zumba got the children to have a stretch and a wiggle before they settled in for some more interesting learning.

After presenting in age appropriate ways to the three whanau groups, Weng Wai ran a writing workshop to a group of around 20 children. I was impressed with our tamariki who answered questions and engaged with the author, showing how much their teachers have taught them about writing narratives. They went away buzzing.


Weng Wai gifted us a signed copy of Lizard's Tale.
Her books can be bought at Unity Books
and other bookshops and are available widely online.

We also ran a Bookmark Design competition - and winners were drawn. Children could choose prizes from the Book Fair. I'll post some of the gorgeous bookmark entries soon. The winners' bookmarks will be printed out and made available to children in the library. It was a "pawsome" effort!

Teachers also made use of some of the excellent resources in the SLANZA Aotearoa NZ School Library Week booklet, including search and find pics, word searches, crosswords and more. I believe there was a literary quiz too (I missed it as I was packing up the fair). 

The sun came out for our annual Book Character Parade, which was a real blessing. It was wonderful to see parents back at school - all of us enjoying a special event together. The pics and videos are on the Woodlands Park School Facebook page. Here's our principal, Nardz Stephenson dressed up as Violet Beauregarde turned into a Blueberry, and "I am Jellyfish", plus Thelma the Unicorn (who walked into a netball pole)! The costume winners excitedly collected their prizes from the Book Fair after the parade.


At the end of the parade, I was presented with a kowhai tree, which I will plant in the corner of our garden to attract Tui birds. It was a special moment for me!

Now I have the job of cataloguing and covering the new books. Thank you everyone. There is a blog post on 19 August thanking you all in more detail.

Ngā mihi

Book Week thanks!

Thank you to everyone who helped to make Book Week a success. 

A huge thanks to the teachers at WPS for all your mahi - embracing bookish activities for the week, and to the support staff for your help and support! 

Thank you to all the children in whanau harakeke who helped me with set up, wish list visits, thanking the visiting author and more.

Thank you to all the guest readers for sharing your love of books with the children.

Thank you so much to the parents who helped at the fair - it was lovely to meet some of you for the first time. You dived in at the deep end and were awesome! 

Thank you to Read NZ Te Pou Muramura for our visiting author, Weng Wai Chan, and a huge thanks to Weng Wai for your energy and enthusiasm.

Thanks to all the children and teachers who dressed up for the Book Character Parade, and the parents who went to so much effort with costumes.

It was also the first ever Aotearoa NZ School Library week, and a huge thanks to SLANZA and the sponsors for the fabulous resources.

Thank you to WPS parents and whanau for supporting the fair. We raised almost $2000 in books for the school library. It is great to be able to stock the shelves with new, exciting books for the children.

I hope I've remembered everybody. There were so many acts of kindness that week that it's a bit of a blur. 

I'll write a post on the happenings of the week soon.

Monday, 25 July 2022

Exciting bookish things on the horizon!

Kia ora,

There is so much to share that I thought I'd try to cover it all in a blog post.

Books Alive Programme

Firstly, I just wanted to let you know that LIANZA (Library & Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa) is running a programme called Books Alive, featuring the authors and illustrators of the finalists of the NZ Children & YA Book Awards.

Children can learn about illustration, learn about maps and stories, listen to Q&A sessions with authors, watch "Books in Action" sessions hosted at local libraries, etc. 

Here is the link for the full programme, for you to dip into as it suits:

Teachers can use this resource at school, and parents can also access this at home.

There is also a Virtual Storytimes programme:


Woodlands Park School Book Week
8 - 12 August

Our annual Book Week will be jam packed with events and activities that generate excitement around books and reading. There will be a Scholastic Book Fair in the library. Parents can visit on the following dates and times:

Monday 8 August: 2.30 - 4 pm

Tuesday 9 August: 8.30 – 9.30 am and 2.30 – 4 pm

Wed 10 August: 8.30 – 9.30 am and 2.30 – 4 pm

Thursday 11 August: 8.30 – 9.30 am and 3 – 4.30 pm (later afternoon start due to author visit)

Friday (9-12 August): 8.30 – 9.30 am 

I am looking for parent volunteers to help me during the fair opening times - at the desk and on the 'shop floor'. Please email me at if you can offer up half an hour or 1 hour to help out. Thank you!

During Book Week, we also have a visiting author, Weng Wai Chan. I have read Lizard's Tale, her award winning chapter book and it was an exciting historical fiction adventure. It won the Wright Family Foundation Esther Glen Award for Junior Fiction at the NZCYA Book Awards in 2020. Here is some more information about Weng Wai:

On the last day of Book Week (Friday 12 August), we will have a Book Character Dress Up Day, with prizes for the winners. I will also be running a bookmark design competition at lunchtimes, with prizes.

Our Book Week falls on the first ever Aotearoa NZ School Library Week. The hard-working team of librarians at SLANZA (School Library Association of New Zealand Aotearoa) worked with the award-winning illustrator, Paul Beavis to put this together. It is downloadable here:

Do have a look at this excellent resource.

Well that's all for now. Keep well.

Monday, 21 March 2022

Date correction

An International Children's Book Day event, mentioned in my previous post, is this Saturday, not 2 April.

Time in NZ: 

Sat, March 26, 2022

12:00 PM – 2:00 PM NZDT

Here is a link to register. I have posted information about it in my previous blog post.

Thursday, 17 March 2022

Library news

Kia ora,

I'm thinking of the families affected by covid. I hope anyone who is unwell is better soon.

Library news

It's been great to have the library open this term, and I so enjoy the class visits. The children seem to be delighted to get their noses into books.

Encouraging a love of reading

The new display board arrived this term and I asked teachers if children could help me make a new display, by colouring in some butterflies. There were many beautiful submissions. Here is the display we made:



Children and teachers can also borrow books from a display on the whanau's various inquiries - with a selection of books on "What do scientists do?", science experiments, and water (the water cycle, plant life, weather), etc. Besides the display is a crate full of books on these topics - for teachers and children to borrow.

Upcoming events

International Children's Book Day - Sat 2 April

Celebrate International Children's Book Day 2022 by listening to a conversation about Maori and Cree children's storytelling (starting on the hour in your time zone).

Parents, this exciting event falls on a Saturday. If you would like to sign up for this online event, please use the link below:

National Simultaneous Storytime, Wednesday 25 May

I have registered our school for the National Simultaneous Storytime. Last year the children listened to astronauts reading from an international space station. 

This year up to two million children in Australia and New Zealand will read the same book on Wednesday 25 May. I have bought a copy for the library and will share it with teachers. There is more information in the link below, and some free activities and resources:

Take care, Kate