The New Zealand Post Children’s Book Festival starts on Monday 17 June (that’s next week) and our committee here in Christchurch can’t wait to bring the Festival to the children of Canterbury. The main part of the Canterbury Festival this year is our Roadshow. We’re taking the finalist books on the road and visiting schools and preschools throughout Canterbury, from Ashburton up to Rangiora. We’ll be reading and talking about the finalists and I’ll be stepping in to Mister Whistler’s shoes each day.
We wanted to have a cool way to promote the books to the kids in each of our sessions so we came up with the idea of reading an extract from some of the books. The kids will then have to guess which book the extract comes from. It’s an easy idea that you could use in your classroom or library too. See if you can figure out which 2013 New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards finalist book these extracts come from.
- ‘Then came the long metal howl. In the canyon mouth, Hodie saw a bright blur. Next moment a wind-train shot out of the canyon and snaked above the valley floor towards the Depot. Lamps shone at the front. Four large swivelling wings on the engine made it shift this way and that to catch the currents of wind. Larger wings were spaced along three carriages, one of which looked like a dining car, and a van that must be for luggage. Concertina metal cages linked the carriages.’
- ‘All the time, the song raced round and round his head, and his feet tried to dance him round and round the platform.’
- ‘Gorging grubber, larvae-lover, snail-scratcher, beetle-battler.’
- ‘He looked out to sea. He had never been down here at night and he took a moment to enjoy the strangeness of it. In the patches of light, he thought he made out seaweed in the surging water, and something else, floating out there, waiting. Seals! He stood up and shivered in the wind. He heard it again: ‘The skin. Jake.’ A row of seals, their wet heads dark against the sea, watched him, like a row of sentries guarding the sea. Or the beach.’
- ‘The creatures here have to watch out for other hungry animals looking for a meal. Some dig into the sand to escape. Some hide under rocks. Others have clever ways of protecting themselves.’
- ‘We’re safe where we are, but we don’t wait around to speculate, just run like hell until we’re through the gardens and back in town. It’s chaos there. People packing out of offices. Shops boarding up their windows. Lucinda takes her leave of us, promising she’ll keep in touch. All the frantic activity underlines how stuffed I feel, not helped when Mikey whines about being hungry and tired the rest of the way home.’
I hope you all have a great festival week, whatever you may be doing. I certainly can’t wait until the awards ceremony in Christchurch on Monday 24 June to find out who takes out the awards!