Did you know….about Harry Potter

Harry_Potter_and_the_Philosopher's_Stone_Book_CoverWell…who doesn’t know about Harry Potter, right?

Seriously though, did you know that Monday June 26th 2017 will mark the 20th anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone? That’s right, the series about the boy wizard is turning 20!

The book was author JK Rowling’s debut novel and was far from an overnight success. Indeed, Rowling began writing the novel in 1990 while riding on a train. According to an interview the author gave in 2009, the idea just hit her of a boy riding a train to wizard school. The death of her mother influenced much of the writing process.

The book was not well received by publishers and agents who felt that it was too long for a children’s book. That is, until Barry Cunningham of Bloomsbury recommended the publishers accept the book based on the recommendation of his eight-year-old daughter.

With seven books, eight films, a stage play and now a spin-off series of films, the rest, as they say, is history.

The library will be holding events from 10:00-1:00 this Saturday to celebrate the occasion so why not come along or maybe re-read the books, play or films.

BTW – Did you know that the books are actually set in the early-to-mid 1990s? You can work this out from information provided by Gryffindor ghost Nearly Headless Nick. In the Harry Potter and the Chamber of  Secrets, he celebrates his 500th ‘Death Day’ which occurred on October 31st, 1492, meaning that book takes place during 1992-1993!

Classic Graphic: The Moomin stories

moomin_history_tove_jansson-cfb36ad907e5b10ec440f2105589c600                               pee-hoo

Today is the birthday of Finnish author, artist and cartoonist Tove Marika Jansson. Tove was born in Helsinki on 9 August 1914 and died on 27 June 2001 at the age of 86.

Tove Jansson was a member of the Swedish speaking minority in Finland. She was raised by bohemian artist parents, who encouraged a love of nature and an appreciation of diversity in their children. Tove studied art in Helsinki, Stockholm and Paris. Her siblings also grew up to become artists.

Tove Janson is the most widely read Finnish author outside her own country. Shemoomin_by_marzymarrs-d8wj23y received wide recognition for her short stories, novels, picture books, plays and a comic strip. Tove also exhibited paintings and graphic art and was commissioned to create public art works. Although Tove wrote for both children and adults, she is best known and loved for her Moomin stories.

230px-Finn_FamilyIn 1945 Söderström & Co published Tove’s first Moomin story The Moomins and the Great Flood in Swedish. This was followed by Comet In Moominland in 1946 and Finn Family Moomintroll or The Magician’s Hat in 1948.

Tove continued writing about the adventures of the Moomin family throughout the 1950s and 1960s. In 1966 the International Board on Books for Young People awarded Tove the Hans Christian Andersen award, which is the highest accolade that can be given to a writer or illustrator of children’s books.

Following the translation into English of her books Tove was approached by a British publisher to transform her Moomin stories in a comic strip format. In 1954, the famous London newspaper The Evening News started to publish it. In order to allow his sister more time for her visual art projects, Tove’s brother Lars Jansson took over drawing the comic strip from 1960.  It ran up until 1974.

In 1970, Tove ceased writing Moomin stories with the publication of her ninth and last Moomin book Moominvalley in November. She later published a somewhat eerie children’s picture book called The Dangerous Journey in 1977, which is about different characters but takes place in the world of Moominvalley.

Tove went on to write an acclaimed novel for adults, which focuses on the relationship between a young girl and her grandmother who are living on an island. The Summer Book (1972) is her best known work of fiction which has been translated into English. Throughout her life, Tove produced six novels and five books of short stories for an adult audience.

Tove Jansson’s Moomin stories have been adapted for film, the stage, television series, an opera and a theme park. Her books have been translated into several languages.

You can reserve books about Tove Jansson’s life through the One Card Network online. Visit the official Tove Jansson website at http://tovejansson.com/

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CharactersA friend asked me to post about Tove Jansson, so I decided to explore the world of the Moomins, to discover why both children and adults are still captivated by them.

So you may ask, what exactly is a Moomin? Are they really trolls?

Fear not, the Moomins are not your average ugly, stupid trolls lurking in the mountains or under bridges, lying in wait to catch their next meal. The Moomins are cute, kindly fairytale characters who are plump and white and resemble hippopotamuses! They are intelligent, literate and make their home in a tower in Mooninvalley, living alongside a host of eccentric characters.

Tove’s stories are full of lighthearted humour. Her simple and colourful ‘retro’ style illustrations will appeal to children. She cleverly parodies many different concepts in her Moomin stories, from becoming famous, vanity, the theatre, the legal profession to buying unnecessary modern kitchen gadgets.

Young Moomin or Moomintroll, as he is known in the original Swedish version, is a sweet-natured, brave and somewhat naïve character, making his way in the world. Moomin lives with his close knit family, his mother Moominmamma, father Moominpappa and girlfriend Snorkmaiden.

Moomin familyThe Moomin family is always ready to embrace new experiences, meet new people and welcome them into their home.

Moonminpappa enjoys reading and philosophising. Moominpappa’s romantic view of himself leads to all sorts of grand plans such as moving his family to a lighthouse so he can write a grand novel. The more practical Moominmamma takes pride in her home and loves her garden. She prefers to live simply but comfortably.

Moominmamma is skilled at making others know that they may not have made the best decisions, without making her family feel bad about themselves. Her serenity helps us to realise that everything will eventually turn out okay. However, Moominmamma is not immune from falling into the trap of keeping up appearances and competing with her neighbour Mrs Fillyjonk!

Pretty Snorkmaiden is a dreamer. She and Moomin are devoted to each other.  However, she can be insecure, overly concerned with her Snorkmaidenappearance and with getting Moomin’s attention. The adopted Little My causes chaos in the Moonmin household but she is perceptive and brings other characters down to earth with her sharp observations.

Tove Jansson’s work is original and surrealOn their numerous adventures, many of the characters that The Moomin family encounters are of indeterminate species. For example, at first glance Too-Ticky appears to be human, until you notice her strange birdlike feet. The fearless Little My is so small she can fit incharacter_mymble_familyto the pocket of her half-brother Snufkin. She looks remarkably like her mother, older sister Mymble and her seventeen younger siblings. A ghost who haunts a lighthouse resembles a sausage with legs!

The Moomin books teach us about the importance of family and friendship and about accepting others for their uniqueness. They value living a simple life, staying close to the beauty of nature and just being happy. The Moomins are always ready to help other characters, as everyone is important and needs a purpose.

You can borrow the Moomin stories and graphic novels (which comprise episodes from the Moomin comic strip) across the One Card Network. Tove Jansson’s work has also been adapted to bring her characters to younger readers, through a series of new picture books. Search the catalogue online, or enquire next time you visit the Library. Why not also visit the official Moomin site: https://www.moomin.com/en/

And yes, I could be hooked.

All about Roald Dahl and The BFG

Work experience student Verona is an avid reader and has always loved the stories of children’s writer, Roald Dahl. In this blog post, she shares her travel tale, when she and her son visited the Roald Dahl Museum in England.

Who has seen the new movie The BFG? I haven’t yet but it’s high up on my list of things to do. When my son was little (he’s 13 now so I’m not allowed to call him little anymore) he loved reading Roald Dahl’s books. He has read every one of his children’s books. We started off reading them together and then as he got older he read them by himself. It renewed my love for his stories. We even got to visit the Roald Dahl Museum & Story Centre on a family trip to England.

The Story Centre is in a town called Great Missenden and it is where Roald Dahl lived for years and wrote many of his stories.

BFG

This is a picture of the outside of the Story Centre.

Roald Dahl

Inside the Story Centre there is a replica of the chair that Roald Dahl sat in to write all of his books.

It was here that my son got his copy of The BFG. The BFG, like many of Roald Dahl’s children’s stories is darkly comic and includes ‘gross topics’ that were often not written about. They include offbeat and imaginary characters. Roald Dahl often portrays the adults in his stories as cruel and the language he uses can border on inappropriate and this often appeals to children. You might then be wondering about the suitability of his books for your younger children. I would recommend starting with some of his lighter books such as The Enormous Crocodile or Fantastic Mr Fox and reading them together with your child but with anything, you as a parent have the best idea of what they will find amusing and what they will find too scary or dark to read.

With the movie The BFG in cinemas at the moment, now is a perfect time to explore not only the book of The BFG, but also some of his other stories. TTG Library has many of his stories and they are available in books, audio books and some DVDs. The library has an old animated movie of the BFG available on DVD to borrow.

Roald Dahl’s books are over 40-50 years old but they are still enormously popular today. The library has multiple copies of all his popular stories but you might need to place a reserve on the one that you want to borrow so that you don’t miss out.

Come into the library to have a look at not only the collection of Roald Dahl books but others that are similar in style.

Summer Reading Club 2015-16 Wrap-Up

Well done to the 54 children who participated in the recent Summer Reading Club, held over the summer school holidays.

Tea Tree Gully Library received 70 logs and 46 reviews of books – and we are proud to say after totaling all of the figures, a grand total of 746 books were read.

Congratulations!

This high number of books read is a credit to our young readers who live in the Tea Tree Gully area. Reading is incredibly important not just for education and comprehension, but also for developing communication skills, empathy, logic & reasoning and a greater ability to focus and concentration. If you need greater convincing, check out more reasons for why children should read here here and here.

Some of the children who read lots of books or submitted some stand-out book reviews were invited with their families to the Pegi Williams Bookshop in Walkerville to purchase new books for the children’s collection. They also received a Pegi Williams Book Shop voucher to buy a book for themselves. We had so much fun selecting new books together.

Look out for the new books on our shelves soon. And keep reading!

Children’s Book Council – Book of the Year Awards

Book Week is upon us and with that means the announcement of this years Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Book of the Year awards.

The shortlist was announced in April, and the overall winners in each category were revealed at a special event last Friday.

twoblanketsMy Two Blankets, by Irena Kobald and illustrated by Freya Blackwood took out the Best Picture Book. A story about  new ways of speaking, new ways of living, and new ways of being. Cartwheel has recently arrived somewhere new and finds security and safety in her old blanket. She discovers new friendships and sense of belonging as she weaves a new blanket. 

GotoSleepJessie

Go to Sleep Jessie, written by Libbie Gleeson and again illustrated by Freya Blackwood was the winner in the Early Childhood area. demonstrating the love and also frustration of sharing a room with a younger sibling who will not sleep. This is a story that many families have experienced.

In the Young Readers category; The Cleo Stories: The Necklace and the Present was the winner, written by the same team as Go to Sleep Jessie. The Goodreads website say it’s delightful, warm and irresistible, these stories show how a little girl with a big imagination can always find a way to have fun.

protected

For the teens, The Protected, by Claire Zorn won the Older Readers category. Following an accident that left Hannah an only child, this book delves into the horror, guilt and depression that followed and Hannah’s story of rebuilding herself. Raw and deep one not to be missed.

All of these titles are available from the Library, and you can see the full list of winners and honourable mentions here.

Dyslexia Friendly Collection

The more you read, the easier it becomes. But for those who struggle with words, reading is not always fun, and it’s easy to lose heart and stop trying.

Tea Tree Gully Library has recently made it easier to find dyslexia-friendly books and audiobooks by putting them in their own space  in the children’s and teen areas. They now have signage and coloured labels so they are easy to find.

To search for dyslexia friendly books, type in ‘dyslexia’ in the catalogue, just like below, and from there you can select the ‘dyslexia’ boxes on the left-hand side.

dyslexia friendly

Dyslexia primarily affects the ability to learn, read and spell. Sometimes maths is affected as well.  It’s important to remember that having dyslexia is not related to someone’s general intelligence. It comes from a difficulty in dealing with the sounds of words. People with dyslexia often find it hard to remember lists of things they have heard, or to remember names or facts quickly, although they often have strengths in reasoning, visual and creative fields.

Features of Dyslexia Friendly Books:

  • A font style and size that is clear to read.
  • Off-white paper that is kinder to the eyes as it reduces glare from the high contrast of black against white.
  • Spacing between letters, lines and paragraphs
  • Age appropriate content and story lines but with less text to a page and more pictures
  • Shorter chapters to give the eyes natural ‘rest’ breaks

Where are they located?

Children’s Area: Find them in the area near the book series boxes.

DXf-C

Book stickers on Dyslexia Friendly Collection (DXF-C) in the children’s area of Tea Tree Gully Library

DXFC

You can find dyslexia friendly books and audio books among the Children’s book series boxes in the Children’s Area.

Teens Area: You can find them on the last shelf facing the public computers.

Stickers on the Dyslexia Friendly Books in the Teen Area

Stickers on the Dyslexia Friendly Books in the Teen Area

Find the DXF-T books in the shelf that faces the computers (in the Teen Area).

Find the DXF-T books in the shelf that faces the computers (in the Teen Area).

We hope our new collections appeal to children and young people who have dyslexia or who are reluctant to read. May they inspire a new love of reading!

Saturday Storytime!

Can’t get to the Library during the week? Consider joining us for a new Saturday Storytime session, starting May 30. Tea Tree Gully Library would like to encourage all parents and carers who can’ make our regular story time sessions to come along, as well as anyone who wants a lovely story read to them on a Saturday afternoon. These sessions will be held every four weeks and will run from 1-1.45pm. For children aged 2-5 years. Hope to see you there.

Saturday Storytime

Why not borrow some books for the little ones at the same time?