My Grandpa is a Dinosaur – new book and a competition too.

My Grandpa is a dinosaur

By Terry Jones

Illustrated by Richard Fairgray


Wow! There are dinosaurs all over the library. We have a great competition at school this week. All you have to do is draw a picture of a dinosaur and you might win a copy of this wonderful book. Any kind of dinosaur – even one you invent yourself. If you come in to the library you can see what some students have created already. There are rainbow dinosaurs and even one with a volcano head.




Bring your pictures to the library before next Wednesday.


Sam Johnson visiting the seniors. What an amazing afternoon.

This post is from Scarlett in year six.


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Year 6 has been working on a biography of famous New Zealanders. I chose Sam Johnson (for those of you who don’t know, Sam set up the Student Volunteer Army and was awarded young New Zealander of the year in 2012 after he and his “Army” helped a lot in the earthquakes). In my opinion he was the best person to pick!! I began trying to email him so I could ask if I could interview him  over the phone. It took a while but finally his secretary gave me his proper email address and within a few hours I had a reply from him saying that it would be fine. It was a great start!

A few minutes later I got another email from him saying that he would be in Christchurch on Thursday and he could meet me at the Fendalton library. That was even better! I told Mrs Harford and she said it was great but if it would be even better if he could come and talk to the senior team. This was quite a lot to ask and remember he was doing all of this for free! I gave it a try and he said he only lived around the corner so he said that it would be fine! I was stoked! Even more Mrs Harford and Desna were stoked! It felt like I was going to meet John Key!! So on Thursday at 2pm Sam Johnson came to talk to the Senior team! When he arrived I had butterflies in my stomach as you can see in the photo he was quite a lot taller than me! When we walked down to the hall I showed him a few of the classes and he was already being recognised by teachers! When he started I was immediately intrigued. It was like the whole senior team wasn’t staring at us and all I could focus on was his words. Every word was inspirational and meaningful and it was a day I would always remember!


Thank you Scarlett for organising this wonderful event. Sam was so inspirational and it was lovely to see how well you interviewed him.

I know I will remember two very important things from his talk. One is that you need to be a team player with whatever you do. The second is that your attitude is most important in what you do in life. Thank you Scarlett.


Samoan language week 29th May to 4th June

Next week is Samoan language week.  Ursla and Henrietta have made a wonderful display in the library to help celebrate the special week.

If you want to learn a few words in Samoan then check out the link here.

Did you know we even have a copy of The very hungry caterpillar written all in Samoan. It is called O le ketapila matua fia ai.

It is on display in the library with a few other Samoan books for you to look at. Thank you Ursla and Henrietta for all your help.



Making a newspaper tower in the library

Lunch times this week in the library have been busy with lots of children rolling up newspapers to help create a tower. Our wonderful caretaker Mr Walker, has been in every day to assist the children as they roll different lengths. It was a great chance to discuss what gives buildings their strength and how to make sure things actually are strong enough to stand up. The added touch of a flashing light on top was just perfect. Delighted faces everywhere for our makerspace activity.






A special visit from Uk author Liz Pichon of Tom Gates fame

Wow! What a day we had at school today. Not only did we all get to get dressed up in our favourite bookish costumes but we had a very special visit from UK author and illustrator Liz Pichon. Liz is famous for her wonderfully funny Tom Gates books.

Liz was on her way to another school for her only talk in Christchurch but we were incredibly lucky to have her stop by on her way from the airport to her talk. Our Kapa Haka team gave her a very animated welcome. They are, as always, a wonder to watch.

Liz took time to sign books for some of her Tom Gates fans. It was a very special opportunity for these children and such a brilliant thing to happen during our book week. A special thanks to Scholastic for making this happen.




Kapa Haka

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Receiving her kete.


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Liz inside our library after signing her books for some of her fans.


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We all fell in love with her shoes. They are awesome.

If you want to know more about Liz and her Tom Gates books check out her very cool website here.


Mr Walker just has to be one of the best team players at our school.

What an awesome day! As part of our week long celebration of books and reading, children dressed up as their favourite book characters and marched around the tennis courts displaying their costumes and their love of books. Even our wonderful caretaker Mr Walker took time to put on the great big and very heavy costume of Clifford the dog. Poor Mr Walker was very, very hot underneath all that gear. So thank you Mr Walker for brightening up the day of all our children and even the drivers driving along our road this morning.
         Thanks also to Mrs Williams for helping him with the crossing this morning.




Storytelling with Zac from Christchurch City Libraries

Yesterday the junior and middle teams had a wonderful afternoon being entertained by Zac McCallum from Christchurch City Libraries.
Here he is reading Piranhas don’t eat bananas by the author Arron Blabey.
Thanks Zac or as the children said thanks “banana man”.
We have this book in our library so you can read it for yourselves later.
Zac McCallum

Book sale in the school library

The library has been buzzing all week with children buying new books. It is wonderful to see so many parents coming in and choosing books as a family.
Our competitions are in full swing with lots of entries. Judging is going to be so hard as we know how much work has gone in to all of your entries.
More photos throughout the week of some of the fun we are having. We are still selling books all day tomorrow 8.30 until 3.30 in the library.










Internationally famous author Liz Pichon of Tom Gates fame, will be in Christchurch on Thursday

We are super excited that author Liz Pichon will be coming to Christchurch this week. Liz is the world famous author of the Tom Gates books which are very funny. Unfortunately Liz will not be talking at our school but she will be at The Children’s Bookshop on Thursday afternoon.
Liz Pichon
12 May
The Original Children’s Bookshop,
227 Blenheim Road
4.15 – 4.45pm
There are lots of fun things to check out and do on her website. It is also very cool to have this opportunity during our book week.

Just a few more sleeps until Book Week

Next week will be full-on with lots of focus on books and reading. There are heaps of competitions to enter.
Rose has already created her story diorama for one of the competitions and it is gorgeous. I can see that you have taken so much time with this Rose and I love the use of twigs for the houses.
Lots of fantastic new books to buy too. This will be a great chance to stock up on some new titles for the long winter nights ahead. Don’t forget the parade on Thursday at 9.15. Take 5 will be open too if you feel like a cup of coffee or a hot chocolate.




Book Week coming up next term.

Book Week is in week two of term two – 9th – 13th May.
So many exciting things to do. Competitions, teacher read-around, character dress-up and parade, and of course heaps of new books for sale. It is a fantastic week of thinking about books, reading books and sharing stories.
Start thinking now about which book character you might want to dress up as so you are already for when it happens next term. Check out the competitions below and perhaps do some over the holidays. Creating book trailers seem to be a favourite one to try at the moment but there a plenty to choose from.
Book Trailer      Create a book trailer for your favourite book.
Fractured Fairy Tale  Write a different ending to a well known story. No more than 100 words.
50 word story   Write a story which takes place in a fantasy world. You may only use 50 words or less.
Dust Cover      Design a Book cover for a fantasy book.
Altered tins  Design a mini fantasy diorama based on a book character or scene within a tin or small cardboard box.   The smaller the better. A few examples pictured below. Check them out in the library.
Shelfie  Take a photo in front of your bookshelf. It is up to you to decide how the Fantasy theme is represented in your shelfie.



There will be a few more competitions in the library so do come in.
Book week happens every two years so this is your chance to really have some fun and support our library. It is a good chance to stock up on some new books and put them away for winter. Hope to see you there.

Awesome prize for our library from New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults

Our Year Six book club is participating in the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults as a judge school. It is a wonderful opportunity for our students to read and vote for books for the Hells Children’s Choice section. Along with other judge schools our choices will be collated and then released for the final votes from children all over New Zealand.

We are so lucky to have won a prize from the weekly draw of participating schools.

Just check out these photos of the new books. Room 4 are first in for a look at these great titles which will soon be added to our library. Thank you to New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults and Hell’s Pizza.




Before school soaking up a little reading time

Before classes began today I had a few visitors eager to find something to read. These boys had made a mountain out of the beanbags and were enjoying a shared session on the library iPad.

They were so engrossed in what they were doing they almost missed the bell and I had to remind them to go off to class.

Boys on beanbags




Dux medal from 1913 finds it way back to Fendalton Open-Air school

Fendalton Open-Air school was established in 1875 so we have had thousands and thousands of students and staff come through our doors. Generally when students move on, we never hear about them again so I was delighted when an email came out of the blue about one of our students from way, way back.


                     Irene Mafeking Powell was born on April 23 1900 in Christchurch. Note her middle name: she was born at the time of the Boer War in South Africa. Irene is on the left.
Irene  attended Fendalton Open-Air School and in 1913 she was awarded the prize for the Most Popular Girl in Standard Five and Six. Irene was also Dux of the school.  Irene’s granddaughters Helen Lamb and Janet Drake have very kindly donated both the book prize and the Dux medal from 1913. The book is a 1909 edition of Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens.  It is amazing to see these items in such good condition, considering they are over 100 years old.





Irene later attended Christchurch Girls’ Grammar. “lrene became a shorthand typist, a very modern career choice for women in those days. At 23 she married Maxwell Hugh Boyd. He was a Christchurch boy born in 1892, who served in Gallipoli and France in the First World War. Irene continued to work for five years after her marriage, a very unusual choice in those days. She and Max made the decision to delay having children until they had paid for their house and got Max’s business underway. She then had two children, Judith and Donald. Later in life the family moved to Auckland, where Irene became the secretary for Air Chief Marshal Sir Keith Park, a distinguished New Zealand airman.”



Irene in her teens.
With such a fast-changing world today, it is lovely to take a glimpse of the past and remember a time long ago.
Thank you so much to Helen and Janet for sharing Irene’s history and gifting these wonderful treasures.

Reading – anytime, any place and now anyhow!

I am always amazed at our children here at school. You just never know what is going to happen next. A simple library lesson on parts of a book turned into conversations about what we can do that is special.

Toby you are amazing. I don’t know how you can do what you are doing but we all loved watching as you so quickly turned yourself into a little ball with your own feet as your reading pillow. You blew us all away.




Famous Five by Enid Blyton

We have a complete new set of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books.

All the fun and quirky characters are there for their next adventure.

Anne, Dick, George, Julian and of course Timmy the dog.

Often while riding their bikes on the way to a picnic something mysterious would catch their eyes. Not afraid to investigate they would all end up on a wonderful adventure. Sometimes while chasing thieves they would end up putting themselves in danger but they were always very brave  even if they were a little scared.

Their stories are still very popular and these new books replace our old tired copies. Do come and see which ones you want to read first. There are 21 titles, so plenty to go around and plenty of adventures and mysteries to read.

The books will be available Friday afternoon.



Can a skeleton have an x-ray? by Kyle Hughes-Odgers our book of the week.

Can a skeleton have an x-ray?

By Kyle Hughes-Odgers

Freemantle Press

“How does sound taste?
Do colours smell?
Why do onions make me cry?
Who builds the wings for birds to fly?”


These are just some of the big questions in this delightful picture book which is our book of the week. This is a wonderful book to sit with friends and ask each other questions. Whether you are reading this together with friends or by yourself do take the time to enjoy it and see where your answers take you?

There are certainly questions I would love to know the answer to.  “What happens under my bed?” I really hate to think what might be happening under there while I sleep. Maybe my cats are sleeping under there or maybe there is a trapdoor with stairs leading far below the earth and maybe even out the other side? What do you you think happens underneath your bed? Come and tell me. Come and read the book.

It is also a great one for teachers to use in class to get into some deep discussions about how the world works. Teachers please use this link to take you to some teaching notes which will make this book even more fun to read and use with students.



NASA shares images of every letter of the alphabet from space

Welcome back to everyone. I hope your holidays were filled with heaps of fun and sunshine. I also hope you had a chance to read a few books.

As we know, books are made up of words and the words are made up from letters in the alphabet. Well, take the time to watch this incredible video from NASA on images they found on letters of the alphabet. All the images are from far off in space.

What an extraordinary world we live in and what fantastic views. Later this year we will be looking at space so this is perfect for everyone.




Why Reading the Same Book Repeatedly Is Good for Kids (Even If It Drives You Nuts) @dcorneal Some great advice here

Often in the school library or in the bookshop I work in on Saturday’s parents ask me about moving children on from the books they love. The books they want to read over and over again. While I am always keen to help challenge and move children forward or in different directions it must be pointed out that there is still so much to be gained by allowing our children to read their books over and over. It is not just the picture books you read to your children but the books they read by themselves. I have always said that if they love reading Geronimo Stilton – let them read as many as they want. They will move on when they are ready – some may need prompting but  don’t discourage them from reading the whole series if they want. This article is a very short but wonderful insight in to reasons why it is okay to read the same books and just how much our children benefit from doing so. I hope you enjoy reading it.

Why Reading the Same Book Repeatedly Is Good for Kids (Even If It Drives You Nuts)   by Devon Corneal

I hope you are all enjoying the holidays and find some time in the sun to sit back and read.

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