Rien à déclarer

Poster for the movie "Rien à déclarer"
Leave a comment
Not rated yet!

Rien à déclarer

20101 h 48 min

1er janvier 1993 : passage à l'Europe. Deux douaniers, l'un Belge, l'autre Français, apprennent la disparition prochaine de leur petit poste de douane fixe situé dans la commune de Courquain France et Koorkin Belgique. Francophobe de père en fils et douanier belge trop zélé, Ruben Vandervoorde se voit contraint et forcé d'inaugurer la première brigade volante mixte franco-belge. Son partenaire français sera Mathias Ducatel, voisin de douane et ennemi de toujours, qui surprend tout le monde en acceptant de devenir le co-équipier de Vandervoorde et sillonner avec lui les routes de campagnes frontalières à bord d'une 4L d'interception des douanes internationales.

Director Dany Boon
Runtime 1 h 48 min
Release Date 23 September 2010
Movie Status
Movie Rating Not rated

Natural Wooden Toys by Erin Freuchtel-Dearing

Leave a comment

This is a pretty comprehensive book for creating lovely wooden toys for children, many based on the Wardolf Education school of thought, and perfect for encouraging the all-important imaginative play.

The main tools you’ll need are a jigsaw/coping saw, paintbrush, and hammer. Then just add wood, paint, nails, and you’re away.  The instructions are very clear and easy to follow, and also explain the educational benefits for the toy your making. Advice is offered on choosing wood and paints/dyes, as well as how to actually use the tools. Making it a fantastic book for anyone, even if you have no idea about which end of the hammer hits the nail.

Of course, I didn’t actually make a single one of these toys, but I have guilt over this, which I think contributes towards the process. This is my own failing, rather than a lack of inspiration from the book.

If you’ve got crafty parents in your life, this book will make a beautiful gift (that first birthday gift you’ve been wondering over? This book would be perfect). Well worth having on your shelf.

Posted in Uncategorised

So much love for Ten Little Dinosaurs!

Leave a comment

Ten Little Dinosaurs has been such a sensational hit in our house that it’s been out for almost two months now, and this is the first chance I’ve had to write about it!

The story starts with ten baby dinosaurs hatching, seeing their mum is asleep, and deciding to go off exploring.

The line “Ten little dinosaurs all say… ROARRRRR!” is a great hit, and really helps everyone get into this exciting adventure.

The plot is about these baby dinosaurs being ‘removed’ from the story in one way or another, as we count down to one (SPOILER: they come back at the end).

The first one gets stomped on by a Diplodocus, but before you worry that this may be too scary for little people (although,to be honest, in my experience they seem to be more blood thirsty than many adults), each way of removing a character is innocent, or fun for the dino.

The Diplodocus stomp gets covered in mud and carried off:


Another “scary” event is when a T-Rex chases one baby dino off…and you can see by the look on the baby dino’s face that this is a hilarious game:


Of great amusement to my little girl is finding different aspects on each page. A dino hidden, a bat in a cave, a crab on a tree…or what is that yellow blob mum?





This had me completely flummoxed for the longest time…then I worked out that it’s the plesiosaur from the next page!


This sudden revelation made me view the book in a whole new light – each image reflects what is about to come. It’s very cleverly done.

The only thing that I dislike about this story is how the countdown is laid out each page. You have the “adventure”, then “now there are…” then you turn the page and get to see the number left. For me this means less time talking about what’s happening on the page. Which works well if I just want to race through a bedtime story, but this is such a great book to talk about, with so many simple (but fun) things going on. Thankfully, I’m an adult with basic maths skills, so can work out how many are left without needing to turn the page.

The only time that there’s any sadness is when there is just one dinosaur, sitting on a rock crying.

“One little dinosaur. Has he met his doom?
What’s that scary creature
stomping through the gloom?”

(SPOILER: it’s mum and all the others)

From the shiny cover, to the interactive text, from the delightful illustrations to the fun rhyme, Ten Little Dinosaurs by Mike Brownlow and Simon Rickerty is simply wonderful. Put it on your Christmas wish list.


Posted in Uncategorised

Love for “Imagine” by Alison Lester

Leave a comment

Imagine by Alison Lester is one of our favourite stories, and it allows so much variation in the way it can be read that it lends itself to being picked up at any excuse.

The story follows two children (boy & girl) as they play different adventuring scenarios, with a call for the reader to join in on their imaginary play.

Each scenario is two double pages, the first sets the scene…

With simple text, where you can really feel yourself falling into your imagination…

if we were
away on safari
where crocodiles lurk
and antelope feed
where leopards attack
and zebras stampede

image if we were away on safari

While on the opposite page the children are acting out their imaginative story…safari play

THEN… you turn the page to this amazing double spread of exciting adventure. The illustrations are beautiful, and detailed. Around the edge, forming a border, are names of all the things you can find in the picture.

This lends itself to being a quick bedtime read, where you read the story, turn the page, point out one creature and turn the page…or you can take your time and really explore each world, discussing your young readers imagination, and what things they would like to see.

At the back of the book is a great series of “key” pictures, that list all the creatures, and their positions on the page, which has been invaluable for the dinosaur page. We might be a little obsessed with the dinosaur page.

key image

Which brings me to my warning, and raises a strange issue…the realism in the dinosaur adventure. I do admit, *I* am not used to seeing dinosaurs trying to eat each other. Yet, Miss 2.5 seems quite accepting of this, with no concern. She plays games where she tries to gobble you up (as learnt in Little Red Riding Hood), and now where she eats you up, because she’s a scary dinosaur. However, I would recommend approaching this openly, and it may depend on your child’s exposure to violence or pain (mine is pretty innocent of such things).


Yet, we go from dinosaurs eating/kissing each other, to Australia…the land that has the MOST things that will try and kill you, but according to this, is a pretty cool petting zoo. Not a single snake or spider to be seen (although there is a Tasmanian Devil). This amuses me endlessly.

The wonderful places you get to visit are:

  • A Jungle
  • An Ocean (and I struggle to say anemones every, single, time)
  • The Arctic icecap
  • The country
  • A Prehistoric land
  • An African Safari
  • Australia
  • Home

I can’t recommend this book highly enough, it’s such a wonderful story, and creates so many fantastic talking points. You can spend so long discussing different aspects, from counting chickens, to spot the spider, every time we read Imagine we find something new to talk about.

Something for everyone.



Posted in Uncategorised

Mad About Megabeasts by Giles Andreae and David Wojitowycz

Mad About Mega Beats Cover
Leave a comment

Mad About Megabeasts by Giles Andreae and David Wojitowycz

Mad About Megabeasts is the second book in this wonderful series that I have been lucky enough to read with Miss 2. And re-read. And re-read. And just one more time. Pleeeeeease.

The language is in a fun rhyme that is a delight to read aloud, and bright cheerful images turn the most ferocious of animals into a warm fuzzy hug. Perhaps this is not the best book if you are trying to teach your child the dangers of the Siberian Tiger, but as an enjoyable story to share it’s a winner.

This is a feel good look at some of the biggest animals that have ever roamed the earth, with quite a few surprises.

Some of us like grass and leaves

And other tasty plants.

Some eat up whole animals

Without a second glance!

The first thing that really surprised me is that they’ve opened with “Woolly Mammoth” as their first megabeast. Don’t get me wrong, mammoths are cool, and it’s true that they were huge, I just found it unexpected. If I’m to be brutally honest, I was a little disappointed. The mammoth isn’t really hairy enough to be easily differentiated from an elephant, so I’ve given up trying to correct. Our first beast is a big, big, elephant.

Written loosely in an encyclopaedic style, each megabeast gets its own two page spread and the authors cover quite a variety of megabeasts. Yet in only four lines for each megabeast don’t expect a dissertation.

  • Woolly Mammoth
  • Emperor Penguin
  • Elephant Seal
  • Giant Squid
  • Giant Manta Ray
  • Blue Whale
  • Argentinosaurus
  • Python
  • St Bernard
  • Buffalo
  • Siberian Tiger
  • Brown Bear

It is a toss-up as to which is the absolutely cutest most adorable megabeast between the Giant Manta Ray and the Giant Squid. Although the Brown Bear does look remarkably like a teddy. While the images are delightfully sweet, and the rhyming fun, the actual text is occasionally amusingly grim (if full of excellent advice)

I’m the Siberian tiger

The largest big cat in the land,

So don’t try to stroke me

Or tickle or poke me

Because I’ll just bite off your hand!

I was going to complain about the Argentinosaurus being pink, until I thought I’d best actually check. Sure enough, they were, apparently, a pinkish brown colour. So don’t let it be said that you can’t learn a thing or two from picture books, no matter how old you are (there’s also a very handy pronunciation guide for the Argentinosaurus).

Definitely a great picture book for early readers or as a read aloud story time book.

Giles Andreae is the author of Giraffe’s Can’t Dance, another favourite in this house, and with David Wojtowycz has a whole series of fantastic picture books that are sure to delight.

Posted in Uncategorised

Review: Mad About Minibeasts by Giles Anreae and David Wojitowycz

Leave a comment

Mad About Minibeasts by Giles Anreae and David Wojitowycz

Mad About Minibeasts is a beautifully illustrated introduction to the wonderful world of things that creep, wriggle, fly and skitter, with a fun rhyming text that rolls off the tongue.

It starts with a great verse welcoming the reader to explore, and be excited by, the world of creepy-crawlies. By introducing these as “Minibeasts” any negativity that may already be associated with “bugs”, “insects” or “creepy-crawlies” is removed (and anyone who wants to point out that spiders are not technically insects can breathe a happy sigh of relief). I also have to say YAY for ladybirds rather than ladybugs.

If you step a little closer

Maybe you can see

A ladybird, a dragonfly

A beetle or a bee.

The illustrations are bold and bright, with lots of things to be found on closer inspection. From striped snails to hiding ants, there’s plenty that allow for in-depth discussions about things that are going on. And we’re only at the first page!

The majority of Mad About Minibeasts is formatted like an encyclopaedia, with each page dedicated to a separate Minibeast.

  • Snail
  • Slug
  • Worm
  • Spider
  • Fly
  • Beetle
  • Earwig
  • Stick Insect
  • Ant
  • Caterpillar
  • Ladybird
  • Centipede
  • Bee
  • Dragonfly
  • Grasshopper

Despite the encyclopaedia style, this book is about fun, not education. Flies merely buzz and dragonflies are queens of the pond, but it has a lovely way of inspiring interest in these minibeasts.

I particularly love this as a bedtime book. It starts off quite lively, but the rhythm is quite relaxing for a nice quiet time read, and at the end all the minibeasts are sleeping.

IMG_4302 (1)

For the most part the rhyming nature of the stories are fun to read aloud, but there is the odd phrasing that doesn’t roll off the tongue as nicely as could be, yet this is a great book for readers that are starting to read independently, not just for reading aloud.

Giles Andreae is the author of Giraffe’s Can’t Dance, another favourite in this house, and with David Wojtowycz has a whole series of fantastic picture books that are sure to delight.
Buy Now banner 240x52

Posted in Uncategorised

If you go down to the woods today…

Leave a comment

I like to knit… I’m not particularly good at it, but it is something I enjoy doing. I also enjoy teaching others to knit. I particularly like knitting with a purpose, so I make socks as gifts, and just recently, teddy bears.

My little miss had a trip to the emergency department a while ago (nothing major, just over concerned first time parents apparently) While in there she was given an “ED Distraction pack“. A wonderful brown paper bag with little things to distract little people (and the big people worrying).

Little Miss fell in love with the teddy. I mean, really fell in love. It made her week. We still read the book that we were given, and although the bubbles are long gone, they’ve always been a winner in our house (in fact I used to carry bubble mixture around in my handbag).

So I got hold of the wonderful person who organises these packs in our area to find out if I could help out. As my reward I was sent a pattern for the easiest teddy bears you’ve ever encountered:


Sadly I forgot to take pictures before I dropped my teddy’s off to be rehomed…but this is one of the early bears, who eventually got a facelift which made him/her much happier 😉


It’s a wonderful pattern for little knitters, learner knitters, or travel knitting. I now carry a small ball of yarn and a 4mm circular needle with me, ready to knit a teddy whenever I find one of those rare moments where I’m somewhere with free time on my hands.

Try one – I’m sure you’ve got little ones (or charities) that would love a teddy or ten.

If you can’t think of a charity in your area google:

  • NICU (Newborn intensive care unit)
  • ED Distraction Pack
  • Women’s Refuge
  • Humane Society
  • Rescue Mission
  • Salvation Army
  • Good Samaritan Ministries
  • Stuffed Animals For Emergencies



Posted in Uncategorised

NZ Book Awards

Leave a comment

The news has been going around the traps all day, proving that we’re very excited about children’s literature in New Zealand, the finalists for the NZ Book Awards For Children and Young Adults have been announced (and it’s a fantastic lineup).

The full media release (also available on NZ Booksellers) is below.

A huge congratulations to all finalists. Keep your eyes out for announcements of author appearances in your area in the first week of August, and we’re all going to be waiting with bated breath for the winners to be announced on the 13th August 2015.


NZ Book Awards For Children and Young Adults

Pirates, orcas and penguins leap from the pages of the 22 books picked as finalists in the 2015 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults.
In the 25th year of these venerable awards, New Zealand authors have once again produced beautifully written and illustrated books that are wonderful to hold and read, showing that publishing for New Zealand children is in very good heart.
One hundred and forty-nine books were submitted for the Awards. A panel of three judges (judging convenor and children’s book reviewer and literary consultant Bob Docherty; author and children’s bookshop owner, Annemarie Florian; and teacher-librarian Fiona Mackie), with the assistance of Te Reo Māori language adviser, freelance Māori writer and editor Stephanie Pohe-Tibble, have spent months reading, analysing and enjoying all entries.
The finalists in the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults are selected across four categories: Picture Book, Non-Fiction, Junior Fiction and Young Adult Fiction, and there is an additional award for books written in Māori, for which there are finalists for the first time.
Judging panel convenor Bob Docherty says the judges were very pleased with the high quality of this year’s writing. “We likened the process to a vintner looking forward to tasting this year’s vintage. Having tasted, we all were delighted with this year’s production of titles – not only in terms of the actual writing, but also the fantastic quality and style of the illustrations and the actual presentation of the books. It’s heartening to see that book production in New Zealand is getting better and better. We’re pleased that publishers continue to put as much emphasis on the look and feel – literally – of a book as well as its content.
“The Picture Book category gave the judges the most difficulty – in the best possible way. With a whopping 75 entries, there was fierce competition to pare these down to five finalists. This indicates that New Zealand is producing its fair share of wonderfully strong visual stories – stories with simple integrity yet with expressive characters, where both author and illustrator work together to capture our interest on every page,” says Bob.
“All books submitted in the Non-Fiction category were particularly impressive – almost in defiance of the trend for some libraries to dispense with their non-fiction collections in favour of online sources. The judging panel believed all the Non-Fiction entries contained material that was far superior to any online source, and all entries deserved to be finalists, says Bob.
There were 35 entries in Junior Fiction category. “All these books were a delight to read. This year’s finalists have combined comic book illustrations with the traditional novel format, and four of the five books have an historical connection. Fantasy and adventure also figure, and there is a strong anti-bullying link within the finalists’ titles in this category.
The judges agreed that all 21 entries in the Young Adult Fiction category were stunning. The high standard of writing reflects the calibre of New Zealand’s world-class writers. The human condition and teenage relationships were intimately discussed, and dialogue was a strong feature of all of these novels.
Two finalists for the Māori language award
Seven books were submitted in the Māori language award, with two selected as finalists. Te Reo Māori language adviser, StephaniePohe-Tibble, says that all of this year’s entries had something for every reader – from beginning speakers of Māori to children andwhānau involved inkōhangareo andkurakaupapa Māori. The two finalists both stood out with their innovative approach to translation, wonderful text and illustrations, and creativity of storylines.Stephanie says, “I hope that all parents wishing to enrich their children’s lives with the Māori language will get to spend some special time with their children reading and enjoying these books.”
New Children’s Choice finalists’ list now decided by children
Children’s choices rule in the newly revamped Children’s Choice Awards in 2015. This year, more than 6,500 children and young adults from 106 schools from throughout the country have selected their own finalists from the 149 books submitted for the Awards. In previous years, the Children’s Choice was made from the judges’ finalist list, rather than from the full number of submitted books.
Nicola Legat, chair of the New Zealand Book Awards Trust, says, ”We wanted to hand this section over to the children – for them to decide which books they engaged with and which books they loved, rather than making their choices based on the criteria the judges used to make their decisions. Of the 20 books chosen as Children’s Choice finalists, seven match those on the judges’ list, so we’re very much looking forward to seeing the results of round two of the children’s vote over the next seven weeks.”
Voting for the Children’s Choice opens on Tuesday, 9 June and closes on Friday, 31 July. This year there will be a winner in each category.
Prince George to receive Picture Book finalists
For the second year, the five Picture Book finalists books are about to be sent to Prince George of Cambridge and his newborn sister Princess Charlotte. Each of the five books has a personal message from its author to both children.
“Each year the New Zealand Book Awards Trust is sending Prince George, and now his little sister, specially signed books from the authors of the Picture Book finalists. As they grow older the Cambridge family will receive the Non-Fiction finalists, then the Junior Fiction. When George is 13, we’ll send the autographed Young Adult Fiction books. By the time the Cambridge children have grown up, they’ll have a wonderful collection of New Zealand children’s and young adult literature – all personally inscribed,” says Nicola Legat.
The finalists for the 2015 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults are:
Picture Books
by Sally Sutton and Brian Lovelock
Walker Books Australia
I Am Not a Worm
by Scott Tulloch
Scholastic New Zealand
Jim’s Letters
by Glyn Harper and Jenny Cooper
Penguin Random House
by Sacha Cotter and Joshua Morgan
Huia Publishers
Little Red Riding Hood . . . Not Quite
by Yvonne Morrison and Donovan Bixley
Scholastic New Zealand
Ghoulish Get-Ups: How to Create Your Own Freaky Costumes
by Fifi Colston
Scholastic New Zealand
Māori Art for Kids
by Julie Noanoa and Norm Heke
Craig Potton Publishing
Mōtītī Blue and the Oil Spill
by Debbie McCauley and Sarah Elworthy
Mauao Publishing
The Book of Hat
by Harriet Rowland
Makaro Press/Submarine
Under the Ocean: explore & discover New Zealand’s sea life
by Gillian Candler and Ned Barraud
Craig Potton Publishing
Junior Fiction
Conrad Cooper’s Last Stand
by Leonie Agnew
Penguin Random House/Puffin
Dragon Knight: Fire!
by Kyle Mewburn and Donovan Bixley
Scholastic New Zealand
Monkey Boy
by Donovan Bixley
Scholastic New Zealand
The Island of Lost Horses
by Stacy Gregg
The Pirates and the Nightmaker
by James Norcliffe
Penguin Random House/Longacre Child
Young Adults
I Am Rebecca
by Fleur Beale
Penguin Random House
Night Vision
by Ella West
Allen & Unwin
Recon Team Angel: Vengeance
by Brian Falkner
Walker Books Australia
Singing Home the Whale
by  Mandy Hager
Penguin Random House
While We Run
by Karen Healey
Allen & Unwin
Māori Language Award
Hoiho Paku
by Stephanie Thatcher
Translated by Ngaere Roberts
Scholastic New Zealand
Ngā Ki
by Sacha Cotter and Joshua Morgan
Translated by Kawata Teepa
Huia Publishers
(translation of Keys, a finalist in the Picture Book category)
A Finalist Authors’ Tour will run from 3-7 August nationwide, with authors appearing in bookshops, libraries and schools.
The New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults is organised by the New Zealand Book Awards Trust, and administered by Booksellers NZ. The Awards are sponsored by Creative NZ, Book Tokens Ltd, Copyright Licensing Limited New Zealand and Nielsen Book Services. Publishers have also supported the awards this year.
The winners will be announced on the evening of Thursday, 13 August at Government House in Wellington.
For more information, please contact:
Adrienne Olsen T 04 496 5513
Adroite Communications, Wellington M 029 296 3650
Media Advisors, 2015 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults E adrienne@adroite.co.nz
The media kit can be found here for the finalist list; including author pics, logos and more.
The Children’s Choice finalist list can be found here.
Kids can vote for the Children’s Choice award here.
Posted in Uncategorised

Book Review: Mum Goes to Work, by Libby Gleeson & Leila Rudge

Leave a comment

Mum Goes to Work is a wonderful picture book, with expressive illustrations, a positive storyline, and hidden extras that tell a sub story. It’s a story that has a little something for everyone.

The book runs two stories in parallel. The main arc follows a group children as they go to daycare and the exciting times they have. On each page a new mother is introduced, with details about their job. The story then goes on to talk about that mothers child and the fun things they’re doing.

Just as the children at daycare all play and interact with each other, the parents end up interacting with each other through the course of their normal jobs. This forms a story that is cleverly hidden in the pictures. Laurence’s mother trips over a dog lead of Anne’s fathers’ dog, injures herself and has to go to hospital, where she’s seen by Max’s mum, the nurse. The dog escapes and the story helps the dog find its way back to Ann’s father by illustrating what various mothers do at work.

This is such an excellent idea for a picture book, and extends the book for shared reading exploration and dialogic reading, as there are so many other stories hidden in the pictures that can be discussed. Yet the illustrations are not busy. They are simple, but expressive faces, with solid detail in the background.

There is also great variation in the jobs that the mothers that reflect real life. It’s nice to see the stay at home mum, café worker, and shop assistant represented alongside a teacher, gardener and architect. Although a few more “high powered” jobs would be nice.

Although there is one dad and a male day care worker in the story, Mum Goes to Work is very female-centric.

I also love the play the children are doing, and the wonderful illustrations that emphasise this. “Rosie, Jack and Nadia wash all the dolls and teddies and put them out to dry” has the kids in an outside tub washing all their soft toys, with already washed soft toys in a tree drying. It’s such realistic vision.

This is a delightful book, with text that pleasantly rolls off the tongue, without being in a sing-song rhyme, illustrations that are expressive yet simply expressed, and hidden stories within the pages that enable long discussions. I thoroughly recommend this book for all ages.

Review published in full on NZ Booksellers. https://booksellersnz.wordpress.com/2015/05/14/book-review-mum-goes-to-work-by-libby-gleeson-leila-rudge/

Mum Goes to Work
by Libby Gleeson & Leila Rudge
Published by Walker Books
ISBN 9781921529825


Posted in Uncategorised

How do you find kiwi kids books? – Publisher edition

Leave a comment

huia_logo https://www.huia.co.nz/



harpercollinsnzHarperCollins NZ





random-house-logo-nz RandomHouseNZ 


penguin_logo_nzPenguin – NZ
Penguin – Kiwi




newholland-logo New Holland


Upstart-Press-Logo-whtUpstart Press




 Hachette NZ

rsvp-publishing RSVP Publishing 


Not actually a publisher, but the New Zealand Society of Authors is obviously an excellent resource for finding your local authors: