Hutt at Heart
Animal Storytime at Moera Library

Stories come to life at Beyond the Page

Tamariki in Hutt City explored the world of story during the winter school holidays.

Libraries and Community Hubs fizzed with activity as they were filled with events for Beyond the Page – a literary festival for tamariki and their whānau, now in its third year.

Hutt City Libraries Manager, Kat Cuttriss was “thrilled that we could share so many wonderful events and performances with tamariki of Hutt City and their wider whānau.”

This year just over 1,700 people attended more than 55 events including hands-on workshops, interactive performances, and imaginative storytelling. “We received overwhelmingly positive feedback from those that joined us, and we’re delighted to have encouraged so many tamariki to develop their love of stories and storytelling.”

LEGO, robotics, and science continue to be major draw-cards for kids and being able to link them into literature and storytelling is a big win for Libraries.

Children’s Librarian Judith McGhie said “We wanted to explore how children could spark their imagination by using LEGO to tell stories. They built haunted houses, a waterpark, dystopian worlds, an olive oil factory and so much more. The resulting stories were amazing in their range of complexity and children enjoyed telling us the story behind their creation just as much as they enjoyed building them!”

Thanks to kits provided by Hutt Science, tamariki also loved the opportunity to become detectives and solve a crime in the library – often with no help from parents or caregivers!

Visits by Floyd the Dog and Virginia from Animal Services were particularly popular this year with tamariki enjoying animal stories. Parents and caregivers commented on how much they appreciated their tamariki learning about animal safety and getting the opportunity to pat a dog in a safe, supervised environment.

Other popular events included award-winning Donovan Bixley drawing a crowd of over 100 to Eastbourne Library with his entertaining look at the life of an author and illustrator, and the interactive Te Rereka, a bi-lingual puppetry and musical performance of the Kāi Tahu legend about a birdwoman called Pourakahua.

Lots of laughter with Toro Pikopiko.
Lots of laughter at Te Rereka by Toro Pikpiko.

Beyond the Page festival is Aotearoa’s largest literary festival for tamariki and is a collaboration between five Wellington region Public Libraries, Hutt City LibrariesUpper Hutt City LibrariesWellington City Libraries, Porirua City Libraries and Kāpiti Coast District Libraries. For more information on holiday events for kids visit Hutt City Libraries’ website.

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