Half Term fun with Hampshire Libraries

What are you up to this half term? Don’t forget there is so much going on in Hampshire Libraries. Take a look below at a selection of our events.

Teddy Bear’s Picnic

Fun crafts to make and a wonderful trail. 10am -11am. £2 per child.

Tuesday 22 February –
Totton Library. Book now: https://bit.ly/34KjeVC.

Wednesday 23 February
Hythe Library. Book now: https://bit.ly/3Jchxii.

Thursday 24 February
Andover Library. Book now: https://bit.ly/3B1Qnb6.

Friday 25 February
Romsey Library. Book now: https://bit.ly/35XbwYL.

New Milton Library

Tuesday 22 February –
Craft Activities: Drop in between 10am – 4pm . No need to book.

Leigh Park Library

Saturday 19 February-
Games Club: 10am – 12noon

Tuesday 22 February-
Construction Club: 10am – 2pm

Thursday 24 February-
Craft Club – junk modelling: 10am – 2pm

Friday 25 February-
Games Club: 10am – 2pm

Saturday 26 February-
Craft Club: 10am – 12noon

Basingstoke Discovery Centre

Saturday 19 February-
Children’s Craft – Flowery fun: 2pm – 4pm
Construction Club: 10am – 4pm

Monday 21 February-
Construction Club: 10am – 4pm

Tuesday 22 February-
Children’s Craft – Flowery fun: 10am – 12noon

Wednesday 23 February-
Construction Club: 10am – 4pm

Thursday 24 February-
Construction Club: 10am – 4pm

Friday 25 February-
Storytime: 10.30am – 11am
– Followed by Stay and Play with building bricks and puzzles

Saturday 26 February-
Construction Club: 10am – 4pm

Colouring available all week!

Emsworth Library

Saturday 19 February-
Construction Club: 10am – 12noon

Totton Library

Thursday 24 February –
Pop-up Army Flying Museum: 11am – 3pm. Free family drop in activities. Parachute making, handling objects from the museum and things to make and do.

Petersfield Library

Saturday 19 February-
Science Appliance (Science Club): 1pm – 4pm

Saturday 26 February-
Storytime: 11am – 11.30am

Picture trail around the children’s library during all of half term!

Portchester Library

Monday 21 and Thursday 24 February –
Rhymetime and mini craft activity: 10am – 10.30am

Wednesday 23 February –
Craft and colouring activities

Saturday 19 and Saturday 26 February –
Storytime and craft: 11am – 11.30am
Construction Club: 10am – 12noon

Waterlooville Library

Wednesday 23 February-
Construction Club: 10am – 1pm

Friday 25 February-
Games Club: 12pm – 3pm

Saturday 26 February-
Book Bugs: 10am – 11am

Eastleigh Library

Saturday 19 February –
Craft & Colouring: 10am – 4pm
Construction Club: 10am – 4pm

Monday 21 February –
International Rhymetime: 10.30am – 11am
(English, French, German and Spanish)

Tuesday 22 February-
Storytime & Craft: 10am – 11am
Construction Fun: 11am – 4pm

Thursday 24 February-
International Rhymetime: 10.30am – 11am
Puzzle & Boardgames: 11am – 4pm

Saturday 26 February-
French Fun with Languages: 10am – 10.30am
Craft & Colouring: 10am – 4pm
Construction Club: 10am – 4pm

Lymington Library

Hidden Pets Trail: running all week. No need to book.

Hayling Island Library

Spring Time Trail: running throughout the Half Term week

Wednesday 23 February-
Rhymetime: 10.30am

Friday 25 February-
Birds event with School Holiday Club OSCARS: 2pm – 4pm

Fleet Library

Spring Treasure Trail: running throughout the half term week. Find the pictures of nature, associated with Spring, around the children’s library

Monday 21 February-
Storytime: 10.30am – 11.15am

Wednesday 23 February-
Construction Club: 10am – 12noon

Thursday 24 February-
Rhymetime: Session at 10am and a session at 11am

Saturday 26 February-
Construction Club: 2pm – 4pm

Gosport Discovery Centre

Saturday 19 and Saturday 26 February-
Storymakers with craft activity: 10.30am. Tickets £1 from Gosport Discovery Centre.

Monday 21 February-
Stories & Songs: 10.30am

Tuesday 22 February-
Discovery Time (pre-crawlers): 10.30am
Rhymetime (baby): 1.45pm

Wednesday 23 February-
Storytime (all ages): 10.30am

Thursday 24 February-
Rhymetime: 10.30am

Friday 25 February-
Omi Projector games: 1pm – 4pm

Stubbington Library

Saturday 19 February-
Explore Learning- Fun with Phonics (ages 4 – 6): 9.30am – 10.30am
Explore Learning – Be a Grand Wizard (ages 7 – 9): 11am – 12noon

Tuesday 22 February-
Big Garden Birdwatch Paper crafts: 10am – 11am. £1 per child. Please book at the library.

Havant Library

Tuesday 22 February-
– Rhymetime: 10.30am

Saturday 26 February-
Animal themed event: 10am – 12noon
Construction Club: 2pm – 4pm

Chandler’s Ford Library

Saturday 19 February-
Construction Club: all day

Monday 21 February-
Storytime: 10.30am
Construction Club: all day

Tuesday 22 February-
Rhymetime: 10.30am
Construction Club: all day

Wednesday 23 February-
Construction Club: all day

Thursday 24 February-
Rhymetime: 10.30am
Hedgehog Craft: all day

Friday 25 February-
Construction Club: all morning

Saturday 26 February-
Bear Craft: all day

Fareham Library

Monday 21 – Friday 25 February-
Harry Potter themed activities: Drop in at any time.

Monday 21 February-
Discovery Time for pre-crawlers: 10am – 11am

Tuesday 22 February-
Stories & Songs for pre-schoolers (1 adult to 2 children): 2pm – 2.30pm

Wednesday 23 February-
Stories & Rhymes for pre-schoolers (1 adult to 2 children): 11am – 11.30am

Thursday 24 February –
Homework Club: 4pm – 4.45pm

Friday 25 February-
Toddler Rhymetime: 10am – 10.30am
Baby Rhymetime: 11am – 11.30am

Saturday 26 February-
Storytime (5 – 8 year olds): 11am – 11.30am
Saturday Craft Club drop in: 11.30am – 3pm

Graham Greene

Graham Greene, was an English novelist, short-story writer, playwright, and journalist whose novels treat life’s moral ambiguities in the context of contemporary political settings.

Following the modest success of his first novel The Man Within (1929), Greene quit his job as copy editor for The Times and worked as film critic and literary editor of The Spectator. He travelled widely as a freelance journalist until the 1950s and used his trips to scout locations for novels.

His 1932 thriller, Stamboul Train was the first of his ‘entertainments’ books which combined with spare, tough language and suspenseful plots with moral complexity and depth. Stamboul Trian was the first of Greene’s novels to be made into a film in 1934 and his fifth ‘entertainment’ The Third Man (1949) was originally written as a screenplay for the Director Carol Reed.

Brighton Rock (1938, films 1947 and 2010) shares some of the characteristics of his pacy thrillers – the protagonist is a hunted criminal roaming the underworld of Brighton, but Greene explores the moral attitudes of the main characters with a new depth, including the violent teenage criminal, whose tragic situation is intensified by a Roman Catholic upbringing.

I read Brighton Rock when I was about thirteen. One of the first lessons I took from it was that a serious novel could be an exciting novel – that the novel of adventure could also be the novel of ideas.

Ian McEwan

Catholicism became the dominant theme of his finest novel, The Power and the Glory (1940; also published as The Labyrinthine Ways; adapted as the film The Fugitive, 1947). The book follows a weak and alcoholic Priest who tries to fulfil his duties in rural Mexico despite the despite the constant threat of death at the hands of a revolutionary government.

Greene worked for the Foreign Office during World War II and was stationed at Freetown, Sierra Leone, the setting for The Heart of the Matter (1948; film 1953), a novel which traces the decline of a well-meaning British Officer, whose pity for his wife and mistress leads him to commit suicide.

The Quiet American (1956; films 1958 and 2002) chronicles the doings of a well-intentioned American government agent in Vietnam in the midst of the anti-French uprising there in the early 1950s. Our Man in Havana (1958; film 1959) is set in Cuba just before the communist revolution there, while The Comedians (1966; film 1967) is set in Haiti during the rule of François Duvalier.

Throughout his long career Greene’s novels share a preoccupation with sin and moral failure against a backdrop or setting wrought with danger, violence, and physical decay. Despite the downbeat tone of his books, Greene was in fact one of the most widely read British novelists of the 20th century, due to his superb gifts as a storyteller, especially his masterful selection of detail and his use of realistic dialogue in a fast-paced narrative. Throughout his career, Greene was fascinated by film, and he often emulated cinematic techniques in his writing. No other British writer of this period was as aware as Greene of the power and influence of cinema.

Throughout his career he also published several selections of short stories, essays a collection of film criticism.

Visit our online catalogue for the entire Graham Greene collection, or see displays in your local library.

Behind the bookshelves with an Area Manager

We caught up with one of Hampshire Libraries Area Managers, Liz, to find out how she came to work with the libraries, her time as a children’s librarian, and her top picks for younger readers.

How did you come to work at Hampshire Libraries?

I’ve always worked in libraries. When I left school, I started working in the libraries in Hull. I went off to university but came back to working in libraries in North Yorkshire after. I came to Hampshire as a Children’s Librarian in Fareham. That was a brilliant thing to do because it’s all about getting the right book to the right child at the right time. It really shaped my way of working. I’m an Area Manager now, so I manage an operational team, keeping the libraries open and developing services, but I think I’ll always be a Children’s Librarian by trade. As a Children’s Librarian, you have to be quite comfortable in front of large groups of children, telling stories in quite extravagant ways. I got to meet so many children’s authors and illustrators as well through book launches and the Wessex Book Fair.

I was so enveloped by children’s books at that time. Parents would come to me with questions like “my child doesn’t really like reading, do you know a book that can help?” or “my child has to go to the dentist soon, are there any books that will help them feel less scared?” and I needed to know those things. Books enable children to articulate what they’re feeling because children don’t always have the language to tell you what they’re thinking. Sometimes it’s easier to talk to somebody through a book than it is to have a direct conversation, especially when children are learning to communicate. Reading develops so much more than literacy and language, it’s empathy and understanding too. Even as an adult reading them, you learn things about the world you didn’t know before. Whether it’s about somebody else’s culture or about being a refugee, they just help you to understand somebody else’s life.

When I was younger, I really struggled to learn to read. I can still remember how humiliating it was because I just couldn’t do it, it was hard. So, I wasn’t really much of a reader when I was a kid, but I think that’s why I really believe it is about getting the right book to the right child at the right time.

Where do you like to read?

I read in bed a lot, but I really enjoy reading on the train. I have family in Yorkshire and if I go to visit them, I like to go by train so I can read and relax. I’ll always take a couple of books with me because I think it’s important to give yourself permission to stop reading something you aren’t enjoying. When we’re younger we have to finish the books that we’re told to read because they’re on the curriculum, and that can make reading feel like a lot of work. But one of the brilliant things about being an adult is that you don’t have to do that.

How do you read?

I usually read in small bits and get through books that way. I don’t tend to listen to audiobooks, I do own an e-reader which is great for reading at night, but I do prefer a physical book.

What do you read?

I’m reading a book called Coasting by Elise Downing and another book about triathlon training. I’m reading a lot of non-fiction lately, but I really like novels and depending on my mood I do love a bit of Chick Lit. I enjoy books with central female characters and books about women’s lives. One novel that really stayed with me was A Single Thread by Tracy Chevalier. I really love the writing of Tracy Chevalier, I think they’re just great stories and her novels can give such an insight into the daily hardships of women from the past. Another author who does that really well is Kate Atkinson, particularly in her book Life After Life. The book is set during the second world war and really impressed on me how difficult it is for us to understand what it must have been like to live through that.

In terms of non-fiction, I really enjoy reading books about endurance sports. Over Christmas, I read Relentless by Alistair Brownlee, the Olympic triathlete. It’s a really interesting book because he talks to lots of different sports champions about their mindset and training, from footballers to darts players. I do triathlons and love cycling so it’s definitely a topic that interests me.

I must admit though, in times of stress where you just need a story to wash over you, a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine is Alan Titchmarsh’s novels. They’re so easy to read and there’s always a happy ending. If you’re feeling a bit anxious about something they’re just a proper escape.

What books would you recommend for children and teenagers?

A lot of my favourite picture books aren’t very new, but I think the sign of a good picture book is that it can really stand the test of time. The Blue Balloon by Mick Inkpen would be my first pick. It’s a very simple story about a magical balloon but the book has fold-out bits and some lovely language. I was reading it to a group of children and afterwards, I heard a boy say “I know what indestructible means” because it was used in the book. He must have only been about three or four years old, but he understood that word and how to use it because it was in the book. To me, that just perfectly illustrated how important picture books really are. Peace At Last by Jill Murphy, it’s a great story about poor Mr Bear trying to find somewhere to sleep but wherever he goes there’s a different noise that keeps him up. Another wonderful book is Winnie the Witch by Valérie Thomas and illustrated by Korky Paul. We had a visit from Korky Paul a few years ago and he saw a Winnie doll that I had made myself. He said he liked it so I made me one which lead to him signing a book for me addressed to “The Witch Maker”. But the book I would always give to a new baby is Dear Zoo which is such a classic.

Another genre I do love is teen fiction or YA. I’ve read so much teen fiction it’s difficult to pick favourites but one I really enjoyed is Beauty by Robin McKinley. It’s a wonderful retelling of the Beauty and the Beast story. Quite different but equally brilliant is Michael Morpurgo’s Private Peaceful which is just such a beautiful book. I had a flick through the last couple of pages earlier and it still brings me to tears. When it didn’t win the Carnegie medal for children’s fiction, I was just so disappointed.

If you like books that are a bit more whimsical, I would really recommend Skellig by David Almond. It’s about a couple of kids who find a man in their shed, but the man has wings so it’s as if he’s an angel or something like that. All of David Almond’s books are set in the Northeast of England so they’re all grounded in the Newcastle and Northumberland area. He has this quite beautiful way of writing that builds the relationships between the characters really strongly. Some of them can be quite gritty so the books have quite a realistic aspect to them as well.

Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman is a must read as well. It was recently turned into a TV series. It shows a different perspective of racism, it’s one of those books that really open your eyes, especially if you’re white.

What books have you loved that might get overlooked?

I really like books about people and their lives. A book I enjoyed reading recently was 12 Birds to Save Your Life by Charlie Corbett. After his mother was diagnosed with a terminal illness and subsequently died, he found a way through his grief by reconnecting with the world through nature and bird songs. It’s more about his experience than about nature so even if birds aren’t your usual subject, you can still really connect with the story. A similar book is the amazing true story by Raynor Winn, The Salt Path. It’s about how she and her husband became homeless just as her husband is diagnosed with a terminal illness. With nowhere else to go, they decided to walk the South West Coast Path. She talks about how it just gave them purpose and time to process what was happening. I actually bought it for my niece last Christmas because, it’s such a wonderful book, I just thought she had to read it.