It’s the 1st of June! That means The Great Kiwi Bookathon is ON! And that’s why Luke Howden, host of the Hokonui Breakfast show, spoke to Bernadette Murphy, Fundraising Manager, about the best children’s books, why the Bookathon is about fundraising, and how you can win prizes!

Tap the play button to listen or read the transcript below.

Luke Howden: The Great Kiwi Bookathon is back. Bernadette Murphy is one of the organisers extraordinaire; morning to you. [Morning!] So for the month of June, what is the challenge afoot? What are we doing?

Bernadette Murphy: Well, we’ve got The Great Kiwi Bookathon, which is about bringing the love of books to Kiwis, Kiwi kids, and inspiring them to read. And they’re fundraising, which is what The Great Kiwi Bookathon is all about during the month of June. They’re going to be raising money for children who are blind, deafblind or have low vision and their families. So they have a great start in life and they can get on with living independently.

L: There’s a slight irony to that. Is that the idea though?

B: Well, actually books are accessible for blind and low vision children as well. They can just sometimes be in a different format. So you’re looking at maybe an audible book and also sharing the love of books by reading to children who are blind or have low vision.

L: My partner loves audio books too ae. She’s doing the housework I mean, I tend to put on Def Leppard or something a little upbeat, but she’ll chuck on Harry Potter for the eighth time.

B: I’d definitely have an audio book on if I had to listen to Def Leppard.

L: Each to their own, different strokes for different folks. So yeah, it’s a bit like the 40 Hour Famine, but instead of cutting back, we want to load up on the pages. And there’s the chance to win some cool stuff.

B: Yeah there’s T-shirts, there’s bookbags, there’s an Alexa, so we’ve got all sorts of different little bits and pieces. But what’s quite exciting is when someone signs up and a child signs up, they get to choose an avatar. And then as they hit different milestones, fundraise, they get different, like accessories for the avatar and get to really personalize it.

L: It’s like a game there!

B: Yeah and there’s actually a prize for the best avatar! So that’s quite exciting.

L: Fantastic. So this is the second year obviously kicked off last year. Have you got a goal in mind? For 2022?

B: Yes, we’d like to reach over at least $400,000 because that will have a huge impact on the services we provide the children and their families of course, so yeah, over $400,000.

L: Let’s do it, Bernadette, with over 30,000 comments, the most popular post of all time by far on the Hokonui South Facebook page, asked, what was your favorite book as a kid? That’s the simple question. How about you? What was your favorite book as a kid.

B: My favourite book as a kid? I used to love Enid Blyton books – that’s really showing my age now. [The Magic Faraway Tree!]. Anything by Enid Blyton.

L: What do you think’s gonna be a hot pick at the library for this time around?

B: I’m wondering about Pipi Kiwi by Helen Taylor, that’s a really popular one. We’ve got Matariki coming up at the end of June I think our te reo Maori books that we’ve got on the site The Great Kiwi Bookathon site there’s some amazing books in there, but Pipi Kiwi is one of my favourites, by Helen Taylor.

L: Make sure you get in early to grab that one, kids, and get stuck into The Great Kiwi Bookathon, [in just a couple of days’ time] through the month of June. All the details on their website which you can google, The Great Kiwi Bookathon. Bernadette Murphy, so good to catch up!