This is Ana Crespo's official blog.

I don't blog often. Most of what is going on in my career can be found through my official FB page and official Twitter account. But, every once in a while you will find something interesting in here. For more information about me and my work, visit my official website. Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Back from Aotearoa

Hi again! I had a great time in New Zealand (or Aotearoa, in Māori), but adapting to the everyday reality has taken a while. The trip was wonderful, despite the rain. Although we visited some great locations, like the Hobbiton movie set, in Matamata, what I enjoyed the most was just walking through the streets of Hamilton, observing the locals, their habits, and the extremely diverse population of New Zealand.

My son and I visited the Garden Place Library, part of the Hamilton City Libraries, which, I was happy to notice, had a very large section dedicated to children. Looking through the book selection was interesting – most of the children’s books I had never seen before, except for classics, such as those written by Eric Carle, Dr. Seuss, and Lois Ehlert.

Garden City Library - Kids' Section

I also visited Browsers, a second-hand book shop on Victoria Street that is simply a required stop for the book lovers. Not only they carry great variety, most books are in very good condition and are not very expensive. I fell in love with an incomplete Thomas Nelson and Sons’ Charles Dickens collection; there were ten books, published in the first years of the 1900s, in good condition, and great price. They were my present to my daughter, who, like her mother, loves an old book.

Three of the ten Charles Dickens books
It would be so wonderful if the collection were complete.

However, I think Browsers was the only place I noticed sold inexpensive books. The new books, in the traditional bookstores, were extremely expensive. First of all, few sales were worthwhile, something disappointing for someone who really enjoys searching for nice bargain. Paperback books were usually NZ$20 (or US$17). But I was happy to find some New Zealand authors and ended up falling in love with the stories of Craig Smith. His books are wonderful for young children and his humor is similar to mine.  Craig is a musician, so his books are songs and every book comes with a CD. I got a few more books as well.  Some were Māori books and one, by Joy Cowley, was about a white kiwi bird.  So happy!