Otaki kids face “pizza reading challenge”

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By VIVIENNE BAILEY

More than 20 young and hungry Otaki readers tucked into a swag of Hell Pizzas (the 333 Kids’ Pizza type,“ high in protein, fibre and calcium, but low in sugar”) as part of recent nationwide celebrations for the annual LIANZA Children’s Book Awards.

The Awards are presented by the Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aoteroa (LIANZA) for outstanding books for children and young people, and this year public libraries gained the support and partnership of Hell Pizza, an addition which sparked a new level of interest in reading.

“More children than ever are taking an interest in finalists’ books, thanks to the intriguing relationship between children and teens, books and pizzas,” said LIANZA judges. “The quality of the 2014 finalists is a true indication that young people’s literature is in very good hands and is accessible to all through our wonderful libraries.”

Kapiti Coast District Libraries and Hell Pizza Kapiti combined to promote the Awards, with the aim of encouraging young people to read (and have fun), by stamping pizza wheels every time they had a library book issued. The wheels were to be redeemed for a free Hell Pizza.

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Oliver Barnes and Shaylee Brodie with their rewards

“Tony and Jo Shalders, owners of Hell Pizza Kapiti in Paraparaumu, were concerned Otaki children would miss out because of location, so Tony very generously drove up and delivered 20 pizzas to the library on his day off. All was set for a LIANZA Hell Pizza Party!” said Kapiti Coast Libraries Youth Services Co-ordinator, Pam Coleman. “The promotion was a great initiative, providing value in the lives of children in terms of reading and engagement. They got to listen to some wonderful New Zealand stories and enjoy a free healthy pizza into the bargain! Best of all, it was fun!”