Starting school and making friends can be scary. These fantastic books show how kindness makes everything better!
Mae’s first day of school / Berube, Kate
“From the author/illustrator of Hannah and Sugar comes a back-to-school tale about facing your fears As Mae’s first day of school approaches she decides she IS. NOT. GOING. School is scary What if the other kids don’t like her? Or what if she’s the only one who doesn’t know how to write? Or what if she misses her mom? Mae’s anxiety only builds as she walks to school. But then she meets Rosie and Ms. Pearl. Will making new friends show her that they can conquer their fears together?” (Catalogue)
Adrian Simcox does not have a horse / Campbell, Marcy
“Adrian Simcox brags about owning a horse, and Chloe just knows he’s making stuff up…until she learns an important lesson in empathy”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)
Maddie’s first day / Matthews, P. E.
“It is Maddie’s first day of school and she has everything ready – her uniform, shoes, socks and hat. But there is one special thing that Maddie can’t leave behind – her blanky! Award winners Penny Matthews and Liz Anelli team up to bring us this wonderful picture book about the excitement of going to “big” school for the first time.” (Catalogue)
I walk with Vanessa : a story about a simple act of kindness / Kerascoët
“An elementary school girl witnesses the bullying of another girl, but she is not sure how to help. After talking with her friends she decides to act. A very simple story about the difference one child can make.” (Catalogue)
From far away / Munsch, Robert N.
“The classic story of an immigrant child adjusting to her new home, now with new illustrations. Askar immigrated with her family from war-torn Lebanon when she was seven years old. This picture book tells the story of how she must adjust to her new home in Canada. An ideal book to help kids empathize with immigrant children whose experiences are very similar to Askar’s. Full color.” (Catalogue)
The secret sky garden / Sarah, Linda
“A startlingly original book, about a garden grown on an old car park roof, with beautiful illustrations by Fiona Lumbers.
Funni loves the old, disused car park, and spends a lot of time there flying her kite and playing her recorder. But something is missing. Definitely. So Funni decides to create a garden in the neglected space and after weeks of careful nurture, her garden in the sky takes shape. One day, a little boy, Zoo, spots the square of colour amongst the grey from an incoming flight, and decides to try to find it. And slowly, not only do Funni’s flowers bloom, but a very special friendship blossoms too.” (Catalogue)
Kindness is cooler, Mrs. Ruler / Cuyler, Margery
“When Mrs. Ruler asks five of her kindergarteners to miss recess, she’s got a special plan up her sleeve. She’s about to teach a new golden rule: KINDNESS IS COOL. Soon the entire class is doing so many good deeds that their kindness bulletin board barely fits their classroom. From clearing the table after dinner, to helping the elderly, one kindergarten class is proving that kids really can make a difference. Count along with Mrs. Ruler’s class. Can all their good deeds really add up to 100 acts of kindness?Acclaimed picture book author Margery Cuyler will inspire children of all ages to have a heart and save the world” (Catalogue)
Mermaid School / Wetzel, JoAnne
“Molly enjoys her first day at Mermaid School, where she makes new friends, learns new things, and hears a story about children with no tails. A rhyming story about starting school” (Catalogue)
Spin a Sphero, make music, code a cart, and rock with a robot! These April school holidays, your children can get to be an engineer, architect, or scientist at your local library. There are eight different robot and coding events happening across Wellington City Libraries: we have some of the latest programmable toys, gadgets and robots, or they can get creative with Lego and coding games. Best of all, they are open to all ability levels.
Here’s where and when the activities are happening:
Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library: Tuesday 17th April, 10.30am
Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library: Wednesday 18th April, 10.30am
Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library: Thursday 19th April, 10.30am
Karori Library: Friday 20th April, 2.30pm
Johnsonville Library: Monday 23rd April. 2.30pm
Newtown Library: Tuesday 24th April, 10.30am
Khandallah Library: Thursday 26th April, 10.30am
Central Library: Friday 27th April, 10.30am
These free events are for children aged 6+ and run for 1 hour. No need to book – just turn up! Contact your library to find out more information – or follow our Kids Blog or our Facebook page for updates.
Encyclopaedia Britannica is amazing! You get access to three sites in one: Children, Young Adults, and the Reference Center for older students and adults. This means you get to choose the level that best meets your needs, whether you are conducting research, completing homework for school or simply wanting to learn something new.
Within each of the three sites, you have access to tens of thousands of encyclopaedia entries, curated magazine articles, images, videos, audio clips, primary sources, maps, research tools, recommended websites and pop-up access to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary and Thesaurus. And Britannica Library works on any device—PC, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Check out this video to get an overview of all the amazing features:
If you have any questions about Encyclopaedia Britannica, please let us know.
It’s hard to be brave sometimes as a child, and often as adults we forget what the world is like for children – shadows in the corners of rooms, strange noises, bullying at school, not being invited to a birthday party, no one to play with and the death of a grandparent are often part of their world. How do we help children as they confront these situations while growing up?
UK based NZ author Avril McDonald has come up with a wonderful series of books that follow the adventures of Wolfgang the wolf as he encounters these emotional situations. The Feel Brave book series is designed to help children understand their feelings and give them strategies and techniques they can use when feeling upset or anxious.
Avril McDonald, a former primary school teacher, is currently in New Zealand and has been touring schools with her books reading the stories and doing Feel Brave Wellbeing Workshops with the children. Discover the Feel Brave series for yourself when Avril comes to Wellington Central Library on Saturday the 26th of August. The Feel Brave books are officially for 4 – 7 year olds but all ages enjoy them. So come along and bring the children to this special Feel Brave event.
Where: Wellington Central Library
When: Saturday 26th of August, 10.30 – 11.30am
Did you know that dragonflies have been around for 300 million years or that our native snail, the Powelliphanta, can live for up to 20 years? What do you know about bugs and other creepy crawlies? Love them or hate them bugs are fascinating! In fact at Wellington City Libraries we think bugs are so awesome we put beehives on the roof of Central Library.
These school holidays we are going to be worming our way into the world of bugs, through games, fun facts, microscopes and crafts. So fly down to your local library with your kids and join in with some of the fun, free activities we have on offer, during the April school holidays.
Mervyn Kemp Library – Tawa: Wednesday 19 April at 11am
Karori Library: Wednesday 19 April at 2pm
Ruth Gotlieb Library – Kilbirnie: Thursday 20 April at 10.30am
Cummings Park Library – Ngaio: Friday 21 April at 11am
Miramar Library: Wednesday 26 April at 10.30am
Wellington Central Library: Thursday 27th April at 11am
Johnsonville Library: Thursday 27th April at 11am
Khandallah Library: Thursday 27 April at 6pm
Newtown Library: Friday 28 April at 6pm
It’s that easy. From 1st December – 31st January, kids can pick up a Summer Reading Challenge booklet from your local library (or print it here) and see how many they can read. If they write a Kids’ Club review for every book read from the list, they will be published on the Kids Blog.
Writing more reviews earns prizes, which can be collected from the local library: the first prize is earned after writing 2 reviews, and then after every 5th review from then on (a librarian will contact your child when the prize is ready to be collected). But the winning doesn’t stop there… there is also the Challenge’s main prize draw, which will be drawn in early February. The prize will include lots of goodies like books, CDs, vouchers, chocolate, library bags, toys and games, posters, stickers, and much more! To find out more about the Summer Reading Club, and the activities at each library, see the Kids Blog.
We know lots of people are working from home this week, maybe with kids stuck inside in the bad weather, with some schools and kindys still closed. To make your working life a little easier, and provide some much needed distraction for the kids so you can get things done, here are some kids’ craft ideas. Some are tricker than others, but many don’t need too much effort to get them started – we love the lego marble maze idea! So many endless permutations!
We also have kids’ craft books & audiobooks on Overdrive, as well as books that read themselves aloud to your kids on Tumblebooks (‘Readalongs’), and we’ve included a selection of these too — all you need are headphones and they’ll be captivated (quietly!).
We’ve gone ahead and created a Pinterest board with these and many more ideas — have a browse!
So, here we go:
- Have Lego and marbles at home? Build a Lego marble run! There are lots of complicated tutorials out there, but this one looks nice and easy, and you just tilt the board to run the marble through. Then rearrange and try again.
- Free colouring in pages — there are so many linked here. If your kids are school age, these could be quite good
- Here are some neat shoebox craft ideas. Many of these are quite complicated, and kids would need help, but the last one is a mailbox – we think this could be great! Not too much work to set up, and then kids could write and draw cards and letters back and forth. Also pictured below, make a stage! Would require some help to start, but once cut and coloured in, can be used to stage elaborate plays with all manner of toys. We think covering or gluing with wrapping paper would be a good (easy) option instead of decorating with paint
- Holiday cards – these could be fun to make and write?
Here are some printable Christmas ones to colour in, but there are lots of ideas out there for all holidays — here’s a page with all the site’s printables listed by holiday — Hanukkah is coming up soon too!
- Blanket forts! This tutorial is actually aimed at adults, but details blanket fort construction very well, and we think would work for kids, minus perhaps the safety pins (you could substitute clothes pegs instead?). Also includes such important topics as stockpiling snacks inside your blanket fort, and the important step of giving your blanket fort a name, and creating a sign for outside it!
- Tumblebooks – read aloud (and other) eBooks for kids
Give these a go. The ‘read along’ titles will read themselves aloud on any screen, and you don’t need to download them or set up with any other kind of technology — all you’ll need to do is log in with your card. Some of our picks for ‘read along’ titles are: The Paper Bag Princess and All Aboard the Dinotrain. You can also read regular chapter books (that aren’t read along titles), like Neil Gaiman’s Remember the Milk! Because they can’t be checked out to any one borrower, they’re always available online too
- Kids’ audiobooks on Overdrive. Many of these you can also listen to online in a browser, if you don’t have time to set up the app on your phone or device! (If you want to do this, choose the ‘advanced search’, and then filter by ‘Overdrive Listen’). Here are a few titles for kids to get you started, but have a browse! Overdrive even has some read-along eBooks too
The Black Circle, (Audiobook)
“Governments were toppled and rulers were killed during the last attempt to find the lost treasure Amy and Dan Cahill are searching for—do they even stand a chance?” (Overdrive description)
Anna’s Birthday Surprise, (Read-along eBook)
“Read along with Disney! It’s Anna’s birthday and Elsa and Kristoff are determined to give her the best celebration ever, but Elsa’s icy powers may put more than just the party at risk.” (Overdrive description)
Dirty Beasts, (Audiobook)
“In Dirty Beasts we meet a ghastly menagerie of wonderfully comic animals that can only have been invented by Roald Dahl. There is the toad that jumps to France—at his own peril; the pig who ponders the meaning of life; the anteater who gets the wrong end of the stick; and many more. Snigger, titter and laugh at their antics in this collection of irreverent and absurdly comic verse!” (Overdrive description)
We have some great events happening across our libraries during the school holidays that are free to attend, and will be lots of fun too!
We will be celebrating World Space Week by creating Space Movies!
Calling all Space, Film and Technology buffs! Bring a device, or use one of our tablets to showcase Earth from space by creating a stop-motion animated film.
Here’s when the events are on at a library near you:
Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library: Wednesday 28 Sept, 11am
Miramar Library: Wednesday 28 Sept, 2pm
Khandallah Library: Thursday 29 Sept, 2pm
Johnsonville Library: Friday 30 Sept, 11am
Karori Library: Tuesday 4 Oct, 2pm
Wellington Central Library: Wednesday 5 Oct, 11am
Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library: Thursday 6 Oct, 2pm
Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library: Friday 7 Oct, 2pm
Some important notes:
- Please bring your own device if possible. The library will have a limited number of tablets that can be used on the day.
- If you bring your own device, it needs to be an Android or iOS tablet or smart phone with a camera
- Before the event, please download a free app called Stop Motion Studio on to your device.
- The event is free, and no bookings are required. However due to limited resources and library spaces, librarians may limit numbers on the day depending on how many people turn up.
- Suitable for ages 7+
The waiting is over! Here’s what’s happening in the July School Holidays at a library near you…
Due to the release of the movie The BFG and with 2016 being his 100th birthday, we are celebrating that amazing author – Roald Dahl.
He is many people’s favourite author and his books have become classics for a number of generations. Lots have been turned into movies too – The BFG, Fantastic Mr Fox, The Witches, Matilda…
During the school holidays kids can whizz-pop their way into a library for some whoopsy-splunkers fun! We will be exploring the life of Roald Dahl, learning Gobblefunk (the language of The BFG), competing in a clever matching game, and creating dream jars. Your kids will be frothbuggling if they miss this one.
Here’s the details:
Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library: Thursday 14th July, 11am
Miramar Library: Friday 15th July, 2pm
Karori Library: Tuesday 19th July, 11am
Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library: Tuesday 19th July, 2pm
Central Library: Wednesday 20th July, 11am
Johnsonville Library: Thursday 21st July, 11am
Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library: Friday 22nd July, 11am
Our School Holiday activities are suitable for 6-12 year olds and last one hour. They are free and bookings are not required – just turn up.
Silly sonnets, ridiculous rhymes and preposterous plays… Celebrate Shakespeare!
2016 marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. Throughout this year we will be celebrating Shakespeare, starting with the April School Holidays. Bring the kids along to the library holiday events and they can have a go at our Shakespearean Insult Generator. We’re sure you will get a laugh out of it.
Apart from your kids swearing and insulting each other like Shakespeare, we’ll also be looking at all the strange words Shakespeare invented, and they can have a go at writing with ink and quills (so they shouldn’t wear their best clothes).
These free school holiday activities are suitable for 6-12 year olds. Bookings are not required – just turn up.
Karori: Tuesday 19th April, 11am
Miramar: Wednesday 20th April, 2pm
Johnsonville: Thursday 21st April, 2pm
Central: Wednesday 27th April, 11am
Cummings Park: Thursday 28th April, 11am
Kilbirnie: Friday 29th April, 2pm