Top 10 Children’s eBooks for August 2016

Harry Potter has taken over the eBook world! The new Harry Potter story has people fascinated with the way it’s been written – just like the play! It makes the book a surprisingly quick read.  Which means we’re racing through the reserve list here in the library. Good news for all the fans out there.

There are some great plays here in the library if you like the script form that Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was written in.  Have you been inspired to put on a play of any of your favourite stories? How did it go? Let us know in the comments.

 

1. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, by J.K.Rowling

2. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, by J.K. Rowling

3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, by J.K. Rowling

4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, by J.K. Rowling

5. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, by Jack Thorn, John Tiffany and J.K. Rowling

6. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, by J.K. Rowling

7. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, by J.K. Rowling

8. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, by J.K. Rowling

9. The Hobbit, by J. R. R.Tolkien

10. The Jungle Book, by Rudyard Kiplong

Top 10 Children’s Non-Fiction for August 2016

Lego, Minecraft and Star Wars are yet again leading as the favourites of the Children’s non-fiction world.  But… Language books are a really cool part of the non-fiction collection. First readers in Maori nearly squeaked into the Top 10 this month.  So for those of you practicing the Reo you can find a good start in these pukapuka. Ka wani ke! (Awesome!)

 

1. LEGO, by Daniel Lipkowitz

2. Minecraft, by Stephanie Milton, illustrated by Joe McLaren

3. Star Wars, by Adam Bray

4. Star Wars character encyclopedia, by Simon Beecroft

5. Minecraft, by Nick Farwell

6. Small scenes from a big galaxy, by Vesa Lehtimaki

7. Minecraft hacks master builder, by Megan Miller

8. Minecraft, by Matthew Needler and Phil Southam

9. Star Wars, by David West Reynolds

10. Lego Star Wars in 100 scenes, by Daniel Lipkowitz

The Modern Olympics

You might think the Olympics are over, but the countdown to the Paralympics has only just begun. These games, for athletes with impaired physical abilities, start on 7th September in the same place as the Olympics – Rio De Janerio.

 

While we wait, here is some cool info on the Modern Olympics. You can read our post about the Ancient History of the Olympics to catch up.

 

The ancient Olympic games officially began in 776 BC in Greece and occurred every four years, or Olympiads, ending in 393 AD (after about 1000 years) because they were considered a pagan practice.

Pierre de Coubertin, a French educator, believed in the importance of physical education, and in international competition. Coubertin helped to revive the idea of the olympic games in the 1890s and was a founding member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1894.

The modern olympic games began with the 1896 Olympics in Athens, Greece.

Olympic_ringA couple of well known symbols that are used to promote the games are the olympic flag and the olympic flame. The rings on the Olympic flag represent the five parts of the world: the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia.

 

 

The number of sports that are played in the current olympics are much higher and more diverse than at the ancient olympic games; they include archery, athletics, badminton, basketball, boxing, canoeing, cycling, diving, equestrian, fencing, football, golf, gymnastics, handball, hockey, judo, modern pentathlon, rowing, rugby sevens, sailing, shooting, swimming, taekwondo, tennis, triathlon, volleyball, water polo, weightlifting, and wrestling.

And that’s just the summer olympics! The winter olympics are held every four years as well, the next one will be in 2018 in PyeongChang, Korea. The sports at the winter olympics are all done in snow or ice; skiing, bobsleigh, curling, skating, ice hockey, luge, ski jumping, and snowboarding.

 

Check out this Enyclopaedia Britannica article about the history of the Olympic games! (You’ll need your library card to login)

 

Want to know more? Find these books in your local library:

Syndetics book coverThe story of the Olympics : the wacky facts about the Olympics and Olympic champions down the centuries! by Richard Brassey
“Records and reputations, cheats and champs, victors and venues – here’s the lowdown on the modern Olympic games, from bestselling author and illustrator, Richard Brassey. From the games of ancient Greece to the twenty-first century, and with individual tales of heroes and heroines, this is a lively, witty and entertaining guide for young readers everywhere. As always with Richard Brassey’s popular books, this is packed with comic strips, fact boxes, hilarious captions and speech bubbles, plus amazing information and entertaining insight.” (Syndetics summary)

 

Syndetics book coverThe Olympics : ancient and modern by Joe Fullman
The Olympics Ancient to Modern is a fascinating look at the history of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, from the first events in Ancient Greece right the way up to London 2012 and Sochi 2014. It focusses on when and where each Games has been held, and some key stats, such as how much it cost, how many athletes competed, and how many spectators came to watch.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

 

Syndetics book coverModern Olympic Games by Haydn Middleton
“‘The Olympics’ tells you all about the world’s greatest sporting festival. From ancient Greece to the 21st century, you will read about the winners, losers, triumphs, and tragedies of the Olympic Games.” (Syndetics summary)

 

 

 

Overdrive book coverThe Olympics by Graham Douglas (eBook)
“The Olympic Games: a major international amateur sporting competition that brings together hundreds of nations and thousands of athletes. This book is a collection of fun, facts and figures about the Games (from ancient to modern times) for sports lovers all over the world. ‘The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well’ Pierre de Coubertin.” (Syndetics summary)

Top 10 Children’s fiction for August 2016

New releases galore on the Children’s fiction front! There is a new Tom Gates adventure, catch up with Liz Pichon’s hero at your library. And what could be on the 78th storey of Andy and Terry’s treehouse? Any one else find this series a really good way to learn their 13 times tables?

 

1. Diary of a wimpy kid series, by Jeff Kinney

2. Tom Gates series, by Liz Pichon

3. Treehouse series, by Andy Griffiths

4. Dirty Bertie series, by Alan MacDonald

5. Dork Diaries, by Rachel Renée Russell

6. Where’s Wally? by Martin Handford

7. The Secret Seven series by Enid Blyton

8. The BFG, by Roald Dahl

9. Matilda, by Roald Dahl

10. The hidden oracle, by Rick Riordan

Top 10 Children’s Comics August 2016

There’s plenty of great material in the Children’s comic collection! Some strong favourites in this month’s Top 10. Pokemon is really popular with the Pokemon Go frenzy that’s everywhere!

Peanuts is number one this week, so if you can’t find any on your library shelf Comic Plus has you covered for online copies.  Login with your library card and read comics to your heart’s content.

1. Peanuts, by Charles M. Schulz

2. Pokemon, by Hidenori Kusaka, art by Satoshi Yamomoto

3. Big Nate, by Lincoln Peirce

4. Garfield, by Jim Davis

5. Amulet, by Kazu Kibuishi

6. My little pony, by Ted Anderson, Christina Rice & Thom Zahler; art by Jay Fosgitt, Agnes Garbowska & Tony Fleecs

7. Adventure time, by Ryan North

8. Tintin by Herge

9. Chi’s sweet home, by Kanata Konami

10. The Smurfs anthology, by Peyo

The ancient history of the Olympics

Syndetics book cover

The Olympic games began in Olympia, Greece in 776 BC (that’s almost 3000 years ago!). It was a sporting competition to celebrate excellence and honour the god Zeus.

The first few olympics just had a running race and only lasted one day, but more events got added on later and it became a five day event. Because ancient Greece would often have conflicts going on between city-states there would be a sacred truce (Ekecheiria) during the games so that athletes and spectators could travel to and from Olympia safely.

 

 

 

Competitors from all over Greece and sometimes beyond would compete in sporting events including foot-races (running), the pentathlon (running, long jump, discus, javelin and wrestling), boxing, wrestling, the pankration, and equestrian races (horse and chariot). Pankration is a combination of boxing and wresting and was a particularly brutal event.

Fun Fact: the participants would also compete naked! In fact the Greek word for nude was gymnós which is where our word for gymnasiums comes from.

The ancient olympics also did not allow women to compete in the events, and only unmarried women were allowed to be spectators. Despite this, in 396 BC Kyniska of Sparta became the first female Olympic victor for the chariot race, because the owners of the horses were considered the winners of the race, not the riders.

Instead of receiving gold, silver and bronze medals, there was only one victor in each of the events and they were rewarded with a wreath (wild olive leaf crown), and of course the glory and honour of being an olympic victor (in other words – bragging rights!)

In 393 AD the new Roman emperor and Christian, Theodosius, banned the olympic games because he considered them a pagan practice. So ended 1,000 years of tradition, during which 293 olympics games were held. That is until Pierre de Coubertin, a French academic and historian, pushed to resurrect them and so began the modern olympic games in 1896 Athens, Greece.

 

Want to know more? Find these books in your local library:

Syndetics book coverThe first Olympics of ancient Greece by Lisa M. Bolt Simons

“In ancient Greece different city-states often fought one another in deadly battles. But every four years the Greeks set aside their differences to honor the gods and compete peacefully in the Olympic Games. Learn all about the athletes, competitions, and religious ceremonies of the ancient Olympics.” (Syndetics summary)

 

 

Syndetics book coverOlympics by Richard Platt
“‘In the same spirit as the previous Through Time titles, this book explores the evolution of the Olympic Games, from its ancient origins to modern times. The chronological format allows the reader to experience life in many diverse cities and cultures during different historical periods. Through Time: The Olympic Games tells the complete story of history’s most famous, and most international, sporting competition. The narrative runs from city to city, exploring the impact of the Games on each host nation as well as the key social, political and cultural events of the time. Woven into this narrative are all the major sporting highlights, facts and record-breakers.” (Syndetics summary)

 

 

Flaming Olympics by Michael Coleman

This hilarious guide tells readers everything they need to know, from the torture of Olympic training, to some of the best performances dating back as far as 776 BC.

 

8 New Children’s Non Fiction to read during August – Part Two.

Impress your friends and teachers further by surprising them with some amazing new facts about animals, world history, science and Minecraft.

Stumped on where you’re going to find these facts? From these amazing 8 new books the library has just purchased.

Get your hands on them before someone else does.

 

image courtesy of syndeticsMy first book about our world.

Read this book and find all you need to know about the wonders that take place in our world, like what makes it rain, where do penguins live and how many oceans there are. You will learn fantastic things about our world and at the same have fun doing the quizzes and puzzles enclosed in this book.

 

 

image courtesy of syndeticsMinecraft : redstone and transportation.

Learn how to use redstone to build advanced Minecraft structures such as automated doors and powered mine carts.

 

 

 

 

image courtesy of syndeticsCars, trucks and trains.

Have you ever wondered why and how the car was invented? From steam cars and trains to experiments with rocket powered and flying cars, It’ll Never Work: Cars, Trucks and Trains explores the history and development of vehicles that have led to the comforts of modern passenger transport that we know today. Each title in this exciting, high-interest series looks at a different area of technology and engineering and reveals the pioneering ideas and scientific thinking that enabled its development, as well as exposing those that proved to be a dead end. Each spread examines a particular example in depth, bringing in other similar ideas where relevant, and revealing that experimentation and failure often pave the way to technology success.

 

image courtesy of syndeticsDK findout! Animals.

DK findout! Animals is full of interesting facts about the animal kingdom. With beautiful photography, lively illustrations, and key curriculum information, the DK findout! series will satisfy any child who is eager to learn and acquire facts – and keep them coming back for more! It is packed with up-to-date information, fun quizzes and incredible images of mammals, birds, fish, & reptiles. Discover what makes up a bird, how animals use camouflage to hide, and which animal spends the longest time in bed.

 

image courtesy of syndeticsMinecraft Beginner’s Guide.

Minecraft is more than a simple video game. It is also a creative tool that allows players to build and explore their own virtual worlds. A bit of a novice when it comes to Minecraft? Have no fear, this book will bring you up to speed on everything you need to know about Minecraft.

 

 

image courtesy of syndeticsDK findout! Dinosaurs.

DK findout! Dinosaurs is full of dinosaur facts supported by beautiful photography, lively illustrations, and key curriculum information. It is packed with up-to-date information, quizzes, fun facts and incredible images of all their favourite dinosaurs. Discover how fossils are formed, find out which was the biggest dinosaur, and what was the size of a cat. DK findout! Dinosaurs will let children uncover the ancient animals of our planet.

 

image courtesy of syndeticsThe Usborne Medieval World.

A lavishly illustrated guide to the medieval world, covering the years 500 to 1500 and following events worldwide including the Crusades, Marco Polo’s travels to China, the Maya, Aztecs and Samurai, as well as medieval knights and explorers.

 

 

 

image courtesy of syndeticsHome lab : exciting experiments for budding scientists.

Want to unleash your inner mad scientist.? Homelab can help you with that.  This book will how you how to create fantastic projects, ideal from science fairs using everyday materials that you can find in your own home. Great for science projects and homework.

 

 

Olympic Games 2016 review

Olympics Week One round up for Team Kiwi!

On the morning of Friday 12 August as we slept, kiwi rowers Eric Murray and Hamish Bond won New Zealand’s first gold medal of this years Olympics in Rio. The duo also won gold at the last Olympic Games in London in 2012, when they set a world record. In fact, Eric and Hamish have been working so hard over the last few years that they have been undefeated in the last 69 races they have competed in. Phew, that’s a lot of wins! Lets have a look at how the rest of the New Zealand team did….

 

Mahe Drysdale also received a gold medal in rowing when he defended his first place title in the men’s single sculls in week two of the Games. Mahe, who went to school in Tauranga, won gold in the same event at the 2012 London Olympics, and is a five-time world champion.

In yet another rowing win, Genevieve Behrent and Rebecca Scown claimed a silver medal in the women’s pair event. This is the second medal for Rebecca, who won bronze in 2012, and a great comeback for Genevieve, who returned to rowing last year after taking a break in 2014.

 

Another successful Olympian from Tauranga, Luuka Jones scored a silver medal for her amazing efforts in the K1 canoe slalom, where competitors have to paddle downriver and upriver through hanging gates. Luuka came in at 14th place four years ago at the London Olympics, so she must have been training hard.

Natalie Rooney made Olympic history at the beginning of the first week when she won a silver medal in the women’s shooting event . Natalie, from South Canterbury, achieved the best shooting result ever for New Zealand after her Aussie competitor bet her by one point.

 

A silver medal was also awarded to Ethan Mitchell, Sam Webster and Eddie Dawkins of the New Zealand track cycling team. Ethan, Sam and Eddie, who came first in the Cycling World Championships in March, said they were very proud to win silver after the British team beat them by less than a second to snap up the gold.

This was the fourth Olympics for well-known kiwi athlete Valerie Adams, who won a silver medal this year for shot put. Valerie had been the world’s top women’s shot putter for the last 10 years, having won gold in both the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, but was beaten by her American competitor who set a national record at this years Games.

 

Finishing off our silver medal winning streak is the New Zealand women’s rugby Sevens team, who came in at second place after their game against Australia. The team, who are Rugby World Cup champions, played a great game, with member Portia Woodman toping the scoring charts for the Olympic events.

 

A huge well-done and congratulations to all our talented and dedicated Olympic athletes, you have done New Zealand proud!

Check out the library catalogue and the New Zealand Olympics website for more information.

 

Rowing at the Olympics

Want to find out about Olympic sports? Here’s some cool info about Rowing; a sport that New Zealand is very good at.

 

Rowing is a boating sport, contested by both men and women at the Olympics. There are two types of rowing events, sculling where the athletes use an oar in each hand and sweep rowing where athletes use both hands to hold one oar. All races are over a distance of 2000 metres.

Rowing is a sport that requires both endurance and coordination. Races usually feature a sprint over the first 500 metres and another over the final 500 metres where stroke rates can be around 47 per minutes. Wow, that sounds exhausting.

 

Rowing first gained popularity as a sport in England in the early 1700s. By the 1800s it had spread throughout Europe and the United States and often features teams from the finest schools and universities. Oxford and Cambridge became traditional rivals in England and Yale and Harvard became rivals in the United States.

Rowing made its Olympic debut as a men’s sport in the 1900 and has remained on the programme ever since. Women’s rowing events were introduced in 1976.

 

It is a very exciting time for Rowing New Zealand as we have qualified the largest ever team to compete in this years Olympics and for the first time ever we have a women’s eight and men’s lightweight four competing. In previous Olympics New Zealand has won 9 Gold, 2 Silver and 10 Bronze medals and we hope that we will add to this number during these games.

Some of the stars of our New Zealand team are Eric Murray and Hamish Bond in the men’s pair and Mahe Drysdale in the men’s single scull but you can check out all the athletes from the rowing team here.

Go New Zealand!!

New Zealand’s Olympic Heroes

New Zealand’s Olympic story began in 1908 and over the years Kiwi athletes have given us many memorable moments and have earned New Zealand the reputation for punching above its weight.

Our first Olympians competed as part of an ‘Australasian’ team in 1908 where Harry Kerr from Taranaki won our first medal with a bronze in the 3500m walk.

Our first official New Zealand team was in 1920 which included only four athletes. Darcy Hadfield was part of this team and he won a bronze medal in the single sculls.

New Zealand’s first individual gold medal winner was won by Ted Morgan in boxing at Amsterdam in 1928. And Yvette William became our first women gold medal winner in the long jump at the 1952 Helsinki games.

 

New Zealand has excelled in a variety of sports at different times. In the 1960s our runners did well. In the late 1960s and 1970s rowing became very successful. The 1980s saw a rise in New Zealand water sports such as canoeing, swimming and sailing. The 1980s and 1990s was a great time for our equestrians and in the 1990s our cyclist began to make their mark.

Some of our more notable Olympic medal winners include Peter Snell. He won three Olympic gold medals in track & field and in 2000 he was voted New Zealand Athlete of the Century. John Walker was our great miler, winning gold in the 1500m race (often consider the glamour event of the track & field) at the 1976 Montreal Olympic.

Then there is Ian Ferguson our canoeing great. Few New Zealanders have competed in more Olympic Games and no one has won as many medals or as many golds.

 

Lets not forget our current gold medal winners that are competing at the Rio Olympics now. Greats such at Valerie Adams, Lisa Carrington, Mahe Drysdale, and Mark Todd

If you would like to learn more about our great medal winning athletes as well as all our other athletes competing at the Rio games then click here.

Go New Zealand!!!