Purapura Whetū: A Matariki Festival with Your Libraries

Tēnā koutou katoa, e te whānau!

This July, Wellington City Libraries is celebrating Matariki with Purapura Whetū, a special festival of events, crafts, storytelling, and reflection for whānau and tamariki all over our city.

As well as all the programmes listed below, each of our libraries will have special crafting stations set up where you can make your very own star to add to our city-wide purapura whetū; a pattern, or web of stars.

Why do we celebrate Matariki? The star cluster Matariki (also known as the Pleiades) reappears in the dawn sky about Aotearoa in late May or early June. The new moon following the rising of Matariki signals the Māori New Year. Customarily, this was a time to remember the deceased of the past year and to plan for the new year. Today, Matariki has been revived as a celebration of people, culture, language, spirituality, and history. It is a time for whānau and friends to come together to reflect on the past 12 months and look forward to the year ahead. When you add your star to our purapura whetū, we invite you to send a message to someone you love, or reflect on the year that has just passed.

Come down to your library to make your whetū (star) and add it to our constellation!


Nau mai haere mai ki te whare pukapuka ki te whakanui i a Matariki! As well as the Purapura Whetū craft activity happening at every branch, there are many other fabulous events to look out for celebrating Matariki during the school holidays:

Kōhunga Kōrero o Matariki
Nau mai haere mai ki te whare pukapuka ki te whakanui i a Matariki! Pakiwaitara i roto i te reo Māori. E 30 meneti pakiwaitara, rotarota, waiata hoki i roto i te reo Māori nō ngā kōhungahunga me ō rātou mātua kaitiaki. Join us for these special Matariki storytimes in te reo Māori! Featuring stories, songs and rhymes in te reo Māori, these 30-minute storytimes are open to anyone, and are recommended for children aged 2-6 years and their caregivers.

  • Friday 10 July, 10.30am at Johnsonville Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Waitohi
  • Monday 13 July, 10.30am at Karori Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Māhanga
  • Friday 17 July, 10.30am at Johnsonville Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Waitohi

Making Matariki Stars
Join us for this special Matariki craft session! Make your very own Matariki star using one of our designs, or let your creative juices flow and create your own! Then, we will add your star to our purapura whetū — our pattern of stars — for everyone to enjoy and admire.

  • Monday 13 July, 11.00am at Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Takapū o Patukawenga

Matariki By Torchlight
Head down to the library at twilight for this special evening of Matariki and Aotearoa-themed stories and songs under the starlight (or clouds!). Bring your own torch and come along in your PJs ready for some heart-warming bedtime stories and songs.

  • Monday 13 July, 6.00pm at Brooklyn Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Moe-rā

Matariki Music Makers: Making Taonga Whakatangitangi
Come along and celebrate Matariki by crafting music makers inspired by the porotiti, and making Matariki stars. You can take your creations home, or display them at our libraries during our #purapurawhetu Matariki festival.

  • Friday 10 July, 2.00pm at Brooklyn Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Moe-rā

Matariki Online Storytimes
Whakarongo mai, tamariki mā, pākeke mā! Celebrate Matariki wherever you are with our Matariki online storytimes. He korero paki i te reo Māori ēnei; these stories are in te reo Māori. The stories will be streaming live on our Wellington City Libraries Facebook page, and will remain up for your enjoyment throughout the holidays!

  • Saturday 4 July, 7.30pm — online!
  • Sunday 5 July, 7.30pm — online!
  • Monday 6 July, 7.30pm — online!

Matariki Storytimes
Come along and celebrate Matariki at your local whare pukapuka, or library, with Matariki-themed stories and waiata with our librarians. Then, why not try your hand at making Matariki stars at our crafting stations? There will be a range of activities available for your whānau.

  • Tuesday 7 July, 10.30am at Khandallah Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Tarikākā
  • Wednesday 8 July, 10.30am at Karori Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Māhanga
  • Monday 13 July, 10.30am at Wadestown Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Ōtari
  • Wednesday 15 July, 10.30am at Cummings Park Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Korimako

String Bean Puppets: Once in a Full Moon
Come along and celebrate Matariki at your local library with Anna Bailey and her string bean puppets! Anna’s puppets will be helping her perform the magical tale “Once in a Full Moon.” One evening, a lonely kiwi looks up in the sky and sees something remarkable… can kiwis fly after all?

  • Monday 13 July, 2.00pm at Karori Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Māhanga
  • Tuesday 14 July, 11.00am at He Matapihi Molesworth Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o He Matapihi
  • Wednesday 15 July, 2.00pm at Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Awa-a-Taia
  • Friday 17 July, 2.00pm at Johnsonville Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Waitohi

Nō reira, nau mai, haere mai ki ōu tātou whare pukapuka ki te whakanui i tēnēi wā tino hirahira! So come on down to your library to celebrate this special time!

It’s Your Lucky Day: New Collection on OverDrive Kids!

While the country was in lockdown, there was one thing that everyone seemed to be doing an awful lot of — reading! You read the books you got out from the library before we closed, you re-read all the books on your shelves at home, and you borrowed record numbers of eBooks from our OverDrive Kids collections as well. Our hard-working collections team have been working hard to get more books to you faster, so they’ve created a whole new eBook collection for you — the Kids’ Lucky Day collection.

Check out the Lucky Day collection next time you log in to the eLibrary!

What is the Lucky Day collection, you ask? Think of it as a buffet of all your favourite titles — books by Raina Telgemeier, Andy Griffiths, Erin hunter, Dav Pilkey, and more. Because books by these authors are so popular, they have a reduced loan period (14 days instead of 21), and you also can’t place holds or renew Lucky Day items that you have out. Every time you log in to OverDrive, be sure to check out the Lucky Day collection and see what’s available — who knows, maybe it will be your lucky day!


At the moment, there are about 80 different titles on the list, but as with all of our collections we’ll be adding to it as time goes on. For now, though, here are some of our favourites:

Overdrive cover The 13-Storey Treehouse, Andy Griffiths (ebook)

Andy and Terry’s 13-storey treehouse is the most amazing treehouse in the world! It’s got a bowling alley, a see-through swimming pool, a tank full of man-eating sharks, a giant catapult, a secret underground laboratory and a marshmallow machine that follows you around and shoots marshmallows into your mouth whenever you’re hungry. Well, what are you waiting for? Come on up! (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Wonder, R J Palacio (ebook)

Auggie wants to be an ordinary ten-year-old. He does ordinary things – eating ice cream, playing on his Xbox. He feels ordinary – inside. But ordinary kids don’t make other ordinary kids run away screaming in playgrounds. Ordinary kids aren’t stared at wherever they go. Born with a facial abnormality, Auggie has been home-schooled by his parents his whole life. Now, for the first time, he’s being sent to a real school – and he’s dreading it. All he wants is to be accepted – but can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, underneath it all? (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Rodrick Rules, Jeff Kinney (ebook)

Whatever you do, don’t ask Greg Heffley how he spent his summer holidays, because he definitely doesn’t want to talk about it. As Greg enters the new school year, he’s eager to put the past three months behind him… and one event in particular. Unfortunately for Greg, his older brother Rodrick knows all about the incident. And secrets have a way of getting out… especially when a diary is involved. (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover The Poison Jungle, Tui T. Sutherland (ebook)

It’s no secret that Sundew wants to destroy the HiveWings. It’s her life’s mission to exact revenge on the tribe that tried to wipe out the LeafWings and ripped every tree from the surface of Pantala. Every tree, that is, except the wild and dangerous Poison Jungle, where the surviving LeafWings have been hiding since the war. Hiding, plotting, and waiting for a dragon like Sundew, who is uniquely qualified to bring down the Hives. There are dark secrets in the jungle, though – some that Sundew is keeping, and some that she’s only just beginning to discover. And now that a new war is upon them, Sundew and her friends must unearth the oldest secret in the jungle-even if what they find has the power to destroy them all. (Overdrive description)


So what are you waiting for? Check out the Lucky Day collection today — and keep your eyes peeled for more bookish goodies on the way on OverDrive.

NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults: Children’s Finalists!

It’s that time of year again — the finalists for the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults have been announced! It’s a truly outstanding lineup this year, with some truly gorgeous books in all categories. We have most of the finalists in our catalogue, but some of them are still on their way, so keep your eyes peeled! Here are all of the finalists in each of the children’s categories — if you want to read them yourself (and we highly recommend that you do!) just click on the title you want and place a reserve!

Picture Book Award

Abigail and the birth of the sun / Cunningham, Matthew
Abigail is a curious little girl. She likes to discover the answers to really BIG questions. One night, she thinks of a question that’s SO BIG she can’t sleep until she knows the answer. A gorgeously illustrated and beautifully told bedtime story that doubles as an introduction to astrophysics, Abigail and the Birth of the Sun will be enjoyed equally by young children and adults. (Catalogue)

How Māui slowed the sun / Bixley, Donovan
Donovan Bixley re-tells the story of Maui slowed the journey of the sun through the sky each day, with Bixley’s unique twist and trademark humour. The pictures are bright and bring their own level of humour to the book. Darryn Joseph ensures that the story is accurate and culturally appropriate. (Catalogue)

Goody Four Shoes / Gregg, Stacy
Mini Whinny, the mischievous little horse, plans to escape her annoyingly perfect stable neighbour! Goody Four-Shoes is the best…at everything. She’s graceful. She can jump really, really high. And her mane is too perfect. Mini Whinny doesn’t like her. Not one little bit. So naughty little Mini Whinny decides to run away.Another adorable story of horsey friendship from internationally best-selling Kiwi author Stacy Gregg and talented illustrator Ruth Paul. (Catalogue)

Santa’s worst Christmas
There are just a few days to go before Christmas, and everyone’s busy putting up decorations, preparing food and getting ready for the big day. Then comes the shock news: Santa’s cancelled Christmas. Santa had so many disasters last year that he can’t face it again, and he’s quit. The elves try everything, but they can’t get him to change his mind. In this Aotearoa Christmas picture book, the kids come up with a clever plan and amazing gadgets to get Christmas back on and Santa back in the sleigh delivering presents. (Catalogue)

The gobbledegook book : a Joy Cowley anthology / Cowley, Joy
Joy Cowley’s favourite stories, poems and nonsense rhymes collected in a hardback gift volume for the family to treasure. Flue-flam and Gobbledegook collects Joy Cowley’s favourites in a beautiful hardback picture-book volume that will become a family treasure. It selects the best of Cowley’s poems and stories to read aloud, including much-loved classics such as Greedy Cat and Nicketty-Nacketty Noo Noo Noo. Fully re-illustrated with humour and energy by newcomer Giselle Clarkson, these short stories, picture books and funny poems will bring joy to a new generation. (Catalogue)

Junior Fiction Award

#Tumeke! / Petherick, Michael
An exuberant multimedia novel for young readers and the young at heart. In the boundary-riding tradition of the Annual project, Annual Ink’s latest title #Tumeke brings you the lives, loves and larrikin spirit of an inner-city neighbourhood. The story is told through texts, Instagram posts, emails, fliers, committee minutes, posters, diary entries, blog posts, chatrooms, school homework, raps and the reliably bonkers community noticeboard. Stuffed with big personalities, surprising friendships and a little intrigue, this multimedia story brims with creativity and comedy, and everyday heartaches, too. A narrative — but not quite as we know it — for middle readers and anyone who loves to connect. (Catalogue)

Lizard’s tale / Chan, Weng Wai
A heart-racing middle-grade adventure mystery set on the streets of Singapore against the backdrop of World War II, exploring issues of belonging, race and diversity It’s Singapore in 1940, war is just around the corner–but 12-year-old Lizard doesn’t know that. He lives in Chinatown above a tailor’s shop, surviving on his wits and hustling for odd jobs. When he steals a small teak box containing a Japanese code book from a Raffles Hotel suite, he finds himself in a dangerous world of wartime espionage. Lizard doesn’t know who to trust. How is the mysterious book inside the box connected to his friend Lili, a girl full of secrets and fighting skills? Can he trust her, or will she betray him in the end? (Catalogue)

Moonlight the unicorn’s high tea hiccup / Sutton, Sally
When Clara and Sophia’s Honorary Great-Aunties invite the girls to ‘high tea’, the girls are very excited. It means getting dressed up in a twirly dress – and wearing a fancy hat and shoes! Those mischievous Miniwings like the sound of ‘high tea’ too – dinky little sandwiches and sweet treats – but Clara says they’re not invited. Oh really? Does she think ‘not being invited’ is going to stop those rascally, tiny, flying horses? Look out! (Catalogue)

Prince of ponies / Gregg, Stacy
War destroyed their worlds, now two young girls and their remarkable horses are fighting once more – this time to win. War destroyed their worlds, now two young girls and their remarkable horses are fighting once more – this time to win. When twelve-year-old Mira stumbles across a white stallion in a forest in Berlin, she doesn’t realise that this horse will take her on an incredible journey. Together, they’re going to ascend the starry heights of Grand Prix show jumping, and sweep back in time to Poland in 1939 where another young girl is risking everything to save the horse that she loves… Prince of Ponies is a story of courage and the will to win against all odds. (Catalogue)

Time machine & other stories / Szymanik, Melinda
What happens when you sleep with a crocodile tooth under your pillow, or the mess under your bed turns into something terrifying? How can a football be a passport, and what does it mean when the contraption in the basement starts to hum and glow? You can be sure the answers will never be boring and almost always take you on an unexpected adventure. Step aboard the time machine and discover new and selected stories by the award-winning author of The Were-Nana, The Song of Kauri and A Winter’s Day in 1939. (Catalogue)

Non-Fiction Award

Kuwi & friends Māori picture dictionary / Merewether, Katherine Q.
From the #1 bestselling and award-winning author and illustrator of the Kuwi the Kiwi series, Kat Merewether, comes a large scale, stunningly illustrated visual dictionary. Full of over 1000 basic words in te reo Maori and English, perfect for every New Zealander. (Catalogue)

Mophead : how your difference makes a difference / Marsh, Selina Tusitala
At school, Selina is ridiculed for her big, frizzy hair. Kids call her ‘mophead’. She ties her hair up this way and that way and tries to fit in. Until one day – Sam Hunt plays a role – Selina gives up the game. She decides to let her hair out, to embrace her difference, to be WILD! Selina takes us through special moments in her extraordinary life. She becomes one of the first Pasifika women to hold a PhD. She reads for the Queen of England and Samoan royalty. She meets Barack Obama. And then she is named the New Zealand Poet Laureate. She picks up her special tokotoko, and notices something. It has wild hair coming out the end. It looks like a mop. A kid on the Waiheke ferry teases her about it. So she tells him a story . . . (Catalogue)

Te Tiriti o Waitangi / Morris, Toby
This is a ground-breaking reorua (dual language) flipbook-style graphic novel about our founding Treaty. The text and illustrations work together to present important information about our history in a visually appealing, calm, and balanced way. There are also resources to allow young readers to learn more about each of the topics, as well as links to the Treaty in more than 30 languages. (Catalogue)

The adventures of Tupaia / Meredith, Courtney Sina
The incredible story of Tupaia, Tahitian priest navigator, who sailed on board the Endeavour with Captain Cook on his first voyage to Aotearoa. Join him as he meets up with Cook in Tahiti and sails as part of the crew on the Endeavour across the Pacific to Aotearoa. Witness the encounters between tangata whenua and the crew as the ship sails around the coast, and discover the important role Tupaia plays as translator and cultural interpreter (Catalogue)

Three Kiwi tales : more fabulous fix-it stories from Wildbase Hospital / Hunt, Janet
Wildbase Hospital in Palmerston North is a very special hospital for very special animals, and in this follow-up to the hugely successful How to Mend a Kea, author Janet Hunt focuses on the tales of three kiwi who have been treated there. The stories are fascinating and touching accounts of their different experiences at Wildbase, and the innovative approaches to their treatment and rehabilitation that were needed to ensure their eventual return to the wild. Linked to the wider issues of kiwi conservation, these tales introduce readers to the challenges and triumphs of caring for New Zealand’s unique national icon. Wonderful photos, a lively text and an engaging design all combine to make this a superb book. (Catalogue)

Award for Illustration

Dozer the Fire Cat : a New Zealand story : inspired by true events / Prokop, Robyn
In February 2019, a tiny spark in a Pigeon Valley paddock became the largest fire in New Zealand since 1955. Up to 150 volunteer firefighters fought the blaze. Around 3,500 people were evacuated, including the whole town of Wakefield. Story is based on a real cat that survived the fires. While his family is busy packing up to evacuate, Dozer is oblivious, busy doing what Dozer does . . . stalking, pouncing, washing . . . and sleeping. But when he wakes up, his family has gone and the world is a frightening place!” — Publisher information. (Catalogue)

Santa’s worst Christmas
There are just a few days to go before Christmas, and everyone¿s busy putting up decorations, preparing food and getting ready for the big day. Then comes the shock news: Santa’s cancelled Christmas. Santa had so many disasters last year that he can’t face it again, and he’s quit. The elves try everything, but they can’t get him to change his mind. In this Aotearoa Christmas picture book, the kids come up with a clever plan and amazing gadgets to get Christmas back on and Santa back in the sleigh delivering presents. (Catalogue)

Song of the river / Cowley, Joy
In this resonant story, Cam the mountain boy follows the river from its trickling source in the mountain snow all the way to the coast. The river leads him through forest, farms, and towns to the salty wind of the sea. Dramatic landscape illustrations evoke a North American landscape and are packed with detail to explore the world of the river. (Catalogue)

The adventures of Tupaia / Meredith, Courtney Sina
The incredible story of Tupaia, Tahitian priest navigator, who sailed on board the Endeavour with Captain Cook on his first voyage to Aotearoa. Join him as he meets up with Cook in Tahiti and sails as part of the crew on the Endeavour across the Pacific to Aotearoa. Witness the encounters between tangata whenua and the crew as the ship sails around the coast, and discover the important role Tupaia plays as translator and cultural interpreter (Catalogue)

Wildlife of Aotearoa / Bishop, Gavin
Long before waka touched Aotearoa’s shores, the land of the long white cloud was home to an array of creatures uniquely adapted to its environments and protected by its isolation. Encounter New Zealand’s incredible wildlife in this spectacular visual exploration. Journey through ocean, sky and land to meet a marvellous range of organisms. Discover fascinating facts, and learn how we influence the survival of our living treasures. In this magnificent companion volume to Aotearoa- The New Zealand Story, Gavin Bishop weaves a compelling visual narrative of our land, our people and our wildlife – past, present and future. (Catalogue)

Te Kura Pounamu Award for Te Reo Māori

Arapū Toi / Moira Wairama (coming soon!)
This gorgeously-illustrated book uses short poems in gentle, rhythmic te reo Māori to emphasise ideas of wellness, the sights, sounds and feelings of everyday life, and poetic imagery such as the darkness of night, or a whale singing in the depths of the ocean. A picture is truly worth a thousand words in this unforgettable gem of contemporary Māori children’s literature.

Ko Flit, te Tīrairaka, me ngā Hēki Muna / Merewether, Katherine Q.
Flit has found some eggs … but whose could they be? It is a misty morning in the forest. Flit the fantail chick is practising his landings. Flap, flop, slip, FLIP. Flit slips on something slippery and round. He has stumbled upon eight rubbery white eggs. Join Flit and his friends, Kiki the kaka, rascally robins Bit and Bob, Keri the kiwi and wise old Ruru as they exercise some teamwork. Can they figure out who the mystery eggs belong to? (Catalogue)

Ngā Hoa Hoihoi o Kuwi / Kat Quin and Pānia Papa (coming soon!)
Kuwi the kiwi wants a hot cup of kawakawa tea and some peace and quiet — but Huwi the kiwi chick and friends want to play LOUDLY, and so this energetic tale begins. Te reo Māori is used skilfully throughout, with witty adaptations to mimic sounds and situations, encouraging readers to become involved in the story. Items of Kiwiana are scattered throughout the illustrations, so that curious readers can search and make new discoveries in every story time.

Te Kirihimete i whakakorea
There are just a few days to go before Christmas, and everyone’s busy putting up decorations, preparing food and getting ready for the big day. Then comes the shock news – Santa’s cancelled Christmas. Santa had so many disasters last year that he can’t face it again, and he’s quit. The elves try everything, but they can’t get him to change his mind. In this Aotearoa Christmas picture book, the kids come up with a clever plan and amazing gadgets to get Christmas back on and Santa back in the sleigh delivering presents (Catalogue)

Tio Tiamu / Kurahau
In this picture book, gentle, clever Toe Jam grows to be huge, and this causes a problem in his community because his feet smell. The bigger he gets the worse the smell. While Toe Jam helps others and wants to be part of his village, everybody teases him and avoids him, and Toe Jam becomes very lonely. Finally, the people make him leave and live far away. Toe Jam never loses his kind heart, and when there are floods, wild winds and droughts, he returns to help his people. But each time, the people take his help then send him away again. Until, one day, something amazing happens… (Catalogue)

Best First Book Award

#Tumeke! / Petherick, Michael
An exuberant multimedia novel for young readers and the young at heart. In the boundary-riding tradition of the Annual project, Annual Ink’s latest title #Tumeke brings you the lives, loves and larrikin spirit of an inner-city neighbourhood. The story is told through texts, Instagram posts, emails, fliers, committee minutes, posters, diary entries, blog posts, chatrooms, school homework, raps and the reliably bonkers community noticeboard. Stuffed with big personalities, surprising friendships and a little intrigue, this multimedia story brims with creativity and comedy, and everyday heartaches, too. A narrative — but not quite as we know it — for middle readers and anyone who loves to connect. (Catalogue)

Lizard’s tale / Chan, Weng Wai
A heart-racing middle-grade adventure mystery set on the streets of Singapore against the backdrop of World War II, exploring issues of belonging, race and diversity It’s Singapore in 1940, war is just around the corner–but 12-year-old Lizard doesn’t know that. He lives in Chinatown above a tailor’s shop, surviving on his wits and hustling for odd jobs. When he steals a small teak box containing a Japanese code book from a Raffles Hotel suite, he finds himself in a dangerous world of wartime espionage. Lizard doesn’t know who to trust. How is the mysterious book inside the box connected to his friend Lili, a girl full of secrets and fighting skills? Can he trust her, or will she betray him in the end? (Catalogue)

Santa’s worst Christmas
There are just a few days to go before Christmas, and everyone’s busy putting up decorations, preparing food and getting ready for the big day. Then comes the shock news: Santa’s cancelled Christmas. Santa had so many disasters last year that he can’t face it again, and he’s quit. The elves try everything, but they can’t get him to change his mind. In this Aotearoa Christmas picture book, the kids come up with a clever plan and amazing gadgets to get Christmas back on and Santa back in the sleigh delivering presents. (Catalogue)

The day the plants fought back / O’Keefe, Belinda
Two boisterous boys who made lots of noise, found it dreadfully hard to be good; always charging and barging, fighting and biting, and not acting quite as they should. Patrick and Wayne drove their parents insane, but they could be good if they tried. Still, they’d roar and they’d claw, they’d scoot and they’d shoot until someone eventually cried. An action-packed, hilarious story about two wild, rascally boys and the trouble they cause in the garden, until the plants decide to teach them a lesson … because, as the boys discover, plants have eyes and ears too! (Catalogue)

The smelly giant / Kurahau
In this picture book, gentle, clever Toe Jam grows to be huge, and this causes a problem in his community because his feet smell. The bigger he gets the worse the smell. While Toe Jam helps others and wants to be part of his village, everybody teases him and avoids him, and Toe Jam becomes very lonely. Finally, the people make him leave and live far away. Toe Jam never loses his kind heart, and when there are floods, wild winds and droughts, he returns to help his people. But each time, the people take his help then send him away again. Until, one day, something amazing happens… (Catalogue)

Bedtime Storytimes to Send You Off to Dreamland!

Because lots of children are back at school, kindy or daycare now that we’ve entered Level 2, we thought we’d change up some of our virtual events to suit people’s new schedules! So, our beloved Virtual Storytimes will now just be happening three times a week (on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10.30am, and Saturdays at 2.00pm), rather than six — but we’re also adding some special evening Bedtime Storytimes to help send you off gently to dreamland!

Every evening at 7.30pm, we’ll be sharing a few chapters from some of our favourite chapter books for you to listen to and enjoy as you snuggle in with your teddies. Our first Bedtime Storytime is happening over on the Wellington City Libraries Facebook page tonight, and will feature The Great Piratical Rumbustification by Margaret Mahy, illustrated by Quentin Blake.

Join us nightly at 7.30pm for our special Bedtime Storytimes!

Feel free to tune in at 7.30pm each night, or you can catch the videos after they premiere in our special Bedtime Storytime playlist on Facebook.

Visiting Your Library with Children at Level 2

The day has finally come! Five of our libraries (Johnsonville, Cummings Park (Ngaio), Karori, Newtown, and Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie)) are back open to the public, with two more (Arapaki Manners and Wadestown) opening on Monday. Check here for all the details! Although we’re back, things might look a little bit different. Here’s what you can expect to see when you visit one of our libraries during Level 2:

  • A security guard or librarian checking people off as they enter. Because we have to be careful about how many people can be in the library at once, we have to tick you off and take your details as you come in. Sometimes this will mean you’ll need to wait a little while to get in — don’t worry, everything we’re doing is to try to keep you and your family safe.
  • People keeping far apart. When you’re in the library, you’ll see people trying to keep 2m apart as they make their way through the building picking up books. Please remember to keep inside your bubble at all times, and be patient if you need to wait for someone to leave a shelf before you can leap in and grab the book you want!
  • Lots of hand sanitiser! We’re providing a whole bunch of hand sanitiser so everyone can keep clean and safe. Remember, washing your hands often is the best way to kill germs, so make sure you remember to sanitise your hands after touching your face, and before you enter or leave the library.
  • No comfy chairs to sit and read in. We want you to keep your visit as short as possible — pop in, grab your books, and head back home so the next person can enter the library. We know it’s very tempting to find somewhere cosy at the library to curl up and read a book, but to help keep everyone safe and happy, please save the reading for when you get home.
  • No storytimes or other library activities. During Level 2 of the lockdown, we won’t be able to run any of our regular programmes and activities, like Preschool Storytime, Baby Rock and Rhyme, Let’s Go LEGO, Code Club, or CRAFTerschool in person at the library. We’re still running a bunch of these activities online, so be sure to check out our Facebook page and Family Lockdown Challenge blog posts to join in!
  • No big family groups visiting together. Generally, we want to keep groups of people entering the library as small as possible. If you can, look at the library catalogue online, decide what you want, reserve it if you’d like, and send one person from your bubble to the library to collect it. That might not always be possible, which is fine, but just remember to stick inside your bubble if you are visiting the library in a group.

Our librarians are very excited to see you back again — here’s a photo of the staff at Johnsonville Library at Waitohi giving you a wave and a smile! Make sure to give the librarians a big smile and wave back when you see them as well — it will make them very happy!

Come and visit us! We’re happy to be back online.

 

Family Lockdown Challenge: Coding Capers!

It’s nearly the end of another week of lockdown, so it’s time for another Family Lockdown Challenge! So far we’ve explored everything from Lego to scavenger hunts, movies to Music Month — but so far we have yet to explore the wonderful world of coding!

Many of you will know that our libraries run after-school and weekend Code Clubs with the assistance of the kind folks at Code Club Aotearoa, so we thought we’d share some ideas for a fun-filled learning adventure in coding, regardless of your level or ability.

Coding is everywhere, even behind the scenes of this very blog! Here’s a snippet of HTML from one of our recent posts — can you work out which one?

Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to go to the Code Club project page, choose a project that interests you, and give it a go! There are heaps of projects to choose from, from creating a simple spacey animation in Scratch to creating a 2D version of Minecraft in Python. Each project includes full instructions to guide you from zero to hero — we recommend working your way up gradually through the projects so you can build on what you learn each time.

Here are some suggestions as to where you can start:

    • If you’re a total beginner to coding, start with the Rock Band project in Scratch. It’s a super simple and fun project that has you creating your own interactive rock band! What songs can you get your band to play?
    • If you’ve tried a bit of coding before, why not try creating a simple Ghost Busters game? Check out one we created below! How many ghosts can you catch?
    • Fancy yourself a bit of a Scratch pro? Try the Dodgeball challenge or — if you’re really up for it — Create Your Own World.

Scratch not your thing? Code Club Aotearoa also host awesome projects in HTML/CSS, Python, 3D animation in Blender, and much more. Jump in and see how you go!

Happy 90th Birthday, Nancy Drew!

Happy 90th Birthday Nancy Drew!

This teen sleuth has been solving mysteries in and around her fictional home town of River Heights since April 1930! 

Starting with The Secret of the Old Clock, The Hidden Staircase, and The Bungalow Mystery which were all released on April 28, 1930, there have been over 500 (what!?) books written by a variety of authors under the pen name of Carolyn Keene. 

Since the original 56 tales, there have been multiple rewritings and spin offs including the most recent series of ‘Nancy Drew Diaries’ which can be found as eBooks and eAudio on OverDrive/Libby (and on library shelves when we reopen) These stories are reimagined in the 21st century and have been updated to consider technology and other modernities that didn’t exist when the original series was written. After all, many of Nancy’s original exploits could easily have been solved simply by owning a cellphone!

Nancy has been a strong female role-model on screen as well, with a film series starting in the 1930s, a TV series (with the Hardy Boys) in the 1970s, a film in 2007, and a new series whose first season aired just last year!

There are also cool Nancy Drew computer games by HER interactive – which are full of tricky logic puzzles and mini games. I’m halfways through “The Tomb of the Lost Queen” set in Egypt, where Nancy is working as an intern on an archaeological dig, and I’ll admit it’s a struggle to pull myself away. I’ll also admit I’ve had to Google walkthrough instructions at least twice when I’ve gotten stuck! Sadly, the games aren’t free, but a bunch of them are discounted during lockdown, so if you’re looking for something that will balance homeschool learning, and educational screen time – they’re challenging and fun for adults and kids! 

If you haven’t read and Nancy yet – give her a go, if you like mysteries and strong female characters – she’s still an awesome read – even after 90 years. Here are some of our favourite Nancy Drew titles available now on OverDrive:

Overdrive cover The Secret of the Old Clock, Carolyn Keene (ebook)

A special treat for Nancy Drew fans! Out just in time for Nancy’s 80th anniversary, we’re releasing a limited number of copies of The Secret of the Old Clock, the first book in the series. It’s the exciting mystery that readers have fallen in love with for 80 years, with a terrific new look and bonus material! Collectors won’t want to miss this.

(Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover The Baby-Sitter Burglaries, Carolyn Keene (ebook)

Nancy tries to prove that a babysitter is being framed when three houses in River Heights are robbed–and the only connection the police can find is that the babysitter was employed at each.

(Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover The Puppy Problem, Carolyn Keene (Audiobook)

The Nancy Drew Notebooks enchant listeners with the antics of 8-year-old supersleuth Nancy Drew and her friends George and Bess. Nancy has a new puppy that needs lots of training, patience, and love. But when the chocolate-chip muffins go missing, Nancy’s new puppy is blamed. The girls know that the puppy is innocent and they are determined to find the real thief.

(Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Famous Mistakes, Carolyn Keene (ebook)
Nancy and her friends are out to find a comedian’s saboteur in this seventeenth book of the Nancy Drew Diaries, a fresh approach to the classic mystery series. Complex social media charts, undercover outfits, and intense button study send Nancy, Bess, George, and Ned on a wild ride through River Heights to uncover the truth about missing comedian Brady Owens. But nothing is what it seems in this game of comedic timing. Can Nancy find the culprit before it’s too late?

(adapted from Overdrive description)

Real Time, Real Person, Real Help with your Schoolwork

Note: this Kids’ Blog post is targeted at adults! Kids read on with caution.

In these strange new times, teachers, parents and other educators are looking to the Internet for homework help and educational resources to keep their kids’ brains active while schools are closed. Good news! The library can be an invaluable resource for anybody who is trying online education at this time, above and beyond eBooks and online databases. How? Enter AnyQuestions.

Have any questions? Why not try AnyQuestions!

AnyQuestions is a service run by the National Library and staffed by public librarians from around New Zealand, including Wellington City Libraries. On it, children are able to chat in real-time with a real librarian fully trained in web-based research about any question they might have. The librarian working with your child won’t just give them the answer directly — instead, they guide the student through the process of doing online research, checking their understanding every step of the way.

For the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, the service’s opening hours have been extended — now there are librarians on hand to help every weekday from 10am – 6pm.

If you prefer to work outside those hours, or just want a place to find great resources, try AnyQuestions’ sister site, ManyAnswers. This is a service also provided by the National Library and public librarians, and it’s a fully searchable, always-available database of reliable information and vetted resources for the most commonly-asked questions we receive. You can even search by year level to make sure you’re getting information that’s curated for the right level.

Both services are available year-round, so why not start making use of them today?

Family Lockdown Challenge: Colouring Adventures!

Our next Family Lockdown Challenge is as simple as it gets — get those pencils, felts, crayons, pastels, paints or dyes out and get colouring! For your socially-distant enjoyment, a very cool and talented librarian here has created this awesome colouring book — from the power of her imagination, to your bubble! Click the button at the top left to download it and colour at home.

Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to complete this colouring book with your family. Maybe Mum and Dad have to do all the vowels. Why not share with friends or family outside your bubble and have a Skype colouring session? Challenge yourself to use ALL THE COLOURS, or maybe just one! That’s the beauty of colouring — it is what you make it. You can find even more fun activities on our Kids’ Downloads page.

Take a photo of your whānau participating in this challenge, or photograph or scan your completed colouring — we’d love to see what you do! Message us or tag us on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) so we can see what you’ve done, and marvel at your talents!

Stay tuned for the next Family Lockdown Challenge, where things are starting to get a little… mysterious.

Family Lockdown Challenge: Kanopy Kids!

So, in our last editions of the Family Lockdown Challengewe’ve covered everything from reading and writing to building and doing. But did you know that the library is also your hub for movies and TV?

Enter Kanopy Kids(Please note that logging in to Kanopy Kids requires an adult library membership. Click here if you do not have a current adult membership). Kanopy Kids is the library’s online streaming platform for kids’ movies, TV shows, animated storytimes, and more. The best part? It’s all free, and you have unlimited watch time. On the adult version of Kanopy, you get 6 watch credits a month, but on Kanopy Kids, it’s all movies, all the time.

Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to watch a movie or an animated storytime on Kanopy Kids as a family, and then create a response to it. You could draw a picture, write a review, reenact your favourite scene, do a fact file on your favourite character — the world is your oyster! We’d love to see what you come up with, so please get in touch with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to show off your creative skills!

Explore and enjoy!