The Little Ghost Who Lost Her Boo!

Join us with acclaimed local author Elaine Bickell at Johnsonville Library for an especially spooky Halloween storytime this Friday the 18th of October at 6.30pm! Come in your pyjamas, grab a mug of hot chocolate, and settle in to hear Elaine read from her newly-published book, The Little Ghost Who Lost Her Boo, as well as other frightening favourites from the library stacks.

These ghosts won’t be losing their ‘boo’ any time soon!

Reserve Elaine’s book on our catalogue here, and find out more about Elaine and her connection to Johnsonville Library below!

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The Great Teddy Bear Sleepover comes to Tawa!

That’s right, the Great Teddy Bear Sleepover is back and this time it’s heading to Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library! Join us at Mervyn Kemp Library on Thursday the 17th of October at 6.30pm in your pyjamas — and don’t forget to bring your favourite teddy or stuffed toy (or your second favourite if you can’t bear to leave your favourite behind) for a night of super fun stories and activities. Then, leave them behind to have a big sleepover with all their new teddy friends. If the Johnsonville teddies are anything to go by, they’re likely to get up to all sorts of nonsense in the library after hours! Pick up your teddy from the library the next morning to find out what they got up to!

This event is suitable for children of all ages. Phone Mervyn Kemp Library on 282 1690 for more information.

What will your teddy get up to in the library overnight?

Get creative at the library during the October school holidays!

Let your creative side out to play during the school holidays at Wellington City Libraries. Have a go, learn a new skill, or make something amazing! Don’t miss us as we present special robot storytimes and creative, interactive Tech Time sessions at Capital E during these holidays too — head to their website for more details.

Beeswax Wraps
Celebrate the end of Bee Aware Month and make a beeswax wrap — a perfect alternative to plastic food wrap and a great way to reuse a by-product of honey production! Places are limited, so email Tawa Community Centre to secure your place. Suitable for ages 5+ with their caregivers.

Monday 30 September, 10am – 12pm at Tawa Community Centre

BLOOM
Is it a dinosaur, a spaceship, a chandelier, a cloud? Bloom consists of thousands of identical pink pieces that let children and big kids connect, construct and deconstruct 3D installations with no boundaries or rules. Families are welcome to drop in at any time during these sessions. BLOOM is proudly supported by Capital E.

Monday 7 October, 11am – 4pm at Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library
Tuesday 8 October, 11am – 4pm at Newtown Library

Bookworms!
Join us for a fun afternoon of bookish crafts and create your very own sock puppet bookworm to take home! Suitable for ages 4+ with their caregivers.

Saturday 5 October, 2 – 3pm at Johnsonville Library

CodeQuest
Come along to these free coding workshops and learn how to create your own video game in Scratch! No prior coding knowledge is necessary. Places are limited, so register at the event venue to secure your place. Suitable for ages 9+ with their caregivers.

Monday 30 September, 2 – 3.30pm at Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library
Saturday 12 October, 2 – 3.30pm at Johnsonville Library

Family Movies
Bring a blanket and pillow and relax at our fun family movies. A different G-rated film from the library collection will be showing each time, and are appropriate for the whole family. Suitable for ages 4+ with their caregivers.

Friday 4 October, 5.30 – 7pm at Johnsonville Library and 6 – 8pm at Newtown Library
Thursday 10 October, 5.30 – 7pm at Karori Library

The Great North Literature Quiz!
Come and test your knowledge of books at the Great North Literature Quiz. Grab your mates, siblings, cousins and make a team of up to four people. Register your team name by contacting Johnsonville or Tawa Libraries, or just turn up 10 minutes prior to the start to register your team. Suitable for ages 5-12 with their caregivers.

There will be prizes and lots of fun to be had!

Wednesday 2 October, 2 – 3pm at Johnsonville Library
Monday 7 October, 2 – 3pm at Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library

Halloween Crafts Workshop
Join us at Churton Park Community Centre for a special pre-Halloween crafts session! We will be making creepy paper lanterns and scary hats, ready for your Halloween celebrations! Suitable for ages 5-13 with their caregivers.

Friday 11 October, 10 – 11am at Churton Park Community Centre

Holiday Games
Come along and have a go at a bunch of different board and card games, and learn how to play! Bring your friends and family and challenge them — who will win? Suitable for ages 5+ with their caregivers.

Wednesday 2 October, 2 – 3pm at Brooklyn Library (card games)
Wednesday 9 October, 2 – 3pm at Brooklyn Library (board games)

In the Beginning: Yoga Storytimes
Want to try something new while being active and having lots of fun? Join our kid-friendly yoga instructor librarians at these yoga taster classes and storytelling sessions for children. Suitable for ages 5+ with their caregivers.

Monday 30 September, 2 – 3pm at Island Bay Community Centre
Friday 4 October, 2 – 3pm at Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library

Let’s Go Lego
At Let’s Go Lego, your creative skills will be put to the test as your use our Lego collections to design and build your masterpiece. Each session will have a different theme that will inspire you to hone your skills and become a true Lego Legend! Suitable for ages 5+ with their caregivers.

Wednesday 2 October, 10am – 12pm at Tawa Community Centre
Thursday 3 October, 2 – 3pm at Wadestown Library
Friday 4 October, 3.30 – 4.30pm at Khandallah Library
Monday 7 October, 2 – 3pm at Wadestown Library
Tuesday 8 October, 2 – 3.30pm at Newlands Community Centre
Thursday 10 October, 3.30 – 4.30pm at Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library and Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library
Friday 11 October, 3.30 – 4.30pm at Johnsonville Library

Minotaur vs. Mini-Robots
Ancient myths + Robots = awesome time! Come along and decode one of the most fascinating myths of Greek Mythology, the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur. Code Ozobots and navigate them in a dark labyrinth. Can you escape the Minotaur? Let’s find out. Suitable for ages 6+ with their caregivers.

Monday 30 September, 11am – 12pm at Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library
Friday 11 October, 11am – 12pm at Khandallah Library
Saturday 12 October, 11am – 12pm at Karori Library

Spring Scribblers
Have something to say, but not quite sure how to say it? Want to write a novel, but not sure where to start? These interactive creative writing workshops will help you find your unique voice in writing. Suitable for ages 11+ with their caregivers.

Thursday 3 October, 12 – 1.30pm at Churton Park Community Centre
Friday 4 October, 2 – 3.30pm at Johnsonville Library
Wednesday 9 October, 2 – 3.30pm at Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library

Storm the Castle! – Writing Workshops
Traverse the path of the Hero’s Journey — take part in this interactive writing workshop as we go through all the main beats that make up nearly every great book and movie. Suitable for ages 11+ with their caregivers.

Tuesday 1 October, 2 – 3pm at Karori Library
Tuesday 8 October, 2 – 3pm at Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library

TechTime
Join us for these highly interactive adventures through the worlds of robotics and electronics. Hang out and play with robots, give the Makey Makey banana piano a go, and check out Scratch programming in these tech savvy and fun-filled sessions. Suitable for ages 6 – 13 with their caregivers.

Thursday 3 October, 2 – 3.30pm at Newlands Community Centre
Monday 7 October, 12 – 1.30pm at Churton Park Community Centre

Zine Machine
Do you want to print a story, some drawings, a comic, a collage, your thoughts … anything at all? Join us at Karori Library to create a zine with the Zine Machine and publish your own work! Suitable for ages 8+ with their caregivers.

Thursday 10 October, 11am – 12pm at Karori Library

The Great Teddy Bear Sleepover at Johnsonville Library

Yes, you heard right! The Great Teddy Bear Sleepover is coming back to Johnsonville Library on Friday the 30th of August at 6.30pm! Come along in your PJs with your favourite teddy or stuffed toy for an evening of fun stories, songs and activities, then leave your teddies behind to have a big sleepover with all their new friends. Who knows what mischief they might get up to unsupervised in the library overnight? Pick them up on Saturday morning to find out!

This event is suitable for children of all ages. Keep an eye out for the Great Teddy Bear Sleepover popping up at other libraries around the city as well!

Three teddy bears reading a book in the sun

Teddy bears read!

For more information, contact Johnsonville Library on 477 6151.

Beyond the Page is back in July 2019!

I know we’re only halfway through the school term, but we had some big news we couldn’t wait to share with you — the Beyond the Page festival is returning from 6-21 July 2019! Beyond the Page is New Zealand’s largest literary festival for kids and their families, and this year we’ve organised over 140 free events at libraries and community centres from Island Bay to Ōtaki!

We’re super excited to be able to introduce our four headline acts to you here. For full details about these events, check out the Beyond the Page website, or follow the festival on Facebook!

First up is Bea Lee-Smith from the Royal New Zealand Ballet. Join her on a magical journey into the world of Hansel and Gretel.  Through music and mime, children will learn simple ballet steps and positions. This interactive telling of an old favourite tale will be a great appetizer for you and your family in advance of the RNZB’s exciting new production of Hansel and Gretel later in the year. Suitable for pre-schoolers and primary school aged children.

Next up we have the amazing New Zealand author Donovan Bixley. Donovan has had over 100 books published around the world — I can’t even imagine what it’s like having one book published! His show will have you laughing with amazement as you dive into a world of letters, words, and fuzzy doodles. Suitable for children aged 5+ with their caregivers.

Our next headliner is the fabulously spellbinding storyteller Tanya Batt. Tanya describes herself as a “green-fingered witch, a word warbler and a story stitcher” — which sounds like just my cup of tea! You can join Tanya in one of her imagined worlds as part of this year’s festival, with amazing costumes, live music, and tantalising tales to boot. Suitable for children aged 4+ with their caregivers.

Last but certainly not least is Toro Pikopiko, New Zealand’s most established puppetry theatre company. Yep, you heard that right — puppets! And over 80 of Toro Pikopiko’s amazing hand-crafted puppets star in their incredible rock-art musical extravaganza, Te Rereka (The Flight). This incredible show is bound to inspire and amaze — so don’t miss out! Suitable for children of all ages with their caregivers.

There will be heaps more info coming out soon about the rest of the festival schedule. There’s everything from zine-making and book-creating workshops to robots, coding, and theatre-making. Keep checking the Beyond the Page website and at your local library as the school holidays draw closer to keep up to date with what’s on in your neighbourhood!

ComicFest 2019 is nearly here!

Do you like free comics? Do you like winning prizes just for wearing a cool costume? Or for drawing a super nerdy picture? Would you like to meet some of the awesome people behind some of your favourite comics, including the Tea Dragon Society, Snarked, and even Batman?

You can do all that and more at ComicFest 2019, running from Thursday the 2nd to Saturday the 4th of May. Come on down to the National Library, just across the road from the Beehive, for all kinds of super-amazing stuff to do, from drawing workshops to drawing competitions, making your own comic zines to winning your own comic at Free Comic Book Day. ComicFest is one of our favourite times of the literary year, and we’d love to see you all there!

Check out some of the comic books by some of the artists and writers you might get to meet at ComicFest 2019:

Snarked!. Book one, Forks and hope / Langridge, Roger Roger Langridge is one of the insanely talented comic book creators joining us for ComicFest. He’s well known for his work on Thor: The Mighty Avenger and The Muppet Show, but the Snarked! books are probably my favourite by him! They’re set in the crazy world of Lewis Carroll (Alice in Wonderland), which only makes them cooler!

The Tea Dragon Society / O’Neill, Katie I totally love Katie O’Neill’s Tea Dragon Society — apprentive blacksmith Greta’s amazing journey is told through the some of the most beautiful art you’ll ever see in a comic book. Don’t miss Katie’s Tea Dragon Workshop during ComicFest — join her in the National Library Programme Rooms on Saturday the 4th of May at 9.00am to see a new species of Tea Dragon take flight before your eyes. I know I can’t wait!

Helen and the Go-Go Ninjas / Sang, Anthony Ant Sang’s Helen and the Go-Go Ninjas should be a go-to comic for older kids. Set in Auckland deep in the future, Helen is enlisted by a group of time-travelling ninjas to save the world from the tyranny of the Peace Balls — will she succeed in her quest? It’s truly a read that keeps you on the edge of your seat right ’til the end. Love it!

There’s heaps more to see and do, and heaps more books to read, at ComicFest 2019. Can’t wait to see you there! Click the banner below to see the whole programme of events.

Special Seaweek Storytime at Newtown Library!

Get those flippers on and dust off your snorkel, we’re helping you celebrate New Zealand Seaweek 2019 with a special Seaweek storytime at Newtown Library! Join us this Wednesday, the 6th of March, at 10.30am, for a shimmering submerged safari of more seaworthy stories than even the saltiest sailor could shake a stick at.

We’d love to see you there! While you’re here, why not check out all the other stuff that’s going on in Wellington for Seaweek this year?

The theme for Kaupapa Mōana NZ Seaweek 2019 is Tiakina i tātou Mōana — Care for our Seas.

Seaweek 2019 – Kaupapa Mōana – is here!

New Zealand Seaweek 2019 has officially begun!

This year the theme of Seaweek is Tiakina i tātou Mōana — Caring for our Seas, and it runs from the 2nd to the 10th of March. We know that looking after the ocean is really important. We rely on it for food and fun (and a whole bunch of other things, too!), but sometimes the things we do can have a bad effect on the overall health of our seas. Plastic packaging is often thrown away carelessly, and ends up in the ocean, where it can be eaten by sea creatures who mistake it for food. Fertilisers that we use to grow our food on land can make it into the ocean due to runoff into streams and rivers, which feed into the sea. Fertilisers in our waterways often cause toxic algae to grow, which makes it impossible for most animals to live in the area.

Seaweek 2019 is your chance to learn about how you can help! Zoom out to the beach and see if you can help organise a local clean-up, or head along to one of the over 40 events taking place in Wellington for Seaweek this year!

Your library has a bunch of books that can help you learn about what you can do to care for our seas. Check the list below, or ask a friendly librarian to help you find the perfect read for Kaupapa Mōana 2019!

Ocean / Howell, Izzi
This book helps you learn all about ocean habitats, what creatures live there, and what we can do to protect these precious parts of the planet’s ecosystem.

The sea book / Milner, Charlotte
Featuring fascinating fishy facts accompanied by bright, bold, and beautiful illustrations, this book takes you on a journey through the sea and all its zones.

Go green! / Gogerly, Liz
Learn all about ways you can reduce, reuse and recycle your way to a healthier planet — and a happier ocean!

Hero of the sea : Sir Peter Blake’s mighty ocean quests / Hill, David
Read this awesome and inspiring book about the life of Sir Peter Blake and how he contributed to safeguarding our oceans and waterways for future generations.

Under the ocean : explore & discover the seas around New Zealand / Candler, Gillian
Learn more about all of the amazing animals that live in and around the oceans of Aotearoa New Zealand, and find out what makes our little corner of the marine world so special!

Let’s Go LEGO Schedule Update

With another new year comes another set of LEGO adventures for Wellington library-goers! We’re making some changes to the Let’s Go LEGO schedule this year, so check the days and times below to see when it’s on at your local library!

Khandallah Library: 1st Friday of the month, 3:30-4:30pm
Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library: 2nd Thursday of the month, 3:30-4:30pm
Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library: 2nd Thursday of the month, 3:30-4:30pm
Johnsonville Library: 2nd Friday of the month, 3:30-4:30pm
Karori Library: 3rd Saturday of the month, 2:00-3:00pm

Let’s Go LEGO is a free, interactive LEGO-based programme for children aged 5+. In Let’s Go LEGO, your creative skills will be put to the test as you use the library’s LEGO collections to design and build your masterpieces. Each session will have a different theme that will inspire you to hone your skills and become your library’s very own LEGO legend.

For more information, contact your local branch library.

Ghosts, monsters, and naughty gods: All you need to know about Halloween!

To many of us, Halloween is not much more than an excuse to wear a spooky costume, listen to some scary stories and maybe carve up a pumpkin, all while hoovering up more lollies than is probably wise. However, to find out more about why people the world over celebrate this holiday, we have to step back in time to visit the ancient Celts, with quick stopovers in 7th-century Rome and 16th-century Germany along the way.

Let’s go for a spooky ride through time.

The brainy people who study such things generally agree that Halloween finds its roots in the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain (pronounced sa-win). Samhain was traditionally held on November 1, and it marked the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter, the “dark half” of the year. Ancient Celts believed that during Samhain the world of the gods became visible to ordinary people, and the gods delighted in frightening and playing tricks on their worshippers. Sometimes they appeared as monsters in the dead of night. Sound familiar?

When the Romans conquered Britain in the 1st century CE, they merged Samhain with their own festival of the dead, Feralia. Now the frightening monsters and delicious treats of the harvest were joined by ghosts and restless spirits. The traditions that make up modern Halloween were starting to take form.

Fastforward to Rome, 7th century CE. Pope Boniface IV brought in All Saints’ Day, originally celebrated on May 13 — within a century, the date was changed to November 1, perhaps in an attempt to replace the pagan Samhain festival with a Christian equivalent. The day before All Saints’ Day was considered holy, or ‘hallowed.’ This is where the word ‘Halloween’ comes from — it is the Hallowed Eve.

Zoom forwards in time again to Germany, 16th century CE. The Protestant Reformation, led by people like Martin Luther and John Calvin, put a stop to the still pagan-influenced Halloween festival in most Protestant countries. However, in Britain and Ireland, the festival remained in place as a secular (non-religious) holiday, and the tradition followed English-speaking settlers to the United States, where it is still a hugely important part of the festive calendar. Many of the traditions introduced in the dark and mysterious woods and cairns of ancient Celtia live on to this day in the form of the modern Halloween festival.

Interested in learning more about this fascinating and era-spanning festival, and the people who celebrated it? Why not check out some of these books at your local library:

Celts by Sonya Newland
“The Celts were fearsome warriors, but they also developed trade routes across Europe and made beautiful jewellery. Find out about Celtic tribes, how Boudicca rebelled against the Romans, and how the Celts celebrated with feasts and festivals.” (Catalogue)


Prehistoric Britain by Alex Frith
“From the age of dinosaurs to the Roman invasion, this book tells the story of this vast and exciting period of British history. It describes when and how people first came to Britain, and includes information on the Bronze Age, Iron Age, Celts and the mysteries of Stonehenge. Full of facts, illustrations, photographs, maps and timelines.” (Catalogue)


Celebrate Halloween by Deborah Heiligman
“Vivid images and lively, inviting text illuminate the spookiest night of the year. This book spirits readers on a tour of Halloween celebrations around the globe as it explores the rich history of this holiday and the origins of its folklore, food, games, costumes, and traditions.” (Catalogue)


Traditional celebrations by Ian Rohr
“This interesting book is part of a series written for young students that focuses on a wide variety of celebrations and festivals held for special occasions throughout the world. It focuses on traditional celebrations.” (Catalogue)