Christmas Fiction

The Christmas Holidays are a great time to relax and read all of your favourite books. What better way to get into the spirit of Christmas than to read some Christmas fiction!

Check out these new Christmas–themed books:

The Christmas Surprise by Yvette Poshoglian






Dance class #6: a merry olde Christmas by Beka







The Nanny Piggins’ Guide to Conquering Christmas by R. A. Spratt






Redcap’s Christmas by Susan Cason






Robyn the Christmas party fairy by Daisy Meadows






The Smurfs Christmas by Peyo






Where’s Santa?: Around the world by Louis Shea






Christmas crackers by Jeanne Willis






My funny family gets bigger by Chris Higgins

Ketea Dragons

In Ancient Greek mythology there is a sea dragon called ketea (singular ketos).

They are amphibious and have two flippers instead of legs. They have sleek bodies with hides covered in barnacles, and a long, tapering tail with a sea-weed like end.

Ketea have a long, pointy snout, long ears, sharp horns on their heads, and small sharp teeth. Although they live in the ocean around Greece, they can also survive on land.

Ketea obey Poseidon, Greek god of the sea, and he sends them to punish people who have offended him. They are ravenous and can never get enough to eat!

If you enjoyed this post and want to read more, you can find out more about dragons in The Dragon Companion: An Encyclopedia by Carole Wilkinson. All the facts in this post were taken from this book.


Some new books about dragons that you might like to read are:

The Dreadful Dragon by Kaye Umansky

Dragon Boogie by Erik Craddick

Fangbone!, third-grade barbarian by Michael Rex

How to Seize a Dragon’s Jewel by Cressida Cowell

Iron Hearted Violet by Kelly Regan Barnhill

Secrets of the Dragon World by S. A. Caldwell



The History of Halloween

Halloween is celebrated on October 31st by people in countries all over the world, such as Canada, England and the USA.

Halloween comes from an ancient holiday that was celebrated by the Celts – the ancient people of Ireland, Scotland and England. It was called Samhain – said as SAH-ween. The Celts believed that on October 31st people who had died crossed over to the next world, and they lit bonfires to help the dead pass on their way.

Centuries later The Pope, who is leader of the Catholic Church, named November 1st All Saints, or All Hallows Day, because Hallows is an old word for saint. The night before All Hallows Day was called All Hallows Eve. Eventually it became known as Halloween.

The Pope and other church leaders wanted Halloween to be a holy night, but because it had started out as a Celtic festival, many Celtic traditions remained. People put out food and drink for wandering ghosts, and for other spooky creatures. Then children and adults started dressing up as spooky creatures so they could get given yummy food and drink!

Because Halloween is in the Northern Hemisphere’s autumn, it is during their traditional harvest time. Harvest celebrations have become a part of Halloween, like apple-picking, hayrides and pumpkin carving.

Turnips were originally carved instead of pumpkins. The tradition comes from an English legend about a man named Jack. He was too bad to go to heaven, so he was doomed to wander the earth at night. He carved a turnip and put a light inside so he could see where he was going in the dark. It was a lantern, so it became known as a “Jack-o-lantern.”  Now pumpkins are usually carved as Jack-o-lanterns.

All the facts in this post came from the book Celebrate Halloween by Deborah Heiligman.

Here are some other new books you might want to read about Halloween:

The Five Masks of Dr. Screem by R. L. Stine

Horrid Henry: Tricks and Treats by Francesca Simon

How to Create Spectacular Halloween Costumes by Louann Brown

How to Make Frightening Halloween Decorations by Catherine Ipcizade

Night of the Living Dust Bunnies by Erik Craddock

The Peculiar Pumpkin Thief by Geronimo Stilton

Scary Godmother by Jill Thompson


Spring Into Tawa with Hairy Maclary

Tawa Library is celebrating Spring Into Tawa on Saturday 8th September with several events.

First up is a special storytime on Hairy Maclary. It’s Hairy Maclary’s birthday in September, so join us at the library at 10.30am to hear some of Lynley Dodd’s stories read aloud. It’s tongue-twisting fun for children, and children-at-heart.

Hairy Maclary

People from Tawa College Adult Education are also visiting Tawa Library for Spring Into Tawa. From 10am – 12.00pm there will be demonstrations on flax-weaving, wood-carving, patchwork and felt-making, and at 12pm there will be performances by ukulele and Irish whistle experts.

Also, don’t forget to visit the Wellington City Council stall in the main road outside the library.

Spring into Tawa is on September 8th from 9am – 12.30pm at Tawa Plaza and the Main Road shops.


Russian Dragons

Russian dragons are hydras, which means that they have many heads. The number of heads they have is always in multiples of three, six, nine, or twelve. To kill a Russian dragon a slayer must cut off all of the dragon’s heads.

They have four legs with bird-like clawed feet, and bat-like wings. They breathe fire and have arrow-shaped tongues. They have horny, hooked noses with sharp beaks which they use to rip their prey apart!

They live in mountain caves and their favourite food is human flesh. Russian dragons are sneaky and deceitful, but not very smart despite having more than one brain!

If you enjoyed this post and want to read more, you can find out more about dragons in The Dragon Companion: An Encyclopedia by Carole Wilkinson. All the facts in this post were taken from this book.

Some new books about dragons that you might like to read are:

George and the Dragon: and a World of Other Stories by Geraldine McCaughrean

Day of the Dreader by Cressida Cowell

The Fire Ascending by Chris D’Lacey

Flying the Dragon by Natalie Dias Lorenzi

Beast Child by Ben Chandler

Dragon Castle by Joseph Bruchac

Dragon’s Revenge by Amy Tree

Flight to Dragon Isle by Lucinda Hare

Kids’ Review by Tashi

The BFG by Roald Dahl

This Book is very interesting. I don’t read books too often, but this book got my attention and I really enjoyed it! The best bit was when the Queen met Sophie and the B.F.G. I don’t think there was a bad part because it was a really AWESOME book. This book can be read and enjoyed by everyone, young and old. Even if you do not like reading books, give this one a try and I promise you that you will really enjoy it! 4 Stars.

Review by Tashi of Normandale

Fencing at the Olympics

Did you know that sword-fighting is an Olympic sport? At the Olympics it is called fencing. Fencers fight one-on-one indoors on what is called the Strip. The Strip is 14 metres long and 2 metres wide. Competitors have to stay within this boundary. A fencing challenge is called a bout. Fencers fight in bouts of 3, which last 3 minutes each.

Competitors fight with three different kinds of swords: foils, epees and sabres. Medals are given for the winners in each competition for each kind of sword. Each sword has its own rules, but generally a competitor scores one point each time they touch the other person with the tip of their sword. To win they must score 15 hits on their opponent, or the highest number of hits in a bout. Fencers dress all in white. So that the competitors do not get hurt for real they wear gloves, padded jackets and pants, and wire masks to protect their faces. Most importantly, the swords have blunt tips!

Sword-fighting is a very old sport. Many soldiers in ancient cultures fought with swords, including the Greeks and Romans. Fencing schools were founded in Medieval England, and the rules of fencing were set up by the end of the 1400s. The foil sword was invented in the 1600s, as well as the mesh face mask.

Fencing was first part of the Olympics in 1896, and has been included in every Olympic Games ever since. France, Italy and Hungary have had a strong tradition of fencing since the 1800s. They frequently win the individual men, women and team events, along with Germany and Russia.

You can learn all about what it is like to be a fencer in Fencing is For Me, and learn all about every single Olympic sport in the Macmillan encyclopedia of Olympic sports.

Archery at the Olympics

Did you know that archery is the proper name for Katniss Everdeen’s special skill with the bow and arrow in The Hunger Games series? Archery has been a popular competition sport since ancient times. The Chinese, Egyptians, Romans, Greeks and Persians all used a bow and arrow for hunting, warfare and competition. Archery was very popular in medieval England, and archery tournaments were held. Robin Hood, as well as being a famous outlaw, was also known for being an excellent shooter with a bow and arrow.

Archery first became an Olympic sport in 1900, but it stopped being an Olympic sport for 50 years before being reintroduced in 1972. Archers compete on an outdoor range, and have to shoot 72 arrows at targets 70 metres away. Each target is 122 centimetres in diameter, and has 10 rings inside it, each 6.1 centimetres wide. Each ring increases by one point, until you get to the centre, the bull’s eye, which is worth 10 points.

Men and women both compete in archery in individual, and in team tournaments. The female competitors from South Korea are very good; they have won every women’s individual gold medal from 1984 to 2000. The South Korean women’s team have won every team event since 1988 as well.

You can learn about every single Olympic sport in the Macmillan encyclopedia of Olympic sports.

Kids’ Review by Sofia

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again by Frank Cottrell Boyce

This is a really good book. It is about a magical car called Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. When the Tootings family finds out that it can fly they go on heaps of adventures. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang has a mind of its own and is trying to find its missing parts. The Tootings go to Paris, The Sphinx and to a funny island. But will someone try to stop them? Here is a question: What is a lighting?
5 Stars
Review by Sofia of Hataitai