Family Lockdown Challenge: Kids’ Club eBook Reviews

Our last two Family Lockdown Challenges have focussed on things you can do and things you can build from the comfort of your own bubble. For this next one, you don’t even need to leave the comfort of your chair. Read on to find out more!

Libraries, as I’m sure you know, are generally known for having books. Heaps and heaps and heaps of books. And even though our buildings are closed, making the 800,000-odd books they hold unavailable for now, we still have plenty of books for you — eBooks! Our eBook services, like OverDrive, BorrowBox, TumbleBooks, and more, are available 24/7 from the eLibrary — all you need is your library card number and PIN, and you’re set.

Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to borrow a book from our eLibrary, write a book review, and post it to the Kids’ Club review section on this very blog. At the top of the screen, click Kids’ Club, then follow the instructions to access the review form and submit it! Once that’s all done, and your review has been read by one of our lovely librarians, it will be published online for everyone to read.

Even better, once our libraries reopen, you’ll be able to redeem your book reviews for special prizes from your local library. The more reviews you write, the more prizes you’ll earn. How awesome is that?!

Did you know that eBooks can fly? They fly right around our heads until they land in your device, ready to be read!

Before you all rush off to write your first review, here are a couple of words about writing a good book review:

  • Tell us what you thought about the book! We don’t want to just read a description of the plot.
  • Useful questions to ask yourself include:
    • How did I feel at the beginning of the book?
    • How did I feel at the end? Was there a change?
    • Who was my favourite/least favourite character? Why?
    • Did this book give me any new ideas? If so, what are they?
    • Who else might like this book? Why?
    • If I had written this book, would I have changed anything about it? What, and why?
  • Be creative! We love to read reviews in the form of poems, short stories, reviews written with emojis.
  • Be careful with the boring things like spelling and punctuation. This isn’t school — you won’t be disqualified if you spell “discombobulated” wrong — but having good spelling and punctuation makes it easier for everyone else to understand what you mean!

While you’re writing your reviews, don’t forget to read through other kids’ reviews too — there are thousands and thousands of them and who knows, you may just find a book you’d like to read yourself! Happy reading!

Virtual Storytime: Straight from the Librarian’s Living Room

With our libraries currently closed, are you missing your regular storytime fix? Don’t worry, we have you covered in more ways than one: check the options below!

Virtual Storytimes
During the lockdown, your favourite librarians will be bringing you livestreamed storytimes directly from their living rooms on the Wellington City Libraries Facebook page. Storytime will be streamed live Monday-Friday at 10:30am, and on Saturdays at 2:00pm, to match the times when Preschool Storytime would normally be happening at your local library. You can join us live as we stream, or watch the video afterwards.

Story Box Library
Tired of waiting for your next storytime livestream? Did you know that you can enjoy a read-aloud storytime ANYtime?! All you need is your Wellington City Libraries card and a device to watch on — PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone. Log in with your library card number and PIN, and enjoy stories being read aloud by fantastic, predominantly Australian and New Zealand, storytellers.

Stories Online
If those options aren’t enough, over on the Kids’ Downloads page we have a whole raft of digital storytime content that we have been curating over the years. This page is stuffed full of videos of New Zealand books being read by their authors at the library, links to awesome resources such as TumbleBooks and Kanopy Kids, and plenty of other bits and pieces to keep your mind busy!

While you check out all these awesome resources, why not watch our first livestreamed Virtual Storytime below? Straight from my living room (with Velvet Elvis looking down from above!) I bring you I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen, published by Walker Books.

Getting Crafty: Arts and Crafts Books From Our eLibrary

If you’re anything like me and my sister you will be reaching for the arts and crafts supplies to get you through these next few weeks. Of course, it can be hard to get started on a project, or think up an idea all by yourself which is where the library comes in. We have loads of great crafting books online you can check out and help you get creative and pass the time throughout the lockdown.

Origami activities for children / Araki, Chiyo
Want to get creative but don’t have many craft supplies around the house? Then origami would be perfect! Learn how to make boats, flowers, pumpkins and more out of just a square of paper. Each project comes with step by step instructions and all are graded so you can start off simply and progress to more difficult designs as you improve your origami skills. Have fun keeping your hands busy and decorating your room with some wonderful paper creations.

Life hacks for kids / Keller, Sunny
Who doesn’t love a fun life hack? Sunny Heller will take you through her favourite hacks from her youtube channel and teach you exactly how she makes them. Feel like creating your own bowling alley at home? Or maybe some duct-tape earrings or even a new cat toy for your kitty? Sunny can help you make all this and more with this wonderfully colourful and fun craft book.

20 ways to draw a tree and 44 other nifty things from nature / Renouf, Eloise

Incredible Dinosaurs / McCurry, Kristen

Itching to draw and paint but can’t quite decide what you should create? Then the library can help you figure out your style and help perfect your pictures. These are just two books from our elibrary that are designed to teach you how to draw certain things and inspire you to create your own amazing landscapes, dinosaurs and more!

These are just a few of the books we have available in our elibrary so if they’re not quite right for you feel free to check out the rest of our collection.

One thing to remember is that it might be hard to get a hold of all the supplies needed for some of these projects because most shops are closed and we can’t leave our houses much. It might be best to talk to your Mum or Dad about what you have available when you’re picking your projects and using some kiwi ingenuity by swapping out things you can’t get with similar bits and pieces around your home.

I hope these books can inspire you and help you get crafty over the next few weeks!

Picture Books and DVDs for 2020!

Hey Kids! Check out the latest Children’s Picture Books and DVDs at Wellington City Libraries! Grab them before summer ends!

Enjoy!

The Pigeon HAS to Go to school!

The pigeon must go to school, but frets about math, learning the alphabet, heavy backpacks, and what the teacher and other birds will think of him.

The Cool Bean.

Everyone knows the cool beans. They’re sooooo cool. And then there’s the uncool has-bean … Always on the sidelines, one bean unsuccessfully tries everything he can to fit in with the crowd–until one day the cool beans show him how it’s done.

You might also like…


The Bad Seed.

The bad seed changes his mind about being bad and decides that he wants to be happy.

The Good Egg.

When the other eggs in his carton behave badly, the good egg feels like he needs to be perfect.

Angry Cookie.

What happens when a little cookie gets up on the wrong side of bed? Prepare to fall absolutely in love with this irresistible cookie, crumbly chocolate chips and all. OH NO! Barbra the cactus won’t stop playing her recorder, the yummy strawberry toothpaste has run out, and now to top it all off Cookie has to have his hair cut!


PAW patrol. Pups chase a mystery.

No mystery is too big and no clue is too small in these 7 thrilling PAW Patrol cases! Join Chase and the whole pack as they work to discover who stole a special stargazing telescope, track down a mischievous phone thief and embark on an adventure to catch a mysterious werepuppy. Plus, the pups throw Chase a secret surprise birthday party!

 



image courtesy of amazon.comMaleficent. Mistress of evil.

Maleficent travels to a grand old castle to celebrate young Aurora’s upcoming wedding to Prince Phillip. While there, she meets Aurora’s future mother-in-law — a conniving queen who hatches a devious plot to destroy the land’s fairies. Hoping to stop her, Maleficent joins forces with a seasoned warrior and a group of outcasts to battle the queen and her powerful army.

 

Here’s 7 great new kids fiction books from your library to start your New Year off perfectly!

 

It’s the end of the school holidays! You might be excited to go back to school …or you might not be. Either way, you can ease yourself back into routine with these simply awesome super cool new books. They will make you forget all about going back to school, guaranteed!! **

** Not guaranteed, sorry. 

 

Image courtesy of SyndeticsKlawde: Evil Alien Warlord Cat by Johnny Marciano

Klawde is not your average cat. He’s an emperor from another planet, exiled to Earth. He’s cruel. He’s cunning. He’s brilliant… and he’s about to become Raj Banerjee’s best friend. Whether he likes it or not. Klawde had everything. Sharp claws. Fine fur. And, being the High Commander of the planet Lyttyrboks, an entire world of warlike cats at his command. But when he is stripped of his feline throne, he is sentenced to the worst possible punishment: exile to a small planet in a quiet corner of the universe… named Earth. Raj had everything. A cool apartment in Brooklyn. Three friends who lived in his building. And pizza and comics within walking distance. But when his mom gets a job in Elba, Oregon, and he is forced to move, all of that changes. It’s now the beginning of summer, he has no friends, and because of his mother’s urgings, he has joined a nature camp. It’s only when his doorbell rings and he meets a furball of a cat that Raj begins to think maybe his luck is turning around…


Image courtesy of SyndeticsZac’s Biggest Ever Hits; Volume 3 (4 missions in 1!!!) by H.I Larry

Zac Power is a boy spy who has twenty-four hours to save the world and do his homework. A haunted house, sabotage in space, vanishing tombs and undead dinosaurs – Zac’s biggest ever adventures are action-packed. But can he outsmart an evil genius and save the world, yet again?

Image courtesy of SyndeticsMika & Max by Laura Bloom

A story about a girl who meets a boy who changes everything. When 13-year-old Mika is forced to attend a music festival with her family, she resigns herself to hippies, heat, and embarrassment. But nothing could prepare her for Max, who’s almost 10 and has autism. When the two of them join forces, a series of unexpected and life-changing events unfold.

Image courtesy of SyndeticsMy Parents Cancelled my Birthday by Jo Simmons

Tom can’t wait for his LUCKY BIRTHDAY. It’s an EPIC family tradition and he’s dreamed up an UNFORGETTABLE party! Only, after several disasters involving a flattened Chihuahua and a curse from the tooth fairy, it’s been CANCELLED. But Tom won’t give up. With the help of his friends (and a pig painted like a zebra), Tom decides to throw himself the party he deserves. What could possibly go wrong?

Image courtesy of SyneticsNatboff! One Million Years of Stupidity by Andy Stanton

Time travel through the funniest and most mad moments in history, from the stone age to a million years in the future, all set in the town of Lamonic Bibber (home of Mr Gum). Meet the town’s most famous residents such as Natboff the caveman, Terry Shakespeare, a squirrel, Edith the witch, some grapes and mysterious Victorian inventor, Cribbins, who invented mysterious Victorian things. Learn LOADS of stuff about history along the way*.

*You won’t learn anything about history.


Image courtesy of SyndeticsTrouble in New York (the Travels of Ermine (who is very determined)) by Jennifer Gray

Ermine the Determined is off to explore NEW YORK. She can’t wait to visit Central Park Zoo, ride in a yellow taxi, and zoooom to the top of the Rockefeller building! But when her suitcase is switched, Ermine finds some robbers are hot on her tail.

Image courtesy of SyndeticsThe Leap of Death by Andrew Clover and Ralph Lazar

Meet RORY BRANAGAN – he eats bad guys for breakfast. Well, not ACTUALLY. But he IS the best detective in town. Fifth in a hilarious comedy-crime series for readers of 8+. Hello. I am Rory Branagan. I am actually a detective. And I am about to face more DEADLY DANGER than ever …

 

 

Fiction and Non Fiction to read this Halloween.

Hey Kids!

Halloween has arrived at the library! Time to get your scare on reading up about the history of Halloween; getting some cool ideas for Halloween costumes and crafts and maybe some fiction for a quiet (scare) night in.

Enjoy!


Celebrate Halloween.

Describes the origins of Halloween and how various countries celebrate it. Suggested level: junior, primary.

10 minute Halloween crafts.

In 10 Minute Crafts: Halloween, children can learn how to make Halloween decorations such as bat hangings and black cat lanterns and create spookily brilliant zombie finger puppets and witches on broomsticks, plus lots more amazing Halloween ideas.

How to create spectacular Halloween costumes.

“Provides step-by-step instructions for making Halloween costumes using household materials”–Provided by publisher.

Ghoulish get-ups.

“Fifi Colston shares her years of experience in costuming and the wearable arts. Crammed with tricky tips and terrifying techniques for making an outrageous outfit for any occasion, especially Halloween”–Publisher information.

Laugh-out-loud spooky jokes for kids.

A spooktacular collection of jokes about goblins, ghouls and other Halloween-oriented subjects.– Source other than Library of Congress.

Haunted Halloween : movie novel.

When Sonny and Sam find a ventriloquist dummy labeled “Slappy” in an abandoned house and bring him home, the dummy comes to life, and soon begins using dark magic powers to make Halloween a living nightmare in town.

The secrets tree.

It’s Halloween at Penhallow Hall and while celebrations are in full swing at the stately home, Polly and Rex are in search of a new ghost dog. Down in the old stable block they come across a dog’s head carved in a wooden door and wake a terrier called Patch. The little dog is terrified of the changes to his old home and runs off. When Polly and Rex find Patch hiding in a hollow tree they find themselves on the trail of an even greater mystery. Inside the tree is a coded message from Patch’s master, Jack, to his older brother. From Patch’s description Polly and Rex realize that Jack’s brother must have been a highwayman! But the message remains unread. Can Polly and Rex discover what happened to the brothers?

 


Frankie Fish and the Viking fiasco.

From Australia’s favourite comedian Peter Helliar comes the third adventure in his hilarious and best-selling Frankie Fishseries! Just when you thought our time-travellers had everything under control, it all comes crashing down … Best friends Frankie and Drew are desperate to win this year’s Halloween costume parade, and they know exactly what will give them the edge: authentic Viking costumes from olden-day Norway! The plan is simple: use their secret Sonic Suitcase to get in, get helmets, and get out. But they weren’t counting on accidentally bringing back a Viking called Birger with them – plus his angry brother Brynjar, who really has it in for Frankie and Drew. Can the boys round up the vikings, get them back home and win the costume parade before anyone discovers what they’ve done?

 


Stumpkin.

Stumpkin is the most handsome pumpkin on the block. He’s as orange as a traffic cone! Twice as round as a basketball! He has no bad side! He’s perfect choice for a Halloween jack-o-lantern. There’s just one problem–Stumpkin has a stump, not a stem. And no one seems to want a stemless jack-o-lantern for their window. As Halloween night approaches, more and more of his fellow pumpkins leave, but poor Stumpkin remains. Will anyone give Stumpkin his chance to shine?

 


Apocalypse.

It’s Benjamin Roy’s first Halloween as a zombie and he’s keen to see if being a real one gets him more candy. But it doesn’t take long before the tricks become dangerous and the treats turn deadly. Then when the only bridge out of town is destroyed, and corpses start creeping from their caskets, he realises there’s something rotten in his town and it’s not just the zombies… But how will Ben save anyone else, when he’s barely alive himself?

 


Hotel Transylvania. Vol. 1 : Kakieland katastrophe.

When the owner of a local amusement park starts a campaign claiming monsters are scary, it is up to Drac and the gang to prove him wrong and save the hotel from ruin.

Top 6 Picture Books to read this month!

Hey kids! Check out these six awesome picture books in your local library! Featured in this post are picture books about kindness, diversity and acceptance.

Enjoy!

How to Two.

How to two, how to three, how to five, and so on, Learn how to count and work together as a team in this delightful picture book!

Good people everywhere.

A delightful story about good people and all the things they do. A great book to teach children about kindness, mindfulness and gratitude.

Hats are not for cats.

A delightful story about a dog who feels cats should not wear hats of any kind.
Bow-Wow-Meow!

A simple and delightful story about a dog, who thinks he is a cat. A librarian’s choice all the way.

Stardust : we always share the same sky.

Stardust explores the story of a girl and her mother in prison. They are unable to see each on a regular basis, but manage to find a unique way to feel connected through the sky and stars, which creates a sense of safety and love that allows the girl to focus on positive memories she has of her mum.


Day you begin.

A delightful story of two children who despite feeling like outsides come together and realising they are not alone in the world.

 

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!

Continue reading

Aotearoa New Zealand History Books List

Aotearoa New Zealand has a long, interesting and challenging history. Many incredible people and communities have walked on this whenua and left their stories and legacies behind. These are some great recent books to learn about our sometimes sad, and sometimes amazing history.

Te Tiriti o Waitangi / Morris, Toby (2019)

Check out this beautifully illustrated story of our foundational national document. It’s bilingual, which means you can read it in English or Te Reo. Find out about the historical context of the Treaty, and its continuing importance in the 21st Century.

 

 

The New Zealand Wars / Werry, Philippa (2018)

As Māori land was encroached upon by the colonial government and settlers, warfare broke out in New Zealand. This book explores the violence that was experienced in New Zealand in the mid-19th century and how those that fought and died are remembered today. This book explains why the wars happened, and is filled with photographs, illustrations and paintings. We also learn about Parihaka, a peaceful community of resistance to land confiscation and encroachment. The book talks about how we remember these events today and memorial places we can go to learn more and think about our history.

 

 

Kate Sheppard : leading the way for women / Gill, Maria (2018)

A wonderfully illustrated book about the life of New Zealand suffragist Kate Sheppard! Learn about how she lead the way for women getting the vote in Aotearoa.

 

 

Syndetics book coverPeace warriors / Raymond Huber (2015)

This book tells the heroic stories of brave New Zealander’s and people around the world who used non-violent resistance to pursue paths of peace. One of the stories is of Archibald Baxter, who refused to fight in World War 1 because he did not believe in killing. He faced brutal punishment and rejection for his courageous choice.

 

 

The beach they called Gallipoli / French, Jackie (2014)

The battle for Gallipoli is at the heart of the ANZAC narrative of New Zealand’s involvement in WW1. This book explores the geography of the cove and looks at not just the ANZACs, but all the nationalities who fought there.

 

 

Bastion Point : 570 days on Takaparawha / Roxborogh, Tania Kelly (2017)

Sometimes fiction can help us understand real-life  events. This book is a fictional diary, from the perspective of a character called Erica Tito, covering the events at Bastion Point between 1977-1978. Bastion Point was Māori land confiscated by the government for public works, but decades later the government wanted to sell it for housing developments. Māori from around the country gathered to occupy the land and protect it. In the 1980s, the land was returned to local Iwi as part of a Treaty settlement.

 

 

Aotearoa : the New Zealand story / Bishop, Gavin

A colourfully delightful overview of of the history of Aotearoa New Zealand; charting a course from the big bang, to the arrival of Māori, all the way to events in the present day. Filled with interesting facts, this is a great classroom read.

Check out these books on the catalouge, your local library or pop a reserve on them to collect from your nearest branch!

Spring is here! and so are these fabulous new kids fiction picks from your local Library for you to enjoy!

 

Spring is an inspiring time of year – warmer weather, more sunshine, flowers, lambs, longer days… So why not yet inspired with a new book or two? Here are some new ones we thought looked fresh and fab.

 


Sal & Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez

In order to heal after his mother’s death, Sal learned how to meditate. But no one expected him to be able to take it further and ‘relax’ things into existence. Turns out he can reach into time and space to retrieve things from other universes.

Refugee by Alan Gratz

Although separated by continents and decades, Josef, a Jewish boy living in 1930s Nazi Germany, Isabel, a Cuban girl trying to escape the riots and unrest plaguing her country in 1994, and Mahmoud, a Syrian boy in 2015 whose homeland is torn apart by violence and destruction, embark on harrowing journeys in search of refuge, discovering shocking connections that tie their stories together.

Dancing the Charleston by Jacqueline WilsonImage courtesy of Syndetics

In a little cottage on the edge of the grand Somerset Estate, Mona lives with her aunt – a dressmaker to the lady of the house. Even though Mona never knew her mother and father, she knows Aunty tries to give her the best life she can. When Lady Somerset dies and a new member of the family inherits the house, life changes drastically for Mona. Suddenly she’s invited to dazzling balls, dines on delicious food and plays with wild new friends. But with these changes come secrets that Mona can’t dance away from.

Dog Man; For Whom the Ball Rolls by Dav PilkeyImage courtesy of Syndetics

The Supa Buddies have been working hard to help Dog Man overcome his bad habits. But when his obsessions turn to fears, Dog Man finds himself the target of an all-new supervillain! Meanwhile, Petey the Cat has been released from jail and starts a new life with Li’l Petey. But when Petey’s own father arrives, Petey must face his past to understand the difference between being good and doing good. Dav Pilkey’s wildly popular Dog Man series appeals to readers of all ages and explores universally positive themes, including empathy, kindness, persistence, and the importance of being true to one’s self.

The boy who grew Dragons by Andy ShepherdImage courtesy of Syndetics

When Tomas discovers a strange old tree at the bottom of his grandad’s garden, he doesn’t think much of it. But he takes the funny fruit from the tree back into the house – and gets the shock and delight of his life when a tiny dragon hatches! The tree is a dragonfruit tree, and Tomas has got his very own dragon, Flicker … Tomas soon finds out that life with Flicker is great fun, but also very … unpredictable. Yes, dragons are wonderful, but they also set fire to your toothbruth and leave your pants hanging from the TV aerial. Tomas has to learn how to look after Flicker – and quickly. And then something extraordinary happens – more dragonfruits appear on the tree. Tomas is officially growing dragons …