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)

Bee Aware Month!

September is Bee Awareness month and this year Apiculture New Zealand are focusing on bee health by educating us on how we can feed the bees and help protect our precious bee population.

Did you know that bees support New Zealand’s agri-industry exports by over $5 billion annually – that is heaps! Plus they help grow one third of all the food we eat as well as helping our gardens flourish and look beautiful.

There is heaps that we can do to help out our little buzzing friends and one of the easiest way is by planting bee friendly plants and flowers. Bees need food so that they can help pollinate the food we eat. Bees will feed on pollen and nectar and this helps them to grow and Bee strong which helps them to fight off disease and parasites.

Bees also need clean water so why not make a shallow container for them to drink from. Just make sure you put pebbles and twigs in the water so the bees have something to rest on while they are drinking.

Another way we can help the bees is to stop spraying our gardens with harmful pesticides which kill the bees.

Palmers Garden Centre who are supporting Bee Awareness Month have information and competitions on their website plus check out their 5 top tips for a bee friendly backyard.

The library also has heaps of books on bees so take a look and… Lets save our bees!

International Asteroid Day

Did you know that there is an International Asteroid Day?

Asteroid Day aims to raise awareness about asteroids and what can be done to protect the Earth, its families, communities and future generations from a catastrophic event.

It was co-founded in 2014  by Dr. Brian May an astrophysicist and rock legend, Danica Remy  president of B612 FoundationRusty Schweickart an astronaut and Grig Richters a German filmmaker.

Following on from this the United Nations General Assembly officially declared June 30th each year as the International Asteroid Day.

June 30 was chosen because it marks Earth’s largest asteroid impact in recorded history, the Siberia Tunguska event, which occurred on the 30 June 1908 and devastated over 2,000 km2 of forest, an area the size of any major city today.

A declaration was created called the 100X Declaration where scientist and technologist who support the idea of saving the earth from asteroids were asked to sign. But the really cool thing is that everyone has the opportunity to sign. To date the 100X Declaration has been signed by more that 22,000 private citizens.

There is heaps of information, resources, movies, videos, fun stuff plus the countdown until June 30 on the official International Asteroid Day website so check it out. And don’t forget we also have lots of information and books in the library.

 

 

 

 

Top 10 Children’s Non-Fiction Summer 2018

So favourite reads over summer? Minecraft and LEGO top the billing!

Did anyone go to see the Brickman exhibition at Te Papa? Were you inspired? If you were we have the perfect creative outlet for you Let’s Go LEGO

Karori Library: First Saturday of each month, 2:30-3:30pm
Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library: First Thursday of each month, 3:30-4:30pm
Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library: Second Thursday of each month, 3:30-4:30pm

Where you can create with others like yourselves =)

  1. Minecraft, by Stephanie Milton
  2. Minecraft, by Craig Jelley author, Ryan Marsh illustrator
  3. LEGO, by Daniel Lipkowitz
  4. Terraria, by Daniel Roy
  5. Guinness world records 2018.
  6. Harry Potter and the cursed child, by Jack Thorne, John Tiffany and J.K. Rowling
  7. The LEGO ideas book, by Daniel Lipkowitz
  8. Good night stories for rebel girls, by Elena Favilli
  9. Star Wars, by Adam Bray
  10. Star Wars, by Patricia Bray

Kaupapa Moana – Sea Week 2018

Seaweek – Kaupapa Moana 2018 is on! Saturday 3 to Sunday 11 March 2018. The theme this year is  “Toiora te Moana – Toiora te Tangata – Healthy Seas, Healthy People”. 71 percent of the world is covered with ocean! So this week is a great time to find out more about it.

We are so lucky living in a coastal city where the sea is right on out doorstep, or not too far away.  There’s heaps of things to do in Wellington for sea week . To take a look at exciting creatures under the sea head to the behind the scenes trips at Te Papa and Victoria University Coastal Ecology Lab in Island Bay.  How about on top of the water? A boat show!

Keen to investigate some of Wellington’s sea life yourself? How about some great books about our sea and shore life:

 Rock pool secrets, by Narelle Oliver.

Narelle Oliver has created some great illustrations to show you who could be hiding in the tidepools.  Fish, sea snails, shrimp, crabs and sea slugs. Some of the pages fold out to show you the creatures inside.

 

The new ocean : the fate of life in a changing sea, byBryn Barnard.

Want to know about how environmental changes are affecting sea life? Then this book has some facts and information for you, some of the information is challenging as it deals with  oil-well accidents, litter, and pollution.  Looking at different ocean dwellers: blue-green algae, coral, jellyfish, orcas, sea turtles, and tuna.

 

Shark lady : the true story of how Eugenie Clark became the ocean‘s most fearless scientist, written by Jess Keating ; illustrations by Marta Álvarez Miguéns. 

Ever wanted to train a shark? Then you have something in common with Eugenie Clark.  This ichthyologist – a fish scientist discovered sharks were not just eating machines, but could be trained.  Clark also discovered new species of fish in her underwater studies.

 

Fish Girl / by David Wiesner & Donna Jo Napoli.

This is a strory about captivity, friendship and greed.  Fish Girl is an exhibit set up on the wharf like other sideshows. But why is this aquarium set up like a house?  David Wiesner has written and illustrated some great books. A couple of them, Flotsam and Neptune rising have explored stories of the sea before.

 

 

20,000 leagues under the sea / by Jules Verne ; illustrated by Stephen Armes.

This classic underwater tale has inspired so many stories and re-tellings.  Written nearly 150 years ago the story included some amazing ideas for the time.  Not only in exploring under the sea, but also in submarine technology.  Discover the original for yourself!

 

5 New Non Fiction before school starts.

Hey kids!

Another school term is about to start. Why not come down to the library and get some reading out of the way before all the homework piles up. Check out the latest new non fiction at Wellington City Libraries where you will learn all about cooking, animals, cat care and an inspirational woman that defied all the odds and became one of the most influential women in the law profession.

Enjoy!

image courtesy of syndeticsThe Barbie cookbook.

Join Barbie in the kitchen and whip up delicious meals for you and your friends! In this book, Barbie teaches you to cook over 40 mouth-watering recipes. Each recipe is easy to make and is shown in beautiful color photographs. You’ll find recipes for scrumptious snacks, marvelous main courses and delicious desserts.

 

image courtesy of syndeticsRuth Bader Ginsburg : the case of R.B.G. vs. inequality.

An inspiring true story about a courageous Jewish woman dubbed the unsinkable Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who despite countless injustices and discrimination against Jews, females, and working mothers, went on to become Columbia Law School’s first tenured female professor, a judge for the US Court of Appeals, and finally, a Supreme Court Justice. A librarian’s choice all the way!

 

image courtesy of syndeticsWho am I? : an animal guessing game.

Check out this book which gives readers clues so they can guess which animal will be revealed in a beautiful, full-spread illustration when they turn the page. Playful nouns, adjectives, and verbs describe the characteristics and movements of each animal. Fun and learning in rolled into one!

 

image courtesy of syndeticsI want a Cat.

A unique combination of an engaging story and information about how to choose, prepare and care for a kitten or cat.

 

 

 

image courtesy of syndeticsHow to play Guitar in 10 easy seconds.

Learn how to play the guitar in 10 easy lessons. This guide covers information such as how to hold a pick, find each chord, and improvise. Also includes exclusive internet backing tracks.

 

7 New Non Fiction full of taste sensations, life hacks and travel destinations.

Hey Kids! Check out the latest new non fiction in the junior collection. Jam packed full of tasty sensations, life hacks and travel destinations.

Enjoy!

image courtesy of syndeticsLife hacks for kids.

Life hacks for kids comes in the form of this fantastic book based on the Life hacks for kids YouTube show. This book is jam packed full of unique craft projects that have been seen, including feather earrings, melted crayon art, a headband holder, and indoor s’mores, and includes questions answered by Sunny. Ideal for children’s parties and sleepovers. Love the ideas for pet treats and the cool colorful cotton swab bouquet.

image courtesy of syndetics

Big Book of How.

The Big Book of How provides answers to a diverse collection of over one thousand commonly asked questions, covering such areas as animals, buildings, transportation, food, the human body, and going green.

 

 

Planning on an overseas trip in the new year? Check out the latest editions from Lonely Planet Kids series that can assist you with your travel plans.

image coutesy of syndeticsLondon : city trails.

“Here’s a book about London that’s seriously streetwise! Let Marco and Amelia, our Lonely Planet explorers, take you off the tourist trail and guide you on a journey through London that you’ll never forget. This book is perfect for anyone who has been to London, plans to go there or is just interested in finding out more about this amazing city! Discover London’s best-kept secrets, amazing stories and loads of other cool stuff from the comfort of your own home or while visiting the city! But, you don’t have to be a visitor or armchair traveller to enjoy this– Londoners are sure to learn new things about their very own city too! Find out how an old parrot hit the headlines, where you can purchase a tin of panic or some tasty brain jam, what the weirdest item ever left on a bus was and lots more! For readers ages 8 and up.”– Amazon.com.

image courtesy of syndeticsSydney : city trails.

Features colourful themed trails, from history and culture to food and nature, that reveal amazing facts and intriguing tales that kids won’t find on the tourist routes or inside the average guidebook. We’ll show them where to find haunted pubs, ancient Aboriginal art, the best surfing beaches, and lots more! Join Lonely Planet explorers Marco and Amelia as they hunt for more secrets, stories and surprises in another of the world’s great cities.

 

image courtesy of syndeticsTokyo city trails.

It’s Tokyo like you’re never seen before! Check out all of Tokyo’s best kept secrets including where you can bathe in chocolate, climb Japan’s tallest tower and see human-looking robots and lots more!

 

 

image courtesy of syndetics
A treasury of songs.

Twenty-three original songs by children’s author and songwriter Julia Donaldson.

 

 

 

image courtesy of syndeticsMy first cookie & cake decorating book : 35 techniques and recipes for children aged 7-plus.

35 step-by-step cookie and cake decorating projects for children aged 7-plus.

 

 

 

4 New Non Fiction from the Star Wars Universe.

Hey Kids!

Check out the latest non fiction all related to anything and everything related to the Star Wars universe!

Enjoy!… and may the force be with you!

image courtesy of syndeticsThe last Jedi : the visual dictionary.

This book presents a guide to the characters, droids, aliens, and creatures of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” with details on costumes, weapons, and accessories.

 

 

 

Image courtesy of syndeticsStar Wars: Chronicles of the force.

This up-to-date companion to LEGO “Star Wars,” contains detailed information about the latest sets and minifigures and is illustrated with extensive photography. Ideal for Star Wars and Lego fans!

 

 

image courtesy of syndeticsStar Wars: Graphics.

Unravel the secrets of the Star Wars universe with this illustrated infographic book. Explore the final battles and explore the new planets. Read about the characters’ journeys and learn the hierarchy of the First Order.

 

 

image courtesy of syndeticsStar Wars, the last Jedi : incredible cross-sections.

Illustrations peel back high-tech layers to reveal the cockpits, engines, hyperdrives, and construction secrets of twelve vehicles from the Star Wars feature film, “Star Wars, Episode VIII, The Last Jedi.”

 

 

Latest Top 10 Childrens Non-Fiction

Now that the Guinness World Records 2018 is all official and on the shelves you can see which record you want to go for! There are some impressive Christmas world records.  If you were going for a record breaking number of lights for a home Christmas display you would have to top 601,736!

If your family force you to go to the beach you can take a world of interest with you! (The Star Wars books are still some of the most popular.) We’re waiting to see what will go on to the library shelves with the release of the new movie!

  1. Minecraft : Guide to exploration, by Stephanie Milton
  2. The LEGO books, by Daniel Lipkowitz
  3. First readers in Māori. various authors, published by Huia
  4. Minecraft : redstone Handbook, by Nick Farwell
  5. Harry Potter and the cursed child, by Jack Thorne, John Tiffany and J. K.  Rowling
  6. Guinness world records 2018.
  7. Star Wars: The visual encyclopedia, by Patricia Barr
  8. Star Wars character encyclopedia, by Simon Beecroft
  9. Terraria, by Daniel Roy
  10. Pokemon : Classic collectors handbook, from Scholastic

Top 10 Children’s non-fiction September 2017

Empire vs Rebel Alliance… with the next episode just around the corner Star Wars fans are gearing up for another adventure with epic space battles, heroes and villains and new worlds. People, creatures, robots, space travel and planets are such a great source of material that it’s no wonder we have books and comics in every section of the library that delve into this galactic war, and… 3 spots in this Top 10!

Online builders are finding more ways to apply their skills with Terraria.  With books offering you tips and tricks to make the most out of crafting in 2D or 3D =)

This top 10 includes real life heroes – 100 of them! Good night stories for rebel girls, features wildlife advocates, early computer programmers, sports people and an astronaut!

 

  1. Minecraft : guide to the Nether and the End, by Stephanie Milton
  2. The LEGO ideas book, by Daniel Lipkowitz
  3. Harry Potter and the cursed child, by Jack Thorne, John Tiffany and J. K. Rowling
  4. Minecraft, by Nick Farwell
  5. Terraria, by Daniel Roy
  6. Star Wars : the visual encyclopedia, by Patricia Barr, Adam Bray and Cole Horton
  7. Pokemon deluxe essential handbook, published by Gosford, N.S.W. : Scholastic Australia
  8. Good night stories for rebel girls, by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo
  9. Star Wars : The Force Awakens in pictures, by Ryder Windham
  10. Star Wars Character Encyclopedia, by Simon Beecroft and Pablo Hidalgo