Dive Into Online Activities with Your Favourite Authors!

As we move into Level 3 of the nationwide lockdown, I was curious to know what some authors were doing with their time. I decided to do some online searching, and it was fascinating! Not only are there some very creative authors out there, but I also kept getting side-tracked by all the other groovy stuff that’s being created and shared online at this time. It reminded me of diving into a very deep swimming pool of creativity.

Maybe you could “go swimming” yourself, with a parent or caregiver on hand to keep you safe online of course!

Here’s some of the great activities and webpages I discovered, so this might be a good place to start your swim:

Dav Pilkey – author of Dogman and Captain Underpants books and so much more has created a fantastic lockdown activities page, Dav Pilkey At Home, on the Scholastic Books website. This page is chock full of videos, activities, and things to draw, read and write to keep you occupied during lockdown. While you’re checking out Dav Pilkey At Home, why not read Dav Pilkey’s books online through our eLibrary?

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Fifi Colston is not only an amazing NZ children’s author, but she’s a wonderfully creative artist as well. Check out her Fifi Colston Creative Pandemic Resources page for a huge range of really creative craft activities you can do with stuff you find at home. For example, see below for an incredibly cool project you can do with nothing but empty toilet paper rolls and a couple of other bits and bobs

Image credit: Fifi Colston – Pots of Love

Finally, don’t forget to check out local school websites as well. Wellington’s Raroa Normal Intermediate School library website has a very deep pool of at-home resources and activities to swim amongst, and it was here that I really started to swim down some side streams and waterways! They’ve aptly named their page Rāhui Resources.

Here are just a couple of pages I freestyled my way into from Rāhui Resources:

  • New Zealand Geographic magazine have put together an awesome Together at Home page with something new to explore in this beautiful country of ours for every day of lockdown.
  • And life just wouldn’t be complete without a few comics to enjoy. SJL.com (School Library Journal) have put up some free kids and teen comics for you to enjoy including the popular Cucumber Quest, Ozy and Millie and Wormworld Saga comic books.

Finally, just because… if you’ve got an iPad at home, why not try your hand at some blackout poetry:

Here’s my blackout poem using this Stuff News KEA Kids News article

Celebrating in lockdown,
Special day, cake, video chats
A happy family wish to you.
Our planet healthier
Growing native plants
In this unusual time.

Keep safe, and remember — wash your hands!

Family Lockdown Challenge: Stand Apart Together this ANZAC Day

We will be celebrating ANZAC Day differently this year. ANZAC Services are cancelled for the first time in 104 years. However there are many ways for you you can honor our fallen and returned soldiers from the safety of your doorstep. You can:

Virtual Dawn Service:image courtesy of standatdawn.com

Take part in Stand at Dawn. Stand at your letterbox, at the front door, your lounge rooms, etc, on Saturday 25th April at 6am to remember our fallen. The official dawn service starts at 6am on Saturday 25 April. It will be broadcasted on Radio NZ National. The morning service includes the Last Post, National Anthems, and an address by Hon. Ron Mark, Minister of Defence / Minister for Veterans. For more information about the virtual dawn service and other online events, please visit the Wellington City Council website.

Activities for kids:

You can make poppies at home. image courtesy of standatdawn.comYou can place them on your window, decorate your letter box and even create you own poppy garden. For more ideas, visit the Stand at Dawn Activities page

Bake ANZAC Biscuits:image courtesy of standatdawn.com

People are making the most of their time with cooking and baking since lockdown. Why not bake some yummy ANZAC biscuits with your whanau and serve them out of the oven with a nice cup of tea after the dawn service. Click here to view the recipe.

ANZAC Fact: The biscuits were sent by wives and women’s groups to soldiers abroad because the ingredients did not spoil and the biscuits kept well during naval transportation.

Watch the Ballet from your living room:

Watch the ballet, with your ANZAC biscuit and cup of tea, from confort of your own bubble… and living room. image courtesy of https://www.facebook.com/nzballet/The Royal New Zealand Ballet will be livestreaming on Facebook a special broadcast of ‘Dear Horizon’ and ‘Passchendaele’, two works that were commissioned for our Salute programme back in 2015 and performed live with the New Zealand Army Band, to commemorate the centenary of the Gallipoli landings. You can view the RNZB Facebook live event Anzac Salute here. For more information, visit the Royal New Zealand Ballet Facebook page and website.

Read up on the ANZACs and Anzac Day?

ManyAnswers has a page dedicated to websites, resources and ways to search for information about the ANZACs and ANZAC Day. You can also refer to last year’s blog post and this previous post, which  provides a list of websites that will provide you with reliable information about ANZAC Day and World War 1.
Remember stay safe in your bubble, stay at home and be kind. Kia kaha!

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?

6 New Non Fiction to read by the end of summer!

Hey kids! Check out the latest junior non fiction in the library. Books featured in this post include information about Everest and animals, books to keep you entertained, as well as help you with your maths homework and a movie guide long in the making that will give you insight to the world of the “How to train your Dragon” movie franchise.

Enjoy!

image courtesy of syndeticsEverest.

“There is a place where a mountain grows. It is the highest spot on Earth, the ultimate challenge for mountain-climbing adventurers, the towering figure of Sagarmatha, the Goddess of the Sky … Welcome to Mount Everest. In this stunning book, travel back to the mountain’s ancient origins, learn about the flora and fauna of its great flanks, and discover the rich culture and history surrounding it.”– Provided by publisher.

image courtesy of syndeticsCardboard creations : open-ended exploration with recycled materials.

Provides instructions for creating art projects using recycled materials, such as cardboard boxes and old jars and containers. Great ideas to keep you amused and entertained indoors on a rainy day.

image courtesy of syndeticsSquares, rectangles and other quadrilaterals.

A picture geometry book that introduces children to quadrilaterals, including parallelograms and trapezoids, using hands-on activities and simple explanations. — Provided by publisher.

image courtesy of sydneticsPolka dot parade : a book about Bill Cunningham.

This is a moving and impassioned picture book about the iconic fashion photographer Bill Cunningham that will inspire young readers to go discover their own ideas of beauty and embolden the world with their own creativity!

image courtesy of syndeticsWild: Endangered animals in living motion.

One of the coolest books I have ever read. Wild captures eight endangered animals in living motion. From the cover panda shown lazily munching on leaves, to an albatross swooping its magnificent wings, to a bumblebee taking a sip of water, Wild throws a spotlight on the mammals, birds, and insects that are threatened with extinction. A librarian’s choice all the way!


image courtesy of syndeticsDragons : ultimate movie guide.

Discover all about your favourite Vikings and their dragons in this ultimate guide to the How to Train Your Dragon trilogy! This definitive, official guide gives you the lowdown on all of Toothless and Hiccups adventuresfrom how they first met to their biggest battles. Find out dragon myths, Viking legends and battle stories in this bumper book of Berk.

Check out the trailer to How to train your Dragon: The Hidden World. The epic conclusion  to the How to train your dragon movie series and one of the best films to date! Absolutely love that Toothless the night fury dragon gets a girlfriend in this film. Hilarious moments include when he tries to impress and flirt with the female night fury.

 

 

 

 

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)

Focus On: Niuean Language

Hello! Fakaalofa atu!

Recently New Zealand celebrated Niuean Language Week – Vagahau Niue Weekand we have books to help you discover and explore the language, the culture and the people of Niue.

 

Give it a go! Here are some handy phrases to try:

 

Ko au he Fale Tohi.

I am at the library.

 

Ko au ne totou tohi.

I am reading a book.

 

Iloa nakai e koe ha vagahau Niue?

Do you know any Niuean langauge?

 

Nàkai.    

No.

 

Begin your language learning journey here:

Tau matatohi Faka-Niue : Niue alphabet with English translation, by Bettina Ikenasio-Thorpe. Learn the basics of the language, the alphabet, numbers and colours.

 

To find out more about the people and the place, dive into these:

The rat and the octopus, by Jill MacGregor. Pita, who lives in the village of Tuapa on the island of Niue, describes how to catch an octopus with a lure shaped like a rat. Includes some Niuean words and a glossary.

The uga hunt, by Jill MacGregor. Arfa, who lives in Niue, describes how he and his father hunt for huge coconut crabs called uga.

Show day, by Jill MacGregor. Livisia, who lives in the village of Alofi South on the island of Niue, describes how her village hosts Show Day, a day of celebrations for the whole island. Includes some Niuean words and a glossary. In picture book format.

 

Haia! Allright!

Focus On: Fijian Language

Bula! Hello!

Recently is was Macawa ni Vosa Vakaviti- Fijian Language Week. So we thought we would highlight some cool facts and books about the beautiful Fijian Language! Wellington City Libraries would love to journey with you as you learn more about the language, the culture and the people of Fiji.

Here are some handy things to say:

Au tiko ena vale ni vola.
I am at the library.

Au wili vola tiko
I am reading a book

Ko kila e dua na vosa vakaviti?
Do you know any Fijian language?

Sega
‘No.

If you would like to learn some Fijian, you could choose to borrow these books from ena vale (the library):

Fijian for kids by Jahri Jah Jah

 

Matanivola vaka viti = Fijian alphabets by T. Vunidilo

 

 

 

Would you like to find out more about Fiji – the people and the place? Try these books:

 

Go Fiji, Go! by David Riley

The inspiring story behind Fiji’s first Olympic gold medal … and the incredible joy it brought to the nation. Wananavu (awesome) for ages 7 – 10.

 

 

 

Billy’s Weekend by Jill MacGregor

Billy, who lives on the island of Ovalau in Fiji, describes some of the things he does on the weekend. Includes some Fijian words, and a glossary. Wananavu (awesome) for ages 3 – 6.

 

Vinaka vakalevu! – Thankyou very much!

 

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!

Live online homework help with AnyQuestions

Need help with those tricky school subjects? Not sure where to start on your project? Have a topic that you want to know more about? Just need a good website?

Then you need to go to AnyQuestions.co.nz

AnyQuestions offers free online schoolwork help to New Zealand school students. You can log on to the website from 1pm to 6pm weekdays during the school year and chat online with a friendly librarian about a schoolwork question.

AnyQuestions librarians are specially trained to help you find the answers you need, without giving you the answers of course! They will guide you to quality information sources and help you gain the skills to do future searches yourself.

AnyQuestions will work with any internet enabled device, such as a computer, tablet or a smartphone. AnyQuestions does look a bit different on different devices but you’re still talking to a librarian, somewhere in New Zealand.

The site is backed by the Ministry of Education and is staffed by librarians from Wellington City Libraries and other libraries around New Zealand.

For more information visit AnyQuestions.

Autumn has arrived!

March is here and Autumn has begun.  In New Zealand Autumn starts on the 1st March through until 31st May.  You might start to notice the change of seasons as the weather begins to cool after our hot Summer, and the days gradually become shorter.  The Maori term for Autumn is Ngahuru which refers to the 10th month of the Maori calendar and is traditionally the time for crop-lifting and the kūmara harvest in March.  While New Zealand’s native flora is evergreen, the leaves on our deciduous trees (ones that shed their leaves each year) turn bright yellows, oranges and reds for Autumn.

Want to learn more?  Check out our homework help page for useful databases and resources to help with topics like this.  AnyQuestions and Encyclopedia Britannica will be particularly helpful.  (Encyclopedia Britannica is available at MyGateway).

Here’s some seasonal books to enjoy.  Happy Autumn!

Image courtesy of Syndetics Image courtesy of Syndetics Image courtesy of Syndetics Image courtesy of Syndetics