Maths, reading and spelling games

Have you tried ZooWhiz?

It’s a fun new game on our website that helps you learn maths, reading and spelling, while building your own zoo at the same time! Complete fun activities and earn ‘coins’ that you can spend on your online zoo.

There are a range of different activities to suit different skill and age levels. You can choose a zookeeper avatar, the types of activities you want to do, and start earning coins to build your zoo. Sounds like fun!

All you need is your library card number to get started on ZooWhiz today! What are you waiting for?!

A cool way to learn about other countries…

Have you tried Oddizzi yet?

Oddizzi site is a fun, interactive way to learn about countries. It includes weather, climate, rainforests, volcanoes, earthquakes, oceans, food and farming, animals, transport, jobs, schools, festivals, religion, and more.

Need to find out about a country or have a topic about the natural world to research? Start here!

You’ll need a username and a password to enter the site. You can use these ones:

Username: Wellington

Password: oddizzi

Back to school!

The school holidays are over and it’s time to go back to school! We hope you had a great two week break.

Your teacher is bound to start giving you projects and homework to do – and we’re here to help!

Have you heard about AnyQuestions.co.nz? It’s a live online homework help service where you can chat live to a New Zealand Librarian who will help you find the information you need online. It’s a free service and open Monday to Friday 1pm – 6pm. the service is available in English and te Reo.

If you need help outside those times you can go to ManyAnswers.co.nz. This is the sister website for AnyQuestions.co.nz and has information about where to find information online for thousands of homework topics.

Of course you can always visit your local Wellington City Library after school and ask the librarians for help finding information -they’re always happy to help!

Give it a go!

Commonwealth Games

Looking for information about the games? Look no further! Here are all the links you need:


The 2014 Commonwealth Games:

Check out the official website for everything you need to know about the games. You can find out about the different sports, the countries competing, the athletes involved, the schedule of events, and the medal counts (including the athletes that have won them). You can even find out about the records set for the different sports played.

 

Past Commonwealth Games:

The Commonwealth Games have been happening every 4 years since 1930. You can find all the dates and locations at the official Commonwealth Games Federation website. Can you see how many times New Zealand has hosted the games? Click on each of the games to find out about the results of the games and the records set. You can also find out about the history of the Commonwealth Games, where it will be held next (Gold Coast 2018),

 

Glasgow and Scotland:

Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and is the city hosting the Commonwealth Games. Wikipedia have an article on Glasgow (including one in simple English). The Glasgow official tourism site has lots of cool info about what to see and do in Glasgow. Did you know that there are many tunnels under Glasgow? You can find out more about the city’s history at Historic Glasgow. Make sure you check out some useful facts and figures about Glasgow. too.

For information about Scotland you can visit the Wikipedia page, The Scotland National Tourism page, and find out about the history of the country at Historic Scotland. For straightforward facts and figures, check out the page for the United Kingdom at the CIA World Factbook site.

 

The New Zealand Team:

Find out the latest news about the kiwi team in Glasgow at the kiwi athletes homepage. On this site you’ll find the complete list of athletes, the schedule for when they will be competing,  and the team’s results. You can also find out about some of the athletes in the NZ Glasgow team over at High Performance.

 

The Commonwealth:

The Commonwealth of Nations are a group of countries that were mostly part of the British Empire.  Queen Elizabeth II is the head of the CommonWealth. You can find out about the Commonwealth at Wikipedia (Simple English article available too), find out about what sort of things are achieved through the Commonwealth at the official site, and you can even see how the Queen and Royal Family interact with the Commonwealth nations at the Royal Family’s website.

Junior Non Fiction: World Folk Tales for Race Relations Day 2014.

Race Relations Day marks the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, which is celebrated around the world every year on the 21st March. Wellington City Libraries has an amazing collection of Junior folk tales around the world. Folk Tales, according to the Free Dictionary is defined as “a tale or legend originating among a people and typically becoming part of an oral tradition.”

Check out folk tales like:

The Bachelor and The Bean.

A Jewish/Moroccan Folk Tale about a grumpy old bachelor whose life changes forever as the result of losing a bean.

 

 

 

 

Mannekin Pis : a simple story of a boy who peed on a war.

Discover the story behind the bronze statue of the peeing boy in Brussels, Belgium.

 

 

 

 

The Seven Chinese Sisters.

Based on the original Chinese folk tale, six older sisters must join together to save the younger (seventh) sister from a hungry dragon.

 

 

 

Martina, the beautiful cockroach : a Cuban folktale.

In this humorous retelling of a Cuban folktale, a cockroach interviews her suitors in order to decide whom to marry.

 

 

 

 

Some of the latest editions of world folk tales that have been added to junior non fiction collection include:

 

The Barefoot Book of Jewish tales.

This is a fantastic addition to the library’s collection. This collection includes eight delightful tales from the Jewish tradition. Each story has been chosen for its appeal to families and each has a simple yet powerful, message.  Written by Rabbi Shoshana Boyd Gelfand, herself a mother of three, this is a fantastic set of stories to share and to treasure. Includes two story CDs narrated by Debra Messing. Great for ages 7 years and over.

 

 

Breaking the spell : Stories of magic and mystery from Scotland.

Ready for excitement and adventure? Ready to meet witches, kelpies, fairies, selkies, brave warriors and courageous girls?

Forget the traditional  fairy tales and Greek mythology! Celtic Folk Tales are in!

This book is a wonderful treasure that holds a collection of ten magical and funny stories from Scotland, complete with fantastic illustrations that tells stories about an underwater monster that can turn itself into a white horse, a girl whose mother is half seal, half human and a boy who is turned into a fairy but saved by a brave heroine that will leave you spellbound!

Also check out An Illustrated Treasury of Scottish Folk and Fairy Tales and Spellbound: Tales of Enchantment from Ancient Ireland if you are in the mood for some more Celtic Folk Tales.
  

Maya and the Turtle.

This Korean folk tale tells the story of Maya. She and her father are poor, but live a comfortable life. Her mother is dead, but foresaw Maya’s destiny of becoming a princess. One day Maya finds a little turtle. She takes him home, raising, caring for him and never knowing that he will play a part in her destiny. Beautifully illustrated and filled with fascinating nuggets of information about Korean culture, this book offers a poignant tale of the rewards of kindness, patience, courage, a loving heart and a lesson in how true glory, even if foretold must be earned.

 

Also check out some books on world cultures like MaasaiBushmen of Southern AfricaPolynesians and Maori. Great resources to use  if you are doing an assignment or homework on exploring issues and oppression within different cultures. Each book unveils the traditions, myths and social activities of each culture. Also includes bibliographical references and index. Great for ages 4 to 12 years.

 


  
  
  


New Non Fiction: This Means War.

Angry Birds Star Wars Character Encyclopedia.

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…a group of desperate rebel birds faced off against the galactic menace: the Empire’s Evil Pigtroopers! Yep, the Angry Birds are back and now you can join them on an epic adventure in the legendary Star Wars Universe by reading this new character encyclopedia. Learn about cool characters like Red Skywalker, Peckme Amidla, Lard Vader and get the full low down on those dastardly pigs and very angry birds! Overall a great book to read if you are a fan of Angry Birds.

You might also like The World of Angry Birds Official Guide and Angry Birds Playground Animals.

 

 

 

Tony Robinson’s Weird World of Wonders: World War I.

In the mood for more weird worlds of wonders? Rest assured, you can always count on Tony Robinson to deliver. Read his latest book on World War I and find out all the action-packed facts like how to build a trench, what dogs were good messengers, how plastic surgery was invented and why you needed a gas mask.  As always, Tony Robinson takes you on a headlong gallop through time, pointing out all the most important, funny, strange, amazing, entertaining, smelly and disgusting bits.  This is the book that makes World War I history fun to read about.

 

 

 

 

The Story of the First World War.

Need information on World War I for a homework project? Check out The Story of the First World War by Paul Dowswell. Contains eye-witness accounts of some of World War One’s most important events, including how the war started, the strange Christmas truce of 1914, the epic naval battle of Jutland Stories and when the war ended in 1918. This book also comes complete with maps and line drawings and there are notes on sources and ideas for further reading. Gripping and engaging for readers who prefer real life to fiction.

AnyQuestions – live online homework help

Need help with those pesky school work questions? AnyQuestions is here to help!

It’s a website designed to help NZ school students learn how to find information online. You get to chat live with a friendly librarian who will help you find the answer or information you need and will teach you some cool online searching tips and tricks along the way. It’s free, fun, friendly and helpful.

AnyQuestions is open Monday to Friday 1pm – 6pm. If you need help outside those times you can visit their sister website – ManyAnswers, which has info and good website links about many of the most popular subjects and topics you get in school.

New non fiction : a miscellaneous collection

Definition of miscellaneous, from the Merriam-Webster dictionaryadjective, consisting of many things of different sorts.

500 fantastic facts

This book is definitely a miscellany (that’s a collection of various facts). It doesn’t go into much detail about each fact, but what it lacks in depth it makes up in the sheer number of topics covered.  It starts out with the big picture: the solar system is the first thing to be covered. And then it gets smaller and smaller, ending up with ‘miscellaneous’ facts.  It’s a quick and fun read and a great way to learn information for quizzes! You might also find that you get interested in a particular fact, and want to do some more research…

Do you know Dewey? Exploring the Dewey Decimal System

If you’ve ever looked at our non-fiction collection (which I hope you have!) You’ll have noticed that all the books have a number on their spines. This is because all the books are grouped together by subject, so everything is much easier to find! Melvil  Dewey invented the system in 1876, and it revolutionised the way libraries are organised.  This is great book for younger readers explaining what the different numbers mean and how to use the system to find the book you want.

 

 

 

 

You can fill a swimming pool with your spit! : the fact or fiction behind human bodies 

Rather than just a collection of “gross out” facts, this book takes a hard look at all the urban legends and old wives’ tales about the human body.  In fact, after reading this, you might be able to disprove stuff you’ve found out in other books! Of course, the book can get pretty gross, so don’t read it if you have a sensitive stomach, but it’s really interesting book and well worth a read. If only to work out whether eating your crusts makes your hair grow curly.  (Spoiler: it doesn’t.)

 

 

 

 

Let’s Get Art: children look at contemporary New Zealand Art

If you’ve ever been to an art gallery, you might have been surprised that not all the art consisted of paintings or statues. Some of it might look strange or not like ‘real’ art at all. This book looks at the different kinds of “contemporary” art (art that’s made by living artists) and tries to work out what these weird and wonderful pieces are all about.  It’s a good book  that will show you the different sorts of art that New Zealand artists are making today and will perhaps make you think about what the artworks might mean. It’s also a cool looking book; it’s a mixture of painting illustrations and photographs, so the book’s almost a work of art in itself.

 

 

 

Explore! The most dangerous journeys of all time

The price of glory is often danger; this is what this book will teach you. This is especially true if you were an explorer in the days before modern equipment. Marco Polo,  Roald Amundsen, and Yuri Gagarin are just some of the big names you’ll learn about. Of course, it wasn’t always men who were willing to risk their lives to make great discoveries; Mary Kingsley and Gertrude Bell also undertook dangerous voyages.  This book also has survival tips, although whether you’ll want to venture out into the jungle or to Antarctica after reading this book is entirely up to you!

A closer look at history: New non fiction

Usborne encyclopedia of ancient Egypt

Many books about ancient Egypt focus on Mummies and pyramids, which is a pity because, obviously, the history of an empire that lasted from  1096BCE to 30BCE is much richer than that.  This book encompasses over 1000 years of history, not only focusing on the great Pharaohs, but what everyday life was like for the poorer members of Egyptian society.  There are sections on everything from the Egyptian army to medicine to beauty care.  There are plenty of links to useful websites, as well as a few timelines; one lists the pharaohs in chronological order, the other gives a chronological look at Egyptology and how its changed over the centuries.  This is certainly one of the most through books on ancient Egypt we have in our collection, and a great book for school projects.

 

Stephen Biesty’s Cross-Sections: Castle

This book is a classic and for good reason. As a close look at castle life during the medieval period it’s yet to be bettered. The cross sections of the various parts of the castle are intricately detailed, with explanations of what’s happening in different parts of the drawing. They’re also quite funny; try to spot the sneaky spy and the castle inhabitants getting up to all sorts of things, many of them not exactly appropriate to the situation!  The book manages to be both very informative and extremely fun. As well as the cross sections there are plenty of things like the feudal system, clothing and warfare.  This is THE book to read if you’re at all interested in Medieval castles.

 

 

Deadly days in History

Terry Deary has been writing the Horrible History books for twenty years, and to his credit, they’re still as interesting and funny as they’ve ever been. Rather than focusing on one specific country, this is a look at the days in world history that have been particularly bloody.  True to his established pattern, he doesn’t just stick to Western History; he also looks at the Sepoy and Boxer rebellions, as well as the Battle of Isandlwana.  He also isn’t biased towards any particular group; everyone involved has their savagery discussed.  It’s a great book, even by Terry Deary’s high standards, and well worth reading if you like your history both balanced and gory.

 

 

 

Bones never lie: How Forensic science helps solve history’s mysteries

One of the strangest parts of learning about history is how evolving scientific techniques of the present help us better understand the mysteries of the past. Forensic science is used to solve modern day murders, but it also has its uses in working out just what happened. For example, did Napoleon die of natural causes or was he murdered? Did the Grand Duchess Anastasia survive the massacre of her family by Communists? This book works hard to debunk various theories and explains the science behind each of the conclusions.  But it also takes the time to look at each of the other theories in turn, and treats each one with equal weight.

 

 

Need information fast?

AnyQuestions is a great website set up to help New Zealand School Students find the information they need for whatever they need it for.

It’s free, safe and reliable.

Here’s how it works: jump on the website, type in your name and your question or information need, then a NZ librarian will chat to you live and help you find a helpful website. Afterwards you chat will be emailed to you so you will have all the directions and websites in your inbox.

AnyQuestions is open Monday to Friday 1pm – 6pm. If you need help outside those days/times you can visit AnyQuestions‘ sister website ManyAnswers.

ManyAnswers is where lots of websites and information is kept about heaps of topics. Use the search box or word cloud to find your topic.