8 New (and not so new) Non Fiction on Lego mania, innovative gaming and science trends!

Has the back to school blues finally sunk in? Have no fear, there’s more and exciting new non fiction in stock at your local library.

Featured in this blog post are books on the latest and innovative trends in the world of gaming, science and technology, not to mention an old favourite Pokémon, which has been reinvented, evolved and rebranded as Pokémon GO! Not to mention, Lego mania has been unleashed in the library once again with some new and not so new books on the original Lego Movie and the upcoming release of The Lego Batman Movie!  I for one am excited about The Lego Batman movie because this is where the world of Lego, DC comics, innovation, play and imagination comes together and opens you up to a world of endless possibilities, creativity and entertainment.

As I mentioned in a previous blog post, Lego Bricks has been applauded by teachers and parents as one of the best toys for learning, building creativity, and strengthening fine-motor skills, not to mention Lego Bricks are an open-ended toy, meaning they can become just about anything a child or adult imagines, including an educational tool. See more about this on  Inner Child Learning,

But enough about Lego, the 8 non fiction books featured in this post will keep you amused and entertained for hours and also will keep you informed and up to date with the latest trends and technological developments in the modern world.

Enjoy!

image courtesy of syndetics The Lego Batman movie : the essential guide.

To celebrate the upcoming release of The Lego Batman Movie, the spin off of The Lego Movie, which will released in NZ cinemas on the 6th of April just in time for the school holidays, the library has in stock for your viewing and reading pleasure, The Batman movie : the essential guide. This book will enable you to go behind the scenes and discover everything there is to know about The LEGO Batman Movie with this ultimate guide. Featuring the latest LEGO Batman set and mini-figures.

image courtesy of syndeticsWhile you’re at it, why not check out The LEGO movie : the essential guide. This guide will tell you need to know about the original LEGO Movie, including character profiles and location spreads from the upcoming movie.

image courtesy of syndeticsThe Lego Movie Handbook.

Seen the movie? (I haven’t – Naughty me!) Now is the time to read the movie handbook. Join Brickburg, Wyldstyle, Unikitty, Batman and the rest of the gang in reading this book where you will learn everything you need to know about the Lego Movie, including Stories from Bricksburg’s happiest residents, a special message from President Business and a never before seen episode of Where Are My Pants. Overall I enjoyed this book. It was very funny, humorous, gave me the opportunity to revisit and embrace my inner child and has inspired to go and see the movie.  Also check out the move trailer.

As a special treat, why not check out the latest The Lego Batman Movie trailer here.

image courtesy of syndeticsGaming Live!

Want to watch the BEST gamers in the world but don’t know where to start? This guide enables you to watch the pros in action as they teach you how to dominate your favourite games! A must have resource for the avid gamer!

image courtesy of syndeticsPokémon Go!

The world of Pokémon and mobile games collides with Pokémon GO! The Ultimate Unauthorized Guide. This book is a must-read companion to the hit mobile game that has taken the world by storm.  This guide includes everything you need to know about Lures, PokéBalls, Eggsand much more.

image courtesy of syndeticsThis Book Thinks You’re a scientist!

The title does justice to the information contained within this book.  Read this book and learn all the tricks of the trade of what is essential to becoming a scientist, which includes look, ask questions, wonder and test your ideas. You’ll also do things scientists don’t necessarily do: eat your experiments, levitate paper clips and play a drinking straw like an oboe. There are even portable laboratory pages for you to experiment on, so that by the end, you’ll know how to invent your own fun ways of finding out about the world. Overall, this book is a must have read for the avid scientist enthusiast! 

image courtesy of syndeticsMistakes that worked: The World’s familiar inventions and how they came to be.

Do you know how many things in your daily life were invented by accident? SANDWICHES came about when an English earl was too busy gambling to eat his meal and needed to keep one hand free. POTATO CHIPS were first cooked by a chef who was furious when a customer complained that his fried potatoes weren’t thin enough. Coca-Cola, Silly Putty, and X rays have fascinating stories behind them too! Their unusual tales, and many more, along with hilarious cartoons and weird, amazing facts, make up this fun-filled book about everyday items that had surprisingly haphazard beginnings.

image cpurtesy of syndeticsHow Super Cool Stuff Works.

Discover the mind-blowing high-tech inventions of the future in How Super Cool Stuff Works. Contained in this book are incredible images that reveal the secret to inner workings of everything from drones and supercomputers to underwater hotels and flying cars. In short, this book features a futuristic world I don’t think anyone saw coming.

 

Seaweek 2017: Healthy seas, healthy people

We are already in the middle of February, and that means Seaweek 2017 is fast approaching! Seaweek will begin on Saturday 25 February, and run through until Sunday 5 March. Started in 1992 by The New Zealand Association for Environment Education, Seaweek is held in late February each year.

 

The purpose behind Seaweek is to grow an understanding of the importance of looking after our precious oceans, and to encourage people to get involved in local activities and initiatives. Protecting the sea is especially important in New Zealand, as we are totally surrounded by ocean and the fishing industry contributes greatly to our economy. Not to mention that lots of Kiwis enjoy fishing for sport and fun, as well as swimming during summertime. When we treat our oceans with care and respect, we also ensure that Kiwis in generations to come have the same opportunities that we do (this is called sustainability).

 

Seaweek is funded entirely through sponsorship and charitable donations. If you would like to lend a helping hand this Seaweek, there are lots of events happening around New Zealand that you can get involved in. Visit the Wellington region events page to find out more. You can also head on over to the catalogue to learn more about sea life and how to protect it.

 

So come on guys, let’s work together to keep our oceans safe and beautiful!

Image courtesy Oren Rozen – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=44095424

 

Beauty and the Beast – US Official Final Trailer.

The final trailer for the 2017 live action movie, Beauty and the Beast has been released and this trailer definitely illustrates the potential for this film to be one of the greatest and highly anticipated films for 2017. The characters and CGI effects are fantastic! Emma Watson owns the role of Belle and as for the beast, well he is monstrous on the outside, but a real softie underneath, not to mention has a very dry sense of humour.  So save the date, March 17, where you will get to rediscover one of the classic fairy tales as old as time in your local cinema. Enjoy!

Chinese New Year: The Year of the Rooster

It’s that time of the year again with the Chinese New Year festivities beginning on Saturday 28 January and running through to Wednesday 15 February. This year is the year of the Red Fire Rooster, which represents inner warmth and insight, as well as family ties. Find your year of birth here to discover which of the 12 Zodiac animals you are!

 

 

The Chinese New Year, sometimes called the Spring Festival, has been celebrated for hundreds of years and is considered the most important event on the Chinese calendar. It is also celebrated by many of China’s neighbouring countries, such as Thailand, Singapore, Cambodia and the Philippines.

 

 

People in China and other countries celebrate this important occasion in all sorts of different ways. However, a couple of very popular traditions include a reunion dinner with family on the eve of the Chinese New Year, and many families do a thorough clean of their homes in order to sweep away bad things and make room for good fortune in the year ahead. Fireworks are also a common way to celebrate the Chinese New Year.

 

 

In Wellington, we celebrate the Chinese New Year with a festival day which is free to attend. Sample some special Chinese food, take part in the kids activities, or watch the parade as it proceeds from Courtenay Place to Frank Kitts Park. There might even be some fireworks in the harbour! Check out all the details for the Wellington festival day here.

 

 

Check out our wide collection of Chinese New Year books on the catalogue, and get involved this Chinese New Year!

Top 10 Children’s non-fiction January 2017

Ocean dwelling creatures and literature make the grade this month.  The clever people at Te Papa can take you on a virtual journey to the deepest depths, the Abyssopelagic zone, this is even deeper than where they believe the colossal squid had it’s hunting grounds.
Anyone braved the sea out there this summer? Let us know in the comments if you found any cool sea creatures in your ocean exploring =)

  1. Minecraft annual 2017, by Stephanie Milton
  2. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, by Jack Thorne, John Tiffany and J. K. Rowling
  3. Minecraft : Redstone Handbook, by Nick Farwell
  4. Supershark and other creatures of the deep, by Derek Harvey
  5. The LEGO ideas book, by Daniel Lipkowitz
  6. Small scenes from a big galaxy, by Vesa Lehtimäki
  7. Minecraft hacks master builder, by Megan Miller
  8. Pokémon gotta catch ’em all, published by Scholastic
  9. Minecraft, by Matthew Needler and Phil Southam
  10. Picturepedia, edited by Ann Baggaley

Become an inventor!

If you could design and make something, what would it be? Something so amazing and fantastic that your friends are going to be sooooo jealous.

What about a robot that cleans your room or hover shoes that you could zoom around on. Maybe  a small pill that has all your vegetables hidden inside (even broccoli) and when you swallow it, it tastes like chocolate or strawberries and cream.

This website has some  great inventions that kids have designed and they have been turned into real products.  I really like the scooter.

So get your thinking caps on and start creating. You might like to check out some of these great books to get you started.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boredom Busters!

Want to confuse and astound your family these holidays? Learn some cool magic tricks, such as the vanishing coin, or balancing a ball on a piece of string! Practise with the step-by-step instructions in these books and see who you can fool. You can find great magic trick books on the shelf under 793.8.

Why not check out our newest book? Magic tricks with coins, cards and everyday objects by Jake Banfield

 

 

 

 

Want to listen to music or an audio book on your smartphone or tablet? Find out how to make your very own speakers for them! Feeling competitive? Build a balloon-rocket car or a soap-powered boat, then challenge your friends to a race and see whose creation is fastest! Check out these great inventions and more in Home Lab: exciting experiments for budding scientists by Robert Winston

 

 

Want to create your very own animated video clip masterpiece? Find out how easy it is to do this by checking out Creating Digital animations: Animate stories with Scratch by Derek Breen. Follow the simple steps and projects using Scratch (free online software). Build a character, create a world and animate your story!

 

 

Want the ultimate challenge these holidays? Work your way through mind-bending  puzzles, riddles and brainteasers in The Mysterious Benedict Society : Mr. Benedict’s book of perplexing puzzles, elusive enigmas, and curious conundrums by Trenton Lee Stewart, based on his Mysterious Benedict Society Books. Check out the Helpful resources on page 130, and the hints on page 140 if you get stuck. Want a good puzzle to start with? Try finding Milligan hiding in a crowd on page 67!

 

And finally…become a master at the dark art of shadow-puppets. Create over a hundred animals from unicorns and crocodiles to dogs and owls, from one-handed to two, easy to challenging. Make your next sleepover story extra creepy with these shapes! Check out The art of making shadows by Sophie Collins.

 

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside!

Yay – Summer is here and there is nothing better than going to the beach. Swimming in the surf, picking up driftwood, finding pretty shells and looking in rock pools.

We are so lucky in New Zealand because nine out of ten New Zealanders live within 40 km of the coast.  We have a very long coastline. When you put our three main islands together there is over 18,000 km of coast in total length. If you decided to walk along our coast it would take you about 6 months and that’s if you could keep walking day and night non-stop!  I don’t think I will try that!

Have you thought about becoming a seaside scientist? Why not study some rock pools. You might find some sea anemones or maybe a starfish.  Perhaps you might like to hunt for crabs.  Watch out that they don’t bite your toes though. Or maybe you like to look at all the different types of seaweed that may have washed ashore.

Whatever you like doing there is always plenty to see and do at the beach.

And don’t forget to build your sandcastle or create your own artwork in the sand. Draw a face and then use shells, pebbles and seaweed to decorate it.

Have fun!

 

 

 

 

Discover your green thumb and get into gardening this summer!

Gardening is a fun activity to get involved in during the summer months, and one that many people all around the world find very fulfilling.

Gardening is also really good for you in all sorts of ways. Firstly, gardening outside is a great way to get out in the sun and soak up some vitamin D, just don’t forget to be sun smart and chuck on a sunhat and sunscreen before you head outside.

Gardening is  good exercise and an enjoyable way to keep busy and stay active in the summer months. It is also a fun introduction to science and enables us to learn about the natural world around us using all of our senses (sight, smell, taste, touch, sound).

But best of all, gardening makes you happy! In fact, scientific experiments have shown that when you connect with soil, your brain releases a feel-good chemical called serotonin that actually helps to improve your mood. How cool is that!?

Gardening is also a very rewarding activity, as you get to watch all of your hard work grow and flourish (and it might even end up on the dinner table).

Gardening can be a peaceful activity to do on your own, but you can have fun gardening with a friend or family member, or even in a group. You might know someone that likes gardening, perhaps your Grandparent or a neighbour, that you could help out their garden.

If you have limited outdoor space at your house, try starting small using a planter box, an old car tyre, or plant straight into a bag of compost.

The libraries have HEAPS of awesome books on gardening to inspire you and help you get started. Check out the catalogue to find out what’s available in your local branch library and don’t forget children can place reserves for free using your library card all summer long!

Library closures over Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone!

We hope you have had a great year, and are looking forward to the Christmas and New Year holidays.

Us librarians like to take a bit of a holiday over this time too, which means the libraries and open and closed at different times than usual.

You can check out our library opening hours on our website.

Our storytimes session take a break too. You can find out the dates for your local library at the Children’s What’s On web page.

 

But never fear! even though the libraries may be closed, there is still lots to do…