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…

Children’s Christmas Fun

Santa PhotographSchool is almost finished and Christmas is just about here.  Its time to think of all that Christmas stuff you need to do before the man in the big red suit arrives.

First of all,  have you sent your Christmas letter to Santa? I’m sure you have plenty of things on your wish list.

Next you have to think about what gifts you can make for your family and friends.

Don’t forget that you can do some Christmas baking. Everyone loves baking! I think the Not-so Frosty the Snowman would be a big hit!

After that you could spend some time playing fun Christmas games.

And last but not least make sure you come along to The 12 Storytimes of Christmas at your local library.

Ho, ho, ho! Merry Christmas everyone!

 

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