Is there a Sherlock Holmes hidden in you? 6 great children’s cipher books to try today.

Do you have what it takes to go undercover and discover the secret world of espionage?

Well if you can break the following code I think you will have what it takes!

A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I    J   K   L   M   N   O   P    Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z

H   I   J    K    L   M  N   O   P  Q   R   S   T    U   V   W   X   Y   Z   A   B   C   D   E    F   G

_        _   _        _        _   _   _   _         _    _    _    _    _    _    _

P        H  T        H        J   V   K   L       I     Y    L   H    R   L   Y

If you managed to work out the code – you are awesome!!!

Did you know Samuel Morse developed a code that could be sent electronically using short dots and long dashes.

It became known as:

_   _   _   _   _                   _   _   _   _

T   V   Y   Z   L                  J   V    K   L

Lord Robert Baden-Powell the founder of the scouting movement used visual codes by sketching details of a fortress on a picture of a:

_    _    _    _    _    _    _    _    _

I    B    A    A    L    Y   M    S     F

Making codes and ciphers is great fun. Why not create your own and test them out on your family and friends.




Here’s something to do over the school holidays – get baking!

Are you looking for something fun to do over the holidays, then check out this delicious book.

Bake up surprises in cupcakes and cookies. Create custom desserts and decorate all kinds of creative confectionery to impress your family and friends.

There are forty simple and fun recipes in this book with step-by step instructions and photos. Try out the Red Velvet Cookies or the Molten Caramel Cake.

YUM – my mouth is watering!

Music Madness at Tawa Library

Tawa Library had a large number of budding musicians at their holiday activity this week.

There were strings galore, double bass, violin, banjo and then the ukuleles’ came out. A big thank you to Rich and Daryl who led the way teaching us musical cords so we were able to join in together to became part of the great Tawa Library Orchestra.

Our musicians started at 3 years of age and went all the way up to 93 years.

Check out the other cool free holidays activities at the Children’s Events webpage.

Tawamusic Tawamusic1 Tawamusic2

‘The last Wild’ Great new fiction for Children

Meet Kester Jaynes – he lives in a world where it is thought animals no longer exist but then he discovers some special animals that can actually talk and so the adventures begins.


In a world where animals no longer exist, 12-year-old Kester Jaynes sometimes feels like he hardly exists either. Locked away in a home for troubled children, he’s told there’s something wrong with him. So when he meets a flock of talking pigeons and a bossy cockroach, Kester thinks he’s finally gone a bit mad. But the animals have something to say. The pigeons fly Kester to a wild place where the last creatures in the land have survived. A wise stag needs Kester’s help, and together they must embark on a great journey, joined along the way by an over-enthusiastic wolf-cub, a spoilt show-cat, a dancing harvest mouse and a stubborn girl named Polly. The animals saved Kester Jaynes. But can Kester save the animals?



Twelve-year-old Kester thought he had discovered the last wild animals in the land. He thought his adventure was over. He was wrong. Below the sparkling city of Premium, deep underground, a dark wild remains: animals who believe the time is right to rise up against their human enemies. And soon Kester realises: he is the only one who can stop them. Kester Jaynes saved the animals. Can he save the humans too?




Kester has led the last wild creatures in the land to safety, and saved his beloved city of Premium from total destruction. Almost…. The secret that could restore the world is still out there, guarded by a mouse who is nowhere to be found. And when the last blue whale on the planet delivers a terrible warning about the future, Kester realizes time is running out fast.








Top 10 children’s eBooks for June 2015

Popular online reading still has Harry Potter cresting the wave. Any problems locating a series title on the shelves? Then try the online lending through Borrow Box or Overdrive. Check out the great tutorials on the help pages to get started through the apps on any device =)

1.  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
2.  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
3.  Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
4.  Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
5.  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
6.  Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
7.  Stink and the Incredible Super-Galactic Jawbreaker by Megan McDonald
8.  Big Nate Makes the Grade by Lincoln Peirce
9.  Big Nate Out Loud by Lincoln Peirce
10.Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling

Find out about Ramadan with these 5 children’s books

It’s Ramadan!

Have you heard of Ramadan? Ramadan is a special time for more than one billion (!) Muslim people all over the world, including those who live in New Zealand.

During Ramadan they remember the prophet Muhammed who received the first verses of the holy book the Qur’an. It lasts for 4 weeks and it is a time when people fast, they do not drink or eat from sunrise until sunset!  They break the fast with a special meal called the Iftar, then they go out and visit family and friends.

Why? Not eating anything gives Muslims time to focus on other things, such as family, kindness and helping others. But most importantly it makes them feel closer to God and their beliefs.

At the end of Ramadan the fast will be broken. This is a special celebration called Eid. Eid is an Arabic word meaning “festivity”.

We have many books about Muslims and their religion Islam. Some are fact books and some are picture and storybooks. Grab some of these and find out about this important celebrations that many people around the world are currently taking part in. Here are some you may like to read:


Nabeel’s new pants : an Eid tale Retold by Fawzia Gilani-Williams

While buying gifts for his family to wear to the mosque on Eid a shoemaker is persuaded to get new pants for himself, but the only pair available is too long and no one seems to have time to shorten them.



Islamic Culture by Charlotte Guillain

An introduction to some of the world’s most fascinating and ancient cultures. Discover different approaches to visual arts and performance and find out about important beliefs, traditions, and customs. Also covers the role of family and community and how cultures are changing and developing in the 21st century.



The garden of my Imaan by Farhana Zia

The arrival of new student Marwa, a fellow sixth-grader who is a strict Muslim, helps Aliya come to terms with her own lukewarm practice of the faith and her embarrassment over others’ reactions to their beliefs.




Golden domes and silver lanterns: a Muslim book of colours by by Hena Khan (eBook)

In simple rhyming text a young Muslim girl and her family guide the reader through the traditions and colours of Islam.



1001 inventions & awesome facts from Muslim civilization

This book traces centuries of invention and technological innovation in the Muslim world, revealing how Muslim intellectuals built elephant water clocks, drew detailed world maps, and built colossal architectural structures.

Have you visited the Ballet dancers in the Library these holidays?

RNZB Image smallWe are very lucky to have the Royal New Zealand Ballet running special dancing story times in the libraries during the July School Holidays.

You can find the times at dates at the Children’s Events Page.

Legendary dancer and performer Sir Jon Trimmer will perform ‘Tales from the Ballet’ – six great stories that have inspired generations of dancers around the world.

This is a chance to learn about ballet steps and positions – and to try them out– explore the art of mime and gesture, and hear some of the wonderful stories of the world’s greatest ballets, from an icon of New Zealand dance who has performed them all.

Come along boys and girls! These events are free and bookings aren’t required.

Want to read some ballet stories? Check out these fiction and non-fiction books.


Fun fact: Did you know that there is a warehouse in Upper Hutt that is full of ballet costumes and stage sets from RNZB performances from the last 60 years? Wow! read all about it in this article on the Dominion Post website.

Top 10 childrens DVDs for June 2015

This June features Oscar winning Big Hero 6 in the rankings. Love this movie! Baymax and Hiro Hamada adventure around San Fransokyo. But can anything budge My Little Pony from pole position? Throwing down a bit a of a challenge here! Grab some of these hot DVDs for the school holidays.

1.   My little pony, friendship is magic

2. Legends of Chima

3. Strawberry Shortcake

4. SpongeBob SquarePants

5. Dragons

6. Dino Dan

7. Shaun the sheep

8. The Garfield show

9. Big Hero 6

10. Paddington



Top 10 children’s non-fiction June 2015

Create and build. Online or IRL (in real life) children are loving blocks made of lego/bedrock/sandstone. Excellent resources to find and share at the library!

1. The LEGO ideas book by Daniel Lipkowitz

2. Minecraft hacks master builder by Megan Miller

3. Star Wars character encyclopedia by Simon Beecroft

4. Star Wars by David West Reynolds

5. The LEGO movie by Hannah Dolan

6. Lego Star Wars by Simon Beecroft

7. Maps by Aleksandra Mizielinska

8. Minecraft by Nick Farwell

9. Minecraft by Stephanie Milton

10. Lego official annual 2015