2015 NZ children’s book award finalists announced

Pirates, orcas and penguins leap from the pages of the 22 books picked as finalists in the 2015 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults.

2015 is the 25th year of the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults, and the judges have just announced a great line up of finalists. These are the best books written by New Zealanders in the last year, so best you go and grab them off the library shelves.

Do you want to help choose the winners in the NZ Children’s Book Awards? Be part of the Children’s Choice voting and have your chance to vote for the NZ books you think are the best.

Picture Books:

Construction by Sally Sutton and Brian Lovelock

I Am Not a Worm by Scott Tulloch

Jim’s Letters by Glyn Harper and Jenny Cooper

Keys by Sacha Cotter and Joshua Morgan

Little Red Riding Hood . . . Not Quite by Yvonne Morrison and Donovan Bixley



Ghoulish Get-Ups: How to Create Your Own Freaky Costumes by Fifi Colston

Māori Art for Kids by Julie Noanoa and Norm Heke

Mōtītī Blue and the Oil Spill by Debbie McCauley

The Book of Hat by Harriet Rowland

Under the Ocean: explore & discover New Zealand’s sea life by Gillian Candler and Ned Barraud


Junior Fiction:

Conrad Cooper’s Last Stand by Leonie Agnew

Dragon Knight: Fire! by Kyle Mewburn and Donovan Bixley

Monkey Boy by Donovan Bixley

The Island of Lost Horses by Stacy Gregg

The Pirates and the Nightmaker by James Norcliffe


Young Adult Fiction:

I Am Rebecca by Fleur Beale

Night Vision by Ella West

Recon Team Angel: Vengeance by Brian Falkner

Singing Home the Whale by  Mandy Hager

While We Run by Karen Healey


Māori Language Award:

Hoiho Paku by Stephanie Thatcher

Ngā Ki by Sacha Cotter and Joshua Morgan (Translated by Kawata Teepa)



Did you know that Prince George will receive a copy of each of the winning books? He’s going to have an amazing collection of great NZ books!

The winners will be announced on the evening of Thursday, 13 August at Government House in Wellington.


New eBooks for children

Winter weather has you stuck inside? Can’t get to the library? Here’s the newest eBook fiction added to our collection:

1. 11 Birthdays: Willow Falls Series, Book 1 by Wendy Mass (also an eAudiobook)

2. 13 Gifts: Willow Falls Series, Book 3 by Wendy Mass (also an eAudiobook)

3. Beauty and the Beast: Twice Upon a Time Series, Book 3 by Wendy Mass

4.  Connect the Stars by Marisa de los Santos

5. Finally: Willow Falls Series, Book 2 by Wendy Mass (also an eAudiobook)

6. Graceful: Willow Falls Series, Book 5 by Wendy Mass

7. Nanny Piggins and the Accidental Blast-Off 4 by R. A. Spratt

8. Nanny Piggins and the Pursuit of Justice 6 by R. A. Spratt

9. Nanny Piggins and the Rival Ringmaster 5 by R. A. Spratt

10. Nanny Piggins and the Runaway Lion 3 by R. A. Spratt

11. Nanny Piggins and the Wicked Plan 2  by R. A. Spratt

12. Pip Bartlett’s Guide to Magical Creatures: Pip Bartlett Series, Book 1 by Maggie Stiefvater (also an eAudiobook)

13. Planet Kindergarten by Sue Ganz-Schmitt (eBook with Narration)

14. Rapunzel, the One With All the Hair: Twice Upon a Time Series, Book 1 by Wendy Mass

15. Sisters: Smile Series, Book 2 by Raina Telgemeier (Comic)

16. Sleeping Beauty, the One Who Took the Really Long Nap: Twice Upon a Time Series, Book 2 by Wendy Mass

17. The Last Present: Willow Falls Series, Book 4 by Wendy Mass (also an eAudiobook)

18. The Whispering Trees: The Thickety Series, Book 2 by J. A. White (also an eAudiobook)

19. You Can’t Sit With Us: Mean Girl Makeover Trilogy, Book 2 by Nancy N. Rue

Winners Announced! Did your favourite win?

At a lavish ceremony on the evening of 15th June, the winners of the LIANZA Children’s Book Awards were announced. The winners are the best books, according to Librarians, that have written and illustrated by New Zealanders in the last year.

(LIANZA – Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa)

Here are the winners:

Russell Clarke Award for Illustration:

Mrs Mo’s Monster by Paul Beavis (See Paul Beavis in the library during the School Holidays!)


Elsie Locke Award for Non-fiction:

Maori Art for Kids by Julie Noanoa and Norm Heke



Esther Glen Award for Junior Fiction:

Conrad Cooper’s Last Stand by Leonie Agnew



Young Adult Fiction Prize:

Night Vision by Ella West



Librarians’ Choice:

I am Rebecca by Fleur Beale



Te Kura Ponamu for best te Reo book:

Kimihia by Te Mihinga Komene and Scott Pearson

Overdrive’s free children’s and teens eBooks for June and July

OverDrive’s ‘Youth Read’ means free eBooks for everyone during June and July!

Here’s a chance for you to read an eBook with your friends at the same time through our kids eBook page! OverDrive, our main eBook website have provided Wellington library users with access to the great kids fiction title ‘Red berries, white clouds, blue sky.’

It’s the tale of 12 year old Japanese American girl, Tomi Itano, during World War Two after the bombing of Pearl Harbour. It’s an award winning book and should be a fantastic read. If you want to give the first few pages a read, click on the eBook cover below.


If you’re new to our eBook services, try our Wellington City Libraries for kids page for kids and teen only content – it’s a page we’ve made just for you!

If it’s your first time using OverDrive and the eBooks try this Getting started article for ways to use our digital library.

Great trick for multiplication

Don’t like multiplication or stuck on a sum? Here’s a great trick to learn so you’ll never be confused again! Apparently it’s taught in Japanese schools and is best for very large maths questions like 13 x 23 = ?

Watch this clip to find out how to do it, then go and impress all your teachers and friends.


If you’re bit of a maths whiz or like figuring our tricks with numbers, then you might like to check out these cool books.

Top 10 Children’s fiction for May 2015

Orange covers rule the current favourite fiction reads. Ever go on a read-by-colour cover binge? Let us know the best selection for your favourite hue

1.    Diary of a wimpy kid by Jeff Kinney

2.    Tom Gates by Liz Pichon

3 .   Dirty Bertie by Alan MacDonald

4.    Where’s Wally?  by Martin Handford

5.    Big Nate by Lincoln Peirce

6.    Ruby Redfort by Lauren Child

7.    The 39-storey treehouse by Andy Griffiths

8.    Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren

9.    The 26-storey treehouse by Andy Griffiths

10.  Awful Auntie by David Walliams

Top 10 children’s movies for May 2015

Which movie leads this month? Looking for something to watch on cold and week weekends or evenings? The My Little Pony fellowship is holding strong with a new adventure on the shelves. Also the new Paddington movie is strong in the ranks.  This film has excellent special effects and an endearing cast.

1.   My little pony, friendship is magic.
2.   Legends of Chima.
3.   Dragons
4.   Dino Dan.
5.   Strawberry Shortcake.
6.   SpongeBob SquarePants.
7.   Shaun the sheep.
8.   The BoxTrolls.
9.   Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.
10. Paddington.

Top 10 children’s non-fiction for May

There’s a varied set of popular facts whisking out the library door for autumn time reading. World War One fascination has continued from the ANZAC centenary with some great books.  Philippa Werry, a NZ Post book awards Children’s finalist has created a great store of facts and stories surrounding ANZAC day in her book and her blog.  Star wars and minecraft still have a special place in the Top 10 – of course they do

1.  Minecraft, by Stephanie Milton

2.  Star Wars, by David West Reynolds

3.  Minecraft hacks master builder, by Megan Miller

4.  The LEGO ideas book, by Daniel Lipkowitz

5.   Star Wars character encyclopedia, by Simon Beecroft

6.  Minecraft,  by Nick Farwell

7.  Anzac Day, by Philippa Werry

8.  World War I, by Simon Adams

9.  Marvel super hero character encyclopedia, by Scott Peterson

10. See inside the First World War, by Rob Lloyd Jones

Top 10 Children’s Comics in May

Adventure Time‘s original comic characters are all over the internet, screen and paper! There are even infuriating games where the direction keys take you in the opposite direction… thank you Cartoon Network.  Want to be the first person to read the new Chi’s Sweet home? You can reserve it before it arrives into Wellington libraries and be first in the queue!

1. Pokemon by Hidenori Kusaka

2. The complete Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz

3. Big Nate by Lincoln Pierce

4. Garfield by Mark Evanier

5. Asterix by Goscinny and Udzero

6. Tintin by Herg­é

7. Amulet series by Kazu Kibuishi

8. Adventure time by Ryan North

9. Babymouse by Jennifer L. Holm

10. Chi’s sweet home by Kanata Konami

Get in the know about the July School Holidays

The July School Holidays are not too far off. Here’s what we’re planning for you:

iStock_000003323197XSmallMusical Madness

Get loud in the library and show off your music-making skills. Have a go at making and playing instruments, learning from the professionals, and trying your hand at playing a ukulele. Don’t miss out on this noisy fun in your library and community centres.  Most suitable for 6-12 year olds.


Here’s the when and where:

  • Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library: Monday 6th July, 11am
  • Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library: Wednesday 8th July, 11am
  • Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library: Wednesday 8th July, 2pm
  • Miramar Library: Thursday 9th July, 2pm
  • Wellington Central Library: Wednesday 15th July, 11am
  • Karori Library: Wednesday 15th July, 11am
  • Island Bay Community Centre: Wednesday 15th July, 1pm


Paul Beavis posterMrs Mo’s Monsters

Meet Paul Beavis the Author and Illustrator of the popular book Mrs Mo’s Monsters. He will be running 4 special interactive sessions of story reading and drawing. Feeling brave? You could jump up and play a part in the story! Each person can take home a personally drawn and signed post card made by Mr Beavis. This is going to be some much fun, you won’t want to miss out. (PS. Bring some money along to purchase a copy of the book). Events suitable for 3-6yr olds.


  • Wellington Central Library: Tuesday 7th July, 11am
  • Karori Library: Tuesday 7th July, 1.30pm
  • Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library: Wednesday 15th July, 11am
  • Johnsonville Library: Wednesday 15th July, 1.30pm



All events are free, bookings are not required. Check in with the libraries and community centres listed above for more details.