Top 10 recommended children’s Halloween movies for 2018

Hey kids! Halloween is just around the corner and Wellington City Libraries has some spooktacular DVDs in the collection for your viewing pleasure and frightful night in.

Check out this year’s top 10 Halloween movies for kids that is guaranteed to make you scream… sometimes of fear or laughter!

Let the scare fest begin!

Enjoy!… and Happy Halloween.

Goosebumps.

Based on the popular series by R.L. Stine, Goosebumps comes to life on the small screen. After moving to a small town, teenager Zach Cooper discovers that his new friend, Hannah’s mysterious dad is in fact R.L. Stine, the author of the bestselling Goosebumps series and holds a dangerous secret that bridges the gap between fiction and reality.

Also check out the trailer to the sequel: Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween.

 


Casper.

Join Casper the friendly ghost is a kind young ghost who peacefully haunts a mansion in Maine. When specialist James Harvey (Bill Pullman) arrives to communicate with Casper and his fellow spirits, he brings along his teenage daughter, Kat (Christina Ricci). Casper quickly falls in love with Kat, but their budding relationship is complicated not only by his transparent state, but also by his troublemaking apparition uncles and their mischievous antics.


image courtesy of amazon.comMonsters Inc and Monsters University.

Mike Wazowski and James “Sulley”  P. Sullivan are an inseparable pair, but that wasn’t always the case. From the moment these two mismatched monsters met they couldn’t stand each other. Monsters University unlocks the door to how Mike and Sulley overcame their differences and became the best of friends.

In Monsters Inc, Lovable Sulley and Mike Wazowski are the top scare team at MONSTERS, INC., the scream-processing factory in Monstropolis. When a little girl named Boo wanders into their world, monsters are scared silly, and it’s up to Sulley and Mike to get her back home. But Boo’s presence is more than just a mere accident. Now, Mike and Sulley have to face an enemy within their own ranks. Overall a heart-warming movie where guaranteed to scare and make you laugh.


Frankenweenie.

What if you could bring your pets back to life? Young Victor successfully proves that theory when he revives his best friend back to life. However problems emerge when his class mates want follow suit in bringing their pets to life and ensues disastrous consequences. Overall a heart-warming and hilarious tale about how far a boy will go for his best friend. A must see movie for Halloween.


The Boxtrolls.

A community of quirky, mischievous creatures who have lovingly raised an orphaned human boy named Eggs in the amazing cavernous home they’ve built beneath the streets of Cheesebridge. The town’s villain, Archibald Snatcher, comes up with a plot to get rid of the Boxtrolls, so Eggs decides to venture above ground, ‘into the light,’ where he meets and teams up with feisty Winnie. Together, they devise a daring plan to save Eggs’ family.


Coraline.

A young girl walks through a secret door that she has found in her new home and discovers an alternate version of her life. On the surface, this parallel reality is eerily similar to her real life, but much better. When her adventure turns dangerous, and her counterfeit parents, including the Other Mother, try to keep her forever, Coraline must count on her resourcefulness, determination, and bravery to get back home – and save her family.


Hotel Transylvania 1 and 2, and 3.

The Hotel Transylvania, run by Dracula, is a unique, high-end resort catering only to the finest monsters and their families. Check out The Hotel Transylvania trilogy and watch all three films back to back starting with the original film, where Dracula is preparing for an extra special weekend – his daughter Mavis’s 118th birthday – when trouble arises: a human has stumbled upon the resort for the first time ever! Even worse: the human has taken a liking to Mavis!  In the sequel, everything seems to be changing for the better at Hotel Transylvania. Dracula’s rigid monster-only hotel policy has finally relaxed, opening up its doors to human guests. But behind closed coffins, Drac is worried that his adorable half-human, half-vampire grandson, Dennis, isn’t showing signs of being a vampire. In third film, A monster vacation, The monster family embarks on a vacation on a luxury monster cruise ship so Drac can take a summer vacation from providing everyone else’s vacation at the hotel. It’s smooth sailing for Drac’s Pack as the monsters indulge in all of the shipboard fun the cruise has to offer. But the dream vacation turns into a nightmare when Mavis realizes Drac has fallen for the mysterious captain of the ship, Ericka, who hides a dangerous secret that could destroy all of monster kind.


image courtesy of amazon.comHarry Potter and the philosopher’s stone… and the chamber of secrets.

An oldie but a goodie, watch Harry Potter and the philosopher’s stone and relive the magic where Harry learns on his eleventh birthday that he is the orphaned son of two powerful wizards and possesses unique magical powers of his own, becoming a student at Hogwarts, an English boarding school for wizards and having to battle some “enemies” along the way. In the Chamber of Secrets, Harry finds the second year more challenging with flying cars, trees fighting back, duelling clubs  and a fifty year old secret that threatens to destroy Hogwarts.


The Witches.

Nine-year-old Luke finds that saving the world from witches is a tall order for a boy who has been turned into a mouse.


image courtesy of amazon.comMonster Island.

When teenager Lucas (voice of Phillip Vasquez) discovers that he is not human as he always thought, his world is turned upside down as he must adapt to being a monster. Not only is Lucas troubled by the fact that his first transformation occurred at school but also that his father had kept him in the dark about his true nature. His frustrations lead Lucas to leave home in pursuit of the fabled Monster Island with the hope of learning the truth about his heritage. His journey brings him into contact with several weird and wonderful individuals, not all of whom have good intentions.

Ghosts, monsters, and naughty gods: All you need to know about Halloween!

To many of us, Halloween is not much more than an excuse to wear a spooky costume, listen to some scary stories and maybe carve up a pumpkin, all while hoovering up more lollies than is probably wise. However, to find out more about why people the world over celebrate this holiday, we have to step back in time to visit the ancient Celts, with quick stopovers in 7th-century Rome and 16th-century Germany along the way.

Let’s go for a spooky ride through time.

The brainy people who study such things generally agree that Halloween finds its roots in the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain (pronounced sa-win). Samhain was traditionally held on November 1, and it marked the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter, the “dark half” of the year. Ancient Celts believed that during Samhain the world of the gods became visible to ordinary people, and the gods delighted in frightening and playing tricks on their worshippers. Sometimes they appeared as monsters in the dead of night. Sound familiar?

When the Romans conquered Britain in the 1st century CE, they merged Samhain with their own festival of the dead, Feralia. Now the frightening monsters and delicious treats of the harvest were joined by ghosts and restless spirits. The traditions that make up modern Halloween were starting to take form.

Fastforward to Rome, 7th century CE. Pope Boniface IV brought in All Saints’ Day, originally celebrated on May 13 — within a century, the date was changed to November 1, perhaps in an attempt to replace the pagan Samhain festival with a Christian equivalent. The day before All Saints’ Day was considered holy, or ‘hallowed.’ This is where the word ‘Halloween’ comes from — it is the Hallowed Eve.

Zoom forwards in time again to Germany, 16th century CE. The Protestant Reformation, led by people like Martin Luther and John Calvin, put a stop to the still pagan-influenced Halloween festival in most Protestant countries. However, in Britain and Ireland, the festival remained in place as a secular (non-religious) holiday, and the tradition followed English-speaking settlers to the United States, where it is still a hugely important part of the festive calendar. Many of the traditions introduced in the dark and mysterious woods and cairns of ancient Celtia live on to this day in the form of the modern Halloween festival.

Interested in learning more about this fascinating and era-spanning festival, and the people who celebrated it? Why not check out some of these books at your local library:

Celts by Sonya Newland
“The Celts were fearsome warriors, but they also developed trade routes across Europe and made beautiful jewellery. Find out about Celtic tribes, how Boudicca rebelled against the Romans, and how the Celts celebrated with feasts and festivals.” (Catalogue)


Prehistoric Britain by Alex Frith
“From the age of dinosaurs to the Roman invasion, this book tells the story of this vast and exciting period of British history. It describes when and how people first came to Britain, and includes information on the Bronze Age, Iron Age, Celts and the mysteries of Stonehenge. Full of facts, illustrations, photographs, maps and timelines.” (Catalogue)


Celebrate Halloween by Deborah Heiligman
“Vivid images and lively, inviting text illuminate the spookiest night of the year. This book spirits readers on a tour of Halloween celebrations around the globe as it explores the rich history of this holiday and the origins of its folklore, food, games, costumes, and traditions.” (Catalogue)


Traditional celebrations by Ian Rohr
“This interesting book is part of a series written for young students that focuses on a wide variety of celebrations and festivals held for special occasions throughout the world. It focuses on traditional celebrations.” (Catalogue)

Light Stories @ Khandallah Library

This month’s evening event at Khandallah Library is Light Stories! Diwali, Matariki, Guy Fawke’s Day, the Lantern Festival, Halloween, even the LUX Light Festival here in Wellington — many cultures have special festivals that celebrate or feature exciting spectacles of light and colour throughout the year. Join us (in your pyjamas if you like!) for an evening of stories and crafts celebrating festivals of light from around the world. Suitable for children of all ages.

Where? Khandallah Library, 8 Ganges Road, Khandallah
When? Thursday 26th October, 6:30pm

For more information, contact Stephen at Khandallah Library, 479 3575.

Celebratory lights

Many cultures hold special festivals in celebration of light and colour throughout the year.

At Khandallah Library, we host special events for children and their families on the last Thursday of each month at 6:30pm. Keep an eye on the Kids Blog and the library noticeboard to find out more!

Space and Science Festival: Saturday the 9th of May

Every wondered what’s out there when you look at the stars? Want to meet an astronaut? What was New Zealand like before humans arrived? What goes on in the mind of a robot?

You might just find an answer to these and many other fascinating questions if you come along to the Space and Science Festival at Onslow College, Johnsonville on Saturday the 13th of August from 12 noon to 4pm.

The Space and Science Festival is an event run by volunteers made up of scientists, astronomers, astrophotographers, engineers, mathematicians, technologists and many more people who all give up their time to help you gain greater understanding of the World and space around us both near and far.

This year Wellington City Libraries and Hutt City Libraries have got together and will have a room at the Space and Science Festival packed full of exciting things including robotics, stop/go animation, coding and lego construction. There will be lots of hands on stuff to get involved with including Red, our Nao Robot who can do all sorts of amazing things, even understand what you are saying!

The website for the festival is www.spacesciencefestival.org – you’ll need to get a ticket to get in (best to buy before you go) – Child: $10 or a Family Pass: $50.

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!

5 New children’s non-fiction to read during November.

You might be thinking ahead to the summer holidays, but that’s no reason not too keep filling your head with cool facts and amazing information. Here’s some great new non-fiction to cram into your heads (not actually – we’d rather like it if you read and returned them to the library instead)

 

image courtesy of syndeticsOrigami Festivals Divali.

I realise it’s a little late, but this is a great book to have on hand for Diwali next year. Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, is celebrated for five days with various activities and food. This book explores the festival and the story behind it and features six simple origami projects for your own festive fun! The book shows how people around the world decorate their homes with lights and rangoli patterns, and how they end the Diwali celebration with a special day for brothers and sisters.

 

image courtesy of syndeticsAnimation lab for kids : fun projects for visual storytelling and making art move.

In Animation Lab for Kids, artists, teachers, and authors Laura Bellmont and Emily Brink present exciting, fun, hands-on projects that teach kids a range of animation techniques.

 

 

 

image courtesy of syndeticsThe Olympic Games.

This book brings you all the excitement of the biggest multi-sport event in the world. Comes complete with dramatic photos of competitors in action and charming illustrations telling the story of the Olympics.

 

 

 

Ingri and Edgar Parin d’Aulaire’s Book of Greek myths.image courtesy of syndetics

An introduction to the gods and goddesses of ancient Greece includes all of the D’Aulaires’ original detailed illustrations. In a relaxed and humorous tone, these splendid artists bring to life the myths that have inspired great European literature and art through the ages.

 

 

image courtesy of syndeticsSuch stuff : a story-maker’s inspiration.

A wise Chinese philosopher once said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” This book beautifully chronicles Michael Morpurgo’s journey to becoming one of the greatest of Children’s literature to date. In this book, he shares his insights and dreams to reveal some of the fascinating ingredients he uses to create the tales we love.

 

 

6 New Non Fiction that will keep you entertained and… safe.

We know you love the new books – they are always flying off the stands in the libraries. They smell nice, the covers are shiny, and there’s no weird stains; what’s not to love?! Here are 6 new books to find in your local library or catalogue.

 

image courtesy of syndeticsStar Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary.

Everything you think you know about Star Wars is about to change. Read the complete visual guide to the entire Star Wars saga and gain a wealth of unique information. Holds  a fascinating visual gallery of characters and creatures of the entire Star Wars saga as they appear nowhere else. Overall one book you must get your hands on!

 

image courtesy of syndeticsBookSpeak!

Poetry about books – crazy! But this one is actually pretty cool. Trust us.

 

 

 

image courtesy of syndeticsStone, bronze and iron ages.

Travel back to the time of the stone, bronze and iron ages! What was Britain like over 6,000 years ago? Who lived on the island and what was it like? Explore these ancient civilisations to understand how prehistoric people have influenced the way we live today. Discover the artefacts that give evidence of their way of life.

 

image courtesy of syndeticsArt, Culture and Sport.

This is not just another atlas! From the biggest movie producers around the world to the most attended festivals; from astounding architecture to global sporting achievements, Art, Culture and Sport takes a unique look at our globe. Using innovatively designed maps alongside infographics, graphs and icons, this book explores the bigger picture of topics such as cultures around the globe, scientific achievements, amazing sporting feats and the arts.

 

 

Keep yourself safe series

Here’s a new series of books about staying safe. No one likes to be scared or hurt, so find out how to avoid the bad feels.

image courtesy of syndeticsBeing Safe with People.

Being Safe with People looks at how to act safely and sensibly with people you meet, whether family, friends or complete strangers. It explains what ‘stranger danger’ is and gives tips on what to do if you encounter it; it explores what to do if friends are unkind or if you are bullied and it also looks very sensitively at how to deal with inappropriate behaviour from adults, even when you know them.

 

image courtesy of syndeticsBeing Safe out and about.

Being Safe Out and About looks at some of the potential dangers for children as they begin to go out and about more independently. Without being sensationalist or scary, it explains, amongst other things, how to cross the road and road safety generally, how to play sensibly in the park and to avoid risk when near water.

 

 

 

 

 

Hinamatsuri: Japanese Doll Festival or Girls’ Day 2016.

image courtesy of Katie

Brace yourselves, girls! The Japanese Doll Festival (Hinamatsuri), or Girls’ Day, is being held on March 3rd in  Japan. This festival is a time to pray for the health and well being of young girls. Most homes with daughters will set up a display of hina dolls. The main dolls used are Odairi-sama (a prince) and Ohina-sama. (a princess)  Around the display dedications of peach blossoms, rice cakes and white sake are made. The festival is celebrated not only within the family but in communities, which each have their unique ways of celebrating the occasion. Check out some of the great stories about dolls that Wellington City Libraries has on offer:

Picture Books:

image courtesy oif syndeticsThe Paper Dolls.

A string of paper dolls go on a fantastical adventure through the house and out into the garden. They soon escape the clutches of the toy dinosaur and the snapping jaws of the oven-glove crocodile, but then a very real pair of scissors threatens.

 

 

image courtesy of syndeticsPatti Cake and her new doll.

Patti Cake is a little girl with a brand new big girl room and a new, but slightly smudged, doll to keep her company–if her dog Tootsie does not run away with it.

 

 

 

image courtesy of syndeticsYoko’s Show and Tell.

When Yoko’s grandparents send her a beautiful antique doll all the way from Japan, Yoko couldn’t be happier. Even though Mama says no, Yoko sneaks Miki to school for show-and-tell. How could she have guessed Miki would be in an accident along the way?

 

 

Junior Fiction:

image courtesy of syndeticsPenny and her doll.

Penny instantly loves the doll her grandmother sends her, but finding the perfect name for her is a challenge.

 

 

 

image courtesy of syndeticsThe little girl and the tiny doll.

Living in a supermarket deep freeze wasn’t very nice for the tiny doll until one day a very special little girl came along, and thought of ways to make her happier.

 

 

 

image courtesy of syndeticsThe Fairy Doll.

Elizabeth is the smallest in the family. She is always getting into trouble and her brothers and sisters are forever leaving her out and ordering her around. She’s convinced she’s useless. Then Great Grandma gives Fairy Doll to Elizabeth – and it isn’t even Christmas! From then on Elizabeth keeps hearing a little ‘Ting!’ which seems to tell her what to do. Suddenly everything starts going right instead of wrong. Could Fairy Doll be magical?

6 new children’s non fiction to read before the end of summer.

Looking for some great reads for the end of these long summer days. Look no further! Here’s are some books that are so new that you might be the very first to read them – wouldn’t that be cool!

 

image courtesy of syndeticsHairy Tales and Nursery Crimes + Arabian Frights and other Gories.

A classic and an absolute favourite from childhood, Hairy Tales and Nursery Crimes + Arabian Frights and other Gories is a hilarious and sometimes twisted parodies of well-known fairy tales and nursery rhymes. A book where you will be guaranteed to laugh yourself silly.

 

 

image courtesy of syndeticsHello Ruby: Adventures in Coding.

Meet Ruby–a small girl with a huge imagination. In Ruby’s world, anything is possible if you set your mind to it. As Ruby embarks on her adventure, kids will be introduced through storytelling to the basic concepts of coding. With activities included in every chapter, future kid coders will be thrilled to put their own imaginations to work.

 

image courtesy of syndeticsA sky of Diamonds.

A story for children about loss, grief and hope.

 

 

 

 

image courtesy of syndeticsDia De Los Muertos.

Join the fun and festivities of Día de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead)  and learn about a different cultural tradition, and brush up on your Spanish vocabulary, as the town honors their dearly departed in a traditional, time-honored style.

 

image courtesy of syndeticsYou rule! : create your own country.

A fantastic, innovative book that allows you  to design your very own nation, completely from scratch. Believe it or not, this is a book where you get to choose where it is, who can live there and what the rules are, establish your borders, design your flag and take charge. You can be king, queen, big chief, emperor or president. Because right here, right now, you rule!

 

image courtesy of syndeticsI Made That! The Kids’ BIG Book of Craft Idea.

This book is in a word… AWESOME! Not to mention the only craft book you will ever need! You will get ideas on how to  make natural beauty products, (I’m still tickled pink that this book can tell you how to make hair gel!), how to give your room a makeover? and giving your wardrobe a fashion revamp. Plus, for the eco-conscious girl there is lots of information on ethical fashion and cosmetics, sustainable shopping and fair trade. Overall you will have a lot of fun with this book!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.