So many Christmas books and movies that you’ll love!

Christmas is coming to the Capital and to the library! Why not get into the Christmas spirit and check out the amazing Christmas themed books and DVDs we have in our collection in between Christmas shopping and life! The countdown to Christmas and the end of 2019 is on!

Check out the following:

What’s Christmas? Find out with…

Christmas.

Learn what Christmas is, and how it is celebrated. Learn about the religion of Christianity, and what Christmas means to its followers.

Learn about prayers and carols, Santa Claus and his reindeer, and traditional decorations and gifts. Also learn about festive Christmas foods and traditions of giving to charity at Christmas.

 

Some handy ideas for Christmas Crafts:

Need some ideas on making Christmas cards, decoration and gifts? Why not check out books such as:

100 things to recycle and make.

Provides step-by-step, illustrated instructions for crafts made with everyday materials, including egg cartons, sticks, and cardboard tubes.

 

Christmas activities.

From baking Christmas pudding sweets to creating hand-printed angels. These projects include how to make a pop-up polar bear card, a snowman paper chain or glittery decorations. Two pages of stickers are included and each project is accompanied by simple step-by-step instructions and an illustration or photograph of the final creation.


Christmas.

This book explores the festival of Christmas and the story behind it and features six simple origami projects for your own festive fun! The book shows how people around the world celebrate Christmas both in church and at home. Attractively designed, its simple text and wonderful full-colour photos make this an essential book for children celebrating or learning about the festival. The origami activities are accessible to all and are explained with step-by-step illustrations. Your fantastic creations can be used as decorations for the festival, for presents, to impress your teacher for a Christmas school project or simply to wow your friends!

 

Read stories about Christmas or Christmas themed:

Picture Books:

A very Marley Christmas.

With all the excitement of Christmas approaching, it’s no surprise that Marley, the loveable pup with a nose for trouble, wants to get in on the action. Anticipating his very first snowfall and Santa’s arrival, Marley jumps in to help his family every way he can. But Marley, being Marley, always ends up on the wrong side of right.


The Christmas Peg.

From Cameron Williams and Matthew Martin comes a hilarious and energetic story about the worst Christmas present ever.


How the Grinch stole Christmas!

When the grumpy Grinch tries to steal Christmas from the citizens of Who-ville, he realises there’s more to it than presents and tinsel!


The Christmas caravan.

When Simon sees a competition in the newspaper for the best decorated Christmas house, he is keen to enter it. His mother says she can’t afford expensive lights and decorations. So Simon decides to decorate their caravan in his own way.


The Polar Express.

Late one Christmas Eve, a boy boards a mysterious train that waits for him- the Polar Express bound for the North Pole. When he arrives, Santa offers him any gift he desires. The boy modestly asks for one bell from the reindeer’s harness. It turns out to be a very special gift, for only believers in Santa can hear it ring.Liam Neeson’s gravitas lends the story just the right sense of magic and possibility in the book and CD edition.


Santa’s worst Christmas.

There are just a few days to go before Christmas, and everyone’s busy putting up decorations, preparing food and getting ready for the big day. Then comes the shock news – Santa’s cancelled Christmas. Santa had so many disasters last year that he can’t face it again, and he’s quit. The elves try everything, but they can’t get him to change his mind. In this Aotearoa Christmas picture book, the kids come up with a clever plan and amazing gadgets to get Christmas back on and Santa back in the sleigh delivering presents.


 

Chapter Books:

Christmas in Camelot.

A cup, a compass, a key: the magic tree house has brought siblings Annie and Jack to Camelot, where they embark on a mysterious mission to find these enigmatic gifts. In this special hardcover addition to the bestselling Magic Tree House series, the young adventurers must travel to the Otherworld, an “ancient, enchanted land beyond the edge of the Earth, the place where all magic began” to save Camelot from dark wizard Mordred’s evil spell. If they fail, Camelot will be forgotten forever. Fans of the beloved, highly readable series by Mary Pope Osborne will rise to the challenge of this longer, more complex companion to her other titles, which include Earthquake in the Early Morning and Twister on Tuesday. As in every story in the sequence, Jack and Annie bravely plunge into their quest, learning about a culture and time very far removed from their own, and prove once again that children can make a difference.


A Christmas carol by Geronimo Stilton.

Ebenezer Scrooge is a cranky old mouse who is only concerned with his business and making money. Scrooge thinks Christmas is just a waste of time. But on the night of Christmas Eve, he is visited by three ghosts who take him on a journey through his past, present, and future. His experience could change him forever and teach him the true meaning of Christmas!


The Christmasaurus and the Winter Witch.

One year has passed since William Trundle’s incredible adventure with the most extraordinary dinosaur: the Christmasaurus. Now, William is swept back to the magical North Pole, where he meets a mysterious witch – whose power to control time allows Santa Claus to make the long journey all around the world every Christmas Eve. And when they learn that the fate of Christmas itself hangs in the balance, William and the Christmasaurus must work with the Winter Witch to protect it.


Quentin Blake’s A Christmas carol.

A beautiful edition of the timeless Christmas classic. A Christmas Carol is the book that defines the Christmas spirit. Ebenezer Scrooge, a mean-spirited miser, is visited by three ghosts one Christmas Eve. The ghosts show Scrooge the true value of Christmas: charity, good humour and love for his fellow man.


 

Stuck inside? Try some Christmas movies:

image courtesy of amazon.co.ukHome Alone.

When the McCallisters went on holiday they forgot eight year old Kevin. When two bungling burglars break into the house Kevin outwits them.


The Grinch

A re-telling of the classic tale about a grumpy old creature living in a cave on Mt. Crumpet who can’t stand to see his neighbors in Whoville enjoying themselves. Things are especially bad at Christmas, when the Whos kick their merriment into high gear with fantastic celebrations. This year, the Grinch decides to dress up like Santa Claus on Christmas Eve and steal all the Christmas gifts and decorations so the Whos can’t enjoy the season. What he finds, however, is that Christmas in Whoville is much more than gifts and decorations, it’s a time to celebrate love and friendship.


curtesy of amazon.co.ukThe Polar Express.

Santa Claus does not exist. Or does he? For one doubting boy (voice of Daryl Sabara and Tom Hanks), an astonishing event occurs. Late on Christmas Eve night, he lies in bed hoping to hear the sound of reindeer bells from Santa’s sleigh. When to his surprise, a steam engine’s roar and whistle can be heard outside his window. The conductor (voice of Tom Hanks) invites him on board to take an extraordinary journey to the North Pole with many other pajama-clad children. There, he receives an extraordinary gift only those who still believe in Santa can experience.


image courtesy of amazon.co.ukRise of the Guardians.

When an evil spirit known as Pitch lays down the gauntlet to take over the world, the immortal Guardians must join forces for the first time to protect the hopes, beliefs, and imagination of children all over the world.


image courtesy of amazon.co.ukOlaf’s Frozen Christmas.

Olaf teams up with Sven on a merry mission. It’s the first holiday season since the gates re-opened and Anna and Elsa host a celebration for all of Arendelle. When the townspeople unexpectedly leave early to enjoy their individual holiday customs, the sisters realise they have no family traditions of their own. So, Olaf sets out to comb the kingdom to bring home the best traditions and save this first Christmas for his friends.


Check out the movie trailer for Frozen II!


 

Not Christmas, but just as amazing and new to the Childrens DVD collection is…

The Lion King.

The Lion King is finally at WCL! Why rent the DVD… rent the original film this Christmas and relive the class tale of Simba, a delightful lion cub who is heir to the throne of the pride lands. However, when Simba’s father is killed… by Simba’s treacherous uncle, Scar, poor Simba, feeling guilt ridden lion cub flees into exile until the moment where he must confront his uncle and reclaim his identity , as well as destiny as the future King. Another movie trailer filled with (wild) animals and cute baby animals!!!

image courtesy of amazon.co.uk

image courtesy of amazon.co.uk


 

And coming soon to movie theaters…

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, produced, co-written and directed by J. J. Abrams. It will be the third installment of the Star Wars sequel trilogy, following The Force Awakens (2015) and The Last Jedi (2017), and the ninth and final episode of the main Star Wars film franchise.

“The saga comes to an end”… on December 19th 2019, and from the looks of this trailer, they definitely saved the best for last.

 

To get into the spirit of a Kiwi Christmas, relive the magic of Kiwi Christmas song, Summer Wonderland so you can sing along and take part in the festive cheer while  strolling through a summer wonderland. To recap, Summer Wonderland is a Kiwi spin on a much beloved classic Christmas carol Winter Wonderland, with a lyrical twist for the Southern Hemisphere and recorded for Air New Zealand.  This Christmas carol really showcases and beautifully captures the spirit and essence of a Kiwi Christmas of tucking into ham and pavlova, playing cricket, mozzie spray and tan marks. Check it out!

On behalf of the staff at Wellington City Libraries, we would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy new year!

Childrens DVDs: New Releases.

Hey kids! The school holidays may be over, but Wellington City Libraries has some new DVDs to keep you amused in between school hours and at the weekend! So what are you waiting for? Go down to your local branch and borrow the following DVDs:

image courtesy of amazon.comSpider-Man : into the Spider-Verse.

Miles Morales is the new Spider-Man but must also walk the balance between his personal high school & family life and his life as a superhero. While being Spider-Man, he becomes familiar with the Spider-Verse, where there are endless variations on Spider-Man. One of the Spider-Man variations living inside the Spider-Verse is Spider-Man, Peter B. Parker, who guides Miles in his journey as the new Spider-Man and introduces him to the multitude of other Spider-Men, including Spider-Man Noir and Spider-Ham. All of the various Spider-Men will have to band together when villains threaten the safety of the Spider-Verse and of the world itself.

image courtesy of syndeticsDragons. : race to the edge. Season three.

Hiccup and Toothless are back along with the favorite dragon riders in these two action-packed seasons. The high stakes continue as the riders advance in their hunt for Viggo, Ryker, and their expanded Dragon Hunter army. Tune in as the riders discover that Viggo has a Dragon Eye, a dragon fortress, and sinister plans which include putting a pricey bounty on Hiccup’s head.

image courtesy of syndeticsHow to train your dragon. The hidden world.

Now chief and ruler of Berk alongside Astrid, Hiccup has created a gloriously chaotic dragon utopia. When the sudden appearance of female Light Fury coincides with the darkest threat their village has ever faced, Hiccup and Toothless must leave the only home they’ve known, and journey to a hidden world thought only to exist in myth. As their true destines are revealed, dragon and rider will fight together-to the very ends of the Earth-to protect everything they’ve grown to treasure.

Also check out the trailer to How to train your dragon. The hidden world.


image courtesy of amazon.comSgt. Stubby.

The true story of a stray dog who joins his new master on the battlefields of the First World War. For his valorous actions, Sgt. Stubby is still recognized as the most decorated dog in American history.

image courtesy amazon.comThe kid who would be king.

Arthur’s legendary weapon, Excalibur. Unfortunately for Alex, the sword also comes with an enemy — the sinister Morgana, who has plans to conquer Britain. Alex’s only chance is to assemble a new Round Table to fight Morgana and save the world.

image courtesy of amazon.comAvengers Assemble:

Captain America.

It’s time to celebrate the best of the best, the Avengers Heroes that have saved the Earth from mortal danger (more times than we can count). Known as the Super Soldier, Captain America lives up to his name. From infiltrating the enemy in disguise to being the last one standing in a fight, Steve Rogers is the epitome of a hero.

Hulk.

It’s time to celebrate the best of the best, the Avengers Heroes that have saved the Earth from mortal danger (more times than we can count). Known as the Strongest Avenger, the Hulk undertakes missions deemed impossible for the other Avengers. But what is the Hulk without his gamma radiation? Can Bruce Banner be as useful to the team as his big, green, smashing partner?

Iron Man.

It’s time to celebrate the best of the best, the Avengers Heroes that have consistently save the Earth from mortal danger (more times than we can count). Clad in his high-tech exosuit and his wealth of knowledge Iron Man is as much of the heart of the Avengers as the Arc-reactor is to his own body.

Thor.

It’s time to celebrate the best of the best, the Avengers Heroes that have saved the Earth from mortal danger (more times than we can count). The Most Worthy of all of the Avengers, Thor encompasses the most honourable traits of a hero and a god. But balancing the responsibilites of the Asgard throne and that of an Avenger is no easy task.

Also check out the trailer to the latest movie in the Avengers series: Avengers Endgame, showing now in local theatres.

5 New Non Fiction for your reading pleasure!

Hey Kids! More new non fiction in the Wellington City Libraries collection for your reading pleasure! Featured in this post are books about lego (and space!), awesome science projects good for your brain, where the world of mathematics and computers collides and much, much more!

Enjoy!

image courtesy of syndeticsBrick by Brick: Space.

What’s better than space or building with LEGO bricks? Building amazing space projects out of your LEGO bricks, of course! Brick by Brick Space provides more than twenty-five amazing projects to build with your LEGO bricks. Follow the easy step-by-step instructions to create space stations, satellites, planets, rocket ships, and more.

Also check out Brick by brick dinosaurs.

 

image courtesy of syndeticsCan I touch your hair? : poems of race, mistakes, and friendship?

Irene Latham, who is white, and Charles Waters, who is black, present paired poems about topics including family dinners, sports, recess, and much more. This relatable collection explores different experiences of race in America. Great for ages 8 and up. Just in time for Race Relations Day.

 

 

image courtesy of syndeticsAttack on Circuit City.

Hot from the Maths Quest series, check out Attack on Circuit City, where you must thwart the attacks using your statistical knowledge. Finding the answers enables readers to advance through the story, learning more about maths – focusing on statistics – with every step they take. Clues are dotted along the way, and wrong turns will direct readers towards the right answer! Action, adventure and mathematics all rolled into one amazing book!

 

image courtesy of syndeticsBrain Lab for kids.

“Brain Lab for Kids is an interactive and hands-on book that takes readers on an exciting journey into the functions of the brain through enlightening experiments and creative activities.”– Provided by publisher.

 

 

 

image courtesy of syndeticsMy first ballet class : a book with foldout pages!

A cute little interactive book for young children that features foldout pages and use photographic images to detail the basic dance instructions involved in ballet.

 

 

 

 

Movie Review: Moana

Around the Christmas break, I went to see the movie, Moana on the big screen and it is in a word… AMAZING!

image courtesy of amazon.comA tribute to the Polynesian culture and mythology, and full of heroic exploits of the heroes and heroines that Kiwis will be familiar with, namely Maui, the demigod. The plot follows the adventure and journey of Moana , a spirited teenager, who like most Disney princesses has a lot on her plate. This involves sailing out on a daring mission to save her island, restore the heart of Te Fiti – the island goddess, fulfill her ancestors’ unfinished quest and save the world. During her journey, Moana meets the once-mighty demi-god Maui, and together, they traverse the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous fiery creatures against impossible odds. Once again, Disney has put together a movie of epic proportions filled with quirky and memorable characters, as well as an amazing cast, including Kiwi actors, Temuera Morrison, Jemaine Clement and Oscar Kightley. Kids, if those names don’t ring a bell, ask your parents and a Disney Princess in the form of Moana who embodies the qualities of an adventurous, headstrong, practically fearless, and physically capable heroine. An 8/10 all the way!

Also check out these youtube clips from the movie soundtrack: “How far I’ll go” and “You’re Welcome!”

Enjoy!

Movie recomendations and reviews : Walt Disney from A to D

Since the 1920’s. Walt Disney has brought some fantastic movies to for families’ enjoyment and entertainment, whether it is in a busy movie theatre or in the quiet comfort of your own home. I have put together a list of must see Walt Disney DVDs, in alphabetical order from A to D. Check out the list and see what movies tickle your fancy and that you want to watch during the drizzly spring weather and during the next round of school holidays.

 

A is for Aladdin

This movie will take you on a journey of wonders, non stop laughs, thrills and magic carpet rides.  In the heart of an enchanted city, a commoner named Aladdin battle to save (and win the heart of)  the free-spirited Princess Jasmine from the schemes of the evil sorcerer Jafar. Aladdin’s whole life changes with one rub of a magic lamp as a fun-loving, shape shifting Genie, voiced by the late Robin Williams, appears and grants him three wishes, setting him on an incredible journey of discovery, love and true meaning of friendship. This movie is 100% recommended! Robin Williams owns the role of Genie and brings a comical and warm hearted presence to the story and absolutely love Princess Jasmine, who is the embodiment of a tough, no nonsense free spirit feminist  who refuses to settle for less and abide by the traditions and expectations set out for her, I still recall when my best friend and I went to saw this in the movie theatre, then watched it home on video (Yes, in my day it was video cassettes instead of DVDs), singing along to the songs and wishing we too could soar away on a magical carpet ride.

 

image courtesy of amazon.comB is for Brave

Another movie about another tough no nonsense Scottish heroine, named Merida, who determined to be in control of her own destiny sets off a catastrophic chain events that could affect her destiny, as well as the destiny family forever. Now this brave beauty must keep her wits and rely on her bravery and her archery skills to undo a beastly curse. Seriously, I don’t words can stress enough how much I love this film. As I have mentioned in previous posts, this is one of my favourite Pixar/Walt Disney films and a tribute to my Scottish ancestry. Have a read of my review and my post of Pixar films to be furthered sold on why this is a great movie.

 

image courtesy of amazon.com

image courtesy of amazon.co.uk

C is for Cinderella and… Cinderella

There’s a saying I am very fond of, courtesy of a wise Chinese philosopher, which is “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” In Walt Disney’s animated adaptation, originally released as a motion picture in 1950, the story of Cinderella is told in that context, where she undertakes a magical journey to the palace ball, taking her first step in glass slippers, to escape the life of servitude, the clutches of her abusive step-family and win the heart of the prince that begins all before the clock strikes midnight. Also you might want to check out the live-action reboot of the animated version, have a read of my review to get an idea on why this is a great DVD to watch.

 

image courtesy of amazon.comD is for Dumbo

A favourite childhood classic of mine, not to mention one that I cried buckets over! A baby elephant named Dumbo is ridiculed because of his enormous ears, despite his mother’s best efforts to protect him. However a guardian angel arrives in the form of Timothy the mouse, who puts Dumbo’s tormentors in their place and helps Dumbo achieve his full potential and soar to fame as the world’s only flying elephant. A great family movie about the true meaning of friendship and celebrating individuality!

 

 

Just arrived at your local Library: 5 new children’s fiction

Return to Groosham GrangeImage courtesy of Syndetics by Anthony Horowitz

In the wickedly funny sequel to Groosham Grange by bestselling author Anthony Horowitz, someone is trying to destroy David Eliot’s school. A year ago, he’d have been happy to see the end of Groosham Grange and its ghoulish teachers. Now, he’s on course to win the Unholy Grail, a cup of magical power presented to the star pupil. But a series of suspicious mishaps sees the gap between David and new boy Vincent King narrow alarmingly. Someone, it seems, is trying to stop David winning – and, worse, threatening Groosham Grange itself!

 

 

The Misadventures of Max Crumbly, Locker HeroImage courtesy of Syndetics by Rachel Renee Russell

Max Crumbly is about to face the scariest place he’s ever been – South Ridge Middle school! Max has been home-schooled by his grandmother until now, and he’s begged his parents to finally let him start attending middle school. He’s starting to question that choice, though, with the Thomas Silver Problem. As in, the fact that Tommy keeps stuffing Max in his locker. If only Max could be like the hero in all the comics he likes to read – or the ones he draws – and magically escape the locker and defeat Tommy. Unfortunately, Max’s uncanny, almost superhuman ability to smell pizza from miles away won’t exactly save any lives or foil bad guys. But that doesn’t mean Max won’t do his best to be the hero his school needs!

 

 

Girl vs. boy band. The Right TrackImage courtesy of Syndetics by Harmony Jones

When three noisy, mischievous rising stars of a British boy band come to Los Angeles to make their first album, they stay in the home of a record producer and her seventh-grade daughter, a talented but painfully shy singer-songwriter, urged by her best friend to step into the spotlight.

 

 

 

The Harp and the RavenvineImage courtesy of Syndetics by Ted Sanders

Horace F. Andrews and his friend Chloe are Keepers of magical objects of extraordinary power. But as the presence of a new Keeper is made known, they are drawn into a struggle to find out who she is and where her loyalties lie. As Horace and Chloe adjust to their newfound talents – Horace can see the future and Chloe can walk through walls – a girl called April is drawn toward the Keeper stronghold, the Warren. She comes with a Tan’ji of her own, though it is damaged and there is no telling what will happen if it cannot be made whole again. Accompanied by a mysterious woman with a power of her own and the young boy leading them in the right direction, April is being pursued by a pack of sinister hunters.

 

 

CounterstrikeImage courtesy of Syndetics by Peter Jay Black

The Urban Outlaws face their biggest challenge yet. They have to break into the Facility and find the ultimate weapon – Medusa – before Hector does. But there are five levels of security to crack and a mystery room that has Jack sweating whenever he thinks about it. But the clock is ticking. Hector is determined to have the weapon and release doomsday, and it is down to the Urban Outlaws to stop him. Can Jack come up with a plan in time?