8 New (and not so new) Non Fiction on Lego mania, innovative gaming and science trends!

Has the back to school blues finally sunk in? Have no fear, there’s more and exciting new non fiction in stock at your local library.

Featured in this blog post are books on the latest and innovative trends in the world of gaming, science and technology, not to mention an old favourite Pokémon, which has been reinvented, evolved and rebranded as Pokémon GO! Not to mention, Lego mania has been unleashed in the library once again with some new and not so new books on the original Lego Movie and the upcoming release of The Lego Batman Movie!  I for one am excited about The Lego Batman movie because this is where the world of Lego, DC comics, innovation, play and imagination comes together and opens you up to a world of endless possibilities, creativity and entertainment.

As I mentioned in a previous blog post, Lego Bricks has been applauded by teachers and parents as one of the best toys for learning, building creativity, and strengthening fine-motor skills, not to mention Lego Bricks are an open-ended toy, meaning they can become just about anything a child or adult imagines, including an educational tool. See more about this on  Inner Child Learning,

But enough about Lego, the 8 non fiction books featured in this post will keep you amused and entertained for hours and also will keep you informed and up to date with the latest trends and technological developments in the modern world.

Enjoy!

image courtesy of syndetics The Lego Batman movie : the essential guide.

To celebrate the upcoming release of The Lego Batman Movie, the spin off of The Lego Movie, which will released in NZ cinemas on the 6th of April just in time for the school holidays, the library has in stock for your viewing and reading pleasure, The Batman movie : the essential guide. This book will enable you to go behind the scenes and discover everything there is to know about The LEGO Batman Movie with this ultimate guide. Featuring the latest LEGO Batman set and mini-figures.

image courtesy of syndeticsWhile you’re at it, why not check out The LEGO movie : the essential guide. This guide will tell you need to know about the original LEGO Movie, including character profiles and location spreads from the upcoming movie.

image courtesy of syndeticsThe Lego Movie Handbook.

Seen the movie? (I haven’t – Naughty me!) Now is the time to read the movie handbook. Join Brickburg, Wyldstyle, Unikitty, Batman and the rest of the gang in reading this book where you will learn everything you need to know about the Lego Movie, including Stories from Bricksburg’s happiest residents, a special message from President Business and a never before seen episode of Where Are My Pants. Overall I enjoyed this book. It was very funny, humorous, gave me the opportunity to revisit and embrace my inner child and has inspired to go and see the movie.  Also check out the move trailer.

As a special treat, why not check out the latest The Lego Batman Movie trailer here.

image courtesy of syndeticsGaming Live!

Want to watch the BEST gamers in the world but don’t know where to start? This guide enables you to watch the pros in action as they teach you how to dominate your favourite games! A must have resource for the avid gamer!

image courtesy of syndeticsPokémon Go!

The world of Pokémon and mobile games collides with Pokémon GO! The Ultimate Unauthorized Guide. This book is a must-read companion to the hit mobile game that has taken the world by storm.  This guide includes everything you need to know about Lures, PokéBalls, Eggsand much more.

image courtesy of syndeticsThis Book Thinks You’re a scientist!

The title does justice to the information contained within this book.  Read this book and learn all the tricks of the trade of what is essential to becoming a scientist, which includes look, ask questions, wonder and test your ideas. You’ll also do things scientists don’t necessarily do: eat your experiments, levitate paper clips and play a drinking straw like an oboe. There are even portable laboratory pages for you to experiment on, so that by the end, you’ll know how to invent your own fun ways of finding out about the world. Overall, this book is a must have read for the avid scientist enthusiast! 

image courtesy of syndeticsMistakes that worked: The World’s familiar inventions and how they came to be.

Do you know how many things in your daily life were invented by accident? SANDWICHES came about when an English earl was too busy gambling to eat his meal and needed to keep one hand free. POTATO CHIPS were first cooked by a chef who was furious when a customer complained that his fried potatoes weren’t thin enough. Coca-Cola, Silly Putty, and X rays have fascinating stories behind them too! Their unusual tales, and many more, along with hilarious cartoons and weird, amazing facts, make up this fun-filled book about everyday items that had surprisingly haphazard beginnings.

image cpurtesy of syndeticsHow Super Cool Stuff Works.

Discover the mind-blowing high-tech inventions of the future in How Super Cool Stuff Works. Contained in this book are incredible images that reveal the secret to inner workings of everything from drones and supercomputers to underwater hotels and flying cars. In short, this book features a futuristic world I don’t think anyone saw coming.

 

The Modern Olympics

You might think the Olympics are over, but the countdown to the Paralympics has only just begun. These games, for athletes with impaired physical abilities, start on 7th September in the same place as the Olympics – Rio De Janerio.

 

While we wait, here is some cool info on the Modern Olympics. You can read our post about the Ancient History of the Olympics to catch up.

 

The ancient Olympic games officially began in 776 BC in Greece and occurred every four years, or Olympiads, ending in 393 AD (after about 1000 years) because they were considered a pagan practice.

Pierre de Coubertin, a French educator, believed in the importance of physical education, and in international competition. Coubertin helped to revive the idea of the olympic games in the 1890s and was a founding member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1894.

The modern olympic games began with the 1896 Olympics in Athens, Greece.

Olympic_ringA couple of well known symbols that are used to promote the games are the olympic flag and the olympic flame. The rings on the Olympic flag represent the five parts of the world: the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia.

 

 

The number of sports that are played in the current olympics are much higher and more diverse than at the ancient olympic games; they include archery, athletics, badminton, basketball, boxing, canoeing, cycling, diving, equestrian, fencing, football, golf, gymnastics, handball, hockey, judo, modern pentathlon, rowing, rugby sevens, sailing, shooting, swimming, taekwondo, tennis, triathlon, volleyball, water polo, weightlifting, and wrestling.

And that’s just the summer olympics! The winter olympics are held every four years as well, the next one will be in 2018 in PyeongChang, Korea. The sports at the winter olympics are all done in snow or ice; skiing, bobsleigh, curling, skating, ice hockey, luge, ski jumping, and snowboarding.

 

Check out this Enyclopaedia Britannica article about the history of the Olympic games! (You’ll need your library card to login)

 

Want to know more? Find these books in your local library:

Syndetics book coverThe story of the Olympics : the wacky facts about the Olympics and Olympic champions down the centuries! by Richard Brassey
“Records and reputations, cheats and champs, victors and venues – here’s the lowdown on the modern Olympic games, from bestselling author and illustrator, Richard Brassey. From the games of ancient Greece to the twenty-first century, and with individual tales of heroes and heroines, this is a lively, witty and entertaining guide for young readers everywhere. As always with Richard Brassey’s popular books, this is packed with comic strips, fact boxes, hilarious captions and speech bubbles, plus amazing information and entertaining insight.” (Syndetics summary)

 

Syndetics book coverThe Olympics : ancient and modern by Joe Fullman
The Olympics Ancient to Modern is a fascinating look at the history of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, from the first events in Ancient Greece right the way up to London 2012 and Sochi 2014. It focusses on when and where each Games has been held, and some key stats, such as how much it cost, how many athletes competed, and how many spectators came to watch.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

 

Syndetics book coverModern Olympic Games by Haydn Middleton
“‘The Olympics’ tells you all about the world’s greatest sporting festival. From ancient Greece to the 21st century, you will read about the winners, losers, triumphs, and tragedies of the Olympic Games.” (Syndetics summary)

 

 

 

Overdrive book coverThe Olympics by Graham Douglas (eBook)
“The Olympic Games: a major international amateur sporting competition that brings together hundreds of nations and thousands of athletes. This book is a collection of fun, facts and figures about the Games (from ancient to modern times) for sports lovers all over the world. ‘The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well’ Pierre de Coubertin.” (Syndetics summary)

The ancient history of the Olympics

Syndetics book cover

The Olympic games began in Olympia, Greece in 776 BC (that’s almost 3000 years ago!). It was a sporting competition to celebrate excellence and honour the god Zeus.

The first few olympics just had a running race and only lasted one day, but more events got added on later and it became a five day event. Because ancient Greece would often have conflicts going on between city-states there would be a sacred truce (Ekecheiria) during the games so that athletes and spectators could travel to and from Olympia safely.

 

 

 

Competitors from all over Greece and sometimes beyond would compete in sporting events including foot-races (running), the pentathlon (running, long jump, discus, javelin and wrestling), boxing, wrestling, the pankration, and equestrian races (horse and chariot). Pankration is a combination of boxing and wresting and was a particularly brutal event.

Fun Fact: the participants would also compete naked! In fact the Greek word for nude was gymnós which is where our word for gymnasiums comes from.

The ancient olympics also did not allow women to compete in the events, and only unmarried women were allowed to be spectators. Despite this, in 396 BC Kyniska of Sparta became the first female Olympic victor for the chariot race, because the owners of the horses were considered the winners of the race, not the riders.

Instead of receiving gold, silver and bronze medals, there was only one victor in each of the events and they were rewarded with a wreath (wild olive leaf crown), and of course the glory and honour of being an olympic victor (in other words – bragging rights!)

In 393 AD the new Roman emperor and Christian, Theodosius, banned the olympic games because he considered them a pagan practice. So ended 1,000 years of tradition, during which 293 olympics games were held. That is until Pierre de Coubertin, a French academic and historian, pushed to resurrect them and so began the modern olympic games in 1896 Athens, Greece.

 

Want to know more? Find these books in your local library:

Syndetics book coverThe first Olympics of ancient Greece by Lisa M. Bolt Simons

“In ancient Greece different city-states often fought one another in deadly battles. But every four years the Greeks set aside their differences to honor the gods and compete peacefully in the Olympic Games. Learn all about the athletes, competitions, and religious ceremonies of the ancient Olympics.” (Syndetics summary)

 

 

Syndetics book coverOlympics by Richard Platt
“‘In the same spirit as the previous Through Time titles, this book explores the evolution of the Olympic Games, from its ancient origins to modern times. The chronological format allows the reader to experience life in many diverse cities and cultures during different historical periods. Through Time: The Olympic Games tells the complete story of history’s most famous, and most international, sporting competition. The narrative runs from city to city, exploring the impact of the Games on each host nation as well as the key social, political and cultural events of the time. Woven into this narrative are all the major sporting highlights, facts and record-breakers.” (Syndetics summary)

 

 

Flaming Olympics by Michael Coleman

This hilarious guide tells readers everything they need to know, from the torture of Olympic training, to some of the best performances dating back as far as 776 BC.

 

8 New Children’s Non Fiction to read during August – Part Two.

Impress your friends and teachers further by surprising them with some amazing new facts about animals, world history, science and Minecraft.

Stumped on where you’re going to find these facts? From these amazing 8 new books the library has just purchased.

Get your hands on them before someone else does.

 

image courtesy of syndeticsMy first book about our world.

Read this book and find all you need to know about the wonders that take place in our world, like what makes it rain, where do penguins live and how many oceans there are. You will learn fantastic things about our world and at the same have fun doing the quizzes and puzzles enclosed in this book.

 

 

image courtesy of syndeticsMinecraft : redstone and transportation.

Learn how to use redstone to build advanced Minecraft structures such as automated doors and powered mine carts.

 

 

 

 

image courtesy of syndeticsCars, trucks and trains.

Have you ever wondered why and how the car was invented? From steam cars and trains to experiments with rocket powered and flying cars, It’ll Never Work: Cars, Trucks and Trains explores the history and development of vehicles that have led to the comforts of modern passenger transport that we know today. Each title in this exciting, high-interest series looks at a different area of technology and engineering and reveals the pioneering ideas and scientific thinking that enabled its development, as well as exposing those that proved to be a dead end. Each spread examines a particular example in depth, bringing in other similar ideas where relevant, and revealing that experimentation and failure often pave the way to technology success.

 

image courtesy of syndeticsDK findout! Animals.

DK findout! Animals is full of interesting facts about the animal kingdom. With beautiful photography, lively illustrations, and key curriculum information, the DK findout! series will satisfy any child who is eager to learn and acquire facts – and keep them coming back for more! It is packed with up-to-date information, fun quizzes and incredible images of mammals, birds, fish, & reptiles. Discover what makes up a bird, how animals use camouflage to hide, and which animal spends the longest time in bed.

 

image courtesy of syndeticsMinecraft Beginner’s Guide.

Minecraft is more than a simple video game. It is also a creative tool that allows players to build and explore their own virtual worlds. A bit of a novice when it comes to Minecraft? Have no fear, this book will bring you up to speed on everything you need to know about Minecraft.

 

 

image courtesy of syndeticsDK findout! Dinosaurs.

DK findout! Dinosaurs is full of dinosaur facts supported by beautiful photography, lively illustrations, and key curriculum information. It is packed with up-to-date information, quizzes, fun facts and incredible images of all their favourite dinosaurs. Discover how fossils are formed, find out which was the biggest dinosaur, and what was the size of a cat. DK findout! Dinosaurs will let children uncover the ancient animals of our planet.

 

image courtesy of syndeticsThe Usborne Medieval World.

A lavishly illustrated guide to the medieval world, covering the years 500 to 1500 and following events worldwide including the Crusades, Marco Polo’s travels to China, the Maya, Aztecs and Samurai, as well as medieval knights and explorers.

 

 

 

image courtesy of syndeticsHome lab : exciting experiments for budding scientists.

Want to unleash your inner mad scientist.? Homelab can help you with that.  This book will how you how to create fantastic projects, ideal from science fairs using everyday materials that you can find in your own home. Great for science projects and homework.

 

 

6 New children’s non fiction to read over the school holidays

Last chance school holidays! We’re on the countdown to term 3. Here are some great new books to spend the last few days pouring over. Won’t your teacher be impressed!

image courtesy of syndetics Viva Frida.

This is a very beautiful book, complete with stunning illustrations provides information about the passionate and imaginative life of artist, Frida Kahlo.

 

 

 

 image courtesy of syndeticsHeroes, Gods and Monsters of Celtic Mythology.

A collection of retellings of Celtic myths and legends from Ireland, Wales, Scotland, England, the Isle of Man, and Brittany.

 

 

 

image courtesy of syndeticsAwesome Animals: Horses.

Horse mad? Then this is the book for you.  Check out all the fun facts and amazing true stories about record-breaking race horses, cheeky ponies and brave war horses.

 

 

 

Sharks and other deadly ocean creatures.image courtesy of syndetics

Sink your teeth into this read and chomp your way through all this amazing information about the most fearsome creatures ever to roam the oceans. You will encounter gentle giants, the most monstrous deep-sea dwellers and much, much more!

 

 

image courtesy of syndeticsPeeking Under the Bonnet.

What’s beneath the bonnet? Go on and have a peak inside! A must have book for all the car-mad boys and girls out there!

 

 

 

 

image courtesy of syndeticsProfessor Astro Cats atomic adventure.

 From the wind that rustles the trees, to the sun that keeps us warm, to the car that drives us around and the food that gives us energy to play, physics is all around us, all the time! So check out this amazing new book that will boost your knowledge all about Physics, while having fun along the way. Great resource for Physics  homework and projects.

Who are New Zealand’s cultural icons?

Here’s a great website to tuck away in your favourites for future homework. It’s called Cultural Icons.

Go here to watch recordings of interviews sharing the histories, stories and experiences of some of New Zealand’s most significant arts and culture contributors.

You may not have heard of many of the New Zealanders features on this site, but they are all fascinating people – artists, mountaineers, activists, environmentalists, writers, poets, musicians, film-makers, dancers and more! Next time you need to do and assignment on a famous New Zealander, why not choose one from here?

You can find a complete list of the cultural icons that have been interviewed so far and watch their videos, and there are some great links to other informative NZ websites.

Cultural Icons

Explore ANZAC day and WW1 with these great websites

Are you looking for reliable online info about World War One? We have created a lit of great websites that you can go to for info on the causes of the war, the treaty that ended that war, ANZAC Day and Gallipoli, New Zealand’s involvement, and websites that provide info on casualties and gravesites.

 

Websites about the causes of World War One

 

 

Websites about the Treaty of Versailles

 

 

Websites about ANZAC Day

 

 

Websites about New Zealand’s involvement

 

 

Websites with ANZAC Poetry

 

 

Websites with casualties, wounded, and graves information

 

 

Websites with primary sources

 

 

General World War One sites

 

You are also welcome to chat live with an online librarian, who will help you with your research and finding online resources. AnyQuestions is a government-funded homework help service for New Zealand School Students. It’s open 1pm – 6pm Monday to Friday. Go to the site, type in your question, and chat to a librarian who will help you with your question and finding online information sources. It’s fun and free!

 

Back to school – here’s a website to bookmark

So long holidays, hello school. We hope you enjoyed your April School Holidays (despite the weather) and managed to read heaps of awesome books and do cool stuff. Did you get along to any our the Libraries’ awesome holiday activities?

But now that you’re back to school, you’ll need to know about where to go for homework help. Here’s two great starting places:

anyquestionslogo_smallAnyQuestions.co.nz and ManyAnswers.co.nz

These two NZ websites are designed to help school students find online information for their school work. AnyQuestions is a live service – which means you chat live with a librarian who will help you find helpful websites with the information you need. AnyQuestions in open Monday – Friday from 1pm to 6pm. All you need to do is visit the website, type in your question, and you’ll be chatting live with a librarian very soon. The librarian will talk to you about your question and the information you need, and then will help you to search for helpful and trustworthy websites.

ManyAnswers is open 24/7 and has lots of great tips about where to find online info for heaps of topics. Use the search box or topic cloud to find advice on how to search for your topic. this is a great place to visit when AnyQuestions is not open for a live chat.

Back to school!

So long holidays, hello school. We hope you had a great summer holiday and managed to read heaps of awesome books.

But now that you’re back to school, you’ll need to know about where to go for homework help. Here’s some great starting places:

AnyQuestions.co.nz and ManyAnswers.co.nz

These two NZ websites are designed to help school students find online information for their school work. AnyQuestions is a live service – which means you chat live with a librarian who will help you find helpful websites with the information you need. AnyQuestions in open Monday – Friday from 1pm to 6pm.

ManyAnswers is open 24/7 and has lots of great tips about where to find online info for heaps of topics.

 

Te Ara – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

In Māori, Te Ara means ‘the pathway’. The Te Ara Encyclopedia will take you on a journey of discovery! Constantly being updated, this site will eventually be a comprehensive guide to New Zealand – its peoples, natural environment, history, culture, economy and society.  The site also includes New Zealand’s last official encyclopedia from 1966. It is published here in full, with all the original drawings, maps and photographs — and there are some very neat illustrations!

 

The following info sources can be found on the Library’s My Gateway page.

ZooWhizz

ZooWhiz is a great site for learning maths, spelling and reading, with a neat twist — when you complete an activity, you earn “coins” to spend for your online zoo! Activities are aimed at the full range of levels — from ages 5 to 15. Choose a zookeeper avatar, and then a type of activity, and get started earning “coins” to build your zoo!

Encyclopedia Britannica

This online encyclopedia has more than 73,000 encyclopaedia articles, both short and book-length — and is a great place to start looking for information for all kinds of projects. It also includes a world atlas, thousands of images and videos, an online dictionary and thesaurus and links to helpful websites.

LanguageNut

LanguageNut is a fun way to learn different languages for kids and adults. There are songs, stories and games for each language so you’ll be adding to your vocabulary without really realising it! The non-English languages you can learn include te reo Māori, Indonesian, Mandarin (Pinyin and Hanzi), Italian, Arabic script and many others. There is also an option to learn English if you speak another language.

Oddizzi

Oddizzi site is a fun, interactive way to learn about countries. It includes weather, climate, rainforests, volcanoes, earthquakes, oceans, food and farming, animals, transport, jobs, schools, festivals, religion, and more. Need to find out about a country or have a topic about the natural world to research?

 

 

 

 

Maths, reading and spelling games

Have you tried ZooWhiz?

It’s a fun new game on our website that helps you learn maths, reading and spelling, while building your own zoo at the same time! Complete fun activities and earn ‘coins’ that you can spend on your online zoo.

There are a range of different activities to suit different skill and age levels. You can choose a zookeeper avatar, the types of activities you want to do, and start earning coins to build your zoo. Sounds like fun!

All you need is your library card number to get started on ZooWhiz today! What are you waiting for?!