Top 10 Children’s Non-Fiction March 2017

Great books to get your brains tingling! If you’re building a Minecraft empire or brushing up your acting skills with the Harry Potter script the top issuing non-fiction books have something you’ll love.

Batman and Lego fans are loving the new movie, The Batman movie : the essential guide, by Julia March and The Batman movie : the making of the movie, by Tracey Miller-Zarneke will give you inside knowledge into creating the new Lego legend.  Want to build your own Lego Batman? Minecraft may be the creative space you’ve been looking for!

  1. LEGO series, by Daniel Lipkowitz
  2. Minecraft, by Stephanie Milton
  3. Hacks for Minecrafters, by Megan Miller
  4. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, by Jack Thorne, John Tiffany and J. K. Rowling
  5. Minecraft, by Nick Farwell
  6. Star Wars character encyclopedia, by Simon Beecroft
  7. Minecraft : Construction Handbook, by Matthew Needler
  8. The Batman movie : the essential guide, by Julia March
  9. Dog, by Juliet Clutton-Brock
  10. Guinness World Records 2017, Craig Glenday editor in chief

Top 10 Children’s non-fiction for November 2016

Star Wars fans are having a great lead into the holidays with the release of Rogue One. There are some great materials related to the space epic in the library, some of them remain exclusively in the library! The reference shelf has some amazing paper engineering – known as pop-up books.  If you don’t see the Star Wars : a galactic pop-up adventure on the shelf, ask at a desk and you’ll get to see the glowing lightsaber appear from the pages!


1.  LEGO Books, by Daniel Lipkowitz

2.  Minecraft ; The survivors’ book of secrets, by Stephanie Milton

3.  Harry Potter and the cursed child, by Jack Thorne, John Tiffany and J. K. Rowling

4.  Star Wars, by Adam Bray

5.  Star wars ; complete vehicles, by David West Reynolds

6.  Minecraft, by Nick Farwell

7.  Star Wars character encyclopedia, by Simon Beecroft

8.  Guinness world records 2016, edited by Craig Glenday

9.  Lego DC comics Super heroes character encyclopedia, by Simon Hugo

10.Minecraft hacks master builder, by Megan Miller

Top 10 Children’s non-fiction October 2016

What’s so special about October’s most favourite non-fiction library loans?

Literature! It’s been a great year for Children’s literature, with the new Gecko Press Annual filled with stories, songs, poems and illustrations hitting the shelves (find it on the shelf at 828 ANN).

Shakespeare in the library, there’s another performance coming up on December 10 at the Central Library and now…

The Harry Potter play. The much read book is found in the non-fiction section, with the Dewey number: 822 THO (if it’s not being borrowed by some other Harry Potter fan!)


But that aside, here were the most borrowed non-fiction items from the library in October:

1. Lego : Awesome ideas, by Daniel Lipkowitz

2. Minecraft : the survivor’s book of secrets, by Stephanie Milton

3. Hacks for Minecrafters : Mods, by Megan Miller

4. Star Wars : absolutely everything you need to know, by Adam Bray

5. Minecraft : Redstone handbook, by Nick Farwell

6. Star Wars character encyclopedia, by Simon Beecroft

7. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, by Jack Thorne

8. Star Wars, by David West Reynolds

9. Minecraft. Construction handbook, by Matthew Needler

10. LEGO Star Wars character encyclopedia, by Hannah Dolan

Pop-up Shakespeare Forsooth!

Do you love to act the fool? Now you can do it at the library!

Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand will have actors from various local theatre groups to come in to Central Library at 11am-12pm on one Saturday per month for the rest of this year.

They will be performing scenes from selected plays, with four plays per event. Anyone’s welcome to join in -trust us, it’s a lot of fun!

Check out the dates and plays for Pop-up Shakespeare;

May 21: Henry VI, Richard III, The Taming of the shrew, The Two Gentlemen of Verona
June 25: Love’s Labour’s Lost, Richard II, Romeo & Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
July 23: The Merchant of Venice, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Henry IV, parts 1 & 2
August 20: Much Ado About Nothing, Henry V, Julius Caesar, As You Like It
September 17: Hamlet, Twelfth Night, Troilus & Cressida, All’s Well That Ends Well
October 15: Measure For Measure, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth
November 12: Antony & Cleopatra, Coriolanus, Timon of Athens, Pericles, The Two Noble Kinsmen
December 10: Cymbeline, The Winter’s Tale, The Tempest, Henry VIII, Cardenio

To see if other Shakespeare events at Wellington City Libraries are coming up, go to Shakespeare lives at the library

April School Holidays Announcement

Forsooth! Dust off your neck ruffles and pantaloons, Shakespeare is coming to the library!

During the April School Holidays we will be celebrating Shakespeare’s amazing life and his famous works of poetry, plays and writing. Many of our libraries will be holding fun Shakespeare-themed activities for you to enjoy.

2016 marks the 400th anniversary of his death. If you don’t want to do the math, the records say he died on April 23rd 1616 in an English town called ‘Stratford-upon-Avon’. During his life he wrote around 37 plays and 154 sonnets – wow! If you’re interested in finding out more, we recommend you take a look at the BBC web page on Shakespeare, or the Folger Shakespeare Library web site. There are heaps of facts and fun activities at both web sites.

There will be lots of Shakespeare fun going on during the holidays, and your librarians are busily planning out the activities.

Check back here, on the What’s On web page, or the library Event Calendar for updates. All activities will be free, no booking are needed, and will be suitable for primary school children aged 6+.

Shakespeare’s Legacy

Two of Shakespeare’s friends, actors from the King’s Men, collected together 36 of Shakespeare’s plays and had them published in a leather-bound folio. The First Folio was printed in November 1623 and sold for 1 pound.

Throughout the centuries since Shakespeare’s death his plays have been regularly performed. John Garrick, who lived in the eighteenth century, started a “Shakespeare Jubilee” in Stratford-upon-Avon that is still held today.

Another Globe Theatre has been built on the same site as Shakespeare’s old one on the banks of the River Thames in London. It opened in 1997 and there is a summer season of Shakespeare’s plays held there every year. It also contains the world’s biggest permanent exhibition about Shakespeare.

The planet Uranus has 20 moons and 15 of them are named after characters from Shakespeare’s plays.

Everyone will have heard of a character or a line from Shakespeare. Hamlet is one of the most famous characters ever created. Perhaps you have seen a Shakespeare play or a film of his plays? In 2009, theatre groups across New Zealand performed as many of Shakespeare’s plays as possible throughout the year, to celebrate 400 years since the publication of his sonnets.

The playwright Ben Jonson wrote of Shakespeare that: “He was not of an age, but for all time.”

These facts about Shakespeare are from this book:

William Shakespeare and his dramatic acts by Andrew Donkin

If you want to know more about Shakespeare, then check out these books too:

What’s so special about Shakespeare? by Michael Rosen

Shakespeare: his work & his world by Michael Rosen

William Shakespeare: The Master Playwright by Haydn Middleton

William Shakespeare: the extraordinary life of the most successful writer of all time by Andrew Gurr

William Shakespeare by Peter Hicks

The world of Shakespeare by Mistress Anna Claybourne and Mistress Rebecca Treays

Shakespeare by Peter Chrisp

Shakespeare in the Theatre

Shakespeare was a member of a theatre company called the Lord Chamberlain’s Men. He was their chief playwright, writing about two plays per year, and he also appeared as an actor. Shakespeare was also a shareholder in the acting company.


As only men were allowed to act onstage, all theatre companies were made up of men, with a few boys aged 8 – 12 who played the female parts.


In 1597 the theatre company’s lease on the theatre they were using ran out. Their landlord wanted to pull down the theatre and use the timber for something else! So what they did was this: they gathered together in the middle of the night, dismantled the theatre piece by piece, and transported the timber across the Thames River, where they rebuilt the theatre south of the river.


The new theatre was called the Globe; it had twenty short sides so it formed a circle. It could seat 3,000 people. Shakespeare also owned a share in the new theatre.


The theatre was attended by everyone, rich and poor. It was one of the few places where everyone could meet on equal terms.

Was Shakespeare really Shakespeare?

Some people think that William Shakespeare did not write Shakespeare’s plays at all. That instead he was the front man for someone else who did not want their identity known. This is known as the “authorship controversy.”


Why do they think this? Some people think that Shakespeare was not educated enough to have written the plays that he did. That his knowledge of court life, and the legal system was too great for someone who had not been to university, travelled, or was a member of the royal court.


None of his plays appear to have been put on in his hometown of Stratford. When he died, Shakespeare did not leave any letters or diaries that referred to his writing career, or any drafts of his plays. He also did not mention his plays in his will either.


So if Shakespeare did not write his plays, then who did? There are many theories, and many people from Shakespeare’s time have been put forward as possibilities for the “real” Shakespeare. These include: Queen Elizabeth I, Christopher Marlowe, Edward De Vere the 17th Earl of Oxford, Roger Manners the 5th Earl of Rutland and Sir Francis Bacon.


However, there is no proof that any of these people actually wrote Shakespeare’s plays, or that Shakespeare himself did not write his own plays.


Want to find out more about Shakespeare? Visit this link for books about Shakespeare.