Rise of the Robots: Doing it Gangham Style!

Wellington City Libraries are embracing the following trends: technology, coding and robots. To support the Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) learning platform, we now have two new team members to assist library staff in this process in the form of Nao Robot twins: Blue and Red.

Blue and Red are fully automated Nao, (pronounced ‘now’) humanoid Robots. They are 58cm tall, autonomous, and fully programmable. They walk, talk, listen to you, and even recognise your face. Blue and Red can even whip out a few dance moves to Thriller by Michael Jackson, Gangnam style by PSY and more! Like most humans, if the robots fall down they manage to get themselves back up again, along with a few grunts and groans, and touch wood without any broken limbs or bones.

The robots made their official debut at Wellington Central Library on Monday 10th of July, at the ‘Meet the Robots’ event, part of the Beyond the Page literary festival for children during the school holidays. Apart from a few technical difficulties and performance anxiety issues, for both the librarians’ and robots the event proved to be a success. Blue and Red were the main attractions and stole the show. Parents and kids were whipping out their cell phones to photograph and film the robots paparazzi style! Everyone was mightily impressed with what the robots could do. They loved the performances and there were a lot of ‘ooohs’, ‘aaahs’ and giggling, and a huge round of applause at the end! Overall Blue and Red are a welcome addition to the library, as well as an ideal learning platform for teaching STEAM subjects. With the robots on our team, Wellington City Libraries can continue to work alongside organisations, such as schools, businesses and Information Technology Institutes.  Together we’ll ensure the STEAM platform is promoted and taught to the wider community – Gangnam style!

Mystery, Mayhem and Madness: A detective Adventure!

Wow! I can’t believe that the school holidays are almost upon us and this time have we got a treat in store for you at Wellington City Libraries! It’s time to delve into the World of mystery, mayhem and madness with a great detective adventure story, yes you are going to be the detectives! We have clues galore for you to search for and a mystery worthy of Sherlock Holmes himself. Always wanted to get your detective license? Well, now’s your chance! Solve the mystery that has been baffling the librarians and we will reward you with a special Detective license. Are you up for the challenge? Can you solve the mystery and escape the Library…

So don your Deerstalker, nab your notebook and check for clues at a Wellington City Library near you!

Dates for School Holiday Detective Adventure:

Johnsonville Library: Wednesday 4 October, 2pm

Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie Library): Thursday 5 October, 10.30am

Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library: Thursday 5 October, 2pm

Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library: Friday 6 October, 11am

Miramar Library: Wednesday 11 October, 10.30am

Central Library: Thursday 12 October, 11am

Karori Library: Thursday 12 October, 2pm

Khandallah Library: Friday 13 October, 11am

These free events are for children aged 6+

 

New Non Fiction: Junior Non Fiction to get you started on your journey to Beyond the Page.

Hey Kids! Hope you enjoyed some of the fabulous events at the Beyond the Page Festival. Check out some junior non fiction books to help you follow up some of the events that took place at this memorable festival. Hopefully your creativity, literary and digital knowledge has been inspired. This post kicks off with books on coding – to collaborate with the Meet The Robots and Lego Challenge.

Enjoy!

image courtesy of syndeticsCoding Games in SCRATCH.

Coding computer programs is one of the most valuable skills for anyone to have. Written for children with little to no coding experience, Coding Games with Scratch guides children through building platform games, puzzles, racers, and 3-D action games. Schools have incorporated computer coding into their curriculum, beginning as early as kindergarten to ensure students understand the languages and uses of computer coding. The step-by-step guides are simple and easy to follow with Minecraft-style pixel art. Children will learn essential coding skills while having fun and creating games to play with their friends. The many different styles and types of games are covered, such as classic and arcade games. When people learn to code in Scratch, they learn important strategies for solving problems, designing projects, and communicating ideas. Coding Games with Scratch empowers children to be creative and to have fun while teaching them practical real-life skills. Great for ages 9 to 12 years old.

Also check out:

image courtesy of syndeticsComputer coding games for kids.

Your kids will be building computer games and learning code in no-time with ‘Computer coding games for kids’. Kids can enter the world of programming in this illustrated guide packed with step-by-step explanations showing kids how to build all types of games, from puzzles and racers to 3D action games. The perfect way to introduce a reluctant child to coding, ‘Computer coding games for kids’ shows kids how to have fun with Scratch by creating games. Simple instructions and graphics breakdown coding with Scratch so kids learn all the code they need to build, play and share their favourite games with friends.

image courtesy of syndeticsHelp your kids with computer coding : a unique step-by-step visual guide, from binary code to building games.

This unique guide is full of fun exercises and helpful tips that will help children learn all aspects of coding. Step-by-step explanations make the complex art of programming clear, teaching the basics of JavaScript, Python, and C++. Eventually building to more advanced projects, Help Your Kids with Computer Coding will have children and parents alike creating their own games, apps, 3-D models, animations, and websites in no time. 

image courtesy of syndetics365 Things to do with Lego Bricks.

“365 Things to Do with LEGO® Bricks inspires you to look at your LEGO bricks in new and exciting ways. This interactive book features imaginative play and building ideas, from LEGO projects that take just a few minutes and require a handful of bricks to inspirational build ideas and activities to keep you occupied for hours. Visual tips and advice from LEGO fan builders will encourage you to get creative and have fun while learning new building skills such as building your own LEGO pet, challenging your friends to make the tallest LEGO tower against the clock, and creating a LEGO treasure hunt. 365 Things to Do with LEGO Bricks is full of games and activities that will keep you busy every day of the year, “–Amazon.com.

image courtesy of sydneticsThe Lego Ideas Book: Unlock your imagination.

Features all-new LEGO® building projects, tips to supplement and enhance your LEGO creations, inspirational builds, and expert advice from LEGO Master Builders.

Author Visit: Des Hunt at Central Library.

Attention all literary fans! Come on down to the Central Library and learn how to create amazing stories with a master storyteller! Join 2017 Margaret Mahy Medal and Lecture Award winner Des Hunt for a writing workshop like no other. This event is part of Beyond the Page, a literary festival for children and youth on from 8-23 July, for more information, check out the website.

Where: Wellington Central Library, Young Adults area.

When: Tuesday 11th July, 1pm to 2pm.

Age Group: This workshop is aimed at ages 9-12 and spaces are limited. Make sure you register to secure a spot.

About Des Hunt: Des Hunt was a science and technology teacher for many years, interspersed with periods of curriculum development both in New Zealand and overseas. During this time he had several textbooks published to support the New Zealand curriculum. Over the last twenty years he has experimented with other ways of interesting youngsters in science, creating computer games and writing non-fiction and fiction with scientific themes.

After living in Auckland for much of his life he moved with his wife, Lynne, to Matarangi on New Zealand’s Coromandel Peninsula. He retired from the classroom in 2007 to concentrate on writing fiction for children. He continues his aims of fostering young peoples’ natural interest in the science of their surroundings by visiting schools and libraries where he runs workshops and presentations.

Five Des Hunt books have been finalists at the Children’s Book Awards. Cry of the Taniwha was awarded the 2016 Storylines Gaelyn Gordon Award for a Much-loved Book. Then, in 2017, Des was the recipient of the Storylines Margaret Mahy Medal and Lecture Award for lifetime achievement and a distinguished contribution to New Zealand children’s literature and literacy.

Find out more about Des and his books: www.deshunt.com

While You’re at it, check out some of Des Hunt’s books that you can find at your local library.

Enjoy!

image courtesy of syndeticsPhantom of Terawhiti.

“It’s the school holidays and Zac thinks he might go crazy with boredom. He’s living in exile with his disgraced father on the remote Terawhiti Station on Wellington’s wild south-west coast. Zac and his father witness a shipwreck off the coast. Investigating further, he finds a set of unusual paw prints on the beach. Whose yacht it is? And what animal could have made the paw prints? Soon Zac is drawn into a mystery which threatens his life and those around him. He must protect the secret of the Phantom of Terawhiti from those intent on hunting it – and him – down”–Publisher information.

image courtesy of syndeticsFrog Whistle Mine.

Twelve-year-old Tony has travelled all around New Zealand with his nomadic mother, and desperately wants somewhere to belong. When they arrive in Charleston, a gold-mining ghost town, he is almost afraid to hope this might finally be the place. But things aren’t as they seem, and he finds himself caught up in mysterious events.

 

image courtesy of syndeticsWhere cuckoos call.

Twelve-year-old Ben is a keen ornithologist who looks after endangered birds on his family farm in the Coromandel Peninsula. But Ben must grow up fast in the face of threats to his home, his family and his beloved birds.

 

 

image courtesy of syndeticsWhale Pot Bay.

Jake lives with his father in a remote part of the Wairarapa, where he can surf and watch the whales. But then Jake’s dad begins a relationship with a new partner, who moves in with her daughter Stephanie, and at the same time a local photographer starts stalking their next door neighbour Milton Summer, an international rock celebrity, and Jake’s peaceful life erupts into violence and deceit. An when a whale and her calf get into trouble on the treacherous coast, the history of Whale Pot Bay seems doomed to repeat itself unless Jake, Milton and Stephanie can survive the deadly tide.

image couresty of syndeticsCry of the taniwha.

Matt Logan isn’t looking forward to spending the school holidays in Rotorua with his grandmother and her new husband. Matt has taken his metal detector along, and when he and Juzza – the boy next door – unearth a handcuffed skeleton, a dangerous chain of events begins to coil around them.

 

April School Holiday Fun!

Did you know that dragonflies have been around for 300 million years or that our native snail, the Powelliphanta, can live for up to 20 years? What do you know about bugs and other creepy crawlies? Love them or hate them bugs are fascinating! In fact at Wellington Libraries we think Bugs are so awesome we put beehives on the roof of Central Library.

These school holidays we are going to be worming our way into the World of bugs, through games, fun facts, microscopes and crafts. So fly down to your local library and join in with some of the fun, free activities we have on offer, during the April school holidays.

These free events are for children aged 6+

Mervyn Kemp  Library – Tawa: Wednesday 19 April at 11am

Karori Library: Wednesday 19 April at 2pm

Ruth Gotlieb Library – Kilbirnie: Thursday 20 April at 10.30am

Cummings Park Library – Ngaio: Friday 21 April at 11am

Miramar Library: Wednesday 26 April at 10.30am

Wellington Central Library: Thursday 27th April at 11am

Johnsonville Library: Thursday 27th April at 11am

Khandallah Library: Thursday 27 April at 6pm

Newtown Library: Friday 28 April at 6pm

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!

Summer Reading Challenge

Kia ora everyone

A big thank-you and congratulations to all those who took part in Summer Reading Challenge this summer!

We really enjoyed reading all your fantastic reviews and hope that you will keep writing and sending more reviews in for our Kids’ Club.

We would also like to congratulate our overall Summer Reading Challenge winners. The prizes this year go to Zahra from Karori, who was very excited by her new book collection and Ben from Miramar who loves books on sharks!


The school challenge this year was taken out by Karori  West Normal School who had the most students taking part. They received $500 worth of book tokens for the school and some great books for the School Library. It was pretty close, so don’t forget to get your friends at school to take part next summer.

Sadly summer is now drawing to a close but we still have lots of great books at the library to get stuck into. If you can’t decide what to read look at some of the ideas from the Kids Blog and Kids Reviews pages in the Kids’ Club. If you can’t get down to the library try downloading a book or an audio book online!

Happy reading everyone.

 

 

Kids’ Club Review by Tanushree: The spotty holiday

The spotty holidayThe spotty holiday, by Sally Rippin

Billie is jumping up and down!! Do you know why? Because she is going to Grandma’s for 1 WHOLE week! When she arrives there she is covered in spots! Will Billie’s holiday plans be ruined?

5 stars

Reviewed by Tanushree from Johnsonville and Johnsonville School , 6 years old

Kids’ Club Review by Ansh: Super good skills (almost…)

Super good skills (almost...)Super good skills (almost…), by Liz Pichon

This book is about a family who goes camping. They can’t open the door so they jump through the window. The house is very shabby and dad suggests that it’s a wrong house and that they should go to the right house and go surfing. When the boy comes home he realises that he forgot to do something and then plans his excuses.
My favourite character is Tom Gates, a young boy. He is the main character. He is funny and good at doodling his best friend .
This book is recommended for boys 8 and up and if you love doodling.

5 stars

Reviewed by Ansh from Johnsonville and Johnsonville School , 9 years old

Kids’ Club Review by Hasini: Diary of a wimpy kid : the long haul

Diary of a wimpy kid : the long haulDiary of a wimpy kid : the long haul, by Jeff Kinney

This book is called The long haul which is part of the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series. The main character of this story is called Gregory Heffley.

This book is mainly about a summer field trip that go’s terribly bad. It was his mums idea of the road trip. She wanted to copy a road trip from a magazine called Family Frolic. But it didn’t go as they predicted.

They once went to a swimming pool with slides. They thought they lost the keys to their locker which had their money. They looked at the wrong locker and thought they had lost their possessions. So they couldn’t go to a hotel or buy food. So practically the whole trip was over.

Remember there is still more to this story. If you want to know the rest ,READ THE BOOK !

5 stars

Reviewed by Hasini from Karori and Karori West Normal School , 9 years old