Children’s Collection Spotlight: Board Books

Board Books

In this new series we’ll be shining a spotlight on some of the different collections for children and young people housed within our libraries. First up: Board books!

What are board books?

Board books are aimed at preschoolers and their whānau. As the name suggests, the entire book is printed on heavy board pages, making the book as a whole more durable, less susceptible to chewing and tearing, and making the pages easier for smaller and less dexterous hands to turn.

Board books in face-out wooden shelving

Board book collections can be found in all of our locations around Wellington – we have over 1600 different board book titles in our collection!

Screenshot of part of a catalogue record: Genre/Format Board books
What to look for in a catalogue record

If you’re searching for board books on our catalogue you can simply search for ‘Board books’, or you once you’ve found a book you can click on the Genre/Format heading to take you through to the list of all the board books we have.

High-contrast board books

Let’s take a look at some of the different types of board books you can find in our collection!

Many board books are designed to be read with young babies whose vision doesn’t focus very well yet. Pēpi of this age will enjoy books with high contrast colours, black and white, red, green, and blue. Roger Priddy’s Faces is a good example of a board book with familiar, high contrast pictures. Another example is the Happy Baby series, which feature tri-colour pictures and many familiar objects as the reader says “Hello!” to different animals and other things around them. The Baby Montessori series is another series that utilises simple images and colour combinations to nurture infant visual development.

More high-contrast board books

Interactive and textural board books

As well as illustrations, many board books also incorporate different textures as well as shapes cut into the pages to help little ones develop sensory awareness.

The That’s not my… series by Fiona Watt are all full of different textures for your little one to explore. In this series that t-rex’s tummy is too squashy, that bunny’s tail is too fluffy, that tractor’s engine is too bumpy, that badger’s nose is too shiny, but we do always find our own t-rex or tractor in the end!

The game of let’s go! by Hervé Tullet, showing the die-cut pages.

Hervé Tullet is a good example of an author who uses cut-out shapes in the pages of his books. In The game of let’s go! the reader follows a textured line through the pages of a book and because of the shapes cut through the pages of the book you can skip from one page to another and see parts of the pathway you’ve been down before or that you will find further in the book. In The game of finger worms, The finger sports game, and The finger circus game there are holes cut in the pages of the book that turn your finger into a puppet acting out what’s happening on the page. You’re encouraged to draw a face on the end of your finger to make it into a more believable puppet too.

More interactive/textural board books

The spines of the books in the Reo Pepi series lined up on a shelf

Te reo Māori board books

The Reo Pēpi series is a wonderful series of bilingual board books by cousins Kitty Brown and Kirsten Parkinson. Each pukapuka in this series focuses on a different simple topic and features simple but beautiful illustrations alongside the words in both Te Reo Māori and English. These books can be read one-on-one with your pēpi, exploring the language and illustrations together, and they are also great to be read aloud to a group. This series is a favourite at our Preschool Storytimes and Nohinohi Reorua bilingual storytimes! You can have a go making different animal noises as you read Kararehe, identify the parts of your face with Kanohi, find all the different Ngā Tae around your space, or practice different Mahi.

More te reo Māori board books

These are just some of the many, many board books available in our collection. Have a dig through what’s at your local library next time you visit – you might just find a new favourite!

Summer Reading Adventure 2022 – for adults, teens and kids!

Read books, explore the city, win prizes!

The Summer Reading Adventure runs from 1 December 2022 — 31 January 2023, and this year we are inviting intrepid explorers of word and page of all ages to join us — children, teens, and adults.

Exactly what reading adventures are in store for you will depend on which version of the Adventure you sign up for, but as a general rule you can participate in three different ways:

  1. Log your reading — tell us what you’ve been reading, and maintain your own personal reading log to earn tickets you can cash in for the chance to win one of our Grand Prize packs.
  2. Write, draw or film book reviews — get creative and let us know what you think about the books you’ve been reading, with special spot prizes for the most thought-provoking entries.
  3. Complete challenges — choose your own adventure, and participate in a range of different activities, challenges, and quests that will have you venturing out into the city, taking a deep dive into our collections, and exploring your own back yard — and what’s more, you’ll even make it home in time for tea!

Continue reading “Summer Reading Adventure 2022 – for adults, teens and kids!”

Come Write In with NaNoWriMo 2022

Welcome to NaNoWriMo 2022

Every November, the National Novel Writing Month challenges aspiring and established authors to produce an entire novel of at least 50,000 words in just 30 days and nights of complete and utter literary abandon. Wellington is a particularly active hotspot for Writing Month aficionados (or Wrimos for short), with over 1300 writers currently signed up to take part.

So how does it work? First, you sign up for the programme over at the NaNoWriMo website. When you create your account, you’ll be asked what part of the world you’re from, and you’ll be automatically added to your local community of writers on the NaNoWriMo forums. In that community, you’ll find kinship from your fellow writers and the wonderful Wellington municipal liaisons, who are there to offer help and inspiration as needed. You’ll also find info about writing groups and workshops running throughout the city to help you push through that word count.

Come Write In!

Wellington City Libraries loves supporting NaNoWriMo, so this year we’re hosting Come Write In spaces at four of our branch libraries. Write-ins are a hallmark of the NaNoWriMo experience — they’re spaces for you to join in-person with other writers, share your pains and your triumphs, get inspiration, drink coffee, and encourage one another to keep working towards your writing goals. We’re very lucky that many of our Write-Ins are being hosted by Wellington’s municipal liaisons as well.

Details of our Come Write In spaces are below:

  • Johnsonville Library | Waitohi: Every Saturday, 10.00am – 12.00pm (liaison-hosted)
  • Karori Library | Te Māhanga: Every Saturday, 2.00 – 4.00pm (liaison-hosted)
  • Te Awe (Brandon Street) Library: Every Sunday, 1.30 – 4.30pm (liaison-hosted)
  • Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library | Korimako: Every Monday, 3.00 – 5.00pm (library-hosted)

All of our Come Write In libraries feature free wi-fi, comfy chairs, a guaranteed space for you to work, and of course the coffee (or tea) will be flowing from our wonderful library cafes. (Except for you folks at Cummings Park Library — but we’re sure that if you ask nicely enough, you can get a cuppa from the staff room!)

Finding Inspiration

Don’t forget you can check out our blog for advice, tips and tricks from established Wellington authors and former Wrimos including Catherine Chidgey, Mikaela Nyman, Breton Dukes, and Rachel Kerr.

Happy writing to you all!

Tūhono 2022 for Kids and Teens – submit a poem!

Tūhono - Submit a poemTūhono, Wellington City Libraries’ poetry journal for children and teens, is now open for submissions!

All throughout the month of November, we will be accepting submissions of poetry from young writers aged 5 – 18 in Wellington City. Know someone who might be interested? Read more below!

About Tūhono 2022 – send us a poem!

Continue reading “Tūhono 2022 for Kids and Teens – submit a poem!”

Comicify Your Life: ComicFest Art Competition Results

The big day is finally here, and the ComicFest 2022 livestream is in full swing as we write these words! In the lead-up to the launch of this programme, aspiring comic artists and illustrators from across Wellington submitted their finest and most creative works to our Comicify Your Life drawing competition. Artists submitted autobiographical works across four age categories (5-8, 9-12, 13-17, and 18+), and were vying for a range of thematic category awards, as well as the coveted Grand Prizes, generously supported by Unity Books and Gecko Press.

During the ComicFest 2022 livestream, following a fantastic illustration workshop from the incomparable Kay O’Neill, we announced the category awards and the Grand Prize winners for each age group for the Comicify Your Life competition. You can see a gallery of the winning images below (click or tap on each image to view the full-size scan). Congratulations to all our winners — we will be contacting you all over the coming days to organise the delivery of your prizes.

Themed Spot Prizes

Grand Prize: Ages 5-8

5-8 category winner: Ehan


Grand Prize: Ages 9-12

9-12 category winner: Sophia


Grand Prize: Ages 13-17

13-17 category winner: Jaime


Grand Prize: Ages 18+

18+ category winner: Kiri


Congratulations to all of our prize-winners, and a massive thank you to everyone who submitted a piece of work to this competition!

Enter the ComicFest Multiverse with Beanstack

With ComicFest 2022 hitting the screens on Saturday 7 May, the capital’s comic book fans will be looking for ways to get hyped in advance of joining the veritable galaxy of comic creators we have lined up for the big day. You’re in luck — through our Beanstack platform, we have devised the perfect tool for anyone seeking entry to the ComicFest multiverse.

Visit our Beanstack site to start exploring the ComicFest multiverse!

What is Beanstack?

Beanstack is a digital platform and app that adds a bit of spice to our reading lives by allowing you to earn virtual badges and achievements (and sometimes real-world goodies too!) by reading and participating in activities and challenges. You can sign up for Beanstack at any time in order to:

  • Log reading books and minutes spent reading;
  • Earn reading streaks for reading on consecutive days;
  • Write, draw, or film book reviews;
  • Receive recommendations of books in our catalogue from our librarians and from other readers;
  • Engage in fun reading-related challenges and activities throughout the year to earn achievements and prizes!

While you have access to all of the above features at any time, our creative librarians are always dreaming up ideas for special Challenges to add even more flavour to your reading experience — many of the kids of the city will have experienced this with the Summer Reading Adventure or View Finders challenges already — now it’s the turn of the adults and teens as well!

What is the ComicFest 2022 Beanstack Challenge?

The ComicFest 2022 Beanstack Challenge is our latest offering, designed to get you immersed in the ComicFest 2022 multiverse ahead of the big day. When you sign up, you’ll be challenged to:

  • Explore the unique artistic worlds of our wonderful ComicFest creators — a star-studded cast including such greats as Tea Dragon tamer Kay O’Neill, cartoonist extraordinaire Dylan Horrocks, pro-wrestler and Sāmoan superhero Michel Mulipola, and webcomic megastar Jem Yoshioka;
  • Track down and read all of the books, webcomics, zines, and anthologies our ComicFest artists have created — be warned, this task could keep you occupied for a very long time!
  • Get geared up to submit your finest cartoonish creations for the Comicify Your Life art competition — entries are closed as of 1 May 2022 — but by all means keep on creating! We love to see your work!

Each digital badge you earn puts you in the running to win some awesome ComicFest spot prizes, all while immersing you in the amazing world of New Zealand comics and their creators. The challenge runs until Saturday 21 May, so you can keep exploring even after ComicFest 2022 is done and dusted.

How do I sign up?

Comic fans of any age can register for the ComicFest 2022 Beanstack Challenge by visiting our Beanstack site and hitting the “Register an Individual or Family” button. After that, you’ll be asked if you would like to register for the ComicFest 2022 challenge!

It’s also super easy to use Beanstack on your phone or mobile device. You just need to:

  • Download the Beanstack Tracker app (Google Play) (App Store)
  • Open the app
  • Choose ‘Library’ as the Organisation
  • Search for Wellington City Libraries
  • Touch Sign Up!

So go on and get signed up today — we can’t wait to see you there!