All ages and stages: New parenting books

Three parenting book covers silhouetted against a baby's hand clasped with a parent's hand

Need to delve into the parenting hive mind for help? Whether it’s parenting teens or feeding babies, our collection of parenting books can help you find and put words to your experiences as you navigate parenthood. Have a browse of what’s new this month!

The queer parent : everything you need to know from gay to ze / Jeffs, Lotte
“LGBTQ+ people have more options than ever before when it comes to starting a family, but a lack of both focused information and mainstream representation can leave parents, prospective parents, friends and relatives in the dark. Authors Lotte Jeffs and Stu Oakley spoke to dozens of experts and queer families, and this hugely-needed book is the product of those conversations and their own experiences of becoming parents through IUI and adoption respectively. 90% of queer parenting is just…parenting, but being LGBTQ+ when you’re a parent does bring along questions and concerns that mainstream guides — which tend to assume heterosexuality — do not address. From adoption, surrogacy, fertility treatment and other routes to parenthood, to donors, trans parenting, how to deal with family-focused homophobia, coming out at the school gates and much more, The Queer Parent is a groundbreaking toolkit for LGBTQ+ parents.” (Catalogue)

What your teen is trying to tell you / O’Malley, Stella
“Stella takes parents inside the teenage brain and provides practical advice for each of the key milestones teenagers need to tackle during adolescence to become happy, healthy adults. You will learn how to navigate many issues, including anxiety, obsession with technology, body confidence and the sexual self. Rather than always looking to ‘fix’ the situation, you will instead be empowered to know when and how to intervene and when to allow your teen to work it out for themselves. Ultimately, you will understand your teen better and learn to rekindle joy in your relationship” (Catalogue)

Feed the baby : an inclusive guide to nursing, bottle-feeding & everything in between / Facelli, Victoria
“This is a book about feeding babies. Nothing more, nothing less. How to Thrive: An evidence-based guide to feeding your baby is the first book from Victoria Facelli, the certified lactation consultant, who struggled to feed her child post-partum. With kindness and compassion, Facelli explains the science of infant anatomy and breastmilk, celebrates the medical marvels of formula and feeding tubes, and helps parents of any gender use every tool in the modern parent’s arsenal to make their own feeding choices. Her mission is to help parents feel proud of achieving what they set out to do, but equally proud of letting things go when they aren’t working.” (Catalogue)

A girlhood : letter to my transgender daughter / Hays, Carolyn
“A parent’s love letter to a daughter who has always known exactly who she is. One ordinary day, a caseworker from the Department of Children and Families knocked on the Hays family’s door to investigate an anonymous complaint about the upbringing of their transgender child. It was this knock, this threat, that began the family’s journey out of the Bible Belt but never far from the hate and fear resting at the nation’s core. Self-aware and intimate, A Girlhood asks us all to love better, not just for the sake of Hays’s child but for children everywhere enduring injustice and prejudice just as they begin to understand themselves. A Girlhood is a call to action, an ode to community, a plea for empathy, a hope for a better future.” (Catalogue)

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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!

Growing pains and growing parents: Recent parenting books

I came to parenting the way most of us do — knowing nothing and trying to learn everything.

Mayim Bialik, actress and neuroscientist

We’re all learning, all of the time. Here are our picks of the latest parenting books to arrive on our shelves – have a browse! First up is the latest from Pōneke parent, Emily Writes.

Needs adult supervision : lessons in growing up / Emily
Needs Adult Supervision is Emily Writes’ take on growing up and feeling like a real adult. This book looks at the growing pains of kids and their parents and their attempts to navigate a world that’s changing by the minute. Emily paints a vivid picture of all the feelings, fortunes and failures that come with trying to parent when you don’t always feel up for the task. What it feels like to be learning at the same time your kids are. What happens when we get radically honest about the challenges parents are facing. In Emily’s inimitable way it’s incredibly insightful and hilarious, and leads to the odd tear being shed along the way.” (Catalogue)

How to cope when your child can’t : comfort, help and hope for parents / Shafran, Roz
“Parenting and caring for a child who is struggling to cope can be painful and stressful, and can make it very hard to enjoy life yourself. Feelings of blame, guilt, sorrow, despair, fear and frustration may be swirling around alongside a desperate desire to cure their pain. Although parenting a child who is experiencing difficulties is a common problem, we can feel desperately alone when it is happening to us. When someone we love is struggling for whatever reason we may become unhappy too. […] This book is packed with stories from real parents, combined with information from psychological research. It will show you how you can manage to obtain comfort from knowing you are not alone, get help from resources and techniques that really work, and find hope that things can and do change for the better” (Catalogue)

Good inside : a guide to becoming the parent you want to be / Kennedy, Rebecca
“Dr. Becky Kennedy, wildly popular parenting expert and creator of @drbeckyatgoodinside, shares her groundbreaking approach to raising kids and offers practical strategies for parenting in a way that feels good. Over the past several years, Dr. Becky Kennedy — known to her followers as “Dr. Becky” — has been sparking a parenting revolution. Millions of parents, tired of following advice that either doesn’t work or simply doesn’t feel good, have embraced Dr. Becky’s empowering and effective approach, a model that prioritizes connecting with our kids over correcting them. […] In Good Inside, Dr. Becky shares her parenting philosophy, complete with actionable strategies, that will help parents move from uncertainty and self-blame to confidence and sturdy leadership.” (Catalogue)

How to raise an antiracist / Kendi, Ibram X
“How do we talk to our children about racism? How do we teach children to be antiracist? How are kids at different ages experiencing race? How are racist structures impacting children? How can we inspire our children to avoid our mistakes, to be better, to make the world better? These are the questions Ibram X. Kendi found himself avoiding as he anticipated the birth of his first child. Like most parents or parents-to-be, he felt the reflex to not talk to his child about racism, which he feared would stain her innocence and steal away her joy. But research into the scientific literature, his experiences as a father and reflections on his own difficult experiences as a student ultimately changed his mind. In How to Raise an Antiracist he shows that we must all participate in the effort to raise young people as antiracists.” (Catalogue)

‘Mum, what’s wrong with you?’ : 101 things only mothers of teenage girls know / Candy, Lorraine
“One minute you are sniffing the top of your baby’s delicious new born head, lost in a soft velvety world of endless love and the next you are receiving the full force of a self-righteous teenage meltdown. There are 101 things you don’t know about teenage girls until you live them. We are all familiar with the hormones, the illogical rage, the awful time keeping, and the daily dramarama. However, you don’t know that they will steal your stuff (and claim you never had it in the first place), bruise your self-esteem just as you hit your melancholy midlife, and love/hate you all day long with exhausting regularity seconds after turning 13. […] Enter Lorraine Candy […] She lights the way for other mums facing life with teenage girls, other mums caught in the perfect storm of parenting tomorrow’s bright and brilliant women just as they go through their own midlife unravelling.” (Catalogue)

Outdoor kids in an inside world : getting your family out of the house and radically engaged with nature / Rinella, Steven
“Today, kids can spend up to seven hours per day looking at screens. Not only does this phenomenon have consequences for our kids’ physical and mental health, it calls into question their ability to understand and engage with anything beyond the built environment. We can talk about environmental stewardship, but until more people make meaningful contact with nature, the welfare of our planet is in jeopardy. Now, outdoors expert Steven Rinella shares the parenting wisdom he has garnered as a father whose family has lived amid the biggest cities and wildest corners of America. Throughout, he offers practical advice for getting your kids radically engaged with nature in a muddy, thrilling, hands-on way, guided by black-and-white illustrations throughout-with the ultimate goal of helping them see their own place within the natural ecosystem.” (Catalogue)