Dyslexia-friendly books for young people

Wellington City Libraries actively collects dyslexia-friendly books for young people. Many of our branches maintain special displays to make them as easy as possible to find.

We asked our Children & Youth Services Coordinator, Stephen Clothier, for information on this collection — read on for dyslexia-friendly book information from Stephen…

Stephen Clothier There is a rapidly-growing publishing scene internationally for books published in formats friendlier to young people with dyslexia, with publishers like Barrington Stoke and DB Australia publishing exclusively in this area.

What is a dyslexia-friendly book? Dyslexia-friendly books typically have some or all of the following features:

  • Non-white paper
  • Sans-serif font (some books use specially-designed dyslexia-friendly fonts that work by reducing the symmetry between commonly mistaken letter pairs: b/d, p/q, n/u)
  • 1.5 line spacing
  • Variable line lengths
  • Uncluttered page design for maximum clarity

Many of our branches maintain special displays of dyslexia-friendly books to make them as easy as possible to find, but you can also find them for yourself on our catalogue.

Try the following searches — and remember that you can reserve these books to be collected at the library branch of your choice:

For Kids:

For Teens:

Some recent titles

Here is a selection of great dyslexia-friendly titles recently added to our collection:

A bad day for Jayden / Bradman, Tony
“Mum won’t get out of bed. His best friend has dumped him. And school work is just too difficult. Jayden wants to do the right thing – but how can he when it feels like the world is conspiring against him? Everything is going wrong, and when a supply teacher turns up to take his class, Jayden’s sure things will keep on getting worse. But Mrs Wilson is not quite the teacher Jayden expected … can she help turn his bad day around?” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Anna Gain and the same sixty seconds / Bass, Guy
“Ever-punctual Anna Gain is never late, and she’s certainly never late for the school bus. Every day she catches it in perfect time. But not today. After a series of absurd events cause Anna to miss the bus, she’s transported one minute back in time – only to be stuck re-living the same sixty seconds again … and again … and again … Is fate trying to teach Anna a lesson? And will she ever escape?” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Clever cakes / Rosen, Michael
“It pays to be able to think on your feet, especially if you’re about to be eaten alive or cheated out of a valuable prize! And in these hilarious comical adventures by storytelling legend Michael Rosen, two clever kids are more than a match for a hungry grizzly bear and a bored and arrogant king! Read along as two super-smart kids triumph in these perfectly packaged fairy tales with a twist…” (Catalogue)

The slippery schemes of Sushi Man / Barlow, Steve
“Take on the role of a shape-shifting MEGAHERO in this fully interactive, wacky, choose-your-own-destiny adventure story. You and your mega-computer sidekick, PAL, must save the world from Sushi Man and his own sidekick, Wasabi Boy. This evil duo has started poisoning and controlling the population. Can you possibly morph into the right shapes to take down this out-of-control pair of baddies? (Adapted from Catalogue)

Animal farm / Orwell, George
“Orwell’s powerful, unnerving and timeless allegory of oppression and rebellion, brought to life for a new age of readers in a stunning dyslexia-friendly edition.” (Catalogue)

Children’s comics that aren’t your usual

Have you traversed though all of Tintin? Been through the footnotes of Asterix? Are you just looking for something new to read? Then try one of these comics, as recommended by our librarians!

Want a superhero story with a fun twist? Try Sparks, the hero who’s actually two cats in a robot dog suit!

Do you want a comic with an interactive element? Then read Hocus Pocus, a pick-a-path adventure comic where YOU decide where the story goes!

Passionate about dinosaurs? Then check out Dinosaur Empire, an adventure through the three periods of the Age of Dinosaurs!

You can find all these books (and more!) in the Children’s Comic section of our library branches.

Sparks! / Boothby, Ian
“Sparks is a hero and man’s best friend, but nobody suspects he’s two cats! August is a brilliant inventor who is afraid of the outside. Charlie is a crack pilot who isn’t afraid of anything. Together these pals save lives every day as they pilot a powerful, mechanical dog suit!” (Adapted from catalogue)

Zeus : king of the gods / O’Connor, George
“O’Connor’s vibrant, kinetic art brings ancient tales to undeniable life, in a perfect fusion of super-hero aesthetics and ancient Greek mythology. Volume 1 of OLYMPIANS, ZEUS: King OF THE GODS, introduces readers to the ruler of the Olympian Pantheon, telling his story from his boyhood to his ascendance to supreme power.” (Adapted from catalogue)

Hocus & Pocus [1] : the legend of Grimm’s woods / Manuro
“Enter a world inspired by favorite fairy tales, complete with gingerbread houses, a girl dressed in red, and seven brothers lost in the woods. Readers can play as Hocus (a girl) or Pocus (a boy), choose a magic animal companion, and enter a colorful forest of brain-teasing riddles, magical objects, and unusual characters. Succeed or fail, it all depends on you” (Adapted from catalogue)

Dinosaur empire! : a graphic novel / Howard, Abby
“This book takes readers on a journey back in time to experience the Mesozoic Era firsthand through a riveting combination of art and factual information. This first in a three-book, middle-grade, graphic novel series centering around scientific investigations throughout time helps readers learn about the creatures of the Mesozoic Era.” (Catalogue)

Akissi : tales of mischief / Abouet, Marguerite
“Collects the adventures of Akissi, a young West African girl who is always getting into trouble.” (Catalogue)

Cucumber quest. 1, The doughnut kingdom / Gigi D. G.
“A delightfully pun-filled middle grade graphic novel, adapted from the popular web comic series, about bunny siblings on a heroic journey to save their world from an evil queen.” (Catalogue)

Summer Reading Challenge for Kids

All of a sudden the end of the school year and Summer are nearly upon us, and lo and behold, it RAINS! Need an activity to occupy your kids’ imaginations? Print out a Summer Reading Challenge booklet for them (and explore our interactive list online!).

Every year the team at Wellington City Libraries put their heads together and come up with a list of 60+ amazing books. We then challenge kids aged 5 – 12 years to read as many books as possible from our Summer Reading Booklist between the 1st of December and the 31st of January. Once the kids have read a book, they go to the Kids’ Club page, write a review and win prizes!

P.S. You might find yourself reading their Summer Reading Challenge books as well!

Feel Brave book event: Little Stories about Big Feelings

It’s hard to be brave sometimes as a child, and often as adults we forget what the world is like for children – shadows in the corners of rooms, strange noises, bullying at school, not being invited to a birthday party, no one to play with and the death of a grandparent are often part of their world. How do we help children as they confront these situations while growing up?

UK based NZ author Avril McDonald has come up with a wonderful series of books that follow the adventures of Wolfgang the wolf as he encounters these emotional situations. The Feel Brave book series is designed to help children understand their feelings and give them strategies and techniques they can use when feeling upset or anxious.

Avril McDonald, a former primary school teacher, is currently in New Zealand and has been touring schools with her books reading the stories and doing Feel Brave Wellbeing Workshops with the children. Discover the Feel Brave series for yourself when Avril comes to Wellington Central Library on Saturday the 26th of August. The Feel Brave books are officially for 4 – 7 year olds but all ages enjoy them. So come along and bring the children to this special Feel Brave event.

Where: Wellington Central Library
When: Saturday 26th of August, 10.30 – 11.30am

This Monday, special pre-school storytimes and kids’ press conference!

All systems are go, down at Central Library on Monday the 14th of August as the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults kicks off with a day full of exciting events. These unique awards celebrate the wonderful writers and illustrators from Aotearoa who give us so many great books to read and help to shape our identity as a country.

The day starts with three fantastic storytime sessions featuring finalists from the Book Awards so come along to hear the stories being read by their very own authors and illustrators.

9.30am-11am: Storytime sessions 

9.30am: “My Grandpa is a Dinosaur” read by Richard Fairgray and “The Day the Costumes Stuck” read by Toby Morris. Both of these books are very funny and destined to become family favourites. What would you do if your Grandpa’s pants needed tail holes? Imagine if you couldn’t get your party costume off and your parents didn’t even notice!

Continue reading “This Monday, special pre-school storytimes and kids’ press conference!”

Children’s booksale this week

Kids booksale2Head down to the Central Library this week and stock up on children’s books to keep on your bookshelf – we’ve decided to keep our our mini booksale going after its popularity last weekend.
Our sales table includes picture books, fiction books and non-fiction Books for kids up to 12 years old and they’re only $1 each!  It’s never too late to come and have a look – we’ll have new stock on sale regularly throughout the week.
Why not come to the World Wide Weird holiday activity on Wednesday and check out the sales table afterwards?

Children’s booksale on this weekend!

Kids booksale2Head down to the Central Library this weekend and stock up on Children’s books for the school holidays.
Our sales table includes Picture Books, Fiction books and Non-Fiction Books for kids up to 12 years old and they’re only $1 each!
You have three days only (starting today) to make the most of our sale. It’s never too late to come and have a look as we’ll have new stock on sale regularly throughout the weekend.
Our Saturday morning storytime at Central is the ideal opportunity to bring your kids along and choose a few books together!

Ten children’s books that are too sad to read out loud (properly)

Here’s a list of books we think are a real challenge to get all the way through in one piece, especially with an audience. We dare you to read them out loud. Bonus points if you read them to a child all the way through without getting the puzzled “what’s up with the adult?” stare.

(helpfully supplied by some central library storytime readers and other picture book enthusiasts)

  1. The Big Ugly Monster and The Little Stone Rabbit, Chris Wormell – a story of feeling lonely, the need for friendship, and death (in general, rather than “the need for”). The monster is so ugly that nothing can stand him; ponds evaporate, and the stone statues he creates to keep him company shatter… except for the little stone rabbit.
  2. The Giving Tree, Shel Silverstein – the tree gives, well, basically everything. Incidentally, don’t be put off by the author photo (he looks like Mr T).
  3. Michael Rosen’s Sad Book, Michael Rosen with illustrations by Quentin Blake – yes it is very sad. The product description says: “What makes Michael Rosen most sad is thinking about his son, Eddie, who died.”
  4. Always and Forever, Alan Durant – on the subject of grief, Fox dies very early in the piece, leaving his friends bereft until they rally and find ways to honour his memory.
  5. Badger’s Parting Gifts, Susan Varley – similar to Always and Forever. “So cute it makes your teeth ache” says one library staff member.
  6. Duck, Death and The Tulip, Wulf Erlbruch – first published in German. Duck befriends Death, but is this a good idea really? Vielleicht nicht.
  7. Love You Forever, Robert Munsch – as time passes family roles are reversed.
  8. Goodbye Mog, Judith Kerr – sad perhaps because people have invested a lot of time in the Mog stories. It’s like losing a pet. The forgetfulness is maybe a forewarning.
  9. The Selfish Giant, Oscar Wilde (in Fairy tales of Oscar Wilde) – as far as children’s stories go, Oscar Wilde knew how to make em wistful. Here the titular giant learns a lesson the Giving Tree could have taught him – selflessness is what makes the flowers grow.
  10. The Happy Prince, Oscar Wilde (here illustrated by Jane Ray) – one of the biggest tearjerkers like ever. The Giving Tree’s big brother, this one might well be.

LIANZA Book Awards 2010

The LIANZA Book Awards were announced yesterday, with an ecclectic collection of winners, showcasing the best of the New Zealand publishing world. For more information on the awards visit the NZ Book Council news page. The winners were:

The Russell Clark Award (contribution to illustrated children’s books): There Was a Crooked Man, Gavin Bishop. The English rhyme about the man with the crooked smile, illustrated by one of New Zealand’s best known children’s writer/illustrators. This is a board book, suitable for very young people.

The Elsie Locke Award (for children’s non-fiction): Dear Alison, edited by Simon Pollard. “A reproduction of the diary of Dudley Muff, a New Zealand prisoner of war in Germany written for his niece, Alison, who was four and living in Timaru.” (library catalogue)

The Esther Glen Award (for junior fiction): The Billionaire’s Curse, Richard Newsome. Gerald is left a 13 year old billionaire after his great aunt dies. When he becomes entangled in the theft of a rather large diamond he must uncover the mystery that surrounds his great aunt’s death (was she murdered?) and her connection to the diamond.

The LIANZA Young Adult Award (awarded for the first time): Banquo’s Son, Tania Roxborogh. Fleance, Banquo’s son, gets one short reference in Macbeth (told to “fly” by the mortally wounded Banquo). In this novel, Fleance is ten years down the line, haunted by ghosts: it’s time to avenge his father’s death.

Te Kura Pounamu: Hewa, Darryn Joseph. “Hewa” is fantasy in Māori, and Hewa is a fantasy story written in te Reo Māori “about a boy who wants to help protect his family and friends from a baddie. It’s set in an online game and involves American military software, a futuristic battleship called the USS Barack Obama, and artificial intelligences gaining sentience and self determination.” (from Massey University website)

Te Tohu Hoani Whatahoro (for te waihanga Pukapuka Pono (children’s non-fiction)): Ngā Rākau series by Huia Publishers.

Te Tohu Pounamu (for te wahanga Kaiwhakamaori): Hautipua Rererangi, edited by Julian Arahanga and illustrated by Andrew Burdan. A Te Reo graphic novel about John Porokoru Pohe, a World War II pilot who was a prisoner at Stalag Luft III (of The Great Escape fame). While he escaped, John Pohe was recaptured and subsequently killed.

Te Tohu Taurapa (for te wahanga Pukapuka Pikitia (picture books)): Hūhū Koroheke, Kyle Mewburn, illustrated by Rachel Driscoll and translated by Kāterina Te Heikōkō Mataira. Old Huhu in English (from the author of the loved Kiss, Kiss, Yuck, Yuck), this book picked up the Supreme Award at the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards earlier this year.

Te Tohu Nga Kete e toru (for mo te waihanga Pukapuka Paki (fiction)): Hewa, Darryn Joseph.