The Uppish Hen — Poems from a 1934 Christmas Stocking

In 1934, a young boy named Derek Challis discovered a collection of poems in his Christmas stocking written by his mother. Derek and his mum didn’t live together, but she loved him very much. His mother was one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s most talented authors, Robin Hyde who wrote many books for older readers using a penname, Iris Guiver Wilkinson. Hyde was also one of the first women who worked as a war correspondent, reporting on the Second Sino-Japanese War.

Derek adored these poems by his mother. On the front page of the manuscript of these poems, Hyde wrote that she “…hopes to have them printed with FUNNY PICTURES, ONE FINE DAY.” In 2023, that fine day finally arrived, and these poems have now been published as a beautiful book with funny illustrations!

Wairarapa writer and filmmaker Juanita Deely made a film about Robin Hyde and her son Derek, called A Home in This World, and became friends with Derek. Deely went on to edit this book of poems The Uppish Hen & Other Poems! The brilliant illustrations are by a Glenorchy artist, Dine. This wonderful book is published by The Cuba Press and is available to buy directly from The Cuba Press and good bookstores, or to borrow from the library.

Earlier this year, our kids’ blog writer Joseph had the wonderful opportunity to interview Juanita Deely, check it out here!

At Wellington City Libraries, He Matapihi ki te Ao Nui, we hope that everyone has all have a great Christmas and gets to spend plenty of time with their loved ones, and to remember everyone that we hold dear.

The Uppish Hen & Other Poems / Hyde, Robin (ed. Deely, Juanita)

A previously unpublished collection by Robin Hyde, one of NZ’s finest authors/ journalists, written for her son, Derek Challis. Richly illustrated by Glenorchy artist Dïne.

Iris and me / Werry, Philippa

Young adults and older readers should also check out the brilliant Iris and Me by  Philippa Werry, which won the Young Adult Fiction Award at the 2023 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults.  We are lucky to have also had the opportunity to speak to Philippa about the creation of this book — watch her full interview with our Fiction Specialist Neil here.

The Bad Smell Hotel and Maps of Smell!

Earlier this year, The Cuba Press and Te Māhanga | Karori Library celebrated the book launch of The Bad Smell Hotel by father-daughter duo Rajorshi Chakraborti and Leela (age 11)!

The duo came up with the idea of the book during the 2020 lockdown, and their story is set in the not-too-distant future, where society is contending with mysterious bouts of uncontrollable farting! This book is marvellously illustrated by Dan Mills! Check out this video of the book launch!

Blurb for The Bad Smell Hotel:

It’s 2050, and the world of Jerry, Aina and Dr Winnie Ngata is very different from ours. Most humans have an easy life. There are robots to make you a smoothie, take your avatar on a VR tour of any city you like, or bring you anyone you’re missing as a hologram in front of you. But why are more and more people checking in to bad smell hotels? What is causing them to fart so much that they can’t live with their families anymore? And what on earth is a Fartbit? Bad Smell Hotel is a story to make you laugh and make you think.

The Bad Smell Hotel is available to buy at good bookstores or directly through The Cuba Press. You can also borrow The Bad Smell Hotel from our libraries!

The Summer Reading Adventure Gets Smelly!

For our 2023-2024 Summer Reading Adventure, we’ve got a very special challenge inspired by this book!

Find out how to sign-up on our Summer Reading Adventure kids’ blog post! Here’s a preview of the challenge that you can complete over on Beanstack!

The Smell-Walker’s Map

The bad smell hotel by Chakraborti, Leela

Usually, maps show us where physical places can be found. What if they showed us where smells could be found?

Today your challenge is to walk about, with your parent or caregiver, and make a map of smells! It doesn’t have to be totally accurate, just draw an approximated version of the path that you take and note down the most unique or noticeable smells that you find! Car workshop smell? Draw it in! Florist’s flower shop? Write that down! Pine needles? You got it, make that map entry!

Tell us about some of the smells that you encountered in the Capital City Questline in our Summer Reading Adventure for Kids



Te Ara Pukapuka Children’s Walk at Karori Park

This Summer, get into nature and read a lovely pukapuka at the same time!

Throughout 2023, Te Ara Pukapuka, our children’s book walk, has travelled all around the city from Churchill Park in Seatoun, to Khandallah Park, Kilbirnie Park and Waihinahina Park, Newlands. For Summer 2023—2024, we venture into the walking tracks of Karori Park! Follow each page from one to the next as you wander through the park, taking in the gorgeous sights.

A welcome page is displayed on a post, with an arrow pointing in the direction of the walk.

Our Te Ara Pukapuka welcome page

Te Ara Pukapuka Karori Park begins near the carpark at the southern end of the field, close to Sunshine Kindergarten, 21a Sunshine Avenue, Karori, Wellington 6012.  You can find the entrance on google maps.

Wellington City Libraries and the Wellington City Parks, Sport & Recreation team have again partnered with publisher Scholastic NZ to present a reorua bilingual edition of Ko Tama me te Taniwha / Tama and the Taniwha written by Melanie Koster, illustrated by Monica Koster and translated by Pānia Papa. This wonderful pukapuka is available to borrow from our libraries, and to buy from all good bookstores!

Be aware that Karori Park is a popular dog-walking area, so be prepared to meet some kurī on your travels! Keep an eye out for a couple of bike tracks that briefly intersect with Te Ara Pukapuka.

Two park benches and a post displaying the pages of a book stand beside a walk way.

A great place to stop for a picnic midway on the Karori Park Te Ara Pukapuka journey!

Don’t forget to log reading this pukapuka towards your Summer Reading Adventure too! What’s Summer Reading Adventure? If you aren’t signed up yet, you can find out all the information that you need on our post The Summer Reading Adventure is Here! – Kids’ Blog (

Kids can also find Te Ara Pukapuka listed as an activity for Summer Reading Adventure within the Capital City Quest arc, so be sure to mark this one off as you work towards achieving SRA prizes!

Ngā mihi to all the wonderful people who have supported Te Ara Pukapuka! Happy reading everyone!

Play Week Aotearoa 2023 – Play is Everywhere

Play Week Aotearoa 2023 is underway from 6 – 12 November! 

Whatever you have nearby – a box, a hose, a tree – then you’ve got play! Play Week Aotearoa is all about celebrating the value play brings to tamariki, whānau and communities across Aotearoa.

Play gives us freedom and chances to take risks. It’s how our tamariki learn to problem solve, get creative, make mistakes, create new friendships, learn skills and build a life- long love of being active. You can be part of it too. Play is Everywhere! Find out more at

From neighbourhood scavenger hunts and tafue | jump rope to fort building and balloon games, here are some great play ideas from!

For more inspiration from schools and our communities, check out these play stories from all over Aotearoa!

Here’s a few of our books to help celebrate and spark play!

365 days of play : activities for every day of the year / Butler, Megan Hewes
“This go-to activity book for kids ages 4-8 includes 265 pages of games, crafts, recipes, experiments, projects, jokes, songs, guides, skills, tricks, hacks, challenges, and everything else in the canon of kid”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

Wild days : outdoor play for young adventurers / Irvine, Richard
“Perfect for inspiring kids to get out in the fresh air, this brilliant book is crammed full of outdoor activities and fun for children.” (Catalogue)
50 fantastic ideas for found materials / Featherstone, Sally
“Children love constructing models and other objects, and working with found and recycled materials has a firm and continuing place in the early years, encouraging children to be imaginative and creative as they practice their skills in joining, wrapping, bending and cutting. These materials that are often free or low cost, are available everywhere, waiting for imaginative practitioners to find and use them…” (Abridged from catalogue)
image courtesy of syndeticsThe science of swimming.
“In swimming, there are multiple scientific concepts at play, such as density, gravity, momentum, and buoyancy. Readers learn about these concepts and more with this engaging guide to the science behind swimming. Useful diagrams display how to execute the perfect push-off from the wall of a pool, how to swim successful strokes, and how to do a cannonball.” (Abridged from catalogue).

A child’s garden : 60 ideas to make any garden come alive for children / Dannenmaier, Molly
A Child’s Garden offers a wide range of innovative examples showing how to create special places in which children can experience nature on their own home turf… Out-of-the-ordinary sandboxes are pictured, along with paths, mazes, furniture, peepholes, and scores of ideas for creative play areas that fit perfectly into adult gardens.” (Abridged from catalogue).
Playtime : activities for little children that can make a big difference / Richards, Elspeth
“…Playtime explains how children learn and communicate through play, and what easy things you can do to make this a happy and rewarding experience for you both. Whether you’re looking at house numbers whole out walking, inventing a new kind of hat or cutting up a banana together, there are ways to make the most of valuable time with your child. This book includes all sorts of games and ideas for children aged 1-5, as well as babies.” (Abridged from catalogue)

Art Through the Ages | Toi Puta Noa i Ngā Tau​ – School Holidays Wrap-Up!

As we get back into the swing of things in term four at school, let’s look back on some of the brilliant artistic experiments and creations that you made during our September—October school holiday programme,  Art Through the Ages | Toi Puta Noa i Ngā Tau​.

Flip through this photo gallery to see tamariki repeat the feats of Michelangelo, create miniature masterpieces, learn about traditional Chinese painting and much more!

  • Tradtional Chinese painting workshop at Karori Library!
  • Special guest, Courtney Johnston, the Chief Executive of Te Papa, and librarian Mary, open the exhibition of Miniature Masterpieces created by tamariki. You can check it out in the Waitohi link space!
  • Tamariki made miniature masterpieces at Miramar Library, check out the exhibition!
  • Playdough sculpture spectacular at Te Awe Library!
  • Painting vertically like Michelangelo, at Miramar Library
  • Under the tables at Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library – more painting like Michelangelo!
  • Tamariki at Johnsonville Library share their artwork after a tradtional Chinese painting workshop
  • Japanese woodblock print inspired colourful creations at Karori Library
  • Steve Mushin leads a brilliant workshop at Johnsonville Library as part of the Festival of Ultrawild Design!
  • Our heritage & history specialist librarian Gábor shows tamariki an ancient tome at our illuminating Medieval manuscripts​ event at Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library!
  • Miniature masterpieces on display at Te Awe Library!
  • Just a couple of the beautiful popsicle frames made by tamariki at Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library!

Wellington City Libraries and Community Spaces would like to give a massive thanks to Qianxiang Liu for leading three traditional Chinese painting workshops, and to our wonderful community librarian June for helping organise these! Thanks also to Gábor, our heritage & history specialist librarian for running workshops about manuscript illumination at two lucky library branches!

We are grateful to maverick inventor Steve Mushin for leading hilarious design and drawing workshops which explored ludicrous sounding, scientifically possible ideas to rewild the world! Keep an eye out for Steve’s upcoming book Ultrawild: An Audacious Plan for Rewilding Every City on Earth, published by Allen & Unwin NZ.

Thanks to everyone who came along and helped make our programme so special! We hope to see you all again next holidays, or hopefully before then at your local library branch! To find out about our regular programmes, special events, and holiday happenings, make sure to keep an eye-out on the kids’ blog, and our Facebook page, or our events calendar.

Mā te wā!

School Holidays: Art Through the Ages | Toi Puta Noa i Ngā Tau​

The School Holidays are just around the corner! During the holidays, we are inviting you to explore the world through the power of art in Art Through the Ages | Toi Puta Noa i Ngā Tau.

From the 23rd of September to the 8th of October, learn how to paint like Michelangelo, decorate medieval manuscripts, master the art of the woodblock print, and create your own miniature masterpiece at the library!

Visit this page to see the whole calendar, or read on to find out more about what’s coming up at your local library or community centre!

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What will be your masterpiece?

Illuminating Medieval Manuscripts​

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Get up-close and personal with extremely old and rare items from our Rare Books collection – some from the 1400s!

Rare Books Librarian Gábor Tóth will share the history and technique of manuscript illumination, or hand-drawn decoration. Then, in a found poetry workshop, create and decorate your own ‘manuscript’ in medieval style.

Ages 10+ with their caregivers, if under 14.

Spaces are limited, find out how to register with the links below:

Create a Miniature Masterpiece​

Display your work of art in our itty bitty exhibition!​

Tamariki can join us at the library to paint their masterpiece onto a miniature (10cm x 10cm) canvas. Afterwards, the hosting library will set up a ‘tiny canvas’ exhibition of the paintings, complete with museum-style display cards.

Recommended for tamariki 5+ with their caregivers.

Register online with the following links:

While stocks last, Johnsonville Library will also have some take home kits for tamariki to bring back for a big exhibition!

" "Weave a Pocket full of Stars: Raranga Papercrafts

Join us to learn a little bit about the history of raranga, kete weaving, and basket weaving more generally. Then, tamariki will have the chance to weave their own kete, adapting raranga techniques to materials that can easily be found at home or in our libraries, like coloured paper and cardboard.

For ages 5+ with their caregivers.​ No registrations required.


Paint Like Michelangelo

Travel back in time to learn about Renaissance Italian art! Then lying on your back, apply those techniques and paint the underside of library desks and tables. We will supply all the tools, simply bring along your enthusiasm and artful eye!

For ages 8+ with their caregivers.

Register online with the following links:

" "Traditional Chinese Painting

Join us at the library to learn about and try your hand at traditional Chinese painting. Our expert will share his traditions and techniques with you, then you can try your hand at creating your own artwork.

Ages 8+ with their caregivers.

Register online with the following links:

Festival of Ultrawild Design

Join maverick inventor Steve Mushin for an hilarious design and drawing workshop exploring ludicrous sounding, scientifically possible ideas to rewild the world!

Skills explored: design sketching, 3D drawing, perspective drawing, brainstorming ridiculously wild ideas, eco city design thinking, and storyboarding. Each workshop will be a little different!

For young people who love drawing and inventing!

Recommended for Ages 9-15.

Register online with the following links:

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Framed: Make a Popsicle ​Stick Photo Frame

Bring along a photo or picture! Then, make and decorate a photo frame out of popsicle sticks to put your photo in. You can also draw your own masterpiece to put in your frame!

For ages 5–10 with their caregivers.

For Tawa and Johnsonville events, please register in advance. For other sites, no registration is required.

That Suspicious Sculpture: an Introduction to Dungeons and Dragons

Join us for an introduction to the world of Dungeons and Dragons. We’ll provide the Dungeon Master, pre-made characters, dice, books, gear, and knowledge – all you need is enthusiasm! This session is intended to introduce new and novice players to Dungeons and Dragons & tabletop roleplaying games through a Level 1 adventure, learning the game from our experienced librarians in a friendly environment.

Suitable for ages 13+ 

Register online with the following links:

" " The Great Wave: Japanese Woodblock Printing Workshop​

Discover the practice and style of Japanese woodblock prints and create a classic print of your own.

Make your own spin on classic pieces of art by choosing what colours to print, a twist on the tradition of colouring in.

For ages 8+ with their caregivers.​

Spaces are limited, find out how to register with the links below:

LEGO® Creations – The Art of Architecture

Come down to the library and get creative in these free-build sessions with our extensive LEGO® collections. Let’s build – let’s explore – let’s create a LEGO® masterpiece building inspired by a range of local and global designs.

Recommended for ages 5+ Children under the age of 14 should be accompanied by a caregiver.

More holiday LEGO® Sessions for the whole family! 

Playdough sculpture spectacular!

Come along and create marvellous sculptures with our homemade library recipe playdough.

All supplies provided, there will be sticks, eyes and other craft materials to create truly magnificent sculptures!

Recommended for children aged 5-10.

Register online with the following link:

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Whānau Films

Come join us for a family movie! Movies chosen will have a G or PG rating and are suitable for families with young children. Contact the library branch to find out which movie is screening.

This family-friendly event is suitable for children of all ages accompanied by their caregivers.

Tūmanako 2023: Local Youth for Global Peace

Tūmanako – Children’s Art. Works for Peace is here in 2023! 

This annual event gives tamariki/children and taiohi/young people (under 18) the opportunity to express their creativity and share their aspirations for a peaceful, inclusive, and nuclear-free world. Tūmanako means “Hope.” This is the eighth year of Tūmanako, with this year’s special theme being “one seed of thought grows the forest of peace.” 

The exhibition will be hosted at the Waitohi Hub on the lower ground of Johnsonville Library from the 11th to the 31st of August.

To encourage our younger tamariki to start thinking about peace and what it means to them, Johnsonville Library is inviting preschool groups to visit the Tūmanako and create their own artworks in response to what they see. The library will provide paper and art supplies and would like to keep your artworks to display in the children’s area over the month of September. To book a time to visit the library or for more information, please contact us at

To celebrate Tūmanako 2023, and in remembrance of Hiroshima Day, here are some books to help inform us, and help us develop our aspirations for a peaceful future.

Syndetics book coverPeace warriors / Raymond Huber (2015)

This book tells the heroic stories of brave New Zealander’s and people around the world who used non-violent resistance to pursue paths of peace. One of the stories is of Archibald Baxter, who refused to fight in World War 1 because he did not believe in killing. He faced brutal punishment and rejection for his courageous choice.

Sadako and the thousand paper cranes / Coerr, Eleanor
This historical novel is based on the Sasaki Sadako, a Japanese girl who became a victim of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima by the United States. Sadako worked to fold one thousand paper canes in an attempt to achieve a legend that by doing so, a person could be healed. Sadako’s life has inspired stories and songs.

Book: 'The Complete Story of Sadako Sasaki'. Cover image.

The complete story of Sadako Sasaki : and the thousand paper cranes / Dicicco, Sue
“In this book, author Sue DiCicco and Sadako’s older brother Masahiro tell her complete story in English for the first time–how Sadako’s courage throughout her illness inspired family and friends, and how she became a symbol of all people, especially children, who suffer from the impact of war… Proceeds from this book are shared equally between The Sadako Legacy NPO and The Peace Crane Project.” (Abridged from publisher’s description)

People of peace : 40 inspiring icons / Mirza, Sandrine
” Dreamers… Leaders… And fighters for our rights. Here are 40 globally recognisable people of peace! ” (Adapted from catalogue)
Syndetics book coverMaumahara ki tērā Nōema / nā Jennifer Beck rāua ko Lindy Fisher ; nā Kawata Teepa i whakamāori.

“It’s almost Guy Fawkes Night, and at the school speech competition Andy talks about Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot. The children cheer excitedly, thinking Andy will win the contest. But then, Aroha gets up, wearing a white feather in her hair, and tells the story of another fifth of November and the invasion of Parihaka in 1881.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book coverRemember that November / written by Jennifer Beck ; illustrated by Lindy Fisher.
“It’s almost Guy Fawkes Night, and at the school speech competition Andy talks about Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot. The children cheer excitedly, thinking Andy will win the contest. But then, Aroha gets up, wearing a white feather in her hair, and tells the story of another fifth of November and the invasion of Parihaka in 1881.” (Syndetics summary)
Peace and me / Winter, Ali
“An illustrated collection of inspirational ideas about peace based on the lives of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates of the 20th and 21st centuries. Includes: Jean Henry Dunant, Fridtjof Nansen, Jane Addams, John Boyd Orr of Brechin, Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa, Desmond Tutu, Rigoberta Menchú Tum, Nelson Mandela, Shirin Ebadi, Wangari Maathai, Malala Yousafzai.” (Catalogue)

Peace, power & politics : how New Zealand became nuclear free / Leadbeater, Maire

Older tamariki might find this pukapuka great for research!

“This is a story of how ordinary people created a movement that changed New Zealand’s foreign policy and our identity as a nation…In this country nuclear disarmament has become part of our communal psyche to a greater extent than in any other western-aligned nation… Peace activism is an ongoing story”- (Abridged from Publisher)

Green lizards vs red rectangles / Antony, Steve

“A brave and thought-provoking picture book about war and peace. The green lizards and the red rectangles are at war. But why? They fight and fight and fight – can they find a way to live peacefully side by side despite their differences? The perfect platform to start conversations about the futility of war, this brave and brilliant story is visually stunning and full of clever details to pour over.” (Adapted from catalogue)

Te Ara Pukapuka Children’s Walk at Kilbirnie Park

Earlier this year, some of you might have visited Te Ara Pukapuka, whether at Khandallah Park during Autumn, or at Churchill Park in Seatoun over Summer!

The Winter instalment of Te Ara Pukapuka (The Book Pathway) has now arrived at Kilbirnie Park, complete with a new pukapuka for tamariki to read as they play and explore!

We have partnered with our friends in Wellington City Parks, Sport & Recreation team and publisher Scholastic New Zealand to bring you a bilingual story in English and Te Reo Māori; the wonderful The Promise of Puanga/ Ko Te Kī Taurangi a Puanga by author Kirsty Wadsworth, illustrator Munro Te Whata, and translator Ngaere Roberts.

We are grateful to be able to share such a beautiful story about Matariki and Puanga at this special time of the year! Te Ara Pukapuka begins near 601 Evans Bay Parade, by the Wellington Regional Aquatic Centre carpark, and ends at the seating area parallel to Wellington Road.

Ngā mihi to the fabulous team at Scholastic for their support! The Promise of Puanga / Te Kī Taurangi a Puanga is available to borrow from our libraries, and to buy from all good bookstores.

Holiday activities at Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library and Kilbirnie Recreation Centre! 

Over the school holidays, once you’ve finished reading and exploring, we encourage you to go visit Kilbirnie Library and Kilbirnie Rec Centre!

At Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library, tamariki can contribute to Purapura Whetū: Star Webs to celebrate Matariki. Tamariki will create beautiful stars symbolizing our thankfulness and aspirations for the future. These stars will shine together in a “Collaborative Constellation”, a sparkling embodiment of our shared gratitude and hopes!

Kilbirnie Library also has The Great Pukapuka Book Hunt where tamariki look for books on the shelves/in the catalogue that connect to the stars of Matariki.

Over at Kilbirnie Recreation Centre, tamariki can grab a map and search for each of the stars (whetū) of Matariki as part of Star Navigators: a Matariki Treasure Hunt

Read our blog to find out about other library events as part of Whakanuia a Matariki: July School Holiday Programme, and be sure to pop across the street to Bag a Bargain at the Library Book Sale at St. Patrick’s College Hall (581 Evans Bay Parade) from Friday 7 July to Monday 10 July, 10am-4pm daily.

Te Ao Kararehe | The World of Animals: Wrap-Up!

As we prepare ourselves for another term of school, let’s look back on all the important learning, incredible creations, and colourful critters that we encountered during our April school holidays programme, Te Ao Kararehe | The World of Animals.

Flip through this photo gallery to see some cheeky animals and check out a few of our holiday highlights!

  • Librarian with three camelids
    Mary the librarian, with 3 camelids at ‘Llamas at the Library,’ outside Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library!
  • A group of children making art
    Creating animal masks at Wadestown Library!
  • Children and parents using LEGO®
    Coastal Ecology LEGO® Lab at Island Bay Community Centre
  • Man walks wearing a kororā penguin suit, child watches.
    Michael the Kororā on the move at Karori Library’s Kororā Penguin Party
  • Child stands behind display, holding artwork
    Alisa (5), one of our Kilbirnie Wheelie Roar-Some competition winners, with her creation Bessie: the bird taxi! Thanks to the Kilbirnie Recreation Centre for helping out with prizes!
  • Two boys hold artwork
    Some of the masterful creations from Under the Sea Animal Craftivity at He Matapihi Library
  • A group of children building LEGO®
    Making LEGO® Habitats at Cummings Park Library
  • Child holds their artwork
    One of the lushly decorated critter creations from Technicolour Furbearers at Johnsonville Library!
  • Children work on craft project
    Creating mix and match animal flipbooks at Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library
  • Group of children and parents watch librarians reading book, with musical instruments
    Our librarians lead a musical animal antics storytime at Tawa Community Centre
  • Children read a story to parents and toddlers
    Young presenters weave a tale at our Brooklyn Library Cuddly Creatures Sleepover!
  • Man with guanaco, watched by children
    Stephen Mulholland introduces tamariki to a guanaco at Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library

Wellington City Libraries and Community Centres would like to give a massive thanks to all our friends from Forest & Bird: Places for Penguins, Wellington University Coastal Ecology Lab, Kilbirnie Recreation Centre, and of course Stephen Mullholand with his herd of camelids!

Thanks to everyone who came along and helped make our programme so special! We hope to see you all again next holidays, or hopefully before then at your local library branch! To find out about our regular programmes, special events, and holiday happenings, make sure to keep an eye-out on the kids’ blog, and our Facebook page, or our events calendar.

Now, it’s time for us to waddle, trot, and soar on our way out of here. Mā te wā!

The Summer Reading Adventure is Complete!

Greetings adventurers of great renown. The 2022-2023 Summer Reading Adventure has now finished! As your local librarians, we have been absolutely delighted to see all your achievements and creativity on display! Congratulations to all tamariki & whānau who took part.

Here are some of the numbers:

  • You read 20221 books over December and January — that’s 326 books a day, or a book every 4 and a half minutes!
  • You wrote, drew, or filmed 6447 book reviews. Many of you loved using emojis to tell us about the books you read!
  • You completed 3505 quests, from exploring and mapping the land to building forts, conducting science experiments to creating beautiful and original works of art.
  • You’ve collected 1259 prizes, including badges, books, pens, pencils and notebooks, vouchers from our wonderful friends at Ben & Jerry’s and Unity Books, and other goodies!

So many of you have picked up prizes already. From today, you can still come in to pick up prizes, but only while stocks last as we’re starting to run out of books and other goodies! Check out a small selection of some of our favourite examples of the awesome activities you did!

Protector of the Cake

Inspired by Ruth Paul’s wonderful picture book, Lion Guards The Cake we asked young people to design their dream cake, or bake it with the help of an adult!

Theo cake

Theo designed and baked this incredible dream cake!

Protector of the Cake: Deon

Deon’s basketball championship dream cake!

Reuben's cake

Reuben’s three-dimensional treat!

A Moveable Castle

Inspired by the classic kids’ novel, Howl’s Moving Castle written by Diana Wynne Jones, we challenged young people to construct a blanket fort & have a whānau picnic!

SuperJesse peaks out of a massive fort!

SuperJesse peaks out of a massive fort!

Savannah's cosy fort!

Savannah’s cosy fort!

Bree's whānau fort!

Bree’s whānau fort!

Every Leaf a Masterpiece

Drawing on the name of Ben Okri’s kids’ book, Every Leaf a Hallelujah, we asked kids to head outside and collect some leaves, flowers, or petals from the ground and use them to make collages and artworks!

Maeve's beautiful design

Maeve’s beautiful design!

Gabriel's pleasingly composed botanical piece!

Gabriel’s pleasingly composed botanical piece!

Josh's leafy triptych

Josh’s leafy triptych

That’s us for now, we’re already looking forward to the next reading adventure!