Making Musical Mayhem these School Holidays!

The school holidays are almost upon us — just 5 sleeps to go! With the Prime Minister’s announcement that we will be moving to COVID-19 Alert Level 1 from midnight tonight, we thought this calls for some kind of celebration. And what better way to celebrate than with music?

These school holidays, from September 26 — October 11, Wellington City Libraries are inviting you to Make Musical Mayhem with us at your local library or community centre! There’s heaps to do, from awe-inspiring interactive performances with our friends at Orchestra Wellington and musical craft extravaganzas with LEGO and recycled materials, to workshops on making music for robots, speed-dating musical instruments, and even a big dance party at our new Central branch, Te Awe Library on Brandon Street. There’s fun for the whole family, so check out the schedule below, or go to our event calendar for the full details of what’s on offer at your library!

Image of digital equaliser software displaying rainbow-coloured volume bars at different heights.

Get ready to make beautiful musical mayhem at your library during the school holidays!

Building Sound: Creating Music with Apps

Want to make music at home? Come along and learn how to make your own tunes at home using apps. We will explore different music-making apps, and how to layer different sounds and instruments to create our own pieces of music. Tablets will be provided, however we encourage you to bring your own.

Suitable for ages 8+ with their caregivers.

  • Te Awe Library, Tuesday 29 September, 11.00am

Introduction to the Orchestra

Want to learn about the inner workings of an orchestra? In preparation for “Where’s My Triangle?” with Orchestra Wellington on the 4th of October, Te Awe Library will be screening an entertaining guide to the orchestra, suitable for the whole family!

Bring your parents and grandparents — everyone is sure to learn something new.

  • Te Awe Library, Sunday 27 September, 1.30pm

Let’s Go LEGO®: Musical Edition

Are you a master builder in disguise? Join us for this special music-themed edition of Let’s Go LEGO® for our musical school holidays. Let’s build – let’s explore – let’s create your LEGO® magnum opus!

Suitable for ages 5+ with their caregivers.

  • Khandallah Library, Friday 2 October, 3.30pm
  • Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library, Wednesday 7 October, 11.00am
  • Johnsonville Library, Friday 9 October, 11.00am
  • Brooklyn Library, Friday 9 October, 2.00pm
  • Te Awe Library, Sunday 11 October, 11.00am

Makey Makey: Music for Robots!

What if we told you you could make a musical instrument out of everyday materials you find lying around? A banana piano? No problem. A drum kit made of keys and coins? Why not! Join us for a special music-making session with our Makey Makeys — who knows what you’ll create!

Suitable for children of all ages with their caregivers.

  • Khandallah Library, Tuesday 29 September, 2.00pm
  • Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library, Tuesday 6 October, 2.00pm
  • Johnsonville Library, Wednesday 7 October, 11.00am

Musical Movie Screenings

Join us for these special music-themed movie screenings for the whole family! Find out which movies we are screening by calling the library, or come along in your PJs for a musical surprise! All movies chosen will have a G or PG rating. Popcorn supplied!

  • Te Awe Library, Thursday 1 October, 1.30pm
  • Karori Library, Thursday 8 October, 5.30pm

Musical Storytimes

Join us for these special musical storytimes, featuring songs and musical stories for the whole family! Come along prepared to make some noise — bring your own instruments if you’re feeling extra brave!

Suitable for children aged 2-6 with their caregivers.

  • Karori Library, Wednesday 30 September, 10.30am
  • Khandallah Library, Tuesday 6 October, 10.30am
  • Cummings Park (Ngaio) LibraryWednesday 7 October, 10.30am

Party Time at Te Awe Library!

To celebrate the end of the school holidays, you are invited to a special party right here in the library! Do you want to play party games? Do you enjoy dance and song? Then grab your grown-up and bring them along to Te Awe Library prepared to have LOTS OF FUN!

Suitable for ages 6-9 with their caregivers.

  • Te Awe Library, Friday 9 October, 11.00am

Recycled Musical Crafts

Did you know that you can make a harmonica out of popsicle sticks? Or a guitar from a tissue box? Get your craft on these school holidays and turn your trash into treasure as we make our very own musical instruments from everyday items! Materials will be provided, but you are welcome to bring your own recycled item if there’s something special you wish to transform.

Suitable for ages 5+ with their caregivers.

  • Te Awe Library, Friday 2 October, 11.00am

Speed-Date a Musical Instrument!

Ever wanted to know what it’s like to play a musical instrument you’ve never tried before? Come along for this special opportunity to get up close, have a go, and learn about various musical instruments at stations placed throughout the library. Friendly library staff will guide you through your introduction to these instruments and the musical world.

Suitable for ages 4+ with their caregivers.

  • Brooklyn Library, Thursday 1 October, 2.00pm
  • Wadestown Library, Thursday 8 October, 2.00pm

‘Where’s My Triangle?’ with Orchestra Wellington

Orchestra Wellington is proud to present their 2020 Music to Schools programme, “Where’s My Triangle?” by the POW! Trio. Join us for this unique opportunity to get up-close to the family of instruments played by the percussionists of Orchestra Wellington. The show features music for a variety of instruments and musical styles from classical to pop, and the POW! Trio takes us on an adventure of EPIC proportions as they introduce instruments you never even knew existed!

This event is suitable for children of all ages accompanied by their caregivers. Special thanks to our friends at Orchestra Wellington!

  • Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library, Thursday 1 October, 10.30am
  • Newtown Library, Thursday 1 October, 1.30pm
  • Newlands Community Centre, Friday 2 October, 10.30am
  • Karori Library, Friday 2 October, 1.30pm
  • Johnsonville Library, Sunday 4 October, 10.30am
  • Te Awe Library, Sunday 4 October, 1.30pm
Three musicians, smiling, playing a marimba with 6 wooden mallets

Join the POW! Trio from Orchestra Wellington for this hands-on performance!

Ako Reo Māori!

Kia ora e te whānau! Te Wiki o te reo Māori is here!

Why not take the opportunity during Te Wiki to learn a little bit of te reo Māori? Whaea Suezanne at He Matapihi Library has been helping the librarians by showing us how we can talk about what we’re going to do on the weekend (mutunga wiki) using a little bit of te reo! Here’s what she had to say:

Ko te kauapapa o te rā nei (the topic of the day) is the mutunga wiki (weekend)!
If you would like to practice a small conversation with someone, you can ask:

Kei te aha koe ā te mutunga wiki? What are you doing this weekend?

Here are some ways you can answer:

Kei te kore noa iho! — I am doing nothing!
Kei te mahi. — I am working.
Kei te whakatā — I am resting.
Ka haere au ki te toro i ōku hoa! — I am going to visit my friends.
Ka mahi mara au. — I’m going to help with the gardening.
Ka haere māua ki tetahi wharekai! — We are going to a restaurant!

Then you can ask…

Kei te aha koe ā te mutunga wiki? What are you doing this weekend?

And all of a sudden you are having a whole conversation in te reo Māori! Special thanks to A Māori Phrase a Day by Hēmi Kelly for this idea!

You can learn more te reo Māori by visiting LanguageNut online, or by borrowing one of our many books for kids on learning te reo! Check some out below:

Everyday words in Māori
“This is a bright and busy book that will give Maori language learners of all ages hours of enjoyment. A pronunciation guide and an alphabetical Māori/English list of all the words in the book are included.” (Catalogue)

Kuwi & friends Māori picture dictionary / Merewether, Katherine Q.
“From the bestselling and award-winning author and illustrator of the Kuwi the Kiwi series, Kat Merewether, comes a large scale, stunningly illustrated visual dictionary. Full of over 1000 basic words in te reo Māori and English, perfect for every New Zealander.” (Catalogue)

Picture dictionary : te reo Māori words & sentences / Holt, Sharon
“The book is a compilation of many of the words and sentence structures used in the previous books in our Te Reo Singalong series as well as some new ones. Use the app to check your pronunciation, and increase your fluency in Māori vocabulary and sentence structure.” (Catalogue)

First thousand words in Māori / Amery, Heather
“This bright and entertaining book provides a wealth of vocabulary-building opportunities for beginner learners of Māori. Stephen Cartwright’s delightful pictures encourage direct association of the Māori word with the object, which will assist towards effective, long-term learning. At the end of the book there is an alphabetical Māori/English list of all the words in the book.” (Catalogue)

My first words in Māori / Morrison, Stacey
“My First Words in Māori equips your whanau with the first words you need to speak te reo at home together With lively pictures labeled in Māori and English, each page introduces the concepts and words children use as they first begin to talk, get to know people and explore the world around them. Designed for parents and tamariki to read together, with plenty of detail in the illustrations to point out and name. This is the perfect book to bring the Māori language into your home and have fun with the kids on their language journey” (Catalogue)

Te Wiki o te reo Māori: Kia toru ngā rā e toe ana!

Kia ora, e te whānau! Te Wiki o te reo Māori is just around the corner — there are just three days to go (kia toru ngā rā e toe ana) before the celebrations begin! We thought we’d help you get ready to celebrate by sharing some of our favourite pukapuka in te reo Māori with you. Check them out below — don’t forget you can click on the title to reserve a copy to pick up from your local library!

Tio Tiamu / Kurahau
This beautiful book won the Wright Family Foundation/Te Kura Pounamu Award for Te Reo Māori in the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults this year, and it really is the complete package. There is an incredible sense of balance throughout, where the weight of the storytelling is shared equally between the stylised, yet detailed illustrations, and entrancing, poetic, and playful language. We can’t guarantee there won’t be tears the first time it’s read – this tale certainly doesn’t pull its punches. Published in English as “The Smelly Giant.”

Ko te kī taurangi a Puanga: he ururoa ki te Whānau Matariki / Wadsworth, Kirsty
This enthralling tale tells the story of Puanga, cousin to the Matariki sisters, and how it was that she came to join them in the sky above Aotearoa. At its heart it’s a story of whānau, friendship, tradition and sacrifice. The text is evocative and powerfully paced; the illustrations atmospheric and perfectly matched. Published in English as “The Promise of Puanga.”

Ko Flit, te Tīrairaka, me ngā Hēki Muna / Merewether, Katherine Q.
A whimsical and playful tale about Flit the fantail chick and his discovery of a mysterious clutch of eggs. Action-packed and joyful. Published in English as “Flit the Fantail and the Mystery Eggs.”

Hineahuone / Hall, Xoë
A creation story of sorts, this book explores Tāne Māhuta’s creation of human life, sculpted from the sacred red earth of Papatūānuku. Xoë Hall’s stylistic and striking illustrations bring the story to life in a tangible way. Published in English as “The Clay Woman.”

Arapū toi / Wairama, Moira
Gentle, poetic, and image-laden text combined with detailed and engrossing artwork. This book is appropriate for readers of all ages, and reveals more with each successive read.

Te aihe i waiata / Whaanga, Mere
A lyrical story told almost in the style of a traditional legend, Te Aihe i Waiata must be read in its original language – te reo – for the poetry to be fully understood. The story ebbs and flows along with the expressive watercolour illustrations – an enchanting read. Published in English as “The Singing Dolphin.”

Ngā tae = Colours / Brown, Kitty
We can’t exclude the beautiful and important bilingual Reo Pēpi series, from Kitty Brown and Kirsten Parkinson at Reo Pēpi Tāpui in Dunedin, from this list. The six board books in this series intended for babies and early readers use simple, formulaic language and gorgeous illustrations to gradually introduce the reader to new words and concepts. A must-have for any parent who wants their child to grow up immersed in te reo.

He raiona i roto i ngā otaota / Mahy, Margaret
The te reo Māori translation of Margaret Mahy’s classic The Lion in the Meadow remains as captivating and delightful as ever. Piripi Walker’s translation preserves the whimsy and magic of the original text, all the while strengthening this book’s ties to the people and culture of Aotearoa.

Ngā taniwha i Te Whanga-nui-a-tara / Wairama, Moira
An exciting and captivating retelling of the local legend of the creation of Wellington Harbour by two taniwha who lived in what was once a lake, where the harbour now stands. Essential reading for anyone who wants to understand traditional stories of place and history. Published in English as “The Taniwha of Wellington Harbour.”

Kei hea te hipi kākāriki? / Fox, Mem
Rounding out the list with another translation – this time of Mem Fox’s classic “Where is the Green Sheep?” Children will love exploring the humourous illustrations, and the clever translation by Kawata Teepa keeps the reader engaged throughout.

NZCYA Book Awards Winners Announced!

The day has finally come — the winners of the 2020 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults have been announced! The Supreme Winner at the Awards this year is former New Zealand Poet Laureate Selina Tusitala Marsh, for her book Mophead. Mophead, which won both the Margaret Mahy Book of the Year award as well as the Elsie Locke Award for Non-Fiction, is an incredible book that is hard to describe in words and in every way is a taonga worthy of this highest honour. Find it, and the books that won the other six categories, on our catalogue below:


Margaret Mahy Book of the Year Award; Elsie Locke Award for Non-Fiction

Mophead : how your difference makes a difference / Marsh, Selina Tusitala

Judges’ comments: This magic book reaches past our brains and squeezes life into our hearts and imaginations. Mophead places its writer at the centre of her own story, but also draws lines out to all the stories and histories that make up an individual: cultures, literature, family and education.
With exquisite design and production, it is part picture book, part graphic novel, part memoir, part poem — its form is exactly what it wants and needs to be, which is the message of the book too.
Mophead is clever and joyful and inspiring, with not a smidgen of pretension or condescension. It is — dare it be said — perfect.

Our thoughts: Yes! While the calibre of the shortlist this year was nothing short of astonishing, we are beyond pleased to see this taonga take the top prize. This book is everything — by turns funny and poignant, strident and comforting, impetuous and patient; capable both of rousing a righteous anger and of gently taking the reader by the hand and leading them to a new point of view. This book is essential reading, and we’d like to see a copy in the hand of every child in the land. Plus, it’s about time the Margaret Mahy Book of the Year Award was won by a Pasifika author. Ka rawe!


Picture Book Award

Abigail and the birth of the sun / Cunningham, Matthew

Judges’ comments: This book ticks all the boxes for a great picture book. Abigail is a very real and relatable character: children will be able to see themselves in her, and adults will recognise her. Her curiosity is what drives the story, and is formed in a magical question on possibility. Her father tenderly cradles this curiosity, creating a beautiful narrative answer to her big question that is part magic, part science. The language is evocative and poetic and times, and yet still packed with facts. The illustrations support this gentle yet fantastical approach, with bold colours and big skyscapes combined with little touches like the ever-present family cat, and the astronaut teddy bear.

Our thoughts: This gorgeously-realised book will be a favourite for bedtime and storytime for years to come. The colour palette throughout is what most caught our eye — the stunning range of sunny yellows and ochres, reds so deep you could fall into them, verdant greens and velvety blacks, blues and purples — the book is a joy to look at. The text is the right combination of imagination-inspiring and comforting. We think you’ll like this one — be sure to pick it up next time you come to the library, though you may need to reserve it first!


Wright Family Foundation Esther Glen Award for Junior Fiction

Lizard’s tale / Chan, Weng Wai

Judges’ comments: Lizard’s Tale is a standout not only for its gripping storytime, but for its convincing characters and historical detail. Set in the crowded slums of Singapore’s Chinatown during World War Two, Lizard’s Tale tells the story of a young teenage boy who is offered big money to steal a mysterious box — and finds himself drawn into a dangerous world of espionage, kidnapping, daring escapes and covert missions. Readers are given a tantalising insight into a culturally diverse world, and a glimpse of history seen from a new, exciting angle. Fast paced and assured, this is a confident debut from an exciting new talent.

Our thoughts: This book was a standout for us amidst the extremely strong junior fiction field. The at times breakneck-exciting pace is perfectly measured by periods of quiet development and observation. At times the writing is reminiscent of classic 1940s spy and detective fiction, at times it’s more reflective and thoughtful. Before long, you find yourself inevitably drawn in to compellingly-drawn and richly historical world.


Young Adult Fiction Award

Aspiring / Wilkins, Damien

Judges’ comments: Aspiring demonstrates a stunning insight into the teenage mind, both in its exploration of character and its respect for the intelligence of its audience. In Ricky, the book has a kind, thoughtful main character, even as he towers over those in his life and deals with difficult memories of family trauma. Books like this can provide a bridge from young adult reading to feeling confident to start tackling literary books for grown-ups. There are plenty of teens out there like Ricky, and it is to be hoped that seeing themselves reflected on the page in all their uncertain, wildly imaginative glory will remind them to stay true to their thoughtful and inquisitive selves.

Our thoughts: We loved the verbosity and relatability of 15-year-old Ricky’s near-constant internal monologue throughout this book — it’s full of the kinds of observations about life in a small town that we recognise and empathise with. It’s exciting to see the author’s bold and unpretentious voice applied to young adult themes and characters for the first time in this book, and we’re hoping there’s more to come in this space in the future!


Russell Clark Award for Illustration

The adventures of Tupaia / Meredith, Courtney Sina

Judges’ comments: Mat Tait’s illustrations reach the reader on an intellectual, gut and aesthetic level. They teach us about our history in part by engaging our emotions, via dramatic perspectives and powerful colours. We witness a battle for power as we journey through the Pacific, and are struck by confusion and grief. A clever combination of modes is used: comic strips, vignettes, full spreads of starry skies, and symbols from throughout the Pacific. The pared back, simple lines and limited colours have us the sense that history isn’t merely something from the past — it’s still happening now. These illustrations are modern and cool — but with an urgent fire in their belly.

Our thoughts: The visual style of this excellent non-fiction book is striking, deliberate, dignified, and sharp. In comparison to some of the other books on the shortlist for this award, the colour palette is slightly muted and pared back — but this is entirely to the book’s benefit. The prevalence of cool greens, the fullest range of blues and purples, with subtle flashes of warmer colours, and the ingenious use of whites and creams as highlights, gives the story a sense of solemn unity without ever detracting from the fierce excitement of the true story being told. We think this book, along with being a wonder to behold, is an essential read for anyone wanting to learn more about the history of the Aotearoa in the Pacific.


Wright Family Foundation Te Kura Pounamu Award for Te Reo Māori

Tio Tiamu / Kurahau

Judges’ comments: Tio Tiamu, aka Toe Jam — what a dreadful predicament, oh the humiliation! Tio Tiamu is a gigantic character with the kindest heart and genuine love for his hapū. He overcomes many challenges and deliberate acts of nastiness, only to be shunned. There are mixtures of ‘if only’ moments, cautiously laid like and absorbing tangi the senses of the reader are tuned in to. ‘Ha aha te mea nui o te ao, he tangata’ — it is known the most important thing in the world is its people. This te reo journey exudes manaaki tangata with generosity, benevolence, and grace.

Our thoughts: This book really is the complete package. The story feels at times very much like a legend being told in a traditional oral storytelling mode — the text often repeats, loops back in on its self, steps forwards or backwards to further explain a point or leave something poetically unsaid. There is an incredible sense of balance throughout, where the weight of the storytelling is shared equally between the stylised, yet detailed illustrations and the entrancing, sometimes very playful, language. Yet the story does not pull its punches, and we can’t guarantee there won’t be tears the first time it is read by your tamariki. At the core of it all lies an incredibly powerful message that resonates especially powerful right now — that kindness to others is the only thing that matters, in the end.


Best First Book Award

#Tumeke! / Petherick, Michael

Judges’ comments: #Tumeke! is every bit as diverse as the Newtoun community, which we see revealed piece by piece, flyer by flyer, as the fun, endearing mosaic that makes New Zealand the unique paradise it is. Michael Petherick tells a sweet and funny tale, with a creative multi-media format that engages the eye and challenges the brain. Ages and cultures merge in this story of a small community filled with huge heart. Readers will find themselves cheering on every new character, and will easily see themselves somewhere in this fantastic, genre-bending book.

Our thoughts: This is a completely unique book with so much to discover — a whole diverse community, in fact (that may or may not bear more than a passing resemblance to our very own Newtown). Really, this book is a whole series of relationships, events, conversations, debates, personal thoughts, and public announcements all distilled into a format that bursts off the pages. You can absolutely read it in one sitting, drawn into the experience of the new kid at school and the swirling excitement of the organisation of a community event. But equally, you can dip in and out, reminding yourself every now and then of why it is you have grown to love and care about the eccentric and relatable characters sketched so expertly within. A challenging and different read, but absolutely worthy of that elusive Librarian’s Choice sticker.

Purapura Whetū: A Matariki Festival with Your Libraries

Tēnā koutou katoa, e te whānau!

This July, Wellington City Libraries is celebrating Matariki with Purapura Whetū, a special festival of events, crafts, storytelling, and reflection for whānau and tamariki all over our city.

As well as all the programmes listed below, each of our libraries will have special crafting stations set up where you can make your very own star to add to our city-wide purapura whetū; a pattern, or web of stars.

Why do we celebrate Matariki? The star cluster Matariki (also known as the Pleiades) reappears in the dawn sky about Aotearoa in late May or early June. The new moon following the rising of Matariki signals the Māori New Year. Customarily, this was a time to remember the deceased of the past year and to plan for the new year. Today, Matariki has been revived as a celebration of people, culture, language, spirituality, and history. It is a time for whānau and friends to come together to reflect on the past 12 months and look forward to the year ahead. When you add your star to our purapura whetū, we invite you to send a message to someone you love, or reflect on the year that has just passed.

Come down to your library to make your whetū (star) and add it to our constellation!


Nau mai haere mai ki te whare pukapuka ki te whakanui i a Matariki! As well as the Purapura Whetū craft activity happening at every branch, there are many other fabulous events to look out for celebrating Matariki during the school holidays:

Kōhunga Kōrero o Matariki
Nau mai haere mai ki te whare pukapuka ki te whakanui i a Matariki! Pakiwaitara i roto i te reo Māori. E 30 meneti pakiwaitara, rotarota, waiata hoki i roto i te reo Māori nō ngā kōhungahunga me ō rātou mātua kaitiaki. Join us for these special Matariki storytimes in te reo Māori! Featuring stories, songs and rhymes in te reo Māori, these 30-minute storytimes are open to anyone, and are recommended for children aged 2-6 years and their caregivers.

  • Friday 10 July, 10.30am at Johnsonville Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Waitohi
  • Monday 13 July, 10.30am at Karori Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Māhanga
  • Friday 17 July, 10.30am at Johnsonville Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Waitohi

Making Matariki Stars
Join us for this special Matariki craft session! Make your very own Matariki star using one of our designs, or let your creative juices flow and create your own! Then, we will add your star to our purapura whetū — our pattern of stars — for everyone to enjoy and admire.

  • Monday 13 July, 11.00am at Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Takapū o Patukawenga

Matariki By Torchlight
Head down to the library at twilight for this special evening of Matariki and Aotearoa-themed stories and songs under the starlight (or clouds!). Bring your own torch and come along in your PJs ready for some heart-warming bedtime stories and songs.

  • Monday 13 July, 6.00pm at Brooklyn Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Moe-rā

Matariki Music Makers: Making Taonga Whakatangitangi
Come along and celebrate Matariki by crafting music makers inspired by the porotiti, and making Matariki stars. You can take your creations home, or display them at our libraries during our #purapurawhetu Matariki festival.

  • Friday 10 July, 2.00pm at Brooklyn Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Moe-rā

Matariki Online Storytimes
Whakarongo mai, tamariki mā, pākeke mā! Celebrate Matariki wherever you are with our Matariki online storytimes. He korero paki i te reo Māori ēnei; these stories are in te reo Māori. The stories will be streaming live on our Wellington City Libraries Facebook page, and will remain up for your enjoyment throughout the holidays!

  • Saturday 4 July, 7.30pm — online!
  • Sunday 5 July, 7.30pm — online!
  • Monday 6 July, 7.30pm — online!

Matariki Storytimes
Come along and celebrate Matariki at your local whare pukapuka, or library, with Matariki-themed stories and waiata with our librarians. Then, why not try your hand at making Matariki stars at our crafting stations? There will be a range of activities available for your whānau.

  • Tuesday 7 July, 10.30am at Khandallah Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Tarikākā
  • Wednesday 8 July, 10.30am at Karori Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Māhanga
  • Monday 13 July, 10.30am at Wadestown Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Ōtari
  • Wednesday 15 July, 10.30am at Cummings Park Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Korimako

String Bean Puppets: Once in a Full Moon
Come along and celebrate Matariki at your local library with Anna Bailey and her string bean puppets! Anna’s puppets will be helping her perform the magical tale “Once in a Full Moon.” One evening, a lonely kiwi looks up in the sky and sees something remarkable… can kiwis fly after all?

  • Monday 13 July, 2.00pm at Karori Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Māhanga
  • Tuesday 14 July, 11.00am at He Matapihi Molesworth Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o He Matapihi
  • Wednesday 15 July, 2.00pm at Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Awa-a-Taia
  • Friday 17 July, 2.00pm at Johnsonville Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Waitohi

Nō reira, nau mai, haere mai ki ōu tātou whare pukapuka ki te whakanui i tēnēi wā tino hirahira! So come on down to your library to celebrate this special time!

It’s Your Lucky Day: New Collection on OverDrive Kids!

While the country was in lockdown, there was one thing that everyone seemed to be doing an awful lot of — reading! You read the books you got out from the library before we closed, you re-read all the books on your shelves at home, and you borrowed record numbers of eBooks from our OverDrive Kids collections as well. Our hard-working collections team have been working hard to get more books to you faster, so they’ve created a whole new eBook collection for you — the Kids’ Lucky Day collection.

Check out the Lucky Day collection next time you log in to the eLibrary!

What is the Lucky Day collection, you ask? Think of it as a buffet of all your favourite titles — books by Raina Telgemeier, Andy Griffiths, Erin hunter, Dav Pilkey, and more. Because books by these authors are so popular, they have a reduced loan period (14 days instead of 21), and you also can’t place holds or renew Lucky Day items that you have out. Every time you log in to OverDrive, be sure to check out the Lucky Day collection and see what’s available — who knows, maybe it will be your lucky day!


At the moment, there are about 80 different titles on the list, but as with all of our collections we’ll be adding to it as time goes on. For now, though, here are some of our favourites:

Overdrive cover The 13-Storey Treehouse, Andy Griffiths (ebook)

Andy and Terry’s 13-storey treehouse is the most amazing treehouse in the world! It’s got a bowling alley, a see-through swimming pool, a tank full of man-eating sharks, a giant catapult, a secret underground laboratory and a marshmallow machine that follows you around and shoots marshmallows into your mouth whenever you’re hungry. Well, what are you waiting for? Come on up! (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Wonder, R J Palacio (ebook)

Auggie wants to be an ordinary ten-year-old. He does ordinary things – eating ice cream, playing on his Xbox. He feels ordinary – inside. But ordinary kids don’t make other ordinary kids run away screaming in playgrounds. Ordinary kids aren’t stared at wherever they go. Born with a facial abnormality, Auggie has been home-schooled by his parents his whole life. Now, for the first time, he’s being sent to a real school – and he’s dreading it. All he wants is to be accepted – but can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, underneath it all? (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Rodrick Rules, Jeff Kinney (ebook)

Whatever you do, don’t ask Greg Heffley how he spent his summer holidays, because he definitely doesn’t want to talk about it. As Greg enters the new school year, he’s eager to put the past three months behind him… and one event in particular. Unfortunately for Greg, his older brother Rodrick knows all about the incident. And secrets have a way of getting out… especially when a diary is involved. (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover The Poison Jungle, Tui T. Sutherland (ebook)

It’s no secret that Sundew wants to destroy the HiveWings. It’s her life’s mission to exact revenge on the tribe that tried to wipe out the LeafWings and ripped every tree from the surface of Pantala. Every tree, that is, except the wild and dangerous Poison Jungle, where the surviving LeafWings have been hiding since the war. Hiding, plotting, and waiting for a dragon like Sundew, who is uniquely qualified to bring down the Hives. There are dark secrets in the jungle, though – some that Sundew is keeping, and some that she’s only just beginning to discover. And now that a new war is upon them, Sundew and her friends must unearth the oldest secret in the jungle-even if what they find has the power to destroy them all. (Overdrive description)


So what are you waiting for? Check out the Lucky Day collection today — and keep your eyes peeled for more bookish goodies on the way on OverDrive.

NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults: Children’s Finalists!

It’s that time of year again — the finalists for the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults have been announced! It’s a truly outstanding lineup this year, with some truly gorgeous books in all categories. We have most of the finalists in our catalogue, but some of them are still on their way, so keep your eyes peeled! Here are all of the finalists in each of the children’s categories — if you want to read them yourself (and we highly recommend that you do!) just click on the title you want and place a reserve!

Picture Book Award

Abigail and the birth of the sun / Cunningham, Matthew
Abigail is a curious little girl. She likes to discover the answers to really BIG questions. One night, she thinks of a question that’s SO BIG she can’t sleep until she knows the answer. A gorgeously illustrated and beautifully told bedtime story that doubles as an introduction to astrophysics, Abigail and the Birth of the Sun will be enjoyed equally by young children and adults. (Catalogue)

How Māui slowed the sun / Bixley, Donovan
Donovan Bixley re-tells the story of Maui slowed the journey of the sun through the sky each day, with Bixley’s unique twist and trademark humour. The pictures are bright and bring their own level of humour to the book. Darryn Joseph ensures that the story is accurate and culturally appropriate. (Catalogue)

Goody Four Shoes / Gregg, Stacy
Mini Whinny, the mischievous little horse, plans to escape her annoyingly perfect stable neighbour! Goody Four-Shoes is the best…at everything. She’s graceful. She can jump really, really high. And her mane is too perfect. Mini Whinny doesn’t like her. Not one little bit. So naughty little Mini Whinny decides to run away.Another adorable story of horsey friendship from internationally best-selling Kiwi author Stacy Gregg and talented illustrator Ruth Paul. (Catalogue)

Santa’s worst Christmas
There are just a few days to go before Christmas, and everyone’s busy putting up decorations, preparing food and getting ready for the big day. Then comes the shock news: Santa’s cancelled Christmas. Santa had so many disasters last year that he can’t face it again, and he’s quit. The elves try everything, but they can’t get him to change his mind. In this Aotearoa Christmas picture book, the kids come up with a clever plan and amazing gadgets to get Christmas back on and Santa back in the sleigh delivering presents. (Catalogue)

The gobbledegook book : a Joy Cowley anthology / Cowley, Joy
Joy Cowley’s favourite stories, poems and nonsense rhymes collected in a hardback gift volume for the family to treasure. Flue-flam and Gobbledegook collects Joy Cowley’s favourites in a beautiful hardback picture-book volume that will become a family treasure. It selects the best of Cowley’s poems and stories to read aloud, including much-loved classics such as Greedy Cat and Nicketty-Nacketty Noo Noo Noo. Fully re-illustrated with humour and energy by newcomer Giselle Clarkson, these short stories, picture books and funny poems will bring joy to a new generation. (Catalogue)

Junior Fiction Award

#Tumeke! / Petherick, Michael
An exuberant multimedia novel for young readers and the young at heart. In the boundary-riding tradition of the Annual project, Annual Ink’s latest title #Tumeke brings you the lives, loves and larrikin spirit of an inner-city neighbourhood. The story is told through texts, Instagram posts, emails, fliers, committee minutes, posters, diary entries, blog posts, chatrooms, school homework, raps and the reliably bonkers community noticeboard. Stuffed with big personalities, surprising friendships and a little intrigue, this multimedia story brims with creativity and comedy, and everyday heartaches, too. A narrative — but not quite as we know it — for middle readers and anyone who loves to connect. (Catalogue)

Lizard’s tale / Chan, Weng Wai
A heart-racing middle-grade adventure mystery set on the streets of Singapore against the backdrop of World War II, exploring issues of belonging, race and diversity It’s Singapore in 1940, war is just around the corner–but 12-year-old Lizard doesn’t know that. He lives in Chinatown above a tailor’s shop, surviving on his wits and hustling for odd jobs. When he steals a small teak box containing a Japanese code book from a Raffles Hotel suite, he finds himself in a dangerous world of wartime espionage. Lizard doesn’t know who to trust. How is the mysterious book inside the box connected to his friend Lili, a girl full of secrets and fighting skills? Can he trust her, or will she betray him in the end? (Catalogue)

Moonlight the unicorn’s high tea hiccup / Sutton, Sally
When Clara and Sophia’s Honorary Great-Aunties invite the girls to ‘high tea’, the girls are very excited. It means getting dressed up in a twirly dress – and wearing a fancy hat and shoes! Those mischievous Miniwings like the sound of ‘high tea’ too – dinky little sandwiches and sweet treats – but Clara says they’re not invited. Oh really? Does she think ‘not being invited’ is going to stop those rascally, tiny, flying horses? Look out! (Catalogue)

Prince of ponies / Gregg, Stacy
War destroyed their worlds, now two young girls and their remarkable horses are fighting once more – this time to win. War destroyed their worlds, now two young girls and their remarkable horses are fighting once more – this time to win. When twelve-year-old Mira stumbles across a white stallion in a forest in Berlin, she doesn’t realise that this horse will take her on an incredible journey. Together, they’re going to ascend the starry heights of Grand Prix show jumping, and sweep back in time to Poland in 1939 where another young girl is risking everything to save the horse that she loves… Prince of Ponies is a story of courage and the will to win against all odds. (Catalogue)

Time machine & other stories / Szymanik, Melinda
What happens when you sleep with a crocodile tooth under your pillow, or the mess under your bed turns into something terrifying? How can a football be a passport, and what does it mean when the contraption in the basement starts to hum and glow? You can be sure the answers will never be boring and almost always take you on an unexpected adventure. Step aboard the time machine and discover new and selected stories by the award-winning author of The Were-Nana, The Song of Kauri and A Winter’s Day in 1939. (Catalogue)

Non-Fiction Award

Kuwi & friends Māori picture dictionary / Merewether, Katherine Q.
From the #1 bestselling and award-winning author and illustrator of the Kuwi the Kiwi series, Kat Merewether, comes a large scale, stunningly illustrated visual dictionary. Full of over 1000 basic words in te reo Maori and English, perfect for every New Zealander. (Catalogue)

Mophead : how your difference makes a difference / Marsh, Selina Tusitala
At school, Selina is ridiculed for her big, frizzy hair. Kids call her ‘mophead’. She ties her hair up this way and that way and tries to fit in. Until one day – Sam Hunt plays a role – Selina gives up the game. She decides to let her hair out, to embrace her difference, to be WILD! Selina takes us through special moments in her extraordinary life. She becomes one of the first Pasifika women to hold a PhD. She reads for the Queen of England and Samoan royalty. She meets Barack Obama. And then she is named the New Zealand Poet Laureate. She picks up her special tokotoko, and notices something. It has wild hair coming out the end. It looks like a mop. A kid on the Waiheke ferry teases her about it. So she tells him a story . . . (Catalogue)

Te Tiriti o Waitangi / Morris, Toby
This is a ground-breaking reorua (dual language) flipbook-style graphic novel about our founding Treaty. The text and illustrations work together to present important information about our history in a visually appealing, calm, and balanced way. There are also resources to allow young readers to learn more about each of the topics, as well as links to the Treaty in more than 30 languages. (Catalogue)

The adventures of Tupaia / Meredith, Courtney Sina
The incredible story of Tupaia, Tahitian priest navigator, who sailed on board the Endeavour with Captain Cook on his first voyage to Aotearoa. Join him as he meets up with Cook in Tahiti and sails as part of the crew on the Endeavour across the Pacific to Aotearoa. Witness the encounters between tangata whenua and the crew as the ship sails around the coast, and discover the important role Tupaia plays as translator and cultural interpreter (Catalogue)

Three Kiwi tales : more fabulous fix-it stories from Wildbase Hospital / Hunt, Janet
Wildbase Hospital in Palmerston North is a very special hospital for very special animals, and in this follow-up to the hugely successful How to Mend a Kea, author Janet Hunt focuses on the tales of three kiwi who have been treated there. The stories are fascinating and touching accounts of their different experiences at Wildbase, and the innovative approaches to their treatment and rehabilitation that were needed to ensure their eventual return to the wild. Linked to the wider issues of kiwi conservation, these tales introduce readers to the challenges and triumphs of caring for New Zealand’s unique national icon. Wonderful photos, a lively text and an engaging design all combine to make this a superb book. (Catalogue)

Award for Illustration

Dozer the Fire Cat : a New Zealand story : inspired by true events / Prokop, Robyn
In February 2019, a tiny spark in a Pigeon Valley paddock became the largest fire in New Zealand since 1955. Up to 150 volunteer firefighters fought the blaze. Around 3,500 people were evacuated, including the whole town of Wakefield. Story is based on a real cat that survived the fires. While his family is busy packing up to evacuate, Dozer is oblivious, busy doing what Dozer does . . . stalking, pouncing, washing . . . and sleeping. But when he wakes up, his family has gone and the world is a frightening place!” — Publisher information. (Catalogue)

Santa’s worst Christmas
There are just a few days to go before Christmas, and everyone¿s busy putting up decorations, preparing food and getting ready for the big day. Then comes the shock news: Santa’s cancelled Christmas. Santa had so many disasters last year that he can’t face it again, and he’s quit. The elves try everything, but they can’t get him to change his mind. In this Aotearoa Christmas picture book, the kids come up with a clever plan and amazing gadgets to get Christmas back on and Santa back in the sleigh delivering presents. (Catalogue)

Song of the river / Cowley, Joy
In this resonant story, Cam the mountain boy follows the river from its trickling source in the mountain snow all the way to the coast. The river leads him through forest, farms, and towns to the salty wind of the sea. Dramatic landscape illustrations evoke a North American landscape and are packed with detail to explore the world of the river. (Catalogue)

The adventures of Tupaia / Meredith, Courtney Sina
The incredible story of Tupaia, Tahitian priest navigator, who sailed on board the Endeavour with Captain Cook on his first voyage to Aotearoa. Join him as he meets up with Cook in Tahiti and sails as part of the crew on the Endeavour across the Pacific to Aotearoa. Witness the encounters between tangata whenua and the crew as the ship sails around the coast, and discover the important role Tupaia plays as translator and cultural interpreter (Catalogue)

Wildlife of Aotearoa / Bishop, Gavin
Long before waka touched Aotearoa’s shores, the land of the long white cloud was home to an array of creatures uniquely adapted to its environments and protected by its isolation. Encounter New Zealand’s incredible wildlife in this spectacular visual exploration. Journey through ocean, sky and land to meet a marvellous range of organisms. Discover fascinating facts, and learn how we influence the survival of our living treasures. In this magnificent companion volume to Aotearoa- The New Zealand Story, Gavin Bishop weaves a compelling visual narrative of our land, our people and our wildlife – past, present and future. (Catalogue)

Te Kura Pounamu Award for Te Reo Māori

Arapū Toi / Moira Wairama (coming soon!)
This gorgeously-illustrated book uses short poems in gentle, rhythmic te reo Māori to emphasise ideas of wellness, the sights, sounds and feelings of everyday life, and poetic imagery such as the darkness of night, or a whale singing in the depths of the ocean. A picture is truly worth a thousand words in this unforgettable gem of contemporary Māori children’s literature.

Ko Flit, te Tīrairaka, me ngā Hēki Muna / Merewether, Katherine Q.
Flit has found some eggs … but whose could they be? It is a misty morning in the forest. Flit the fantail chick is practising his landings. Flap, flop, slip, FLIP. Flit slips on something slippery and round. He has stumbled upon eight rubbery white eggs. Join Flit and his friends, Kiki the kaka, rascally robins Bit and Bob, Keri the kiwi and wise old Ruru as they exercise some teamwork. Can they figure out who the mystery eggs belong to? (Catalogue)

Ngā Hoa Hoihoi o Kuwi / Kat Quin and Pānia Papa (coming soon!)
Kuwi the kiwi wants a hot cup of kawakawa tea and some peace and quiet — but Huwi the kiwi chick and friends want to play LOUDLY, and so this energetic tale begins. Te reo Māori is used skilfully throughout, with witty adaptations to mimic sounds and situations, encouraging readers to become involved in the story. Items of Kiwiana are scattered throughout the illustrations, so that curious readers can search and make new discoveries in every story time.

Te Kirihimete i whakakorea
There are just a few days to go before Christmas, and everyone’s busy putting up decorations, preparing food and getting ready for the big day. Then comes the shock news – Santa’s cancelled Christmas. Santa had so many disasters last year that he can’t face it again, and he’s quit. The elves try everything, but they can’t get him to change his mind. In this Aotearoa Christmas picture book, the kids come up with a clever plan and amazing gadgets to get Christmas back on and Santa back in the sleigh delivering presents (Catalogue)

Tio Tiamu / Kurahau
In this picture book, gentle, clever Toe Jam grows to be huge, and this causes a problem in his community because his feet smell. The bigger he gets the worse the smell. While Toe Jam helps others and wants to be part of his village, everybody teases him and avoids him, and Toe Jam becomes very lonely. Finally, the people make him leave and live far away. Toe Jam never loses his kind heart, and when there are floods, wild winds and droughts, he returns to help his people. But each time, the people take his help then send him away again. Until, one day, something amazing happens… (Catalogue)

Best First Book Award

#Tumeke! / Petherick, Michael
An exuberant multimedia novel for young readers and the young at heart. In the boundary-riding tradition of the Annual project, Annual Ink’s latest title #Tumeke brings you the lives, loves and larrikin spirit of an inner-city neighbourhood. The story is told through texts, Instagram posts, emails, fliers, committee minutes, posters, diary entries, blog posts, chatrooms, school homework, raps and the reliably bonkers community noticeboard. Stuffed with big personalities, surprising friendships and a little intrigue, this multimedia story brims with creativity and comedy, and everyday heartaches, too. A narrative — but not quite as we know it — for middle readers and anyone who loves to connect. (Catalogue)

Lizard’s tale / Chan, Weng Wai
A heart-racing middle-grade adventure mystery set on the streets of Singapore against the backdrop of World War II, exploring issues of belonging, race and diversity It’s Singapore in 1940, war is just around the corner–but 12-year-old Lizard doesn’t know that. He lives in Chinatown above a tailor’s shop, surviving on his wits and hustling for odd jobs. When he steals a small teak box containing a Japanese code book from a Raffles Hotel suite, he finds himself in a dangerous world of wartime espionage. Lizard doesn’t know who to trust. How is the mysterious book inside the box connected to his friend Lili, a girl full of secrets and fighting skills? Can he trust her, or will she betray him in the end? (Catalogue)

Santa’s worst Christmas
There are just a few days to go before Christmas, and everyone’s busy putting up decorations, preparing food and getting ready for the big day. Then comes the shock news: Santa’s cancelled Christmas. Santa had so many disasters last year that he can’t face it again, and he’s quit. The elves try everything, but they can’t get him to change his mind. In this Aotearoa Christmas picture book, the kids come up with a clever plan and amazing gadgets to get Christmas back on and Santa back in the sleigh delivering presents. (Catalogue)

The day the plants fought back / O’Keefe, Belinda
Two boisterous boys who made lots of noise, found it dreadfully hard to be good; always charging and barging, fighting and biting, and not acting quite as they should. Patrick and Wayne drove their parents insane, but they could be good if they tried. Still, they’d roar and they’d claw, they’d scoot and they’d shoot until someone eventually cried. An action-packed, hilarious story about two wild, rascally boys and the trouble they cause in the garden, until the plants decide to teach them a lesson … because, as the boys discover, plants have eyes and ears too! (Catalogue)

The smelly giant / Kurahau
In this picture book, gentle, clever Toe Jam grows to be huge, and this causes a problem in his community because his feet smell. The bigger he gets the worse the smell. While Toe Jam helps others and wants to be part of his village, everybody teases him and avoids him, and Toe Jam becomes very lonely. Finally, the people make him leave and live far away. Toe Jam never loses his kind heart, and when there are floods, wild winds and droughts, he returns to help his people. But each time, the people take his help then send him away again. Until, one day, something amazing happens… (Catalogue)

Bedtime Storytimes to Send You Off to Dreamland!

Because lots of children are back at school, kindy or daycare now that we’ve entered Level 2, we thought we’d change up some of our virtual events to suit people’s new schedules! So, our beloved Virtual Storytimes will now just be happening three times a week (on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10.30am, and Saturdays at 2.00pm), rather than six — but we’re also adding some special evening Bedtime Storytimes to help send you off gently to dreamland!

Every evening at 7.30pm, we’ll be sharing a few chapters from some of our favourite chapter books for you to listen to and enjoy as you snuggle in with your teddies. Our first Bedtime Storytime is happening over on the Wellington City Libraries Facebook page tonight, and will feature The Great Piratical Rumbustification by Margaret Mahy, illustrated by Quentin Blake.

Join us nightly at 7.30pm for our special Bedtime Storytimes!

Feel free to tune in at 7.30pm each night, or you can catch the videos after they premiere in our special Bedtime Storytime playlist on Facebook.

Visiting Your Library with Children at Level 2

The day has finally come! Five of our libraries (Johnsonville, Cummings Park (Ngaio), Karori, Newtown, and Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie)) are back open to the public, with two more (Arapaki Manners and Wadestown) opening on Monday. Check here for all the details! Although we’re back, things might look a little bit different. Here’s what you can expect to see when you visit one of our libraries during Level 2:

  • A security guard or librarian checking people off as they enter. Because we have to be careful about how many people can be in the library at once, we have to tick you off and take your details as you come in. Sometimes this will mean you’ll need to wait a little while to get in — don’t worry, everything we’re doing is to try to keep you and your family safe.
  • People keeping far apart. When you’re in the library, you’ll see people trying to keep 2m apart as they make their way through the building picking up books. Please remember to keep inside your bubble at all times, and be patient if you need to wait for someone to leave a shelf before you can leap in and grab the book you want!
  • Lots of hand sanitiser! We’re providing a whole bunch of hand sanitiser so everyone can keep clean and safe. Remember, washing your hands often is the best way to kill germs, so make sure you remember to sanitise your hands after touching your face, and before you enter or leave the library.
  • No comfy chairs to sit and read in. We want you to keep your visit as short as possible — pop in, grab your books, and head back home so the next person can enter the library. We know it’s very tempting to find somewhere cosy at the library to curl up and read a book, but to help keep everyone safe and happy, please save the reading for when you get home.
  • No storytimes or other library activities. During Level 2 of the lockdown, we won’t be able to run any of our regular programmes and activities, like Preschool Storytime, Baby Rock and Rhyme, Let’s Go LEGO, Code Club, or CRAFTerschool in person at the library. We’re still running a bunch of these activities online, so be sure to check out our Facebook page and Family Lockdown Challenge blog posts to join in!
  • No big family groups visiting together. Generally, we want to keep groups of people entering the library as small as possible. If you can, look at the library catalogue online, decide what you want, reserve it if you’d like, and send one person from your bubble to the library to collect it. That might not always be possible, which is fine, but just remember to stick inside your bubble if you are visiting the library in a group.

Our librarians are very excited to see you back again — here’s a photo of the staff at Johnsonville Library at Waitohi giving you a wave and a smile! Make sure to give the librarians a big smile and wave back when you see them as well — it will make them very happy!

Come and visit us! We’re happy to be back online.

 

Family Lockdown Challenge: Coding Capers!

It’s nearly the end of another week of lockdown, so it’s time for another Family Lockdown Challenge! So far we’ve explored everything from Lego to scavenger hunts, movies to Music Month — but so far we have yet to explore the wonderful world of coding!

Many of you will know that our libraries run after-school and weekend Code Clubs with the assistance of the kind folks at Code Club Aotearoa, so we thought we’d share some ideas for a fun-filled learning adventure in coding, regardless of your level or ability.

Coding is everywhere, even behind the scenes of this very blog! Here’s a snippet of HTML from one of our recent posts — can you work out which one?

Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to go to the Code Club project page, choose a project that interests you, and give it a go! There are heaps of projects to choose from, from creating a simple spacey animation in Scratch to creating a 2D version of Minecraft in Python. Each project includes full instructions to guide you from zero to hero — we recommend working your way up gradually through the projects so you can build on what you learn each time.

Here are some suggestions as to where you can start:

    • If you’re a total beginner to coding, start with the Rock Band project in Scratch. It’s a super simple and fun project that has you creating your own interactive rock band! What songs can you get your band to play?
    • If you’ve tried a bit of coding before, why not try creating a simple Ghost Busters game? Check out one we created below! How many ghosts can you catch?
    • Fancy yourself a bit of a Scratch pro? Try the Dodgeball challenge or — if you’re really up for it — Create Your Own World.

Scratch not your thing? Code Club Aotearoa also host awesome projects in HTML/CSS, Python, 3D animation in Blender, and much more. Jump in and see how you go!