Hairy Maclary from a Donaldson’s Dairy

“Out of the gate and off for a walk went Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy…”

Sound familiar? That’s because the Hairy Maclary series, written and illustrated by Lynley Dodd, is one of New Zealand’s (and the world’s) best-loved picture books. Who can’t love that cheeky wee dog, Hairy Maclary, and all his furry mates – from Bottomley Potts (covered in spots), to the villain of many books, Scarface Claw!

But did you know that Scotland has claimed these books as their own?  “WHAT?? How can that be?” we hear you cry!

Although the Hairy Maclary series are peppered with loads of New Zealand references such as the word “dairy” (this would be called a “corner shop” in Scottish lingo), and illustrations with cabbage trees, Pōhutukawa, ponga trees and flax, the name “Maclary” is a decidedly Scottish-sounding name!

What’s in a name?

Scottish and Irish  surnames frequently have the prefix Mac or Mc. When these surnames were originally developed, they were formed by adding the Gaelic word mac, which means son of, to the name of the original bearer’s father. For example, the surname MacDougall literally means son of Dougall.

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Image: Matt Lewis, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Where is Scotland anyway?

Scotland is a part of the United Kingdom (UK) and occupies the northern third of Great Britain. Scotland’s mainland shares a border with England to the south. Scotland also has almost 800 islands, including some famous ones like Shetland (known for its sheep and complicated knitting patterns), Orkney (known for its prehistoric sites), and Skye (known for its history and beautiful scenery).

See if you can find Scotland on a world map HERE

Who is Lynley Dodd?

Lynley Dodd is an internationally celebrated writer for children. She wavs born in Rotorua and now lives in Tauranga. Lynley graduated from the Elam School of Art in Auckland with a diploma in Fine Arts, majoring in sculpture. She went on to teach art before taking a break to start a family. She began to work as a freelance illustrator and illustrated another popular picture book My Cat Likes To Hide in Boxes by Eve Sutton. There was no looking back as Lynley went on to write and illustrate her own books for children. These include the Hairy Maclary series (of course!), The Nickle Nackle Tree, The Smallest Turtle

Who is Hairy Maclary?

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Image: Hairy Maclary and Friends Sculpture in Tauranga (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Hairy Maclary (or ‘HM’ for short) is a small hairy dog created by  Lynley Dodd. HM can be described as a ‘bitser’, which means he’s of mixed breed. “Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy” was first published in 1983 and the series has gone on to sell over 5 million copies worldwide. HM’s adventures are usually in the company of his other animal friends and he’s depicted as a friendly, but lively little dog that gets into a lot of mischief. There is now a series of 12 books and a further nine books about his friends, all with catchy rhyming stories and realistic, colourful and fun illustrations.

In recognition of the success of these books, a sculpture of Hairy Maclary and other characters from the books was officially unveiled on the waterfront in Tauranga in 2015, the city where Lynley Dodd lives.


If you haven’t discovered the wonders of Hairy Maclary and his equally hairy mates, why not add these to you Summer Reading Adventure lists and enjoy some good ole Kiwi reading fun:

Hairy Maclary treasury : the complete adventures of Hairy Maclary / Dodd, Lynley
“A collection of ten stories featuring the mischief and mayhem of Hairy Maclary.” (Catalogue)
Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy / Dodd, Lynley
“A small black dog and his canine friends are terrorized by the local tomcat.” (Catalogue)


The nickle nackle tree / Dodd, Lynley
“In the Manglemunching Forest there’s a Nickle Nackle tree, Growing Nickle Nackle berries that are red as red can be. And that’s not all that’s nestling on the twisty branches of this laden tree. Count up some fabulous Lynley Dodd creations, such as one Ballyhoo bird, kicking up a din and two squawking Scritchet birds with legs so twiggy thin, to nine friendly Natter birds, building nice new nests to ten fussy Fissick birds in yellow feathered vests”–Publisher information.” (Catalogue)


Hairy Maclary’s caterwaul caper / Dodd, Lynley
“Hairy Maclary leads all the other dogs in the neighbourhood to investigate the terrible caterwauling created when the tough cat Scarface Claw is caught up in a tree.” (Catalogue)
The life and art of Lynley Dodd / Macdonald, Finlay
“Dame Lynley Dodd is New Zealand’s best known author and illustrator of children’s books. Her career was launched in 1973 with the publication of My Cat Likes to Hide in Boxes, which she collaborated on with cousin Eve Sutton. Other picture books soon followed and in 1983 the world famous Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy was launched. Hairy Maclary’s success placed Dodd in the international spotlight and the Hairy Maclary and Friends series is today one of the world’s most successful series of picture books. The Life and Art of Lynley Dodd is a beautiful full-colour hardback telling the story of Lynley’s early years, time at art school, teaching career, marriage and success as a children’s author. The book is a pictorial history as much as a written one, and as such includes photos of the author’s early years as well as the artwork she produced as she moved towards her world-renowned style – art school pieces, early political cartoons and illustrations for the correspondence school among others.” (Catalogue, abridged)

My cat likes to hide in boxes / Sutton, Eve
“Cats from many different countries may like to do all kinds of strange things, but my cat, an ordinary round-the-house cat, likes to hide in boxes.” (Catalogue)
Scotland / Harman, Alice
“This series provides an introduction to the study of the United Kingdom for young children as the illustrated ‘Fact Cat’ character leads the reader on a trail through the book, helping them to discover answers to key questions.” (Catalogue)
Encyclopedia of surnames / Ayto, John
“The Encyclopedia of Surnames is not just another dictionary! With entertaining coverage of more than 7,000 surnames listed alphabetically, it provides a complete and accessible companion to tracing the history of names.” (Catalogue, abridged)

 

 

Awesomely Austen series: kick-start your love of Jane Austen novels

A drawn image of a young women in Georgian-era dress with an umbrella and elbow-length gloves, checking the time on a pocket watch.

Image: Free vintage drawing of 1802 women’s fashion law, Licence CCO Public Domain

At some point in your school life you’ll be asked to read and study a Jane Austen novel. It’ll happen. Yes, really! These books are considered classics but the language used in the stories, and the way the characters behave is often quite different to what you find in our modern society. That’s because Jane Austen was born in England a long time ago – in 1775 – and her novels reflect the society she grew up in. This was a time when English society was sharply divided by wealth and women were expected to marry young (often in their teens).

Jane grew up in a family of seven children. Her dad was a clergyman, so the family was well-respected in their local community. This meant that Jane could observe their society, especially the role women played in it, and write about it – often in a witty and humorous way.  Sadly, her novels were not widely read or praised in her lifetime (Jane only lived to the age of 41), but they are now and have gone on to inspire countless poems, books, plays and films.

Why read the Awesomely Austen series?

The Awesomely Austen series are a fresh, funny and accessible retelling of Jane Austen’s well-known stories, all with black and white illustrations throughout.  The language is fun and easy to read and, even though the books still follow the plot of the original novels, the writing is modern, understandable and makes the characters very relatable. There’s also a family tree of main characters in the front of each book to help you with who’s who, and some interesting facts about the era the book was written in in the back.

All six of Jane Austen’s books have been retold in this fun series:

Jane Austen’s Pride and prejudice / Woodfine, Katherine
“Elizabeth Bennet is the second eldest in a family of five daughters. Although their mother is very keen to see them all married to wealthy men, Elizabeth is determined that she will only ever marry for love. At a ball, Elizabeth meets Mr Darcy, who at first she believes is proud and haughty. But perhaps there is more to him than first meets the eye.” (Catalogue)

Jane Austen’s Persuasion / Dhami, Narinder
“When she was just 19, Anne Elliot followed the wishes of her father and turned down the proposal of the man she loved – a naval officer called Frederick Wentworth. Years later, Captain Wentworth returns from his time at sea, and Anne dares to hope that their paths might cross once more. But the course of true love is bumpy at best – will Anne and Frederick ever be reunited?” (Catalogue)

Jane Austen’s Emma / Birchall, Katy
“Emma Woodhouse is pretty, clever and rich, and sees no reason why she would ever need to get married. But she loves matchmaking for her neighbours, despite the advice of her friend Mr Knightley, who warns her against meddling. Her latest success – the wedding of her governess – makes her certain that she can find the right match for anyone. Can Emma’s lucky streak continue? Or will best laid plans unravel as they always seem to do?” (Catalogue)

Jane Austen’s Sense and sensibility / Nadin, Joanna
“When Elinor and Marianne Dashwood’s father dies, they are forced to leave their home behind and move far away to a tiny cottage. Their lives look set to change for ever, in ways neither had expected. Elinor must leave behind the man she loves, whereas Marianne falls for their charming – but entirely unsuitable – new neighbour. The sisters will need each other’s support if they are to find happiness, but will they ever find the right balance of sense and sensibility?” (Catalogue)

Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park / Malik, Ayisha
“Fanny Price is one of nine children, and her family are very poor. So when a distant relative offers to take her in – giving her the opportunity to grow up wealthy and comfortable – her parents jump at the chance. But money doesn’t always bring happiness, and Fanny struggles to settle into her new home, where the family are very cold towards her. Her only friend amongst them is Edmund, who tries his best to help her be happy. As she grows up, Fanny realises that Edmund is the most important person in her life. But will he ever see her as more than the timid little girl who arrived at his home so many years before?” (Catalogue)

Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey / Butler, Steven
“Catherine Morland loves nothing more than reading a romantic novel, but as one of ten children she doesn’t have much time for reading or for romance. When she is seventeen, her wealthy neighbours invite her to spend the winter season with them in Bath – to experience balls, the theatre and other social delights for the first time. Catherine makes friends with the passionate Isabella, and dances with a handsome man called Henry, and it seems that all her dreams are coming true. But real life doesn’t always play out like a novel, and Catherine will have to overcome many obstacles before she can find her happy ending …” (Catalogue)

Happy Birthday, Roald Dahl!

Whoever said that September was a boring month?! Not where Roald Dahl is concerned! September is Roald Dahl’s birth month, and each year around the world, libraries, schools and the like celebrate a very special day, also known as  Roald Dahl Day. This year on the 13th of September, Roald Dahl Day strikes again, marking 105 years since his birth! So let’s celebrate his birthday! But first…

Who was Roald Dahl

He was a spy, ace fighter pilot, chocolate historian and medical inventor. He was also the author of The BFGMatildaCharlie and the Chocolate Factory, and many more brilliant stories. He remains THE WORLD’S NUMBER ONE STORYTELLER! For more information about Roald Dahl and his amazing life, click on his “about” and “timeline” pages.


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However if you want to find out and read about his remarkable life, then read Boy, which presents  humorous anecdotes from the author’s childhood which includes summer vacations in Norway and an English boarding school, and Going Solo, that tells the story of his adventures as an adult, first in Africa, then learning to be a wartime fighter pilot and discover what led him to becoming the world famous author that he is known as today. 

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Dahl’s life story is also featured in Stories for boys who dare to be different and Before they were authors : famous writers as kids.

Want to take part in the celebrations? Here’s how!

Visit the Roald Dahl website!
image courtesy of roalddahl.com

You will find  information about Roald Dahl as well as activities, games and quizzes. If you’re suffering from lockdown blues? Not need to worry, the Roald Dahl website has created a page called Things to do indoors, that might help distract, entertain, or simply keep kids busy right on this page until they’re out and about again.


Create your own Roald Dahl birthday party with food, games and jokes!

image courtesy of syndeticsRoald Dahl’s revolting recipes.

For ideas on creating your own Roald Dahl themed birthday party tea is Roald Dahl’s revolting recipes. “From Willy Wonka’s nutty crunch surprise to the mound of spare ribs consumed by Hansel and Gretel in Rhyme Stew, food has been an essential ingredient in Roald Dahl’s writing for children. Felicity Dahl has created a practical guide to making some of the dishes which appear in Dahl’s books.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsWhizzpopping joke book.

A party would not be complete without party jokes. ‘This collection of hundreds of great jokes would make even the Trunchbull laugh! Inspired by Roald Dahl’s wonderful world, these hilarious humdingers are guaranteed to raise a chuckle from human beans young and old.’ — From Back cover.


New to the world of Roald Dahl is…

image courtesy of syndeticsHow to trick a Twit.

A party would not be complete without party games. So for inspiration, why not read How to trick a Twit. “Mr and Mrs Twit love playing tricks and unfortunately they are very good at it. But just imagine if you could trick an actual Twit? Wouldn’t that be amazing? Well, this book can help you do just that. Packed full of fiendish pranks (as well as quizzes, recipes, fun facts and more), this is exactly what you need to outwit a Twit.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsAlso inspired by Roald Dahl and due to be released in October is Never grow up. “A brand new picture book inspired by Roald Dahl and illustrated by Quentin Blake. Inspired by the work of the world’s number 1 storyteller, this picture book is a guide to growing up the Roald Dahl way, with gloriumptious illustrations by Quentin Blake. A celebration of all the tremendous things children have in store – from adventure to inventions, chocolate cakes to rhino poo – along with a reminder that the very best grown ups are those who hold on tight to the kid inside.” (Catalogue). Reserve your copy now!



Read and relive your favourite Roald Dahl stories!

Wellington City Libraries holds a huge array of Roald Dahl books, both fiction and non fiction, including Fantastic Mr FoxThe Magic Finger and Danny the Champion of the World for your reading pleasure. Also check out this previous blog post for ideas on what are great Roald Dahl movies to watch.

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 You might also like:

image courtesy of syndeticsRoald Dahl’s rotsome & repulsant words. 

“This book is the perfect introduction to the naughtiest words and phrases created by Roald Dahl with redunculous language notes. Find insulting similes and learn a load of poppyrot. Use words in a brilliantly disgusterous way”. (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsOxford Roald Dahl dictionary.

A dictionary of real and invented words used by the world’s best storyteller. The Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary reveals what they mean, where they came from and how he used them in his stories. It will inspire you to choose and use each word brilliantly in your own writing – whether it’s a real word, a Roald Dahl word or your own made-up one!” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsThe gloriumptious worlds of Roald Dahl.

“HAVE YOU EVER wanted to know what actually happened to James Trotter’s parents when they encountered an angry escaped rhino? Or how to make the Twits’ infamous bird pie? Well now you can find out, with The Gloriumptious Worlds of Roald Dahl. The book is a brilliant extension to Dahl’s wonderful stories, and gives fascinating insights into the characters and events from Roald Dahl’s writing in a humorous, exciting and downright gloriumptious way. For the very first time, the stories behind the stories are brought to life in this brand new title. Inside, Quentin Blake’s iconic illustrations are combined with previously unpublished reproductions of imagined letters, artefacts and posters, and editing notes from Dahl himself, to bring all of Roald Dahl’s characters alive. Whether you have read all of Roald Dahl’s stories, or are just beginning to enjoy them, this is a great companion book that will help you delve even deeper into Roald Dahl’s worlds.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsDirty beasts.

“A collection of (mainly) grisly beasts out for human blood, ranging from Crocky-Wock the crocodile to Sting-A-Ling the scorpion. Described in verse with all Dahl’s usual gusto and illustrated in a suitably wicked style by Quentin Blake. Was that CROCKY-WOCK galumphing up the stairs? Is STING-A-LING hiding in your bed? And what foul fate has PIGGY planned for Farmer Bland? WARNING This book contains wickedly funny verse, prickly surprises and the most despicable creatures you could ever hope (not) to meet.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of sydneticsRevolting rhymes.

“Humorous retellings in verse of six well-known fairy tales featuring surprise endings in place of the traditional happily-ever-after, as well as rhymes about pigs, crocodiles, and tummy beasts.” (Catalogue).


image courtesy of syndeticsThe witches : the graphic novel.

“Witches are real, and they are very, very dangerous. They wear ordinary clothes and have ordinary jobs, living in ordinary towns all across the world – and there’s nothing they despise more than children. When an eight-year-old boy and his grandmother come face-to-face with the Grand High Witch herself, they may be the only ones who can stop the witches’ latest plot to stamp out every last child in the country! This full-colour graphic novel edition of Roald Dahl’s The Witches, adapted and illustrated by Eisner Award winner Penelope Bagieu, is the first-ever Dahl story to appear in this format.” (Catalogue).


Where to find more information?

Books Alive! Storytimes and Panel Discussions at the National Library

Tomorrow, on Wednesday 11 August, the winners of the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults will be announced, in a glitzy evening ceremony at the National Library of New Zealand. The top authors, illustrators and translators in the land are descending on Wellington in order to attend — so we have nabbed many of them to run a series of amazing events for school students called Books Alive. You may have seen some of the Books Alive events run virtually by LIANZA over the last few weeks — they’ve included storytimes, workshops, talks, Q&As, and more. Well, this is the real-life version of that!

Normally, only schools who have registered are able to attend Books Alive, but to allow more people to celebrate the wonderful literary creators that Aotearoa has produced, we’re opening up some of the events to members of the public to attend. So, whether you’re an adult, a teen, or a child, feel free to rock on up to any of the following events and get up-close and personal with some of this country’s most amazing authors and illustrators. All of the events are at the National Library of New Zealand, 70 Molesworth Street, Thorndon:

Books Alive Panel Discussion: Picture Books

Time: 9.45 – 10.35am

LocationTaiwhanga Kauhau Auditorium

Join us for this exciting panel featuring authors and illustrators who have been shortlisted for the prestigious Picture Book Award in this year’s New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. The panellists for this event are Laura Shallcrass (Hare and Ruru: A Quiet Moment), Kate Parker (Kōwhai and the Giants), Chris Gurney and Lael Chisholm (The Hug Blanket) and Philippa Werry and Kieran Rynhart (This is Where I Stand).


Storytime and Author Talk with Amy Haarhoff

Time: 10.45 – 11.10am

Location: He Matapihi Library

Join talented illustrator Amy Haarhoff for this special storytime featuring her book, The Midnight Adventures of Ruru and Kiwi (written by Clare Scott), as well as the opportunity to ask her questions about her life as an illustrator and her experience of working on this remarkable book. Amy is shortlisted in the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults in the category of Best First Book.


Books Alive Panel Discussion: Fiction

Time: 10.45 – 11.35am

Location: Taiwhanga Kauhau Auditorium

This wonderful panel discussion features authors who have been shortlisted for either the Wright Family Foundation Esther Glen Award for Junior Fiction or the Young Adult Fiction Award in this year’s New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. The panellists for this event are T. K. Roxborogh (Charlie Tangaroa and the Creature from the Sea), Des Hunt (Red Edge) and N. K. Ashworth (Draw Me a Hero).


Storytime and Author Talk with Kimberly Andrews

Time: 11.15 – 11.40am

Location: He Matapihi Library

Don your duffel coats and polish your magnifying glasses as we join author and illustrator Kimberly Andrews for this special reading of her book Hound the Detective. Kimberly is shortlisted for the Picture Book Award in this year’s New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults.


Books Alive Panel Discussion: Non-Fiction

Time: 12.30 – 1.20pm

Location: Taiwhanga Kauhau Auditorium

The final panel we’re opening up to the public for the day features the authors and illustrators who have been shortlisted for the Elsie Locke Award for Non-Fiction in this year’s New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. The panellists for this event are Alexandra Tylee and Giselle Clarkson (Egg and Spoon), Dr. Selina Tusitala Marsh (Mophead Tu: The Queen’s Poem), Maria Gill and Marco Ivancic (New Zealand Disasters), Sandra Morris (North and South) and Tom E. Moffatt (You’re Joking: Become an Expert Joke-Teller).

Betty Gilderdale and The Little Yellow Digger

Betty Gilderdale, the author of the much-loved Little Yellow Digger series of children’s books, has passed away this month, just days before her 98th birthday.

Betty was the author of five Little Yellow Digger picture books, which she created alongside her husband, illustrator Alan Gilderdale:

  • The Little Yellow Digger
  • The Little Yellow Digger at the Zoo 
  • The Little Yellow Digger Saves the Whale 
  • The Little Yellow Digger Goes to School 
  • The Little Digger and the Bones 

The original Little Yellow Digger picture book is one of New Zealand’s all-time bestselling children’s picture books with over 500,000 copies in print!

Betty was born in London in 1923 and emigrated to New Zealand with Alan and their three children in 1967.  She was a lecturer at North Shore Teachers’ College, Auckland College of Education, and at the University of Auckland as well as being reviewer of children’s books (amongst many other things). And from an interview for Christchurch City Libraries in 2002, her favourite food was “apricots – raw, cooked, dried, crystallised!”

You can find out more about Betty’s life and achievements HERE.

“But the Little Yellow Digger stayed to finish off the drain. It helped to make a driveway that would stay hard in the rain.” — Betty Gilderdale, The Little Yellow Digger, 1992


The little yellow digger / Gilderdale, Betty
“When little yellow digger gets stuck in the mud, a range of bigger diggers are sent to finish the job. Suggested level: preschool, junior.” (Catalogue)

The little yellow digger at the zoo / Gilderdale, Betty
“The little yellow digger comes to the rescue when hippo pool at the zoo needs to be made bigger. Suggested level: junior.” (Catalogue)

The little yellow digger saves the whale / Gilderdale, Betty
“”Rolling and leaping at their play, two whales swam in a sunlit bay.” But when the tide turns, the baby whale gets stranded on the beach. But don’t worry, the Little Yellow Digger is on its way. This is the third story about the much-loved Little Yellow Digger by Betty and Alan Gilderdale.” (Catalogue)

The little yellow digger treasury / Gilderdale, Betty
“In the next door garden they were digging out a drain when the weather turned quite nasty and it poured and poured with rain. When digging out a drain, the little yellow digger gets stuck in the mud. So they bring in a bigger digger… Since the publication of the first story more than 20 years ago. the much-loved stories about the Little Yellow Digger have spanned generations of readers to become classics. All five stories have been compiled in this delightful treasury collection, which features a special word from the author, 20-plus years down the track!” (Catalogue)

My life in two halves : a memoir / Gilderdale, Betty
“Betty Gilderdale lived the first half of her life in England and the second, in New Zealand. This book follows her early childhood in London, the war years, university study, professional life, marriage and children, through to making a new life in New Zealand when she and her husband Alan and their three children moved here in 1967. It was here that she pursued her interest in teaching, and in 1982 published her ground-breaking work “A sea change : 145 years of New Zealand junior fiction: Her story describes a rich and full life of diverse experiences peopled with teaching colleagues, writers, friends and, most importantly, family.” (Catalogue)

New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults 2021: Children’s Finalists!

The announcement of the finalists for the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults is always an extremely exciting time of year for us! This year saw a truly huge number of books entered by authors and illustrators from around Aotearoa — and the suite of books chosen for the shortlist are by turns beautiful, quirky, profound, funny, and all-in-all could only have come from here.

To help you make up your mind about which books you think should win their categories, we thought we’d share the full list with here, with links to all the books on our catalogue. Just click on the title and you’ll be able to reserve the next available copy to read. But get in quick — we don’t think they’ll stay on the shelf for very long!

PS — head over to the Teen Blog to find out about the books that have made the shortlist in the Young Adult Fiction category!

Picture Book Award

Judges’ comments: “This year’s Picture Book Award shortlist beautifully combines delicate illustrations that connect to and enhance sometimes delicate themes. There are laughs, tears, sighs (both contented and wistful) to be had in equal measure.”

Hare & Ruru : a quiet moment / Shallcrass, Laura
“This is the story of Hare, who struggles with an un-named mental malady self-described as ‘noise’. Noise could be runaway thoughts, voices in Hare’s head, or loud feelings and general anxiety. Hare goes on a journey to try and find a solution and finally gives up. Just when Hare thinks there’s no hope a friend, Ruru, flies calmly down and gives a suggestion. Hare ultimately feels better after doing three things: * Talking to someone; * Focusing on breathing; * Connecting to nature.” (Catalogue)

Read this book in te reo Māori!

Hound the detective / Andrews, Kimberly
“Meet Hound, a brilliant detective who ALWAYS solves his case. But this latest trail of clues has him perplexed … what has he missed? This gorgeous, multi-layered and engaging whodunnit by an award-winning writer has a delightful surprise at the end. Readers will love studying each action-packed illustration, poring over the details of Hound’s secret passages and map, spotting the adorable animals lurking in the pictures, and finding the caterpillar hidden on every page.” (Catalogue)

Kōwhai and the giants / Parker, Kate
“Kōwhai first appeared from the golden glow of a beautiful flower … and the voice was the rain and the sea and the cry of a bird. Follow Kōwhai as she discovers a tiny seed of hope and rebuilds a great forest.” (Catalogue)
The hug blanket / Gurney, Chris
“A heartfelt exploration of the unconditional love between a child and their grandparent. A book to help children understand grief. It smells like sunshine. It sounds like whispers. It looks like rainbows… It feels like love.” (Catalogue)

Read this book in te reo Māori!

This is where I stand / Werry, Philippa
“Provides a glimpse into the life of a soldier immortalised as a statue, reflecting the passage of time. The soldier on a war memorial tells the story of what he has seen over the years. Although the soldier is based on the ‘Untidy Soldier’ statue in Devonport, it could be any statue in any town. The story begins in a modern day setting, then moves back to WWI, WWII to finish again in contemporary times.” (Catalogue)

Wright Family Foundation Esther Glen Award for Junior Fiction

Judges’ comments: “The books vying for the Wright Family Foundation Esther Glen Junior Fiction Award presented the judges with eclectic plotlines and endearing characters, and they struggled to narrow down to a shortlist from the well-crafted titles.”

Across the risen sea / Bren MacDibble. / MacDibble, Bren
“Across the Risen Sea is an action-packed, compelling and heartfelt middle-fiction adventure, set in a post-climate change landscape, from the multi-award winning author of How to Bee.” (Catalogue)

Charlie Tangaroa and the creature from the sea / Roxborogh, Tania Kelly
“On a beach clean-up, thirteen-year-old Charlie and his brother, Robbie, find a ponaturi, a mermaid, washed up on a beach. An ancient grudge between the Māori gods Tane and Tangaroa has flared up because a port being built in the bay is polluting the ocean and creatures are fleeing the sea. This has reignited anger between the gods, which breaks out in storms, earthquakes and huge seas. The ponaturi believes Charlie is the only one who can stop the destruction. So begins Charlie’s journey to find a way to reunite the gods and discover why he is the one for the task.” (Catalogue)

Also available as an eBook!

Red edge / Hunt, Des
“Twelve-year-old Cassi Whelan and her dad have just moved into a repaired house on the edge of Christchurch’s Red Zone. Although Cassi was only four when earthquakes decimated Christchurch, her memories still haunt her. An obsessive runner, she finds the wide-open spaces of the cleared Red Zone suit her perfectly. However, she becomes suspicious about strange comings and goings at the broken-down house next door. A chance meeting with a boy who lives on the other side of the house, who is a tech geek, leads to them setting up a surveillance system to investigate what’s happening.” (Catalogue)

Also available as an eBook!

The Inkberg Enigma / King, Jonathan
“Miro and Zia live in Aurora, a fishing town nestled in the shadow of a mysterious castle. Miro lives in the world of books ; Zia is never without her camera. The they meet, they stumble upon a secret. With Zia determined to discover more, a reluctant Miro is pulled into a real-life adventure” (Catalogue) Also available as an eBook!

The tunnel of dreams / Beckett, Bernard
“In an abandoned house at the end of their street, twin brothers Stefan and Arlo discover a young girl hiding in its dusty shadows. Alice needs their help as her twin sister is locked in a cage suspended high above a mysterious mine in a strange parallel world and she asks an impossible favour. Will they meet her on the next full moon at the entrance to a tunnel they both know doesn’t exist? Except that it does…” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Also available as an eBook!

Elsie Locke Award for Non-Fiction

Judges’ comments: “The judges found the Elsie Locke Award for Non-Fiction a particularly strong category this year, stating ‘to say there is something for everyone is an understatement; this list has everything, for everyone!'”

Egg & spoon : an illustrated cookbook / Tylee, Alexandra
“A beautiful illustrated cookbook for children–and their families–that celebrates imagination and pleasure in cooking. A fun and modern cookbook for families packed with recipes for meals, snacks, treats, and a whole lot of humour. Alexandra Tylee’s lively inner ten-year-old knows exactly what food appeals to children and how to talk to kids about food. She trusts them to choose flavours and handle equipment in this joyful book that will set them on a lifetime love of healthy cooking and eating. Giselle Clarkson’s illustrations are salivatingly delicious and subversively playful.” (Catalogue)

Mophead tu : the Queen’s poem / Marsh, Selina Tusitala
“Selina is invited to perform for the Queen at Westminster Abbey. But when a colleague calls her a ‘sellout’, Selina starts doubting herself. Can she stand with her people who struggled against the Queen … and still serve the Queen? From the sinking islands in the South Seas to the smoggy streets of London, this is a hilariously thought-provoking take on colonial histories and one poet’s journey to bridge the divide.” (Catalogue)

New Zealand disasters : our response, resilience and recovery / Gill, Maria
“Inspiring stories of courage, resilience and determination in the face of disaster New Zealanders have endured phenomenal natural and human disasters throughout the ages. This inspiring book documents some of these key moments in our history and, more importantly, how we responded and grew stronger; what changes/improvements were made as a result. Cyclones, tornadoes, earthquakes, landslides, floods, volcanic eruptions, fires, aeroplane crashes, pandemics and other disasters are just some of the many themes covered in this comprehensive, vibrantly illustrated account.” (Catalogue)

North and south / Morris, Sandra
“A beautiful non-fiction picture book about animals around the world. This non-fiction picture book takes readers around the world through the months of the year, looking at seasons in both the northern and southern hemisphere. It focuses on a species in each hemisphere for that month, e.g. March in the northern hemisphere is polar bear cubs in the Canadian Arctic and also saltwater crocodiles in Australia. There are a range of countries, habitats, species and animal activities included.” (Catalogue)

You’re joking : become an expert joke-teller / Moffatt, Tom E
“Tired of no one laughing at your jokes? You don’t have to be. Joke-telling is a skill, like playing the piano or juggling live hedgehogs. This book teaches you that skill with easy-to-follow instructions and simple exercises. With 101 hilarious jokes (and lots of practice), you’ll soon get the laughter and applause you deserve. Without ever needing to juggle hedgehogs.” (Publisher summary courtesy of Wright Laugh Books)

Russell Clark Award for Illustration

Judges’ comments: “The judges faced an outstandingly strong and large pool of entries for the Russell Clark Award for Illustration. The finalists are characterised by a diversity of styles and media, but the books all have in common an expert use of colour and line to communicate emotion and pace and skilfully add texture to the narrative.”

Hare & Ruru : a quiet moment / Shallcrass, Laura
“This is the story of Hare, who struggles with an un-named mental malady self-described as ‘noise’. Noise could be runaway thoughts, voices in Hare’s head, or loud feelings and general anxiety. Hare goes on a journey to try and find a solution and finally gives up. Just when Hare thinks there’s no hope a friend, Ruru, flies calmly down and gives a suggestion. Hare ultimately feels better after doing three things: * Talking to someone; * Focusing on breathing; * Connecting to nature.” (Catalogue)

Read this book in te reo Māori!

I am the universe / Unka, Vasanti
“I am the Universe, an infinite space of glittering galaxies. It’s a starlit journey through space that will lead you to a wonderful planet brimming with all kinds of life – including yours. This stunning story demonstrating the scale of the Universe and our place in it was created specially for children aged three years and up by the award-winning author-illustrator Vasanti Unka, who lives in Auckland, New Zealand, the Earth, the Solar System, the Galaxy, the Milky Way, the Universe.” (Catalogue)

Kōwhai and the giants / Parker, Kate
“Kōwhai first appeared from the golden glow of a beautiful flower … and the voice was the rain and the sea and the cry of a bird. Follow Kōwhai as she discovers a tiny seed of hope and rebuilds a great forest.” (Catalogue)

Moon & Sun / Szymanik, Melinda
“Moon is sad. She feels dull next to her bright happy sister, Sun. She hides away at night until Sun tells Moon how special she is and how she would love to share the sky with her. This beautifully illustrated children’s book explains how our diffrerences are our strengths, and how together we can make the world a better place!” (Catalogue)

Te Uruuru Whenua o Ngātoroirangi / Winitana, Chris.
“This is the story, told in te reo Māori, of the arrival of Ngātoroirangi in Aotearoa and his exploration of the landscape and subduing of kaitiaki, such as the guardian of Tarawera, Tamaohoi; the guardian of water on Kaingaroa, Torepatutai; and the King of the Patupaiarehe, fairy folk, Ririō. This adventure story traces the places Ngātoroirangi travelled through, such as Waimahunga, the large spring where he conducted his cleansing ceremonies, and Te Whārua o Ngātoroirangi, where his footprints are still visible in the land today.”

(Publisher summary courtesy of Huia Publishers)

Wright Family Foundation Te Kura Pounamu Award

Judges’ comments: “The finalists in the Wright Family Foundation Te Kura Pounamu Award for books written entirely in te reo Māori will appeal to a broad range of abilities. Te reo in its simplest form will lift the language for beginners, while there are also titles with a depth of language to send the imaginations of confident speakers soaring. The judges were pleased to see a marked increase in the number of books written in te reo Māori, rather than translated from English.”

Aroha te whai ora : he mahere piropiro mā te tamariki / Phillips, Craig
“Nau mai, hoake tātou ko Aroha, i a ia e kaupare ana i te taiatea, i te mataku, i te māharahara, me te anipā, ki ana tukanga māmā ka taea e te katoa. Come along on a journey with Aroha as she wards off nervousness, fear, worrying thoughts and apprehension, with simple, yet effect tools that everyone can use.” (Catalogue)

Also read this book in te reo Pākehā!

Mihi / Bishop, Gavin
“This beautiful baby book introduces ideas of me and my place in the world in the shape of a simple mihi or pepeha… Repeating colours and shapes show the connections between waka, mountain, and iwi through to mama, papa, and the baby reader.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Pīpī kiwi / Taylor, Helen J.
“Young Kiwi Iti waits impatiently for his baby sister, Pīpī Kiwi, to hatch. Will she ever arrive? When will she be ready to play with him? His father Kiwi Nui explains to him that love takes time. Ahea RAWA pao ai te hua? This Māori-language story is for all children eagerly awaiting a new sibling.” (Catalogue)

Also read this book in te reo Pākehā!

Ngake me Whātaitai / Ngaia, Ben
“A traditional story told in te reo Māori from the perspective of the Kāhui Maunga people about Ngake and Whātaitai. These two taniwha inhabited Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Wellington Harbour, long before the ancestral migrations. The story tells how the shape and landscape of Wellington, its harbour and the Lower Hutt area came about because of the actions of Ngake and Whātaitai.” (Catalogue)

Te Uruuru Whenua o Ngātoroirangi / Winitana, Chris.
“This is the story, told in te reo Māori, of the arrival of Ngātoroirangi in Aotearoa and his exploration of the landscape and subduing of kaitiaki, such as the guardian of Tarawera, Tamaohoi; the guardian of water on Kaingaroa, Torepatutai; and the King of the Patupaiarehe, fairy folk, Ririō. This adventure story traces the places Ngātoroirangi travelled through, such as Waimahunga, the large spring where he conducted his cleansing ceremonies, and Te Whārua o Ngātoroirangi, where his footprints are still visible in the land today.” (Publisher summary courtesy of Huia Publishers)

Best First Book Award

Judges’ comments: “The finalists for the Best First Book Award left the judges reassured that the future of children’s literature in New Zealand is in good hands. In fact, the standard is so high, that four of the books are also finalists in one or more of the main categories.”

Hare & Ruru : a quiet moment / Shallcrass, Laura
“This is the story of Hare, who struggles with an un-named mental malady self-described as ‘noise’. Noise could be runaway thoughts, voices in Hare’s head, or loud feelings and general anxiety. Hare goes on a journey to try and find a solution and finally gives up. Just when Hare thinks there’s no hope a friend, Ruru, flies calmly down and gives a suggestion. Hare ultimately feels better after doing three things: * Talking to someone; * Focusing on breathing; * Connecting to nature.” (Catalogue).

Read this book in te reo Māori!

Kōwhai and the giants / Parker, Kate
“Kōwhai first appeared from the golden glow of a beautiful flower … and the voice was the rain and the sea and the cry of a bird. Follow Kōwhai as she discovers a tiny seed of hope and rebuilds a great forest.” (Catalogue)

The Inkberg Enigma / King, Jonathan
“Miro and Zia live in Aurora, a fishing town nestled in the shadow of a mysterious castle. Miro lives in the world of books ; Zia is never without her camera. The they meet, they stumble upon a secret. With Zia determined to discover more, a reluctant Miro is pulled into a real-life adventure” (Catalogue)

Also available as an eBook!

The midnight adventures of Ruru and Kiwi / Scott, Clare
“Ruru and Kiwi invite you to their midnight forest feast, in this delightful twist on the tale of the Owl and the Pussycat. Drawing on a cast of nocturnal New Zealand creatures, with award-winning illustrations by Amy Haarhoff, Clare Scott’s story imagines Edward Lear’s famous nonsense poem taking place in a moonlit forest in Aotearoa.” (Catalogue)

The pōrangi boy / Kino, Shilo
“Twelve-year-old Niko lives in Pohe Bay, a small, rural town with a sacred hot spring and a taniwha named Taukere. The government plan to build a prison here and destroy the home of the taniwha has divided the community. Some are against it, but others see it as an opportunity. Niko is worried about the land and Taukere, but who will listen to him? He’s an ordinary boy who’s laughed at, bullied, and called pōrangi, crazy, for believing in the taniwha. But it’s Niko who has to convince the community that Taukere is real, unite whānau in protest against the prison and stand up to the bullies.” (Catalogue)

The Late, Great Eric Carle

“I believe that children are naturally creative and eager to learn. I want to show them that learning is really both fascinating and fun.” (Eric Carle)

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Eric Carle display, Johnsonville Library. Image: Lara van der Raaij

Eric Carle, author and illustrator of The Very Hungry Caterpillar and many other much loved classics, passed away a couple of days ago at the age of 91.

Eric was born in Syracuse, USA in 1929 but moved with his parents to Germany when he was six years old. He went to school and university in Germany but in 1952, as an adult, he decided to return to New York. Eric became a graphic designer at The New York Times newspaper and later an art director of an advertising agency. It was the graphics on an advertisement that Eric had created that caught the eye of Bill Martin Jr, author of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? who asked Eric to illustrate this now famous book.

This was the beginning of Eric Carle’s true career and soon he was writing his own stories, too. His first wholly original book was 1,2,3 to the Zoo, followed soon afterward by the celebrated classic, The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Eric’s Art & Words

Eric Carle’s art is distinctive and instantly recognisable. His artwork is created in collage technique, using hand-painted papers, which he cuts and layers to form bright and cheerful images. The themes of Eric Carle’s stories are usually drawn from his extensive knowledge and love of nature. Besides being beautiful and entertaining, his books always offer the opportunity to learn something about the world around and to connect us to the simple things of life, and how to overcome our fears.

Check out Eric’s unique and effective artistic technique HERE

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Book Jacket for: Te anuhe tino hiakaiBook Jacket for: Khubaja bhukyo keḍarapilara = The very hungry caterpillarBook Jacket for: al-Yaraqah al-jāʼiʻah jidan = The very hungry caterpillar

Although Eric Carle wrote and illustrated over 70 books in his lifetime, The Very Hungry Caterpillar stands out for many fans as a favourite. This much-loved classic was first published in 1969, and has gone on to sell around 55 million copies worldwide! It has also been translated into 60 languages. The idea for the format of the book came from playing around with a hole punch and thinking of a worm eating its way through a book. The rest, as they say, is history!

Here’s a short clip of Eric himself sharing his thoughts for the 45th Anniversary of The Very Hungry Caterpillar (2014):


You can immerse yourself in the beauty of Eric Carle’s many books at Wellington City Libraries:

Eric Carle’s book of many things. / Carle, Eric
“Very young children will delight in the vocabulary in this colourful book- filled with familiar and some not-so-well-known aspects of the world.”–Cataloguer.” (Catalogue)

A house for Hermit Crab / Carle, Eric
” Poor Hermit Crab! He’s outgrown his snug little shell and has to find a new home. And he does, with help from some friends who make the move less scary. Children facing change in their own lives will relate to Hermit Crab’s story and learn a lot about the fascinating world of marine life along the way. ” (Catalogue, abridged)

The grouchy ladybug / Carle, Eric
“A grouchy ladybug, looking for a fight, challenges everyone she meets regardless of their size or strength.” (Catalogue, abridged)

Have you seen my cat? / Carle, Eric
“A young boy encounters all sorts of cats while searching for the one he lost. Suggested level: junior, primary.” (Catalogue)

The very lonely firefly / Carle, Eric
“A lonely firefly goes out into the night searching for other fireflies.” (Catalogue)

From head to toe / Carle, Eric
“Creatures move their bodies in lots of different ways – just like people. Try wriggling and jiggling as you try to keep up with these animals.” (Catalogue)

Mister Seahorse / Carle, Eric
“After Mrs. Seahorse lays her eggs on Mr. Seahorse’s belly, he drifts through the water, greeting other fish fathers who are taking care of their eggs. Suggested level: junior, primary.” (Catalogue)

The Nonsense Show / Carle, Eric
“Ducks growing out of bananas? A mouse catching a cat? What’s wrong with this book? Yes, there’s something strange, something funny, and even downright preposterous on every page of this book. But it’s not a mistake–it’s nonsense! And it’s also surrealism” (Catalogue)

The A-Z of Alphabet Books

Book Jacket for: ABC yogaBook Jacket for: The Kiwi kid's ABCBook Jacket for: A is for activist

Alphabet books are books that list each letter of the alphabet (most often in order from A to Z) with corresponding pictures or information. Some books will list only the uppercase letters while others will list both the upper and lowercase.

Alphabet books aren’t just for babies! They can often have longer descriptions and detailed information about the topic referenced by each letter. These books are a fun way to explore puzzles, art, facts, alliteration, rhyme, humour, fantasy… you can use the alphabet-style of book for almost any subject!

They’re also a great way to

  1.  help focus on one letter at a time
  2.  learn that many words start with each sound
  3.  easily learn that pictures match the words
  4. learn a new language
  5. solidify your knowledge of objects
  6.  develop confidence with your reading

Wellington City Libraries have loads of alphabet books to suit every age and ability.

Here’s just a small sample to 

A – access!

B – Browse!

C – Contemplate!

Chicka chicka boom boom / Martin, Bill
“An alphabet rhyme/chant that relates what happens when the whole alphabet tries to climb a coconut tree.” (Catalogue)

Animalia / Base, Graeme
“A picture book where familiar animals appear in unfamiliar situations and each page contains a wealth of hidden objects and ideas.” (Catalogue)

Once upon an alphabet / Jeffers, Oliver
“From an Astronaut who’s afraid of heights, to a Bridge that ends up burned between friends, to a Cup stuck in a cupboard and longing for freedom, this series of interconnected stories and characters explores the alphabet.” (Catalogue)

The alphabet theatre proudly presents The Z was zapped : a play in twenty-six acts / Van Allsburg, Chris
“Depicts how A was in an avalanche, B was badly bitten, C was cut to ribbons, and the other letters of the alphabet suffered similar mishaps.” (Catalogue)

Z is for Moose / Bingham, Kelly L.
“Moose is eager to play his part in the alphabet book his friend Zebra is putting together. He is very disappointed when his letter isn’t in the book. Will they find a home for his name?” (Catalogue)

A little ABC book / Palmer, Jenny
“A Little ABC Book has poems and pictures for ‘little people’, picked by ‘little people’ Over 26 weeks, littlies in the community voted on a little animal for all 26 letters of the alphabet. Each little letter then got its own original poem and illustration by Jenny Palmer from her business, A Little Ink, until a little book was made! Working together was as easy as ABC (and a little inspiring too!). Find a little flying squirrel, otters, giraffes, penguins and even a little unicorn inside! We have created an alphabet you’ll love!” (Catalogue)

Aotearoa to Zespri : the New Zealand ABC book / Winney, Kelly
“Aotearoa to Zespri is a uniquely Kiwi alphabet book. Experience New Zealand in 26 letters. Recall familiar brands and the sights of your favourite flora, reflects the wildlife and Kiwi way of life.” (Catalogue)

Women artists A to Z / LaBarge, Melanie
“From household names like Frida Kahlo and Georgia O’Keeffe, to French-born Australian artist Mirka Mora, to underrepresented creators such as Jaune Quick-to-See Smith and Xenobia Bailey, this empowering alphabet picture book features a variety of genres – painting, drawing, sculpture, and more. Each lushly illustrated spread summarises the artist’s work in one word, such as ‘D is for Dots’ (Yayoi Kusama) and ‘N is for Nature’ (Maya Lin), and gives the essential information to know about the creator. ” (Catalogue, abridged)

 

Olympians vs. Marvel/DC Heroes: Welcome to the Arena!

The world of the Greek gods and goddesses (The Olympians series) collides with the extended comic universe in an epic battle with the heroes from Marvel and DC. According to Olympians author George O’Connor, a Greek mythology buff and a classic superhero comics fan, our pantheon of Marvel and DC superheroes (Superman, Batman, the X-Men, etc.) owes much in terms of inspiration to the pantheon of Greek gods, like Zeus, Athena, and Poseidon. Over the coming weeks, we’ll be pitting each superhero against their Greek deity counterpart right here on the Kids’ Blog: who do you think will win?

Check out the following non fiction and fiction about Greek deities and their Marvel and DC nemeses to prepare yourself for their upcoming literary battles:


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Also search our catalogue for more books about the
Marvel Universe and the DC Universe. You might also be interested in the DC and Marvel websites, where you can learn more about your favourite heroes.

About The Olympians:

The Olympians, by George O’Connor is a series of graphic novels about Greek mythology.

Each volume of The Olympians tells the story of one of the gods, (Zeus, Athena, Hera, Hades, Poseidon, Aphrodite, Ares, Apollo, Artemis, Hermes and Hesphaistos) in the Olympic pantheon. Also included in each book is extensive back matter that tells the history behind each myth and resources for further study and critical analysis of the Greek gods, history, culture, religion… Hmm, who would have thought homework would involve reading comics! You can find them all on the shelf at Wellington City Libraries and online at Overdrive Kids.

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To find out more about The Olympians, check out the official website. You can also have fun with the activities and learn more about Greek mythology by visiting some of these sites.

Don’t forget to tune back in soon for the first round of Superheroes vs. Greek Gods on the Kids’ Blog, where we’ll have Thor, Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel facing off in a team battle against Zeus, Athena and Hera!

The Baby-Sitters Club: Chapter Books vs. Comics

The Babysitters Club, written by Ann M. Martin, is a series of novels about a group of friends aged 12, Kristy Thomas (founder and president), Mary Anne Spier (secretary), Claudia Kishi (vice-president), and Stacey McGill (treasurer), who run a local babysitting service called “The Baby-Sitters Club”.  The novels were originally published by Scholastic between 1986 and 2000.
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Some of the novels have been released as a graphic novel version written by Raina Telgemeier (who also wrote Smile, Sisters and Guts) and Gale Galligan.

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By Raina Telgemeier:

image courtesy of syndeticsThe Baby-sitters Club [1] : Kristy’s great idea.

“Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia, and Stacey are best friends and founding member of The Baby-sitters Club. Whatever comes up – cranky toddlers, huge dogs, scary neighbors, prank calls – you can count on them to save the day. But no matter what, the BSC have what they need most: friendship”–page [4] of cover.

image courtesy of syndeticsThe Baby-sitters Club [2] : the truth about Stacey.

Joining the Baby-sitter’s Club after moving to a new town, Stacey helps her new friends outmanoeuvre a rival sitter group while coming to terms with her diabetes.

image courtesy of syndeticsThe Baby-sitters Club [3] : Mary Anne saves the day : a graphic novel.

When a fight breaks out among the members of the Baby-sitters Club, timid Mary Anne finds herself becoming more assertive as a baby sitter and in her relationships with her father and friends.

image courtesy of syndeticsThe Baby-sitters Club [4] : Claudia and mean Janine.

“Claudia and her sister, Janine, may as well be from two different planets. Claudia, who pays more attention to her artwork and The Baby-sitters Club than her homework, feels like she can’t compete with her perfect sister. Janine studies nonstop, gets straight As, and even takes college-level courses! But when something unexpected happens to the most beloved person in their family, will the sisters be able to put aside their differences?”–Publisher.
By Gale Galligan:
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The Baby-sitters Club [5] : Dawn and the impossible three : a graphic novel.

This graphic novel adapted by bestselling author Gale Galligan is now available in full colour! Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia, and Stacey are best friends and founding members of The Babysitters Club. Whatever comes up, you can count on them to save the day.

image courtesy of syndeticsThe Baby-sitters Club [6] : Kristy’s big day.

Kristy’s mom is getting married, and Kristy is going to be a bridesmaid! The only problem? Fourteen kids are coming to town for the wedding!
image courtesy of syndeticsThe Baby-sitters Club [7] : Boy-crazy Stacey.

“Stacey and Mary Anne are baby-sitting for the Pike family for two weeks at the New Jersey shore. Things are great in Sea City: there’s a gorgeous house right on the beach, a boardwalk, plenty of sun and sand… and the cutest boy Stacey has ever seen! Mary Anne thinks that Stacey should leave Scott alone and focus on the Pike kids, but Stacey’s in love. Looking for reasons to hang around his lifeguard stand takes up all of her time, which means Mary Anne has to do the job of two baby-sitters. Mary Anne doesn’t like it one bit! How can she tell Stacey that Scott just isn’t interested without ruining their friendship and breaking Stacey’s heart?”–Provided by publisher.

image courtesy of syndeticsThe Baby-sitters Club [8] : Logan likes Mary Anne! : a graphic novel.

It’s the first day of a new school year, and while Mary Anne doesn’t know what to expect from the eighth grade, she’s looking forward to getting back into the swing of things. One thing she definitely doesn’t expect is to meet Logan Bruno, who just moved to Stoneybrook! Logan has a dreamy southern accent, he’s awfully cute… and he might be interested in joining the BSC. But the baby-sitters aren’t sure if Logan would make a good club member, so they send him on a job with Mary Anne as a test. Logan and Mary Anne hit it off, but Mary Anne isn’t sure of where their friendship could go. Life in the Baby-sitters Club has never been this complicated — or this fun!


There was also a spin-off series called Baby-Sitters Little Sister novels, about Karen Brewer, the seven-year-old stepsister of Kristy Thomas. The series ran from 1988 to 2000. The first two novels, Karen’s Witch and Karen’s Rollerskates, has been released as graphic novels written by Katy Farina.

image courtesy of syndeticsKaren’s Witch.

Karen Brewer lives next door to Mrs. Porter, who wears long robes and has wild gray hair. Mrs. Porter has a black cat named Midnight and always seems to be working in her garden. Karen isn’t supposed to spy on her neighbor, but she’s determined to prove that Mrs. Porter is a witch named Morbidda DestinyMrs. Porter is getting ready to have a special meeting at her house, and Karen is sure the meeting is for witches. Are they going to cast a spell on Karen? Or will she be brave enough to send them away — once and for all?

image courtesy of syndeticsKaren’s Rollerskates.

It’s going to be a great weekend! Karen has new roller skates and is a very good skater. She’s looking forward to trying some new tricks. But, oh no! Karen falls down and has to go to the hospital. Her wrist is broken! Karen is determined to get everyone she knows — plus someone famous — to sign her cast. It isn’t going to be easy, but she won’t give up until the job is done.
Did you know? The Babysitters Club was made into a movie in 1995 and was recently made into a TV series on Netflix.

Search our catalogue for more books from The Babysitters Club series. You can also find more books through our Kids’ Reading Room on Overdrive!