Read Books, Earn Pizza!

Love pizza? Love reading? Then boy, do we have the deal for you!

The famous Hell Pizza Reading Challenge has returned for another year, and from now until the end of January 2022, Hell Pizza will give you one free kids’ pizza from their 333 menu for every seven books you borrow and read from the library.

Does it sound too good to be true? We thought you might think that, but trust us: we’d never lie to you. Especially when it comes to books and pizza.

So here’s the deal:

The next time you go to your local library, ask the friendly librarian for a pizza wheel. They look a bit like this:

A circular card divided into seven segments, each of which has a space to be stamped by a librarian. once seven segments are stamped, the card can be redeemed for one free 333 kids' pizza at any Hell Pizza store.

All those books just waiting to be read; all those pizzas just waiting to be eaten!

Whenever you issue a book from the library, ask the librarian to stamp and sign one segment of your pizza wheel. You can have one segment of your wheel signed for each book you read from the library! Our librarians love to talk to you about the books you’re reading, so come to the desk prepared to talk about bookish things!

Once you have all seven segments of your pizza wheel stamped and signed, the librarian will finish it off with The Master Stamp, and you can take the completed wheel to any Hell Pizza store and exchange it for one free 333 kids’ pizza. It really is as simple as that!

Rules:

  • You must be in Years 1-8 in order to participate in the Challenge.
  • Pizza wheels can be redeemed at any Hell Pizza store until 31 January 2022.
  • There’s no limit to how many pizza wheels you can earn across the year, but remember that Hell Pizza will only redeem one pizza wheel per visit per child! So you can’t stockpile 10 pizza wheels and get 10 free pizzas all at once.

We know lots of you have already started your 2021 Hell Pizza Reading Challenge journey already — but for those of you that haven’t, it’s never too late to start! You can pick up and sign off pizza wheels at any of our 14 libraries across the city! Last year Wellington City Libraries kids racked up nearly 15,000 free pizzas as part of the Hell Pizza Reading Challenge — that’s over 100,000 books read! Let’s see if we can beat that number this year!

Happy reading, everyone! 🙂

Become an Environmental Scientist with the City Nature Challenge!

Finish off the school holidays in environmental style by taking part in the City Nature Challenge this weekend! From Friday 30 April to Monday 3 May, Wellington will be transformed into a giant nature playground — and you will be turned into scientists, should you choose to take up the challenge of embarking on a four-day bioblitz!

WCC gardener photographing a plant using the iNaturalist app at a Wellington City garden.

Nate Rigler, WCC gardener, investigating some local flora! Photo credit: Tim Park.

So what is the City Nature Challenge? It’s a global event that sees people from over 250 cities across the world search for, report, and log any sightings of wild plants, creatures, or organisms, living or dead, on the land, up the mountains, and in the sea — and around our backyards.

It’s super easy to get involved using the iNaturalist app (free on the app store). Join the Wellington City Nature Challenge group, go for a walk in the city (looking out for local flora and fauna as you go!) and when you spot something cool, upload it to the app. There are prizes to be won and a natural environment to be discovered, so pick up a flyer from your local library, or head over to the City Nature Challenge website, to find out more!

If nature is your kind of thing, Wellington City Libraries has a huge range of books and other resources on the topic. Use the following links to find books on our catalogue about various topics relating to the plants, animals, and environment of New Zealand — or use the Dewey Decimal numbers to help you search the shelves the next time you visit the library!

Here are some that you might find particularly useful as you participate in the City Nature Challenge this weekend:

New Zealand nature heroes / Candler, Gillian
“New Zealand Nature Heroes is designed to inspire and empower New Zealand kids to be naturalists and conservationists. Aimed at the 8-12 age range, the book features stories of 15 different nature heroes, people who, in the past, or currently, are working to protect and understand New Zealand’s natural world. These inspirational profiles are complemented with information about key animals, plants or habitats, and then each matched with an authentic activity that kids can do to make a difference.” (Catalogue)

A New Zealand nature journal / Morris, Sandra
“A New Zealand Nature Journal will teach you how to keep a nature journal to record your amazing discoveries. Have you ever noticed that ladybirds have different numbers of spots? Or that leaves can be pointed or round, long or short, soft or hard? There is so much to explore in the natural world. And keeping a nature journal is the best way to record all your amazing discoveries.” (Catalogue)

New Zealand birds in pictures / Chen, Kimball
“From the barely-visible wings of the flightless kiwi to the immense wingspan of the wandering albatross, New Zealand’s fragile island ecosystem is home to a diverse array of spectacular birds. Delve into the fascinating world of our feathered friends with author and wildlife photographer Kimball Chen. From intimate portraits of endangered creatures and their glamorous breeding plumage, to dramatic wide-angle birdscapes encompassing rugged sub-antarctic habitats, to magical fleeting encounters of birds courting and mating and hatching, Chen’s passion for nature shines with artistic and aesthetic photographs sure to pique a greater appreciation of New Zealand birds. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The life-size guide to insects & other land vertebrates of New Zealand / Crowe, Andrew
“Identifying New Zealand’s insects, spiders and other land invertebrates is made simple with this new guide. Over 300 life-size colour photographs make it fun for all the family to learn more about the natural world of New Zealand.” (Catalogue)

The life-size guide to native trees and other common plants of New Zealand’s native forest / Crowe, Andrew
“Identifying native trees and other common plants of New Zealand’s native forest can be fun for all the family with this new pictorial guide. Match leaves, flowers, seeds, berries and bark against beautiful, life-sized photographs for fast, accurate identification. Written by one of New Zealand’s foremost writers on native plants, The Life-Size Guide offers a new opportunity to explore and enjoy the natural world of our native plants.” (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.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Need Help Writing Your Poem for TĆ«hono?

Kia ora! We have loved receiving all of your entries so far for Tƫhono, our brand new poetry journal for young Wellington writers! If you need a refresher on what Tƫhono is, feel free to check out our first blog post about it.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be posting some useful tips and tricks on writing poetry on this blog, to help you with your submission! We thought we would start by recommending some really good books you can borrow from our libraries that are all about how to write poetry, and what poetry is all about. Big thanks to Stephanie, the wonderful librarian who buys all of our books for children and teenagers, for putting this list together for us!

How to write poems / Coelho, Joseph
Our first books is packed with exciting activities and starting points to get you creating your own poetic masterpieces! This book is really great for beginners as well as more experienced poets. There are many different types of poetry covered in this comprehensive ‘how to’ guide. If you want to reserve it, you can click on the book’s title, and then the orange “Place Reserve” button — then just choose which library you would like to collect the book from!

What is poetry? : the essential guide to reading & writing poems / Rosen, Michael
Michael Rosen is a well-known and popular British poet. In this book, he draws on his many years of experience to share information and tips on how you can become a poet too. What makes this book especially interesting is that he takes the time to walk you through a number of his own poems, explaining how and why he wrote them. Understanding the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of poetry is really important if you want to write your own some day!

Jabberwalking / Herrera, Juan Felipe
What exactly is ‘Jabberwalking’? The author Juan Felipe Herrera (a well-known American poet) explains that jabberwalking poets aim to create something that’s not like a typical poem. To be a jabberwalking poet you must move and write at the same time! You must write everything that comes into your head — things you see, things you hear, and things you feel. The challenge then is to interpret all your scribbles and turn them into a poem. This is an incredibly creative and unusual way to craft a weird, wild poem — just the kind of poetry we’d love to see in TĆ«hono.

The Usborne creative writer’s handbook / Daynes, Katie
This super useful handbook covers many different forms of creative writing, including a useful section on poetry. You will find though that much of the advice you can find throughout this books is relevant to crafting poems — for example, coming up with ideas, planning, grammar, and punctuation. With this book in your poetic toolbelt, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a super successful writer!

TĆ«hono — We Want Your Poems!

We are excited to announce that Wellington City Libraries is launching its very own poetry journal for kids and teens — TĆ«hono! All throughout the month of November, we will be accepting submissions of poetry from young writers aged 5 – 18 in Wellington City. Unlike some other poetry journals, having your work accepted in TĆ«hono is not a competition — as long as you follow the rules of submission, every piece of work that gets submitted will be published. TĆ«hono itself — the collection of poetry from young people all over Wellington — will be published as an eBook on OverDrive, so that everyone with a library card can borrow it and bask in your talent and glory!

Let your poetic thoughts take wing!

Here is all the information you need to submit a poem for inclusion in Tƫhono 2020:

When?

  • Submissions will be open from 1 – 30 November 2020.
  • The journal will be published and available to borrow from the library in December 2020.

Where?

  • Submissions for TĆ«hono 2020 have now closed. Thank you to everyone who sent us their work!

Who?

  • Everyone between the ages of 5 and 18 who lives in the Wellington region may participate.

What?

  • Theme: We want you to write a poem on the theme of “TĆ«hono — Connection.” Exactly what this means to you is up to you — you could write about your family; friends; your connection with history or your place in the world; disconnection during lockdown — anything at all. We can’t wait to see what you create!
  • Length: Your poem should not be longer than one A4 page typed, with size 12 font and 1.5 line spacing. Only one poem per person will be accepted.
  • Language: Your poem may be written in English or te reo Māori.

Why?

  • We want to give all young people in Wellington the opportunity to have their work published in an accessible platform. We think everyone deserves a platform and the chance to see something they created be part of the library’s collection, alongside all the great authors and poets represented on our shelves. We hope that TĆ«hono grows into a uniquely Wellington collection of writing, capturing the thoughts and emotions of kids and teens from all over the city and region across time. We are so excited to see what you come up with!

Throughout the month of November, we will be posting regular updates providing inspiration for your writing — so keep your eyes peeled! If you would like more information about TĆ«hono, you are more than welcome to contact the editors here. Happy writing, everyone!

Summer Reading Challenge

You can even read a book at the beach!

The 2019 – 2020 Summer Reading Challenge is here!

We challenge you! How many can you read? From 1 December to 31 January you can pick up a challenge booklet from your local library, or download and print, and get Reading, Reviewing and Winning!

An extra special treat for this year… Win more prizes by doing the Book Bingo!

Find out more and get started at the Summer Reading Challenge page.

Summer Reading Challenge – starts this week!

Summer Reading 2017Look out! It’s back again! Your favourite reading challenge starts this week on 1st December. Welcome to Summer, and welcome to the annual Summer Reading Challenge!

Drop into to any Wellington City Library, or go online to the kids’ webpages to pick up or print the Summer Reading Challenge booklet. You can start reading and reviewing, and completing the challenges from this Sunday.

The Summer Reading Challenge runs through to 31st January 2020, and is open to all 5 – 12 year olds with a Wellington City libraries card.

Don’t forget that schools are also competing to see who has the most students involved in the challenge, so make sure you tell your friends and get them on board.

 

Super Smash Reading Challenge

It’s cricket season! We hope you are as cricket-mad as we are! So we were so excited to see the launch of the Super Smash Reading Challenge.

All New Zealand primary and intermediate kids can register (for free!) for the Challenge, which runs from now until 19th January 2020.

Pick your local cricket team to ‘play’ for (go ahead and choose the Firebirds if you live in Wellington), and watch them move up and down the leaderboard as you read and register the books you read over summer. The more books you read the higher the Wellington Firebirds will go up the leader board.

It’s Wellington vs the rest of the country and only you can help them to victory! Oh, and did we mention that you can win prizes too?

Visit the Super Smash website to find out more and register.

Also don’t forget our very own Wellington City Libraries Summer Reading Challenge, which starts on 1st December. So much reading! So many prizes!

Read before you crawl – KidsCrawl Edition!

The popular LitCrawl has teamed up with Annual 2 and Wellington Central Library for the first ever KidsCrawl! Come along and hunt down a story using the KidsCrawl map. There’s famous people to meet, and a story to uncover and piece together…

KidsCrawl will feature authors and illustrators Bill Manhire, David Larsen, Giselle Clarkson, Michael Petherington, Susan Paris, Kate De Goldi, Gavin Mouldy, Kate Camp and Elizabeth Patrick.


Where and When:

10th November, 10am – 11am

Wellington Central Library, meet in the YA area by the help desk

Email kidscrawl@litcrawl.co.nz to register for the event (ask your parents first!).


 

Before you storyhunters turn up for the KidsCrawl, here’s a guide to what you could read to get ready:

 

Annual and Annual 2, edited by Kate De Goldi and Susan Paris

Fiction, comics, poems, essays, art, satire, and things to do! This is a book for intrepid readers to dip into, pore over, return to again and again. Annual features a dictionary of crazy words that come in handy on car trips, a sophisticated “spot the similarity”, a found poem from school newsletters, a maths-nerd’s memoir full of tricky logic puzzles, comics that embrace other worlds, a very unlucky zebra, and top-class fiction that spans Christchurch Botanic Gardens in the 19th century, the loss of a brother, a Kiwi beach holiday, and a Fontanian boarding school.

 

The Curioseum : collected stories of the odd & marvellous, edited by Adrienne Jansen ; illustrated by Sarah Laing

What happens when you take 22 of New Zealand’s best children’s story writers and let them loose ‘backstage’ at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa? Authors from around the country were invited to choose one of the museum’s taonga (treasures) as a starting point for an imaginative journey. The result is a truly original compendium of stories and poems for children with spirited, original illustrations from the award-winning Sarah Laing.

 

Secret world of butterflies, by Courtney Sina Meredith, Giselle Clarkson

Did you know that butterflies taste with their feet, do a dark red poo when they come out of their chrysalises and that some drink the tears of crocodiles? How does the world look to them, do they ever sleep and how are some of them able to fly so high? This book will open your eyes to these magical creatures around us.

 

 


But wait! There’s more! The fun doesn’t start and finish with the KidsCrawl. You could take home your own copy of Annual 2! Enter for your chance to win.


 

Bee Aware Month!

September is Bee Awareness month and this year Apiculture New Zealand are focusing on bee health by educating us on how we can feed the bees and help protect our precious bee population.

Did you know that bees support New Zealand’s agri-industry exports by over $5 billion annually – that is heaps! Plus they help grow one third of all the food we eat as well as helping our gardens flourish and look beautiful.

There is heaps that we can do to help out our little buzzing friends and one of the easiest way is by planting bee friendly plants and flowers. Bees need food so that they can help pollinate the food we eat. Bees will feed on pollen and nectar and this helps them to grow and Bee strong which helps them to fight off disease and parasites.

Bees also need clean water so why not make a shallow container for them to drink from. Just make sure you put pebbles and twigs in the water so the bees have something to rest on while they are drinking.

Another way we can help the bees is to stop spraying our gardens with harmful pesticides which kill the bees.

Palmers Garden Centre who are supporting Bee Awareness Month have information and competitions on their website plus check out their 5 top tips for a bee friendly backyard.

The library also has heaps of books on bees so take a look and… Lets save our bees!

Did you enjoy Beyond the Page?

Then tell us all about it in this survey! Tell us what you likes the most, what you didn’t like, which events you went to, and what you would most like to see at future Beyond the Page festivals.

There is a prize pack up for grabs for one lucky survey completer. Check out Beyond the Page on Facebook to see what you could win.

Be quick! You have until Monday 13th August to complete the survey.