Get in the Pink and Make Bullying a Thing of the Past!

Home - Pink Shirt Day

“On Pink Shirt Day, Friday 20 May 2022, Aotearoa will be transformed into a sea of māwhero/pink as we stand together to spread aroha, celebrate diversity and end bullying!” (Pink Shirt Day Rangitahi toolkit resource)

Pink Shirt Day began in Canada in 2007 when two students took a stand against bullying after another year 9 student was harassed on his first day at the school for wearing pink. The bullies called him names for wearing pink and threatened to beat him up.

In Aotearoa, Pink Shirt Day has been run by the Mental Health Foundation since 2012. They work to reduce the impact of bullying behaviour and the harm it causes.

“By taking part in Pink Shirt Day, you become a part of a powerful movement to celebrate diversity and end bullying.”

Bullying at school is a serious issue for New Zealand young people. We have the dubious record of having the third highest rate of school bullying out of 36 OECD countries. 

happy birthday greeting card on green and red textileWhat Can I Do?

  • Wear pink! The brighter the better. Then if someone comments on your “out there” clothing choices, you can talk to them about why you love the colour pink and what it stands for. You don’t have to limit your pink wearing to just one day of the year. Pink is a beautiful colour and stopping bullying and heightening bullying awareness is a 24/7 mission!
  • Hold a Pink Shirt Day quiz with your friends or classmates. This helps create camaraderie as well as have some fun. A Pink Quiz starter is HERE but you could make your own quiz to share.
  • Create a kindness wall or white board in your class or at your school where you and your classmates can leave positive messages of hope. Photograph them and feature in your next school newsletter.
  • Become a RAKtivist. Did you know that New Zealand also celebrates a Random Acts of Kindness day on 1 September? But you can make every day a RAK day!

Some Handy Websites

Pink Shirt Day

Mental Health Foundation

Mental Health for Kids

Bullying Free NZ


Some Wellington City Libraries Kids’ Blog Links

Wellington pride festival blog

Keep Calm and Carry on with Mindfulness blog

Become a RAKtivist blog


Some Great Reading from the WCL Catalogue

How to beat bullying at school : simple steps to put an end to bullying.
“Unfortunately, bullying is one of the biggest problems for schoolchildren, and recent technological developments have only made things worse. But there is no need to suffer in silence! The best thing you – or your child – can do is to talk about it. Although it may seem that things will never get better, there are several effective ways to deal with bullies.” (Catalogue)
Bullying / Spilsbury, Louise
“Helping children to recognise [bullying] and know what to do about it. The … series encourages children to explore their emotions and discuss topics they may find difficult to understand. There are practical tips and activities as well as advice for parents and teachers”–Publisher’s description.” (Catalogue)
Teasing isn’t funny : what to do about emotional bullying / Higgins, Melissa
“Jesse and the other animals at the bus stop make fun of Kelly’s fluffy fur and plain clothes. The constant teasing makes Kelly the cat feel sad. Young readers watch Kelly struggle with the teasing and learn safe ways to make it stop. Sensitive illustrations of gender-neutral animal characters help all children relate to the issue of emotional bullying.” (Catalogue)
You be you! : the kid’s guide to gender, sexuality, and family / Branfman, Jonathan
“You Be You! is an illustrated children’s book for ages 5 and up that makes gender identity, sexual orientation and family diversity easy to explain to children. Throughout the book kids learn that there are many kinds of people in the world and that diversity is something to be celebrated. It covers gender, romantic orientation, discrimination, intersectionality, privilege, and how to stand up for what’s right. With charming illustrations, clear explanations, and short sections that can be dipped in and out of, this book helps children think about how to create a kinder, more tolerant world.” (Catalogue)
Say something / Reynolds, Peter H.
“The world needs your voice. If you have a brilliant idea… say something! If you see an injustice… say something! In this empowering new picture book, beloved author Peter H. Reynolds explores the many ways that a single voice can make a difference. Each of us, each and every day, has the chance to say something: with our actions, our words, and our voice. Perfect for kid activists everywhere, this timely story reminds readers of the undeniable importance and power of their voice. There are so many ways to tell the world who you are… what you are thinking… and what you believe. And how you’ll make it better. The time is now: SAY SOMETHING!” (Catalogue)
Be who you are / Parr, Todd
“Picture book encouraging kids to be proud of what makes them unique, where they come from, and how they express themselves and see the world.” (Catalogue)
Be your own superhero / Meek, Laura
“A fun and practical guide of achievable micro-actions to help young readers feel more in control of their mental health, empowering them to grow their confidence and change the world for the better. Do you want someone else to help you out of a hard situation? Would you prefer another person swooped in and saved the day? I didn’t think so. You want to be a superhero. With this guide, you can. It’s full of activities to help develop your powers. It’ll teach you everything you need to know about growing your abilities, feeling happier and getting more confident. Written by child psychiatrist Dr Laura Meek, this fun and practical guide will empower young readers to become more aware of their own mental health and will help them to improve their confidence.” (Catalogue)
Wonder / Palacio, R. J
“August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school until now. He s about to enter fifth grade at Beecher Prep, and if you ve ever been the new kid, then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he s just like them, despite appearances?R. J. Palacio has crafted an uplifting novel full of wonderfully realistic family interactions, lively school scenes, and writing that shines with spare emotional power. “Wonder” is a book with such a big, wide heart it shows how we are all fragile, imperfect, and perfectly beautiful creatures. A wonderful novel by a wonder of a writer! Julia Alvarez, author of “Return to Sender,” “Before We Were Free,” “Finding Miracles,” and the Tia Lola Stories”.” (Catalogue)

Pink is for boys / Pearlman, Robb
“A celebration of how colours are for everyone depicts characters engaging in their favourite activities.” (Catalogue)
Along came a different / McLaughlin, Tom
“Reds love being red. Yellows love being yellow. And Blues love being blue. The problem is that they just don’t like each other. Maybe being different doesn’t mean you can’t be friends… But one day, along comes a different colour who likes Reds, Yellows and Blues, and suddenly everything starts to change. A very special picture book that supports the adage that there is more that unites us than divides us. Along Came a Different just goes to show how much better we can all be when we come together to find common ground as friends.” (Catalogue)
Friendships and bullying / Head, Honor
“Kids can find the world we live in daunting and a bit scary. There’s just so much going on with climate change, social media and pressures to work out what it is you want to do in life – even at this young age! This book will help young readers explore some common areas of anxiety and conflict on the topic of FRIENDSHIPS and BULLYING in a fun and gentle way.” (Catalogue)

Get your tech on with Techweek 2022!

Techweek is back! It runs from 16th to 22nd May 2022 nationwide!
image courtesy of techweek


What is Techweek?

Techweek is a nationwide series of events, showcasing and celebrating New Zealand innovation. Techweek has a mixture of live, virtual and hybrid events, both physical and virtual, that can be attended and enjoyed from anywhere in the world!

The theme for Techweek 2022 is “connect for a better tomorrow.”

For more information about Techweek and what events are on, visit the website.

Some highlights you might like to explore include a talk with Dr Michelle Dickinson, the Founder of Nanogirl Labs, about STEM in Schools, and an introductory Scratch coding virtual project with Code Club Aotearoa.

In the mean time, if you want information on the latest technology and innovations, why not check out the following books in the library collection?!

Enjoy!

image courtesy of syndeticsSTEAM jobs for gamers.

Do you love playing video games? Did you know you can get a job helping to create one? There are more jobs for those who love gaming than you probably ever realized. From animators to script writers, readers will learn about various STEM and STEAM gaming jobs and what it takes to get one– Provided by publisher.

image courtesy of syndeticsThe zoom, fly, bolt, blast steam handbook : build 18 innovative projects with brain power.

Rockport’s creative engineering extraordinaire, Lance Akiyama, returns again with Zoom, Fly Bolt, Blast STEAM Engineer and 18 STEAM approved projects to get kids doing, thinking, and building!– Provided by publisher.

image courtesy of syndeticsSelf-driving cars : the new way forward.

“Author Fallon presents a history of how the technology used in self-driving cars has developed, identifies recent technological gains, and surveys recent controversies surrounding the potential mass adoption of self-driving cars.”–Provided by publisher.

image courtesy of syndeticsSTEAM lab for kids : 52 creative hands-on projects using science, technology, engineering, art, and math.

“The creative projects in STEAM Lab for Kids are designed to demonstrate that there’s math and science to be found in great art! From rubber bands to edible stained glass, young engineers and artists alike will find inspiration in these 52 art-forward labs.” — Back cover. Also available as an eBook.


image courtesy of syndeticsVirtual reality.

“Engaging images accompany information about virtual reality. The combination of high-interest subject matter and light text is intended for students in grades 2 through 7” — Provided by publisher.

image courtesy of syndeticsThe science of medical technology : from humble syringes to life-saving robots.

“This fascinating guide to the ever-growing potential of medical technologies combines fact-packed, easy-to-read text with colourful and quirky illustrations. From an exploration of how new devices are helping to spot early signs of illness to a discussion of how vaccinations have helped to eradicate devastating diseases, it is an eye-opening introduction to the miraculous power of preventative and curative medicine.Each spread has multiple entry points, including an introductory paragraph, illustrations and side panels such as Fascinating Fact, Can You Believe It?, and Try It Yourself, which provide additional information and handy advice.” (Catalogue).

Please search our catalogue for more information about technology here:

View Finders Beanstack Challenge!

This April School Holidays, take part in our View Finders Photography Challenge! 

We have a holiday challenge for you on our Beanstack platform!

This Beanstack challenge will guide you down the path of learning about photography so that you can get your submissions in before the deadline of the 1st of May — and there are some cool spot prizes for people who complete book reviews and take part in activities. We’re choosing a random book reviewer or challenge completer EVERY DAY to win a spot prize, so don’t miss out!

To jump right into Beanstack, click here! 🎞

Our Beanstack challenge is full of tips and activities to help you take great portraits of people, find flora and fauna in our wonderful city, and get inspired by excellent object photography!

Beanstack challenges

Some of the digital badges you can earn on our Beanstack!


For our photo competition, we’re taking submissions in three categories: Nature, Whānau, and Objects/Books, and in two age groups, 5-12 and 13-18.

The first prize for each category is a reusable Kodak film camera, some black-and-white film roll, and free development with Splendid Photo!

The Beanstack activities lead to a link to enter your own photos.

We look forward to seeing your photos and hearing the story behind them! You may want to display your photo at your local branch library at the end of the competition.

View Finders 1st Place Category Prizes

Our 1st place category prizes! You could win your very own film camera!


Special thanks to our friends at Splendid Photo, who are helping us to judge the competition, and Ben & Jerry’s Wellington, Light House Cinema, and Unity Books, who are kindly providing us with spot prizes to give away. Ka rawe!

View Finders Photo Competition

This April School Holidays, tell us a story by taking a photo!

From the 16th of April to the 1st of May, we’re running View Findersa photo competition for tamariki and rangatahi across Wellington City. There are heaps of cool prizes to be won — and a special exhibition to take part in at the end!

We’re taking submissions in three categories: Nature, Whānau, and Objects/Books, and in two age groups, 5-12 and 13-18.

Don’t forget to check out our special View Finders Beanstack Challenge to earn spot prizes, log your reading, and do some simple activities to get your photography skills into top gear for the competition!

Submissions for View Finders are now closed! We will be announcing the winners on the 13th of May — keep an eye on this blog for updates!

Nature:

Take a picture of something that blows your mind in a local park, down at the beach, or high in the hills! See what flora and fauna you can discover in the great outdoors of Aotearoa.

While you’re out and about, you might want to check out iNaturalist NZ – Mātaki Taiao, which is an app that you can use to record what you see in the natural world! There is also an annual City Nature Challenge for Pōneke/Wellington where us locals can make a big effort to see what we can find!

Whānau:

In a literal sense, whānau means family in Te Reo Māori, and is based on shared whakapapa and descent from a common ancestor.

Whānau is also used by non-Māori to talk about their family. Sometimes, Whānau is used to describe groups of people who come together bound by a common purpose, this could also be called whānau ā kaupapa.

So, for our photo competition, you can take a picture that tells a story about your family, or you can take a broader view of whānau to tell a story about a team or group you are involved in, or even a group of friends.

Objects or Books:

Tell us a story about a physical object that is important to you. It could be a cherished toy, or your comfiest couch! Maybe the object would even be a book (we do love books at the library!) With ComicFest coming up on May 7th, you could find a creative way to photograph your favourite comic book, maybe by putting it in a funny or unexpected location!


View Finders

Get your phone, tablet, or camera at the ready!


You can enter once per category. If anyone else appears in your photo, make sure you have permission to share it with us.

We look forward to seeing your photos and hearing the story behind them! You may want to display your photo at your local branch library at the end of the competition.

Special thanks to our friends at Splendid Photo, who are helping us to judge the competition, and Ben & Jerry’s Wellington, Light House Cinema, and Unity Books, who are kindly providing us with spot prizes to give away. Ka rawe!

Feel the Beat with World Piano Day!

File:Cartoon Piano Keyboard.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday 29 March is World Piano Day! Interesting… why today you ask? It’s because 29 March is 88 days into the year, and the humble piano has 88 keys – 52 white keys and 36 black keys.

brown piano interior keys

Hammers inside a piano. Image: Unsplash

A Brief History

The piano was invented by Bartolomeo Cristofori (1655-1731) of Italy. Cristofori was unsatisfied by the lack of control that musicians had over the volume level of the harpsichord. He is credited for switching out the plucking mechanism with a hammer to create the modern piano in around the year 1700. By using hammers to hit the piano strings, he could create a loud or soft sound depending on how hard he hit the keys. This method is still used today and is called “the action” of the piano.

How did the piano get its name?

The instrument was actually first named “clavicembalo col piano e forte” (literally, a harpsichord that can play soft and loud noises). This was shortened to the now common name, “piano.”

What’s the difference between an upright and grand piano?

Upright or Grand: What Type of Piano Is Right For You? - Merriam Music - Toronto's Top Piano Store & Music SchoolGrand piano strings lie horizontal to the ground. Once a hammer has struck the string, gravity does the work of resetting the hammer. The quicker you can reset a hammer, the faster you can play that note again. So yes, on average, grands play faster than uprights.

Upright strings lie, well… upright! So once a hammer strikes a string, it relies on a series of complex mechanisms to reset the hammer.

Fun Piano Facts

  • By the time a piano is put together it can be quite heavy. A Steinway Concert Grand can weigh up to 500 kg – about the same weight as an adult horse!
  • The largest piano is the ‘Alexander Piano’ is  5.7 metres long, and weighs around one tonne. That’s over twice the length of your usual concert grand piano, and weighs almost as much as a small car.
  • Piano playing is sometimes referred to as “tickling the ivories”. That’s because originally the white piano keys were made from ivory. but this has changed since the ivory trade has been banned to save elephants and rhinos from extinction. Black keys were originally made from the black hardwood ebony. These days modern piano keys are coated in a hard plastic.

Becoming a Concert Pianist

Becoming a concert pianist requires loads of dedication and hard work. On average, it takes most concert pianists 15+ years, 3-5 hours a day of  practice, and quite a bit of study to achieve their goals!

Check out this video of New Zealand pianist Richard Farrell performing in 1952. He was widely thought of as one of the most talented pianists in the world when his life was tragically cut short in a car accident in 1958, when he was only 31 years old.

Want to dig deeper into the piano world?

Blog: What are piano keys made of and why?

Johnsonville Library’s Lockdown 2020 Quarantunes (with library staff playing the piano and other instruments)

Piano sheet music for kids

Britannica Kids – the piano

New Zealand Pianists

Kids’ Blog: Reaching for the Stars – What Makes a Champion?


Want to read more piano books?

My first piano book / Helsby, Genevieve
“Following the success of “My First Classical Music Book,” author Genevieve Helsby and illustrator Jason Chapman return with “My First Piano Book.” Bursting with life and humour, this is a uniquely comprehensive introduction to the piano, designed first and foremost to inspire. Text and illustrations are so perfectly in tune with each other that every page is a treat to explore. With a cast of animal characters showing what they know (and what they don’t!), this truly is both informative and great fun. Book and two CDs, with online music, and narration. Part 1: “Why is the Piano So Special?” How the piano works and sounds. 23 music tracks including: Bach – Prelude in C; Mozart – Piano Concerto No. 21; Joplin – The Entertainer; Debussy – Clair de lune; Faure – Berceuse; John Cage – Perilous Night No. 6; Satie – Gymnopedie No. 1 Part 2: “How Do I Play It?” A clear introduction to playing the piano. Play along with 12 specially written pieces with “Guide Me” narration option.” (Catalogue)

The bear and the piano / Litchfield, David
“One day, a young bear stumbles upon something he has never seen before in the forest. As time passes, he teaches himself how to play the strange instrument, and eventually the beautiful sounds are heard by a father and son who are picnicking in the woods. The bear goes with them on an incredible journey to New York, where his piano playing makes him a huge star. He has fame, fortune and all the music in the world, but he misses the friends and family he has left behind. A moving tale of exploration and belonging.” (Catalogue)

Easy piano pieces for children.
“The compositions in Easy Piano Pieces for Children have all been carefully selected for the beginner pianist. Over 100 selections in this songbook are progressively graded, with editorial markings and suggested fingering, allowing beginner children to learn with specially selected songs that they will enjoy playing. This large songbook includes classic favorites by Mozart, Debussy and Grieg, piano miniatures by Schumann, Arensky and Turk, as well as selections from Bartok’s For Children, among many others. Each piece is graded with a star to indicate difficulty, while a glossary of music symbols and a keyboard chart are included to help early students with note and key recognition.” (Catalogue)

The piano and other keyboard instruments / Storey, Rita
“Introduces children to groups of musical instruments and how they make music with them.” (Catalogue)

The piano recital / Miyakoshi, Akiko
“It’s the day of Momo’s very first piano recital, and she is terribly nervous. Today is the day of a little mouseling’s very first performance, too, and she’s just as nervous as Momo. The mouseling invites Mom to watch her performance. Momo follows the mouseling through a small door backstage, where she’s met with an amazing sight: an elaborate miniature theatre, and an audience of finely dressed mice! When the Grand Mouse-ter takes the stage, a hush falls over the crowd and a magical show unfolds – a circus, a magic act, acrobats! Momo is delighted. And when it’s the mouseling’s turn to take the stage, Momo soothes her little friend’s nerves – her own now long forgotten – and accompanies her on piano. As Momo finishes her piece and gives a bow, she’s surprised to see that her audience isn’t furry and miniature, but human! And they’re all clapping – for her! A proud Momo is quite sure she can hear mouse paw-clapping, too…” (Catalogue)

Elton John / Sánchez Vegara, Ma Isabel
“As a child, Elton started playing his grandmothers piano in Harrow, London. He could pick tunes out by ear and was soon attending lessons at the Royal Academy. After answering an advertisement in a newspaper, Elton teamed up with a lyric-writing buddy: Bernie Taupin. The rest was history. Elton’s songwriting talent, musical skill and dazzling outfits have made him one of the all-time greats. This moving book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the musician’s life.” (Catalogue)

Children’s songs : a superfast way to learn awesome songs on your piano or keyboard / Kemmeter, Jennifer
“A fun and easy way to learn to play the piano or keyboard, with helpful instruction on classic and favorite songs. Written by the author of the best-selling Build It! series in collaboration with an experienced piano teacher, the Play It! books teach how to play the piano or keyboard in a simple, effective way. Using color-coded notes and character icons, the books include piano sheets of popular and favorite songs as well as a primer on how to read sheet music and some basic techniques. For beginners ages 5 and up, Play It! is the perfect companion on your musical journey.” (Catalogue)

Feisty Cats and Fearless Dogs: Our furry friends are superheroes!

via GIPHY

Throughout history there have been amazing stories of our furry friends coming to our rescue – whether it is waking the household in time to escape their burning house, finding lost people in the snow and staying with them until help arrives, to our wonderful companion animals who help their humans to lead a good life.  And even when we humans don’t treat them as well as we should, or the going gets touch for our feline and canine friends, there are so many heart-warming stories of their resilience and death-defying journeys.

We love our cats and dogs in Aotearoa. Nearly two thirds of Kiwi households have at least one companion animal. With 41% of New Zealand households having a cat, our rates of cat ownership are higher than both Australia and the US, and more than double the rate of the UK. Dogs are also an increasingly popular pet, with 34% of New Zealand households having at least one dog.

Our pets are such an important part of our lives that we have even created special days to celebrate them:

International Cat Day: 8 August 2022

Black Cat Appreciation Day: 17 August 2022

International Dog Day: 26 August 2022


Here are just a few stories of real-life heroes to give you that “awwww” moment you’ve all been waiting for:

Feisty Cats

Quaky cat / Noonan, Diana
“Tiger the cat flees for his life during the Canterbury earthquake that destroys his home. Frightened and in despair he wanders the city of Christchurch, searching for his caregiver Emma. As the city rocks and buildings tumble around him, he sniffs out the comforting smell of stew and finds his way to an emergency hall, where he is reunited with Emma. Although his house is in ruins and city battered he realises that none of it matters when the people you love are safe. Suggested level: junior, primary.” (Catalogue)

Cleo & Rob / Brown, Helen
“Sometimes hope has four paws, golden eyes and soft black fur. A kitten called Cleo steps into six-year-old Rob’s life after his big brother Sam dies. Based on true events in author Helen Brown’s family”– Back cover.” (Catalogue)

The Adventures of Mittens by Silvio Bruinsma - Penguin Books New ZealandThe adventures of Mittens : Wellington’s famous purr-sonality / Bruinsma, Silvio
“Meet Mittens, Wellington’s world-famous cat-about-town. He has thousands of followers, a hit song, an exhibition of fan art, and with his exploring paws he brings joy to everyone he meets!” (Catalogue)

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!” (Catalogue)

Lost and found cat : the true story of Kunkush’s incredible journey / Kuntz, Doug
“When an Iraqi family is forced to flee their home, they can’t bear to leave their beloved cat, Kunkush, behind. So they carry him with them from Iraq to Greece, keeping their secret passenger hidden away. But during the crowded boat crossing to Greece, his carrier breaks and the frightened cat runs from the chaos. In one moment, he is gone. This remarkable true story is told by the real people involved, with the full cooperation of Kunkush’s family.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The cat from Muzzle : a high-country cat’s incredible walk home / Sutton, Sally
“Dwayne is a rumble-tumble tabby cat who knows where he belongs — up on the farm at Muzzle Station. So, when he’s taken to live far away in the town of Kaikoura, what’s a cat to do? Shake the dust off his paws and start walking, of course! The trouble is, home is a very long way away … true tale of feline audacity” (Catalogue)

The little war cat / Khan, Hiba Noor
“Inspired by a true story, The Little War Cat follows the story of a little grey cat who is caught up in the BANGS and CRASHES of the humans in boots, who have changed the city of Aleppo she knew so well into one that’s harder to recognize. She is roaming the streets looking for food and shelter when an unlikely friend appears. He shows her that kindness is still there when you look for it, and soon the little grey cat knows exactly what to do to made a difference herself.” (Catalogue)


Fearless Dogs

Mac: A High Country Working DogMac : a high country working dog / Pitts, Hayley
“Mac lives at Mount Gladstone, in Marlborough’s high country. Mustering sheep, cattle and deer is Mac’s life-long job. His puppyish enthusiasm and hard work has earned him a special place in the farm dog team. Join Mac at work in this glimpse into high country farm life.” (Catalogue)

Dogs : fun facts and amazing stories / Bates, Dianne
“Dogs really are the perfect best friend. They are loyal, smart, fun and totally awesome! In this fabulous combination of remarkable true stories, amazing facts and lots of fun stuff, we get to discover just how incredible our canine friends really are. From stories about dogs in history, heroic dogs and working dogs to bizarre facts and wacky dog jokes, this book will entertain and make you smile. This gorgeous book also features lots of beautiful illustrations and images of the adorable dogs from Best Friends Pet Rescue.” (Catalogue)

Paws of courage : true tales of heroic dogs that protect and serve / Furstinger, Nancy
“Modern wars recruit more than just human soldiers. Our canine companions also serve in the line of duty and under fire, whether helping police protect our home turf or accompanying soldiers on missions abroad. Readers will cheer for the hero dogs featured in this collection, profiled with stunning photos and inspiring tales of bravery, friendship, heroism, and devotion.” (Catalogue)

Rescue & Jessica : a life-changing friendship / Kensky, Jessica
“When he is paired with a girl who has lost her legs, Rescue worries that he isn’t up to the task of being her service dog.” (Catalogue)

Lola goes to work / Goldman, Marcia
“Lola, the Yorkshire terrier, learns to be a therapy dog and then enjoys visits to schools, hospitals, and centres for elderly people.” (Catalogue)

Dog finds lost dolphins : and more true stories of amazing animal heroes / Carney, Elizabeth
“The first in a line of Animal Rescues chapter books, Dog Finds Lost Dolphins will be a tale you’ll not soon forget. In this charm- ing and awe-inspiring story you’ll meet Cloud, the black lab with a nose for rescue. She’s the only dog certified to sniff out stranded dolphins. Cloud can sniff out a dolphin over a mile off the coast of the Florida Keys. She’s even become friends with them, waiting on the dock for them to pop up and give her a kiss. This and two more amazing stories are so engaging, readers will never want to put the book down!” (Catalogue)

Courageous canine : and more true stories of amazing animal heroes/ / Halls, Kelly Milner
“Courageous Canine features an amazing pup named Lilly who sacrifices her own life to save her owner, a brave pod of dolphins who face a great white shark to save a stranger, and a mother gorilla, who in mourning her own baby, saves a 3-year-old boy who falls into her zoo enclosure. Filled with gorgeous photographs, sidebars, and fun facts, Courageous Canine will leave young readers hungry for more.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Kids’ Activities Under Red Settings

To keep our young people and vulnerable communities safe under Red settings, we’re moving most of our programmes for children under the age of 12 and their families online! This is because even though our libraries are open, lots of our kids’ programmes, like CRAFTerschool, Code Club, and Baby Rock and Rhyme, involve lots of people getting very close together, and it’s just too tricky to provide the required social distancing for young people who can’t yet be vaccinated.

Soon, we will be starting up a whole bunch of activities and programmes, some of which you can do online, and some of which you will be able to do in a contactless way in the library, but in the meantime we thought it would be a good idea to remind you about all the awesome online resources and activities you can do with us online. If you love stories, arts and crafts, music, movies, and fun activities to do with your family, we’ve got you covered!

We have so many really cool resources available in our eLibrary! If you want to have a browse yourself you can check our our Kids’ Guide or have a look through what’s available on our Kids’ Home Page, or just read on… Continue reading

Christmas in the Capital and at the Library!

Tis the season for festive fun! Christmas is coming to the Capital … and to the library! Why not get into the Christmas spirit and check out the amazing Christmas themed books and DVDs we have in our collection in between Christmas shopping and life! The countdown to Christmas and the end of 2021 is on!

image courtesy of wellington.govt.nz

Image courtesy of WCC.


Ngā haora hararei – Holiday hours over Christmas & New Year 2021/2022!

Libraries in Wellington are closed on Christmas Day, (Saturday 25th December) until Tuesday 28th December, and again on New Years Day (Saturday 1st January) until Tuesday 4th January. From the 29th of December, we will be open on reduced hours.

From Wednesday 5th January, all branches, except for He Matapihi Molesworth Street, will return to normal to normal hours. He Matapihi Molesworth Street will be open again on Monday 10th January.
Click here for more information about opening hours across all our libraries over the Christmas and New Year period.

What is Christmas? Find out with…

image courtesy of syndeticsChristmas.

“Learn what Christmas is, and how it is celebrated. Learn about the religion of Christianity, and what Christmas means to its followers. Learn about prayers and carols, Santa Claus and his reindeer, and traditional decorations and gifts. Also learn about festive Christmas foods and traditions of giving to charity at Christmas.” (Catalogue).

Also check out last year’s post on Solstice and Yule: The Grandfathers of Christmas, which provides you with information about the history of Christmas.

Did you know? Two cultures, the Celts and the Norse each contribute to some of the world’s original festive celebrations at the Christmas time of year.

Some handy ideas for Christmas Crafts:

Need some ideas on making Christmas cards, decorations and gifts? Why not check out books such as:

image courtesy of syndetics100 things to recycle and make.

“Provides step-by-step, illustrated instructions for crafts made with everyday materials, including egg cartons, sticks, and cardboard tubes.” (Catalogue). Also available as an eBook. 

image courtesy of syndeticsChristmas things to stitch and sew.

“This new reduced edition of this seasonal title contains fifteen enchanting activities that use a selection of simple sewing techniques. Includes festive projects such as a reindeer collage, Christmas stockings, hanging star decorations and a beautiful fabric holly wreath.” (Catalogue).
Also search our catalogue for more ideas for Christmas Crafts.

Whip up a Christmas feast:

Need some ideas on making snacks, nibbles and a feast for a Christmas party or Christmas lunch! Have a read of this book, or click here for more:

image courtesy of syndeticsChristmas cooking.

“Easy step-by-step recipes for delicious Christmas biscuits, cakes and sweets that can be given as gifts, hung on a Christmas tree, or simply eaten and enjoyed. Lots of wrapping ideas, including festive gift boxes and tags. Colourful illustrations and mouth-watering photographs throughout.”

Read stories about Christmas:

image courtesy of syndeticsCowshed Christmas.

“A retelling of the Christmas story with a New Zealand twist. Farmyard animals including a cow, sheep and kune kune come with gifts such as a rugby ball, pavlova and jandals for the baby Jesus by the cowshed door. Suggested level: junior.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsGrumpy Cat’s first worst Christmas.

“Pokey makes every effort to get Grumpy Cat to join in the Christmas spirit! Pokey wants to build a snow-cat together, go sledding, decorate the Christmas tree, and bake cookies for Santa! But Grumpy Cat wants to live in her wonderland of NO.” (Catalogue). Also available as an eBook.

image courtesy of syndeticsThe life and adventures of Santa Claus.

“Drawing on the attributes of Santa Claus from Clement Moore’s 1822 poem […], Baum chronicles Santa’s life from his childhood in an enchanted forest […] to his destiny of sharing gifts and spreading love to his fellow man. Along the way we witness him making his first toys, discover the origins of the Christmas tree and Christmas stockings, and learn the stories behind many Christmas secrets…” (Adapted from Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsI killed Father Christmas.

“Jo-Jo’s mum and dad are arguing again – but this time it’s on Christmas Eve and Jo-Jo’s convinced it’s all his fault. He’s been spoiled, selfish and greedy – and his badness has actually killed Father Christmas. […] But then a magical encounter with the real Father Christmas shows Jo-Jo that the true message of Christmas is the giving of love, not of gifts.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsQuentin Blake’s A Christmas carol.

A beautiful edition of the timeless Christmas classic. A Christmas Carol is the book that defines the Christmas spirit. Ebenezer Scrooge, a mean-spirited miser, is visited by three ghosts one Christmas Eve. The ghosts show Scrooge the true value of Christmas: charity, good humour and love for his fellow man.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsA very Babymouse Christmas.

“The holidays are here and everyone’s enjoying their favorite traditions-eating latkes, decorating for Kwanza, singing holiday songs, and most of all, being with family. Well, everyone except Babymouse. […] Whether she has to face down the ghosts of mean girls past or outsmart Santa himself, she’ll do whatever it takes to make sure she gets the present she wants.” (Adapted from Catalogue).

For more ideas on Christmas themed stories click here.

Stuck inside? Try some Christmas movies:

image courtesy of amazon.co.ukHome Alone.

“When the McCallisters went on holiday they forgot eight year old Kevin. When two bungling burglars break into the house Kevin outwits them.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of amazon.comThe Grinch.

“A re-telling of the classic tale about a grumpy old creature living in a cave on Mt. Crumpet who can’t stand to see his neighbors in Whoville enjoying themselves. Things are especially bad at Christmas, when the Whos kick their merriment into high gear with fantastic celebrations. This year, the Grinch decides to dress up like Santa Claus on Christmas Eve and steal all the Christmas gifts and decorations so the Whos can’t enjoy the season.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of amazon.comThe Polar Express.

“Late on Christmas Eve night, a boy lies in bed hoping to hear the sound of reindeer bells from Santa’s sleigh. When to his surprise, a steam engine’s roar and whistle can be heard outside his window. The conductor invites him on board to take an extraordinary journey to the North Pole with many other pajama-clad children. There, he receives an extraordinary gift only those who still believe in Santa can experience.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

image courtesy of amazon.co.ukOlaf’s Frozen Christmas.

“Olaf teams up with Sven on a merry mission. It’s the first holiday season since the gates re-opened and Anna and Elsa host a celebration for all of Arendelle. When the townspeople unexpectedly leave early to enjoy their individual holiday customs, the sisters realise they have no family traditions of their own. So, Olaf sets out to comb the kingdom to bring home the best traditions and save this first Christmas for his friends.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of amazon.comThe Nutcracker and the four realms.

“In search of a key to unlock a box from her late mother, Clara finds her way into a mysterious parallel world. She teams up with a soldier named Philip in order to brave the Fourth Realm to find the key and return harmony to the unstable world.” (Catalogue).

To get into the spirit of a Kiwi Christmas, relive the magic of Kiwi Christmas song, Summer Wonderland so you can sing along and take part in the festive cheer while  strolling through a summer wonderland. To recap, Summer Wonderland is a Kiwi spin on a much beloved classic Christmas carol Winter Wonderland, with a lyrical twist for the Southern Hemisphere and recorded for Air New Zealand.  This Christmas carol really showcases and beautifully captures the spirit and essence of a Kiwi Christmas of tucking into ham and pavlova, playing cricket, mozzie spray and tan marks. Check it out!


On behalf of the staff at Wellington City Libraries, we would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Meri Kirihimete! Kia Pai ngā Hararei!

Guy Fawkes: Celebrate a gunpowder plot gone wrong at WCL!

image courtesy of wikipedia.org

This black-and-white drawing of Guy Fawkes was actually created over 200 years after his death by illustrator George Cruikshank! Image: Public Domain

Prepare to blow up… your mind with endless information about a gunpowder plot gone wrong. Guy Fawkes Day or Bonfire Night will arrive once again on November 5th as an annual celebration with bonfires and fireworks in remembrance of the failed plot to kill the British Government and King James VI and I.

Why do we celebrate Guy Fawkes?

Guy Fawkes and a group of men were part of a plot to blow up British Parliament to kill the King of England on the 5th of November. However, the government found out about the plot before the attack could take place. The government arrested Guy Fawkes and his conspirators. Guy Fawkes and the others were convicted of treason. Parliament announced a national day, known as Guy Fawkes Day, to celebrate their survival. The first celebration was held on November 5, 1606. Today, Guy Fawkes Day is celebrated with feasts, bonfires, and fireworks.

Books about Guy Fawkes

If you’d like to read more about the history and alternative stories about Guy Fawkes, here’s a selection of books at the library:

image courtesy of syndeticsGuy Fawkes.

“Examines the life of Guy Fawkes, his childhood, family life, and the unsuccessful Gunpower Plot where he was arrested and executed with the rest of the plotters. Suggested level: intermediate, junior secondary.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsGuy Fawkes and the gunpowder plot.

Read all about the history of Guy Fawkes and the gunpower plot that went horribly wrong. (Catalogue)


image courtesy of syndetics5 November 1605 : the Gunpowder Plot.

“This title explores the Gunpower Plot. It looks at what happened on the day and the background and consequences. It is suitable as a quick-read introduction to the subject and also as a high interest/low reading ability level book.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsRemember that November.

“It’s almost Guy Fawkes Night, and at the school speech competition Andy talks about Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot. The children cheer excitedly, thinking Andy will win the contest. But then, Aroha gets up, wearing a white feather in her hair, and tells the story of another fifth of November – the invasion of Parihaka in 1881” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsCorpse talk. Season 2.

“Sequel to the Blue Peter Award shortlisted Corpse Talk Season 1. The latest in the ultimate history lesson as Adam Murphy digs up and interviews an even more unusual and fascinating dead people, and finds out about their extraordinary lives.” (Catalogue)


While we’re in celebration mode, why not read up about celebrations and festivals around the world such as:

image courtesy of syndeticsFestivals and celebrations.

“Take a trip around the world, looking at the many different ways that people celebrate special days, holidays, religious festivals and traditional celebrations. Comparing Countries is a groundbreaking non-fiction dual-language series which compares and contrasts ways of life in different countries around the world. Presented in two different languages, each title explores a topic common to all children, from homes to festivals, highlighting what makes us different and what we all have in common. This series provides great support to geography learning, as well as helping young language learners improve their reading skills.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsThe big book of festivals.

“Kids aged 7+ with an interest in the world around them will adore this collection of fantastic festivities, crazy celebrations and happy holy days from across the globe. The big book of festivals introduces young people to some major festivals and some lesser-known regional festivals from around the world. This gorgeously illustrated hardback features a total of 38 festivals, including: Lunar New Year, Day of the Dead, Kumbh Mela, Holi, Diwali, Gelede, Christmas, La Tomatina, Eid-ul-Fitr, Konaki Sumo, Carnaval, Hanukkah, Anastenaria, Festival of Giants, Matariki, Halloween, The Birthday of Guru Nanuk, Buddha’s Birthday, Bunya Cone Harvest Festival, Easter, Inti Raymi, Venetian Masquerade Ball, and more.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsLighting our world : a year of celebrations.

“Throughout the year and around the globe, people use light — candles, bonfires, lanterns and fireworks — to celebrate special occasions. This richly illustrated book is an illuminating tour of the world’s brightest and warmest festivities.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsA year full of celebrations and festivals.

“Countless different festivals are celebrated all over the world throughout the year. Some are national holidays, celebrated for religious and cultural reasons, or to mark an important date in history, while others are just for fun. Give thanks and tuck into a delicious meal with friends and family at Thanksgiving, get caught up in a messy tomato fight in Spain at La Tomatina, add a splash of colour to your day at the Holi festival of colours and celebrate the life and achievements of Martin Luther King Jr. on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. With fact-filled text accompanied by beautifully bright illustrations from the wonderfully talented Chris Corr, prepare yourself for a journey as we travel around the world celebrating and uncovering a visual feast of culture.” (Catalogue)

For more information, check out:

Britannica.

BBC.

National Geographic.

Get into the spirit of Halloween ’21 at the library – Part Two!

image courtesy of stuff.co.nz

Halloween has STILL arrived at the library!… and the scare fest continues on from Part One, with some fiction, picture books, and books from the eLibrary collection for a quiet (but scary!) night in. Wellington City Libraries also has some spooktacular DVDs in the collection for your viewing pleasure. AHHHWWOOOOOO!

eBooks on Overdrive!

Overdrive for Kids has an amazing collection of eBooks about Halloween and Halloween themed. Click here to view the collection.

image courtesy of syndeticsimage courtesy of syndeticsimage courtesy of syndeticsimage courtesy of syndeticsimage courtesy of syndetics

Fiction, Comics and Picture Books!

image courtesy of syndeticsSeven ghosts.

“Jake and the other finalists in a writing competition have been invited to a stately house for a tour like no other. As their guide leads them through grand rooms, hidden nooks and magnificent grounds, they hear the stories of seven ghosts who haunt the halls. But strange shapes and shadows follow Jake as he journeys through the house and with each tale that Jake hears, he begins to feel more uneasy. All is not as it seems and soon Jake will discover that something is very, very wrong … Old ghosts are stirred-up for Halloween in this spine-tingling, multi-narrative horror.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsMelusine [2] : Halloween.

Melusine is a sorcerer’s apprentice, funny and dynamic, who does everything possible to become a powerful witch. Unfortunately, she’s not always successful, and very often her tricks turn against her and her friends… But tremble, poor mortals, for it’s the return of Halloween, the day of witches and the walking dead! This festival of demons must be celebrated with dignity, with great smashing of pumpkins and rotten tricks. The opportunity rises for Melusine and her friends to show what they can do… And then to start a new storm of gags and catastrophes!” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsBabymouse: monster mash.

“It was a dark and scary Halloween… This year, Babymouse is determined to have the best Halloween costume and the best Halloween party ever. Will Babymouse be the monster of her dreams? Will Felicia Furrypaws come to the party? And is that really the creature from the black lagoon living in Babymouse’s locker?” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsThe very hungry caterpillar’s creepy-crawly Halloween : a lift-the-flap book.

“Join The Very Hungry Caterpillar on his spookiest adventure yet as he explores the woods by the light of the moon. Lift the big flap on every page to discover which creatures are hiding in the woods tonight. A simple, engaging new seasonal lift-the-flap adventure with big flaps that are perfect for little hands!”(Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsWhat do werewolves do when it’s not halloween?

“But what about werewolves? Where do they go? What do they do through the year? Do they groom? Do they howl? Do they listen to jazz? Or watch movies and shed a small tear? What do werewolves do when it’s not Halloween? Perhaps they’re lurking where you least expect! Featuring vampires, witches, zombies, ghosts and skeletons, this is a SPOOKY and KOOKY Halloween treat for all to devour!” (Catalogue).


New to the collection is…

image courtesy of syndeticsThe good, the bad, and the spooky.

“Based on the New York Times bestselling picture book sensation The Bad Seed, Jory John and Pete Oswald present: The Good, the Bad, and the Spooky! Includes two sticker sheets, perfect for decorating your own mini jack-o’-lantern. Halloween is the Bad Seed’s favorite holiday of the year. But what’s a seed to do when he can’t find a show-stopping costume for the big night Postpone trick-or-treating for everyone, of course! Can he get a costume together in time Or will this seed return to his baaaaaaaaad ways Find out in this hilarious, charming, and thought-provoking continuation of Jory John and Pete Oswald’s bestselling series.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of Pup detectives [4] : ghosts, goblins, and ninjas!

“During a martial arts expo at Pawston Elementary, the sacred scroll of Bark-Jitsu is stolen. The pup detectives set out to crack their most puzzling case yet… because this one involves, ghosts, goblins, and a super stealthy ninja”– Provided by publisher.

Click here to view more Halloween themed books.

DVDs:

image courtesy of amazon.comThe Addams Family.

“Members of the mysterious and spooky Addams family–Gomez, Morticia, Pugsley, Wednesday, Uncle Fester and Grandma–are readily preparing for a visit from their even creepier relatives. But trouble soon arises when shady TV personality Margaux Needler realises that the Addams’ eerie hilltop mansion is standing in the way of her dream to sell all the houses in the neighbourhood.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of amazon.comCoco.

“Despite his family’s generations-old ban on music, Miguel dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz. Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector, and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of amazon.comCoraline.

“A young girl walks through a secret door that she has found in her new home and discovers an alternate version of her life. On the surface, this parallel reality is eerily similar to her real life, but much better. When her adventure turns dangerous, and her counterfeit parents, including the Other Mother, try to keep her forever, Coraline must count on her resourcefulness, determination, and bravery to get back home – and save her family.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of amazon.comHotel Transylvania 12 and 3.

“The Hotel Transylvania, run by Dracula, is a unique, high-end resort catering only to the finest monsters and their families. Check out The Hotel Transylvania trilogy and watch all three films back to back starting with the original film, where Dracula is preparing for an extra special weekend – his daughter Mavis’s 118th birthday – when trouble arises: a human has stumbled upon the resort for the first time ever! Even worse: the human has taken a liking to Mavis!” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of amazon.comIn the sequel, everything seems to be changing for the better at Hotel Transylvania. “Dracula’s rigid monster-only hotel policy has finally relaxed, opening up its doors to human guests. But behind closed coffins, Drac is worried that his adorable half-human, half-vampire grandson, Dennis, isn’t showing signs of being a vampire.” (Catalogue).

iage courtesy of amazon.com

In third film, A monster vacation, “The monster family embarks on a vacation on a luxury monster cruise ship so Drac can take a summer vacation from providing everyone else’s vacation at the hotel. It’s smooth sailing for Drac’s Pack as the monsters indulge in all of the shipboard fun the cruise has to offer. But the dream vacation turns into a nightmare when Mavis realizes Drac has fallen for the mysterious captain of the ship, Ericka, who hides a dangerous secret that could destroy all of monster kind.”(Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsHarry Potter (and the philosopher’s stone) (and the chamber of secrets).

An oldie but a goodie, watch Harry Potter and the philosopher’s stone and relive the magic where Harry learns on his eleventh birthday that he is the orphaned son of two powerful wizards and possesses unique magical powers of his own, becoming a student at Hogwarts, an English boarding school for wizards and having to battle some “enemies” along the way.

IMAGE COURTESY OF AMAZON.COM

In the Chamber of Secrets, Harry finds the second year more challenging with flying cars, trees fighting back, duelling clubs  and a fifty year old secret that threatens to destroy Hogwarts.

image courtesy of amazon.comMonsters (Inc and University).

Mike Wazowski and James “Sulley”  P. Sullivan are an inseparable pair, but that wasn’t always the case. From the moment these two mismatched monsters met they couldn’t stand each other. Monsters University unlocks the door to how Mike and Sulley overcame their differences and became the best of friends.

image courtesy of amazon.com

In Monsters Inc, Lovable Sulley and Mike Wazowski are the top scare team at MONSTERS, INC., the scream-processing factory in Monstropolis. When a little girl named Boo wanders into their world, monsters are scared silly, and it’s up to Sulley and Mike to get her back home. But Boo’s presence is more than just a mere accident. Now, Mike and Sulley have to face an enemy within their own ranks. Overall a heart-warming movie where guaranteed to scare and make you laugh.

Extra challenge… from beyond the grave!

Get into the Halloween spirit and dance your socks off zombie-style to Thriller by the late but talented Michael Jackson! Hmmm, I wonder if he would be keen to accept the vacancy of Wellington City Libraries’ library ghost?

Did you know? Wellington City Libraries’  Nao Robots, Frank and Stein, (formally known as Red and Blue) can whip out their own dance moves to to Thriller by Michael Jackson. Read more about them here.

Have a safe and happy Halloween!