Space Junk, Blood Moons and Annular Eclipses

Gray and White Satellite

Satellite. Image: Pexels.com

"Space... The final frontier...
 These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise.
 Its continuing mission:
 To explore strange new worlds...
 To seek out new life; new civilisations...
 To boldly go where no one has gone before!" 
(opening monoLogue from the TV series 'Star Trek: The Next Generation")

May and June 2021 are busy months in space. At the beginning of May, there was news that a large piece of space junk may hit New Zealand (it didn’t!), and on 26 May a super blood moon occurred. Then on 10 June an annular solar eclipse occurred.

So what on Earth is space junk, a super blood moon and an annular eclipse?

Space Junk

Everywhere humans go, we seem to leave rubbish behind… and space is no different! In the 60 years since man first managed to blast off and orbit the Earth, and so starting the space industry, we’ve managed to leave more than 500, 000 pieces of junk behind, which are larger than a a marble, orbiting around our planet. There are bits of used rockets, broken satellite parts, and even tools that astronauts may have lost during spacewalks. One of the biggest problems is that as the number of objects orbiting Earth increases, so do the chances of a collision. Even small pieces of junk can cause problems. Hurtling around Earth at speeds of up to 28,000km per hour, small pieces of space junk have the potential to cause damage to the International Space Station or the many satellites people on Earth rely on.

How do we clean up space?

At the end of their mission, modern satellites are designed to burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere or move out of the way of active satellites. However, older satellites remain in space. One idea for cleaning up these satellites is to use a net to capture them. Another method is to grab the old satellites with harpoons and reel them in. They would then send them to burn up in Earth’s atmosphere.

500+ Free Rocket & Space Illustrations - PixabayBut bigger things like space stations and larger spacecraft might not entirely burn up before reaching the ground. However,  operators can plan for the final destination of their old satellites to make sure that any debris falls into a remote area. This place even has a nickname—the Spacecraft Cemetery! It’s in the Pacific Ocean and is pretty much the farthest place from any human civilisation you can find.

Technology is always changing and evolving, and NZ aerospace company RocketLab is developing reusable rockets that can be retrieved and used again. It’s still a work in progress, but hopefully soon this will become the norm!

Super Blood Moon

The larger looking, red coloured moon that occurred on 26 May 2021 was caused by the rare combination of a lunar eclipse and the moon being at its closest point to earth in its orbit. The last time a Super Blood Moon occurred in Aotearoa was in 1982.

Annular Solar Eclipse

Perfect Ring of Fire - Annular Solar Eclipse | Mid-eclipse, … | FlickrA solar eclipse happens when a planet or a moon gets in the way of the Sun’s light. An annular solar eclipse happens when the Moon covers the Sun’s centre, leaving the Sun’s visible outer edges to form a “ring of fire” or annulus around the Moon. The annular solar eclipse that occurred on 10 June was best seen in the Northern Hemisphere (Aotearoa is in the Southern Hemisphere).

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New Zealand Sign Language Week 2021

This week is officially New Zealand Sign Language Week! NZSL Week 2021 is being held from 10th – 16th May, and is a wonderful opportunity for the sign language community in Aotearoa to showcase their language — and for people who don’t know NZSL to learn more about it! Check out this video welcoming you to the library in NZSL, to see some of the ways in which NZSL is used in the community:

Events

To help mark the occasion, there are a number of events happening around the country in celebration of New Zealand Sign Language and the NZSL-speaking community — including some in our own backyard! On Friday 14 May, starting at 5.00pm, the Wellington Deaf Society are hosting a special New Zealand Sign Language Evening for the whole community! The event includes nibbles, prizes, giveaways, kids’ face painting, and a whole range of activities for adults and kids, including free NZSL lessons from 5.00pm! This special event is taking place at the Waiora Hub at Alex Moore Park, 17 Bannister Avenue, Johnsonville. Find out more at the Wellington Deaf Society’s website, and get in touch with them if you would like to take part in a free NZSL class with your friends.

Resources

If you can’t make it along to this wonderful community event, Wellington City Libraries has some resources to help get you started in learning NZSL. Why not check out some of the following books and DVDs to get your NZSL journey on the road:

Children’s visual communication dictionary : New Zealand Sign Language – Māori – English = Te reo Rotarota, he papakupu mā te hunga tamariki.
“Translations of New Zealand Sign Language words in English and Māori, with English descriptions of how to sign the words. Suggested level: primary, intermediate.” (Catalogue)

Animals / Chapman, Jenny
“Introduces signs and words for common animals that a baby might meet. Includes tips for teaching your baby to sign.” (Catalogue)

Te rā tuatahi o Hope = Hope’s first day / Chapman, Jenny
“Join Hope on her first day of school and learn everyday phrases in our three languages — Back cover.” (Catalogue)

Kiri and the emergency / Cahill, Margaret
“Uses a picture book format, with a story about a Nana falling from a ladder, to demonstrate pre-schoolers making sensible choices during an emergency situation. Includes notes and activities on safety education and key first aid messages. Accompanied by a supporting DVD which presents The emergency song resource, Te waiata Aituā, New Zealand sign language and a behind the scenes look at how this resource was made.” (Catalogue)

You can also search for New Zealand Sign Language on our catalogue to find more resources to help you learn!

Learn Online

Lastly, there are many places you can go online to learn more about New Zealand Sign Language.

The library has to a special database called Bridget Williams Books – New Zealand Sign Language Collection, that you can access for free with your library card. One of the amazing resources you can find there is Rachel McKee’s New Zealand Sign Language: A Reference Grammar. You might need to get an adult to help you with some of the words, but this book is chocka-block full of lessons, videos, and illustrations to show you how NZSL works. Ka rawe!

Here are some more great online resources you can use:

  • Many Answers has a page on New Zealand Sign Language, which has lots of suggestions for places you can go to learn about its history and practice.
  • Learn about the history of NZSL by reading the article on Te Ara: The Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
  • Head to LearnNZSL and watch video tutorials on how to use NZSL in everyday situations! If you don’t finish your lesson, you can always return to it later.
  • The New Zealand Sign Language Dictionary online has thousands of entries teaching you the basic vocabulary of NZSL, with plenty of pictures, videos and examples to help you learn.
  • Sign Ninja is an awesome online game that sneakily teaches you all kinds of things about NZSL, from its history to how it is used today! Plus, it’s super fun to play.

So what are you waiting for? Now is the perfect time to start learning about this official language of our country!

New Zealand Music Month 2021

New Zealand Music Month is back again and is in its 20th year marks 20 years of celebrating and supporting the New Zealand Music industry. The theme for 2021’s NZ Music Month is: Support local. Stream local. Follow local. Buy local.image courtesy of nz music month facebook page

image courtesy of nzmusicmonth.co.nz

What is New Zealand Music Month?

May is New Zealand Music Month, which celebrates music from New Zealand, and the people who make it.

How can I celebrate? 

The NZ Music Month schedule is packed with events, awards, radio specials, online seminars and promotions. Check out the events page for more information.

You can also support your librarians, many of whom also moonlight as musicians and performers. You can also to your local library for events such as preschool storytime, Baby Rock and Rhyme and so much more! Check out what’s on for kids at your local library.

May Music Mini-fest ‘21.

At Waitohi and Tawa Libraries, It’s a musical takeover from musical LEGO and crafterschool to upbeat storytimes and pop-up performances! Check the Waitohi and Tawa Libraries calendars for more information!

Check out our books on music and musicians!

image courtesy of syndeticsThe school of music.

“Here you will go an a unique and melodious journey, which introduces aspiring musicians to all kinds of music, from classical, to country, to contemporary… and many more! Meet six musicians and learn about different instruments and genres of music, as well as basic theory for beginners, from melodies and harmonies to pitch and rhythm.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsMusic trivia : what you never knew about rock stars, recording studios and smash-hit songs.

“Do you think you know everything there is to know about music? Think again Get the inside scoop on some surprising music industry trivia.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndetics50 things you should know about music.

“An all-encompassing introduction to the genres, musicians, instruments and musical events that have shaped the world of music. From the rock and pop of Western youth culture to the haunting sounds of traditional Mongolian throat singers, all humans in all parts of the world make music. Its harmonies affect us in a deep way and its beauty is universal. We have developed hundreds of styles of music played with all kinds of instruments, large and small. The very first instruments were simple flutes made from animal bones, but we soon developed a vast array, making all kinds of sounds. Today we can use the latest computer technology to create any sound imaginable, and musicians continue to explore the endless possibilities of music.”  (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsLegends, icons & rebels : music that changed the world.

“A tribute to more than two dozen legendary music artists who significantly influenced the landscape of music for generations to come, from Ray Charles and Bob Dylan to Chuck Berry and Johnny Cash.” (Catalogue)


Also search our catalogue for more about music.

Watch music themed DVDs!

image courtesy of amazon.comSoul.

“Joe Gardner is a middle-school band teacher who gets the chance of a lifetime to play at the best jazz club in town. A misstep takes him from New York City to The Great Before, a fantastical place where new souls get their personalities before going to Earth. Determined to return to his life, Joe teams up with a precocious soul, 22, who has never understood the appeal of the human life. As Joe tries to show 22 what’s great about life, he may discover the answers to the most important questions.” (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.comimage courtesy of amazon.comTrolls and Trolls World Tour.

“When their village is invaded by the grumpy Bergens, two mismatched friends must work together in perfect harmony to save the day. Featuring hit songs performed by Justin Timberlake, Anna Kendrick, and more. (Catalogue). In Trolls World Tour, Poppy and Branch discover that they are but one of six different Trolls tribes scattered over six different lands and devoted to six different kinds of music: Funk, Country, Techno, Classical, Pop and Rock. A member of hard-rock royalty, Queen Barb, aided by her father King Thrash, wants to destroy all other kinds of music to let rock reign supreme. With the fate of the world at stake, Poppy and Branch set out to visit all the other lands to unify the Trolls in harmony against Queen Barb.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsTrolls Soundtrack.

“A computer-animated film starring the shock-headed dolls that won’t stay out of style, Trolls featured the voice talents of such double threats as Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Zooey Deschanel, and Gwen Stefani. Its soundtrack was executive produced by Timberlake, who also provided the original song “Can’t Stop the Feeling.” The dance-pop tune, penned by Timberlake, Max Martin, and Shellback, topped the charts in over a dozen countries in the spring of 2016 before the movie’s release that fall. ” (Catalogue)

Check out the music video, Can’t Stop the Feeling, by Justin Timberlake, from the movie soundtrack!


image courtesy of syndeticsTrolls World Tour : original motion picture soundtrack.
“Expanding the Trolls universe with the addition of new genre “lands” — encompassing pop, funk, classical, reggaeton, hip-hop, techno/electronic, country, and rock — the album follows suit, building upon the first soundtrack’s pop/dance base with fun surprises from an all-star roster.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Where can I find information about New Zealand Music, artists and bands?

ManyAnswers has a page dedicated to websites, resources and ways to search for information about New Zealand musicians and bands. The National Library also has a page dedicated to New Zealand Music, where you can explore the culture, history and uses of music in New Zealand along with famous singers (traditional and contemporary), music awards, bands and the styles of music unique to New Zealand. Wellington City Libraries also runs the Wellington Music Blog — the most comprehensive source of information about local Wellington musicians and bands you can find. Check it out!

For more information, on events and ideas on how to celebrate, visit the following websites:

NZ Music Month official website.

New Zealand Curriculum Online – New Zealand Music Month.

NZ History – New Zealand Music Month.

NZ Music Month Facebook, Instagram and Twitter page.


Enjoy!… and Happy New Zealand Music Month 2021!

“Poi E” – a Living Legend!

Almost 40 years since its release the song Poi E will receive the Classic Record prize at the Taite​ Music Awards presented by Independent Music NZ on 20 April 2021 in Tamaki Makaurau (Auckland).

Poi E was written in 1983 by Ngoi Pēwhairangi​ (lyrics) and Māui Dalvanius Prime (music). Their single was the first song in te reo Māori to reach the NZ Top 40 Singles Chart, holding the top spot for two weeks after its release. Poi E was performed by the Patea Māori Club, and put this small Taranaki town on the map. The Pātea Māori Club even toured the United Kingdom in 1984, playing at the London Palladium and the Edinburgh Festival and gave a Royal Command Performance as part of an annual variety show staged for the British Royal Family.

In 2016 a documentary, Poi E: The Story of Our Song, received rave reviews and once again had everyone around the country singing along to this classic track.


If you’re interested in waiata, poi and performance, why not join the kapa haka group at your school? Each year a National Primary Schools Kapa Haka Festival – Te Mana Kurutahi – takes place twice a year at venues around Aotearoa. For more info, check out their website HERE.


St. Joseph's Maori Girls College – He Koha Waiata. A Gift Of Song (1995, CD) - DiscogsHe Koha (A Gift Of Maori Music) (2001, CD) - DiscogsBook Jacket for: Kia kaha! : together, standing strongBook Jacket for: Kei te peke ahau

if you want more waiata in your life, why not check out:

Wellington City Library’s waiata resources here

or…


Waiata mai : sing along with Aunty Bea / Yates, Piatarihi
“Waiata Mai is a compilation of the waiata Beatrice Yates has written and sung over the years. It is a beautifully illustrated bilingual book suitable for the younger children. It contains counting, colour, welcome, farewell, action songs and songs naming the body. This is a wonderful resource for any one wanting to learn some basic Maori and have fun with their kids.” (Catalogue)


Tutu taniwha / Kahukiwa, Robyn
“Tutu is a baby taniwha who loves to sing and dance. Story is designed to be sung to the tune of “Twinkle twinkle little star,” incorporating English and Māori words. Includes notes on pronunciation and translation. Suggested level: junior.” (Catalogue)

Hush : a Kiwi lullaby / Cowley, Joy
“Regarded by some as the mother of children’s publishing in New Zealand, it is fitting that Joy Cowley has penned this warm-hearted Kiwi version of a traditional lullaby, with words in both English and te reo Maori. From sheep to kowhai flowers, and from paua shells to silver ferns, this special picture book will be a treasured addition to any home library. Stunningly illustrated by Andrew Burdan with pictures that could easily grace the walls of any art-lover’s home.” (Catalogue)

Kia kaha! : together, standing strong / Pitman-Hayes, June
“Kia kaha! Kia kaha! Together standing strong. We join our hands in friendship, thats how we get along. All around our gentle land, no matter where were from … we fill the air with laughter and our kia kaha song! Find a friend and sing along to Aotearoas catchy KIA KAHA song. Featuring June Pitman-Hayes with childrens entertainer Pio Terei, singing in English and Maori.” (Catalogue)

Wahine Disaster – 53 Years Later

Wahine sinking in Wellington Harbour

Wahine sinking in Wellington Harbour. Dominion Post (Newspaper): Photographic negatives and prints of the Evening Post and Dominion newspapers. Ref: EP/1968/1647/14-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22327912

On the morning of 10 April 1968 one of New Zealand’s worst recorded storms hit Wellington. This storm produced freak winds of up to 230 km per hour around Cook Strait. The Christchurch–Wellington ferry Wahine was driven onto Barrett Reef, at the entrance to Wellington Harbour.

When the ship hit the reef, one of its propellors was knocked off and an engine was damaged. The Wahine could no longer be steered properly so it drifted into the harbour before leaning to starboard (nautical term for the right side of a ship). Because of the heavy list (another nautical term for a ship leaning dangerously in the water), only four of the eight lifeboats could be launched, and most of the inflatable life rafts flipped in the savage seas.

The Wahine finally capsized at 2.30 p.m. Most deaths occurred on the Eastbourne side of the harbour, where people were driven against sharp rocks by the waves. Of the 734 passengers and crew, 51 died that day, another died several weeks later and a 53rd victim died in 1990 from injuries sustained in the wreck.

It remains one of New Zealand’s worst maritime disasters, after the wreck of SS Penguin in 1905.


Want to know more?

Wellington City Libraries Heritage pages have got loads of info, photos and footage from that fateful day: https://wcl.govt.nz/heritage/wahine

Other useful sites are:

Many Answers

Museums Wellington

Christchurch City Libraries


Want to read all about it?

No safe harbour / Hill, David
“Stuart and his twin sister Sandra are coming home to Wellington on the ferry. Stuart knows he’ll enjoy the trip – he’s a good sailor. But it’s April 1968 and the ship is the Wahine. As the tragic events unwind Stuart and Sandra must battle to stay alive. A vivid and compelling picture of the Wahine’s last hours.” (Catalogue)

 

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How DO Things Work?

Kia ora!  Have you ever looked at a machine and wondered how it works?  Or wondered how things in space work?  What about inside your body?  There are so many questions about the world!

Well, the good news is we have lots of kids books that explain and describe the inner workings of all sorts of interesting topics.  You name it, we’ve got a book to tell you how it works.  To get you started, we’ve selected a few interesting books for you to choose from.  But there are plenty more available to satisfy your curiosity.

Motorbikes / Oxlade, Chris

Find out all of the workings of some of the most amazing motorcycles.  This easy to read book breaks down many of the parts and what they do, with bright, clear illustrations.

What’s inside a black hole? : deep space objects and mysteries / Solway, Andrew

“This astronomy series looks at different aspects of the universe we live in.” (Catalogue)

Inside the bees’ hive / Ang, Karen

“Hundreds of buzzing worker honeybees build a yellow structure called a comb inside a tree trunk. The comb is made up of many small, six-sided rooms that the bees make out of wax. These rooms, called cells, will be used to hold baby bees and sweet, gooey honey. Welcome to the bees’ hive! ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Spacecraft / West, David

“Learn all about spacecraft, from the first space capsules to space planes and space shuttles.  Find out something amazing about each vehicle and then turn the page to see it sliced in two where its innermost secrets will be revealed.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

What’s eating you? : parasites – the inside story / Davies, Nicola

“There is one group of creatures who live on or in the bodies of other animals – in skin, hair, fur, feathers, blood, guts, livers, hearts and lungs. They are parasites. Uncover the secrets of their amazing life-cycles and dare yourself not to scratch or groan as you read.” (Catalogue)

Aircraft / Graham, Ian

Find out how all kinds of aircraft work and how they are laid out inside.  Lots of clear illustrations and information on different types of aircraft.

See inside weather and climate / Daynes, Katie

Filled with facts from how hurricanes and floods happen to how global warming is affecting the Earth’s climates. This is a lift-the-flap book that introduces readers to the science of weather. The work is filled with facts from how hurricanes and floods happen to how global warming is affecting the Earth’s climates.” (Catalogue)

How cities work : explore the city inside, outside and underground / Hancock, James Gulliver

“From the sewers to the skyscrapers, this book takes young readers to the heart of the city.  Get ready to explore the city in a whole new way. This innovative book for younger readers is packed with city facts, loads of flaps to lift, and unfolding pages to see inside buildings and under the streets.  Discover where people live and peek behind closed doors to see what’s going on in houses and apartments, or why not find out about what goes on underneath the streets you walk on every day? (Adapted from Catalogue)

Running the country : a look inside New Zealand’s government / Gill, Maria

“What does the government do to keep New Zealand running smoothly? How does parliament work and what is the job of the MPs? From the Bill of Rights to the way we vote, from parliamentary headquarters to the local council — and everything in between — Maria Gill explains our system of government. You will discover facts about laws, our currency, voting at the elections and the role of the media. There are fascinating profiles of New Zealand leaders, illustrated by cartoonist Malcolm Evans, along with photographs, amazing statistics and useful ‘google this’ Internet links to find out more.” (Catalogue)

The fantastic body : what makes you tick & how you get sick / Bennett, Howard J

“Jam-packed with fun facts, cool diagrams, and gross stories, and written by a successful, practicing pediatrician, this fun and comprehensive reference book with DIY projects is ideal for kids who want to know more about the mysterious stuff going on inside their bodies.” (Catalogue)

How computers work / Hubbard, Ben

“Ever wonder what goes on inside your computer? Take a look into how processors, networks and more are all connected.” (Catalogue)

Inside of a dog : what dogs see, smell, and know / Horowitz, Alexandra

“From an animal behaviorist and dog enthusiast comes an adorable guide to understanding how our canine friends see the world. Want to know what dogs are thinking? What they feel, and what they can spell with that great big nose of theirs? Here’s your chance to experience the world nose first, from two feet off the ground. What do dogs know, and how do they think? The answers will surprise and delight you as dog owner and scientist Alexandra Horowitz explains how our four-legged friends perceive their daily worlds, each other, and us. This book is as close as you can get to knowing about dogs without being a dog yourself.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

What do we do with all that poo?

All living creatures poo! Big ones like elephants do big poos, and little ones like ants do tiny poos, and human beings are somewhere in the middle! There a lots of more scientific terms for poo: ‘faeces’, ‘stool’ or ‘bowel movement’, and ‘scat’ is the term for the poo of a wild animal.

But why do we have to poo, what is it, and where does it all go when you flush the toilet?

Flush Toilet Illustrations And Hand Hygiene clipart drawing free imageThe purpose of poo is to remove waste from your body – especially the leftover bits of food that your body can’t use, such as fruit pips and vegetable skins. About 75% (three quarters) of a typical poo is water. The water helps to make the poo soft so it can get out of the body easily. The rest of the poo consists of broken-down body cells, fat and minerals and leftover food waste (those fruit pips and vege skins mentioned above). But did you know that your poos are alive?? Your intestines contain billions of bacteria that help digest food. When the bacteria come out in poo, about half of them are still alive. The live bacteria can make you ill if they get into your stomach. This is why poo can be harmful, and you have to flush it away and wash your hands.

The sewage / wastewater journey

Treatment plant at Moa Point.

Image: Treatment plant at Moa Point. Courtesy Wellington.govt.nz

Once you’ve flushed the toilet, this then becomes sewage. Sewage (or wastewater) is from all our sinks, toilets, laundries, kitchens and bathrooms. This waste flows through a network of underground pipes and pumping stations to one of the treatment plants in Wellington. There are two sewage treatment plants in Wellington – Moa Point and the Western Treatment Plant (Karori) – and a sludge treatment plant at the Southern Landfill.

At the Moa Point Treatment Plant, sewage travels through a series of screens, and tanks before being discharged as liquid into Cook Strait.

  • Non-organic – large materials such as toilet paper are first removed using screens. This rubbish is washed and compressed and sent to the Southern Landfill for disposal.
  • Solid sewage (sludge) – as sewage travels through the tanks, the majority of solids are removed. This sludge is taken to the Southern Landfill Sludge Treatment Plant where it is de-watered (water removed from solids).
  • Effluent – a series of tanks  use a combination of sedimentation and bacteria to decompose almost 70% of  material. Remaining liquid effluent is exposed to ultraviolet light (such as the sun) to destroy any harmful bacteria. The treated liquid is finally discharged, through a long outfall pipe, 1.8km into Cook Strait.

Here’s a really good flow chart that explains the process in more detail:

The Treatment Process


FAQs

Stinky Face Cliparts - Bad Smell Png , Free Transparent Clipart - ClipartKeyQ: Why is poo brown?
A: The brown colour comes from bilirubin, a chemical made from dead red blood cells.

Q: Why does poo smell?
A: The smell mainly comes from bacteria, and the gases and chemicals they release.

Q: Why does everyone think that poo is gross?
A:  We have evolved to find the look and smell of poo disgusting. this makes us avoid it, helping to keep us safe from infection and germs.


So if you’re not too grossed out by now, Wellington City Libraries have loads of books for all ages about this rather stinky subject! Here’s just a few…

You wouldn’t want to live without poo! / Woolf, Alex
“Learn the surprising truth about just how important poo really is: it keeps our bodies healthy, and can also be used to power our cars, heat our homes and help grow our crops.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Poo in the zoo / Smallman, Steve
“Zoo Keeper Bob is exhausted. There’s too much poo in the zoo – and he’s the one who has to scoop it up. Then one day, a mysterious glowing poo appears! Could it be alien poop from outer space? And what on EARTH will Bob do with it?” (Adapted from Catalogue)

My amazing poo plant / Simons, Moya
“Emma can’t have a pet as she lives in an apartment. Her mum loves pot plants and encourages Emma to think of having a plant as a pet. Emma isn’t interested until one day, when a low-flying bird drops a poo in an empty plant pot and her mum tells her if she waters it a poo plant might grow from the seeds in the bird’s dropping. Emma enters her poo plant into the most unusual pet category of her class pet show.” (Catalogue)

What do they do with all that poo? / Kurtz, Jane
“There are so many different kinds of animals at the zoo, and they each make lots of poo. So what do zoos do with all of that poo? This zany, fact-filled romp explores zoo poo and all of the places it ends up, including in science labs and elephant-poo paper–even backyard gardens!” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The clue is in the poo and other stuff too / Seed, Andy
“A funny and fascinating natural history of animal droppings, tracks and other traces, exploring what we can learn about animals from what they leave behind. Fully-illustrated and in a large format, this will be a visually appealing book for any child with an interest in animals and nature.” (Catalogue)

Loos save lives : how sanitation and clean water help prevent poverty, disease and death / Boyd, Seren
“Who knew toilets were so interesting – and so important? You probably use a toilet several times every day. Flush, turn on the tap, wash your hands – then forget all about it. But did you know that 2.4 billion people across the world don’t have somewhere they can go to the toilet safely, and over 1 billion people don’t have access to any kind of sanitation or clean water at all? Poor sanitation and restricted access to a toilet is more serious than you might think. It prevents children (and especially girls) from going to school, it means communities may have to walk miles to access safe drinking water and it kills. Poor sanitation means poor hygiene, which means illnesses and viruses are more easily spread. Going to the toilet out in the open makes people vulnerable and puts them in danger.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Everybody poos / Gomi, Tarō
“All living things do different sorts of poo. Some are different colours, others have different smells or sizes. Some do it on land, some poo in water. This children’s book has a no-nonsense approach to the bodily function to encourage children not to be ashamed about potty training.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Asterix the Historian

Book Jacket for: Asterix the GaulBook Jacket for: Asterix and the Roman agentBook Jacket for: Asterix and the big fightBook Jacket for: Asterix and the cauldron

Who doesn’t love a good Asterix comic? Originally written and illustrated by Goscinny and Uderzo, there’s loads of them to love too – over 30! But did you know that reading Asterix comics is a great way to learn about all that ancient history that you thought was boring (go on, admit it!)? And you can still manage a good laugh while you learn! Remember though, that these books were written a long time ago and do contain some outdated views and understandings of the ancient world and its people. Despite their historical settings, the Asterix comics are still fictional tales – so take any historical lessons with a grain of salt!

In 51 BC the Roman emperor Julius Caesar and his troops successfully conquered a huge area of modern Europe know as Gaul. Gaul is now known as France, but also extended out to Germany, Luxemburg, Belgium, Switzerland, and even some of Italy. The Roman Empire was the largest and most powerful in the world at that time, and the empire grew year by year by invading and conquering other countries – often with bloody battles. The Romans were known for their skill at warfare.

The world of Asterix explores the question: What if one village in Gaul kept its freedom and never gave in to the Roman army? That’s the village Asterix and his friends live in and constantly defend. But how can this one village successfully fight off the might of the Roman empire? Well…they have a druid, Getafix, who makes a magic potion that gives the drinker super strength for a short time. The Roman army, as good as they are, can’t compete against such strength. So although we’re talking history, this bit is very much fiction!

Each Asterix volume is a new adventure, told with a healthy dose of every kind of comedy you can imagine. There’s plenty of puns, word play and historical references. There are two types of stories in the series. In the first type, the main character, Asterix and his best buddy since childhood, Obelix, wind up on the road visiting another country. The entire book is then centred on what they find there. The book has loads of references to that country and its people. The other half of the stories are set in the village itself, usually as they defend themselves from Caesar’s latest scheme to conquer them!

five, assorted-color square tiles graphics, postit, memos, notes, colorful, post it, list, paper, embassy, color, sticky note, info, communication, lesson, note, pinning, adhesive Note, note Pad, sticky, reminder, business, white background, cut out, multi colored, yellow, green color, group of objects, blue, group, shape, studio shot, office, copy space, no people, indoors, purple, blank, message, 1080PSticky note FYI

A lot of links in this blog go to the Encyclopaedia Britannica for kids. This is accessible to all Wellington City Libraries users. But to access this wonderful resource, you’ll need to login using your library card number (on the back of your card) and 4 digit pin (last FOUR numbers of the phone number listed on your library account), and the link will take you straight there.


So let’s jump straight in and explore just a few of these wonderful comics. I think you’ll agree that this is a pretty groovy way to learn a thing or two about the Roman empire and life in ancient Europe and beyond…

Asterix and Cleopatra: Album 6 - The Rocketship BookshopAsterix and Cleopatra / Goscinny
“To impress Julius Caesar and to convince him that Egypt is still a great nation, Queen Cleopatra promises to build the Roman Emperor a magnificent palace in just three months. Of course, Asterix has to get involved. By the time his feisty group from Gaul have finished, they’ve outwitted the Roman army, too.” (Adapted from Catalogue)


Asterix and the Goths / Goscinny
“Getafix has been kidnapped, this time by a raiding band of Goths. So it’s onward and into Germania for Asterix and Getafix. But in the process of saving their druid, the two Gauls set off a whole series of tribal wars.” (Adapted from Catalogue)


Asterix the gladiator / Goscinny
“The Romans have captured Cacofonix as a gift for Caesar and the Emperor plans to throw him to the lions. There’s only one way for Asterix and Obelix to rescue their bard: they have to become gladiators themselves.” (Catalogue)


Asterix in Britain / Goscinny
“The Romans have invaded Britain, but one village still holds out. Asterix and Obelix come to help, with a barrel of magic potion in hand. But to deliver the precious brew, the Gaulish heroes must face fog, rain, bad food, warm beer, and the Romans, too.” (Catalogue)

Asterix and the Normans : Goscinny and Uderzo present an Asterix adventure / Goscinny
A Norman invasion of the Gaulish village! But only trendy teenager Justforkix, visiting from Lutetia, fears them, for the Gauls have their magic potion. But the Normans themselves want to learn the meaning of fear: can Asterix and his friends teach them? Another secret weapon is brought into play…and at long last the bard Cacofonix wins the appreciation due to him.

Asterix at the Olympic games / Goscinny
“The athletes of the ancient world assemble in Athens for the Olympic Games. Asterix and the Gauls enter too, but they’re due for a setback. As an artificial stimulant, magic potion is banned. Can our friends win at the Games without it? And what’s the special ingredient of the other potion, the one in the cauldron in the shed with the door that doesn’t close properly?” (Adapted from Catalogue)

 

 

Saint Patrick’s Day 2021: Painting the Town Green!

A day of leprechauns, four-leaf clovers and painting the town green! St Patrick’s Day is coming to the Capital and Wellington City Libraries on 17th of March! Why not call into your local library and take out some amazing books about Saint Patrick’s Day and Ireland. 


image courtesy of wikimedia
What is Saint Patrick’s Day?

Saint Patrick’s Day or the Feast of Saint Patrick is a cultural, religious and public holiday celebrated on 17 March, the anniversary of his death.It celebrates the life of  Saint Patrick, the most commonly recognized of the patron saints of Ireland, and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland. On the day, people go to church services, wear green attire, attend public parades, eat Irish food and party the Irish way with music, singing and dancing, leprechauns and four-leaf clovers (or shamrocks).

image courtesy of wikimedia.org


Interesting facts:

  • Patrick was an Englishman who was captured as a boy by pirates and sold into slavery in Ireland. He managed eventually to escape and made his way to France where he studied to become a priest. When he was made a bishop he was sent back to Ireland to spread the Christian faith among the tribes there.
  • The shamrock is now the emblem of Ireland and is used to explain the Christian belief of the Trinity or the idea that God is three in one – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
  • Over half a million New Zealanders have Irish ancestors, whose stories have been passed down the generations. Read more about this history of the Irish in New Zealand on  Te Ara.

Where can I find information about Saint Patrick’s day?

  • ManyAnswers has a page dedicated to websites, resources and ways to search for information about festivals and celebrations in New Zealand, which includes Saint Patrick’s Day.
  • You can also find pages dedicated to Saint Patrick’s Day at Britannica and National Geographic for Kids.
  • Visit your local library and check out the find the following books:


Books about St. Patrick’s Day (and the Saint himself):

image courtesy of syndeticsThe St. Patrick’s Day shillelagh.

“On his way from Ireland to America to escape the potato famine, young Fergus carves a shillelagh from his favorite blackthorn tree, and each St. Patrick’s Day for generations, his story is retold by one of his descendants.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsThe life of St Patrick.

“This series explores the lives of saints, and includes the four patron saints of the UK. Each book tells the life story of the saint in a chronological manner, introducing evidence that survives from that era. The primary source materials are used to explain how we know about the saint’s life and how we can learn from events in the past. The books can be used in the Literacy Hour as examples of biographical recount, and they support the learning strand study the lives of famous people.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsSaint Patrick and the peddler.

“When a poor Irish peddler follows the instructions given to him by Saint Patrick in a dream, his life is greatly changed. Includes background on Saint Patrick and on the origin of the story.” (Catalogue)

Books about Ireland:

image courtesy of syndeticsIreland.

“Known as the “Emerald Isle,” Ireland is an island famous for its green, grassy fields. With tips and insights from an Irish native named Seamus, readers will take a trip across the Irish countryside and explore its biggest cities. Along the way, they will see how Irish people live, learn about Ireland’s fascinating history, learn to speak Gaelic, and much more.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsIreland.

“This series offers comprehensive coverage of countries around the world. Each book offers complete coverage of one country, including sections on history, geography, wildlife, infrastructure, culture, and peoples.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsIreland.

“What’s it like to live in Ireland? This book is part of a series which takes you on a tour so you can find out about the landscape, the weather, the people and the places.” (Catalogue)

Irish Folk Tales and Stories:

image courtesy of syndeticsThe names upon the harp.

“A collection of classic Irish legends, retold for children of eight and over. It includes tales of fiercely fought battles, passionate romances, spells and curses, heroes and villains, and loyalty and betrayal.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsThe cloak of feathers.

“Once every hundred years, the small, forgotten, rural Irish town of Lisahee welcomes The Fairy Festival – a week of celebration where the mysterious and magical ‘sidhe’ emerge from the hill above the town and take residence alongside their human counterparts for seven days of ancient traditions and games. Filled with dancing, music, goblin markets and fae-folk, the festival has only one rule: never, ever, say ‘the f word’ – that’s ‘fairies’ – a rule twelve-year-old Brian unfortunately breaks. When mayhem ensues, it’s up to Brian and his friends to avoid the wrath of the King and Queen and help keep the town in one piece. A magical adventure filled with myth, mischief and misunderstandings, perfect for fans of modern fairy tales with a comic twist.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsMagical tales of Ireland.

“Fairy tales get a modern twist in this dazzling collection of newly written and illustrated Irish stories for the 6-9 year olds. This is a sparkling collection of newly commissioned stories and illustrations from Ireland’s best-known writers and illustrators. From Roddy Doyle’s poignant story of a young girl dealing with the loss of a parent, powerfully illustrated by PJ Lynch to Paul Muldoon’s witty narrative poem about a girl with a knack for seeing things backwards, accompanied by Niamh Sharkey’s zany illustrations and Malachy Doyles’s hero, famous Seamus who scores a very unusual ghostly goal 21st century tales combine contemporary realism and magic, making this a collection unlike any other. These tales are as diverse as the authors themselves.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsBetween worlds : folktales of Britain & Ireland.

“Rich and strange, these eerie and magical folktales from across Britain and Ireland have been passed down from generation to generation, and are gathered together in a definitive new collection from storyteller Kevin Crossley-Holland. Dark and funny, lyrical and earthy, these fifty stories are part of an important and enduring historical tradition that dates back hundreds of years.” (Catalogue)

Laughter: The Best Medicine!

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Knock, knock
Who’s there?
Spell
Spell who?
W-H-O!

Hahaha, hehehe, lol 🙂 🙂

With Wellington back at Covid-19 Alert Level 2, sometimes the outlook can look pretty bleak! It’s good to realise that having a good laugh is still OK and is in fact really good for you, even if it turns out laughing is a serious business!  It takes a combination of facial muscles, hormones, voice box, breathing, brain activity and awareness to make a human being laugh. That’s a lot of moving parts that all need to come together to produce even a snigger!

But why do people laugh, and what is funny, or humorous? The answer to this is complicated because scientists still aren’t sure exactly what makes us laugh! There are so many factors that might influence why we laugh. This might include our culture, upbringing, personality, physical environment, health, age, being tickled… the list is endless.

Did you know that the study of humour and laughter, and its  effects on the human body, is called gelotology?

“I only know 25 letters of the alphabet. I don’t know y.”  (tee-hee)


Laughter is good for your health by:

red, white, heart rate, monitor, heart illustration, heartbeat, illustration, heart care, medical, care, heart, health, medicine, symbol, health care, healthcare, heart health, medicine heart, hospital, doctor, sign, icon, love, cardiology, shape, help, disease, health background, heart hands, life, healthy heart, aid, medical icons, diagnosis, treatment, human, caring hands, ecg, pulse Trace, healthcare And Medicine, taking Pulse, pulsating, medical Exam, human Heart, heart Shape, listening to Heartbeat, cardiologist, illness, white background, valentine's day - holiday, no people, cut out, studio shot, positive emotion, indoors, emotion, white color, close-up, copy space, design, art and craft, still life, blank, creativity, ribbon, 1080P, CC0, public domain, royalty freeRelaxing the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.

Boosting the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.

Triggering the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.

Protecting your heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.

“What did one wall say to the other?” “I’ll meet you at the corner.” (maw-ha-ha)


Further silliness 🙂

🙂 What’s a “Funny Bone”?

163 Elbow Bump Illustrations & Clip Art - iStockHave you ever experienced that weird pain and tingling in your lower arm and fingers when you bang your elbow? “Ouch! I’ve just hit my funny bone!”  But why do we call it this, when it clearly isn’t funny? Well…the funny bone is actually not a bone at all.  It is a nerve, called the ulnar nerve, which runs from the neck all the way to the hand.  The job of the ulnar nerve is to tell the brain what is happening in your pinky and ring fingers. The ulnar nerve rests along a bone called the humerus.  Sound familiar?  This sounds exactly like the word, “humorous”, which you may use when describing something amusing or “funny”. That’s one theory anyway, but I think we can all agree on one thing: hitting your funny bone is no laughing matter!

🙂 Where did LOL, LMHO and ROFL come from? 

Rolling on floor laughing | Laughing emoticon, Emoticon faces, Laughing emojiLOL = Laugh Out Loud

LMHO = Laughing My Head Off

ROFL = Rolling On the Floor Laughing

These are all acronyms – an abbreviation formed from the first letters of other words and can be pronounced as a word. They became popular when texting was THE thing to do on mobiles that were forerunners to the smartphone. A whole new ‘text language’ sprung up as it was easier and quicker to shorten words and use abbreviations.

🙂 Why are Comic books called comics?

Book Jacket for: Garfield keeps his chins upThey were called comics or “funnies” because the were, for the most part, comical stories meant for light entertainment. The first “comic books” were collected versions of comic strips that appeared in newspapers. When Superman debuted in 1938, most comic books were still collections of comic strips.

 

Did you hear about the restaurant on the moon? Great food but no atmosphere! (LMHO)

 


Wellington City Libraries have loads of great kids’ joke books for you to try on your friends and family, and unleash the comedian inside. Jump onto the catalogue and simply search:

JOKE BOOKS JUVENILE … and get issuing and reserving!

Book Jacket for: You're jokingBook Jacket for: The treehouse joke bookBook Jacket for: The ultimate unicorn joke book.Book Jacket for: Roald Dahl's marvellous joke bookBook Jacket for: The world's yuckiest joke book


And when you’ve finished laughing your head off and splitting your sides with laughter, here’s a few more fiction books to get you tickled pink:

Funny kid for president / Stanton, Matt
“Meet the funny kid! Because every kid loves to laugh. Every kid wants to laugh, but Max is the boy who can make it happen. He’s the class clown, the punch line and he’s even volunteered his bottom to be the butt of the joke. Max is the funny kid … and he’s running for class president.” (Catalogue)

Mr Stink / Walliams, David
“Chloe sees Mr Stink every day, but she’s never spoken to him. Which isn’t surprising, because he’s a tramp, and he stinks. But there’s more to Mr Stink than meets the eye (or nose) and before she knows it, Chloe has an unusual new friend hiding in her garden shed.” (Catalogue)

The day my bum went psycho / Griffiths, Andy
“This is the story of a boy, his runaway bum and some of the most dangerous bums in the world including kamikaze bums; nuclear bums; and Stenchgantor, the Great Unwiped Bum. With the help of The B-team (a crack bum-fighting unit comprising three of the best bum-fighters in the business: the Kicker, the Smacker and the Kisser), Zack will risk methane madness crossing the Great Windy Desert, death by stink-bog in the Brown Forest, and the perils of the Sea of Bums before finally descending into the heart of an explosive bumcano to confront the most psycho bum of them all-His own!” (Catalogue)


Stick Dog / Watson, Tom
“Stick Dog and his friends, Mutt, Stripes, Karen and Poo-Poo have caught the scent of hamburgers and what hungry stray could resist that lovely meaty waft? All they have to do is follow the smell, find the barbecue and eat the hamburgers. But it’s not as easy as it sounds. The dogs need a ‘Master Plan’ and they’re not short of ideas. They’re just short of ideas that aren’t ridiculous, or dangerous, or just very very silly. With hilarious artwork, and an adorable four-legged hero, the story of Stick Dog’s quest for a delicious dinner is destined to be Top Dog.” (Catalogue)

I funny / Patterson, James
“Jamie Grimm is a middle schooler on a mission: he wants to become the world’s greatest standup comedian–even if he doesn’t have a lot to laugh about these days. He’s new in town and stuck living with his aunt, uncle, and their evil son Stevie, a bully who doesn’t let Jamie’s wheelchair stop him from messing with Jamie as much as possible. But Jamie doesn’t let his situation get him down. When his Uncle Frankie mentions a contest called The Planet’s Funniest Kid Comic, Jamie knows he has to enter.”  (Catalogue)

Weir Do / Do, Anh
“My parents could have given me any first name at all, like John, Kevin, Shmevin . . . ANYTHING. Instead I’m stuck with the worst name since Mrs Face called her son Bum. Meet Weir Do. No, that’s not a typo, that’s his name! Weir Do’s the new kid in school. With an unforgettable name, a crazy family and some seriously weird habits, fitting in wont be easy . . . but it will be funny!” (Catalogue)

My dad thinks he’s funny / Germein, Katrina
When his son says “I’m hungry,” Dad says, “Hello, Hungry. Pleased to meet you.” Before slicing a cake for dessert, Dad announces, “There’s my piece. What’s everybody else having?”  So when nothing’s up but the sky, or when jumping in the shower sounds dangerous, it may be a good time to share this book with someone who doesn’t need sugar because, well, they’re sweet enough already. (Catalogue)