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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The Late, Great Eric Carle

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

No photo description available.

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

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

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

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

Eric’s Art & Words

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

Check out Eric’s unique and effective artistic technique HERE

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The A-Z of Alphabet Books

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

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

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

They’re also a great way to

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

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

Here’s just a small sample to 

A – access!

B – Browse!

C – Contemplate!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Te Reo Māori Challenge

The Māori language is known as te reo Māori or simply te reo (the language). Te reo Māori is an official language in New Zealand, along with English and New Zealand Sign Language. It was made official in 1987.
Have you thought about reading and speaking more te reo Māori in your day, or maybe you’d like to read to your younger brothers and sisters in te reo? Wellington City Libraries have got loads of first reader resources, translated picture books and online resources to get you started. 

Have you tried…

Kōhunga Kōrero

Kōhunga KōreroThese 30 minute immersive storytimes in te reo Māori are offered on a weekly basis at a number of our branch libraries. They are free to attend and you don’t need to have any former understanding of  te reo.

 


Lingogo App – Read and listen to te reo Māori stories

Lingogo is an app that lets you read and listen to Māori stories, and it’s free to access through your library membership! It’s great for both beginner and intermediate learners of te reo Māori, and every story has native speaker audio attached for those who prefer to listen.

Leading research shows that reading and listening for pleasure is hands-down the most efficient way to acquire a new language, so download the app to enjoy great stories and immerse yourself in te reo Māori!

  1. Download the Lingogo app to your Apple or Android phone or tablet from the Google Play Store(Lingogo) or Apple App Store(Lingogo)
  2. Choose ‘Wellington Libraries’ and enter your library barcode number to log in and access the Lingogo collection
  3. Once logged in with your library barcode number, browse and explore beginner and intermediate-level stories in te reo Māori.
  4. Tap sentences for the English translation and tap the headphones icon to hear the sentences read aloud in te reo Māori.
  5. For an eAudiobook experience, read the story to the end and tap the ‘Extra for experts’ button to listen to the full story in te reo Māori.

Bilingual books in Te Reo and English

Wellington City Libraries have lots to choose from. Here’s just a small taster:

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


Nana’s veggie garden = Te māra kai a Kui / Munro, Marie
“This summer, Bella/Ngāpera, Jacob/Hākopa and Lucas help Nana/Kui grow, harvest and eat an amazing garden, and fill every day with heaps of fun, te reo Māori learning and bunches of awesome memories” (Catalogue)

Mahi = actions / Brown, Kitty
“Meet some of our favourite kiwi kararehe and find out what they like to do best! Learn to introduce yourself and your favourite activities too.” (Catalogue)

Kararehe = Animals / Brown, Kitty
“Beautiful bilingual board book about animals in Te Reo Māori and English.” (Catalogue)

The singing dolphin = Te aihe i waiata / Whaanga, Mere
“Every once in a while, a dolphin will come to the island beside The Pathway of the Whales. It will leap and play with people, bring gifts and sing songs. Award-winning author Mere Whaanga tells a story of land, sea and seasons; of living creatures and family ties, and the songs that connect us all.” (Catalogue)


Challenge yourself!

KKTRM_logo_pos_block.png

Te Wiki o te Reo Māori (Māori Language Week) is held every year. This year’s date is 13 – 19 Mahuru (September), 2021.

Challenge yourself to learn a new te reo word a day. You can do this easily through this website: Kupu o te Rā

Or maybe you could challenge yourself to learn 100 words in te reo: 100 Māori words

“Poipoia te kākano kia puāwai.”

Nurture the seed and it will grow.

Not All Dragons are Super Scary

What do you think of when you picture a dragon: a huge winged scaly creature flying over a village breathing fire? Or maybe you picture a great red beast slumbering on a pile of gold. Perhaps the dragon you think of is one that lets out a deafening roar and shows its terrible teeth as it makes off with a princess. Terrifying! But not all dragons are so scary. These wonderful mythical beasts can be found in stories all over the world and some are very well-loved instead of being feared.

In China, dragons lived in the water and were thought to be very powerful and lucky. They could bring rain, and though they didn’t have wings they could fly. There are dragon dancers during Chinese New Year to bring good fortune, and the dragon is one of the animals in the Chinese zodiac.

In Wales a red dragon and a white dragon sleeping under the ground kept knocking down the new castle walls above until Merlin convinced the king to dig down to where the dragons were. The red dragon chased the white dragon away, the castle was built, and the red dragon is still on the flag of Wales today.

Here in New Zealand we have taniwha, great creatures who usually live in or near our lakes and rivers. Some had wings, come could shape-shift, some were wild and dangerous, and some were kaitiaki, protectors and guardians of those who lived nearby.

Dragons in books aren’t all terrifying fire-breathing creatures either: just think of Kenneth Grahame’s The Reluctant Dragon who just wants to sit and read poetry, or the dragons in Cressida Cowell’s How to Train Your Dragon series who work and fight alongside their humans. Dragons can be written as wise or mischievous, large or small, and we certainly have a LOT of books about dragons who aren’t just big and scary.

If you love dragons, or really liked either of these two books mentioned above, or just want to try something new you might enjoy some of these books in our collection!

If a three-thousand year old dragon with an artistic human for a pet seems like someone you’d like to read about, then try out:

A dragon’s guide to the care and feeding of humans / Yep, Laurence
“Crusty dragon Miss Drake’s new pet human, precocious ten-year-old Winnie, not only thinks Miss Drake is her pet, she accidentally brings to life her “sketchlings” of mysterious and fantastic creatures hidden in San Francisco, causing mayhem among its residents.” (Catalogue)

Also available as an eBook and eAudiobook


If you want to read about a princess who gets tired of curtseying and embroidery and runs off to live with the dragons then you should read:

Dealing with dragons / Wrede, Patricia C.
“Bored with her proper, circumscribed life as a princess, Cimorene runs away to join a powerful, fascinating dragon named Kazul and encounters a host of adventures along the way.” (Catalogue)

Also available as an eBook and eAudiobook

If you’d like to know a bit more about the different dragons all over the world then maybe you’ll enjoy:

Dragon world / Macfarlane, Tamara
“Meet the fire breathing beasts of mythology. Lurking in every corner of the world. From mountain peaks to ocean depths, and even under the very ground you tread, dragons watch and wait… Whether as powerful gods, wise friends, or fearsome foes, dragons take many forms, and exist in myths from cultures all around the world. So turn the pages to enter the dragon’s domain. Soar through their skies, look into their lairs, witness their power, and discover their incredible world”–back cover.” (Catalogue)

Perhaps you’re a fan of The Very Hungry Caterpillar and would like to read some poems about dragons and other mythical creatures that have all been illustrated by Eric Carle:

Eric Carle’s dragons dragons & other creatures that never were / Carle, Eric
“An illustrated collection of poems about dragons and other fantastic creatures by a variety of authors.” (Catalogue)

If a series by a New Zealand author about a half boy, half dragon who wants to be a knight sounds like something you want to read, then try out Kyle Mewburn’s Dragon Knight series:

Fire! / Mewburn, Kyle
“Merek is a shape-shifting half-boy, half-dragon who is desperate to get into knight school, but to do so he’ll have to conceal his secret and try not to set anything on fire.” (Catalogue)

If a picture book about a taniwha who was asleep for a very long time while the world changed around him sounds interesting, then we recommend:

Guardian of the bridge / Harris, Diana
“Tells the tale of how a taniwha, who was the guardian, the kaitiaki, of a very deep lake becomes the guardian of Auckland’s Harbour Bridge. Includes facts, figures and images of Auckland Harbour Bridge and a brief history of the area. Suggested level: junior, primary.” (Catalogue)

Maybe you like the sound of a picture book about a dragon who’s forgotten how to breathe fire:

How to light your dragon / Lévy, Didier
“Has your dragon forgotten how to breathe fire? Have no fear. This imaginative story follows the exploits of one frustrated dragon owner as she tries increasingly hilarious tricks to rekindle her dragon’s flame. Covering everything from the simplest tactics (tickling the dragon), to the sneakiest ones (surprising it with unlit birthday candles), this book is perfect for children who love to guess what’s going to happen next. Readers will learn that in the end, the most important thing is loving the dragon unconditionally. If a person can do that, and if they mean it from the bottom of their heart, then they might discover a truly magical result.” (Catalogue)

If you’re a fan of adventure stories with ancient artefacts, martial arts, and international criminals you should try reading:

The relic of the Blue Dragon / Lim, Rebecca
“When Harley Spark accidentally releases Qing, one of five dragon sisters, from the ancient vase she’s been trapped in for centuries, he is soon on a dangerous international mission with Qing to find and free her four sisters. Harley Spark is just an ordinary thirteen-year-old kid who lives with his mum, Delia. Rumour has it that his dad, Ray, is an international crime figure with a talent for nicking old, valuable things. So when Harley finds an antique Chinese vase on the footpath, something compels him to stuff it under his school jumper and run for home. Little does he know he’s about to reignite a centuries-old war between two ancient, supernatural families.” (Catalogue)

Also available as an eBook

And if a comic full of tiny dragons who grow different herbs on their horns is your cup of tea, then you should like:

The Tea Dragon Society / O’Neill, Katie
“After discovering a lost Tea Dragon in the marketplace, apprentice blacksmith Greta learns about the dying art form of Tea Dragon caretaking from the kind tea shop owners.” (Catalogue)

Also available as an eBook


“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)

Daylight Saving: What Is It?

time - hickory dickory dock clock | Evies hickory dickory do… | Flickr“Spring forward
“Fall backwards” 

On Sunday 4 April at 3am all the clocks in New Zealand will “fall backwards” ONE HOUR to 2am as Daylight Saving time finishes. But why do we do this strange practice? Well… to explain Daylight Saving, we first really need to understand modern time:

A brief history of time

Today we tell the time by cell phones, computers and radios, as well highly accurate clocks and watches. Time rules our lives much more than in the past. Before Europeans arrived, Māori told the time by the rising and setting of the sun, the seasons, and the phases of the moon. When settlers began arriving from Britain in the 1840s, not many could afford clocks or watches, so they used bells to ring the times for school, work and church. But each town would often have a slightly different time, which was confusing for everyone. So in 1868 the New Zealand government decided it was time to have a nationwide time for everyone to follow. We were the first country in the world to do this. We made our time 11½ hours ahead of the time set at the Royal Observatory at Greenwich in England (known as Greenwich Mean Time). Towns and cities built public clocks, and by the 1880’s people were using clocks at home, and wearing watches.

In 1941 the clocks were set 12 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time. And since 1974 Kiwis have enjoyed daylight saving during summer, when the clocks are put forward one hour.

What Are Time Zones?

World Time Zones | FOTOGRAFIA.Nelo.Esteves | FlickrWithout time zones, it would be impossible for all countries on Earth to have the sun at the highest point in the sky at noon. Why? Because Earth rotates by 15 degrees every hour. This is exactly why time zones were created. Basically, the planet was split into 24 slices of 15 degrees each. Each slice is a time zone.

So…What is Daylight Saving Time (DST)?

Daylight Saving Time (DST) is the practice of adjusting clocks so that we humans can enjoy more daylight hours during the summer to pursue our activities . Typically clocks are adjusted forward one hour near the start of spring and are adjusted backward in autumn. So, in New Zealand we put our clocks FORWARD 1 HOUR at the end of September (beginning of our Spring), and on Sunday 4 April 2021, at 3am we will all be putting our clocks BACK 1 HOUR (beginning of our Autumn / Fall). And you’ll be pleased to know that your cell phones will do all this automatically for you – Smartphones!

Here’s a quick tutorial on Daylight Saving – a practice first suggested by New Zealand entomologist, George Hudson, so that he’d have more daylight hours available to study bugs!


If you’ve got time to kill, why not check out some of these great reads all about time:

The Time Wreccas / Tyler, Val
“The Guardians look after time for all people. Humans always rush around claiming that they do not have enough time, but no one thinks of guarding it. The Guardians do this and in every region of the world there is one who protects time for us all. In Greenwich, it is Old Father Tim. When the Wreccas, who populate the Underneath (below ground), send Snot to steal the Tick, their only intention is to wreak havoc on the Guardians who live Topside (above ground). They don’t expect Snot to find out that she feels more at home Topside and that she really rather likes Tid (Old Father Tim’s grandson) who she has to trick. And little do they know that without the Tick, time will stop forever…” (Catalogue)

The terrible truth about time / Arnold, Nick
“Find out what happens if you go too close to a black hole and how flies tell the time! With a fantastic new cover look and extra horrible bits at the back of the book, this best-selling title is sure to be a huge hit with a new generation of Horrible Science readers. If you think you can stomach the sick side of science, then read on as we clock up some terrible time secrets. Find out who was killed for changing the calendar, make your own crazy clock, meet the tortured time geniuses and check out your chances of a time-travel trip.” (Catalogue)

One minute / Ahn, Somin
“In one minute, you can blink your eyes twenty times, hug your dog, plant seeds, say good-bye, watch the rain, or even save a life. So much can occur in this sliver of time one minute can feel like a singular experience. This poignant picture book is at once an introduction to time for young readers, an ode to living each moment with purpose, and a thoughtful exploration of how children experience one minute (may it seem short or long) playfully, profoundly, and with a boundless sense of possibility.” (Catalogue)

Time, tides and revolutions / Brasch, Nicolas
“This fascinating series poses and answers intriguing science questions that students are often curious about. Each book takes one theme or topic and explores it via thirteen engaging questions. The highly visual content assists students’ understanding of the sometimes quite complex concepts and processes. Focusing on time related issues it presents information via 13 engaging question-and-answer spreads.” (Catalogue)

Telling time / Adler, David A
“Readers follow along as a loveable crew of kid astronauts and their Martain friends go about their daily routine, exploring the differences between seconds, minutes, and hours; what A.M. and P.M. mean; and how to tell time on both digital and analog clocks. Ten seconds to lift-off Are you ready? Veteran children’s nonfiction author David Adler incorporates math concepts, such as addition and subtraction, into this fun narrative with problem-solving exercises for readers to tackle at their own pace. Edward Miller’s vibrant cartoon art depicts the happy group of friends embarking on space walks, working together on projects, and settling in for bed.  A glossary explains time zones, daylight savings time, and more. An out-of-this-world STEM book.” (Catalogue)

Telling time : how to tell time on digital and analog clocks! / Older, Jules
“Time isn’t an easy concept for kids to grasp, but young readers will delight in learning all about it with the fun and lively lessons in TELLING TIME. Exploring what time is and discovering why we need to tell time, young readers certainly learn more than ‘the big hand is on the one and the little hand is on the two’. With the help of a whole lot of clocks, a dash of humor, and a few familiar circumstances, learning to tell time is a lot of fun. It’s about time.” (Catalogue)

All about time / Hope, Charles
“Time is a key component of mathematics. It helps us make sense of an enormous amount of information, and it can have many practical applications in our everyday lives. Join our maths mutts as they learn all about the wonderful world of Time!” (Catalogue)

One day : around the world in 24 hours / Din, Suma
” ‘One Day’ follows fifteen different children from around the world through a 24 hour period. Not only will readers learn about their different lives and cultures, but they will also discover how time zones work, and what’s happening on one side of the world while the other sleeps. This is a fantastic and accessible introduction to the concept of time and time zones for a younger audience.” (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!

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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)

 

 

Cool Stories, Bro

Here are some cool stories for you and your bros to enjoy.  All of these stories are either new shiny books we have in our collection or new digital books we have in our eLibrary. They are cool and fun to read guaranteed.

Red Berries, White Clouds, Blue Sky by Sandra Dallas

It’s available on Overdrive! Here’s what’s in store: “It’s 1942: Tomi Itano, 12, is a second-generation Japanese American who lives in California with her family on their strawberry farm. Although her parents came from Japan and her grandparents still live there, Tomi considers herself an American. She doesn’t speak Japanese and has never been to Japan. But after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, things change. No Japs Allowed signs hang in store windows and Tomi’s family is ostracized … Sandra Dallas shines a light on a dark period of American history in this story of a young Japanese American girl caught up in the prejudices and World War II.” Goodreads.

Zita the Spacegirl – Far From Home by Ben Hatke

Love this series! There are heaps of copies available in our catalogue! “Zita’s life took a cosmic left turn in the blink of an eye.When her best friend is abducted by an alien doomsday cult, Zita leaps to the rescue and finds herself a stranger on a strange planet. Humanoid chickens and neurotic robots are shocking enough as new experiences go, but Zita is even more surprised to find herself taking on the role of intergalactic hero. Before long, aliens in all shapes and sizes don’t even phase her. Neither do ancient prophecies, doomed planets, or even a friendly con man who takes a mysterious interest in Zita’s quest.” Goodreads.

Deltora Shadowlands by Emily Rodda

I was mega excited when I saw this come into our branch today! It’s books 1-3 of the Deltora Shadowlands series. “Welcome to the Shadowlands — the terrifying and mysterious domain of the evil Shadow Lord. He has gone there to refuel his dark sorcery, taking thousands of Deltoran hostages with him. They will become slaves to the darkness…unless they are saved. To rescue them, Lief, Barda, and Jasmine must find the three parts of the fabled Pirran Pipe, an ancient weapon that may be their only hope of combatting the Shadow Lord’s sinister ambitions. But nothing can prepare them for the monsters and magic that lurk just beyond the light.” Goodreads.

Looking Glass Girl by Cath Cassidy

For all you Alice in Wonderland fans! “Alice nearly didn’t go to the sleepover. Why would Savvy, queen of the school, invite someone like her? Now Alice is lying unconscious in a hospital bed. Lost in a wonderland of dreams and half-formed memories, she’s surrounded by voices – the doctor, her worried friends and Luke, whose kisses the night of the fall took her by surprise . . . When the accident happened her world vanished – can Alice ever find her way back?” Goodreads.

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo

A very special book that is new to our Overdrive library. “Once, in a house on Egypt Street, there lived a china rabbit named Edward Tulane. The rabbit was very pleased with himself, and for good reason: he was owned by a girl named Abilene, who treated him with the utmost care and adored him completely. And then, one day, he was lost.” Goodreads

Fableheaven by Brandon Mull

Reading a fantasy series is always a cool time. Fableheaven is new to our Overdrive library and definitely worth a look!“For centuries mystical creatures of all description were gathered into a hidden refuge called Fablehaven to prevent their extinction. The sanctuary survives today as one of the last strongholds of true magic. Enchanting? Absolutely. Exciting? You bet. Safe? Well, actually, quite the opposite.” Goodreads.

Jake in Space – Moon Attack by Candice Lemon-Scott

And if you wish you were in space check out this cool series from our collection. “Jake is sent to remedial space car driving school on the Moon. Nothing could be more embarrassing. He soon uncovers a sinister plot and must summon his courage, and driving skills, to save everyone.” Goodreads.

 

Silly Season

Christmas books, films and other things can be awfully serious. And there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, I’d say it’s downright necessary. But Christmas is also a silly season, so I’ve made a short list of silly books and films that will make you want to dress up as an weird-looking elf and dance around the living room.

 

 

 

 

1.’Invasion of the Christmas Puddings’ by Jeremy Strong.  Have a read of what’s in store: “’Tis the season to be jolly tra-la-la-la-la … BUT WAIT!

Father Christmas’s EVIL brother, Bad Christmas, is plotting to take over the world.

His poisonous Christmas puddings that turn humans into zombies are pouring through from The Other Side in their millions. Millions of Christmas puddings, all made of deadly sticky matter!

But four children from Plumpot Primary have escaped the puddings. Are they in time to stop Bad Christmas and save the world?

Prepare to be … puddified!” Goodreads.

 

2. Of course it wouldn’t be Christmas if you hadn’t watched ‘The Muppet Christmas Carol’ at least ten times in which the Muppets tell their version of Charles Dickins’s ‘A Christmas Carol’. One of my favourite moments is when Gonzo sets Rizzo on fire and Rizzo runs around shouting,  “Light the lamp, not the rat, light the lamp, not the rat! Put me out, put me out, put me out!” imdb

 

 

 

3. Now I’ll turn your attention to ‘The Smallest Gift of Christmas’ by Peter H. Reynolds. This is one of new favourite Christmas tales. “Roland can’t wait for Christmas Day, and when the morning finally arrives he races downstairs to see what is waiting for him. What he sees stops him in his tracks. Could that tiny present really be what he had waited all year for? It has to be the smallest gift he had ever seen! So Roland wishes for something bigger . . . and bigger . . . and bigger. But he’s still convinced there must be a bigger gift somewhere in the universe. Will he know it when he sees it? Peter H. Reynolds’s spare, free-spirited illustrations and heartwarming text make this be-carefulwhat-you-wish-for story the perfect holiday gift.”

 

4.And finally please, oh please, watch with your family the ‘Robbie the Reindeer Trilogy’. It’s a hugely fun film series. “Robbie, an out-of-condition reindeer, tries to earn a place on Santa’s crack sleigh team.” imdb.

 

Wishing you all a silly season with lots of laughter, good books and family films!