Happy Lunar New Year!

Read this post in Mandarin

This year on Sunday, 22 January many countries and communities celebrate Lunar New Year, which is the calendar based on the monthly cycles of the Moon’s phases! There are Lunar New Year festivals and celebrations in China, North Korea, South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, in Chinatowns all around the world, and there are plenty of local events to celebrate in Aoteaora New Zealand too!

Chinese New Year Display and books inChinese languages at Johnsonville Library

Chinese New Year Display and books in Chinese languages at Johnsonville Library.


Library Events

Lunar New Year Mandarin Storytime 10.30-11.00am, Tuesday 24 January

Te Awe Library, 29B Brandon Street, Wellington

To celebrate the 2023 Chinese New Year, Te Awe is going to have a Mandarin storytime on the Tuesday 24 January!

为了庆祝农历新年,提亚威图书馆将于年初三,1月24日(星期二)早上10.30至11时举办中文普通话故事时间

Lunar New Year Storytime Tuesday, 31 January 10:30am

Johnsonville Library, 34 Moorefield Road, Johnsonville 

Celebrate the Lunar New Year with stories, songs, and rhymes in Mandarin, Hokkien, and English.​

欢迎参加Johnsonville图书馆组织的迎中国新年活动. 我们将用普通话, 福建话和英语讲述有趣的故事, 和以歌曲等形式开展与孩子们的互动活动


About the Lunar New Year

2023 is the Year of the Rabbit, in the Chinese zodiac. The rabbit is the fourth zodiac animal. He was a bit arrogant about how fast he was!  He used to tease his neighbour, the Ox for being slow. But one day, the Jade Emperor organised a party to determine the order of the zodiac, in order of who arrived first. The Rabbit arrived early, so he decided to go away and take a nap. When he woke up three other animals had beat him to the party, including the Ox! The rabbit is associated with kindness, quiet confidence and earnestness, which means rabbit might appear quite serious, but always moves forward with feeling and purpose. You can learn more by visiting Year of the Rabbit – Chinese Zodiac on chinesenewyear.net

LNY

Artist impression of Bánh chưng and bánh tét wrapped up for cooking.

In Vietnam, Lunar New Year is marked by the Tết Nguyên Đán festival, which is associated with lots of important customs and wonderful foods! Bánh chưng and bánh tét are some of the tasty festival cuisines, made from glutinous rice, mung beans, pork. Bánh chưng is cooked in squares wrapped in lá dong leaves, and bánh tét is cooked in cylinders wrapped in banana leaves, which is then cut into wheel-shaped slices.

Illustration of hanbok

Artist impression of hanbok.

In South Korea and North Korea, Lunar New Year is known as Seollal and is celebrated through important traditions, games, food and often by wearing the beautiful colourful hanbok, which are usually worn on special occasions.

In Malaysia, Chinese people and other ethnic groups like Malay and Indian also celebrate Lunar New Year together. You can say “Selamat Tahun Baru Cina” to a Malaysian which means “Happy Chinese New Year” in Malay. Chinese people will have a reunion dinner on the Lunar New Year’s Eve. the children will receive “ang pao”, red envelopes with money inside, on the first day of the Lunar New Year from the elderly people, represent a kind of blessing and good luck. In return, children need to say some good words back to the elderly people, like stay healthy, stay happy, and “wishing you safety all the time

You can learn more about Lunar New Year is celebrated in other countries by reading some great articles from the list of lunar new year articles from ThoughtCo.com, and by checking out some of the wonderful books listed below.

Books

The 12 days of Lunar New Year / Lettice, Jenna
“Count out twelve ways to celebrate Lunar New Year!… This cheery addition to the 12 Days series celebrates tradition, culture, and family in the lead-up to Lunar New Year! Young readers and their caregivers will enjoy counting all the different ways they can engage with their communities and honour their ancestors…” (Abridged from catalogue)
Lunar New Year / Eliot, Hannah
“Introduces Lunar New Year, describing the food, decorations, and activities of the holiday.” (Catalogue)

Happy Chinese New Year! : A Festive Counting Story / Ho, Jannie
“Count to twelve with the zodiac animals as they get ready to celebrate Chinese New Year! Sweet, colorful illustrations introduce each of the zodiac animals as they bring special items to the celebration. Xīn Nián Kuài Lè! Happy Chinese New Year! The zodiac animals are ready to celebrate Chinese New Year with traditions and a big feast! Little ones can count to twelve as each animal prepares for the holiday…” (Abridged from catalogue)

Korean celebrations : festivals, holidays and traditions / Cho, Tina
“Korean Celebrations takes young readers on an exciting exploration of Korea’s colorful festivals and family celebrations–wonderful days that are filled with exciting activities and delicious foods.” (Abridged from catalogue)
Vietnamese children’s favorite stories / Tran, Phuoc Thi Minh

One of the special stories in this book explains why you shouldn’t sweep the house on Tết Nguyên Đán! Along with this story of Lunar New Year, there is a collection of wonderful stories connected to five great virtues of Vietnam: Nhan (Compassion), Le (Rituals), Nghia (Righteousness), Tri (Wisdom), and Tin (Trust).

Lunar New Year Around The World: Celebrate The Most Colourful Time Of The Year / Li, Amanda
“Find out all about Lunar New Year and how it is celebrated in different communities across the world!” (Catalogue)

Home for Chinese New Year : a story told in English and Chinese / Wei, Jie
“The Chinese New Year is a time for family reunions. This Chinese children’s story tells a delightful trip with lots of cultural details along the way! Jia Jun’s Dad worked out of town all year around. Now it’s time for him to come home…” (Abridged from catalogue)

Wellington City Libraries has children’s books and bilingual editions available in community languages from many different cultures!

Maylasia NY photo

Photograph by our blog author’s family of celebrations in Malaysia!

Gong Xi Fa Cai” 恭喜发财 — May you be happy and prosperous! 

– Blog by Wei Jing & Joseph

2022 Round-Up: Picture Books

We’ve already highlighted some of the wonderful Children’s Fiction titles that have been published this year, and now it’s time for the Picture Books to shine!

Picture Books are wonderful things to read with your tamariki. While they’re written for a younger audience they can still cover some pretty serious topics. With themes from grief and loss to friendship and fun, these books are a wonderful tool to use to help build our children’s understanding of the world around them.

While this list is quite a short one, if you would like to browse through a longer selection we have a list of the Best Picture Books of 2022 available over on the Libby App. Or you can scroll through the latest titles we’ve added to our collection on our New Material page – you can browse back through each month of the year, and filter books by age and genre too.


The cream of the 2022 Picture Book crop has got to be Ruth Paul’s Lion Guards the Cake, which won the Picture Book Award at this year’s New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults (NZCYA Book Awards).

Lion guards the cake / Paul, Ruth
We’re big fans of Ruth Paul here at Wellington City Libraries (she is a local author, after all!) and are really thrilled that this book has been recognised by the Awards. We predict this book will be a favourite bed-time read for ages to come, as it’s already a favourite for storytime in our libraries — it’s impossible not to feel some kinship with this cheeky lion as he fabricates more and more reasons why perhaps just a little bit more of the cake needs to be nibbled away… it’s a sacrifice, but someone’s got to do it!

To read more about this year’s NZCYA award winners you can read our blog post about the winners, or head over to the NZCYA Book Awards website itself!


Is this your class pet / Cummings, Troy
Arfy is a wonder of a dog – he can write! And when he accidentally fetches a turtle and can’t figure out which classroom the turtle belongs to, he writes letters to all the classes to try to find its home.

Also available as an ebook.
Two dogs / Falconer, Ian
From the author of the Olivia picture books comes the story of these two very noble looking, but very mischievous dachshunds. One is cautious, one is reckless. What happens when they escape out their back door?
Words about birds of Aotearoa New Zealand / Fuller, G. F.
This book combines our native birds, poetry, and the art of Geoffrey Fuller. Each double page spread highlights a different bird in their habitat, alongside a charming poem about them.

This is a New Zealand picture book.


Goat on a trampoline / Harrop, Amy
Lily Goat discovers a new skill, which should be pretty easy to guess from the title! But when her prideful boasting lands her in trouble she needs her friends to come to her rescue and teach her (and us) something about kindness.

This is a New Zealand picture book.
Kororā and the Sushi Shop / Keegan, Linda, Jane
This picture book tells the true (and local!) story of a penguin who kept coming back to a sushi shop, right by the Wellington Railway Station. The shop was so enticing that the little kororā even took a friend along! And now we can read the story in this delightful book.

This is a New Zealand picture book.
Mama and mummy and me in the middle / LaCour, Nina
This is a lovely story about a little girl with two wonderful parents, but when her Mummy goes away on a work trip things aren’t quite the same at home with only Mama around. This book explores what it’s like to miss someone, and then the awkwardness when they return.
The Grizzled Grist does not exist / MacIver, Juliette
A class goes on a trip through the Dismal Hills, with their teacher reminding them that “The Grizzled Grist does not exist!” But when she’s proven wrong it’s lucky that one student is very skilled at hiding. This is a fun rhyming story, with lots of details to look for in the illustrations.

This is a New Zealand picture book.
Cat’s first baby / Nelson, Natalie
When there’s a new baby around, it’s not only the human members of the family who have to get used to the changes! After all, there’s this new creature in the house that Cat is pretty sure isn’t also a cat. This board book is a companion to Dog’s First Baby.
Daddy’s rainbow / Rowland, Lucy
This picture book explores what it is like for a child to lose a parent. Erin’s daddy shows her all the different ways to find colour in the world, even when the day is dismal and wet. But when he’s not there anymore and the world goes grey, will Erin be able to find those colours again?
No home for a wētā / Thatcher, Stephanie
Wētā is sick of living with her rowdy and rambunctious family, so she decides to move out. But when she finally finds her perfect, quiet, and peaceful new home she realises there’s something missing. This is a fun rhyming story about family and the things you can find outside in Aotearoa.

This is a New Zealand picture book.

2022 Round-Up: Children’s Fiction

Now that we have reached the end of 2022, it’s time to take a look back through some of the books that have been published over the last twelve months. This is in no way an exhaustive list, merely a selection of titles that caught our eyes and stuck in our memories over the past year.

We have a longer list of the top 2022 eaudiobook and ebook titles that are available over on the Libby App for you to check out! Did your top read of 2022 make the list?

If you’d rather browse through the newest books we have added to our shelves, head on over to the New Material page on our website. Here you can browse month by month through our new titles, and to make it easier you can filter by audience and genre so you’re only looking through what you’re interested in.

If you are interested in knowing more about the top New Zealand children’s books of this year, have a read of our previous post about the 2022 NZCYA Book Award winners (that stands for New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults). If you haven’t already, these books are definitely worth checking out!

Now read on for a selection of 2022 Children’s Fiction… And feel free to let us know what your favourite books of 2022 have been!

Bruno and Frida / Bradman, Tony
Orphaned Bruno, struggling through war-torn eastern Germany in 1945, finds an unlikely friend in Frida, a Russian dog sent into Germany with a bomb strapped to her. If you’re a fan of Michael Morpurgo, this book is for you.

This is a dyslexia-friendly book.

The lords of night : a shadow bruja novel / Cervantes, Jennifer
This is the latest book we have in the Rick Riordan Presents publishing series. Percy Jackson fans will enjoy the story of Renata, shadow bruja, as she finds herself on a quest to stop the nine Aztec Lords of Night from being awakened.

Also available as an eaudiobook and an ebook.


Fire horse / Chapman, Linda
Fire Horse is the first in Moonlight Riders, a new series by Linda Chapman, who is also the author of many other series including Star Friends and My Secret Unicorn. In Fire Horse, Amara joins the Moonlight Stables and immediately feels a special connection with a pony called Ember. When she discovers that Ember is a magical Fire Pony, will she be able to keep him safe from the rival Night Riders?
Echo / Kelly, Arlo
Arlo Kelly, author of Echo, is a Kāpiti teenager who was only fifteen when Echo was published! Inspired by holidays spent in Gisborne, Echo is about Eric, a boy with low vision, and his struggle for independence and his friendship with a whale.
Answers in the pages / Levithan, David
A book for younger readers by well-known YA author David Levithan. Donovan’s class is reading The Adventurers, but when his mum reads it she tries to get it banned from the school because two characters might be gay. The story is told from Donovan and his classmate Gideon’s points of view, with chapters from The Adventurers scattered throughout.
Sadiq series / Nuurali, Siman
2022 brought with it four new books in the Sadiq series by Siman Nuurali. Sadiq and his family are (like the author) Somali American. Throughout the series Sadiq explores friendship, his community, and trying new things.
Emma Every Day series / Reid, C. L
Emma is Deaf, uses a cochlear implant to help her hear, and uses sign language as well. In this series of short chapter books, Emma and her best friend Izzie go apple picking, learn to tap dance, and play soccer – and often things don’t always go exactly to plan!
The best liars in Riverview / Thompson, Lin
When Joel goes missing, Aubrey feels responsible and also that they’re the only person who can find him and bring him home. Joining Aubrey on the day-long search through the woods and along the river, we learn about their friendship and the events that led to Joel disappearing, and the journey turns inward as Aubrey makes some discoveries about gender identity, friendship, and family.
Showtym Viking / Wilson, Kelly
An autobiographical story by sisters Kelly and Amanda Wilson about Amanda’s decision to make horses her future. Kelly, Amanda, and their sister Vicki are all showjumpers and prominent equestrians, and have worked with New Zealand’s Kaimanawa horses.
Elisabeth and the box of colours / Woodfine, Katherine
Away at boarding school, Elisabeth loves to paint and draw and fill the world with colour. But when her father dies and her world goes grey, will she be able to find her colours again? This short book is based on the childhood of French painter Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun.

This is a dyslexia-friendly book.

Diwali Festival of Lights 2022

Remya Baby Rock and Rhyme

Our librarian Remya entertains at a Diwali Baby Rock and Rhyme at Newtown Library

According to the Hindu lunar calendar, around the month of either October or November the most celebrated festival around the world is Diwali – the festival of lights (also known as Deepavali, or दिवाली in the Hindi script).

It is said that the beginning of Diwali celebration started with the epic story of Ramayana. Prince Ram defeated the ten headed demon Ravana, who had kidnapped Ram’s wife Sita.

He then returned to the kingdom of Ayodhya on a night of the new moon, after fourteen years of exile with Sita. The people of Ayodhya welcomed Ram and Sita by lighting rows of oil lamps, celebrating the joyous occasion of having Ram as their future King.

Diwali displays

Some of our Diwali displays at Miramar, Tawa, and Newtown Libraries!

The festival is celebrated as victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance. On Diwali day lamps called rangoli are lit – decorative patterns created with colour sand or flowers – and people young and old wear new clothes, share sweets, and light fireworks. It is a festival of bringing people together, sharing, and caring for one another.

This year Diwali falls on Monday 24th October 2022! Celebrate with Wellington City Libraries and our special Diwali Celebration Collections!

Here are some books for you to check out!

Rama and Sita : the story of Diwali / Doyle, Malachy
“Rama and Sita live happily in the forest until Sita is abducted by the demon king Ravana. Can Rama rescue her – and who is the little white monkey who offers to help?” (Catalogue)

All about Diwali : things to make and do / Haddow, Swapna
“Diwali is one of India’s most significant holidays. This beautiful activity book book is filled with crafts and recipes, fun activities and facts about the Diwali celebrations observed by over one billion people across faiths. Read all about why Diwali is named the festival of lights and discover the stories behind it.” (Catalogue)

Shubh Diwali / Soundar, Chitra
“One family celebrates the Hindu festival of lights”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

The best Diwali ever / Shah, Sonali
“This year, Ariana has plans to make Diwali an extra special celebration, with yummy sweets, divas around the house, pretty clothes, fireworks and… the rangoli competition, of course. Everything would go perfectly to plan if it weren’t for Rafi, her annoying little brother, always up to mischief…and always being clumsy! Will he ruin Diwali too?”–Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

Some Diwali books in Hindi or Tamil languages:

Dīpaka kī dibālī = Deepak’s Diwali / Karwal, Divya (Hindi)
“It’s the worst Diwali ever! Dad has forgotten the sparklers, the fairy lights are broken, and after hearing the story of Rama and Sita, Deepak is sure that the demon king, Ravana, is after him … Part of Mantra Lingua’s Celebration series, this warm contemporary story is interwoven with beautifully illustrated images from Hindu mythology. The book is packed with recipes and activities.” (Catalogue)

Amma kahe kahani Diwali / Mathur, Bhakti (Hindi)
“This is the Hindi version of ‘Amma tell me about Diwali!’ — www.Amazon.com” (Catalogue)

Tipakkin ti pavali = Deepak’s Diwali / Karwal, Divya (Tamil)
“It’s not shaping up to be a good Diwali so far: Dad has forgotten the sparklers, the fairy lights are broken, and, after hearing the story of Rama and Sita, Deepak is sure that Ravana the demon king is after him. Will Deepak’s Diwali be a washout or will the family’s celebration be rescued?” (Catalogue)

Online eBooks on Overdrive/Libby:

Babys First Diwali (cover)Baby’s first Diwali

“Clear pictures and simple read-aloud text introduce baby to Diwali, the festival of light.” (Catalogue)

It’s Diwali / Sehgal, Kabir
“Count along in celebration of Diwali, the Indian Festival of Lights, in this luminous picture book from bestselling mother-son duo Surishtha and Kabir Sehgal. Count up to ten and back down again to the tune of “One, Two, Buckle My Shoe” while learning about the traditions that make Diwali a fun-filled festival!” (Catalogue)

Rama and Sita : the story of Diwali / Doyle, Malachy
“Whether you’re looking for a Diwali gift or a simple introduction to the Diwali story to share with your children, this beautiful book, now reissued in a larger picture book format, is ideal.” (Abridged from catalogue)

Some short phrases in the Hindi language:

Namaste (नमस्ते) – Hello
Dhanyavad (धन्यवाद) – Thank you
Kaise ho aap? (कैसे हो आप?) – How are you?
Badia ho (बडिया हो) – I am well.

Learn more here!

Diwali — Encyclopaedia Britannica (oclc.org)

Vaiaso o le Gagana Sāmoa 2022

Samoan Language Week Banner

Tālofa Lava! 

Sāmoa Language Week | Vaiaso o le Gagana Sāmoa will be celebrated this year from Sunday, 29 May 2021 until Saturday, 4th June 2022. This is a chance for all New Zealanders to celebrate Sāmoan language, Sāmoan culture in New Zealand and around the world, and promote the use of Sāmoan language in schools, at work and at home.

Did you know that nearly 4% of New Zealanders are Sāmoan? That’s almost 200,000 people! Gagana Sāmoa is the 3rd most spoken language in Aotearoa, New Zealand!

Sāmoa has a unique historical relationship with New Zealand. It is the only country that New Zealand has a Treaty of Friendship. The Treaty of Friendship between Sāmoa and New Zealand is like a mutual project to support Tagata Sāmoa (Sāmoan people) to have better opportunities. Being proud of your language is such an important part of feeling proud of your culture.

This year’s theme for Vaiaso o le Gagana Samoa is:

Fa’aāuāu le Folauga i le Va’a o Tautai – Continue the Voyage with Competent Wayfinders of the Ocean.

2022 is also a significant year for the Samoan community, being the 60th anniversary of Samoa Independence. Communities are organising activities to commemorate this milestone, which coincides with Samoa Language Week.

Events for Samoa Language Week

As part of Samoa Language Week, there will be a Pasifika Pool Party! Find out more about the council events here.

Our friend the wonderful librarian Lewis from Johnsonville Library presents a special story in English and Gagana Sāmoa, How Do You Say ‘Thank You’? by Karamia Müller. Many thanks to the publisher Beatnik Publishing for allowing us to share this story!

Find Out More:

You can also visit your local library and borrow some amazing books to learn more about Samoan culture, and practice the language. All our libraries have Samoan books and Newtown Library has the biggest collection! If you don’t have a library card- you can sign up for free. If you are worried about fines- just talk to the staff, they can help.

Awesome Samoan books in our collection:

Losi the Giant fisherman : Samoan myths and legends pick a path collection / Malaeulu, Dahlia
Losi the Giant was the greatest fisherman across all the moana. A mischievous and loyal friend to sea creatures and all humans, Losi will always be remembered as the hero who brought taro, the food of the Gods’, to Earth.

Author and Publisher Dahlia Malaeulu lives in Wellington and has written and published lots of Samoan books. You can read her blog about how Losi the Giant fisherman was shaped by her son Mase who has Autism.

Available from Mila’s Books!

Also, read this really interesting article on the Spinoff!

Samoan heroes / Riley, David
“A collection of inspirational stories of achievers who have Samoan ancestry. It includes: contemporary heroes like Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Troy Polamalu, Judge Ida Mālosi, Savage and Associate Professor Donna Adis; historical figures like Emma Coe, Tamasese, Salamāsina and Lauaki; legends like Sina, Tiʻitiʻi and Tigilau”–Back cover.” (Catalogue). Also available as an eBook.

Fanene Peter Maivia : son of Samoa / Riley, David
“Fanene Peter Maivia – Son of Samoa is the remarkable story of the first Polynesian to become a star of professional wrestling. Fanene’s life began in Samoa and he took Samoa to the world. He was a pioneer who inspired some of the greatest wrestlers the world has known, including his own grandson, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.”–Publisher’s description.” (Catalogue). Also available as an eBook.

Brush up on your geography and history with…

Samoa / Aiono-Iosefa, Sarona
“Did you know that the English word ‘tattoo’ is supposedly derived from the Samoan word ‘tatau’? Find out about the traditional methods still used by Samoans to apply the amazing tattoos worn by many of the islands’ people today. In this book you will discover that an ‘ie toga is a beautiful and intricate fine mat, woven by Samoan women and used as highly prized gifts, which are made and given to celebrate important occasions. You can also study the climate, population, social structure and political history of the thirteen islands that make up the beautiful countries of American Samoa and independent Samoa (formerly Western Samoa).” (Catalogue).

Samoa & Tuvalu / Guile, Melanie
This book contains information about the history, culture and people of Samoa and nearby Tuvalu. A great book to have just in time for Samoan Language week.
Learn some simple words and phrases

  • Tālofa lava: Hello (formal)
  • Mālō le soifua: Hello/Good health
  • ‘O ā mai ‘oe? How are you? (to one person only)
  • Manuia fa‘afetai: Good, thank you
  • Manuia le aso: Have a great day
  • Tōfā soifua: Good bye (formal)

Faʻafetai lava ma ʻia manuia tele le Vaiaso o le Gagana Sāmoa!

Thank you and have a very blessed Sāmoan Language Week

Tūhono 2021 is Live!

The day has finally come — Tūhono 2021, the latest volume in our poetry journal for (and by) young Wellingtonians, has officially been released into the world as of the 1st of March 2022. Over 200 young poets aged 5-18 contributed this time around, so we decided to split the book into two volumes — one containing the poems written by kids, and the other containing those written by teens. Head on over to OverDrive or Libby to check out the kids’ version — you can find the teens’ one here.

We are having physical copies printed as well, so soon you’ll be able to find Tūhono 2021 on the shelf at your local public or school library. We’re also giving two copies to the National Library of New Zealand, where they will be preserved for the rest of time (the legal term is ‘in perpetuity’) as part of the cultural heritage of this country. We think that’s an awesome achievement for all of you who wrote poems for the book. Congratulations on being published!

We think that this year’s colour palette is particularly beautiful.

There are some wonderful people who work for the library who need to be thanked for their efforts in creating this year’s edition of TūhonoStephanie (my partner-in-crime, and the amazing librarian who buy all the kids’ books for the library), Ligia (she designed the book — what an amazing talent she has!), Maggie (she helped collect and format your poems), Joseph (he helped with editing), Monty (he makes it possible for us to publish stuff online), Bridget (who writes the catalogue records that make it possible to find stuff at the library) and Celeste (who looks after our website). Hats off and a round of applause for these talented librarians who are helping to make our dream of publishing our very own poetry journal a reality!

Go forth and read! You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and maybe — just maybe — you’ll feel a connection, a sense of tūhono, with everyone else who put a little something of themselves into this incredible book.


Tūhono: A journal of poetry by Wellington children / 2021
“Whakaata : reflection. This theme links all of the poems in this second edition of Tūhono, which were contributed by young Wellington poets aged 5-12 and collected by Wellington City Libraries throughout October and November 2021. Poems by writers aged 13-18 are collected in a separate volume.

The year 2021 provided us all with plenty of opportunities to reflect. What’s really important? What falls by the wayside when times are tough? What do you see looking back at you when you gain the courage to hold the mirror up to the light? Anxious, loving, hopeful, angry, quirky, imagistic, insular, exuberant – these poems are a kaleidoscope. At one end we put in our certainties and our questions, our need to understand and to express. As for what we see at the other end? Well, you’re reading it.

WCL would like to thank Kimi Ora School for generously providing beautiful artworks created by their students to accompany their poems.” (Catalogue)

Arabic Language Day and New Books in Arabic!

ٱلسَّلَامُ عَلَيْكُمْ!

The 18th of December marks the United Nations Arabic Language Day. Did you know that there are over 300 million native Arabic speakers worldwide?

This makes the Arabic language one of the most widely spoken languages in the word.

It is spoken by a diverse range of people across the African continent and the Middle East, including Sudan, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, and many more. At Wellington City Libraries we’re lucky enough to offer our community a wide selection of books in Arabic for everyone to enjoy!

Here is our librarian, Khadro, showing us two more brand new Arabic books in the Newtown Library collection:

A smiling librarian, wearing a colourful facemask and hijab, is holding two beautiful picture books in Arabic. Behind her, you can see the children's world languages collection at Newtown Library, with lots of books in colourful shelving and comfortable seats nearby.

Our friendly librarians love helping you find good books to read!

Here are some of our favourite books for children in Arabic. Click on the title to find out more. If the book you want is in a library that is too far away, you can click ‘Place Reserve‘ to have it sent to a library which is closer, where you can pick it up.

Mā arwaʻ al-ṭaʻām = Food, food, fabulous food / Clynes, Kate
A fun story about the diversity of food and all the ways it enriches our lives. Food brings people together from all walks of life and is a great way to connect with each other.

Ikhtalafat fa-tamayyazatu / Nājim, Alāʼ Saʻd

Our Differences are Distinguished: This story is a dive into everything that makes us different and unique. Through music the characters of this book learn that there are different ways to express themselves.

Time to pray = Awqāt al-ṣalāh / Addasi, Maha

This story follows young Yasmin as she learns about one of the core tenants of her religion: prayer. It also teaches Yasmin the importance of family and community.

Samakat qaws qazah = The rainbow fish. / Pfister, Marcus

Leaning to share your beauty with others makes everyone shine. This classic tale is now available in English and Arabic for new and native Arabic speakers to enjoy.

Ayyuhā al-dub al-asmar, ayyuhā al-dub al-asmar mādhā tará? / Martin, Bill

I see a bear, what about you? A fun rhyming book that covers all the bases, from magical blue horses to cute purple cats. This book has it all.

Click here to see more Arabic children’s books at Wellington City Libraries

Joining the Library is free! You can take these books home for three weeks and then get some new ones! If you would like to learn more, here is some information about how to join the library, written in Arabic.

Comics and Graphic Novels: Even More New Stuff!

Hey Kids! Wellington City Libraries has MORE new children’s comics and graphic novels this month to keep you amused just in time for Summer. So what are you waiting for? Come on down to your local branch and borrow the following:

image courtesy of syndeticsPirate Penguin vs Ninja Chicken. Book three, Macaroni & bees!

“Best friends and worst enemies Pirate Penguin and Ninja Chicken discuss werewolves, time travel, anti-gravity popcorn, and where Pirate Penguin possibly came from.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsPizza and Taco. 3, Super-awesome comic!

Who’s the Best? Pizza or Taco? “Besties Pizza and Taco are BACK in Book 3, putting their drawing skills–and wild imaginations–to good use writing a comic book together.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsGeronimo Stilton reporter. #8, Hypno-tick tock.

“After Geronimo Stilton visits a hypnotist to get rid of his allergies, a rash of strange thefts begins in New Mouse City.” (Catalogue)

Also available as an eBook.

image courtesy of syndeticsJonna and the unpossible monsters. 1.

“Rainbow has been looking for her younger sister, Jonna, for over a year–since the monsters appeared and the world began to dry up. Going from settlement to settlement, Rainbow asks every survivor she meets: Have you seen my sister? Then, one day, Jonna is spotted out in the wild: nearly feral, and stronger than ever before. […] But there are more dangers in the world than monsters, and when the two sisters reunite, they’ll discover the secrets of this new and terrifying world firsthand.” (Adapted from Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsThe fifth quarter. 1.

“Lori Block and her best friend Sophia are dedicated to their Fourth-Grade basketball team, despite being relegated to the 5th quarter, an extra period before the real game starts, where the not-so-good kids play, and the points don’t count. That doesn’t matter to Lori though, because basketball is a place where working hard and getting better gives her hints of self-confidence. […] Can she find her confidence in school, at home, and on the court?” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Also available as an eBook. 

image courtesy of syndeticsPawcasso.

“Every Saturday, Pawcasso trots into town with a basket, a shopping list, and cash in paw to buy groceries for his family. One day, he passes eleven-year-old Jo, peering out the window of her house, bored and lonely. Astonished by the sight of an adorable basket-toting dog on his own, Jo follows Pawcasso, and when she’s seen alongside him by a group of kids from her school, they mistake her for Pawcasso’s owner. […] When it all spirals out of control, is Jo willing to spill the truth and risk her new friendships?” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Also available as an eBook. 

image courtesy of syndeticsJukebox.

“A mysterious jukebox, old vinyl records, and cryptic notes on music history, are Shaheen’s only clues to her father’s abrupt disappearance. She looks to her cousin, Tannaz, who seems just as perplexed, before they both turn to the jukebox which starts… glowing? Suddenly, the girls are pulled from their era and transported to another time! Keyed to the music on the record, the jukebox sends them through decade after decade of music history, from political marches to landmark concerts. But can they find Shaheen’s dad before the music stops?” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsCici’s journal. 2, Lost and found.

“Everyone has secrets, but no one can hide them from Cici! As a future writer, Cici knows what questions to ask and where to find the clues she needs to unlock people’s hearts. Yet even though Cici is great at helping others, for a long time now she has kept a dark and painful secret hidden inside herself. Cici’s friends and mom all want to help her heal, but she keeps pushing them away. Can a treasure hunt, a mysterious mansion, and an epic beachside fight help her to open up at last?” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsClash.

“There’s a new kid in town! From the moment Natasha sets foot in class, it’s clear she’s one of the coolest kids in sixth grade. Everyone wants to be her friend, including Olive…but things might not be so easy. Olive tries her best to befriend Nat, but it seems like the only thing they have in common is that they both want to hang out with Olive’s friends! Watching as Natasha gets closer with some of her best buds, Olive can’t help but worry that they’re starting to like Nat more than they like her…and who could blame them? Nat is just that cool…and Olive is, well, just Olive.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsEighth grade witch.

“From the Choose Your Own Adventure novels comes a newly adapted graphic novel taking readers on their own visual adventure! Enter a ghoulish world of nightmares, witches, ghosts, and the dreaded eighth grade as Rabbit, the new kid on the block! As Rabbit, readers will get to choose which adventure–or nightmare–they’ll embark on. […] Will you choose a path that leads to the light? Or will the path you choose lead to a gruesome end? You get to decide!” (Adapted from Catalogue)

New Children’s Fiction in November 2021

News off the hot press, kids! Wellington City Libraries has some new fiction for your reading pleasure just in time for Summer and spending longer days outdoors. Why not spring on down to your local library and borrow the following books:

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

Also available as an eBook on Overdrive and Borrowbox.

Karen’s school picture / Martin, Ann M.
“Karen has to get glasses–two pairs! One pair for reading and one for all the time. Karen does not want glasses. Her school pictures are going to be taken soon! But Karen has to…so she picks out some pretty pink and blue ones. Karen thinks she looks very grown-up. Then Yicky Ricky calls her Four-eyes. If Karen wears her glasses for the school picture, Ricky will make fun of her. But Karen is not a wimp! Glasses or no glasses–that Ricky is going to get it!” (Catalogue)

Swarm Rising / Peake, Tim
“When Danny is kidnapped by Adi – who can run through brick walls and make cars drive on water – he realises that all humans are in danger. Adi is part of a super-advanced hive mind, the Swarm, which intends to protect the Earth from the environmental catastrophe caused by the human race. […] Can Danny and his friend Jamila help Adi stop the Swarm Agents and give humanity a second chance?” (Adapted from Catalogue)

What Zola did on Sunday / Marchetta, Melina
“Zola loves living on Boomerang Street with her mum and her nonna. Every day of the week is an adventure. But Zola has a problem. No matter how much she tries, she can’t keep out of trouble! Like on Sunday, when it’s St Odo’s fete and Zola and the gang join in the fun…” (Catalogue)

The Tindims and the floating moon / Gardner, Sally
“Have you seen a Tindim? The Tindims can hardly see each other! A grumpy Gupper fog is swirling all over Rubbish Island and it won’t leave the Tindims alone. And now their world has turned upside down as Ethel & Dina thinks the moon has fallen into the sea! Scrunch me a teabag, how are they going to get out of this pickle?” (Catalogue)

The firebird song / Flores, Arnée
“Tied by destiny, Prewitt the Bargeboy and Calliope the Lost Princess set out on their twelfth birthdays, determined to end the reign of the evil Spectress and her marauders by calling the Firebird back to Lyrica.” (Catalogue)

Leopardstar’s honor / Hunter, Erin
“Leopardstar knows her destiny is to save RiverClan from destruction, so as the rise of ThunderClan deputy Tigerstar shatters peace among the clans, Leopardstar must decide what kind of leader she will be.” (Catalogue)

Also available as an eBook and eAudiobook.

Prank ninjas / Stanton, Matt
“Every kid wants to laugh, but Max is the boy who can make it happen. These school holidays have turned Redhill into chaos as Max and his friends are locked in an epic prank battle … with each other! Max is the funny kid … and his pranking powers are being put to the test! Movie-theatre ninjas, toilet turbulence, shopping-mall disasters, cling-film mazes and an unimaginable Kid-Free Zone are just some of the things in store for Max and his friends in this brand-new Funny Kid adventure.” (Catalogue)

The raven heir / Burgis, Stephanie
“Triplets. One of them is heir to the throne. But which one? Cordelia, Rosalind and Giles. They have lived in the tower all their lives, protected by their mother’s enchantments. Only Cordelia’s magic lets her steal moments of freedom – over the walls in the shape of a bird or beneath them as a scurrying mouse. The eldest of the three is heir to the Raven Throne of Corvenna – a land no one can rule for long and hope to live. Only their mother knows which is the true heir, and she will do anything to keep them hidden. But one day, thanks to Cordelia, destiny finds them…” (Catalogue)

Also available as an eBook.

Enola Holmes and the black barouche / Springer, Nancy
“When professional typist Letitia Glover is desperate to learn more about the fate of her twin sister Flossie, Enola enlists the help of her brother Sherlock and her friend Tewky to investigate Flossie’s husband, the sudden death of his first wife, and the mysterious appearance of a black barouche.” (Catalogue)

Did you know? The first book from the Enola Holmes series was made into a movie in 2020 on Netflix. Check out the trailer down below.

New Books in Spanish!

Read this post in Spanish!

New children’s books in Spanish have arrived! We are excited to announce the arrival of a flood of new Spanish books for all our Spanish-speaking families. All branches have some, but you will find larger collections at Karori, Johnsonville, Kilbirnie, and Newtown Libraries.

Don’t forget that you can also order these Spanish books through the online catalogue by searching for “Spanish language readers,” clicking on the book you would like, and having it sent to your local library branch to pick up.

Here are a few must-haves to whet your appetite:

La oruga muy hambrienta / Carle, Eric

In this funny story you will discover how a very hungry caterpillar becomes a beautiful butterfly.

Los días raros / Ycaza, Roger

The young character in this story wakes up one morning feeling a bit sad. Then he realises that his own smile has disappeared from his face! Discover what happens on this very strange day.

Un avestruz con mucha luz / Andrés, José Carlos

A funny encounter between three ostriches, three lions, and one ostrich egg. You won’t believe the surprise that awaits after the egg hatches!

¡No quiero ir al cole! / Blake, Stephanie

Simon does not want to go to school. He is too scared! His mum insists, but he says no, until, finally, he gives in. But when his mum picks him up from school and asks him to come back home, Simon says something that will surprise you!

Voy a portarme muy bien / Haughton, Chris

Simon is a very curious dog. When Alfonso, his owner, goes out to deliver a message, Simon promises to behave. However, he faces a lot of temptations: a cake, a cat, and more. Do you think Simon will keep his promise?

Necesito un abrazo = I need a hug / Blabey, Aaron

A little porcupine, with prickly spikes, is looking for a hug. He asks a bear, a rabbit, a reindeer, but they are all a bit reluctant because of his prickles. Do you think he will get a hug?

Gustavo : el fantasmita timido / Drago, Flavia Z

Gustavo does not have any friends, so he decides to perform a concert with his violin and invites all the people in the neighbourhood. It will be a magic night. Gustavo will play marvellously for them. But, do you think they will show up? Will they become his friends?

Dragones y tacos / Rubin, Adam

Did you know that dragons love tacos? Did you know that they love parties with tacos, and they like all kinds of tacos? However, there is one thing they do not like about tacos that causes their ears to smoke in anger. Discover what that is in this funny story!

¡Me rompí la trompa! / Willems, Mo

Elephant lets his friends climb up on his trunk. First his friend the hippopotamus climbs on, then his friend the rhinoceros does too; he even puts a piano on his trunk! All of them dance and his trunk breaks, but not for the reason you might think. This is a crazy story that will make you laugh out loud!

So, what are you waiting for? Visit your local library to pick up new books in Spanish today!