Discover Wicked Bugs for Summer Holiday Fun!

The summer holidays are here – sunshine, barbeques, swimming, staying up late… and mosquitoes biting, flies buzzing around the cooked food, moths beating against your torch as you try to read at night, and crickets and cicadas making a racquet when you’re trying to sleep in you tent!  Anyone would think bugs were put here to ruin your summer fun!

But did you know that we humans wouldn’t survive on this big, beautiful planet without our friendly creepy-crawlies to help us along? At last count it is estimated that there are ten quintillion insects alive on Earth right now, which means that for each one of us, there are two hundred million of them! But don’t panic! They all have a job to do, and if you dig deeper (and many of them do live underground), what the insects do for us and the health of the planet is pretty amazing.

File:Cook Strait Giant Weta (5601688959).jpg - Wikimedia CommonsTake New Zealand’s GIANT WĒTĀ (wētāpunga) for example. This big daddy of an insect features in the Guinness Book of Records as being one of the world’s largest insects, and some of them weigh in around 70 grams – about the same weight as a saddleback or sparrow! Department of Conservation staff refer to them as the ‘mouse of the forest’ because their equally giant poos help fertilise the forest floor and help with regeneration of native bush. What a hero! And the Auckland Zoo think so too and have joined forces with DoC and local iwi to reintroduce wētāpunga to islands in the Hauraki Gulf so that they can do their fertilising work and bring back the bush.

And just when you thought things couldn’t get any weirder, did you know that the wētā’s ears are located in their knees?! Yes, really!


File:Chorus Cicada... (6926902643).jpg - Wikimedia CommonsYou really know Summer has arrived when the CICADAS start their noise! But why do they do it? And how?

The high-pitched ‘song’ is actually a mating call belted out by males. Each species has its own distinctive song that only attracts females of its own kind. This allows several different species to live together in one area.

Cicadas are the only insects capable of producing such a unique and loud sound, and they do it by contracting special muscles called tymbals in their abdomen. Some larger species can produce a call in excess of 120 decibels at close range (120 decibels is the equivalent of a thunderclap or a chainsaw)! Smaller species sing in such a high pitch that it cannot be heard by humans, but may cause dogs and other animals to howl in pain.


File:Housefly on Table.jpg - Wikimedia CommonsWe’ve all experienced the FLIES massing as soon as the barbeque is cooking and the salads are out on the picnic table. But why do they do this? The common house fly has a pretty powerful sense of smell and is attracted to strong smells – especially meat, and especially rotting meat! They like to lay their eggs in rotting material so that when their babies – maggots – hatch they have something to eat, yum! But just like the rest of us, adult flies have to eat too so that they’ve got the energy to fly. To eat their food, flies regurgitate (bring up) saliva from their stomachs, which dissolves the food until it is digestible. The house fly then uses its proboscis – like an attached straw where your nose should be – to suck up the liquefied food. Though they eat with their mouths, house flies taste with their feet. This is why they are always crawling on your food.

Lego Weta by EzraCRITTER OF THE WEEK: To tweak you interest further, check out “Critter of the Week”  on Radio New Zealand every Thursday in Afternoons with Jessie Mulligan.  Nicola Toki is the Threatened Species Ambassador for the Department of Conservation and a self-confessed “nature nerd”. Each week she talks  about a lovable member of New Zealand’s wildlife community, many of them our creepy-crawly friends. There was even a competition earlier in the year for you to make the most interesting critter out of Lego and send in a photo. Check out some of the entries here.

“An understanding of the natural world is a source of not only great curiosity, but great fulfilment.”

(David Attenborough – natural historian, environmentalist and planet-hero)



Wellington City Libraries have loads of fantastic books about insects, creepy-crawlies and the people that study insects (entomologists). Take a dive into the fascinating world of bugs… go on! There’s nothing to be afraid of!

The genius of bugs / Pollard, Simon
This book contains a cast of amazing and unexpected bugs, from the killer brain-surgeon jewel wasp to the master-of-disguise orchid mantis, to the New Zealand favourite, the wētā.

 


New Zealand’s backyard beasts / Barraud, Ned
In the garden, creeping along branches, hiding under stones or flitting from flower to flower, a whole universe of creatures is waiting to be discovered. Butterflies, moths, beetles, wasps, spiders. Did you know that  cicadas live underground for most of their life? That bumblebees have smelly feet? That some species of stick insect are all female? Or that earwigs don’t actually crawl into ears? In this book you can learn to identify some of the creatures most commonly found in the backyard.


The bug girl : (a true story) / Spencer, Sophia
Real-life 7-year-old Sophia Spencer was bullied for loving bugs until hundreds of women scientists rallied around her. Sophia tells her inspiring story in this picture book that celebrates women in science, bugs of all kinds, and the importance of staying true to yourself. Sophia Spencer has always loved bugs but when she was bullied at school she stopped talking about bugs altogether. When Sophia’s mother wrote to an entomological society looking for a bug scientist to be a pen pal for her daughter, she and Sophie were overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response–letters, photos, and videos came flooding in. Using the hashtag BugsR4Girls, scientists tweeted hundreds of times to tell Sophia to keep up her interest in bugs.


World's Biggest Baddest Bugs (Ruud Kleinpaste) Image at Mighty Ape NZWorld’s biggest baddest bugs
To find the good, the bad and ugly of the insect world, Ruud Kleinpaste – New Zealand’s very own BugMan – embarks on an entomological journey in search of the biggest and the baddest of them all in this two part DVD. From killer bees and army ants, to cockroaches and tarantula, Ruud explains exactly what makes the “stars” of the show so incredible. Through a series of deadly stunts Ruud reveals what makes these crawlies the kings of the bugs and how they are capable of so much more than just scaring us silly.


World’s strangest creepy-crawlies / Derrick, Stuart
This book includes 40 of the planet’s most bizarre species and ranks them in order of their oddness! With jaw-dropping facts and amazing photos, the pages reveal each creature’s seriously strange characteristics and the unusual ways they hunt, eat or defend themselves.   Inside World’s Strangest Creepy-Crawlies, you’ll discover the tiny terror that blows itself up to save its friends, a creature so well disguised even its own species can’t see it, and a giant spider the size of a dinner plate. And with the ‘strange-o-meter’, you can compare each animal based on its creepiness, fight factor and superpowers!


I’m trying to love spiders : (it isn’t easy) / Barton, Bethany
What do you do when you see a spider? a. Lay on a BIG spidey smoocheroo. b. Smile, but back away slowly. c. Grab the closest object, wind up, and let it fly. d. Run away screaming.
If you chose b, c, or d, then this book is for you.
I’m Trying to Love Spiders will help you see these amazing arachnids in a whole new light, from their awesomely excessive eight eyes, to the seventy-five pounds of bugs a spider can eat in a single year And you’re sure to feel better knowing you have a better chance of being struck by lightning than being fatally bit by a spider. Comforting, right? No? Either way, there’s heaps more information in here to help you forget your fears . . . or at least laugh a lot!

Books to Celebrate and Learn About Hanukkah!

חנוכה שמח! Happy Hanukkah! חג אורים שמח! Happy Festival of Lights!

Today marks the final day of Hanukkah in New Zealand. Hanukkah, or the Festival of Lights, is a festival celebrated by Jewish people around the world for eight days and eight nights. It offically starts on the 25th day of the month of Kislev in the Hebrew calendar, which can occur anywhere from late November to mid-December. One important part of the festival involves the lighting of candles on a special nine-branched candelabrum called a Hanukkah menorah (מנורת חנוכה). During Hanukkah, Jewish people make music together, share food (especially yummy fried foods like latkes and sufganiyot jam-filled doughnuts), exchange gelt, or gift money, and spend time with family and loved ones.

At the library, we have a bunch of books you can read to learn more about Hanukkah and other Jewish festivals and traditions. We’ve pulled out a selection for you below, but you can always find more by searching for ‘Judaism‘ on the catalogue, or looking on the shelf in the non-fiction section under J 296.

Celebrate! : a book of Jewish holidays / Gross, Judith
“This wonderful charmingly illustrated book celebrates Jewish holidays all year long. From Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, to Sukkot, the celebration of the harvest, to Hanukkah, the festival of lights, this is the perfect book for families to enjoy together.” (Catalogue)

A Jewish life / Senker, Cath
“The faith you follow is with you from the moment you are born, until the moment you die and beyond. Following a Faith: A Jewish Life explores some of the cornerstones of what it means to be Jewish today, through Passover and Hanukkah celebrations, wedding ceremonies, what happens in a synagogue and why many Jewish people go on pilgrimages to Israel. ” (Catalogue)

A faith like mine : a celebration of the world’s religions– seen through the eyes of children / Buller, Laura
“Using revealing photography and detailed personal accounts to give unique insight into the diversity of religious faith as experienced by children across the world, this is an ideal book for families to read together. A perfect book for children and parents to read together, A Faith Like Mine uses revealing photography and detailed personal accounts to give unique insight into the diversity of religious faith as experienced through the lives of children across the world.” (Catalogue)

Judaism / Howell, Izzi
“Explore the religion of Judaism, from what people believe, to a Jewish life, special days and festivals. The Info Buzz series, for age 5+, helps children develop their knowledge and understanding of the world by covering a wide range of topics in a fun, colourful and interactive way. The books have a lively design, engaging text and photos, questions to get children thinking and talking and teaching notes. Each title is written in conjunction with a literacy consultant and features book band guidance and downloadable activity sheets online.” (Catalogue)

Judaism / Marsico, Katie
This book is part of a series that focusses on the six most popular world religions through their history, geography, civic impact, and economics. It is packed with reliable and up-to-date information about Judaism, its central philosophies, customs and traditions, and how it relates to society today. (Adapted from Catalogue)

Hanukkah is coming! / Newman, Tracy
“Readers join a cute family and their dog as they light the menorah, eat latkes, unwrap gifts, sing songs, play dreidel, eat chocolate Hanukkah gelt, and march like Maccabees during the eight nights of Hanukkah in this cute 12-page board book. Includes “3D-feeling”art by Viviana Garofoli.” (Catalogue)

Nonna’s Hanukkah surprise / Fisman, Karen
“Rachel loves visiting her grandmother, even though Nonna celebrates Christmas and Rachel and her parents celebrate Hanukkah. When Rachel’s special hanukkiah goes missing, Nonna steps in to save the day.” (Catalogue)

Is it Hanukkah yet? / Barash, Chris
“A family gathers and prepares to celebrate Hanukkah. From snow on the ground to making applesauce and latkes to lighting the menorah, this sweet, lyrical story shows the seasonal and traditional ways we know Hanukkah is on its way.” (Catalogue)

The latke who couldn’t stop screaming : a Christmas story / Snicket, Lemony
“Latkes are potato pancakes served at Hanukkah, and Lemony Snicket is an alleged children’s author. For the first time in literary history, these two elements are combined in one book. A particularly irate latke is the star of The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming, but many other holiday icons appear and even speak: flashing colored lights, cane-shaped candy, a pine tree. Santa Claus is briefly discussed as well. The ending is happy, at least for some. People who are interested in any or all of these things will find this book so enjoyable it will feel as though Hanukkah were being celebrated for several years, rather than eight nights.” (Catalogue)

NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults: Children’s Finalists!

It’s that time of year again — the finalists for the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults have been announced! It’s a truly outstanding lineup this year, with some truly gorgeous books in all categories. We have most of the finalists in our catalogue, but some of them are still on their way, so keep your eyes peeled! Here are all of the finalists in each of the children’s categories — if you want to read them yourself (and we highly recommend that you do!) just click on the title you want and place a reserve!

Picture Book Award

Abigail and the birth of the sun / Cunningham, Matthew
Abigail is a curious little girl. She likes to discover the answers to really BIG questions. One night, she thinks of a question that’s SO BIG she can’t sleep until she knows the answer. A gorgeously illustrated and beautifully told bedtime story that doubles as an introduction to astrophysics, Abigail and the Birth of the Sun will be enjoyed equally by young children and adults. (Catalogue)

How Māui slowed the sun / Bixley, Donovan
Donovan Bixley re-tells the story of Maui slowed the journey of the sun through the sky each day, with Bixley’s unique twist and trademark humour. The pictures are bright and bring their own level of humour to the book. Darryn Joseph ensures that the story is accurate and culturally appropriate. (Catalogue)

Goody Four Shoes / Gregg, Stacy
Mini Whinny, the mischievous little horse, plans to escape her annoyingly perfect stable neighbour! Goody Four-Shoes is the best…at everything. She’s graceful. She can jump really, really high. And her mane is too perfect. Mini Whinny doesn’t like her. Not one little bit. So naughty little Mini Whinny decides to run away.Another adorable story of horsey friendship from internationally best-selling Kiwi author Stacy Gregg and talented illustrator Ruth Paul. (Catalogue)

Santa’s worst Christmas
There are just a few days to go before Christmas, and everyone’s busy putting up decorations, preparing food and getting ready for the big day. Then comes the shock news: Santa’s cancelled Christmas. Santa had so many disasters last year that he can’t face it again, and he’s quit. The elves try everything, but they can’t get him to change his mind. In this Aotearoa Christmas picture book, the kids come up with a clever plan and amazing gadgets to get Christmas back on and Santa back in the sleigh delivering presents. (Catalogue)

The gobbledegook book : a Joy Cowley anthology / Cowley, Joy
Joy Cowley’s favourite stories, poems and nonsense rhymes collected in a hardback gift volume for the family to treasure. Flue-flam and Gobbledegook collects Joy Cowley’s favourites in a beautiful hardback picture-book volume that will become a family treasure. It selects the best of Cowley’s poems and stories to read aloud, including much-loved classics such as Greedy Cat and Nicketty-Nacketty Noo Noo Noo. Fully re-illustrated with humour and energy by newcomer Giselle Clarkson, these short stories, picture books and funny poems will bring joy to a new generation. (Catalogue)

Junior Fiction Award

#Tumeke! / Petherick, Michael
An exuberant multimedia novel for young readers and the young at heart. In the boundary-riding tradition of the Annual project, Annual Ink’s latest title #Tumeke brings you the lives, loves and larrikin spirit of an inner-city neighbourhood. The story is told through texts, Instagram posts, emails, fliers, committee minutes, posters, diary entries, blog posts, chatrooms, school homework, raps and the reliably bonkers community noticeboard. Stuffed with big personalities, surprising friendships and a little intrigue, this multimedia story brims with creativity and comedy, and everyday heartaches, too. A narrative — but not quite as we know it — for middle readers and anyone who loves to connect. (Catalogue)

Lizard’s tale / Chan, Weng Wai
A heart-racing middle-grade adventure mystery set on the streets of Singapore against the backdrop of World War II, exploring issues of belonging, race and diversity It’s Singapore in 1940, war is just around the corner–but 12-year-old Lizard doesn’t know that. He lives in Chinatown above a tailor’s shop, surviving on his wits and hustling for odd jobs. When he steals a small teak box containing a Japanese code book from a Raffles Hotel suite, he finds himself in a dangerous world of wartime espionage. Lizard doesn’t know who to trust. How is the mysterious book inside the box connected to his friend Lili, a girl full of secrets and fighting skills? Can he trust her, or will she betray him in the end? (Catalogue)

Moonlight the unicorn’s high tea hiccup / Sutton, Sally
When Clara and Sophia’s Honorary Great-Aunties invite the girls to ‘high tea’, the girls are very excited. It means getting dressed up in a twirly dress – and wearing a fancy hat and shoes! Those mischievous Miniwings like the sound of ‘high tea’ too – dinky little sandwiches and sweet treats – but Clara says they’re not invited. Oh really? Does she think ‘not being invited’ is going to stop those rascally, tiny, flying horses? Look out! (Catalogue)

Prince of ponies / Gregg, Stacy
War destroyed their worlds, now two young girls and their remarkable horses are fighting once more – this time to win. War destroyed their worlds, now two young girls and their remarkable horses are fighting once more – this time to win. When twelve-year-old Mira stumbles across a white stallion in a forest in Berlin, she doesn’t realise that this horse will take her on an incredible journey. Together, they’re going to ascend the starry heights of Grand Prix show jumping, and sweep back in time to Poland in 1939 where another young girl is risking everything to save the horse that she loves… Prince of Ponies is a story of courage and the will to win against all odds. (Catalogue)

Time machine & other stories / Szymanik, Melinda
What happens when you sleep with a crocodile tooth under your pillow, or the mess under your bed turns into something terrifying? How can a football be a passport, and what does it mean when the contraption in the basement starts to hum and glow? You can be sure the answers will never be boring and almost always take you on an unexpected adventure. Step aboard the time machine and discover new and selected stories by the award-winning author of The Were-Nana, The Song of Kauri and A Winter’s Day in 1939. (Catalogue)

Non-Fiction Award

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)

Mophead : how your difference makes a difference / Marsh, Selina Tusitala
At school, Selina is ridiculed for her big, frizzy hair. Kids call her ‘mophead’. She ties her hair up this way and that way and tries to fit in. Until one day – Sam Hunt plays a role – Selina gives up the game. She decides to let her hair out, to embrace her difference, to be WILD! Selina takes us through special moments in her extraordinary life. She becomes one of the first Pasifika women to hold a PhD. She reads for the Queen of England and Samoan royalty. She meets Barack Obama. And then she is named the New Zealand Poet Laureate. She picks up her special tokotoko, and notices something. It has wild hair coming out the end. It looks like a mop. A kid on the Waiheke ferry teases her about it. So she tells him a story . . . (Catalogue)

Te Tiriti o Waitangi / Morris, Toby
This is a ground-breaking reorua (dual language) flipbook-style graphic novel about our founding Treaty. The text and illustrations work together to present important information about our history in a visually appealing, calm, and balanced way. There are also resources to allow young readers to learn more about each of the topics, as well as links to the Treaty in more than 30 languages. (Catalogue)

The adventures of Tupaia / Meredith, Courtney Sina
The incredible story of Tupaia, Tahitian priest navigator, who sailed on board the Endeavour with Captain Cook on his first voyage to Aotearoa. Join him as he meets up with Cook in Tahiti and sails as part of the crew on the Endeavour across the Pacific to Aotearoa. Witness the encounters between tangata whenua and the crew as the ship sails around the coast, and discover the important role Tupaia plays as translator and cultural interpreter (Catalogue)

Three Kiwi tales : more fabulous fix-it stories from Wildbase Hospital / Hunt, Janet
Wildbase Hospital in Palmerston North is a very special hospital for very special animals, and in this follow-up to the hugely successful How to Mend a Kea, author Janet Hunt focuses on the tales of three kiwi who have been treated there. The stories are fascinating and touching accounts of their different experiences at Wildbase, and the innovative approaches to their treatment and rehabilitation that were needed to ensure their eventual return to the wild. Linked to the wider issues of kiwi conservation, these tales introduce readers to the challenges and triumphs of caring for New Zealand’s unique national icon. Wonderful photos, a lively text and an engaging design all combine to make this a superb book. (Catalogue)

Award for Illustration

Dozer the Fire Cat : a New Zealand story : inspired by true events / Prokop, Robyn
In February 2019, a tiny spark in a Pigeon Valley paddock became the largest fire in New Zealand since 1955. Up to 150 volunteer firefighters fought the blaze. Around 3,500 people were evacuated, including the whole town of Wakefield. Story is based on a real cat that survived the fires. While his family is busy packing up to evacuate, Dozer is oblivious, busy doing what Dozer does . . . stalking, pouncing, washing . . . and sleeping. But when he wakes up, his family has gone and the world is a frightening place!” — Publisher information. (Catalogue)

Santa’s worst Christmas
There are just a few days to go before Christmas, and everyone¿s busy putting up decorations, preparing food and getting ready for the big day. Then comes the shock news: Santa’s cancelled Christmas. Santa had so many disasters last year that he can’t face it again, and he’s quit. The elves try everything, but they can’t get him to change his mind. In this Aotearoa Christmas picture book, the kids come up with a clever plan and amazing gadgets to get Christmas back on and Santa back in the sleigh delivering presents. (Catalogue)

Song of the river / Cowley, Joy
In this resonant story, Cam the mountain boy follows the river from its trickling source in the mountain snow all the way to the coast. The river leads him through forest, farms, and towns to the salty wind of the sea. Dramatic landscape illustrations evoke a North American landscape and are packed with detail to explore the world of the river. (Catalogue)

The adventures of Tupaia / Meredith, Courtney Sina
The incredible story of Tupaia, Tahitian priest navigator, who sailed on board the Endeavour with Captain Cook on his first voyage to Aotearoa. Join him as he meets up with Cook in Tahiti and sails as part of the crew on the Endeavour across the Pacific to Aotearoa. Witness the encounters between tangata whenua and the crew as the ship sails around the coast, and discover the important role Tupaia plays as translator and cultural interpreter (Catalogue)

Wildlife of Aotearoa / Bishop, Gavin
Long before waka touched Aotearoa’s shores, the land of the long white cloud was home to an array of creatures uniquely adapted to its environments and protected by its isolation. Encounter New Zealand’s incredible wildlife in this spectacular visual exploration. Journey through ocean, sky and land to meet a marvellous range of organisms. Discover fascinating facts, and learn how we influence the survival of our living treasures. In this magnificent companion volume to Aotearoa- The New Zealand Story, Gavin Bishop weaves a compelling visual narrative of our land, our people and our wildlife – past, present and future. (Catalogue)

Te Kura Pounamu Award for Te Reo Māori

Arapū Toi / Moira Wairama (coming soon!)
This gorgeously-illustrated book uses short poems in gentle, rhythmic te reo Māori to emphasise ideas of wellness, the sights, sounds and feelings of everyday life, and poetic imagery such as the darkness of night, or a whale singing in the depths of the ocean. A picture is truly worth a thousand words in this unforgettable gem of contemporary Māori children’s literature.

Ko Flit, te Tīrairaka, me ngā Hēki Muna / Merewether, Katherine Q.
Flit has found some eggs … but whose could they be? It is a misty morning in the forest. Flit the fantail chick is practising his landings. Flap, flop, slip, FLIP. Flit slips on something slippery and round. He has stumbled upon eight rubbery white eggs. Join Flit and his friends, Kiki the kaka, rascally robins Bit and Bob, Keri the kiwi and wise old Ruru as they exercise some teamwork. Can they figure out who the mystery eggs belong to? (Catalogue)

Ngā Hoa Hoihoi o Kuwi / Kat Quin and Pānia Papa (coming soon!)
Kuwi the kiwi wants a hot cup of kawakawa tea and some peace and quiet — but Huwi the kiwi chick and friends want to play LOUDLY, and so this energetic tale begins. Te reo Māori is used skilfully throughout, with witty adaptations to mimic sounds and situations, encouraging readers to become involved in the story. Items of Kiwiana are scattered throughout the illustrations, so that curious readers can search and make new discoveries in every story time.

Te Kirihimete i whakakorea
There are just a few days to go before Christmas, and everyone’s busy putting up decorations, preparing food and getting ready for the big day. Then comes the shock news – Santa’s cancelled Christmas. Santa had so many disasters last year that he can’t face it again, and he’s quit. The elves try everything, but they can’t get him to change his mind. In this Aotearoa Christmas picture book, the kids come up with a clever plan and amazing gadgets to get Christmas back on and Santa back in the sleigh delivering presents (Catalogue)

Tio Tiamu / Kurahau
In this picture book, gentle, clever Toe Jam grows to be huge, and this causes a problem in his community because his feet smell. The bigger he gets the worse the smell. While Toe Jam helps others and wants to be part of his village, everybody teases him and avoids him, and Toe Jam becomes very lonely. Finally, the people make him leave and live far away. Toe Jam never loses his kind heart, and when there are floods, wild winds and droughts, he returns to help his people. But each time, the people take his help then send him away again. Until, one day, something amazing happens… (Catalogue)

Best First Book Award

#Tumeke! / Petherick, Michael
An exuberant multimedia novel for young readers and the young at heart. In the boundary-riding tradition of the Annual project, Annual Ink’s latest title #Tumeke brings you the lives, loves and larrikin spirit of an inner-city neighbourhood. The story is told through texts, Instagram posts, emails, fliers, committee minutes, posters, diary entries, blog posts, chatrooms, school homework, raps and the reliably bonkers community noticeboard. Stuffed with big personalities, surprising friendships and a little intrigue, this multimedia story brims with creativity and comedy, and everyday heartaches, too. A narrative — but not quite as we know it — for middle readers and anyone who loves to connect. (Catalogue)

Lizard’s tale / Chan, Weng Wai
A heart-racing middle-grade adventure mystery set on the streets of Singapore against the backdrop of World War II, exploring issues of belonging, race and diversity It’s Singapore in 1940, war is just around the corner–but 12-year-old Lizard doesn’t know that. He lives in Chinatown above a tailor’s shop, surviving on his wits and hustling for odd jobs. When he steals a small teak box containing a Japanese code book from a Raffles Hotel suite, he finds himself in a dangerous world of wartime espionage. Lizard doesn’t know who to trust. How is the mysterious book inside the box connected to his friend Lili, a girl full of secrets and fighting skills? Can he trust her, or will she betray him in the end? (Catalogue)

Santa’s worst Christmas
There are just a few days to go before Christmas, and everyone’s busy putting up decorations, preparing food and getting ready for the big day. Then comes the shock news: Santa’s cancelled Christmas. Santa had so many disasters last year that he can’t face it again, and he’s quit. The elves try everything, but they can’t get him to change his mind. In this Aotearoa Christmas picture book, the kids come up with a clever plan and amazing gadgets to get Christmas back on and Santa back in the sleigh delivering presents. (Catalogue)

The day the plants fought back / O’Keefe, Belinda
Two boisterous boys who made lots of noise, found it dreadfully hard to be good; always charging and barging, fighting and biting, and not acting quite as they should. Patrick and Wayne drove their parents insane, but they could be good if they tried. Still, they’d roar and they’d claw, they’d scoot and they’d shoot until someone eventually cried. An action-packed, hilarious story about two wild, rascally boys and the trouble they cause in the garden, until the plants decide to teach them a lesson … because, as the boys discover, plants have eyes and ears too! (Catalogue)

The smelly giant / Kurahau
In this picture book, gentle, clever Toe Jam grows to be huge, and this causes a problem in his community because his feet smell. The bigger he gets the worse the smell. While Toe Jam helps others and wants to be part of his village, everybody teases him and avoids him, and Toe Jam becomes very lonely. Finally, the people make him leave and live far away. Toe Jam never loses his kind heart, and when there are floods, wild winds and droughts, he returns to help his people. But each time, the people take his help then send him away again. Until, one day, something amazing happens… (Catalogue)

5 New Non Fiction to Read During Winter

Hey kids! Check out the latest new non fiction at your local library. Books featured in this post range from animals; buildings, trees and what it takes to be a Jedi! Just in time for the winteriest time of the year!

Enjoy!


image courtesy of syndeticsStar Wars Use The Force!: Discover What It Takes To Be A Jedi.

A fun, non-fiction chapter book where children can learn all about the Jedi. So, you want to learn what it takes to be a Jedi? Are you sure? Star Wars: Use the Force takes you on a thrilling, fact-filled and fun journey that shows what it really takes to be a Jedi. For ages 6+.


image courtesy of syndeticsThe Secret Life of Trees: Explore The Forests Of The World, With Oakheart The Brave.

Listen to ancient tales from Oakheart the Brave, the oldest and wisest tree in the forest, and be inspired by the magic and mystery of nature. Combining non-fiction with a splash of fantasy, this is a book you will get lost in, time and again.

image courtesy of syndeticsThe Not Bad Animals.

A funny non-fiction book starring misunderstood animals from around the world. Children will learn facts about a collection of different creatures as Sophie Corrigan’s unique artwork and hilarious text dispels facts about animals who have been given a bad rep! Ages 5-10.

image courtesy of syndeticsBuilding A Home.

A non-fiction picture book packed with action and vehicles for children who enjoy discovering how things are made. With action-packed artwork from Klas Fahlen and a gentle narrative text by Polly Faber, find out all about the people, machines, processes and tools involved in breathing new life into an old building. For ages 4+.

image courtesy of syndeticsAnimal antics.

Have you ever wondered how ants carry up to 50 times their body weight? Or why sloths move so slowly? Discover the answers to these questions and more as you laugh along at the hilarious pictures in this fun non-fiction book for kids. Animal Antics is jam-packed with funny photos of animals in action. Look out for goats popping up in unexpected places, zebras and chimpanzees grinning for the camera, and adorable chipmunks with bulging cheeks. Alongside high quality images, each page features mind-boggling facts about your favorite animals, including how they get around, what they like to eat, and how they stay cool or keep warm. Children will love this fresh glimpse into the lives of loads of weird and wonderful animals.

 

6 New books to read before the year ends.

Check out the latest junior comics and non fiction at Wellington City Libraries. Grab them before the year ends.

Enjoy!

Junior Comics:

Mighty Jack and Zita The Spacegirl.

Teaming up with new friend Zita the spacegirl, Jack and Lilly confront an army of dangerous giants and screeds ready to lay siege to Earth and determined to end all human life.

Monkey & Robot.

Presents four stories about best friends Monkey and Robot, who celebrate Robot’s Built-Day, face an exterminator, take care of a parakeet, and learn important things about babies.

Minecraft: Stories from the overworld.

With tales of witch and pillager rivals finding common ground, a heartless griefer who bit off more than they could chew, and valiant heroes new (or not!) to the Overworld, this anthology tells tales that span the world of Minecraft. Featuring stories from star writers Hope Larson, Kevin Panetta, Rafer Roberts, and Ian Flynn and exciting artists Meredith Gran and more, this collection brings together stories from all realms, leaving no block unturned!

 

Junior Non Fiction:

Gardening with Emma.

Gardening with Emma is a kid-to-kid guide to growing healthy food and raising the coolest, most awesome plants while making sure there’s plenty of fun. With plants that tickle and make noise, tips for how to grow a flower stand garden, and suggestions for veggies from tiny to colossal, Emma offers a range of original, practical, and entertaining advice and inspiration.


Children’s first cookbook.

Whip up some yummy treats this Christm with Children’s first cookbook.With recipes for scrummy scrambled eggs, funny face pizzas and a chocolate sundae surprise, Annabel Karmel shows how, togetehr with mum and dad, you can create food that’s delicious and good for you too.Dinosaur Hunter.


Dinosaur Hunter.

The true story of paleontologist Joan Wiffen, whose fossil discoveries proved that dinosaurs lived in ancient New Zealand. In picture book format.

 

6 New Non Fiction to read before Christmas.

Hey Kids!

Check out the latest junior non fiction at Wellington City Libraries!

Featured in this post are 6 books to read before Christmas about classic fairy tales, Harry Potter, Lego, Unicorns and so much more!

Enjoy!

The atlas of classic tales.

Experience the world of eight classic fairy tales through gorgeously illustrated maps of the stories’ magical lands! In every fairy tale, the main characters set off on a journey or a quest. Now, stunningly designed and detailed maps invite readers to join their adventures in an exciting new way. Thanks to the imaginative pen of Claudia Bordin, this follow-up to Atlas of Fairy Tales brings eight enchanting kingdoms brilliantly to life. In a single glance, you can view the castles, villages, forests, and oceans where such beloved figures as Sinbad, Puss in Boots, Little Red Riding Hood, and Thumbelina wander. From Sleeping Beauty and The Snow Queen to The Jungle Book and Aladdin, these stories are sure to delight as never before.


The atlas of fairy tales.

Whether it’s Little Red Riding Hood wandering through the woods or Alice falling down the rabbit hole, almost every children’s classic tells the tale of a protagonist’s journey. This atlas depicts those incredible adventures as never before, in stunningly illustrated maps. Enjoy a breathtaking aerial view of Dorothy and her friends following the Yellow Brick Road, or of Pinocchio’s travels as he tries to become real.


The magical guide to the wizarding world.

Get Potty with Harry Potter and Lego with The magical guide to the wizarding world. A must have read for all the Harry Potter and Lego fanatics!

A world of wizards, witches, and magic awaits! Meet all your favorite LEGO Harry Potter minifigures and discover the secrets hidden within Hogwarts Castle. Relive memorable movie moments, including exciting Quidditch matches and spooky adventures in the Forbidden Forest.


The Ultimate Builder’s Guide in Minecraft.

Build up your Minecraft skills with the Ultimate Builder’s Guide in Minecraft.

Creation is arguably the most important aspect of Minecraft, from mining resources to crafting buildings, vehicles, and even entire worlds … [This book is meant] for players of all ages who want to improve their building skills. [It] will take you all the way from crafting your first shelter to putting the finishing touches to your very own mega-build master classes


Minecraft maps : an explorer’s guide to Minecraft.

Are you ready for an adventure? Minecraft Maps is a visual guide to the Minecraft landscape, created by an explorer on a quest to find the most valuable loot whilst avoiding danger. Explore each of the fifteen major biomes through highly detailed, illustrated maps, then read the explorer’s notes about the unique features and discover an inspirational themed build idea for each. A beautifully illustrated visual guide in its own right, Minecraft Maps is also a survival tool. You’ll learn which biomes are home to the most dangerous mobs, where to look for to exclusive blocks, how to find naturally generated structures and the best places to search for loot. Once you’ve discovered each biome you can get building – construct an ice palace in the ice plains biome and an entire village suspended in the tree canopy above the jungle floor.


The secret lives of unicorns.

Unicorns, we need more of them in our lives. Why not read all about their secret lives in this amazing book! From anatomy to evolution. discover just how much you didn’t know about unicorns in this stunning guide.

7 Non Fiction to read before Christmas.

Hey Kids!

Christmas is less than three weeks away!

Check out the latest junior non fiction at your local library!

Featured in the post are books about New Zealand’s machines and inventions, heroes  from the DC/Marvel universe and Greek mythology, and so much more!

Enjoy!


All about New Zealand Machines and inventions.

Discover the machine used in New Zealand that changed world sport forever! Which machine works best when it’s raining? And which machine is just a load of hot air? You’ll find all the answers inside, together with lots more about machines in New Zealand; their history, present use and their future, including the yacht that can race along at 100 kilometres an hour without getting wet, the two-wheeler that can’t fall over, and the Historic Place that keeps moving around.


The Life-Size Guide to Native Trees.

Pictorial guide to identifying native trees and other common plants of New Zealand’s native forest.


The Elephant.

Elephants have roamed the Earth for millions of years, but only two species remain in the world today: the African elephant and the Asian elephant. Though African and Asian elephants are noticeably different, these enormous, intelligent animals have many similarities, too. Their trunks are powerful enough to pick up even the smallest of berries. With their amazing memories, they find watering holes they haven’t visited in years. Their cushioned feet can detect the powerful footfalls of other elephants from six miles away. And, just as humans are right-handed or left-handed, elephants can be right-tusked or left-tusked!


Greek Myths.

Make the mythology of Ancient Greece come to life for young readers through engaging stories and dramatic photos and illustrations. Discover the gods and goddesses behind the myths and the powers they used to control and change the world. There’s Zeus, the king of the gods who ruled the sky, and Poseidon, the god and ruler of the seas, plus many more. Sidebars, facts and infographics help uncover how these myths influenced the culture and daily life of Ancient Greece.


DC Ultimate Character Guide.

Is Superman the strongest Super Hero alive? Where is Wonder Woman from? Is Darkseid the most evil Super-Villain ever? Who is the fastest man alive? Who are Batman’s allies? Have to know the answers to these questions? Look no further than the DC Comics Ultimate Character Guide: New Edition. Written by DC Comics experts, this illustrated encyclopedia features more than 200 incredible characters and Super Hero teams, including Batman, Harley Quinn, Justice League, and so many more. The DC Comics Universe changed forever following their epic Rebirth event, and so did the characters. This comprehensive guide covers the latest key storylines for each character and includes stunning new images from the comics. It is also packed full of vital statistics and explains each character’s super powers, from indestructibility to sorcery.


image courtesy of syndeticsPowers of a girl : 65 Marvel women who punched the sky & changed the universe.

Dive into the world and the stories behind all of your favourite women in the Marvel Universe, including Captain Marvel, Squirrel Girl, Shuri, Ms. Marvel, Wasp, America Chavez and many more! This gift book showcases the amazing stories, personal victories, and powers of dozens of extraordinary Marvel heroes. Powers of a Girl is sure to excite girls and women of all ages who are looking for inspiration and a little bit of themselves in the heroes they love.


The story of Barbie and the woman who created her.

A beautifully illustrated picture book about Barbie the most famous doll in the world and her visionary creator, Ruth Handler. After noticing how her daughter played with “grown-up” paper dolls, Ruth Handler wanted to create a doll that would inspire little girls to use their huge imaginations and big dreams about their futures. While others told her it wasn’t possible, Ruth Handler proved them all wrong by creating the most famous doll ever. This book will inspire children to believe that anything is possible especially with Barbie! Since 1959, Barbie has shown girls that they can live their dreams. From an astronaut to a chef to a president, she knows that girls can do anything!

13 New Non Fiction that will leave you spellbound!

Hey Kids!

There are only a couple of weeks left of spring. Why not spring on down to your local library and check out the latest new junior non fiction!

Read books where you can learn languages with Sesame Street, get spellbound with Harry Potter, read how Maui slowed the sun in English and Te Reo, get your STEAM on and so much more!

Enjoy!


Amazing Inventions.

Odd Science: Inventions is filled with weird and wacky facts that you’ve never heard before. Read about the trainers made of spider silk, wonder at the first record played in space and tell your friends about the robot built in 1937. There are facts about electricity being used as glue, facts about glow-in-the-dark cats and facts about nano-robots that can ‘swim’ inside the body during biopsies!

 


Video Game Creators.

With full-color illustrations and lively text, and chock-full of interesting facts, Awesome Minds: Video Game Creators tells the stories of these amazing men and women who turned a small hobby into a multimillion-dollar industry that changed the way we play and interact, from our living rooms to the arcades, on our computers to our hand-held devices. Awesome Minds: Video Game Creators is the perfect read for those with creative spirits, curious minds, and a love of technology and video games– Provided by publisher.

 


Learn a language with Sesame Street!

Welcome to Mandarin Chinese.

Sesame characters help readers learn Mandarin so they can connect with friends who speak the language. Welcoming words relating to everyday life and friendship give readers new language tools to become smarter, kinder friends.

 


Welcome to French.

Sesame Street characters help readers connect to new friends who speak French. Simple words and phrases relating to everyday life and a colorful approach help readers learn a new language to become smarter, kinder friends.

 


Welcome to German.

Sesame Street characters help readers learn German so they can connect with friends who speak the language. Welcoming words relating to everyday life and friendship give readers new language tools to become smarter, kinder friends.

 


Tales of Aotearoa: How Maui Slowed the Sun in English and Te Reo!

Re-tells the story of how Maui slowed the journey of the sun through the sky each day.

 

 

 

 


Wilma Rudolph.

Read all about Wilma Rudolph, the remarkable sprinter and Olympic champion. This moving book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the athlete’s life.

 


Brilliant Bodies.

Prepare to laugh, marvel and learn with Brilliant Bodies. Jam packed full of facts about elements, organs, hair, feet and so much more!

 

 


Game logic : level up and create your own games with science activities for kids.

This book takes kids on a journey to discover the history of games, and then leads them from their initial idea for a new game through several iterations of a game all the way to playing the final version of a game they created. Explore the processes of both playing and creating games while developing critical and creative thinking skills that apply to tasks and concepts across academic fields. — adapted from back cover.

 


The Unofficial Harry Potter Spell book.

The Unofficial Ultimate Harry Potter Spellbook is a beautiful, elegantly designed reference that details all of the known spells cast in the Harry Potter films, books, video games and card games, as well as official Harry Potter spinoffs, such as Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Each spell is given its own entry including spell name, pronunciation details, a description of the spell effect, spell casting methods, wand movements, hand movements and vocalizations, plus primary sources in which the spell was used. Readers will also find trivia related to each spell, such as who it was used against, what the outcome was, or what a spell’s unusual history might be. There are more than 200 spells in all, plus suggestions for strategic spell use and methods for creating original spells.

 


Never too young! : 50 unstoppable kids who made a difference.

“Meet 50 super-inspiring kids! It’s never too early–and you’re never too young– to make a difference in the world! The amazing musicians, writers, scientists, athletes, activists, and other fascinating kids in this book accomplished great feats by the age of eighteen. They impacted people’s lives by coming up with new inventions, making art and music, competing in sports, and speaking out about important issues. Let their incredible stories inspire you to follow your dreams, achieve your goals, and strive for greatness now!”–Back cover.

 

 


Harry Potter. Spells & charms : a movie scrapbook.

Packed with inserts, concept illustrations, and behind-the-scenes photography, Harry Potter: Spells and Charms: A Movie Scrapbook is a guide to the spells and incantations of the Harry Potter films. A must-have collectible for all Harry Potter fans.


8 New Non Fiction to get your paws on.

Hi Kids!  Get your paws on the latest new junior non fiction at Wellington City Libraries! Read all about the stories and secrets of some of history’s most heroic hounds! Enhance your LEGO skills! Also, find out how to travel the world in 50 ways!

Enjoy!

image courtesy of syndeticsRebel Dogs! Heroic Tales of Trusty Hounds.

Get your paws on the stories and secrets of some of history’s most heroic hounds! An engaging collection packed with over 30 real-life dogs, including film stars with fur, hounds that love to help, superstars of science and war heroes – these rebel dogs are the stars of their own stories. With incredible fur-raising facts on record-making dogs, marvellous mutts in literature, internet-sensation pups and much, much more – this beautiful book is perfect for pup fans of any age. Rebel Dogs is the perfect gift for any pup lover, all year round!

 


The Know-Nonsense Guide to Measurement.

Provides an introduction to the basic concepts of measurement, including common units of measurement, how to convert from one unit to another, and the difference between measures used in the United States and the metric system.

 


Record- Breaking Brick Vehicles.

There’s no stopping him: Joachim Klang, bestselling author of more than eleven titles on building with LEGO? bricks, is as enthusiastic and inventive as ever! He has thought up lots of stunning and exciting new projects over the years, which can be built with bricks from your own home collection. This new volume features the most fascinating and extraordinary record-breaking vehicles ever created – not just cars, but also ships and airplanes from well-known TV shows and movies. Each model comes with the usual easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions.


Around the world in 50 ways.

“Set off from London and travel across the globe. Then try to make it back! In Lonely Planet Kids’ Around the World in 50 Ways, kids choose their favourite routes and transportation, from tuk-tuks and sleds, to steamboats and hot-air balloons. They’ll visit famous cities and exotic, far-flung places – and learn amazing facts about each destination along the way. But they’ll need to be careful: not every path will take them where they want to go!”–Publisher’s website.

 


Smart Charts series.

Go with the flow and take a piece of the pie in this exciting real-life series. Explore topics such as the weather, animals, space, and plants and use our Smart Charts to see the world by numbers. How much rain falls in the UK every year? Which animals eat the most–and sleep the least? How many people ride the New York Subway every day? Get data-driven answers to all this and more in this colorful and engaging series.

 

 

 

 

 

New Non Fiction to read during November – Part two.

Hey kids!

Read new non fiction books on horrible histories, inspiring lives and much more!

Enjoy!

Barmy British Empire.

A humorous account of life and social conditions in colonies throughout the British Empire.

Bindi Irwin.

Bindi Irwin lives in a zoo! She presents on television about animals and conservation. Learn about how she overcame tregedy to find success!.

Joan Procter, dragon doctor : the woman who loved reptiles.

Looks at the inspiring story of Joan Procter, a pioneering female scientist who loved reptiles.

Inside the world of Roblox.

Presents an inside look at the Roblox world, introducing talented members of the community and providing insider information on the games.

Captain Aquaticas awesome ocean : amazing animals! wild waves! super sharks! the deep sea!

Take to the seas with marine conservationist and shark researcher Captain Aquatica and her hammerhead shark sidekick, Fin, to explore the ocean’s wettest and wildest depths and get the latest facts from the field!

Coding with Scratch.

Get ready to code with this easy-to-use book full of projects and tips to get kids programming. Each book in the Ready, Steady Code! series has 4 step-by-step projects with an introduction section (Ready), project preparation section (Steady), and the coding for the project section (Code!).

Planet Fashion.

Hold onto your hats and lace up your boots; we’re off on a fashion adventure! Travel through 25 scenes in fashion history, circling the globe with your two young stylish travel companions–one boy and one girl, dressed the part in every picture. Each lavishly illustrated scene captures the mood and style of a unique time and place, accompanied by a trove of fashion history facts.