Too Precious to Lose: Celebrating our Forests

Kahikitea Forest, West Coast NZ. Image: Sue Jane

Tuesday 21 March marks International Day of Forests. The 2022 theme is

“Too Precious to Lose”

which I think we can all agree is a very good theme! We often take trees, forests and natural areas for granted, but without them we simply wouldn’t survive. Trees are truly amazing (a word I’ll use often in this post!) 🙂

Here are some fun facts about our amazing trees:

  • Forests influence and slow climate change mainly by affecting the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
  • An average mature tree can absorb almost 36% of rainfall it comes in contact with.
  • Forests are helpful in improving water quality by extracting pollutants through tree roots.
  • More than ¼ of all medicines we use originate in rainforests.
  • The largest tree-dwelling mammal is the orang-utan.
  • The General Sherman Giant Redwood Tree is the largest in the world at 1,487 cubic metres. A coast redwood from California is the tallest tree in the world with an incredible height of 115.61 metres. It is called Hyperion.
  • Forests are home to 80% of the world’s land-based biodiversity – the variety of living things in any given place – with more than 60,000 tree species alone.
  • Forests cycle water between the soil and the atmosphere and help make rain
  • Trees also produce oxygen for us to breathe.

Weird but true!

Trees actually talk to each other! Not in the way we think about ‘talking’, but scientists believe there’s enough evidence to show that there is communication going on in the forests. Scientists have nicknamed this phenomenon “The Wood-Wide Web“! Here’s an interesting vid that explains all:

How can I help save the trees?

You can help protect our forests. When you visit a forest be sure to keep all of your rubbish with you, keep on the tracks to avoid damaging plants, roots, and spreading diseases and get your hands dirty by volunteering to plant, weed, or control pests.


Wellington City Libraries have lots of resources to help you with your quest to protect our trees. Follow these simple steps on our website to find out more:

1. Click on Kids’ Search from the search drop-down on the Wellington City Libraries landing page

 

2. Scroll down to “Explore New Zealand topics” and find “Nature”. Click on each button to find lots of library resources that have been gathered together by our librarians. Enjoy!


Trees are AMAZING! Why not explore further with these resources from our catalogue:

The wonder of trees / Davies, Nicola
“Did you know that there are over 60,000 tree species? This stunning book explores the extraordinary diversity of trees and forests – the lungs of our earth. A glorious celebration of trees by non-fiction specialist Nicola Davies, illustrated by rising star Lorna Scobie, creators of the beautiful THE VARIETY OF LIFE. There is something to delight on every page with fascinating facts and figures. This exquisite book will encourage children to treasure the world’s biodiversity and help to stop it slipping away.” (Catalogue)
Deep roots : how trees sustain our planet / Tate, Nikki
“Presents facts about trees, explaining how they maintain a vibrant ecosystem and provide food, fuel, and shelter for people across the globe.” (Catalogue)
Trees : kings of the forest / Hirsch, Andy
“In Trees we follow an acorn as it learns about its future as Earth’s largest, longest-living plant. Starting with the seed’s germination, we learn about each stage until the tree’s maturation, different types of trees, and the roles trees take on in our ecosystem.” (Catalogue)
The wisdom of trees : how trees work together to form a natural kingdom / Judge, Lita
“A lyrical and informational nonfiction picture book that tells the story of trees and the hidden ecosystems they create” (Catalogue)
The giving tree / Silverstein, Shel
“A young boy grows to manhood and old age experiencing the love and generosity of a tree which gives to him without thought of return. Suggested level: junior, primary.” (Catalogue)

Earthkids: New Zealand conservation stories, activities and games by Andrew CroweEarthkids : New Zealand conservation stories, activities and games / Crowe, Andrew
“Describes efforts by New Zealanders to protect the environment and wildlife. Includes puzzles, quizzes and projects such as making a bird feeder, paper, a mobile and more. Suggested level: primary, intermediate, junior secondary.” (Catalogue)

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

via GIPHY

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

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

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

International Cat Day: 8 August 2022

Black Cat Appreciation Day: 17 August 2022

International Dog Day: 26 August 2022


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

Feisty Cats

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Fearless Dogs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sea Dragons and Other Monsters from the Deep


Sticky note…

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


A 180-million-year-old “sea dragon” has been unearthed from the depths of an old reservoir in the United Kingdom – and it’s a massive find: It’s as long as a double-decker bus (around 9.7 metres) and just its skull alone weighs 907kg, which is almost as much as a the weight of a small car!

Palaeontologists say the discovery are the bones of the ichthyosaur (or Sea Dragon)  is an extinct reptile that lived in water. Its name means ‘fish lizard’. Ichthyosaurus belonged to a larger group of reptiles called ichthyosaurs. Ichthyosaurs were distant relatives of lizards and snakes. They were not dinosaurs.

Watch the palaeontologists work:

What’s the difference between reptiles and dinosaurs?

black and white lizard on gray concrete floor

Lizard: Photo by Joshua J. Cotten on Unsplash

Dinosaurs lived around 66 million years ago. They are now extinct. Dinosaur were warm-blooded, whereas reptiles are cold-blooded animals. Both dinosaurs and reptiles hatch eggs and have scaly skin. However, the main difference between dinosaurs and reptiles is posture. Dinosaurs held their limbs directly under their bodies (like most mammals do) while reptiles, like lizards, have their limbs spread out sideways.

Do sea monsters exist today?

Free photo Tentacle Boats Kraken Boat Octopus Squid Monster - Max Pixel

Image: CC – Max Pixel free imagery

Hundreds of years ago, European sailors told of a sea monster called the kraken that could toss ships into the air with its many long arms. The legend may actually have originated from sightings of  the giant squid, which is a real living sea animal. It has 10 arms, can grow longer than a bus, and because it lives in deep oceans, has massive eyes. It’s only in recent years that these elusive creatures have been videoed alive, but you can see a deceased giant squid that has been preserved at the Colossal Squid (Te Ngū Tipua) exhibition at Te Papa.

Another mythical creature was called the Leviathan which is like a giant sea snake. Sea snakes are real animals, found in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The longest can grow to about nine feet — almost as long as our ancient Sea Dragon fossil above. Although some of these snakes are venomous, they usually do not pose a threat to humans.

Loch Ness - UTGÅTT - Engelsk (SF vg1) (LK06) - NDLA

(CC BY-SA 4.0)

And of course, we can’t forget the Loch Ness Monster. The Loch Ness Monster (also referred to as Nessie) is a supposed animal, said to live in the Scottish loch of Loch Ness, the second biggest lake in Scotland. Most scientists believe that the Loch Ness Monster is not real, and they say that many of the sightings are either hoaxes or pictures of other mistaken existing animals.

Dig deeper with these cool links:

Paleontology and dinosaurs for kids

Marine biology facts for kids

Ocean facts!

Archaeology facts for kids

Octopus facts

The ocean’s weirdest creatures

Our Blue Planet: Exploring the alien world of brine pools (YouTube)


There are lots of books about sea monsters real and imagined in our library collection for you to read if you dare!

Monsters : 100 weird creatures from around the world / Banville, Sarah
“Ever wondered what terrorised the Scape Ore swamp in 1980s South Carolina? Or who visits the naughty children in Northern Europe to punish them on Christmas Eve? Or how bloated undead feeders got upgraded to a shape-shifting castle-dwelling Count? From well-known and well-feared monsters like Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster, to the lesser-known, but just as weird and wonderful Japanese Sea Serpent and Chinese Hopping Vampires, this book is the must-have guide to monsters from all over the world”–Publisher’s description.” (Catalogue)
Monstrous : the lore, gore, and science behind your favorite monsters / Beccia, Carlyn
“Could Dr. Frankenstein’s machine ever animate a body? Why should vampires drink from veins and not arteries? What body parts are best for zombies to eat? (It’s not brains.) This fascinating encyclopedia of monsters delves into the history and science behind eight legendary creatures, from Bigfoot and the kraken to zombies and more. Find out each monster’s origin story and the real-world history that informed it, and then explore the science of each creature in fun and surprising ways. Tips and infographics—including monster anatomy, how to survive a vampire attack, and real-life giant creatures of the deep sea—make this a highly visual and fun-to-browse book.” (Catalogue)
Deep dive into deep sea / Flannery, Tim F.
“You might think you know about the ocean, but the deep sea is nothing like the beach. Things are weird down there. Who is the giant squid’s mortal enemy? Can you see ghosts in the deep sea? Why would a sea cucumber have teeth on its butt? And what on earth is a headless chicken monster?” (Catalogue)
Sea monster surprise / Stilton, Geronimo
“Bart Barnacle, the prehistoric pirate who has been visiting the cavemice, is ready to return to his pirate island home. It’s so far away that the Stiltonoots offer to accompany him on the long, treacherous journey over the sea. On the way, they encounter megalithic danger and hungry sea monsters! What an adventure!” (Catalogue)
The sea of monsters : the graphic novel / Venditti, Robert
“After discovering a secret that makes him question the honor of being the son of Poseidon, demi-god Percy Jackson journeys into the Sea of Monsters in an attempt to save Camp Half-Blood.” (Catalogue)
Nessie the Loch Ness monster / Brassey, Richard
“Fact or fiction? Whether or not you believe in the legendary tale from Loch Ness, this bestselling book is an essential part of British culture.” (Catalogue)
Sepron the sea serpent / Blade, Adam
Book 2 of the Beast Quest series. Sepron the Sea Serpent is a beast who protects the Western Ocean of Avantia. He is a long serpentine beast with green hair-like mane often compared to seaweed and a wide mouth lined with jagged fangs.
Twenty thousand leagues under the sea / Verne, Jules
“In the mid-nineteenth century, a French professor and his two companions, trapped aboard a fantastic submarine as prisoners of the deranged Captain Nemo, come face to face with exotic ocean creatures and strange sights hidden from the world above.” (Catalogue)
Ocean monsters / Davies, Nicola
“IExplore: Ocean Monsters is packed with fascinating information about the biggest, fiercest and strangest sea creatures, and is sure to inspire a sense of wonder and awe in nature. This book also brilliantly harnesses the wonders of AR to explore the world’s mysterious seas. Children can interact with dynamic sea creatures from the convenience of a tablet or smartphone.” (Catalogue)
Sea monsters : prehistoric creatures of the deep / Everhart, Michael J
“This book takes readers back in time – 82 million years ago – to when a massive sea divided North America, stretching from the Gulf of Mexico northward to Canada… giving us a glimpse of creatures like the sinuous Styxosauras, whose serpentine neck weighed more than a ton, or the fierce 40-foot Tylosaurus, the undisputed top predator of the time.” (Catalogue, abridged)
Miss Kraken / Greenberg, Nicki
“The minute we saw Miss Kraken, we all knew it was going to be a bad year. She’s cranky. She’s strict. She’s just plain . . . weird. Miss Kraken is definitely not the teacher the kids were hoping for. But she might have a surprise or two up her sleeves. A hilarious tale of bad behaviour and unexpected consequences.” (Catalogue)
The Kiwi fossil hunter’s handbook / Crampton, J. S.
“New Zealand has a rich fossil record, which is accessible to the amateur fossil-hunter in locations around New Zealand, including shells and plant remains, as well as the bones, teeth and other remnants of ancient reptiles, birds and fish. This handy pack-sized guide features 30 accessible locations around the country where kids and their families can find fossils. Each location contains specific information on where to look and what to look for, as well as the geological background and other details of each site, and colour images of fossils that could be found there” (Catalogue)
Whiti : colossal squid of the deep / Cleal, Victoria
“The colossal squid has been the most popular exhibit at Te Papa since it arrived there in 2007. Now this appealing book for young readers tells the fascinating story of these creatures from the deep, through sparkling and informative text and amazing illustrations. A must-have natural history book for young readers and their whānau and teachers”(Catalogue)

Learning With LEGO®

Disclaimer: This Kids’ Blog post is aimed mainly at the parents of young children. Kids read on at your peril!

Kia ora!  Further to our recent post for kids about the wonderful world of LEGO®, we thought it might be a good idea to talk to parents about just how much value you can get out of a session of LEGO® play time with your kids.  We all know that LEGO® is lots of fun, super creative and a favourite of all ages, but one of the reasons we hold so many LEGO® sessions in libraries is because we use it as a tool for learning about literacy.  LEGO® is an excellent gateway to developing children’s literacy in a fun, informal way, and opens up a rich world of storytelling, world building, character development and language skills.

Hands picking up LEGO® pieces

We use several techniques to enrich LEGO® play time that you may like to try yourself next time you settle in to build with your kids.  Here are some examples:

20 Questions

As you build, play a game of 20 questions with your children where you each try to guess what the other is building.  Start with things like “Is it an animal?” or “Can I eat it?” and work your way through the characteristics until the item being built is guessed.  Throw in a few silly questions too, just to keep the interest going.

Theme setting

Set a loose theme for kids to build to.  For example “something you’d find in a city.” or “something with wings”.  This gets kids thinking about particular environments or themes and nudges their creativity into new pathways, particularly if your kids like to build the same thing over and over.

A LEGO® city scene

Searching and sharing

We’ve all had that moment where we’re looking for a particular type of LEGO® brick to build our creation, and are sorting through the pile to no avail.  Kids have sharp eyes, they’re excellent at spotting just the right brick.  But it’s also an opportunity to encourage sharing, kids that come to library LEGO® sessions often offer up bricks out of their own pile of LEGO® they are working with, or offer to break down something they’re working on to swap out for the brick another builder needs.  We always make sure to thank a child who shares the LEGO® and often ask them if there is something we can find for them.

It’s also an opportunity to work on colours, shapes and numbers.  Kids looking for a particular brick can count how many studs (the correct name for the bumps on LEGO® bricks) wide and long a piece is, ask them what colour, shape and size the particular brick they need is.  Or you can ask them to find groups of bricks, for example “I need red bricks.” or “Can you find me bricks that are square?”  Sorting and selecting LEGO® bricks develops many skills while also having fun.

Pattern making

When building with LEGO®, use shapes and/or colours to create patterns in your build.  Stripes, spots, indents, small and large – there are many ways you can incorporate patterns in your build, which in turn enriches skills like counting, colour, texture, shape and pattern recognition.

Emotions and expressions

An assortment of Lego minifig heads with different facial expressions

LEGO® minifigs and other bricks come in a large variety of faces and body decorations.  They are excellent in teaching emotions, expressions and facial features.  Ask your child if the character they are building with is a happy or angry character.  Ask them to find a minifig that has glasses, or has blue pants, or a tail.

Story and character building

When your child has built their LEGO® creation, spend some time encouraging them to tell you about what they have built.  Children approach LEGO® building in different ways.  Some like to build elaborate scenes, so you can encourage them to tell you the story of the scene.  Others prefer to build a character, like an animal or person, which you can ask them to describe the character’s personality, tell the story of the character, where they might live or what they might eat.  If your child builds machinery or architecture, ask them about the features of their build.  How does it work?  What is it used for?

There are lots of other ways building with LEGO® encourages learning through play, and it’s a fun way for you to spend time with them.  Kids love to build LEGO® with adults and it often creates a comfortable atmosphere for conversations about other things happening in their lives.  It promotes relaxation and concentration.  Depending on your child’s age and skill levels, you can scale the type of learning to suit and most importantly, have fun!  If you need a little more inspiration, we have lots of books about LEGO®, which you can find here.

Who knows, you might even discover you have some shared interests!

A row of Stormtrooper minifigs face away from the viewer, except the second in the row which is turned to face forward.

(Images in this blog post courtesy of Pixabay)

Olympians vs. Marvel/DC Heroes: Team Battle 1!

Our first Olympians vs. Marvel/DC Superheroes team battle is upon us. The kings, queens, and prodigal daughters of the Greek gods and superhero comic pantheons come face to face over the pages of their books — who will emerge victorious? That is for you to decide… once you read the books, of course!

1) Zeus vs Thor

The Greek God of Thunder does battle with the Norse God of Thunder in this epic meeting of the gods of the sky!

Starting with the first book in the world of the Olympians, in Zeus: King of the Gods readers meet the ruler of the Olympian Pantheon, and are told his story from his boyhood to his ascendance to supreme power.

Meanwhile in the Norse-inspired world of Marvel comics, join Thor as he battles with frost giants, goes fishing for sea serpents, and tries to figure out who has stolen his hammer. With the trickster god Loki tagging along on his quests, Thor will not only have to squeeze into a wedding dress but also test his strength against a giant’s cat that’s so big he can’t reach its tummy, even on his tip toes.

Pro-tip: This book is part of the Bloomsbury High Low series, which encourages and support reading practice by providing gripping, age-appropriate and illustrated stories for struggling and reluctant readers, those with dyslexia, or those with English as an additional language.

image courtesy of syndetics

image courtesy of syndetics


You might also like:

image courtesy of syndeticsNorse myths : tales of Odin, Thor and Loki.

“The gods of the Vikings come to life as never before in this extraordinary illustrated anthology by Carnegie Medal-winning author Kevin Crossley-Holland and artist Jeffrey Alan Love. These dramatic, enthralling and atmospheric tales are based on the Scandinavian myth cycle one of the greatest and most culturally significant stories in the world – and tell of Odin with his one eye, Thor with his mighty hammer and Loki, the red-haired, shape-shifting trickster. In this stunning collection of myths, the strange world of ancient magic, giants, dwarfs and monsters is unforgettably imagined.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsTreasury of Norse mythology : stories of intrigue, trickery, love, and revenge.

“Classic stories and dazzling illustrations of gods, goddesses, heroes and monsters come to life in a stunning tableau of Norse myths, including those of the thunder god Thor, the one-eyed god and Allfather Odin, and the trickster god Loki. The lyrical storytelling of award-winning author Donna Jo Napoli dramatizes the timeless tales of ancient Scandinavia. This book is the third in the trilogy that includes the popular National Geographic Treasury of Greek Mythology and National Geographic Treasury of Egyptian Mythology.” (Catalogue)

Also search our catalogue for more books about Thor and Zeus.

2) Athena vs Wonder Woman

Talk about taking sibling rivalry to to extreme! Half sisters, Greek Goddess, Athena and Wonder Woman (Amazon, demi-god and superhero) do battle over who can best fight battles using wisdom over strength. Who do you think will win?

Read the story of Athena, goddess of wisdom and one of the most complex Olympians. This graphic novel retells her many interwoven tales: how she killed Pallas, fought the Gigantes, aided Perseus, and cursed Arachne. Wonder Woman: The Ultimate Guide to the Amazon Warrior showcases stunning Wonder Woman aka Diana Prince comic artwork and examines iconic characters as well as key issues and story lines. Packed with information on allies, enemies, locations, and much more, this book is a must-have book for fans of DC Comics, Wonder Woman comics and characters, and the Justice League of America.

You may also enjoy Diana and the island of no return. It tells the story of a very young Diana who hopes to persuade her mother, Queen Hippolyta, to let her learn how to fight when the world’s most powerful women gather on Themyscira for a festival to celebrate their different cultures. But at the start of the festivities, an unexpected and forbidden visitor — a boy — brings news of an untold danger that threatens Themyscira and all of its sacred neighboring lands. (Descriptions adapted from Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndetics

image courtesy of syndetics

image courtesy of syndetics
3) Hera vs Captain Marvel

Volume 3 of Olympians, Hera: The Goddess and Her Glory, introduces readers to the Queen of the Gods and Goddesses in the Pantheon. This volume tells the tales of the many heroes who sought and won Hera’s patronage — in particular, the famous Hercules. Hera is majestic, proud, and at times severe and vindictive — but always she wields the unquestionable power of a queen of the heavens. So how will she fare in battle against the (unofficial) queen of Marvel heroes and heroines, Captain Marvel?

Join Carol Danvers in Captain Marvel : cosmic cat-tastrophe. Carol’s quiet night with BFF Jessica Drew (a.k.a. Spider-Woman) takes a catastrophic turn when Manhattan’s bodegas are suddenly overrun by a host of angry felines! And not just any felines – Flerkens, the most terrifying, pocket-dimension-holding, tentacle-devouring kitty-look-alikes in the entire universe! Carol’s paw-sitive she can handle the situation on her own, but questions remain: can she overcome the fur-midible foes before it’s too late? How well does the “Find My Phone” function actually work? And will there be more cat puns?! (Description from Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndetics

image courtesy of syndetics


Zeus vs. Thor; Athena vs. Wonder Woman; Hera vs. Captain Marvel — which team won? Stay tuned for our next Olympians vs. DC?Marvel Superheroes team battle, where we’ll see more of these powerful beings in exciting literary action!

What do we do with all that poo?

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

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

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

The sewage / wastewater journey

Treatment plant at Moa Point.

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

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

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

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

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

The Treatment Process


FAQs

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Laughter: The Best Medicine!

two, toddlers, sitting, grass field, holding, gray, laptops, children, laugh, study of, laptop, vietnamese, thailand, enjoy, boys, seat, the business, tablet, happiness, internet, indonesian, outside, the record books, myanmar burma, dom, people, asia, the computer, dear, the game, lifestyle, laos, funny, meeting, joy, kids, view, play, online, nature, talking, happy, communication, outdoor, two people, using laptop, technology, grass, wireless technology, adult, mature adult, men, computer, computer network, connection, males, working, plant, emotion, learning, using computer, outdoors, 4K, CC0, public domain, royalty free

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

Hahaha, hehehe, lol 🙂 🙂

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

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

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

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


Laughter is good for your health by:

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

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

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

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

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


Further silliness 🙂

🙂 What’s a “Funny Bone”?

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

🙂 Where did LOL, LMHO and ROFL come from? 

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

LMHO = Laughing My Head Off

ROFL = Rolling On the Floor Laughing

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

🙂 Why are Comic books called comics?

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

 

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

 


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

JOKE BOOKS JUVENILE … and get issuing and reserving!

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Sea shanties are trending… but what are they?

Image result for whalers clipartSocial media has been awash the last few weeks with the singing and playing of these earwormy (is that even a word?) songs called sea shanties.

 Melodies like The Wellerman and Drunken Sailor have been popping up in videos everywhere. And the trend all began with a postman named Nathan Evans, who started singing the songs in his bedroom in Scotland and posting them to TikTok.

Musicians all over the world have been jumping on board and adding their own parts to Evans’ vocals – even Andrew Lloyd Webber,  turned Evans’ rendition of The Wellerman into a duet with a piano accompaniment.

What is a sea shanty?

Sea shanties are a type of folk song historically sung by fisherman, whalers and merchant sailors to accompany the work they needed to do on board a sailing ship. The theme music to the cartoon SpongeBob SquarePants is a great example of a sea shanty, which often uses the ‘call-and-response’, style in the song!

They’re believed to be around 600 years old, and the name itself is thought to derive from the French verb ‘chanter’, meaning ‘to sing’. They often used similar tunes to old Irish and Scottish folk songs and would typically have been sung a cappella – without instrumental accompaniment – across a crowded deck. Such songs were designed to match the rhythm of common jobs aboard a ship such as pulling rigs or mopping the decks; they synchronized the sailors and made their work more bearable / enjoyable.

A deep dive into The Wellerman and its link to NZ’s whaling history

The sea shanty which started this craze – Soon May the Wellerman Come – is thought to have originated in New Zealand and sung on whaling boats in the mid-19th century. The “Wellerman” refers to a supply ship (owned by the Weller Company) which brought supplies such as tea, sugar and rum to the men on the whaling boats. The lyrics describe a whale hunt. The whalers have harpooned the whale but can’t get it on board.

Whalers and sealers were among the first Europeans to arrive in New Zealand. The first shore based whaling stations were established in southern New Zealand in the late 1820s.

May be an image of tree and outdoors

Whale pots near the visitor centre on Kāpiti Island. Image: Courtesy Sue Jane

In 1839, the peak year for New Zealand whaling, approximately 200 whaleships were working in New Zealand waters. Kororareka in the Bay of Islands was the biggest whaling port in the southern hemisphere, with 740 ships visiting the port in 1840. The Kāpiti region had six whaling stations dotted around the area. Even Kāpiti Island  had a whaling station on it, as Southern Right Whales would use the channel between the Island and the Kāpiti Coast as they migrated north from Antarctica. Old whale pots used to boil the whale blubber to get the valuable whale oil, are still sitting on the island today.

 

 

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Code Clubs at Wellington City Libraries

Coding is everywhere, even behind the scenes of this very blog! Here’s a snippet of HTML from one of our most popular Kids’ Blog posts from last year — can you work out which one?

Did you know that you can learn how to code at your local library? That’s right! In collaboration with our friends at Code Club Aotearoa, we have been running Code Clubs across Wellington City Libraries since early 2018 — and this year, there is a new library joining the Code Club family — our He Matapihi branch, on the ground floor of the National Library in Thorndon!

Here is the full list of Code Clubs across Wellington City Libraries — click the relevant link to register (please note some of our Clubs are full already! You can still click the link to be waitlisted for the next intake of students):

  • He Matapihi Library Code Club — Wednesdays at 3.45pm (register here)
  • Johnsonville Library Code Club Level 1 — Thursdays at 3.30pm (this club is FULL; click here to join the waitlist)
  • Johnsonville Library Code Club Level 2 — Wednesdays at 5.00pm (this club is FULL; click here to join the waitlist)
  • Karori Library Code Club — Tuesdays at 3.30pm (register here)
  • Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library Code Club — Saturdays at 2.00pm (this club is FULL; click here to join the waitlist)
  • Newtown Library Code Club — Mondays at 4.00pm (register here)

At Code Club, you will complete progressive coding challenges under the guidance of librarians and other coding experts! Most of our Code Clubs start off by covering projects in Scratch 3.0 (and it’s useful if you already have an account, but we can help you make one if you don’t!), with some groups moving on to cover other coding practices like Python and HTML/CSS (using popular multi-purpose coding platform trinket.io). Contact your local club if you want to find out more about what they offer, or you can check out some of the projects yourself here!

To finish up, below is an example of one of the simple games you could find yourself making after just a couple of weeks of attending Code Club. It really is fun! How many ghosts can you capture, ghostbuster?

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious : How Do We Get New Words?

File:People talking.png - Wikimedia CommonsEver wondered about the sounds that come out of your mouth and how amazing it is that the people around you can actually understand those weird and wonderful noises? How do you know what to say and how do new words come into everyday use? Commonly used words or phrases are like anything that’s trending – the more people use it, the more normalised it will become. In this techno-age you’re probably using words and phrases that your grandparents (and definitely your great-grandparents!) would have never heard of. Think “wi-fi”, “smartphone”, “internet”. Or the words and phrases you use now meant wildly different things in the past. For example, if you say “she’s sick” to your grandad, he’d probably be concerned that the person you’re talking about was “feeling poorly” and would not realise that what you’re really saying is “she’s awesome”, lol (yes, another newbie in the language department).

524 Hello In Different Languages Illustrations, Royalty-Free Vector Graphics & Clip Art - iStockThere are approximately 7000 different languages spoken throughout the world, with the top 5 (by total number of speakers) being English, Mandarin, Chinese, Hindi, Spanish and French. Of those 7000 nearly half are in danger of extinction this century. These endangered languages are often indigenous languages that are being taken over by a more dominant language, eg. English. Here in Aotearoa te reo Māori was made an official language in 1987 and Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori (The Māori Language Commission) was established to ensure that te reo grows and thrives.

Dictionary.com updates definitions, adds new words explaining COVID-19 outbreak

Image courtesy of dictionary.com

Each year, the major dictionaries publish lists of new and most commonly used words, and it’s no surprise to anyone that 2020’s word of the year was pandemic, followed closely by coronavirus and lockdown. The word pandemic has been around for a long time and is built on two words from ancient Greek – pan, meaning “all”, and demos, “people”. Coronavirus simply wasn’t part of most people’s vocabulary until 2020 – now we all know what it means! Like pandemic, lockdown was already reasonably familiar. But  it has taken on a new meaning in 2020 – confinement to the home in order to stop the spread of the virus – which means it will for ever be linked with disease control.

And if you’re still keen for more new words added to the dictionary in 2020, check out the following:


File:William Shakespeare sq.jpg - Wikimedia CommonsThe famous playwright William Shakespeare (think”Romeo and Juliet”, “Hamlet”, “Macbeth”) who died in 1616, so a rather long time ago, would simply make up words if he felt they were needed in his plays! And to this day we still use a huge number of his words in everyday language (over 1,700 of them). Words like “critic”, “elbow”, “lonely” all came from Shakespeare’s imagination. Shakespeare obviously like words starting with “un” because he created nearly 300 starting with this prefix. Here are just a few that popped into his, and now our, writing: “unaware”, “uncomfortable”, “undress”, “unreal”.

So, what is the longest word in the English language? Is it Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious and is that even a word? It turns out that it only comes in at 5th place with Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis at 45 letters long, taking first place!

If visualiation is more your thing, maybe you could have a play around with some free word clouds. Word clouds create a pictorial representation of word frequency in a text.  The larger the word in  the picture the more common the word was in the written document. Here’s this blog post as a word cloud:


Wellington City Libraries have heaps of books and resources that focus on language and the written word – everything from cracking good reads to brain teasers. So don’t procrastinate! Immerse yourself in the verbiage!

Frindle / Clements, Andrew
Everyone knows that Mrs. Granger, the language arts teacher, has X-ray vision, and nobody gets away with anything in her classroom. To make matters worse, she’s also a fanatic about the dictionary, which is hopelessly boring to Nick. But when Nick learns an interesting tidbit about words and where they come from, it inspires his greatest plan yet: to invent a new word. From now on, a pen is no longer a pen — it’s a frindle. It doesn’t take long for frindle to take root, and soon the excitement spreads well beyond his school and town. His parents and Mrs. Granger would like Nick to put an end to all this nonsense. But frindle doesn’t belong to Nick anymore. All he can do now is sit back and watch what happens.
This quirky, imaginative tale about creative thought and the power of words will have readers inventing their own words. Brian Selznick’s black-and-white illustrations enhance the humor in this unforgettable story. (Catalogue)

Jabberwocky / Carroll, Lewis
The award-winning first book in the Visions in Poetry series explores Lewis Carroll’s celebrated nonsense poem. An illustrated version of the classic nonsense poem from “Through the Looking Glass. The most celebrated nonsense poem in the English language, Lewis Carroll’s “Jabberwocky” has delighted readers of all ages since it was first published in Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, in 1872. Stephane Jorisch’s stunningly inventive art adds a vibrant, surprising dimension to an already unforgettable poem. (Adapted from Catalogue)

Wordplay : a Toon book / Brunetti, Ivan
Calling all bookworms! Go “outside,” “elsewhere,” and down the “rabbit hole” with this hilarious introduction to compound words. Young readers will fall in love with the English language as they watch star cartoonist Ivan Brunetti put his sly spin on vocabulary. The lesson here? Even “homework” is fun when you let yourself play with the words.

The 5 minute brain workout for kids : 365 amazing, fabulous, and fun word puzzles / Chamberlain, Kim
Our brains are an amazing organ! And just like our bodies, our brain functions best when it’s put to work. So get ready to give your brain a full workout each day with The Five-Minute Brain Workout for Kids! Inside, you’ll find 365 word puzzles and games to keep your mind active and in great shape! Have fun with your family and friends as you learn about acronyms, anagrams, definitions, parts of speech, rhyming words, syllables, word structure, and more with these fun puzzles. From Alphabet Teasers and Mini Word Sudoku puzzles, to Speed Words and Word Store games, even doing one puzzle a day will help you to learn new words, spell better, problem solve with ease, and have better concentration.
Oxford first rhyming dictionary / Foster, John
“The Oxford First Rhyming Dictionary has over 1000 rhyming words to help young children with writing rhymes and poems, and expand vocabulary. Have fun in the sun, drink lemonade in the shade and be inspired to write about pirates, kings and magic rings in the Oxford First Rhyming Dictionary. The dictionary contains a clear and simple alphabetical list of over 1,000 words that rhyme along with rhyming sounds, and an index to make finding words simple. John Foster’s lively poems accompany the rhyming sounds, and every page features bright and colourful illustrations. Children can expand their vocabulary, practice phonic sounds to help with spelling, and being to write their own rhymes.
Access even more downloadable rhyming games, puzzles, activities and much more at: www.oxforddictionaries.com/schools


Everyday words in Māori
This is a bright and busy book that will give Maori language learners of all ages hours of enjoyment. A pronunciation guide and an alphabetical Maori/English list of all the words in the book are included.

Oxford Roald Dahl dictionary
A dictionary of real and invented words used by the world’s best storyteller. The Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary reveals what they mean, where they came from and how he used them in his stories. It will inspire you to choose and use each word brilliantly in your own writing – whether it’s a real word, a Roald Dahl word or your own made-up one! This is not an ordinary dictionary. After all, you wouldn’t expect an Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary to be ordinary, would you? Lots of dictionaries tell you what an “alligator” is, or how to spell “balloon” but they won’t explain the difference between a “ringbeller” and a “trogglehumper,” or say why witches need “gruntles’ eggs” or suggest a word for the shape of a “Knid.” All the words that Roald Dahl invented are here, like “biffsquiggled” and “whizzpopping,” to remind you what means what. You’ll also find out where words came from, rhyming words, synonyms and lots of alternative words for words that are overused.

How to talk to your computer / Simon, Seymour
Have you ever wondered how to get a computer to do something First you need to speak in a way it can understand! Read and find out all about how to talk to your computer in this updated edition with brand-new illustrations and simple engaging text that introduces conditions, loops, and functions. How to Talk to Your Computer comes packed with visual aids like charts, sidebars, an infographic, and a computer-less coding activity!