Wellington Beaches for Summer Swimming

Let’s talk about one of the most Kiwi summer activities Wellington has to offer – going to the beach!

There’s so much to do at the beach. You can build sandcastles, go swimming and jump over waves, draw pictures in the sand and follow the footprints in the sand left by birds. You can collect shells, have a picnic, search for sea life in a rockpool, and there’s so much more!

When you’re planning your beach trip, it’s a good idea to be prepared with lots of sunscreen, buckets and boogie boards, and also some thoughts towards safety. If you’re not already familiar with the Water Safety Code, we recommend having a read so you know how best to keep yourself and your family safe. If you’re visiting a beach for the first time, Find a Beach is a great website created by Surf Life Saving New Zealand that has profiles for pretty much every beach around Aotearoa. On this site you can search up the beach you’re planning to visit, check out the forecast, find out if there will be lifeguards, and learn about any hazards to watch out for. They’ve got a good safety information page too!

There are so many beaches around Wellington for you to explore, so lets take a look at some of them:

Balaena Bay

Balaena Bay is the first of the smaller beaches along Evans Bay Parade.

There’s a carpark at one end, and changing rooms at the other. The water here is quite shallow and calm, so is good for just splashing about if you’re not yet ready for swimming.

Freyberg Beach/Oriental Bay

Freyberg Beach and Oriental Bay are so close together that they’re sharing an entry in this list.

These two beaches are right next to each other, and very close to the central city.

There are changing rooms and wheelchair access at Freyberg, as well as parking and a playground! There’s also a beach wheelchair at Freyberg pool that’s available to borrow. There are also a few cafes, ice cream stores, and food trucks around on Oriental Parade in case you’re after a post-swim snack.

If you’re worried about safety, then relax! Oriental Bay is patrolled by lifeguards over the summer.

Hataitai Beach

Hataitai Beach, like Balaena Bay, is along Evans Bay Parade. The beach here is quite small and the water is very calm but it gets deep more quickly than at Balaena Bay so if you’re not a very confident swimmer make sure to stay close to the shore. Cog Park is right next door, so if you are a confident swimmer and the tide is in there’s a small wharf you can jump off!

Cog Park has plenty of picnicking spots, and at the other end of Hataitai Beach are the changing rooms with steps that go straight down into the sea.

Island Bay

Island Bay is easy to get to on the bus – just hop on a number 1 and you’re pretty much there. If you’re keen for a swim or a walk along the beach, Island Bay is a good option for you. Just remember that it looks out on the open sea so the water will be a bit cooler than any of the beaches inside the Wellington harbour.

There are changing rooms and picnic tables at the park across the road, and also a playground!

Lyall Bay

Lyall Bay is a wonderfully long stretch of beach to walk along – and the eastern end of the beach allows off leash dogs if you have a furry friend who would like to join you!

You can use the changing rooms in the Lyall Bay Surf Life Saving Club, and they also have beach wheelchairs available to borrow. Lyall Bay is a patrolled beach over the summer so let the lifeguards keep you safe!

Princess Bay

Princess Bay is another beach along the south coast. It’s further east than Island Bay and quite a bit smaller. Princess Bay is good for a sheltered swim and if you’re interested in sea life you can explore the rockpools out along the point. If it’s a clear day you might even be able to see the South Island!

Leave your car in the carpark at the eastern end of the bay by the changing rooms.

Scorching Bay

Out along the Miramar Peninsula is Scorching Bay. It’s got golden sand, a nice grassy area, changing rooms and outdoor showers, and the Scorch-O-Rama café across the road.

Scorching Bay is a patrolled beach, so make sure you swim between the flags.

Worser Bay

Worser Bay is another beach along the Miramar Peninsula, out on the eastern side.

You’ll be well taken care of with changing rooms, a picnic area, and across the road from the beach is the famous Worser Bay swing. Be sure to check it out!


If you can’t get out to the beach but you can make it to the library, or would like to know more about the creatures you might find in a rockpool, here are some beach-themed New Zealand reads to get you inspired:

At the beach : explore & discover the New Zealand seashore / Candler, Gillian
“At the Beach is a delightful introduction to the natural history of the New Zealand seashore. The stage is set with beautiful, factually correct illustrations (including detailed cross-sections) of three familiar habitats – the sandy beach, rockpools and mudflats. Many of the plants and animals that play a part in these rich ecosystems are shown in situ, and readers are directed from there to pages dedicated to detailed coverage of: crabs; sea stars, kina and sea anemones; shellfish; seaweeds, sponges and sandhoppers; fish, jellyfish & shrimps; birds. Aimed at children 5-8 years old, but with appeal for anyone curious about New Zealand’s natural environment, At the Beach is a must for the home, bach, classroom and library. Comes with a removable, waterproof quick-reference guide to common seashore animals.” (Catalogue)

Freddy Bear and the beach / Cowley, Joy
“Freddy Bear is playing at the beach with Dad – running, playing, chasing seagulls. He falls over running, but Dad picks him up and takes him home.” (Catalogue)

The life-size guide to the New Zealand beach : featuring the odd things that get washed up on the sand / Crowe, Andrew
“Pictorial guide to identifying various items and curious objects that are commonly found on New Zealand beaches. Suggested level: primary, intermediate, secondary.” (Catalogue)

Dashing dog / Mahy, Margaret
“When a dashing dog gets into messy mischief, his family is exasperated. Then baby Betty falls off the jetty, and it’s up to the brave dashing dog to save the day.” (Catalogue)

A summery Saturday morning / Mahy, Margaret
“The children go down to the sea on a summery, Saturday morning, down the wiggly track, scattering shells and leaping logs. But first their dogs chase a cat, then they chase a boy on a rattly bike, then wild geese hiss and chase the children and the dogs and the walk is not so peacful after all. Suggested level: junior, primary.” (Catalogue)

A is for Aotearoa : a lift-the-flap New Zealand treasure hunt / Newcombe, Diane
“Our story starts with a bottle containing a secret message, washed up on a beach. The bottle begins a trail of clues, and children lift the flap to reveal the clue that takes them on an alphabet journey all over New Zealand. Included is a glossary with interesting facts about each location”–Publisher information.” (Catalogue)

Charlie Tangaroa and the creature from the sea / Roxborogh, Tania Kelly
“On a beach clean-up, thirteen-year-old Charlie and his brother, Robbie, find a ponaturi, a mermaid, washed up on a beach. An ancient grudge between the Māori gods Tane and Tangaroa has flared up because a port being built in the bay is polluting the ocean and creatures are fleeing the sea. This has reignited anger between the gods, which breaks out in storms, earthquakes and huge seas. The ponaturi believes Charlie is the only one who can stop the destruction. So begins Charlie’s journey to find a way to reunite the gods and discover why he is the one for the task”–Publisher information.” (Catalogue)

Also available as an eBook

Splish, splash, safety : a book about water safety.
“Join The Wiggles as they practise water safety!” (Catalogue)
Summer days : stories and poems celebrating the Kiwi summer.
“A beautiful collection of children’s stories and poems that celebrates the golden days of summer, by some of New Zealand’s finest writers and illustrators. The great Kiwi summer conjures images of the beach, swimming, boating, fishing, families, friends adventures… This collection of seven stories and ten poems capture that quintessential summer feeling, and is perfect summertime reading to share with children. Dive in to find all sorts of treasures by well-known New Zealand writers and illustrators, including Margaret Mahy, Joy Cowley, Gavin Bishop, Pamela Allen, Gwenda Turner, Fiona Farrell, Elena de Roo, Melanie Drewery, Sandra Morris, Sue Wootton, Brian Turner, Jenny Cooper, Vasanti Unka and David Elliot. Target age 3-7 years”–Publisher information.” (Catalogue)

Kids Audiobooks for the Summer Holidays

Since the summer holidays are fast approaching, and our Summer Reading Adventure has already launched, now is the perfect time to highlight our children’s audiobook collection.

Audiobooks are a great distraction for long car trips, and are also a good way for more reluctant readers to keep up their reading over the summer. And we have so many audiobooks for you to choose from, and so many ways to access them as well!

via GIPHY

Audiobooks on CD

If you prefer to use a CD player to listen to your audiobooks, then head on down to one of our branches and keep an eye out for the Children’s Audiobook section where you can browse the collection of available books-on-CD. You can also search and reserve audiobooks through our catalogue so the titles you’re after are ready and waiting for your next library visit – and check out our Quick Searches page! Here you can get a quick list of hundreds of kids audiobooks to scroll through.

If you’re into eAudiobooks, we have two different services you can use to listen. Both are free to use – you can use them in your browser or just download the app onto your phone, tablet, computer, whatever device you have, and sign in with your library card barcode number and your 4-digit pin.

Our eAudiobooks show up on our catalogue when you’re searching, just like our regular audiobooks. All you have to do is check which kind of eAudiobook it is, Borrowbox or Overdrive!

Screenshot of the catalogue search record for Cart and Cwidder by Diana Wynne Jones. Underneath the author's name the call number is listed as Children eAudiobook Overdrive.

The description in the catalogue search results will tell you what kind of book it is, and where to get it! This one is an Overdrive eAudiobook.


Borrowbox

Borrowbox has several thousand different titles, and a big focus on eAudiobooks. They’re an Australian company so are a bit more likely to have titles from closer to home.

With Borrowbox you can search for specific titles, or filter by age and explore featured lists such as Chart Toppers or new books, and you can have 25 eAudiobooks and 25 eBooks out at a time!


Libby by Overdrive

Overdrive has got two apps you can use, Libby and Overdrive, but both have exactly the same books on them and you can use both or either, whichever you like best!

There are a lot of curated booklists available on Libby and Overdrive, such as the Stay At Home Audiobook Selection from earlier this year, Alternative Fairy Tales and Folklore, and even a dog themed booklist! Probably the most exciting of these lists though is the Unlimited Loans: Kids Audiobooks collection. With this list of 100 eAudiobooks you don’t have to wait for the person before you to return them to the library – they’re always available!

You can have 20 titles – eAudiobooks and eBooks – out a time through Libby and Overdrive.


So now you have all these different options for accessing audiobooks, but when are you going to listen to them, and what kind of book do you want? Do you want a nice long chapter book with an adventure in it to listen to on the long car trip to your grandparent’s house? Or maybe you’d like a Christmas story to listen to as you decorate your tree? Or some shorter stories to help lull you off to sleep?

In case you’re having a hard time deciding what to listen to, here are a few ideas to get you started:

The Quentin Blake collection / Blake, Quentin
“A collection of gorgeous stories from Quentin Blake, one of the best-known and most highly regarded illustrators of our time, internationally celebrated for his partnership with Roald Dahl.” (Catalogue)

Also available as an eAudiobook

Christmas stories / Blyton, Enid
“In this collection there is mystery and magic, laughter and mischief, the joy of shared times and plenty of delicious food, many of the ingredients that have been delighting Enid Blyton’s fans for more than seventy years.” (Catalogue)

Also available as an eAudiobook

Holiday stories / Blyton, Enid
“A wonderful selection of stories to read and share. From sandcastles at the beach to enchanted ice-creams, step into the summer with these delightful characters. Adventure, fun and magic can all be found on holiday with Enid Blyton, who has been delighting readers for more than seventy years.” (Catalogue)

Also available as an eAudiobook

Artemis Fowl / Colfer, Eoin
“When a twelve-year-old evil genius tries to restore his family fortune by capturing a fairy and demanding a ransom in gold, the fairies fight back with magic, technology, and a particularly nasty troll.” (Catalogue)

Also available as an eAudiobook

Hairy Maclary story collection / Dodd, Lynley
“Collection of amusing stories about the adventures of the dog Hairy Maclary and his friends who just want to have fun, but trouble is never far away! Suggested level: junior, primary.” (Catalogue)

The Julia Donaldson collection / Donaldson, Julia
“Follow the Swallow: When Apollo the swallow flies to Africa, Chack the blackbird wants to send him a message. But Africa is far away. Can a jumpy dolphin, a grumpy camel, a greedy crocodile or a playful monkey help to deliver the message? […]” (Catalogue)

Also available as an eAudiobook
Good night stories for rebel girls : [100 tales of extraordinary women] / Favilli, Elena
“To the rebel girls of the world: dream bigger, aim higher, fight harder, and, when in doubt, remember you are right”–Introduction. “Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls reinvents fairy tales, inspiring girls with the stories of 100 heroic women […]” (Catalogue)

Also available as an eAudiobook

The pirates’ mixed-up voyage / Mahy, Margaret
“Captain Lionel Wafer and his fellow-pirates, Toad, Brace-and-Bit and Winkle, are no ordinary ruffians. Clinging to the belief that life should be simple, free and unplanned they set off in a converted teashop of a ship[…] to sail backwards and forwards over the bounding blue […]” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Also available as an eAudiobook

The lightning thief / Riordan, Rick
“Twelve-year-old Percy Jackson learns he is a demigod, the son of a mortal woman and Poseidon, god of the sea. His mother sends him to a summer camp for demigods where he and his new friends set out on a quest to prevent a war between the gods. Suggested level: intermediate, junior secondary.” (Catalogue)

Also available as an eAudiobook

Nevermoor : the trials of Morrigan Crow / Townsend, Jessica
“A cursed child destined to die on her eleventh birthday is rescued and whisked away to a secret realm called Nevermoor and given the chance to compete for a place in a prestigious organization called the Wundrous Society.” (Catalogue)

Also available as an eAudiobook

Absolutely Positively Wellington Short Story Competition

This summer, young scribes and aspiring writers around the city are invited to enter the The Mayor and Deputy Mayors Absolutely Positively Wellington Short Story Competition!

The theme for this year is ‘The City of Wind.’ Mayor Andy Foster adds that “Wellington is famous for its iconic wind – and whether you love it or hate it – it shapes our lives.”

You can write your story in Te Reo Māori or English and/or a combination.

Deputy Mayor Sarah Free says: “We are looking for fact or fiction stories that explore the love hate relationship people have with this force of nature. Serious or fun, futuristic, or based on a historical chapter in Wellington’s history, now is the moment to unsheathe your pen, sharpen your pencil and fire up your word processor.”

There are some exciting prizes up for grabs, including a $200 book voucher, a lunch with the Mayor and Deputy Mayor and a creative development session with the competition judge, and award-winning writer Lauren Keenan.

Categories:

  • Best Story: 9-12 year old, up to 1500 words
  • Best Story 13-18 year olds, up to 3000 words
  • Best Title of a Story
  • Best Premise of a Story
  • Most Imaginative Story

The competition closes at 11:59pm on 25 February 2022. We look forward to reading all your stories!

Find more details and the online entry form here.

Books to check out!

Unleash your creative monster : a children’s guide to writing / Jones, Andy
“A side-splitting and informative guide to creative writing by author/illustrator comedic duo Andy and Olaf, jam-packed with lashings of monster-inspired fun. Unleash your creative monster and write stories to inspire, amaze and awe your friends. With top tips on getting your story started, learn essential skills for storytellers in this brilliant guide to writing. Give your descriptions claws, add a little bite to your writing and feed your monster inspiration with over 50 writing prompts and exercises”–Publisher’s description.” (Catalogue)

How to be a young #writer / Edge, Christopher
“This is an authoritative book from the word experts at Oxford to get budding writers crafting brilliant stories. It will help you think about how to develop an idea into a gripping and powerful story, with examples and tips from the best known authors to show you how it’s done. For children aged 11 and over, it covers all the key elements of plot, characterization, building a believable world, thinking about tone and style, weaving description into stories, through to endings and editing your work. Practical tips will get any struggling writer to beat the fear of the blank page and inspirational advice will help young authors to achieve their creative writing goals. It includes information on sharing stories and how to get people reading your work.” (Catalogue)

Kid authors : true tales of childhood from famous writers / Stabler, David
“Presents stories featuring authors when they were children, including Roald Dahl, J.K. Rowling, and Zora Neale Hurston.” (Catalogue)

Before they were authors : famous writers as kids / Haidle, Elizabeth
“This exciting debut in graphic novel format tells the childhood stories of literary legends including Maya Angelou, Roald Dahl, and Sandra Cisneros. Perfect for fans of Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls and Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World.” (Catalogue)

Summer Reading Tips: The Community Reading Goal

Kia ora! The Summer Reading Adventure is now in full swing, and hundreds of you have already started logging your reading, writing or drawing book reviews, and completing quests in the name of honour and glory. Hurrah!

You might have noticed that on the Summer Reading Adventure website, if you scroll down just a little bit, you’ll see a live counter that looks a little like this:

A live ticker on the Summer Reading Adventure website, with a progress bar that is 20% full and text saying "It's dangerous to go alone! Let's work together to reach this community reading goal."

Did you catch the reference to The Legend of Zelda games? There are classic gaming references hidden everywhere on the Summer Reading Adventure website — can you find them all?

This counter tells us how many books the kids of Wellington have read so far on their Summer Reading Adventures. We have set a goal for us to read 5,000 books together before the 31st of January — and yes, you read that correctly, we’ve already read over 1,000 books! After just one week! Ka pai tō mahi, that is amazing!

What happens when we reach our Community Reading Goal? Well, the text on the left will change, for one thing. So that’s cute. But as for other effects, you’ll just have to wait and see!

The Summer Reading Adventure starts today — 1 December!

Read books, explore the city, win prizes!

The Summer Reading Adventure runs from 1 December 2021 – 31 January 2022 for children aged 5-13. Read books; write, draw or film reviews; and complete quests to earn all kinds of awesome goodies — and you’ll still be home in time for tea!

Summer Reading Adventure website link - 1 December to 31 January

Pick up the Adventurer’s Guide from your local library and visit our Summer Reading Adventure website to register and start logging your reading and adventures today.

Read on to find out more!

Continue reading

Get crafty these holidays with CRAFTerHolidays2Go!

School holidays are here, and if you’re missing our usual array of library programmes during the break at COVID Alert Level 2, why not get your ‘crafty fingers’ working with our CRAFTerHolidays2Go take-away packs available from some of our branch libraries?

Johnsonville and Tawa Libraries

No photo description available.

These CRAFTerHolidays2Go packs are a follow-on from the ever-popular CRAFTerschool sessions which are offered every Monday (Tawa Library) and Wednesday (Johnsonville Library) after school during term time during Covid Alert Level 1.

These packs are a lucky dip of at least three separate activities that you can make, cook, sew, knit, fly, experiment with or puzzle over. Each sheet also features a QR code that can link you to the activity sheet’s specific craft book on our catalogue, just in case you want to do more activities from that book.

There’s also a SIT ‘N’ KNIT pom-pom making pack, and a How-to sheet for submitting your poems to Tūhono 2021, our annual poetry journal for children and teens.

So pop into the Johnsonville or Tawa Libraries over the holidays and pick up your packs!

Te Awe Library

May be an illustration of text that says "ΟωΙ Wings Decorate Cut out Attach wings feet tobody with paper tasteners. ners Atta +o legs Dinos Co ag tail spines"

The ‘crafty’ librarians at Te Awe Library are working on a variety of CRAFTerHolidays2Go packs too – these include a movable paper animals kit with card template, paper fasteners and googly eyes; and there is also a collage kit and an activity pack with wordfinds and crosswords. All available 2Go from Te Awe Library in the CBD on Brandon St.

Newtown Library

Also, come on down to Newtown Library and help yourself to a small bag of crafty goodies! If you’re looking for ideas on what to create, check out the Newtown Library Facebook page, where some of our librarians are posting some easy craft ideas for you to follow along with. Share your creations with your local librarian and be in to win some cool school holiday prizes!

Wellington City Libraries online

Wellington City Libraries also have a huge array of interesting ‘stuff’ for you to watch and do on You Tube. So jump on now and have a browse HERE

Or you could check out the Kids’ FUN STUFF on the Wellington City Libraries website for more games, craft ideas, printables and puzzles HERE


For further inspo, why not check out these virtual CRAFTerschool clips:

 


Wellington City Libraries have you covered for all things ‘crafty’ with lots of books and resources to help you on your way. Check out the NON-FICTION Dewey 745 – 750 sections and unleash your creativity:

Easy arts & crafts for kids : 50 fun projects to make, wear, and share / Perkins, Jennifer
“A collection of 50 craft projects that require little supervision and can be made with materials you can find at home.” (Catalogue)

Maker camp : heritage crafts and skill-building projects for kids / Holton-Fessler, Delanie
“Classic and innovative hands-on projects for kids ages 3 and up designed to teach both heritage skills and how to think creatively. The 20+ projects in this book weave a story of human innovation and creativity, from the very beginnings of building shelters in the woods to tinkering with recycled materials. Heritage skills teach children how to be independent and capable makers; fibre and wood projects offer rewarding crafts that also teach planning, preparation, and safe risk taking; and tinkering activities connect the low-tech process of making and doing with innovation.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Art sparks : draw, paint, make, and get creative with 53 amazing projects! / Abrams, Marion
“This lively, colourful compendium of arts and crafts for a new generation of kids features projects specially designed to spark creativity, invite self-expression, and nurture self-confidence. From finger puppets to fabric flags to shrink art, each activity uses inexpensive materials and can be crafted in less than 90 minutes.” (Catalogue)

Stitch + string lab for kids : 40+ creative projects to sew, embroider, weave, wrap and tie / Stephens, Cassie
“With 40+ inventive projects, Stitch and string lab for kids contains everything from simple sewing, embroidery, and weaving to string art, needle felting, and yarn crafts!” (Catalogue)

Drawing aliens, spacecraft, and other stuff beyond the galaxy : 4D an augmented reading drawing experience / Cella, Clara
“For budding artists who won’t be confined to subjects here on Earth, Drawing Aliens, Spacecraft, and Other Stuff Beyond the Galaxy delivers high-interest projects with step-by-step instructions and special 4D support. Projects increase in difficulty from the first to the last to strengthen drawing skills and confidence. Download the Capstone 4D app for an augmented reality experience that extends learning beyond the printed page with artist video tutorials and other bonus content.” (Catalogue)

Crafting fun for kids of all ages : pipe cleaners, paint & pom-poms galore, yarn & string & a whole lot more / Uliana, Kim
“In Crafting Fun for Kids of All Ages, blogger Kim Uliana offers 200 entertaining, versatile, and easy-to-assemble arts and crafts projects for any occasion. Make glittery snowflakes and thumbprint ornaments during the holidays, create straw hats and button sunflowers for summer vacation, or decorate personalized bookmarks for back-to-school.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Epic graphic novel crafts / Jones, Jen
“Whether you flip left to right or right to left, this collection of crafts will call upon your favourite comics, manga, or graphic novels! Re-live adventures and far-out tales with these larger-than-life crafts.” (Catalogue)

Fun things to do on National Teddy Bear Picnic Day

We’re at the end of Term 2 and the school holidays are almost here. In fact, they’re starting this Saturday. But that’s not the only thing happening this Saturday!

This Saturday the 10th of July is National Teddy Bear Picnic day, so we thought we’d welcome you into the school holidays with some activity ideas for both you and your teddy.

via GIPHY

Idea number one: Take your teddy bear on a picnic!
Set up a picnic blanket in your garden, or go on down to the Wellington Botanic Gardens and find a spot to sit down and eat with your teddy. If the weather is miserable we suggest moving your picnic inside. For an extra-special indoor picnic we recommend building a blanket fort to eat it in. Everyone knows teddy bears love blanket forts!

Idea number two: Come to our Teddy Bear Storytime at Te Awe!
In honour of this very special day we’ll be having an extra special storytime at Te Awe Library. Bring your teddy bear along and settle in for a fun session of stories, songs, and bear themed crafts. We hope to see you there at 2pm!

Idea number three: Make something with your teddy bear!
If you’re going out on a picnic you’ll need to have something to eat. If you’re a beginner baker then Time for Tea is a good cookbook to start you off. Or if you and your teddy have been reading a book by Enid Blyton together and you like the sound of the tasty treats she describes in her books then head towards Jolly Good Food for some literary and delicious recipes. We also have a list of great websites with recipes, tips, and tricks over on our Fun Stuff page.

It’s not just food you can make! If you feel like putting together some decorations for your picnic, perhaps you might like to have some Fun with Paper? Or if you have some yarn lying around you might want to check out My First Pompom Book for some exciting ideas. There’s also this blog post on other craft books available through our elibrary. Let your creativity run wild!

Idea number four: Read a bear-themed book!
There are a lot of books out there perfect for you and your teddy bear to read together, and we’ve picked out some of our favourites:

A bear called Paddington / Bond, Michael
“Mr. and Mrs. Brown first met Paddington, a most endearing bear from Darkest Peru on a railway platform in London. A sign hanging around his neck said, “Please look after this bear. Thank you” So that is just what they did. From the very first night when he attempted his first bath and ended up nearly flooding the house, Paddington was seldom far from imminent disaster. Jonathan and Judy were delighted with this havoc and even Mr. and Mrs. Brown had to admit that life seemed to be more filled with adventure when there was a bear in the house.” (Catalogue)

Also available as an eBook

The best-loved bear / Noonan, Diana
“When all the children take their teddybears to school for a best-loved bear contest, Tim is embarrassed because his teddy is so worn out. Suggested level: junior.” (Catalogue)

The everywhere bear / Donaldson, Julia
“The Everywhere Bear has a home on a shelf. But he doesn’t spend very much time by himself, For each boy and girl in the class is a friend. And he goes home with one of them every weekend. The Everywhere Bear has a wonderful time with the children in Class One, but one day he gets more than he bargained for when he falls unnoticed from a backpack and embarks on his own big adventure! He’s washed down a drain and whooshed out to sea, rescued by a fishing boat, loaded onto a lorry, carried off by a seagull …how will he ever make it back to Class One?” (Catalogue)

There’s a bear in the window / Pitman-Hayes, June
“There’s a bear in the window of the house across the street. It’s tall and round, with great big feet! I wonder what I would see if I were that bear, and that bear were me? From singer-songwriter June Pitman-Hayes comes a story told in both English and Māori that celebrates the great teddy bear hunt, that entertained thousands of children during lockdown in 2020″–Publisher information.” (Catalogue)

We’re going on a bear hunt / Rosen, Michael
“Brave bear hunters go through grass, a river, mud, and other obstacles before the inevitable encounter with the bear forces a headlong retreat.” (Catalogue)

Winnie-the-Pooh / Milne, A. A.
“Meet the world’s favourite bear in the delightful collection, in which Pooh gets into a tight place, nearly catches a Woozle, and discovers the wrong sort of honey – amongst other things.” (Catalogue)

Also available as an audiobook, an eAudiobook, and an eBook

Explore Beyond the Page in the July School Holidays!

The Beyond the Page literary festival is returning for a mini-festival of awesomeness across the Wellington region during the July school holidays! From July 16-19, join us for five amazing events that will bring the fizzing, creative, and adventurous part of the library to life for you and your whānau. Read on to find out what’s on and how to get involved!


Songs, Stories, Sass & SPLASH by Sacha Cotter & Josh Morgan

Johnsonville LibraryFriday 16 July, 2.00pm

Bring the whānau and learn the secrets behind the creation of the multi award-winning picture book The Bomb. Join picture book making team, author Sacha Cotter and illustrator Josh Morgan, for a fun-filled hour of storytelling, music, fascinating ‘behind-the-scenes’ facts and an activity to unleash your imagination designing your own slapping, dripping, soaking, sky-scraping SPLASH!

This event is suitable for children 3-8 years old with their caregivers, and registrations are not required. We may need to restrict numbers on the day for safety due to venue and crowd size, so we recommend arriving 15 minutes before the event begins to secure your spot.

Find out more about Sacha and Josh here.


Family Quiz Night with Gee Quiz

Online (from the comfort of your own home!), Saturday 17 July, 6.30pm

It’s trivia time! We’ve partnered with the capital’s favourite quiz provider, Gee Quiz, to bring you an awesome online family-friendly quiz as part of Beyond the Page. All you need is an internet connection and you and your family can join in the fun from the comfort of your own home. Dress-ups of your favourite book, movie or comic character are encouraged, but if you just want to cosy up in your PJs, that is fine too!

We recommend teams of 2-6 players, but at least one person on the team must be a child under age of 13.

Registrations are required; click here to register. Find out more about the quiz here.


Little Dog Barking Theatre Presents: Rainbows and Fishes

Paraparaumu Library, Sunday 18 July, 10.30am
Upper Hutt Central Library, Sunday 18 July, 2.00pm

Colourful props and puppets are woven together by Kenny King to tell this story in English, te reo Māori, and Samoan. Enjoy an exciting story of change, colour and creation!

Show synopsis: Home to a happy group of people was a small island in the Pacific ocean. They had everything they needed — they grew vegetables and fruit to eat, caught fish, played games with each other, and told stories of old and stories of new. There was one song they sang, of a time when the Rainbow Fish lost its colours, a time when the other fish in the sea had no colours, a time when the wind created great mischief to the people of the island and the fish in the sea.

This event is suitable for children 2-8 years old with their caregivers, and registrations are not required.

Find out more about Little Dog Barking Theatre here.


Superhero Science with Nanogirl

Walter Nash Centre, Taitā, Monday 19 July, 2.00pm

The Nanogirl ‘Superhero Science’ show gets noisy and explosive, as we explore the science behind superpowers and engineer superpowers of our own with Michelle Dickinson (a.k.a. Nanogirl!).

This event is suitable for children 6-12 years old with their caregivers. Registrations are required; click here to register.

Find out more about Nanogirl here.

Matariki 2021 at your libraries!

Tēnā koutou katoa, e te whānau!

From 2 – 10 July, Wellington City Libraries is celebrating Matariki with a range of events, crafts, storytelling sessions, and experiences for whānau and tamariki all over our city. Don’t forget to also check out the Wellington City Council website to find out about the huge range of exciting activities taking place outside our libraries during Matariki.

Why do we celebrate Matariki? The star cluster Matariki (also known as the Pleiades) reappears in the dawn sky about Aotearoa in late May or early June. The new moon following the rising of Matariki signals the Māori New Year. Customarily, this was a time to remember the deceased of the past year and to plan for the new year. Today, Matariki has been revived as a celebration of people, culture, language, spirituality, and history. It is a time for whānau and friends to come together to reflect on the past 12 months and look forward to the year ahead. When you add your star to our purapura whetū, we invite you to send a message to someone you love, or reflect on the year that has just passed.

Some of the awesome crafty things you can find to make Matariki art with at your local library


Nau mai haere mai ki te whare pukapuka ki te whakanui i a Matariki! Join us for these fabulous events happening at library branches across the city:

Beginner’s Guide to Whakapapa

Join us for this short talk aimed at giving people with little to no experience researching their whakapapa some useful tips when navigating the resources accessible on the WCL website. Adults are very welcome.

  • Tuesday 6 July, 12.30pm at Te Awe Brandon St Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Awe

Explore the Stars in VR

Celebrate Matariki by joining us at Te Awe Library to take turns exploring the night sky in virtual reality. The stars have never seemed quite so close to touch! This event is great for mātua, rangatahi, and tamariki alike.

  • Friday 9 July, 2.00 – 4.00pm at Te Awe Brandon St Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Awe

Kōhunga Kōrero o Matariki

Nau mai haere mai ki te whare pukapuka ki te whakanui i a Matariki! Pakiwaitara i roto i te reo Māori. E 30 meneti pakiwaitara, rotarota, waiata hoki i roto i te reo Māori nō ngā kōhungahunga me ō rātou mātua kaitiaki. Join us for these special Matariki storytimes in te reo Māori! Featuring stories, songs and rhymes in te reo Māori, these 30-minute storytimes are open to anyone, and are recommended for children aged 2-6 years and their caregivers.

  • Friday 2 July, 10.30am at Johnsonville Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Waitohi
  • Tuesday 6 July, 10.30am at Newtown Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Omārōrō
  • Friday 9 July, 10.30am at Johnsonville Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Waitohi

Let’s Go LEGO®: Matariki Whetū!

Let’s build – let’s explore – let’s create! Come along to your library to create your LEGO® masterpiece. These sessions all feature special Matariki-themed activities as we celebrate this festive time with our friends and whānau. Our LEGO® activities are perfect for tamariki of all ages to participate in with their whānau.

  • Friday 2 July, 3.30pm at Khandallah Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Tari-kākā
  • Sunday 4 July, 11.00am at Te Awe Brandon St Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Awe
  • Thursday 8 July, 3.30pm at Cummings Park Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Korimako
  • Friday 8 July, 3.30pm at Johnsonville Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Waitohi

Matariki Storytimes

Come along and celebrate Matariki at your local whare pukapuka, or library, with Matariki-themed stories and waiata with our librarians. Our storytimes are family-friendly and fun for all ages. Weekday sessions are all at 10.30am; weekend sessions are all at 2.00pm.

  • Friday 2 July, 10.30am:
    • He Matapihi Molesworth Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o He Matapihi
    • Wadestown Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Ōtari
  • Saturday 3 July, 2.00pm:
    • Johnsonville Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Waitohi
    • Te Awe Brandon St Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Awe
  • Monday 5 July, 10.30am:
    • Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Takapū o Patukawenga
    • Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Awa-a-taia
  • Tuesday 6 July, 10.30am:
    • Brooklyn Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Moe-rā
    • Karori Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Māhanga
  • Wednesday 7 July, 10.30am:
    • Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Korimako
    • Karori Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Māhanga
    • Newtown Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Omārōrō
    • Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Awa-a-taia
  • Thursday 8 July, 10.30am:
    • Arapaki Manners Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Arapaki
    • Island Bay Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Tapu Te Ranga
    • Miramar Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Motu-kairangi
    • Te Awe Brandon St Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Awe
  • Friday 9 July, 10.30am:
    • He Matapihi Molesworth Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o He Matapihi
    • Wadestown Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Ōtari
  • Saturday 10 July, 2.00pm:
    • Johnsonville Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Waitohi

Matariki Storytimes: Virtual Edition!

Whakarongo mai, tamariki mā, pākeke mā! Celebrate Matariki wherever you are with our Matariki online storytimes. He korero paki i te reo Māori ēnei; these stories are in te reo Māori. The stories will be streaming live on our Wellington City Libraries Facebook page, and will remain up for your enjoyment throughout the holidays!

  • Thursday 8 July, 7.30pm — online!
  • Friday 9 July, 7.30pm — online!
  • Saturday 10 July, 7.30pm — online!

Pakiwaitara Matariki: Bilingual Storytelling

Join us at your local whare pukapuka for these special bilingual storytimes in celebration of Matariki! Featuring stories, songs and rhymes in te reo Māori and English, these 30-minute storytimes are open to anyone, and are recommended for children aged 2-6 years and their caregivers.

  • Saturday 3 July, 2.00pm at Karori Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Māhanga
  • Saturday 10 July, 11.00am at Cummings Park Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Korimako

Puoro Matariki: Stories and Music

Come along to Johnsonville Library on the first Tuesday of each month to enjoy a half-hour mash-up of stories and music. Literary and musical worlds will collide as we introduce your budding muso (and budding reader, of course!) to a world of rhythm, rhyme, song and dance from across the globe using stories, percussion instruments, and loads of imagination. Join us on the 6th of July for this special Matariki-themed session for all ages!

  • Tuesday 6 July, 10.30am at Johnsonville Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Waitohi

Whetū Toi: CRAFTerschool

Join us for this special after-school Matariki craft session! Make your very own Matariki constellation using one of our designs, or let your creative juices flow and create your own!

  • Monday 5 July, 3.30pm at Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Takapū o Patukawenga
  • Wednesday 7 July, 3.30pm at Miramar Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Motu-kairangi
  • Wednesday 7 July, 3.30pm at Johnsonville Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Waitohi

Whetū Toi: CRAFTivity

Bust the indoor boredom with a free Arts & Crafts session for tamariki, rangatahi and the whole whānau on Saturday mornings from 10.30am – 11.30 at He Matapihi Molesworth Library. At this session, we’ll be exploring Matariki with a simple craft project to be enjoyed by all!

  • Saturday 3 July, 10.30am at He Matapihi Molesworth Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o He Matapihi

Nō reira, nau mai, haere mai ki ōu tātou whare pukapuka ki te whakanui i tēnēi wā tino hirahira! So come on down to your library to celebrate this special time!

Become an Environmental Scientist with the City Nature Challenge!

Finish off the school holidays in environmental style by taking part in the City Nature Challenge this weekend! From Friday 30 April to Monday 3 May, Wellington will be transformed into a giant nature playground — and you will be turned into scientists, should you choose to take up the challenge of embarking on a four-day bioblitz!

WCC gardener photographing a plant using the iNaturalist app at a Wellington City garden.

Nate Rigler, WCC gardener, investigating some local flora! Photo credit: Tim Park.

So what is the City Nature Challenge? It’s a global event that sees people from over 250 cities across the world search for, report, and log any sightings of wild plants, creatures, or organisms, living or dead, on the land, up the mountains, and in the sea — and around our backyards.

It’s super easy to get involved using the iNaturalist app (free on the app store). Join the Wellington City Nature Challenge group, go for a walk in the city (looking out for local flora and fauna as you go!) and when you spot something cool, upload it to the app. There are prizes to be won and a natural environment to be discovered, so pick up a flyer from your local library, or head over to the City Nature Challenge website, to find out more!

If nature is your kind of thing, Wellington City Libraries has a huge range of books and other resources on the topic. Use the following links to find books on our catalogue about various topics relating to the plants, animals, and environment of New Zealand — or use the Dewey Decimal numbers to help you search the shelves the next time you visit the library!

Here are some that you might find particularly useful as you participate in the City Nature Challenge this weekend:

New Zealand nature heroes / Candler, Gillian
“New Zealand Nature Heroes is designed to inspire and empower New Zealand kids to be naturalists and conservationists. Aimed at the 8-12 age range, the book features stories of 15 different nature heroes, people who, in the past, or currently, are working to protect and understand New Zealand’s natural world. These inspirational profiles are complemented with information about key animals, plants or habitats, and then each matched with an authentic activity that kids can do to make a difference.” (Catalogue)

A New Zealand nature journal / Morris, Sandra
“A New Zealand Nature Journal will teach you how to keep a nature journal to record your amazing discoveries. Have you ever noticed that ladybirds have different numbers of spots? Or that leaves can be pointed or round, long or short, soft or hard? There is so much to explore in the natural world. And keeping a nature journal is the best way to record all your amazing discoveries.” (Catalogue)

New Zealand birds in pictures / Chen, Kimball
“From the barely-visible wings of the flightless kiwi to the immense wingspan of the wandering albatross, New Zealand’s fragile island ecosystem is home to a diverse array of spectacular birds. Delve into the fascinating world of our feathered friends with author and wildlife photographer Kimball Chen. From intimate portraits of endangered creatures and their glamorous breeding plumage, to dramatic wide-angle birdscapes encompassing rugged sub-antarctic habitats, to magical fleeting encounters of birds courting and mating and hatching, Chen’s passion for nature shines with artistic and aesthetic photographs sure to pique a greater appreciation of New Zealand birds. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The life-size guide to insects & other land vertebrates of New Zealand / Crowe, Andrew
“Identifying New Zealand’s insects, spiders and other land invertebrates is made simple with this new guide. Over 300 life-size colour photographs make it fun for all the family to learn more about the natural world of New Zealand.” (Catalogue)

The life-size guide to native trees and other common plants of New Zealand’s native forest / Crowe, Andrew
“Identifying native trees and other common plants of New Zealand’s native forest can be fun for all the family with this new pictorial guide. Match leaves, flowers, seeds, berries and bark against beautiful, life-sized photographs for fast, accurate identification. Written by one of New Zealand’s foremost writers on native plants, The Life-Size Guide offers a new opportunity to explore and enjoy the natural world of our native plants.” (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.” (Adapted from Catalogue)