Ako Reo Māori!

Kia ora e te whānau! Te Wiki o te reo Māori is here!

Why not take the opportunity during Te Wiki to learn a little bit of te reo Māori? Whaea Suezanne at He Matapihi Library has been helping the librarians by showing us how we can talk about what we’re going to do on the weekend (mutunga wiki) using a little bit of te reo! Here’s what she had to say:

Ko te kauapapa o te rā nei (the topic of the day) is the mutunga wiki (weekend)!
If you would like to practice a small conversation with someone, you can ask:

Kei te aha koe ā te mutunga wiki? What are you doing this weekend?

Here are some ways you can answer:

Kei te kore noa iho! — I am doing nothing!
Kei te mahi. — I am working.
Kei te whakatā — I am resting.
Ka haere au ki te toro i ōku hoa! — I am going to visit my friends.
Ka mahi mara au. — I’m going to help with the gardening.
Ka haere māua ki tetahi wharekai! — We are going to a restaurant!

Then you can ask…

Kei te aha koe ā te mutunga wiki? What are you doing this weekend?

And all of a sudden you are having a whole conversation in te reo Māori! Special thanks to A Māori Phrase a Day by Hēmi Kelly for this idea!

You can learn more te reo Māori by visiting LanguageNut online, or by borrowing one of our many books for kids on learning te reo! Check some out below:

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 Māori/English list of all the words in the book are included.” (Catalogue)

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

Picture dictionary : te reo Māori words & sentences / Holt, Sharon
“The book is a compilation of many of the words and sentence structures used in the previous books in our Te Reo Singalong series as well as some new ones. Use the app to check your pronunciation, and increase your fluency in Māori vocabulary and sentence structure.” (Catalogue)

First thousand words in Māori / Amery, Heather
“This bright and entertaining book provides a wealth of vocabulary-building opportunities for beginner learners of Māori. Stephen Cartwright’s delightful pictures encourage direct association of the Māori word with the object, which will assist towards effective, long-term learning. At the end of the book there is an alphabetical Māori/English list of all the words in the book.” (Catalogue)

My first words in Māori / Morrison, Stacey
“My First Words in Māori equips your whanau with the first words you need to speak te reo at home together With lively pictures labeled in Māori and English, each page introduces the concepts and words children use as they first begin to talk, get to know people and explore the world around them. Designed for parents and tamariki to read together, with plenty of detail in the illustrations to point out and name. This is the perfect book to bring the Māori language into your home and have fun with the kids on their language journey” (Catalogue)

Te Wiki o te reo Māori: Kia toru ngā rā e toe ana!

Kia ora, e te whānau! Te Wiki o te reo Māori is just around the corner — there are just three days to go (kia toru ngā rā e toe ana) before the celebrations begin! We thought we’d help you get ready to celebrate by sharing some of our favourite pukapuka in te reo Māori with you. Check them out below — don’t forget you can click on the title to reserve a copy to pick up from your local library!

Tio Tiamu / Kurahau
This beautiful book won the Wright Family Foundation/Te Kura Pounamu Award for Te Reo Māori in the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults this year, and it really is the complete package. There is an incredible sense of balance throughout, where the weight of the storytelling is shared equally between the stylised, yet detailed illustrations, and entrancing, poetic, and playful language. We can’t guarantee there won’t be tears the first time it’s read – this tale certainly doesn’t pull its punches. Published in English as “The Smelly Giant.”

Ko te kī taurangi a Puanga: he ururoa ki te Whānau Matariki / Wadsworth, Kirsty
This enthralling tale tells the story of Puanga, cousin to the Matariki sisters, and how it was that she came to join them in the sky above Aotearoa. At its heart it’s a story of whānau, friendship, tradition and sacrifice. The text is evocative and powerfully paced; the illustrations atmospheric and perfectly matched. Published in English as “The Promise of Puanga.”

Ko Flit, te Tīrairaka, me ngā Hēki Muna / Merewether, Katherine Q.
A whimsical and playful tale about Flit the fantail chick and his discovery of a mysterious clutch of eggs. Action-packed and joyful. Published in English as “Flit the Fantail and the Mystery Eggs.”

Hineahuone / Hall, Xoë
A creation story of sorts, this book explores Tāne Māhuta’s creation of human life, sculpted from the sacred red earth of Papatūānuku. Xoë Hall’s stylistic and striking illustrations bring the story to life in a tangible way. Published in English as “The Clay Woman.”

Arapū toi / Wairama, Moira
Gentle, poetic, and image-laden text combined with detailed and engrossing artwork. This book is appropriate for readers of all ages, and reveals more with each successive read.

Te aihe i waiata / Whaanga, Mere
A lyrical story told almost in the style of a traditional legend, Te Aihe i Waiata must be read in its original language – te reo – for the poetry to be fully understood. The story ebbs and flows along with the expressive watercolour illustrations – an enchanting read. Published in English as “The Singing Dolphin.”

Ngā tae = Colours / Brown, Kitty
We can’t exclude the beautiful and important bilingual Reo Pēpi series, from Kitty Brown and Kirsten Parkinson at Reo Pēpi Tāpui in Dunedin, from this list. The six board books in this series intended for babies and early readers use simple, formulaic language and gorgeous illustrations to gradually introduce the reader to new words and concepts. A must-have for any parent who wants their child to grow up immersed in te reo.

He raiona i roto i ngā otaota / Mahy, Margaret
The te reo Māori translation of Margaret Mahy’s classic The Lion in the Meadow remains as captivating and delightful as ever. Piripi Walker’s translation preserves the whimsy and magic of the original text, all the while strengthening this book’s ties to the people and culture of Aotearoa.

Ngā taniwha i Te Whanga-nui-a-tara / Wairama, Moira
An exciting and captivating retelling of the local legend of the creation of Wellington Harbour by two taniwha who lived in what was once a lake, where the harbour now stands. Essential reading for anyone who wants to understand traditional stories of place and history. Published in English as “The Taniwha of Wellington Harbour.”

Kei hea te hipi kākāriki? / Fox, Mem
Rounding out the list with another translation – this time of Mem Fox’s classic “Where is the Green Sheep?” Children will love exploring the humourous illustrations, and the clever translation by Kawata Teepa keeps the reader engaged throughout.

Purapura Whetū: A Matariki Festival with Your Libraries

Tēnā koutou katoa, e te whānau!

This July, Wellington City Libraries is celebrating Matariki with Purapura Whetū, a special festival of events, crafts, storytelling, and reflection for whānau and tamariki all over our city.

As well as all the programmes listed below, each of our libraries will have special crafting stations set up where you can make your very own star to add to our city-wide purapura whetū; a pattern, or web of stars.

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.

Come down to your library to make your whetū (star) and add it to our constellation!


Nau mai haere mai ki te whare pukapuka ki te whakanui i a Matariki! As well as the Purapura Whetū craft activity happening at every branch, there are many other fabulous events to look out for celebrating Matariki during the school holidays:

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 10 July, 10.30am at Johnsonville Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Waitohi
  • Monday 13 July, 10.30am at Karori Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Māhanga
  • Friday 17 July, 10.30am at Johnsonville Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Waitohi

Making Matariki Stars
Join us for this special Matariki craft session! Make your very own Matariki star using one of our designs, or let your creative juices flow and create your own! Then, we will add your star to our purapura whetū — our pattern of stars — for everyone to enjoy and admire.

  • Monday 13 July, 11.00am at Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Takapū o Patukawenga

Matariki By Torchlight
Head down to the library at twilight for this special evening of Matariki and Aotearoa-themed stories and songs under the starlight (or clouds!). Bring your own torch and come along in your PJs ready for some heart-warming bedtime stories and songs.

  • Monday 13 July, 6.00pm at Brooklyn Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Moe-rā

Matariki Music Makers: Making Taonga Whakatangitangi
Come along and celebrate Matariki by crafting music makers inspired by the porotiti, and making Matariki stars. You can take your creations home, or display them at our libraries during our #purapurawhetu Matariki festival.

  • Friday 10 July, 2.00pm at Brooklyn Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Moe-rā

Matariki Online Storytimes
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!

  • Saturday 4 July, 7.30pm — online!
  • Sunday 5 July, 7.30pm — online!
  • Monday 6 July, 7.30pm — online!

Matariki Storytimes
Come along and celebrate Matariki at your local whare pukapuka, or library, with Matariki-themed stories and waiata with our librarians. Then, why not try your hand at making Matariki stars at our crafting stations? There will be a range of activities available for your whānau.

  • Tuesday 7 July, 10.30am at Khandallah Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Tarikākā
  • Wednesday 8 July, 10.30am at Karori Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Māhanga
  • Monday 13 July, 10.30am at Wadestown Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Ōtari
  • Wednesday 15 July, 10.30am at Cummings Park Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Korimako

String Bean Puppets: Once in a Full Moon
Come along and celebrate Matariki at your local library with Anna Bailey and her string bean puppets! Anna’s puppets will be helping her perform the magical tale “Once in a Full Moon.” One evening, a lonely kiwi looks up in the sky and sees something remarkable… can kiwis fly after all?

  • Monday 13 July, 2.00pm at Karori Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Māhanga
  • Tuesday 14 July, 11.00am at He Matapihi Molesworth Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o He Matapihi
  • Wednesday 15 July, 2.00pm at Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Awa-a-Taia
  • Friday 17 July, 2.00pm at Johnsonville Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Waitohi

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!

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

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

Picture Book Award

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

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

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

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

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

Junior Fiction Award

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

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

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

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

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

Non-Fiction Award

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

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

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

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

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

Award for Illustration

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

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

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

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

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

Te Kura Pounamu Award for Te Reo Māori

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

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

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

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

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

Best First Book Award

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

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

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

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

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

13 New Non Fiction that will leave you spellbound!

Hey Kids!

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

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

Enjoy!


Amazing Inventions.

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

 


Video Game Creators.

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

 


Learn a language with Sesame Street!

Welcome to Mandarin Chinese.

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

 


Welcome to French.

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

 


Welcome to German.

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

 


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

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

 

 

 

 


Wilma Rudolph.

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

 


Brilliant Bodies.

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

 

 


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

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

 


The Unofficial Harry Potter Spell book.

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

 


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

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

 

 


Harry Potter. Spells & charms : a movie scrapbook.

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


Aotearoa New Zealand History Books List

Aotearoa New Zealand has a long, interesting and challenging history. Many incredible people and communities have walked on this whenua and left their stories and legacies behind. These are some great recent books to learn about our sometimes sad, and sometimes amazing history.

Te Tiriti o Waitangi / Morris, Toby (2019)

Check out this beautifully illustrated story of our foundational national document. It’s bilingual, which means you can read it in English or Te Reo. Find out about the historical context of the Treaty, and its continuing importance in the 21st Century.

 

 

The New Zealand Wars / Werry, Philippa (2018)

As Māori land was encroached upon by the colonial government and settlers, warfare broke out in New Zealand. This book explores the violence that was experienced in New Zealand in the mid-19th century and how those that fought and died are remembered today. This book explains why the wars happened, and is filled with photographs, illustrations and paintings. We also learn about Parihaka, a peaceful community of resistance to land confiscation and encroachment. The book talks about how we remember these events today and memorial places we can go to learn more and think about our history.

 

 

Kate Sheppard : leading the way for women / Gill, Maria (2018)

A wonderfully illustrated book about the life of New Zealand suffragist Kate Sheppard! Learn about how she lead the way for women getting the vote in Aotearoa.

 

 

Syndetics book coverPeace warriors / Raymond Huber (2015)

This book tells the heroic stories of brave New Zealander’s and people around the world who used non-violent resistance to pursue paths of peace. One of the stories is of Archibald Baxter, who refused to fight in World War 1 because he did not believe in killing. He faced brutal punishment and rejection for his courageous choice.

 

 

The beach they called Gallipoli / French, Jackie (2014)

The battle for Gallipoli is at the heart of the ANZAC narrative of New Zealand’s involvement in WW1. This book explores the geography of the cove and looks at not just the ANZACs, but all the nationalities who fought there.

 

 

Bastion Point : 570 days on Takaparawha / Roxborogh, Tania Kelly (2017)

Sometimes fiction can help us understand real-life  events. This book is a fictional diary, from the perspective of a character called Erica Tito, covering the events at Bastion Point between 1977-1978. Bastion Point was Māori land confiscated by the government for public works, but decades later the government wanted to sell it for housing developments. Māori from around the country gathered to occupy the land and protect it. In the 1980s, the land was returned to local Iwi as part of a Treaty settlement.

 

 

Aotearoa : the New Zealand story / Bishop, Gavin

A colourfully delightful overview of of the history of Aotearoa New Zealand; charting a course from the big bang, to the arrival of Māori, all the way to events in the present day. Filled with interesting facts, this is a great classroom read.

Check out these books on the catalouge, your local library or pop a reserve on them to collect from your nearest branch!

Matariki – Māori New Year

 


Kia ora koutou,

Matariki is a time to celebrate, remember and plan. It is a time to be together and to share and learn new skills.

One way to find out more about Matariki could to to explore Te Ara – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand 


Would you like to listen in Te Reo, English (or both!) to this story woven with magic, love and adventure?

The Seven Stars of Matariki / Te Huihui o Matariki by Toni Rolleston is a beautiful book to read about Matariki. It’s available in English, and te reo. Check out the videos below.

Image Courtesy of SyndeticsImage Courtesy of Syndetics

 



 


You might want to keep practising your New Zealand Sign Language AND your Te Reo! Learn some more sign by watching  19 year old Tuhoi Henry (Te Uri o Hau).


Image Courtesy of SyndeticsThen, you could borrow the book Matariki and keep improving your signing. Ka rawe!

 

 

 


Pop over to the Wellington City Libraries and explore our Tamariki section here

You will find some great tools to help you improve your Te Reo.


Ngā mihi.

Matariki, Matariki, Matariki – te tau hou o te iwi Māori e!

Tēnā koutou kātoa! Join us in celebrating Matariki at Wellington City Libraries this winter! Matariki means “tiny eyes,” or “eyes of god,” and is celebrated in June and early July when a group of stars called the Pleiades rises above the horizon. Many Māori tribes have used the rising of Matariki to mark the beginning of the new year. It’s a time of celebration and reflection, of whānau and of kōrerorero — and a time to cook and eat delicious kai! Whether you want to celebrate with others or just learn more about this wonderful festival, your library has you covered with books, resources and events for the whole family.

Many of our usual preschool storytime and Kōhunga Kōrero sessions this month will be Matariki-themed, but we’re also running special Matariki events with stories, songs and crafts for tamariki and their families at some libraries — ask your local librarian if you’d like to find out more:

Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library: Monday 18th June, 6:30pm
Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library: Wednesday 20th June, 4:00pm
Island Bay Community Centre: Thursday 21st June, 10:30am
Karori Library: Thursday 21st June, 6:30pm
Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library: Thursday 28th June, 3:30pm
Khandallah Library: Thursday 28th June, 6:30pm
Johnsonville Library: Friday 29th June, 3:30pm
 
Also, check out some of our favourite Matariki books and resources below. As always, you can check our catalogue for more!

Matariki / Holt, Sharon
“The newest book in the popular award winning Te Reo Singalong series follows a family through their Matariki celebrations over the course of a day. The family wakes at dawn to see the Matariki star cluster and the book takes the family as visitors arrive for a traditional Matariki feast. As the evening draws in, the children create their own stars using sparklers. Each Te Reo Singalong book includes a song CD, English translation, guitar chords and extension ideas. This book also includes information about Matariki.” (Catalogue)
 

Ngā whetū Matariki whānakotia / Kamo, Miriama
“Behind dusty orange hills, where the sky stretches down to the sea, theres a magical, wild, windy place called Te Mata Hapuku. Sam and Te Rerehua love to visit their Grandma and Poua at Te Mata Hapuku (aka Birdlings Flat). They like to collect agate from the stories, with a backdrop of whipping wind, flashing torchlight, and the splash of Pouas gaff in the water. But one night, Grandma notices something mysterious. Someone has stolen some stars from the sky.” (Catalogue)
 

Tawhirimātea : a song for Matariki / Pitman-Hayes, June “Singer/songwriter June Pitman-Hayes wrote this waiata for the children at the Montessori School where she was teaching music. With its delightful, lyrical melody, it warmly weaves together aspects of Māori mythology with the seasons, as a family welcomes Matariki.
A te reo Māori version by Ngaere Roberts is also included in the book and on the CD.” (Scholastic)
 

The little kiwi’s Matariki / Slade-Robinson, Nikki “The little kiwi is fast asleep in her burrow. A beam of moonlight shines right down into her burrow. She wakes, and realises it is time […] This gentle tale about celebrating Matariki, the Maori New Year, finishes with an explanation of Matariki – its origins, traditions and how it is celebrated today. The constellation is also shown, with the Maori names for each star. The text contains some simple words in Te Reo Maori alongside the English equivalent.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Finalists, finally!

It’s always tough waiting for this one every year. Luckily you can munch on FREE Hell Pizza while you wait.

But.. the wait is over! Today the finalists for the NZ Children’s and Young Adult Book Awards have been announced. These are the best books written or illustrated by New Zealanders in the last year:

 

Picture Book:

Granny McFlitter the Champion Knitter, written by Heather Haylock and illustrated by Lael Chisholm

 

 

 

 

I am Jellyfish, written and illustrated by Ruth Paul

 

 

 

 

 

That’s Not the Monster We Ordered, written by Richard Fairgray and Terry Jones, and illustrated by Richard Fairgray

 

 

 

 

The Gift Horse, written by Sophie Siers and illustrated by Katharine White

 

 

 

 

The Longest Breakfast, written by Jenny Bornholdt and illustrated by Sarah Wilkins

 

 

 

 

 

Junior Fiction:

How Not to Stop a Kidnap Plot, written by Suzanne Main

 

 

 

 

 

How to Bee, written by Bren MacDibble

 

 

 

 

 

Lyla: Through My Eyes – Natural Disaster Zones, written by Fleur Beale (Also available as an eBook)

 

 

 

 

Dawn Raid, written by Pauline (Vaeluaga) Smith

 

 

 

 

 

The Thunderbolt Pony, written by Stacy Gregg (Also available as a Digital Audiobook)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Junior Non-Fiction:

Aotearoa: The New Zealand Story, written by Gavin Bishop

 

 

 

 

 

Explore! Aotearoa, written by Bronwen Wall and illustrated by Kimberly Andrews

 

 

 

 

New Zealand’s Great White Sharks, written by Alison Balance

 

 

 

 

 

Sky High: Jean Batten’s Incredible Flying Adventures, written by David Hill and illustrated by Phoebe Morris

 

 

 

 

The New Zealand Wars, Written by Philippa Werry

 

 

 

 

 

 

Illustration:

Abel Tasman: Mapping the Southern Lands, illustrated by Marco Ivančić

 

 

 

 

Bobby, the Littlest War Hero, illustrated by Jenny Cooper

 

 

 

 

 

Giants, Trolls, Witches, Beasts, illustrated and written by Craig Phillips (also available as a eBook)

 

 

 

 

I am Jellyfish, written and illustrated by Ruth Paul

 

 

 

 

 

 

Te Reo Māori:

Tu Meke Tūī! Written by Malcolm Clarke, translated by Evelyn Tobin and illustrated by Hayley King (Also available in English)

 

 

 

 

Hineahuone, written and illustrated by Xoë Hall and translated by Sian Montgomery-Neutze

Te Tamaiti me te Aihe, written and illustrated by Robyn Kahukiwa and translated by Kiwa Hammond

 

 

Check out the YA (and other) categories.

 

The winners will be announced on August 8th. Stay tuned…

Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori Competition

Kia ora everyone! To Celebrate Māori Language week at Wellington City Libraries we are having a competition to name our Kōhunga Kōrero Puppets!

Tuī and Pūngāwerewere desperately need names and we think that you are the best people to name them. We would love you to come up with some great names. So when you’re in your local library this week getting some books to read, come up to the counter and we’ll write down your suggestions, along with your name and a contact number and put you in the draw to win prizes! The competition close this Rātapu (Sunday) the 17th of  Mahuru (September)so be quick and next week we’ll let you know who the lucky winners are. Ka kite anō!