Pixar films to watch in 2021 and… a special bonus (tasty) Pixar surprise!

The Pixar movie revolution has arrived at Wellington City Libraries in 2021 and just in time for the wintery-est of time of year. It is an exciting time with the release of a tasty Italian surprise produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. 

image courtesy of amazon.comToy Story2, 3 and 4.

Toy Story was the first Pixar film ever released and changed the world of animation films forever.

These films are timeless classics that takes you on a journey into the world of the secret life of toys. Join Buzz, Woody, Jessie and lots of amazing toys that unexpectedly embark on adventures that challenge and change them. These films are full of excitement, adventure and will change the way you think of toys!


image courtesy of amazon.comMonsters Inc.

“In the world behind our closet doors, monsters like Mike and Sulley work hard for their income. To be exact, the monster world depends on our children’s screams: It is their energy that makes lightbulbs glow and cars drive. Sulley, the number one frightener, one day accidentally lets a human child into the monster world. Since kids are supposed to be poisonous and carry loads of diseases, pandemonium ensues. After Mike and Sulley discover that the girl they named Boo actually seems quite harmless, they decide to bring her back through her door into her room. But Boo’s presence is more than just a mere accident. Now, Mike and Sulley have to face an enemy within their own ranks.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of amazon.comMonsters University.

“Mike Wazowski and James P. Sullivan are an inseparable pair, but that wasn’t always the case. From the moment these two mismatched monsters met they couldn’t stand each other. Monsters University unlocks the door to how Mike and Sulley overcame their differences and became the best of friends.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of amazon.comBrave.

Be brave and grab life by the kilt with Merida, the feisty, Scottish  princess and skilled archer who dreams of following her own path living her own life, even if it mean defying the traditions and expectations of her family and people. However when her pride gets in the way and a spell is cast upon her mother, Merida must use her wits and skills to “mend the bond caused by pride” and save the day “highlander” style. If you’re not convinced that this DVD is worth watching, have a read of my review here.

image courtesy of amazon.comCars Trilogy.

Take a ride on the wild side with Lightening McQueen and the gang in Cars 1, 2 and 3, that chronicles the secret life of race car driving, from the race car’s point of view. This is a movies that boys will enjoy, especially boys into cars and formula one racing.

Finding Nemo.image courtesy of amazon.com

Go back to where it all began where Marlin goes on an epic quest from the great barrier reef to Sydney in order to find and save his son, Nemo, while meeting and encountering new friends on the way such as surfer turtles that live to 150 years old, vegetarian sharks who have regular meetings and of course, Dory herself, a good-hearted and optimistic regal blue tang with short-term memory loss. (Adapted from Catalogue)

image courtesy of amazon.comFinding Dory reunites the friendly but forgetful blue tang fish, Dory, along with her friends, Marlin and Nemo on an epic quest to find Dory’s family. The questions that hangs on everyone’s lips are what does she remember? Who are her parents? And where did she learn to speak whale? Favourite moments in the film include Dory as a baby – Boy, she’s adorable!, Marlin and Nemo’s encounter with the seals, Still can’t get the ‘OFFOFFOFFOFF’ aka the seal talk out of my head, Dory making new friends with Hank, an octopus with seven tentacles and who, for a guy with three hearts is very bad tempered, Dory reuniting with her childhood friend, Destiny and the odd cameo of previous characters from Finding Nemo. It is truly unforgettable.


Also check out footage of Baby Dory and the Pixar short film, Piper that was released alongside Finding Dory.



image courtesy of amazon.comThe Incredibles 1 and 2.

The secret life of superheroes comes to life with the Parrs, aka The Incredibles, where you watch them balance secret identities, families and saving the day. Overall, both films are funny, action packed and will keep you entertained for hours on end.

Also check out footage of  the Pixar short film, Bao that was released alongside The Incredibles 2. The film won the Oscar for the Best Animated Short Film in 2019.



image courtesy of amazon.comInside Out.

What happens when your emotions go into overdrive? They manifest in the form of Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger and Disgust. This film is set in the mind of a young girl, Riley Andersen, where the five personified emotions try to lead her through life as her parents  move the family to a new city. Some very funny moments in the film, especially when Anger loses his temper, Disgust’s sarcastic and cynical behaviour and finding what role Sadness plays in our lives (Spoiler: Very important role).

image courtesy of amazon.comSoul.

“Joe Gardner is a middle-school band teacher who gets the chance of a lifetime to play at the best jazz club in town. A misstep takes him from New York City to The Great Before, a fantastical place where new souls get their personalities before going to Earth. Determined to return to his life, Joe teams up with a precocious soul, 22, who has never understood the appeal of the human life. As Joe tries to show 22 what’s great about life, he may discover the answers to the most important questions.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of amazon.comCoco.

“Despite his family’s generations-old ban on music, Miguel dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz. Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector, and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history.” (Catalogue)


Brace yourself for a tasty release of Disney’s and Pixar’s animated film, Luca!

Set in a beautiful seaside town on the Italian Riviera, Disney and Pixar’s original feature film “Luca” is a coming-of-age story about one young boy experiencing an unforgettable summer filled with gelato (YUM!), pasta (DOUBLE YUM!) and endless scooter rides. Luca shares these adventures with his newfound best friend, but all the fun is threatened by a deeply-held secret: they are sea monsters from another world just below the water’s surface. Check out the trailer below!

Stay tuned for information for when this film will be released. In the meantime, head on down to your local library and borrow some Pixar movies for a quiet wintery night in with some popcorn and a cup of hot chocolate. Enjoy and stay warm this winter!

Lōemis Winter Solstice Festival 2021

Winter has arrived in Wellington, and the Lōemis Winter Solstice Festival is back again, in it’s fourth year,  during the week of the 14th to the 22nd of June, and there’s heaps of exciting events happening in the capital!
Link to loemis.nz website

What is the Lōemis Winter Solstice Festival?

Lōemis (pron. lew-mis) festival began in 2016 and is held annually in Wellington in the lead up to the winter solstice.

For seven days, the Lōemis Winter Solstice Festival  observes the longest nights of the year with a hearty mix of feasting, theatre, music, monstrous creatures and a fiery waterfront procession, based around the winter solstice, which falls on 22 June.

For more information on what events are on, check out the Lōemis website and Facebook page.


In the meantime, why not get into the “festival” season with:

image courtesy of syndeticsFestival folk : an atlas of carnival customs and costumes.

“A beautifully illustrated compendium of weird and wonderful festival costumes around the world. All around the world there are festivals that reach back through the sands of time to the very roots of civilisation; to agrarian rites and pagan traditions. The festivals in this book are often little known outside their locale and they are all characterised by the most radical and bizarre costumes imaginable. The Kukeri in Bulgaria wear enormous headpieces made of goatskin. Burryman festival in Edinburgh features a man covered from head to toe with burrs and thorns. Paraders in Switzerland’s Silvesterklausen wear vast wooden doll-masks and hats carved with peasant scenes. Each costume is brought to life in Rob Flower’s joyous, surrealist, urban illustrations. Brief, engaging texts describe the festival, its history and the traditions that surround it.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsFestivals and celebrations.

“Take a trip around the world, looking at the many different ways that people celebrate special days, holidays, religious festivals and traditional celebrations. Comparing Countries is a ground breaking non-fiction dual-language series which compares and contrasts ways of life in different countries around the world. Presented in two different languages, each title explores a topic common to all children, from homes to festivals, highlighting what makes us different and what we all have in common. This series provides great support to geography learning, as well as helping young language learners improve their reading skills.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsFestivals around the world.

“Learn about the diverse and vibrant festivals that are celebrated around the world.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsA year full of celebrations and festivals.

“Countless different festivals are celebrated all over the world throughout the year. Some are national holidays, celebrated for religious and cultural reasons, or to mark an important date in history, while others are just for fun. Give thanks and tuck into a delicious meal with friends and family at Thanksgiving, get caught up in a messy tomato fight in Spain at La Tomatina, add a splash of colour to your day at the Holi festival of colours and celebrate the life and achievements of Martin Luther King Jr. on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. With fact-filled text accompanied by beautifully bright illustrations from the wonderfully talented Chris Corr, prepare yourself for a journey as we travel around the world celebrating and uncovering a visual feast of culture.” (Catalogue)


Learn more about what happens in winter, as well the other seasons, why not head on down to your local library and grab some books about seasons, such as:

image courtesy of syndeticsSeasons.

“Finding out about the four seasons has never been so engaging. This book is full of exciting experiments, fun puzzles, quirky humour and science facts to make you say WOW … it’s science with a BOOM!” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsA stroll through the seasons.

“Follow the wonderful changes that each season brings! From bright spring blossoms to dazzling summer sunshine, vibrant autumn leaves, and sparkling winter snow. Look and Wonder is a fresh, bold, and bright narrative nonfiction series introducing children to the natural world” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsWeather in 30 seconds.

“This book takes readers on a whirlwind tour of our planet’s weather and climate. 30 key topics explore and explain the how and why of our global weather and its effects, from atmospheric influences, the seasons, and climate zones to extreme events, forecasting, and global warming. Each topic is presented in a neat 30-second sound bite, supported by a 3-second flash summary and a full-page colourful artwork. Fun active “missions” support the topics and encourage kids to find out more. With stunning artwork, the attention-grabbing format is engaging and immediate, introducing readers aged from 8 up to this fascinating subject that affects all our lives.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsWeather.

“See the biggest hailstone, inside the eye of a hurricane, a warm front in 3-D, the beauty of a snow crystal, a moon dog, and a dust devil. Learn the difference between a stratus and cumulonimbus cloud, how our weather may change in the future, and why tornadoes are so ferocious. Discover why deserts are dry, how clouds are born, what makes raindrops grow, why the sky is blue, and much, much more.” (Catalogue)

Check out the catalogue for more books about seasons and the weather.


Also, why not join in on “the Lōemis workshop fun”,  in the comfort of your own home… or library by creating your masterpieces, (Mask making, Mexican style treats, culinary goodness, puppetry and house building), with some help from the following books:

image courtesy of syndeticsAmazing masks to make yourself : 25 projects for funny and frightening faces to wear!

“Make masks from balloons, kitchen sponges, funnels, strainers, paper plates and other household items! The inventive projects include a tiger mask made from a basket, crazy card glasses, a wicked witch, a teapot and a glow-in-the-dark skeleton. 250 fantastic photographs show you what to do every step of the way.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsCool world cooking : fun and tasty recipes for kids!

“Give up-and-coming chefs a chance to explore the foods of the world! This international cookbook has over 50 recipes from six different cultures and introduces readers to world geography, math, science, and authentic, easy-to-make recipes that taste great. Learn about African, French, Italian, Mexican, Middle Eastern, and Japanese and Chinese cooking. So grab an apron and prepare for a tasty adventure!” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsOn stage : theater games and activities for kids.

“Covers basic theatre vocabulary, puppetry and pantomime, sound effects, costumes, props, and makeup; includes several play scripts.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsLet’s build a house.

“Let’s Build a House! But what sort of a house should it be? And what do we need to build it? It could be a shack on a beach, or it could be a skyscraper. Try building a bungalow or even a castle! Join in the imaginative play as a group of children plan their houses and discover the materials and techniques needed to build them. The Wonderwise series presents facts in a way that will inspire young children’s imaginations about the world around them.” (Catalogue)


Winter movies to watch on a cold night in…

image courtesy of amazon.comFrozen.

“The cold may bother us, but it never bothers Elsa, Queen of Arendelle. You can never go wrong with Frozen. Relive the magic and musical renditions of “Let it go” in this amazing classic about family, friendship and diversity.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of amazon.comFrozen II.

“Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, Olaf, and Sven leave Arendelle to travel to an ancient, autumn-bound forest of an enchanted land. They set out to find the origin of Elsa’s powers in order to save their kingdom.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of amazon.comRise of the Guardians.

“When an evil spirit known as Pitch lays down the gauntlet to take over the world, the immortal Guardians must join forces for the first time to protect the hopes, beliefs, and imagination of children all over the world.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of amazon.comIce Age.

“Twenty thousand years ago, at the dawn of the Ice Age, three completely mismatched creatures have been brought together by a twist of fate. Sid, a fast-talking and comical sloth, Manfred, a moody woolly mammoth, and Diego, a sinister saber-toothed tiger reluctantly team up to help return a human baby to his father. Before their incredible journey ends, this unlikely trio will confront boiling lava pits, escape treacherous ice tunnels and meet a prehistoric squirrel-rat named Scrat who is frantically trying to bury his beloved acorn. Join the weirdest herd in history for the coolest adventure of all time!” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of amazon.comIce Age. 2, The meltdown.

“The Ice Age is coming to an end, and the animals are delighting in their new world: a melting paradise of water parks, geysers and tar pits. But when Manny, Sid and Diego discover that the miles of melted ice will flood their valley, they must warn everyone and somehow figure out a way to escape the coming deluge. … With their one chance of survival being a boat at the other end of the valley, the trio make a desperate exodus there. Along the way, they meet Ellie, a female mammoth who is convinced that she is an opossum like her brothers. While the strange group continues their trek across the valley, they must learn to get along. Manny struggles to find some connection to Ellie, who may be the only other one of his kind.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

image courtesy of amazon.comIce age. 3, Dawn of the dinosaurs.

“Scrat is still trying to nab the ever-elusive nut and in the process may find his true love; Manny and Ellie await the birth of their mini-mammoth; Diego, the saber-toothed tiger, wonders if he’s growing too ‘soft’ hanging with his pals; and Sid the sloth gets into trouble when he creates his own makeshift family by hijacking some dinosaur eggs. On a mission to rescue the hapless Sid, the gang ventures into a mysterious underground world where they have some very close encounters with dinosaurs, battle flora and fauna, and where they meet a relentless, one-eyed, dino-hunting weasel named Buck.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of amazon.comIce age. 4, Continental drift.

“Scrat’s constant quest for an acorn causes a shift in the ice. Manny, Sid, and Diego end up stranded on an iceberg in the middle of the sea. A group of misfit pirates are determined to stop the trio from ever returning home.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of amazon.comIce age. 5. Collision course.

“Your favourite ICE AGE heroes are back and cooler than ever in this all-new animated adventure that’s mammoth-sized fun for the whole family! Scrat’s epic pursuit of the elusive acorn catapults him into the universe, where he accidentally triggers a series of cosmic events that threaten the Ice Age world. Now the entire herd – including Buck, Manny, Ellie, Sid and Diego – must work together on a hilarious journey, filled with nonstop action and colourful new characters, in order to survive the global Scrat-tastrophe!” (Catalogue)

Keep warm and stay safe this winter.

Tālofa Lava! Celebrate Samoa Language Week 2021!

Tālofa Lava! Samoa Language Week will be celebrated this year from Sunday, 30 May 2021 until Saturday, 5th June 2021. The event aims to raise awareness of the Samoan language, celebrate Samoan culture in New Zealand and around the world, and promote the use of Samoan language in schools, at work and at home. 



This year’s theme is “Poupou le lotoifale. Ola manuia le anofale” which means “Strengthen the posts of your house, for all to thrive”.

For more information on events and ideas on how to celebrate, visit the following websites:

Also you can visit your local library and borrow some amazing books on ways to:

Learn Samoan!

image courtesy of syndeticsLittle kiddy Sāmoan.

“This book packs in a lot of common words and phrases. It is a great resource for anybody wanting to learn Samoan.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsThe Samoan picture dictionary.

“Contains over 1000 commonly used words, and words needing further explanation are given in English and Samoan sentences to aid comprehension. Word lists include parts of the body, telling the time, colours, numbers, days of the week and months of the year” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsThe Samoan Picture Dictionary.

“The Samoan Picture Dictionary is an excellent resource for people beginning to speak or write Samoan. It contains over 1000 commonly used words, and words needing further explanation are given in English and Samoan sentences to aid comprehension. Wordlists include parts of the body, telling the time, colours, numbers, days of the week and months of the year.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsFirst readers in Samoan.

“These bilingual books are ideal for beginning learners of Samoan, with simple language and stories, and illustrations that support the text. Each book has a glossary that gives a clear English translation of the Samoan text. All of the books have been translated into Samoan by Ainslie Chu Ling So’o who is a language consultant specialist at the Ministry of Education, Sport and Culture in Samoa.” (Catalogue)

Search the catalogue here for other books to brush up your Samoan language skills.

You also read about Samoan heroes such as…

image courtesy of syndeticsSamoan heroes.

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

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

Brush up on your geography and history with…


image courtesy of syndeticsSamoa.

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

image courtesy of syndeticsSamoa & Tuvalu.

This book contains information about the history, culture and people of Samoa and nearby Tuvalu. A great book to have just in time for Samoan Language week.

A Polynesian movie night at home with…

image courtesy of amazon.comMoana.

“Celebrate Samoan language week and get into the Polynesian spirit by watching Disney’s Moana! The film follows the journey of a spirited teenager named Moana as she meets the once-mighty demi-god Maui, and together they traverse the open ocean, encountering enormous fiery creatures and impossible odds.” (Catalogue)


image courtesy of syndeticsMoana : original motion picture soundtrack.

“Moana is the 56th animated feature from Disney, an ocean adventure about a teenaged girl from a tribal community on a mystical island in the South Pacific. Its soundtrack offers both 45 minutes of score and a set of original songs co-written by a trio of musicians with impressive pedigrees. Highlights include “We Know the Way,” sung by Miranda and Foa’i, and the soaring “How Far I’ll Go,” delivered by Auli’i Carvalho in the title role, with a second version by Canadian pop singer Alessia Cara. Among other names appearing on the soundtrack are Dwayne Johnson, who sings “You’re Welcome” as Maui, and Jermaine Clement of Flight of the Conchords, who sings “Shiny” as the menacing crab Tamatoa. Closing out the song portion of the album and bringing listeners back to contemporary reality are Jordan Fisher and a rapping Miranda in a reprise of “You’re Welcome.” ~ Marcy Donelson.” (Catalogue).

Also check out these YouTube clips from the movie soundtrack: “How far I’ll go” and “You’re Welcome!”


Thank you and Happy Samoa Language week!

Fa’afetai ma fiafia Vaiaso o le Gagana Samoa!

Unicorns, Dragons and Dinosaurs at Khandallah Library!

On the last Friday of every month, the lovely librarians at Khandallah Library put on a special storytelling experience for the community. Every month there is a different theme, and different activities for the whole family to enjoy!

This month, on Friday 28 May at 10.30am, the theme for Khandallah Library’s special storytime is Unicorns, Dragons and Dinosaurs… Oh My! Come and enjoy the adventures of these fascinating and magical creatures. There will be funny, sweet, and touching stories to share, as well as the opportunity to try some gentle ‘unicorn yoga’ stretches, and colourful and creative crafts to try. Storytimes are fun and free, last about half an hour, and are aimed at preschool-aged children (three and four years old), but younger and older siblings are always welcome!

Drawn image of a baby dinosaur hatching from its shell, a small orange dragon flying in the sky, and a unicorn happily munching on some grass.

Join us on Friday at Khandallah Library for a magical storytime like no other!

You can find out what’s happening for Khandallah Library’s special storytime each month by checking the event calendar online, asking your local librarian, or giving the library a call on (04) 479 7535.

New Zealand Sign Language Week 2021

This week is officially New Zealand Sign Language Week! NZSL Week 2021 is being held from 10th – 16th May, and is a wonderful opportunity for the sign language community in Aotearoa to showcase their language — and for people who don’t know NZSL to learn more about it! Check out this video welcoming you to the library in NZSL, to see some of the ways in which NZSL is used in the community:

Events

To help mark the occasion, there are a number of events happening around the country in celebration of New Zealand Sign Language and the NZSL-speaking community — including some in our own backyard! On Friday 14 May, starting at 5.00pm, the Wellington Deaf Society are hosting a special New Zealand Sign Language Evening for the whole community! The event includes nibbles, prizes, giveaways, kids’ face painting, and a whole range of activities for adults and kids, including free NZSL lessons from 5.00pm! This special event is taking place at the Waiora Hub at Alex Moore Park, 17 Bannister Avenue, Johnsonville. Find out more at the Wellington Deaf Society’s website, and get in touch with them if you would like to take part in a free NZSL class with your friends.

Resources

If you can’t make it along to this wonderful community event, Wellington City Libraries has some resources to help get you started in learning NZSL. Why not check out some of the following books and DVDs to get your NZSL journey on the road:

Children’s visual communication dictionary : New Zealand Sign Language – Māori – English = Te reo Rotarota, he papakupu mā te hunga tamariki.
“Translations of New Zealand Sign Language words in English and Māori, with English descriptions of how to sign the words. Suggested level: primary, intermediate.” (Catalogue)

Animals / Chapman, Jenny
“Introduces signs and words for common animals that a baby might meet. Includes tips for teaching your baby to sign.” (Catalogue)

Te rā tuatahi o Hope = Hope’s first day / Chapman, Jenny
“Join Hope on her first day of school and learn everyday phrases in our three languages — Back cover.” (Catalogue)

Kiri and the emergency / Cahill, Margaret
“Uses a picture book format, with a story about a Nana falling from a ladder, to demonstrate pre-schoolers making sensible choices during an emergency situation. Includes notes and activities on safety education and key first aid messages. Accompanied by a supporting DVD which presents The emergency song resource, Te waiata Aituā, New Zealand sign language and a behind the scenes look at how this resource was made.” (Catalogue)

You can also search for New Zealand Sign Language on our catalogue to find more resources to help you learn!

Learn Online

Lastly, there are many places you can go online to learn more about New Zealand Sign Language.

The library has to a special database called Bridget Williams Books – New Zealand Sign Language Collection, that you can access for free with your library card. One of the amazing resources you can find there is Rachel McKee’s New Zealand Sign Language: A Reference Grammar. You might need to get an adult to help you with some of the words, but this book is chocka-block full of lessons, videos, and illustrations to show you how NZSL works. Ka rawe!

Here are some more great online resources you can use:

  • Many Answers has a page on New Zealand Sign Language, which has lots of suggestions for places you can go to learn about its history and practice.
  • Learn about the history of NZSL by reading the article on Te Ara: The Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
  • Head to LearnNZSL and watch video tutorials on how to use NZSL in everyday situations! If you don’t finish your lesson, you can always return to it later.
  • The New Zealand Sign Language Dictionary online has thousands of entries teaching you the basic vocabulary of NZSL, with plenty of pictures, videos and examples to help you learn.
  • Sign Ninja is an awesome online game that sneakily teaches you all kinds of things about NZSL, from its history to how it is used today! Plus, it’s super fun to play.

So what are you waiting for? Now is the perfect time to start learning about this official language of our country!

New Zealand Music Month 2021

New Zealand Music Month is back again and is in its 20th year marks 20 years of celebrating and supporting the New Zealand Music industry. The theme for 2021’s NZ Music Month is: Support local. Stream local. Follow local. Buy local.image courtesy of nz music month facebook page

image courtesy of nzmusicmonth.co.nz

What is New Zealand Music Month?

May is New Zealand Music Month, which celebrates music from New Zealand, and the people who make it.

How can I celebrate? 

The NZ Music Month schedule is packed with events, awards, radio specials, online seminars and promotions. Check out the events page for more information.

You can also support your librarians, many of whom also moonlight as musicians and performers. You can also to your local library for events such as preschool storytime, Baby Rock and Rhyme and so much more! Check out what’s on for kids at your local library.

May Music Mini-fest ‘21.

At Waitohi and Tawa Libraries, It’s a musical takeover from musical LEGO and crafterschool to upbeat storytimes and pop-up performances! Check the Waitohi and Tawa Libraries calendars for more information!

Check out our books on music and musicians!

image courtesy of syndeticsThe school of music.

“Here you will go an a unique and melodious journey, which introduces aspiring musicians to all kinds of music, from classical, to country, to contemporary… and many more! Meet six musicians and learn about different instruments and genres of music, as well as basic theory for beginners, from melodies and harmonies to pitch and rhythm.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsMusic trivia : what you never knew about rock stars, recording studios and smash-hit songs.

“Do you think you know everything there is to know about music? Think again Get the inside scoop on some surprising music industry trivia.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndetics50 things you should know about music.

“An all-encompassing introduction to the genres, musicians, instruments and musical events that have shaped the world of music. From the rock and pop of Western youth culture to the haunting sounds of traditional Mongolian throat singers, all humans in all parts of the world make music. Its harmonies affect us in a deep way and its beauty is universal. We have developed hundreds of styles of music played with all kinds of instruments, large and small. The very first instruments were simple flutes made from animal bones, but we soon developed a vast array, making all kinds of sounds. Today we can use the latest computer technology to create any sound imaginable, and musicians continue to explore the endless possibilities of music.”  (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsLegends, icons & rebels : music that changed the world.

“A tribute to more than two dozen legendary music artists who significantly influenced the landscape of music for generations to come, from Ray Charles and Bob Dylan to Chuck Berry and Johnny Cash.” (Catalogue)


Also search our catalogue for more about music.

Watch music themed DVDs!

image courtesy of amazon.comSoul.

“Joe Gardner is a middle-school band teacher who gets the chance of a lifetime to play at the best jazz club in town. A misstep takes him from New York City to The Great Before, a fantastical place where new souls get their personalities before going to Earth. Determined to return to his life, Joe teams up with a precocious soul, 22, who has never understood the appeal of the human life. As Joe tries to show 22 what’s great about life, he may discover the answers to the most important questions.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of amazon.comCoco.

“Despite his family’s generations-old ban on music, Miguel dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz. Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector, and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of amazon.comimage courtesy of amazon.comTrolls and Trolls World Tour.

“When their village is invaded by the grumpy Bergens, two mismatched friends must work together in perfect harmony to save the day. Featuring hit songs performed by Justin Timberlake, Anna Kendrick, and more. (Catalogue). In Trolls World Tour, Poppy and Branch discover that they are but one of six different Trolls tribes scattered over six different lands and devoted to six different kinds of music: Funk, Country, Techno, Classical, Pop and Rock. A member of hard-rock royalty, Queen Barb, aided by her father King Thrash, wants to destroy all other kinds of music to let rock reign supreme. With the fate of the world at stake, Poppy and Branch set out to visit all the other lands to unify the Trolls in harmony against Queen Barb.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsTrolls Soundtrack.

“A computer-animated film starring the shock-headed dolls that won’t stay out of style, Trolls featured the voice talents of such double threats as Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Zooey Deschanel, and Gwen Stefani. Its soundtrack was executive produced by Timberlake, who also provided the original song “Can’t Stop the Feeling.” The dance-pop tune, penned by Timberlake, Max Martin, and Shellback, topped the charts in over a dozen countries in the spring of 2016 before the movie’s release that fall. ” (Catalogue)

Check out the music video, Can’t Stop the Feeling, by Justin Timberlake, from the movie soundtrack!


image courtesy of syndeticsTrolls World Tour : original motion picture soundtrack.
“Expanding the Trolls universe with the addition of new genre “lands” — encompassing pop, funk, classical, reggaeton, hip-hop, techno/electronic, country, and rock — the album follows suit, building upon the first soundtrack’s pop/dance base with fun surprises from an all-star roster.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Where can I find information about New Zealand Music, artists and bands?

ManyAnswers has a page dedicated to websites, resources and ways to search for information about New Zealand musicians and bands. The National Library also has a page dedicated to New Zealand Music, where you can explore the culture, history and uses of music in New Zealand along with famous singers (traditional and contemporary), music awards, bands and the styles of music unique to New Zealand. Wellington City Libraries also runs the Wellington Music Blog — the most comprehensive source of information about local Wellington musicians and bands you can find. Check it out!

For more information, on events and ideas on how to celebrate, visit the following websites:

NZ Music Month official website.

New Zealand Curriculum Online – New Zealand Music Month.

NZ History – New Zealand Music Month.

NZ Music Month Facebook, Instagram and Twitter page.


Enjoy!… and Happy New Zealand Music Month 2021!

May the Fourth Be With You!

Attention all Jedi, Bounty Hunters and Rebels! Star Wars Day is happening again on May the Fourth, which is observed and celebrated by fans of the Star Wars franchise.
image courtesy of starwarsnewsnet

This year, you can celebrate by visiting your local library, relive and check out non fiction, (as well as fiction, and movies) all related to anything and everything from the Star Wars universe!

Also search our catalogue for more about  Star Wars.
image courtesy about syndeticsimage courtesy of syndeticsimage courtesy of syndeticsimage courtesy of syndetics
image courtesy of syndeticsimage courtesy of syndetics

While you’re at it, check out all the amazing activities on the Star Wars website dedicated to information, activities and events about Star Wars Day.

Why not dress up as your favourite Star Wars character, cook and craft up a storm all in the comfort of your own home? The Ewok Sushi and milk mando macarons look like a hit!
image courtesy of starwars.com

image courtesy of starwars.com


For more ideas on how to celebrate at home, have a look at 5 ways to celebrate Star Wars Day at home.

You can listen to your favorite Star Wars stories read by your favourite actors. Watch Rey (Daisy Ridley)  read “Star Wars: BB-8 On The Run,” and “Star Wars: Chewie & The Porgs,” read by Joonas Suotamo:



image courtesy of syndeticsBB-8 on the run.

When BB-8 is separated from his master, Poe Dameron, on the lonely planet of Jakku, he has no choice but to keep rolling. It’s all up to him to get a top-secret map to the Resistance so they can find Luke Skywalker and save the galaxy from the evil First Order. Ti’s scary to have a big job when you’re just a little droid on your own. But BB-8 isn’t alone for long. As he speeds across the sand, BB-8 meets all kinds of strangers who need his help. Should he do good things, as Poe always told him, or will that get in the way of his mission? (Catalogue).

 


 

Check out the official trailer for Star Wars: The Bad Batch, which arrives on the Disney channel on May 4th. Also check out the trailer for popular Star Wars series, The Mandalorian, which  follows the travails of a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy far from the authority of the New Republic.


 

Enjoy!… and may the forth be with you!

Upcoming changes to our children’s programme schedule

If you live in Karori, Ngaio, or Khandallah, you might notice that there are a few changes coming to our schedule of events for children and families, starting in the first week of May!

Our extra-special monthly storytimes at Khandallah Library will feature a special theme and fun activity for tamariki and whānau to get stuck into as well — contact the library (or chat to a friendly librarian!) to find out about what’s happening each month.


What’s changing?

Here is the new schedule of events for Karori, Cummings Park, and Khandallah Libraries — programmes that have changed days or times are marked with a star. Don’t forget to check in on the library event calendar from time to time to keep up to date with new programmes and special events happening in our libraries!

Karori Library | Te Māhanga

  • *Preschool Storytime: Every Tuesday and Wednesday, 10.30am*
  • *Kōhunga Kōrero: 2nd Tuesday of every month, 10.30am*
  • Baby Rock and Rhyme: Every Thursday and Friday, 10.30am
  • Let’s Go LEGO®: 3rd Saturday of every month, 2.00pm
  • Code Club: Every Tuesday during the school term, 3.30pm
  • *Free Family Movies: During school holidays and to mark special events*

Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library | Korimako

  • Preschool Storytime: Every Wednesday, 10.30am
  • Kōhunga Kōrero: 3rd Wednesday of every month, 10.30am
  • Baby Rock and Rhyme: Every Tuesday, 10.30am
  • Let’s Go LEGO®: 2nd Thursday of every month, 3.30pm

Khandallah Library | Tari-kākā

  • *Preschool Storytime: Last Friday of every month, 10.30am*
  • Let’s Go LEGO®: First Friday of every month, 3.30pm

Why are the changes happening?

We’re changing the days and times on which some of our programmes are happening so that we can make some more space in our calendar to bring some new and different experiences to tamariki and whānau who use these libraries. We also hope that the new schedule will make it easier for more families to join us for our sessions, by making sure that our events aren’t on at the same time as other, similar groups in the community!

To our wonderful families in Karori, Ngaio, and Khandallah — we look forward to seeing you soon.

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)

Happy Birthday, William Shakespeare!

All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players. Well, that was certainly the case during William Shakespeare’s life. This year marks Shakespeare’s, or the Bard of Avon, (assumed) 457th birthday on the 26th of April and 405th death anniversary on the 23rd April.
Image courtesy of Wikipedia

And pray tell, who was William Shakespeare?

Well, he was an English poet, playwright and actor who is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world’s pre-eminent dramatist. People all over the world have come to recognise the image of William Shakespeare and would heard of his plays, but what do we know about the man himself, or even what went on behind the scenes during the performance of his plays, or even who his plays were being performed for?

How dost thou celebrate?image courtesy of gifer

In addition to the traditional birthday party, cake and presents, why not read all about his life, from his early and humble beginnings in Stratford upon Avon, England to conquering the stage in Queen Elizabeth’s court and the Globe Theatre.

image courtesy of syndeticsWilliam Shakespeare : a man for all times.

Who was William Shakespeare? How much do we really know about him, and why is he so famous? This book takes the reader step-by-step through Shakespeare’s life, looking at the evidence.
image courtesy of syndeticsShakespeare.

A spectacular and engaging non-fiction Eyewitness guide to one of history’s most iconic writers, William Shakespeare. Did you know special effects were used in Shakespeare’s plays? That devils and ghosts came up through trapdoors in the stage? Find out how in Eyewitness Shakespeare and discover the fascinating life and times of one of the world’s greatest playwrights. Travel back in time and follow Shakespeare from his birth in the small town of Stratford-upon-Avon to theatre life in 16th century London. Eyewitness reference books are now more interactive and colourful, with new infographics, statistics, facts and timelines, plus a giant pull-out wall chart, you’ll be an expert on Shakespeare in no time. Great for projects or just for fun, learn everything you need to know about Shakespeare.

image courtesy of syndeticsMuch ado about Shakespeare : the life and times of William Shakespeare : a literary picture book.

Take a peek behind the curtain to discover the boy, the youth, the man behind some of the greatest works of literature. The life and times of William Shakespeare are richly imagined in this unique biography told using quotes from the Bard himself.


Also search our catalogue for more biographies about Shakespeare and his remarkable life.


Read Shakespeare’s plays!

Read and relive your favourite Shakespeare plays. Wellington City Libraries holds a huge array of plays which is part of the Orchard book of Shakespeare Stories series written by Andrew Matthews. Plays include A Midsummer Night’s DreamRomeo and Juliet, Much Ado About Nothing and King Lear.
image courtesy of syndeticsimage courtesy of syndeticsimage courtesy of syndeticsimage courtesy of syndetics
Also search our catalogue for more plays from the Orchard book of Shakespeare Stories series. Also, check out:

image courtesy of syndeticsShakespeare retold.

A beautifully illustrated collection of prose retellings of seven Shakespeare plays will bring the Bard to life for young readers. Not only is this a beautiful keepsake edition, full of gorgeous illustrations by Antonio Javier Caparo, but the prose retellings by beloved classic children’s book author E. Nesbit are an excellent tool to introduce children to the complex language of Shakespeare.

A foreword by John Lithgow touches on his own childhood as a Shakespearean actor and the importance of Shakespeare. The book contains extensive support materials, including a biography, a timeline of Shakespeare’s life, and further recommended readings.

image courtesy of syndeticsMr William Shakespeare’s plays.

Seven classic Shakespeare plays presented in an accessible comic strip format. Take your place in the Globe Theatre of Shakespeare’s day to see seven of his best-loved plays in performance. Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth, Julius Caesar, The Winter’s Tale and The Tempest are all brought vividly to life in Marcia Williams’ gloriously accessible comic-strip versions, which include the bard’s own dialogue and the rowdy remarks of the audience.

image courtesy of syndeticsShakespeare stories II.

By skillfully weaving his own prose with Shakespeare’s language, Leon Garfield has refashioned nine of the Elizabethan playwright’s dramas into stories, capturing all the richness of the characters, plot, mood, and setting. This format will delight both those who know the great dramatist’s works and those who are new to them. Plays included are: Much Ado About Nothing, Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra, Measure for Measure, As You Like It, Cymbeline, King Richard the Third, The Comedy of Errors, and The Winter’s Tale.

image courtesy of syndeticsA stage full of Shakespeare stories.

Step on to a stage full of stories with this beautiful anthology of 12 stories from Shakespeare, rewritten to be accessible to children ages 7+. A section at the back gives details about Shakespeare’s life and further information about the plays. Each story is rewritten in a comprehensive way that is accessible for children and stunningly illustrated by collage artist Alice Lindstrom.

Recite some poetry!

image courtesy of syndeticsShakespeare edited by Marguerite Tassi.

A collection of thirty-one of playwright and poet William Shakespeare’s most famous verses, sonnets and speeches.

He was the world’s greatest playwright, and the English language’s finest writer, Shakespeare is the man the Oxford English dictionary credits as having invented over 1700 common words, and to whom we owe expressions such as ‘fair play’, ‘break the ice’, and ‘laughing stock’. The continued timelessness and genius of his work will be celebrated the world over on his special day.

Have some fun with William Shakespeare!

image courtesy of syndeticsPop-up Shakespeare.

“Discover beloved playwright William Shakespeare’s plays and poetry in this spectacular novelty book from the Reduced Shakespeare Company comedy troupe. Featuring dramatic pop-ups and foldouts and loaded with jokes and fascinating facts, this hilariously informative and fully immersive look into the Bard’s world invites you to experience Shakespeare’s works as you’ve never seen them before!” — Back cover.

image courtesy of syndeticsWhere’s Will? : find Shakespeare hidden in his plays.

Each play in this book begins with a summary of the plot and descriptions of the characters. On the following page is a detailed picture showing the setting of the play and within it you can find the characters, William Shakespeare , and a spotted pig.

Watch movies inspired by Shakespeare’s plays:

image courtesy of amazon.co.ukThe Lion King… and The Lion King inspired by Hamlet.

You can never go wrong with an oldie but a goodie.

Tricked into thinking he caused his father’s death, Simba, a guilt ridden lion cub flees into exile and abandons his identity as the future King. However when the fate of his kingdom is threatened, he is forced to return and take his place as King.

image courtesy of sydneticsGnomeo & Juliet… inspired by Romeo and Juliet.

Caught up in a feud between neighbors, Gnomeo and Juliet must overcome as many obstacles as their namesakes. But with flamboyant pink flamingoes and epic lawnmower races, can this young couple find lasting happiness?

Also check out the sequel, Sherlock Gnomes.image courtesy of syndetics

Garden gnomes, Gnomeo and Juliet, recruit renowned detective Sherlock Gnomes to investigate the mysterious disappearance of other garden ornaments.

Where to find more information?