View Finders Photo Competition Results

Over the school holidays, we asked young people to tell us a story by taking a photo!

We took submissions in three categories: Nature, Whānau, and Objects/Books, and in two age groups, 5-12 and 13-18.

Thanks to all our competition entrants who wowed us with your creativity, eye for detail, and wonderful visual storytelling.

We are grateful for the insightful judging provided by the team at Splendid Photo. Thanks Splendid for helping us pick these winners!

Check the winners out here! Underneath each photograph is the story behind them.

5-12 – Nature: Mala

Mala - Nature Winner

“I wanted to take a photo of a natural beauty. I want people to feel like they are in the photo, surrounded by towering blades of grass.”


5-12 – Objects/Books: Lucas

Lucas - Objects-Books Winner

“This cat was at the playground. I really wanted a photo of the cats paw because it looked interesting . I spent a long time getting the paw in the photo.”


5-12 – Whānau: Mia

Mia Whānau Winner

“It was sooooo cool! I didn’t know that sunrises in New Zealand could look like this. We were lucky to go to an old fashioned Bach. It was old and had holes in the floor. But the front bedroom had glass for one wall. So me, mum and my sister all slept in there, so that we could see the sunrise from our beds. I got up so early, so that I could go down and take photos. It was so beautiful I couldn’t believe it. Like art in the sky. Only us there on the beach together.”


13-18 – Nature: Brunella 

Brunella image

“For me, beauty is also in nature, and it’s not always exposed on the outside; easy to see, touch, feel, and smell… but it also is sometimes in unexpected places where if you look carefully, you can find light and beauty somewhere dark, small and
mysterious.”


13-18 – Objects/Books: Kaitlyn

Kaitlyn - Objects

“This is my netball hoop. Dad bought a new one because the other was tipping over. I have spent a lot of time this holiday practicing shooting for the netball season ahead.”


13-18 – Whānau: Tilly

Tilly Whānau Category Winner

“The whānau photo took place when my family and I were flying a kite on the beach. People stopped to watch as my family and I laughed willing it to fly higher and higher. The moment captured the familiar essence of whānau.”


Each of our winners won their own reusable film camera, a roll of film, and a voucher to get it developed! We hope they will all enjoy exploring a classic photography medium, that might be what their parents (or grandparents!) grew up with.

Thanks to Ben & Jerry’s Wellington and Light House Cinema who kindly provided some bonus spot prizes for a few other entrants!

Keep an eye-out for the travelling View Finders photography exhibition, including all our young people’s work. Coming soon to a library near you!

Get your tech on with Techweek 2022!

Techweek is back! It runs from 16th to 22nd May 2022 nationwide!
image courtesy of techweek


What is Techweek?

Techweek is a nationwide series of events, showcasing and celebrating New Zealand innovation. Techweek has a mixture of live, virtual and hybrid events, both physical and virtual, that can be attended and enjoyed from anywhere in the world!

The theme for Techweek 2022 is “connect for a better tomorrow.”

For more information about Techweek and what events are on, visit the website.

Some highlights you might like to explore include a talk with Dr Michelle Dickinson, the Founder of Nanogirl Labs, about STEM in Schools, and an introductory Scratch coding virtual project with Code Club Aotearoa.

In the mean time, if you want information on the latest technology and innovations, why not check out the following books in the library collection?!

Enjoy!

image courtesy of syndeticsSTEAM jobs for gamers.

Do you love playing video games? Did you know you can get a job helping to create one? There are more jobs for those who love gaming than you probably ever realized. From animators to script writers, readers will learn about various STEM and STEAM gaming jobs and what it takes to get one– Provided by publisher.

image courtesy of syndeticsThe zoom, fly, bolt, blast steam handbook : build 18 innovative projects with brain power.

Rockport’s creative engineering extraordinaire, Lance Akiyama, returns again with Zoom, Fly Bolt, Blast STEAM Engineer and 18 STEAM approved projects to get kids doing, thinking, and building!– Provided by publisher.

image courtesy of syndeticsSelf-driving cars : the new way forward.

“Author Fallon presents a history of how the technology used in self-driving cars has developed, identifies recent technological gains, and surveys recent controversies surrounding the potential mass adoption of self-driving cars.”–Provided by publisher.

image courtesy of syndeticsSTEAM lab for kids : 52 creative hands-on projects using science, technology, engineering, art, and math.

“The creative projects in STEAM Lab for Kids are designed to demonstrate that there’s math and science to be found in great art! From rubber bands to edible stained glass, young engineers and artists alike will find inspiration in these 52 art-forward labs.” — Back cover. Also available as an eBook.


image courtesy of syndeticsVirtual reality.

“Engaging images accompany information about virtual reality. The combination of high-interest subject matter and light text is intended for students in grades 2 through 7” — Provided by publisher.

image courtesy of syndeticsThe science of medical technology : from humble syringes to life-saving robots.

“This fascinating guide to the ever-growing potential of medical technologies combines fact-packed, easy-to-read text with colourful and quirky illustrations. From an exploration of how new devices are helping to spot early signs of illness to a discussion of how vaccinations have helped to eradicate devastating diseases, it is an eye-opening introduction to the miraculous power of preventative and curative medicine.Each spread has multiple entry points, including an introductory paragraph, illustrations and side panels such as Fascinating Fact, Can You Believe It?, and Try It Yourself, which provide additional information and handy advice.” (Catalogue).

Please search our catalogue for more information about technology here:

Gasav Ne Fäeag Rotuạm Ta: Rotuman Language Week 2022

Noaʻia ʻe mḁuri gagaj ʻatakoa! Welcome to Gasav Ne Fäeag Rotuạm Ta | Rotuman Language Week 2022.

Poster courtesy of the Ministry for Pacific Peoples.

What is Rotuman Language Week?

New Zealand is the only country in the world where the languages and culture of our Pasifika cousins are celebrated. Fäeag Rotuạm, the Rotuman language, is the first of nine Pasifika language weeks this year, and it runs from the 8th May – 14th May 2022. Rotuma Day itself was on the 6th of May.

Where is Rotuma you ask? The main island of Rotuma is about 13km by 4km and is about 580km from Fiji’s capital, Suva. Rotuma is a dependency of Fiji, so Rotumans will usually speak Fijian and English too! There are about 2000 Rotumans living on the island, and 10,000 living in mainland Fiji and globally.

More information about Rotuma Day and the history of Routma can be heard in this article from Radio NZ.

This year’s theme for Gasav Ne Fäeag Rotuạm Ta is:

Vetḁkia ‘os Fäega ma Ag fak hanua – Sustaining our Language and Culture.

In these times, when it sometimes feels like things are just moving too fast, we think this is a wonderful idea to reflect on.

So how do you speak Rotuman?

Well, Rotumans roll their ‘R’s and pronounce ‘G’ with a smooth ‘ing’ sound, similar to how ‘ng’ is pronounced in te reo Māori.

Here are some key phrases in Rotuman [Row-too-man]:
Noa’ia [Noah-e-yah]= Hello, greetings.
Ka ‘äe tapen? [Car eh tar-pen] = How are you?
Gou lelei fḁiåksia [Ngou leh-lay for-yak-see-yah] = I am well thank you.
Figalelei [Fee-nga-leh-lay] = Please
Fḁiåksia [Foyak-see-yah] = Thank you
Hanis ma röt’åk [Hah-niece mah röt-ack] = Sorry
La’ ma ḁlalum [Lah mah aw-lah-loom] = Goodbye (only to those leaving)
Fu’ ma ḁlalum [Foo mah aw-lah-loom] = Goodbye (only to those staying)

Find more words and phrases in this language guide produced by the Ministry for Pacific Peoples.

The Ministry for Pacific Peoples provides great resources and information about our Pasifika languages and cultural events. Visit the official NZ Rotuman Language Week Facebook page, and the official website, for more information about Rotuman Language Week 2022!

View Finders Beanstack Challenge!

This April School Holidays, take part in our View Finders Photography Challenge! 

We have a holiday challenge for you on our Beanstack platform!

This Beanstack challenge will guide you down the path of learning about photography so that you can get your submissions in before the deadline of the 1st of May — and there are some cool spot prizes for people who complete book reviews and take part in activities. We’re choosing a random book reviewer or challenge completer EVERY DAY to win a spot prize, so don’t miss out!

To jump right into Beanstack, click here! 🎞

Our Beanstack challenge is full of tips and activities to help you take great portraits of people, find flora and fauna in our wonderful city, and get inspired by excellent object photography!

Beanstack challenges

Some of the digital badges you can earn on our Beanstack!


For our photo competition, we’re taking submissions in three categories: Nature, Whānau, and Objects/Books, and in two age groups, 5-12 and 13-18.

The first prize for each category is a reusable Kodak film camera, some black-and-white film roll, and free development with Splendid Photo!

The Beanstack activities lead to a link to enter your own photos.

We look forward to seeing your photos and hearing the story behind them! You may want to display your photo at your local branch library at the end of the competition.

View Finders 1st Place Category Prizes

Our 1st place category prizes! You could win your very own film camera!


Special thanks to our friends at Splendid Photo, who are helping us to judge the competition, and Ben & Jerry’s Wellington, Light House Cinema, and Unity Books, who are kindly providing us with spot prizes to give away. Ka rawe!

Paper Planes Go Global

Do you like making and folding paper planes (sometimes called paper darts)? You’re not alone! Every year in March, paper dart enthusiasts from around the world compete in the Red Bull Paper Wings Competition for paper planes folded out of an A4 piece of paper – no engines or fuel allowed. In 2022 nearly 500 people from 62 countries competed in three categories:

  • Distance: 50 metres is the distance to beat in 2022… so far
  • Hangtime: 14.80 seconds is the longest time in the air in the 2022 competition… so far
  • Aerobatics: An online contest of fancy moves and innovative design

In New Zealand our national finals event was held at Motat (Museum of Transport and Technology) in Auckland, on Saturday 26 March where the finalists competed in two categories, distance and hangtime. Dan Kingsley from Auckland won the hangtime category sending his paper plane gliding above for 7.93 seconds; and Bailey Parsons, also from Auckland, won the distance category with his 43m throw. Both Dan and Bailey will be off to the Paper Wings World Final in Salzburg, Austria on 13 and 14 May 2022.

Meet the Kiwis representing NZ in the global paper plane throwing competition

Check out some fun flight facts and detail:

Paper Airplane Folding Designs

Fantastic Fundamentals of Flight

How Planes Fly

Bird Flight Facts


You can hone your paper plane making and flying skills with these great reads from our shelves:

Paper airplanes! / Zoo, Keith
“Show-How Guides are joyful primers for curious minds-collectible, visual, step-by-step handbooks that teach the skills every kid should know! This pocket-sized 101 series introduces kids of all ages to the perennial talents, hobbies, skills, and hands-on activities they’ll treasure for a lifetime. Each book includes a curated collection of essential skills and every step is illustrated, allowing kids to truly and easily master the basics, regardless of how they learn. Finally, fun and friendly tutorials you can understand at a glance! Show-How Guides are an affordable stocking stuffer, birthday gift, or impulse buy. Want to fly? This Show-How Guide gives you the know-how on paper airplanes. Through illustrated, step-by-step tutorials on eleven essential models (plus key tips and tricks), you’ll quickly and easily master folding and flying skills. What are you waiting for? Get off to a flying start!” (Catalogue)

Unlock your imagination
“Provides instruction for games, crafts, performances, puzzles, and other activities from running a lemonade stand to starting a newspaper.” (Catalogue)

Paper planes / Worland, Steve
“One paper plane flies straight and fast and true. Dylan’s. Twelve-year-old Dylan Webber lives in outback Western Australia in a small country town. When he discovers he has a talent for folding and flying paper planes, Dylan begins a journey to reach the World Junior Paper Plane Championships in Japan. Along the way he makes unlikely new friends, clashes with powerful rivals and comes to terms with his family’s past before facing his greatest challenge – to create a paper plane that will compete with the best in the world.” (Catalogue)

The science of flight : the air-mazing truth about planes and helicopters / Graham, Ian
“This fascinating guide to how humans mastered the power of flight combines fact-packed, easy-to-read text with colourful illustrations, From hot air balloons and the Wright brothers to today’s super-fast jets, this is an introduction to the mechanics and marvels of flight. Each spread has multiple entry points, including an introductory paragraph, illustrations and handy advice.” (Catalogue)

Higher, steeper, faster : the daredevils who conquered the skies / Goldstone, Lawrence
“The pioneers of early flight performed death-defying feats and broke new technological ground as they took to the skies to thrill crowds and advance the boundaries of human innovation”–Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

How birds fly / Williams, Nick
“This series helps to answer some of the most fascinating questions about the natural world, showing how nature works and all its amazing aspects. Encourages investigative skills and scientific enquiry. Ages 8+.” (Catalogue)

 

View Finders Photo Competition

This April School Holidays, tell us a story by taking a photo!

From the 16th of April to the 1st of May, we’re running View Findersa photo competition for tamariki and rangatahi across Wellington City. There are heaps of cool prizes to be won — and a special exhibition to take part in at the end!

We’re taking submissions in three categories: Nature, Whānau, and Objects/Books, and in two age groups, 5-12 and 13-18.

Don’t forget to check out our special View Finders Beanstack Challenge to earn spot prizes, log your reading, and do some simple activities to get your photography skills into top gear for the competition!

Submissions for View Finders are now closed! We will be announcing the winners on the 13th of May — keep an eye on this blog for updates!

Nature:

Take a picture of something that blows your mind in a local park, down at the beach, or high in the hills! See what flora and fauna you can discover in the great outdoors of Aotearoa.

While you’re out and about, you might want to check out iNaturalist NZ – Mātaki Taiao, which is an app that you can use to record what you see in the natural world! There is also an annual City Nature Challenge for Pōneke/Wellington where us locals can make a big effort to see what we can find!

Whānau:

In a literal sense, whānau means family in Te Reo Māori, and is based on shared whakapapa and descent from a common ancestor.

Whānau is also used by non-Māori to talk about their family. Sometimes, Whānau is used to describe groups of people who come together bound by a common purpose, this could also be called whānau ā kaupapa.

So, for our photo competition, you can take a picture that tells a story about your family, or you can take a broader view of whānau to tell a story about a team or group you are involved in, or even a group of friends.

Objects or Books:

Tell us a story about a physical object that is important to you. It could be a cherished toy, or your comfiest couch! Maybe the object would even be a book (we do love books at the library!) With ComicFest coming up on May 7th, you could find a creative way to photograph your favourite comic book, maybe by putting it in a funny or unexpected location!


View Finders

Get your phone, tablet, or camera at the ready!


You can enter once per category. If anyone else appears in your photo, make sure you have permission to share it with us.

We look forward to seeing your photos and hearing the story behind them! You may want to display your photo at your local branch library at the end of the competition.

Special thanks to our friends at Splendid Photo, who are helping us to judge the competition, and Ben & Jerry’s Wellington, Light House Cinema, and Unity Books, who are kindly providing us with spot prizes to give away. Ka rawe!

Keep Calm and Carry On with Mindfulness

Hey Kids! With New Zealand under Red Settings, it can be an uncertain and stressful time. However, keep calm and carry on under RED because Wellington City Libraries has a wide range of books for children on mindfulness.

What is Mindfulness?

  • Mindfulness has become a trendy word that is used to describe everything from yoga exercises, meditation, breathing to colouring activities.
  • Mindfulness is simply… noticing what is happening right now.
  • Mindfulness is taking notice of how your body feels and what you see, smell and taste. Maybe you even feel emotions in your body, perhaps through a tightness somewhere, or a good sensation.
  • Mindfulness is also noticing what your mind is doing.

To find about more about mindfulness and the tools needed to keep calm and carry on, have a read of the following:


image courtesy of syndeticsMeditation is an open sky : mindfulness for kids.

“Feeling mindful is feeling good! You know when you’re having a bad day, you have that wobbly feeling inside and nothing seems to go right? Find a quiet place, sit down, and meditate! In this daily companion, kids of any age will learn simple exercises to help manage stress and emotions, find focus, and face challenges. They’ll discover how to feel safe when scared, relax when anxious, spread kindness, and calm anger when frustrated. Simple, secular, and mainstream, this mindfulness book is an excellent tool for helping kids deal with the stresses of everyday life”– Provided by publisher.

image courtesy of syndeticsThe panic button book for kids : an interactive guide to help kids deal with worries and feel calmer.

“All kids go through tricky times. Bright kids can struggle to switch off their mind, creative kids often heap pressure on themselves and sensitive kids may be easily overwhelmed. When our kids worry, it’s as though they give away some of their happiness. Does a child in your life need help tackling anxiety? The Panic Button Book for Kids is an interactive, step-by-step guide for children aged 7-11 and their caregivers. Written in everyday language and beautifully illustrated, this book is designed for grown-ups to read with their child, and is full of helpful ideas to kick anxiety to the curb and create a common language between the generations.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsBreathe like a bear : 30 mindful moments for kids to feel calm and focused anytime, anywhere.

“We all want to bring more calm into our lives. We all want to feel more focused and positive. Mindfulness is the key to making it happen. Breathe like a bear guides us through fun exercises to help us relax and stretch our imaginations. Because just like we need to exercise our bodies, we need to flex our mindfulness muscles!”–Jacket.

image courtesy of syndeticsCalm : mindfulness for kids.

“Calm: Mindfulness for Kids has everything you need to know about focusing your child’s mind to help them enjoy and appreciate things that they take for granted every day, while boosting their confidence and self-esteem. Children are guided through each activity, to make sure they achieve maximum enjoyment and awareness. All children will learn and react to each activity in a different way and parent’s notes give advice on how to encourage children to embrace mindfulness in the modern world. Each specially designed activity is flexible for each child’s needs and inspires them to seek calmness and tranquility in all situations.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsAroha’s Way.image courtesy of syndetics

“”Nau mai, hoake tātou ko Aroha, i a ia e kaupare ana i te taiatea, i te mataku, i te māharahara, me te anipā, ki ana tukanga māmā ka taea e te katoa.” From award-winning New Zealand author, Craig Phillips, creator of The Adventures of Jack Scratch and Giants, Trolls, Witches, Beasts (winner of the Russell Clark Award for Illustration at the New Zealand Book Awards 2018). Aroha’s Way is a beautiful, descriptive and relatable book – an important book – helping children to normalise, understand and even develop their own tools for dealing with their feelings.” (Catalogue) Also available in Te Reo.

image courtesy of syndeticsHow do I feel? : a dictionary of emotions for children : with 60+ definitions to help children identify and understand their emotions.

“A dictionary of emotions for children ; with 60 definitions to help children identify and understand their emotions. Includes parent/teacher notes.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsMindfulness activities for kids (and their grown-ups) : learn calm, focus, & gratitude for a lifetime.

“Mindfulness Activities Kids can do with their Grown-ups to be Focused, Peaceful, and Grateful together! Mindfulness reduces anxiety and stress, improves focus, and creates calm—all attributes parents want for their kids. But what’s the best way to teach it to your child? Mindfulness Activities for Kids (And Their Grown-ups) provides 40 mindfulness activities for you and your child to do together, so you both reap the benefits as you develop a deeper connection.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsJust breathe : meditation, mindfulness, movement, and more.

“For kids ages 8 to 12, this is an accessible and fun meditation how-to book filled with full-color illustrations, written by Mallika Chopra. Meditation and Mindfulness for Kids is a fun and accessible, fully illustrated go-to meditation guide written by none other than Mallika Chopra, wellness expert and the daughter of Deepak Chopra. For kids ages 8 to 12, this book is full of specific exercises to help deal with day-to-day challenges and tips to lead a healthier, happier, and more connected life. With a foreword written by Deepak Chopra, this will be the go-to book for kids who want to learn more about mindfulness and meditation.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsCrafting calm : art and activities for mindful kids.

“In Crafting Calm : Art and Activities for Mindful Kids, kids engage in and practice mindfulness through fun and easy exercises, crafts, and activities, with the goal of learning a deeper sense of calm, peace, joy, and connection to the world around them, all while improving emotional intelligence, boosting self-esteem, and reducing anxiety.” (Catalogue)

For more books about mindfulness, click here.

Kids’ Activities Under Red Settings

To keep our young people and vulnerable communities safe under Red settings, we’re moving most of our programmes for children under the age of 12 and their families online! This is because even though our libraries are open, lots of our kids’ programmes, like CRAFTerschool, Code Club, and Baby Rock and Rhyme, involve lots of people getting very close together, and it’s just too tricky to provide the required social distancing for young people who can’t yet be vaccinated.

Soon, we will be starting up a whole bunch of activities and programmes, some of which you can do online, and some of which you will be able to do in a contactless way in the library, but in the meantime we thought it would be a good idea to remind you about all the awesome online resources and activities you can do with us online. If you love stories, arts and crafts, music, movies, and fun activities to do with your family, we’ve got you covered!

We have so many really cool resources available in our eLibrary! If you want to have a browse yourself you can check our our Kids’ Guide or have a look through what’s available on our Kids’ Home Page, or just read on… Continue reading

Lunar New Year & Chinese New Year of the Tiger

The Lunar New Year is celebrated by many countries and communities, particularly throughout East Asia. The Chinese New Year is an annual 15-day festival in China, and in Chinese communities around the world, that begins with the new moon.

This blog post will focus on the Chinese New Year of 2022, which falls on February 1st (Tuesday) with a festival lasting until February 15th, about 15 days in total.

The Chinese New Year animal sign this year is the Tiger.
Image courtesy of chinesenewyear.net

Did you know? Tigers are the third of the Chinese zodiacs. According to legend, Tiger was confident that no one could compete with its speed and vigor for the celestial race that would decide the order of the zodiacs. However, when Tiger climbed out of the river, thinking it was first, it was informed that Rat placed first for its cunning and Ox placed second for its diligence. This left the king of the jungle having to settle for third place.

To learn more about the year of the tiger, click here and read: 

Image courtesy of syndeticsIn the year of the tiger.

This Chinese folk tale traces the cycles of village life through the rich community celebration of the Lion Dance performed during the Spring Festival. Chiu Wing and his neighbours eagerly await the festival each year. (Catalogue).

 


For more information on what events are on around Wellington, check out the Chinese New Year website.

With New Zealand moving to Red Settings, Asian Events Trust will be implementing its COVID-19 back-up plan. For more information, click here.

How can you celebrate?

  • Create decorations to help join in the festive spirit.
  • Chow down on festive treats.
  • Watch the fireworks and traditional dancing.
  • Spending time with loved ones.
  • Giving red envelopes to kids.

Did you know: The colour red is regarded as the symbol of energy, happiness and good luck. Sending red envelopes is a way to send good wishes and luck (as well as money).

For more more craft ideas and recipes for festive treats, click on this link.

Where can I find information about Chinese New Year?

  • ManyAnswers has a page dedicated to websites, resources and ways to search for information about Chinese New Year.
  • NZ History has an amazing page dedicated to Chinese New Year.
  • Kids World Travel guide has an amazing page dedicated to Chinese New Year.
  • Also check out these amazing books!
    Books about Chinese New Year:

image courtesy of syndeticsChinese New Year.

This book explores the festival of Chinese New Year and the story behind it and features eight simple origami projects for your own festive fun! The book shows how people around the world celebrate Chinese New Year and what the Chinese calendar and the animals of the zodiac are. Attractively designed, its simple text and wonderful full-colour photos make this an essential book for children celebrating or learning about the festival. (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsChinese New Year : a celebration for everyone.

Part of the nonfiction Orca Origins series, Chinese New Year is illustrated with color photographs throughout. Readers will learn how a simple gathering of family and friends grew into a weeklong, worldwide festival. (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsChinese New Year.

Learn about the diverse and vibrant festivals that are celebrated around the world. This series encourages children to consider religious beliefs and cultural practices via easy to read text and informative, full color images. (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsChinese New Year.

“Chinese New Year is a time of hope and hapiness. During the festival, some people eat special foods and give gifts. Others watch parades and light fireworks. One thing all people do at Chinese New Year is have fun!” – Back cover.

image courtesy of syndeticsRuby’s Chinese New Year.

“As Ruby travels to her grandmother’s house to bring her a gift for Chinese New Year, she is joined by all of the animals of the zodiac. Includes the legend of the Chinese horoscope and instructions for crafts.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsHome for Chinese New Year : a story told in English and Chinese.

“The Chinese New Year is a time for family reunions. This Chinese children’s story tells a delightful trip with lots of cultural details along the way! Jia Jun’s Dad worked out of town all year around. Now it’s time for him to come home.” ( Adapted from catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsMaisy’s Chinese New Year.

“Maisy’s friend Tiger is coming home especially for Chinese New Year! Once the house is tidy and the decorations are up, Maisy changes into her lovely red dress and throws a big party for all her friends. They have a delicious feast, tell stories, see the fireworks together and, on new year’s day, watch a spectacular parade – with an amazing dragon dance!” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsThe runaway wok : a Chinese New Year tale.

On Chinese New Year’s Eve, a poor man who works for the richest businessman in Beijing sends his son to market to trade their last few eggs for a bag of rice, but instead he brings home an empty–but magic–wok that changes their fortunes forever. Includes information about Chinese New Year and a recipe for fried rice.(Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsThe little pigs and the sweet rice cakes : a story told in English and Chinese.

“Told in a bilingual Chinese and English edition, this is the story of three little pigs whose appetites initially get the better of them. In a shared dream, they met an old man who tells them to deliver sweet rice cakes to him a week before New Year’s Eve. The next morning, they see some sweet rice cakes on their kitchen table. The three little pigs completely forget the old man and eat every bit of them.”  Find out what happens next! –Adapted from publisher.

image courtesy of syndeticsPeppa’s Chinese New Year

“It is Chinese New Year and Madame Gazelle is teaching the children all about this very special celebration. Peppa and George and their friends make Chinese New Year cards, try tasty Chinese treats and even take part in their very own dragon parade!”(Catalogue).

Books about Tigers:

image courtesy of syndeticsMy big cats journal : in search of lions, leopards, cheetahs and tigers.

Follow Steve Bloom as he travels across continents taking photographs. Find out how big-cat predators survive in tough conditions; how they live, grow up, hunt and have babies. Bloom’s account makes a compelling narrative in the same way that the voiceover on a natural-history television programme is both informative and pacy.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsCan we save the tiger?

The tiger is just one of thousands of animals — including the ground iguana, the white-rumped vulture, and the partula snail — currently in danger of becoming extinct, joining the dodo, the marsupial wolf, the great auk, and countless others we will never see again. (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsAll about tigers : a description text.

This series uses the topic of big cats to present different text structures commonly used in informational writing. The interesting topics will engage independent readers and provide useful stimulus for teachers planning to teach how non-fiction texts are structured and presented. (Catalogue).

 

Wellington Beaches for Summer Swimming

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

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

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

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

Balaena Bay

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

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

Freyberg Beach/Oriental Bay

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

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

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

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

Hataitai Beach

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

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

Island Bay

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

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

Lyall Bay

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

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

Princess Bay

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

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

Scorching Bay

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

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

Worser Bay

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Also available as an eBook

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