Aotearoa Spanish Language Week 2024

Kia ora and ¡Hola!

Here at Wellington City Libraries we are celebrating Aotearoa Spanish Language Week.

Hablas espanol? Do you speak Spanish?

Hablo un poco de Español (Eh-span-yole). I speak a little Spanish 

¿Dónde estás? Where are you?

Estoy en le biblioteca. I am at the library.

¿Sabías? Did you know?

  • There are over 500 million speakers of Spanish worldwide.

This is mainly because the Spanish colonised many different parts of the world. Countries with Spanish as an official language are called Hispanic. Most of them are in the Americas, which make up Latin America.

Hispanophone Global World Map from Wikimedia Commons licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

  • The first Spanish-speaking immigrants to New Zealand.

a family with 3 children sit facing the camera. Black and White image.

Image: “Chileans become New Zealanders” by John Wilson in Story: Latin Americans, Te Ara Encyclopaedia of New Zealand.

The first Spanish-speaking immigrants to New Zealand arrived in the late 19th century so they could work in the gold mines. Most of them were men from the Spanish-speaking countries of South America.

  • First Chileans arrived in New Zealand in 1977

When the military took over the government in Chile, families like the Guerreros, pictured opposite, were forced to leave their country as refugees. If you would like to learn more about our first Chilean immigrants, click on the photo or visit the link below to read about them and other immigrants from Latin America on Te Ara Encylopaedia of New Zealand.

Cool and interesting words in Spanish Español

One really interesting thing about learning another language is that there are lots of words that don’t have an exact translation into English. Here are some words in Spanish we think are extra cool.

  • empalagar: When you dislike something because the flavour is too sweet.
  • sobremesaWhen you finish a meal and stay at the table sharing a conversation, after everyone has eaten.
  • pena ajena: To feel embarrassed on behalf of someone else.

Here are some English words that come from Spanish Español:

  • overol: overalls
  • suéter: sweater
  • bulevar: boulevard
  • fútbol: football

Storytime Tiempo de cuentos at Karori Library

Join Karori Library in celebrating Aotearoa Spanish Language week with fun and interactive bilingual stories, games and language resources for pre schoolers. Nau mai rā tātou katoa. Everybody is welcome.

Tuesday 21 May, 10:30am – 11:30am

Te Māhanga Karori Library

Karori Library also have a new programme called Cuentacuentos – story time sessions entirely in Spanish! Every first Saturday of the month at 11 AM.

Toitoi Magazine App Toitoi Revista aplicación


Check out the Toitoi Magazine Latin America Special Issue app — it has stories, poems and art by kids about the vibrant cultures of Latin America. You can read in English, Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese, thanks to the Latin America Centre of Asia-Pacific Excellence.

Readers can listen to the stories and poems in translation, tap to hear individual words and spellings and even record their own narration.

A fun quiz Una prueba divertida


Visit the Aotearoa Spanish Language Week website for the answers, and for more fun activities for the whole whānau!

Spanish Books Libros de Español

Mi perro solo habla español / Cáceres, Andrea
“Cuando Aurora llegó a los Estados Unidos, aprendió a hablar inglés, pero Nena, su spaniel, no. Por eso, cuando pasea a Nena, Aurora les explica a sus nuevos amigos que su mascota solo habla español. Ella les dice: Nena no entiende la palabra “sit” pero sí entiende “siéntate”. […] ¡Pero ella sí que puede oler un “postre”! Con dulzura y encanto, la autora e ilustradora Andrea Cáceres cuenta una tierna e incomparable historia sobre una niña, su mascota y un amor que transciende cualquier idioma.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Leo Messi / Sánchez Vegara, Ma Isabel
“In this book from the highly acclaimed Little People, BIG DREAMS series, discover the incredible life of Leo Messi, one of the worlds most skilled and celebrated footballers. Leo Messi tells the inspiring story of a young boy from Argentina who became one of the worlds greatest footballers.” (Catalogue)

Cucú-tras by Francesca Ferri
This book invites you to play a fun game: the “Cucú-tras”. This book has great illustrations with cheerful colours and you will have fun lifting the flaps to find different farm animals.

Los tipos malos en el peor día del mundo / Blabey, Aaron
“¡Salve al príncipe heredero Mermelada! ¡Pliégate a su malvada magnificencia! ¡Arrodíllate ante su gloria de manos de traseros! O…si quieres…¡NO! Puede que los Tipos Malos y las Chicas Aún Peores hayan sido derribados, pero ¿significa eso que se quedarán en el suelo? ¡De ninguna manera, muchachos! Ponte los pantalones de fiesta: ¡se acerca la batalla definitiva entre malo y MAAAAAALO!” (Catalogue)

La lección de August by R. J. Palacio

Ten-year-old Auggie Pullman, who was born with extreme facial abnormalities and was not expected to survive, goes from being home-schooled to entering fifth grade at a private middle school in Manhattan, which entails enduring the taunting and fear of his classmates as he struggles to be seen as just another student.

If you’d like to read more books in Spanish, check out some of our favourites on this blog post, or view the full list on our catalogue.

Time Capsules – Time Travel Through Objects!

Recently, a time capsule was removed for safekeeping at the Te Matapihi Central Library site! The capsule was buried in 1994 – 29 years ago – and contains letters from local school students, newspapers, coins, photos of the children and other souvenirs from 1994.

But what exactly are time capsules? And why do we have them?


Wellington City Libraries time capsule being lifted out of a hole in the ground by two construction workers

LT McGuinness workers remove the time at the Central Library Te Matapihi construction site. Image: WCC supplied (September 2023)


What are time capsules?

According to the dictionary on one of our eLibrary databases, Britannica Library – Kids, time capsules are “a container holding historical records or objects representative of current culture that is placed (as in a cornerstone) for preservation until discovery by some future age.” So essentially, time capsules are like hidden treasure, stored by people of the past to communicate with the people of the future, and to tell them what life was like back then.

Time capsules are usually intended to be found and opened at a specific date and place – like an important anniversary of a school, or the anniversary of the council in the case of the capsule above – but it is possible that they can be forgotten about after all those years! You may have heard about the missing time capsule buried at Muritai school in Eastbourne (which is yet to be seen).

The Westinghouse Time Capsule of 1939

There have been many significant time capsules in recent history. Perhaps one of the earliest examples is the Westinghouse time capsule, which was made by the Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company and buried on August 22, 1939. The time capsule was a dedication to the current technology and society of 1930s America, containing roughly 100 objects and 22,000 pages of text and images associated with American companies of the 1930s. For example, safety razors were included from Gilette Safety Razor Co., a makeup kit from Elizabeth Arden and even Birds Eye frozen foods was represented – you may have seen their fish fingers at the supermarket recently!



Because the 1939 Westinghouse capsule was intended to be opened in 5000 years later, (that’s the year 6939!) the capsule had to be extra secure to withstand its long storage underground (which also meant that they couldn’t put fish fingers in the capsule ☹). To ensure this, engineers constructed a bullet shaped capsule made of copper, chromium and silver and the contents were sealed in an airtight glass shell.

The capsule was buried deep beneath New York’s Flushing Meadows Corona Park, and to make sure people were able to find it in the future, the Book of Record for the Time Capsule of Cupaloy was distributed to libraries, museums and monasteries around the world. An important issue that the company also had to consider was how were the people of 6939 going to understand what the time capsule was all about? Archaeologists at the time knew that the people of the future probably wouldn’t be able to speak English, so they included diagrams to help them read and interpret the book.

Overall, the Westinghouse efforts and time capsules more generally show the desire for people to connect with each other across time and space. Time capsules serve as important artefacts from the past, mapping out how we have changed as people and as a society.

And while you may not be able to travel ahead 5000 years to meet the people of the future, the library has plenty of books to help you discover peoples of the past, as well as time capsules in general!

Time Capsule Stories

Cartboy and the time capsule / Campbell, L. A.
“Sixth-grader Hal gets a year-long journal-keeping assignment in his least favorite class, history, much to the delight of his history buff father.” (Catalogue)

Beat the clock / Parish, Herman
“In celebration of the 100th anniversary of Amelia Bedelia’s school, the whole town throws a party and a secret time capsule that was buried an entire century before will finally be dug up and opened.” (Catalogue)

The time capsule and other stories / Shipton, Paul
“This Biff, Chip and Kipper collection contains four funny stories, plus activities focusing on reading skills. This Read with Oxford Stage 4 collection is ideal for children who are gaining more reading confidence. Read with Oxford offers an exciting range of carefully levelled reading books to build your child’s reading confidence.” (Catalogue)

Zelda and Ivy, the runaways / Laura McGee Kvasnosky / Kvasnosky, Laura McGee
“In three short stories, two fox sisters run away from home, bury a time capsule, and take advantage of some creative juice.” (Catalogue)

Digging up the past

What was it like, Mr. Emperor? : life in China’s forbidden city / Zhao, Guangchao
“Have you ever wondered what it was like to be the Emperor of China? In this book, readers will get the chance to ask the emperor all the questions they might have about life in the Forbidden City. How was the emperor chosen? What was school like? How did he celebrate his birthday? Who were his friends? What were his favorite foods? How hard did he have to work? Could he be punished? Through fun and engaging stories reader will journey through the average life of an emperor and learn about the people who lived in the palace.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Digging up the past : archaeology for the young and curious / Veart, David
“Introduces young and curious readers to the story of New Zealand, from Pacific voyagers to contemporary crime scenes, that archaeologists have discovered. Along the way, readers will learn about what archaeologists actually do, from digging up shell middens to testing ancient DNA. And readers will uncover amazing facts about our past: How Māori used kuri, the native dog, as a four-legged fridge, how warplanes were hidden deep within Devonport’s North Head (or were they?), how DNA has revealed the number of people who first settled Aotearoa, and much much more.” (Catalogue)

Meet the Vikings / Woolf, Alex
“What was life really like for the Vikings? How did they interact socially? What medicines did they use? What did they think about the world they lived in, religion and other peoples? Using recreation photography and images of real historical artefacts this book will help readers ‘meet’ all kinds of Vikings, from the thrall (or slave) to the various craftspeople, farmers and even some viking children playing games.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The 20th century / Deary, Terry
“Discover the foul facts that make the history of the twentieth century so horrible – all the gore and more!” (Catalogue)

Te ao o te Māori = The world of the Māori / Naumann, Ruth
“Resource containing information and activities on Māori migration to and settlement in New Zealand. Focuses on particular aspects of Māori life and culture. Can be linked to the New Zealand Social Sciences curriculum. Suggested level: primary, intermediate, junior secondary.” (Catalogue)

Ancient Africa : archaeology unlocks the secrets of Africa’s past / Sherrow, Victoria
“Archaeology reveals the rich histories of complex cultures in the cradle of humankind. Study the Dogon people of Mali. Explore the ancient city of Jenne-jeno. Learn how computer technology has recreated the Kushite temples at Jebel Barkal and how artifacts bring new insights, helping scientists to piece together the puzzle of ancient Africa.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Gasav Ne Fäeag Rotuạm Ta: Rotuman Language Week 2023

Noaʻia ʻe mḁuri gagaj ʻatakoa! Welcome to Gasav Ne Fäeag Rotuạm Ta | Rotuman Language Week 2023.

Girl smiling

Download a Rotuman Language Week Poster!

What is Rotuman Language Week?

Rotuman Language Week is the first in a series of Pasifika Language Weeks that are celebrated in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

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 7th May – 13th May 2023.

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 read or listened to 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 it feels like things are just moving too fast, we think this is a wonderful idea to reflect on.

We interviewed Kelly, a librarian who works in the South East branches and is also a proud Rotuman woman. Check out our instagram page to watch the reels: Wellington City Libraries Instagram

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!

The Summer Reading Adventure is Complete!

Greetings adventurers of great renown. The 2022-2023 Summer Reading Adventure has now finished! As your local librarians, we have been absolutely delighted to see all your achievements and creativity on display! Congratulations to all tamariki & whānau who took part.

Here are some of the numbers:

  • You read 20221 books over December and January — that’s 326 books a day, or a book every 4 and a half minutes!
  • You wrote, drew, or filmed 6447 book reviews. Many of you loved using emojis to tell us about the books you read!
  • You completed 3505 quests, from exploring and mapping the land to building forts, conducting science experiments to creating beautiful and original works of art.
  • You’ve collected 1259 prizes, including badges, books, pens, pencils and notebooks, vouchers from our wonderful friends at Ben & Jerry’s and Unity Books, and other goodies!

So many of you have picked up prizes already. From today, you can still come in to pick up prizes, but only while stocks last as we’re starting to run out of books and other goodies! Check out a small selection of some of our favourite examples of the awesome activities you did!

Protector of the Cake

Inspired by Ruth Paul’s wonderful picture book, Lion Guards The Cake we asked young people to design their dream cake, or bake it with the help of an adult!

Theo cake

Theo designed and baked this incredible dream cake!


Protector of the Cake: Deon

Deon’s basketball championship dream cake!


Reuben's cake

Reuben’s three-dimensional treat!


A Moveable Castle

Inspired by the classic kids’ novel, Howl’s Moving Castle written by Diana Wynne Jones, we challenged young people to construct a blanket fort & have a whānau picnic!

SuperJesse peaks out of a massive fort!

SuperJesse peaks out of a massive fort!


Savannah's cosy fort!

Savannah’s cosy fort!


Bree's whānau fort!

Bree’s whānau fort!


Every Leaf a Masterpiece

Drawing on the name of Ben Okri’s kids’ book, Every Leaf a Hallelujah, we asked kids to head outside and collect some leaves, flowers, or petals from the ground and use them to make collages and artworks!

Maeve's beautiful design

Maeve’s beautiful design!


Gabriel's pleasingly composed botanical piece!

Gabriel’s pleasingly composed botanical piece!


Josh's leafy triptych

Josh’s leafy triptych


That’s us for now, we’re already looking forward to the next reading adventure!

The Summer Reading Adventure for Kids: Grand Prizes Announcement!

Read books, explore the city, win prizes!

The Summer Reading Adventure for Kids runs from 1 December 2022 – 31 January 2023 for children aged 5-13. Read books; write, draw or film reviews; and complete quests to earn all kinds of awesome goodies — and you’ll still be home in time for tea! Adults and teens can also take part in their own Summer Reading Adventures — read our News blog for all the info.

Today, we’re stoked to introduce our grand prizes for kids in the 22/23 adventure!

Into the wild prizeGrand Prize Option 1: Into the Wild

This prize pack contains:
– A family pass to Zealandia
– 4x individual passes to Wellington Zoo
– A NeoBear AR Globe
– A selection of locally-made goodies, including chocolate! 

Wellington City Libraries is grateful to Zealandia, Wellington Zoo and OfficeMax for their generous sponsorship of this prize. 

Science and Wonder

Grand Prize Option 2: Science and Wonder 

This prize pack contains:
– A family pass to the Space Place
– A NeoBear AR Globe
– A Merge Cube holographic cube
– A selection of locally-made goodies, including chocolate! 

Wellington City Libraries is grateful to Experience Wellington, The Space Place, and OfficeMax for their generous sponsorship of this prize. 


Art Through Technology

Grand Prize Option 3: Art through Technology 

This prize pack contains:
– A selection of high-quality artistic stationery
– A Merge Cube holographic cube
– A selection of locally-made goodies, including chocolate! 

Wellington City Libraries is grateful to OfficeMax for their generous sponsorship of this prize. 


Movies and More

Grand Prize Option 4: Books, Movies and More 

This prize pack contains:
– Free movie vouchers for Light House Cinemas in Wellington – enough for the whole family
– A Unity Books voucher to the value of $50
– A selection of locally-made goodies, including chocolate! 

Wellington City Libraries is grateful to Light House Cuba for their generous sponsorship of this prize. 


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

Read on to find out more!

Continue reading

World Arabic Language Day 2022!


السلام عليكم

The 18th of December marks the United Nations Arabic Language Day. Did you know that there are over 300 million native Arabic speakers worldwide? This makes the Arabic language one of the most widely spoken languages in the word.

Arabic is spoken by a diverse range of people across the African continent and the Middle East, including Sudan, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, and many more. There are also people who live in New Zealand who come from these countries, or whose parents or grandparents come from these countries.

Continue reading

Tūhono: Poets Among Us

Kia ora aspiring poets, and up-and-coming sonneteers! Tūhono, Wellington City Libraries’ poetry journal for children and teens, is now open for submissions until 14 December!

This gives you a little more time to write a poem, and send us your creations! We have loved reading all the wonderful poems sent into us so far!

This year, the theme is “Whakangā | Breath.” Whakangā refers to the taking in of breath, or to the process of breathing. It also calls to mind the idea of inhaling from the world; taking a breath to create calm; taking time to stop, slow down, relax, be.

Enter here!

Click this button to enter!

Unlike some other poetry journals, having your work accepted in Tūhono is not a competition — as long as you follow the rules of submission, every piece of work that gets sent to us will be published. Tūhono itself — the collection of poetry from young people all over Wellington — will be published as an eBook on OverDrive, and in a limited print run for our libraries, so that everyone with a library card can borrow it and bask in your talent and glory! Check out previous editions of Tūhono on our catalogue here.

Last blog, we shared some of the awesome poems from 2020, so for this one, we’ll turn to some of the incredible works from 2021! Here’s a few of our favourites!

  1. Alone Tiana

Alone poem image

Alone

Alone can taste like a sour lolly

Alone can feel like a bee stinging

Alone can sound like a roar of laughter

Alone looks like nothing

Alone can smell like the only clean sock 

in a wash basket of smelly socks.

Tiana 

 

2.  The Run — Vanessa 

The Run poem image

The run

Goosebumps fled, screaming up my arms

Promptly refusing to hold 

The inevitable droopy puddles

Belonging to my raw feet.

 

Muttering silent cries of regret 

Our class crept up up the road 

As silent as a spider hunting its prey

Shadows flickered in the shallow light

Of the nervous moon 

 

Gravel crunched beneath my shaking feet

Like snapping sticks

We started, clinging tightly together 

As we descended

Down the winding wave of shadows

 

Tall trees loomed threateningly

Over our scrawny group.

A splash was followed closely 

By angry curses up ahead

 

Head torches snapped on

Bobbing up and down like giddy fireflies

While the rain started drizzling down leisurely

 

Centuries later

Soaked, sweaty, and thoroughly mud splattered

We turned around and headed home.

Half way done.

Vanessa

 

3. The Forgotten Lake — Quinn 

The Forgotten Lake

The forgotten lake

My shaking  reflection in the mucky water 

This water used to be clear and beautiful now you can barely see the bottom

The smell of all the trash smells like slaughter

The lake is so rotten and filthy it has become forgotten

Quinn

4. Guen 

Guen poem

Guen 

My name is Guen 

My hair is yellow and blue, wet like rain 

My eyes are orange and big like an elephant 

My smile is funny and tall like a flower garden 

My laugh is white like a keyboard 

My shirt is purple like Shirley 

The sky is purple like tissues 

And I am soft like a puppy 

Guen

 

 

 

 

 

Tūhono – Dazzling Poems by You!

Tūhono display photo

A beautiful Tūhono display at Cummings Park Library

Exciting times — until December 14th, you can submit your poem for Tūhono 2022, our poetry journal for children and teens in Wellington, Te Whanganui-a-Tara. We’ve already seen some amazing poems come through!

This year, the theme is “Whakangā | Breath.” Whakangā refers to the taking in of breath, or to the process of breathing. It also calls to mind the idea of inhaling from the world; taking a breath to create calm; taking time to stop, slow down, relax, be.

To help give you some inspiration, we thought we would share again with you some of our favourite poems from Tūhono 2020. Read on, and prepare to be blown away!

1. My Butterfly Journey — Ronan, age 5

Full text of poem written below.
My Butterfly Journey

I can’t move
I’m in a chrysalis
I will have butterfly powers when I come out

I will go where the butterflies go
I will lay eggs
Then I will die

The caterpillar will do the journey back home

— Ronan, age 5

2. The Verselet Tree — Amelia, age 9

Full text of poem is written below.
The Verselet Tree

Wise, knowing and smart,
When I sit beneath you I feel safe,
warm and comforted this feeling makes
me want to drift off in a slow and
steady sleep,
but before I do, a thought comes to my
mind,
the thought grows as I sleep,
When I wake the thought has formed
into a poem.
As I wander home,
I think of the poem and decide to write
it down,
And then I will go back and get
another poem from you.

— Amelia, age 9

3. Connection — Jericho, age 11

Full text of poem is written below.
Connection

I have a connection to music,
as if it’s part of my life,
as it follows the beat of my heart,
over and over again.
It lives deep inside me,
it burns inside my heart,
as an eternal flame,
raging on inside of me.
It shocks my soul,
It runs thru my body,
It harmonises my life,
As if when I listen to it
all fear and pain go away.
Music electrifies my very existence.

— Jericho, age 11

4. Connected — Pemma, age 12

Full text of poem is written below.
Connected

A thread, a rope,
The invisible link between us all,
Connected by soul,
The whispering call.

Shining stars twinkle above,
Our ancestors watching,
With the eye of the crescent moon.

Nature’s melody,
The sweet birds,
Our link with Papatūānuku
Has always been heard.

A thread, a rope,
A quiet trail,
Linked together, connected.

— Pemma, age 12

5. Little One — Rajvi, age 5

Full text of the poem is written below
Little One

Go to sleep little one
no need to cry
we will be there for you forever ……
oh my baby
go to sleep little one ….
O ho ho ……
Just go to sleep little one

— Rajvi, age 5 (written on 15/10/20 for her younger brother, born on 11/10/20)


Tūhono on the shelves & the web!

Be sure to check out our poetry collections at your local library branch! You can find Tūhono 2020 & 2021 on the catalogue as physcial books, and as ebooks on Overdrive/Libby.

Tūhono. a journal of poetry by Wellington children / 2021
“Whakaata : reflection. This theme links all of the poems in this second edition of Tūhono, which were contributed by young Wellington poets aged 5-12 and collected by Wellington City Libraries throughout October and November 2021. Poems by writers aged 13-18 are collected in a separate volume. The year 2021 provided us all with plenty of opportunities to reflect. What’s really important? What falls by the wayside when times are tough? What do you see looking back at you when you gain the courage to hold the mirror up to the light? Anxious, loving, hopeful, angry, quirky, imagistic, insular, exuberant – these poems are a kaleidoscope. At one end we put in our certainties and our questions, our need to understand and to express. As for what we see at the other end? Well, you’re reading it. WCL would like to thank Kimi Ora School for generously providing beautiful artworks created by their students to accompany their poems.”–Overdrive catalogue.” (Catalogue)

Tūhono. a journal of poetry by children and teens / 2020 
“Tūhono : connection. This is the theme that binds together all 197 poems you are about to read, which were contributed by young Wellington writers aged 5-18 and collected by Wellington City Libraries throughout the month of November 2020. The year 2020 was challenging for many people. Some had to spend time apart from their friends and the people they love. Some had to find ways to live with uncertainty and the sense that everything might not be okay in the world. But taken together, these poems represent a constellation of thoughts, ideas, worries, anxieties, hopes, loves, and dreams about how we find ways to connect, even in the face of adversity.” (Catalogue)

Tūhono: A journal of poetry by Wellington children / 2021 (eBook via Libby/Overdrive)
“Whakaata : reflection. This theme links all of the poems in this second edition of Tūhono, which were contributed by young Wellington poets aged 5-12 and collected by Wellington City Libraries throughout October and November 2021. Poems by writers aged 13-18 are collected in a separate volume.

The year 2021 provided us all with plenty of opportunities to reflect. What’s really important? What falls by the wayside when times are tough? What do you see looking back at you when you gain the courage to hold the mirror up to the light? Anxious, loving, hopeful, angry, quirky, imagistic, insular, exuberant – these poems are a kaleidoscope. At one end we put in our certainties and our questions, our need to understand and to express. As for what we see at the other end? Well, you’re reading it.

WCL would like to thank Kimi Ora School for generously providing beautiful artworks created by their students to accompany their poems.” (Catalogue)

Tūhono. a journal of poetry by children and teens / 2020
“Tūhono : connection. This is the theme that binds together all 197 poems you are about to read, which were contributed by young Wellington writers aged 5-18 and collected by Wellington City Libraries throughout the month of November 2020. The year 2020 was challenging for many people. Some had to spend time apart from their friends and the people they love. Some had to find ways to live with uncertainty and the sense that everything might not be okay in the world. But taken together, these poems represent a constellation of thoughts, ideas, worries, anxieties, hopes, loves, and dreams about how we find ways to connect, even in the face of adversity.” (Catalogue)

Parihaka Day 2022

On the coast of Aotearoa, near Mount Taranaki, there is a very important place called Parihaka which has a lot to teach us about the history of injustice in New Zealand, and the importance of hope and peace.

In the years following the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi in 1840, colonial greed and racism enabled the government to unlawfully confiscate land and wage war against groups of Māori who sought to defend their territory.

During the 1860s, the community at Parihaka became a haven for different groups of Māori, and a place of resistance to land confiscation and encroaching settlement. The people of Parihaka had a peaceful campaign, led by Te Whiti and Tohu, that consisted of ploughing up confiscated land, removing surveying pegs, and placing fencing.

In response, the government arrested these peaceful people and sent them far away, to Wellington, and to the South Island where they were forced to build roads. On 5 November 1881, Parihaka was invaded by a military force of 1600 armed constabulary. Māori people who were not originally from the Parihaka area were forced to leave. Violence was inflicted against the people. Their leaders were arrested. Buildings were damaged. Te Whiti and Tohu were held without trial for two years, before returning home in 1883.

Despite all of this harm, Parihaka was rebuilt by its people, and still thrives today. Parihaka reminds us of what hope and working together can achieve, especially in the face of injustice.

The memorial at Pukeahu War Memorial Park

A Place to Remember

At Pukeahu War Memorial Park, on the north-west corner of the old Dominion Museum building, there is a memorial dedicated to the people of Taranaki and Parihaka who were imprisoned in the Mount Cook barracks. The memorial represents a prisoner wrapped up in a blanket. The base of the monument is made of stones from Taranaki. As you wander through Wellington, this is the perfect spot to take a moment to reflect on the Parihaka legacy of peace.

Online resources for tamariki to learn more about Parihaka

Image: Parihaka by Josiah Martin on DigitalNZ.

Parihaka | AnyQuestions

AnyQuestions offers free online homework help to New Zealand school students. AnyQuestions provides a librarian chat service, from 1pm to 6pm Monday to Friday during the school year. The website also has great ManyAnswers articles on important topics and places. This Parihaka article will help show you more great places to find information!

One of the other great sources is the National Library topic explorer page for Parihaka, which has links to photographs, articles, and videos.

Pukapuka for tamariki to learn more about Parihaka

Syndetics book coverMaumahara ki tērā Nōema / nā Jennifer Beck rāua ko Lindy Fisher ; nā Kawata Teepa i whakamāori.
“It’s almost Guy Fawkes Night, and at the school speech competition Andy talks about Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot. The children cheer excitedly, thinking Andy will win the contest. But then, Aroha gets up, wearing a white feather in her hair, and tells the story of another fifth of November u the invasion of Parihaka in 1881.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book coverRemember that November / written by Jennifer Beck ; illustrated by Lindy Fisher.
“It’s almost Guy Fawkes Night, and at the school speech competition Andy talks about Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot. The children cheer excitedly, thinking Andy will win the contest. But then, Aroha gets up, wearing a white feather in her hair, and tells the story of another fifth of November u the invasion of Parihaka in 1881.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPeace warriors / Raymond Huber (2015)

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

Keenan Book Cover
Amorangi and Millie’s trip through time / Keenan, Lauren
“Amorangi and Millie lost their mum. Their only clue to her whereabouts is a carving on a tree that says, I’m in the past! Rescue me! To do this, Amorangi and Millie must travel up every branch of their family tree and collect an object from each ancestor they meet. They must then be back in the modern day before the sun sets, or they’ll all be trapped forever in the past. In their travels, the children experience aspects of events in New Zealand history, such as the invasion of Parihaka, the Great Depression, World War Two, the Musket Wars and the eruption of Mount Taranaki. They also experience changes in the town and landscape, the attitudes of people and the way people live their lives”–Publisher information.” (Catalogue)

Author Interview: Bill Nagelkerke

Header - Kids Blog - The Ghost House

Click this banner to go straight to the interview!

What better way to celebrate Halloween than checking out an interview with author Bill Nagelkerke about his spooky new children’s novel The Ghost House!

The Ghost House revolves around 13-year-old David, whose family has moved to a house on the edge of the Red Zone in Christchurch. When David ventures into the forbidden Red Zone he stumbles upon an old villa that survived the earthquakes! The house speaks to him and begs him to help.

Bill Nagelkerke has written short stories, poems, plays and books for all ages, as well as translating other people’s books from Dutch into English.

He has won the Storylines Margaret Mahy Medal and Lecture Award. His children’s book, The Ghosts on the Hill was a Storylines Notable Book and joint winner of the 2021 Storylines What Now Kids’ Pick Award.

The Ghost House is a poignant and eerie supernatural tale aimed at readers 8 – 13 years that carefully navigates the line between being deliciously spine tingling without ever crossing the line into becoming full out frightening. It is beautifully and evocatively written using very carefully chosen words and language to describe the settings and characters.

Click the above banner to go to the interview, or click here: https://www.mixcloud.com/wellingtoncitylibraries/bill-n/

This interview was done in conjunction with The Cuba Press, and Caffeine and Aspirin, the arts and entertainment review show on Radioactive FM. This interview was conducted by Neil Johnstone.

Find out more about Radioactive FM on their website!

You can reserve a library copy on our catalogue or buy your own copy through The Cuba Press! Check out the full range of titles by Cuba Press here!


Here’s some of Bill’s other books available at your library!

Stop the tour : the diary of Martin Daly, Christchurch, 1981 / Nagelkerke, Bill
“It is 1981 and Martin senses big trouble brewing at home. The South African rugby team has been invited to tour New Zealand. Martin’s sister, Sarah, is out to stop the tour in protest against South Africa’s apartheid system. His rugby-mad dad is equally determined that the tour should go ahead. Martin wishes the whole thing would simply go away … Then a new school leads to a new friendship, and Martin is faced with a choice. He can walk away or he can become involved in something that will end up being bigger than anybody could have predicted”–Back cover.” (Catalogue)
Ghosts-on-the-Hill-cover-webThe ghosts on the hill / Nagelkerke, Bill
“The year is 1884. The place is Lyttelton, a small and bustling harbour town. Elsie is waiting for the fish to bite. She has her reasons for coming down to the waterfront so often, the main one being the memory of the lost boys. She was one of the last to see them alive, and now she is haunted by what happened to them. When the opportunity comes for Elsie to follow in their footsteps over the Bridle Path, and put their ghosts to rest, she doesn’t hesitate. ‘I’ll be careful,’ she says. But no one knows that the weather is about to change for the worse.”–Publisher information.” (Catalogue)

Emily the Dreadfuls and the Dead Skin Gang / Nagelkerke, Bill
“Emily, the hero of ‘Emily’s Penny Dreadful’, is back. She has an idea for a new ‘dreadful’ story, this time all about a group of burglars who call themselves the Dead Skin Gang. At the same time, Emily starts her own gang, the Dreadfuls. Her best friend Robin, isn’t too keen on joining, while Uncle Raymond doesn’t like all the noise the Dreadfuls make. But then the next door neighbour’s dog goes missing, and the Dreadfuls (and Uncle Raymond) have a job to do”–Back cover.” (Catalogue)
Old bones / Nagelkerke, Bill
“Jamie and his dad have lost the farm in the floods. But Dad’s new partner, Sue, doesn’t seem that upset by the destruction of the farm. The trio move into a large old house in the city, right beside the Avon. While the adults seem content to put their energies into the new house and circumstances, Jamie has a bad feeling about the house and is terrified of the closeness of the river. Something bad happened in this house, he just knows it. Suggested level: intermediate, junior secondary.” (Catalogue)

Kua tā te taimi? : ko he tala Hamoa mai Niu Hila / Nagelkerke, Bill
“Tua and his class are preparing for special visitors. While everyone is getting ready, Tua can’t stop asking, “Is it time yet?” Suggested level: junior, primary. Also available in Cook Islands Māori, Niue language, Sāmoan, and Tongan.” (Catalogue)