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!

Christmas in the Capital and at the Library!

Tis the season for festive fun! Christmas is coming to the Capital … and to the library! Why not get into the Christmas spirit and check out the amazing Christmas themed books and DVDs we have in our collection in between Christmas shopping and life! The countdown to Christmas and the end of 2021 is on!

image courtesy of wellington.govt.nz

Image courtesy of WCC.


Ngā haora hararei – Holiday hours over Christmas & New Year 2021/2022!

Libraries in Wellington are closed on Christmas Day, (Saturday 25th December) until Tuesday 28th December, and again on New Years Day (Saturday 1st January) until Tuesday 4th January. From the 29th of December, we will be open on reduced hours.

From Wednesday 5th January, all branches, except for He Matapihi Molesworth Street, will return to normal to normal hours. He Matapihi Molesworth Street will be open again on Monday 10th January.
Click here for more information about opening hours across all our libraries over the Christmas and New Year period.

What is Christmas? Find out with…

image courtesy of syndeticsChristmas.

“Learn what Christmas is, and how it is celebrated. Learn about the religion of Christianity, and what Christmas means to its followers. Learn about prayers and carols, Santa Claus and his reindeer, and traditional decorations and gifts. Also learn about festive Christmas foods and traditions of giving to charity at Christmas.” (Catalogue).

Also check out last year’s post on Solstice and Yule: The Grandfathers of Christmas, which provides you with information about the history of Christmas.

Did you know? Two cultures, the Celts and the Norse each contribute to some of the world’s original festive celebrations at the Christmas time of year.

Some handy ideas for Christmas Crafts:

Need some ideas on making Christmas cards, decorations and gifts? Why not check out books such as:

image courtesy of syndetics100 things to recycle and make.

“Provides step-by-step, illustrated instructions for crafts made with everyday materials, including egg cartons, sticks, and cardboard tubes.” (Catalogue). Also available as an eBook. 

image courtesy of syndeticsChristmas things to stitch and sew.

“This new reduced edition of this seasonal title contains fifteen enchanting activities that use a selection of simple sewing techniques. Includes festive projects such as a reindeer collage, Christmas stockings, hanging star decorations and a beautiful fabric holly wreath.” (Catalogue).
Also search our catalogue for more ideas for Christmas Crafts.

Whip up a Christmas feast:

Need some ideas on making snacks, nibbles and a feast for a Christmas party or Christmas lunch! Have a read of this book, or click here for more:

image courtesy of syndeticsChristmas cooking.

“Easy step-by-step recipes for delicious Christmas biscuits, cakes and sweets that can be given as gifts, hung on a Christmas tree, or simply eaten and enjoyed. Lots of wrapping ideas, including festive gift boxes and tags. Colourful illustrations and mouth-watering photographs throughout.”

Read stories about Christmas:

image courtesy of syndeticsCowshed Christmas.

“A retelling of the Christmas story with a New Zealand twist. Farmyard animals including a cow, sheep and kune kune come with gifts such as a rugby ball, pavlova and jandals for the baby Jesus by the cowshed door. Suggested level: junior.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsGrumpy Cat’s first worst Christmas.

“Pokey makes every effort to get Grumpy Cat to join in the Christmas spirit! Pokey wants to build a snow-cat together, go sledding, decorate the Christmas tree, and bake cookies for Santa! But Grumpy Cat wants to live in her wonderland of NO.” (Catalogue). Also available as an eBook.

image courtesy of syndeticsThe life and adventures of Santa Claus.

“Drawing on the attributes of Santa Claus from Clement Moore’s 1822 poem […], Baum chronicles Santa’s life from his childhood in an enchanted forest […] to his destiny of sharing gifts and spreading love to his fellow man. Along the way we witness him making his first toys, discover the origins of the Christmas tree and Christmas stockings, and learn the stories behind many Christmas secrets…” (Adapted from Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsI killed Father Christmas.

“Jo-Jo’s mum and dad are arguing again – but this time it’s on Christmas Eve and Jo-Jo’s convinced it’s all his fault. He’s been spoiled, selfish and greedy – and his badness has actually killed Father Christmas. […] But then a magical encounter with the real Father Christmas shows Jo-Jo that the true message of Christmas is the giving of love, not of gifts.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsQuentin Blake’s A Christmas carol.

A beautiful edition of the timeless Christmas classic. A Christmas Carol is the book that defines the Christmas spirit. Ebenezer Scrooge, a mean-spirited miser, is visited by three ghosts one Christmas Eve. The ghosts show Scrooge the true value of Christmas: charity, good humour and love for his fellow man.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsA very Babymouse Christmas.

“The holidays are here and everyone’s enjoying their favorite traditions-eating latkes, decorating for Kwanza, singing holiday songs, and most of all, being with family. Well, everyone except Babymouse. […] Whether she has to face down the ghosts of mean girls past or outsmart Santa himself, she’ll do whatever it takes to make sure she gets the present she wants.” (Adapted from Catalogue).

For more ideas on Christmas themed stories click here.

Stuck inside? Try some Christmas movies:

image courtesy of amazon.co.ukHome Alone.

“When the McCallisters went on holiday they forgot eight year old Kevin. When two bungling burglars break into the house Kevin outwits them.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of amazon.comThe Grinch.

“A re-telling of the classic tale about a grumpy old creature living in a cave on Mt. Crumpet who can’t stand to see his neighbors in Whoville enjoying themselves. Things are especially bad at Christmas, when the Whos kick their merriment into high gear with fantastic celebrations. This year, the Grinch decides to dress up like Santa Claus on Christmas Eve and steal all the Christmas gifts and decorations so the Whos can’t enjoy the season.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of amazon.comThe Polar Express.

“Late on Christmas Eve night, a boy lies in bed hoping to hear the sound of reindeer bells from Santa’s sleigh. When to his surprise, a steam engine’s roar and whistle can be heard outside his window. The conductor invites him on board to take an extraordinary journey to the North Pole with many other pajama-clad children. There, he receives an extraordinary gift only those who still believe in Santa can experience.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

image courtesy of amazon.co.ukOlaf’s Frozen Christmas.

“Olaf teams up with Sven on a merry mission. It’s the first holiday season since the gates re-opened and Anna and Elsa host a celebration for all of Arendelle. When the townspeople unexpectedly leave early to enjoy their individual holiday customs, the sisters realise they have no family traditions of their own. So, Olaf sets out to comb the kingdom to bring home the best traditions and save this first Christmas for his friends.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of amazon.comThe Nutcracker and the four realms.

“In search of a key to unlock a box from her late mother, Clara finds her way into a mysterious parallel world. She teams up with a soldier named Philip in order to brave the Fourth Realm to find the key and return harmony to the unstable world.” (Catalogue).

To get into the spirit of a Kiwi Christmas, relive the magic of Kiwi Christmas song, Summer Wonderland so you can sing along and take part in the festive cheer while  strolling through a summer wonderland. To recap, Summer Wonderland is a Kiwi spin on a much beloved classic Christmas carol Winter Wonderland, with a lyrical twist for the Southern Hemisphere and recorded for Air New Zealand.  This Christmas carol really showcases and beautifully captures the spirit and essence of a Kiwi Christmas of tucking into ham and pavlova, playing cricket, mozzie spray and tan marks. Check it out!


On behalf of the staff at Wellington City Libraries, we would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Meri Kirihimete! Kia Pai ngā Hararei!

Comics and Graphic Novels: Even More New Stuff!

Hey Kids! Wellington City Libraries has MORE new children’s comics and graphic novels this month to keep you amused just in time for Summer. So what are you waiting for? Come on down to your local branch and borrow the following:

image courtesy of syndeticsPirate Penguin vs Ninja Chicken. Book three, Macaroni & bees!

“Best friends and worst enemies Pirate Penguin and Ninja Chicken discuss werewolves, time travel, anti-gravity popcorn, and where Pirate Penguin possibly came from.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsPizza and Taco. 3, Super-awesome comic!

Who’s the Best? Pizza or Taco? “Besties Pizza and Taco are BACK in Book 3, putting their drawing skills–and wild imaginations–to good use writing a comic book together.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsGeronimo Stilton reporter. #8, Hypno-tick tock.

“After Geronimo Stilton visits a hypnotist to get rid of his allergies, a rash of strange thefts begins in New Mouse City.” (Catalogue)

Also available as an eBook.

image courtesy of syndeticsJonna and the unpossible monsters. 1.

“Rainbow has been looking for her younger sister, Jonna, for over a year–since the monsters appeared and the world began to dry up. Going from settlement to settlement, Rainbow asks every survivor she meets: Have you seen my sister? Then, one day, Jonna is spotted out in the wild: nearly feral, and stronger than ever before. […] But there are more dangers in the world than monsters, and when the two sisters reunite, they’ll discover the secrets of this new and terrifying world firsthand.” (Adapted from Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsThe fifth quarter. 1.

“Lori Block and her best friend Sophia are dedicated to their Fourth-Grade basketball team, despite being relegated to the 5th quarter, an extra period before the real game starts, where the not-so-good kids play, and the points don’t count. That doesn’t matter to Lori though, because basketball is a place where working hard and getting better gives her hints of self-confidence. […] Can she find her confidence in school, at home, and on the court?” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Also available as an eBook. 

image courtesy of syndeticsPawcasso.

“Every Saturday, Pawcasso trots into town with a basket, a shopping list, and cash in paw to buy groceries for his family. One day, he passes eleven-year-old Jo, peering out the window of her house, bored and lonely. Astonished by the sight of an adorable basket-toting dog on his own, Jo follows Pawcasso, and when she’s seen alongside him by a group of kids from her school, they mistake her for Pawcasso’s owner. […] When it all spirals out of control, is Jo willing to spill the truth and risk her new friendships?” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Also available as an eBook. 

image courtesy of syndeticsJukebox.

“A mysterious jukebox, old vinyl records, and cryptic notes on music history, are Shaheen’s only clues to her father’s abrupt disappearance. She looks to her cousin, Tannaz, who seems just as perplexed, before they both turn to the jukebox which starts… glowing? Suddenly, the girls are pulled from their era and transported to another time! Keyed to the music on the record, the jukebox sends them through decade after decade of music history, from political marches to landmark concerts. But can they find Shaheen’s dad before the music stops?” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsCici’s journal. 2, Lost and found.

“Everyone has secrets, but no one can hide them from Cici! As a future writer, Cici knows what questions to ask and where to find the clues she needs to unlock people’s hearts. Yet even though Cici is great at helping others, for a long time now she has kept a dark and painful secret hidden inside herself. Cici’s friends and mom all want to help her heal, but she keeps pushing them away. Can a treasure hunt, a mysterious mansion, and an epic beachside fight help her to open up at last?” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsClash.

“There’s a new kid in town! From the moment Natasha sets foot in class, it’s clear she’s one of the coolest kids in sixth grade. Everyone wants to be her friend, including Olive…but things might not be so easy. Olive tries her best to befriend Nat, but it seems like the only thing they have in common is that they both want to hang out with Olive’s friends! Watching as Natasha gets closer with some of her best buds, Olive can’t help but worry that they’re starting to like Nat more than they like her…and who could blame them? Nat is just that cool…and Olive is, well, just Olive.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsEighth grade witch.

“From the Choose Your Own Adventure novels comes a newly adapted graphic novel taking readers on their own visual adventure! Enter a ghoulish world of nightmares, witches, ghosts, and the dreaded eighth grade as Rabbit, the new kid on the block! As Rabbit, readers will get to choose which adventure–or nightmare–they’ll embark on. […] Will you choose a path that leads to the light? Or will the path you choose lead to a gruesome end? You get to decide!” (Adapted from Catalogue)

New Children’s Fiction in November 2021

News off the hot press, kids! Wellington City Libraries has some new fiction for your reading pleasure just in time for Summer and spending longer days outdoors. Why not spring on down to your local library and borrow the following books:

The tunnel of dreams / Beckett, Bernard
“In an abandoned house at the end of their street, twin brothers Stefan and Arlo discover a young girl hiding in its dusty shadows. Alice needs their help as her twin sister is locked in a cage suspended high above a mysterious mine in a strange parallel world and she asks an impossible favour. Will they meet her on the next full moon at the entrance to a tunnel they both know doesn’t exist?” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Also available as an eBook on Overdrive and Borrowbox.

Karen’s school picture / Martin, Ann M.
“Karen has to get glasses–two pairs! One pair for reading and one for all the time. Karen does not want glasses. Her school pictures are going to be taken soon! But Karen has to…so she picks out some pretty pink and blue ones. Karen thinks she looks very grown-up. Then Yicky Ricky calls her Four-eyes. If Karen wears her glasses for the school picture, Ricky will make fun of her. But Karen is not a wimp! Glasses or no glasses–that Ricky is going to get it!” (Catalogue)

Swarm Rising / Peake, Tim
“When Danny is kidnapped by Adi – who can run through brick walls and make cars drive on water – he realises that all humans are in danger. Adi is part of a super-advanced hive mind, the Swarm, which intends to protect the Earth from the environmental catastrophe caused by the human race. […] Can Danny and his friend Jamila help Adi stop the Swarm Agents and give humanity a second chance?” (Adapted from Catalogue)

What Zola did on Sunday / Marchetta, Melina
“Zola loves living on Boomerang Street with her mum and her nonna. Every day of the week is an adventure. But Zola has a problem. No matter how much she tries, she can’t keep out of trouble! Like on Sunday, when it’s St Odo’s fete and Zola and the gang join in the fun…” (Catalogue)

The Tindims and the floating moon / Gardner, Sally
“Have you seen a Tindim? The Tindims can hardly see each other! A grumpy Gupper fog is swirling all over Rubbish Island and it won’t leave the Tindims alone. And now their world has turned upside down as Ethel & Dina thinks the moon has fallen into the sea! Scrunch me a teabag, how are they going to get out of this pickle?” (Catalogue)

The firebird song / Flores, Arnée
“Tied by destiny, Prewitt the Bargeboy and Calliope the Lost Princess set out on their twelfth birthdays, determined to end the reign of the evil Spectress and her marauders by calling the Firebird back to Lyrica.” (Catalogue)

Leopardstar’s honor / Hunter, Erin
“Leopardstar knows her destiny is to save RiverClan from destruction, so as the rise of ThunderClan deputy Tigerstar shatters peace among the clans, Leopardstar must decide what kind of leader she will be.” (Catalogue)

Also available as an eBook and eAudiobook.

Prank ninjas / Stanton, Matt
“Every kid wants to laugh, but Max is the boy who can make it happen. These school holidays have turned Redhill into chaos as Max and his friends are locked in an epic prank battle … with each other! Max is the funny kid … and his pranking powers are being put to the test! Movie-theatre ninjas, toilet turbulence, shopping-mall disasters, cling-film mazes and an unimaginable Kid-Free Zone are just some of the things in store for Max and his friends in this brand-new Funny Kid adventure.” (Catalogue)

The raven heir / Burgis, Stephanie
“Triplets. One of them is heir to the throne. But which one? Cordelia, Rosalind and Giles. They have lived in the tower all their lives, protected by their mother’s enchantments. Only Cordelia’s magic lets her steal moments of freedom – over the walls in the shape of a bird or beneath them as a scurrying mouse. The eldest of the three is heir to the Raven Throne of Corvenna – a land no one can rule for long and hope to live. Only their mother knows which is the true heir, and she will do anything to keep them hidden. But one day, thanks to Cordelia, destiny finds them…” (Catalogue)

Also available as an eBook.

Enola Holmes and the black barouche / Springer, Nancy
“When professional typist Letitia Glover is desperate to learn more about the fate of her twin sister Flossie, Enola enlists the help of her brother Sherlock and her friend Tewky to investigate Flossie’s husband, the sudden death of his first wife, and the mysterious appearance of a black barouche.” (Catalogue)

Did you know? The first book from the Enola Holmes series was made into a movie in 2020 on Netflix. Check out the trailer down below.

Comics and Graphic Novels: New Releases in November 2021

Hey Kids! Wellington City Libraries has some new children’s comics and graphic novels this month to keep you amused just in time for Summer. So what are you waiting for? Come on down to your local branch and borrow the following:

image courtesy of syndeticsThe Smurfs tales. 1.

“On the occasion of the all-new animated TV series starting on Nick this September, an all-new series of Smurfs graphic novels! The Smurfs are back in new stories in English for the first time! First, when Papa Smurf’s stork gets wounded in a storm, he must rely on the kindness of a local farmer to nurse the stork back to flying condition. A different kind of storm arrives in the shape of Johnny, the nephew of the farmer. The boy is as aggressive as his uncle is friendly. Making his way to the Smurfs Village, Johnny leaves a path of destruction in his wake, putting the whole village in jeopardy…” (Adapted from Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsMaking friends. [3], Third time’s a charm.

“Dany’s sketchbook is at it again, but this time it’s not Dany’s doing! Dany and Madison are living a new reality. Rather than best friends, the pair now believe they are twins — and that isn’t the only part of their lives that has been completely rewritten. […] Can the pair put things back the way they were, or is this magic beyond their control?” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Also available as an eBook.

image courtesy of syndeticsCat & cat. 4, Scaredy cat.

“After a long day of chasing around Sushi the cat, paying attention to Sushi the cat, and catering to Sushi the cat’s every whim, Sushi’s owner Cat and her dad get exhausted. But you did know that cats are nocturnal, right? And when Cat and her dad are away, sleeping, Sushi the cat will play… ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsGrumpy monkey. 1, Freshly squeezed.

“Jim Panzee is out for his usual Wednesday walk when he accidentally squishes his stress orange into orange juice. He and his friends must cross the jungle before all of the fresh oranges are gone” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsCity of Dragons: The Awakening Storm.

“When Grace moves to Hong Kong with her mom and new stepdad, her biggest concern is making friends at her fancy new boarding school. But when a mysterious old woman gifts her a dragon egg during a field trip, Grace discovers that the wonderful stories of dragons she heard when she was a young girl might actually be real – especially when the egg hatches overnight. The dragon has immense powers that Grace doesn’t understand. And that puts them both in danger from mysterious forces intent on abusing the dragon’s power.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsThe Baby-sitters Club. 10, Kristy and the snobs.

“This graphic novel adapted by rising cartoonist Chan Chau is now available in full colour! Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia, and Stacey are best friends and founding members of The Babysitters Club. Whatever comes up, you can count on them to save the day. Kristy’s family moves to a new neighborhood where the kids make fun of Louie, Kristy’s pet collie, who’s going blind. The Baby-sitters are not going to let them get away with it.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsSunny makes a splash.

“It’s summer, and Sunny is BORED. Most of her friends are out of town. Her mom wants her to baby-sit way more than Sunny wants to baby-sit. There’s nothing good on TV. The only place that’s cool (in a not-boring sense) and cool (in a not-hot sense) is the community pool. Sunny loves going there . . . and loves it even more when she’s offered a job at the snack shack. Soon she’s flinging fries and serving soft ice-cream like a pro . . . with the assistance of the very sweet boy who works with her. Sunny’s mom isn’t sure Sunny should be quite so independent. But Sunny is definitely sure: Life is best when it’s free swim.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsBaby-sitters little sister [4] : Karen’s Kittycat Club.

“Karen wants to start her own club! Karen’s best friend Hannie just got an adorable new kitten. Their neighbor Amanda has a cat, too, and Karen has grumpy old Boo-Boo. Now that they all have cats, Karen comes up with a great idea. She wants to start a Kittycat Club! What will the club do? Karen can’t baby-sit like her big sister Kristy… but she can cat-sit! Will anyone want to hire Karen and her friends?” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsBeak & Ally. [1], Unlikely friends.

“Ally the alligator is perfectly happy being alone… until one day a noisy bird named Beak lands on her snout. Much to Ally’s annoyance, this chatty bird likes to sing all the time and has chosen a nearby tree to build his new nest. Even worse, he insists that he and Ally will be best friends. In fact, he has all kinds of friendship goals in mind, and it seems nothing Ally says will convince him that she’d rather just be alone. Nothing beats peace and quiet… except for maybe a new best friend?” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsBeak & Ally. 2, Bedtime jitters.

“With weird swamp noises swirling around him, Beak the Bird cannot get any sleep until his friend Ally the alligator shows him where the racket is coming from.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsBig Nate Aloha!

“Aloha can mean hello or goodbye–which makes it the perfect word for sixth grader Nate Wright. Why? Because Nate doesn’t know whether he’s coming or going. Will his romance with Daisy sizzle or fizzle? Will his hair survive Teddy’s cut-rate barber skills? And when Nate spots a crime in progress at Klassic Komix, can he find his inner superhero?” (Catalogue)

Also available as an eBook.

image courtesy of syndeticsThe spellbinding episodes of Phoebe and her unicorn.

“A deluxe bind-up featuring all the comics from two different Phoebe and Her Unicorn books: Unicorns vs. Goblins and Razzle Dazzle Unicorn . In these spellbinding adventures, nine-year-old Phoebe Howell and her unicorn best friend, Marigold Heavenly Nostrils, explore the possibilities of friendship, summer camp, the holidays, and even founding their own detective agency. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsAbsolutely Nat.

“Natalie has just arrived at summer camp and soon realizes it isn’t anything like the brochure. Instead of spending the summer with her best friends, Zoe and Flo, Natalie is stuck with her ex-BFF, Lily, and someone even more annoying than the endless mosquitoes: Millie Flatbottom. Even worse, she’s constantly pushed out of her comfort zone and forced to come face-to-face with some of her greatest fears. Although summer camp isn’t at all what Natalie expected, could it be exactly what she needs?” (Catalogue)

Also available as an eBook.

Magazines for Kids: In Print and Online

You might have a stack of books waiting for you to read, but sometimes flicking through a magazine is enough! They are colourful, have interesting bytes of info, and if you want to delve further, there are always more in-depth articles for you to read.

Wellington City Libraries have loads of kids’ mags for you to browse and issue – both as hard copies and online. There is something in the catalogue to cater for every taste. There are also a number of ways you can access these magazines. It’s as easy as tahi-rua-toru!

  1. Selected hard copies of kids’ mags are available at all our branch libraries… come in and have a rummage! Kids’ mags are free to issue on a child’s or young adult card, and are issued for ONE week.
  2. The latest issues of kids’ e-mags are available on OVERDRIVE or LIBBY to borrow using your library card. You can then read them on your device at your leisure.
  3. Have you checked out Press Reader? This is an online newspaper and magazine database that is free for Wellington City Libraries patrons to use, and has a great selection of kids’ mags for you to browse online.

Here’s just a small selection to whet your magazine appetite:

You might like a little bit of everything, why not try:

Overdrive cover K-Zone

It’s jam-packed with fun including movie news, gaming goss, comics and stacks of puzzles, quizzes, activities and posters. Every issue is themed around something special, be it superheroes, videogames or even K-Zoner favourites like pranks and jokes. (Overdrive description)

If tech and gaming is where it’s at for you:

Minecraft world magazine.
“Minecraft World is the essential monthly guide to the planet’s best videogame: Minecraft! In each issue, we’ll be keeping you bang up to date with what’s happening in Minecraft, as well as sharing secrets, essential tips, advice and the very latest news. We’ll be also serving up brilliant Minecraft constructions, expert hints, answering your questions, and packing page after page with as much as we possibly can about the game! Whether you’re playing Minecraft on a computer, a portable device or a games console, Minecraft World is going to be your essential independent guide to getting as much out of the game as possible. And none of the game’s monsters will be safe from us either.” (Catalogue)

Overdrive cover Scratch: Learn to program the easy way,

“Anyone can code. Certainly, writing the next Minecraft or programming complex simulations from scratch will require a deeper knowledge, but anyone and everyone has the potential to learn some basic coding skills, then take those skills and write a simple program. […]

The projects in this magazine are fun, so that kids and adults will enjoy making them, and playing them once they are done. They are also easy to customise, so that novice programmers can take what we have put together, change it and make their own mark.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Fun ideas for preschoolers:

Overdrive cover DOT Magazine,

“Aimed at preschoolers, DOT carries stories and games all aimed to foster imagination, creativity and fun in children aged 5 and under.” (Overdrive description)

You want to know how this big, beautiful planet works?

National geographic kids.
“National Geographic Kids magazine – the perfect balance between learning and fun! A must-have for children ages 6 and up. Each issue is packed with colorful photos, games, puzzles, fun features and facts about animals, science, technology, and more.” (Catalogue)

National Geographic little kids.
“National Geographic Little Kids magazine – perfect for children ages 3 to 6. Irresistible photos and simple text to enhance early reading experiences, along with games, puzzles, and activities, that turn playtime into learning time.” (Catalogue)

Is current affairs your interest?

Overdrive cover The Week Junior

“The Week Junior is a brilliant current affairs magazine for children aged between 8 and 14. It’s filled with fascinating stories and information, written to engage curious young minds and encourage them to explore and understand the world around them.” (Overdrive description)

What about animals and pets?

Overdrive cover Animal Tales

“Animal Tales is a children’s animal and poster magazine perfect for animal-loving kids between the ages of six and twelve. It’s filled with heart-warming animal stories, articles that will educate, and an extensive fun and games section- plus a series of six collectible animal posters will be included in each issue.” (Overdrive description)

Are you keen to know how everything works?

How it works.
“Welcome to How It Works, the magazine that explains everything you never knew you wanted to know about the world we live in. Loaded with fully illustrated guides and expert knowledge, and with sections dedicated to science, technology, transportation, space, history and the environment, no subject is too big or small for How It Works to explain.” (Catalogue)

Or maybe the stars and universe is your jam:

Overdrive cover Astronomy for Kids,

“Get 200+ astronomy facts, activities, & fun for kids exclusively from Astronomy magazine.This 100 page special issue includes engaging and fun articles, hands-on STEM activities, and even a 12-page comic by Michael Bakich, Astronomy Senior Editor and longtime planetarium educator.” (Overdrive description)

Does ancient Egypt really interest you?

Overdrive cover All About History Book Of Ancient Egypt

“All About History is the stunningly realised new magazine from the makers of How It Works and All About Space. Featuring beautiful illustrations, photos and graphics depicting everything from ancient civilisations to the Cold War, All About History is accessible and entertaining to all and makes history fun for the whole family.” (Overdrive description)

 

 

Our first Bat of the Year!

For the first time since it was established in 2005, the annual Bird of the Year competition has not been won by a bird!

Bird of the Year/Te Manu Rongonui o te Tau is a competition organised by Forest & Bird every year to raise awareness of our native birds and the threats they face. This year was the first time a non-bird has been part of the competition when the pekapeka-tou-roa (long-tailed bat) was allowed to enter. Some people weren’t very happy that a bat was allowed to enter Bird of the Year, but since Aotearoa only has two native land mammals, and they’re both bats, holding a “Bat of the Year” wouldn’t be much of a competition!

Our native birds and our native bats face a lot of the same threats. They both have to deal with predators, pollution, habitat loss, and climate change. We do have a lot more birds than bats though, since there are 168 species of native New Zealand birds, and only two native species of bat. And Bird of the Year means that the competing birds get a lot of attention as people choose their favourite birds to vote for. When the pekapeka-tou-roa was allowed to compete in Bird of the Year it started getting a lot more attention as well, which is a very good thing since it is classed as “nationally critical” – the term used for the most threatened species in New Zealand. All this attention and newfound competitive spirit led up to…

Earlier this week the 2021 Bird of the Year competition was won by the pekapeka-tou-roa!

Congratulations to the 2021 Bird (Bat) of the Year!

A close-up of a furry, chocolate brown pekapeka that is hanging upside down on the trunk of a tree. Its wings are held in close against its body, and one ear and eye are pointed towards the camera.

Photo by Colin O’Donnell, Department of Conservation, licensed under CC BY 4.0

One very interesting and adorable fact about the pekapeka-tou-roa is that they’re tiny. It’s hard to know how big the bat in this photo is because there isn’t much to show the scale of it, but it really is much smaller than you’d expect – this bat weighs about the same as a $2 coin, and its body is only the size of your thumb! That’s so small! Our other native bat, the pekapeka-tou-poto (short-tailed bat) is slightly bigger, but only by a few grams.

If you’d like to know more about our native pekapeka, here are a few places you can go to learn more:

Department of Conservation

The Department of Conservation (DOC) looks after New Zealand’s natural and historic heritage, and has a lot of information about our National Parks, Great Walks, Conservation, and our native plants and animals! They’ve got a great section on our native pekapeka, and have even caught them on video!

Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

Te Ara is a wonderful online encyclopedia with information on all things Aotearoa. You can find stories about the history of our cities, biographies of historical New Zealanders, as well as about our native animals and plants. Check out their story about our two native bats – full of facts and pictures!

Bats / Arkins, Alina
If you’d rather not read about our pekapeka on a website and would prefer a book, this book is a great introduction to both of our native bats. It describes them both and where they live, how they raise their babies, what they eat and how they manage to catch their food.


While the top award this year was taken out by the pekapeka-tou-roa, the other four competitors rounding out the top five were all (unsurprisingly) birds.

Second place went to the kākāpō, which won Bird of the Year in both 2020 and 2008.

The kākāpō is the world’s heaviest parrot and is also classed as nationally critical.


A small, pale green titipounamu perches on a branch with its beak slightly turned upwards.

Photo: 124445324 by thibaudaronson on iNaturalist, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

The titipounamu (rifleman) came in third place.

Titipounamu are New Zealand’s smallest bird and were recently seen in Wellington for possibly the first time in a century!

Photo: 124445324 by thibaudaronson on iNaturalist, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0


A kea in flight. Photographed from below so you can see the vibrant red feathers under its wings.

Photo: 112601911 by christopherstephens on iNaturalist, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Fourth place went to the kea, which won Bird of the Year in 2017.

Kea are the only alpine (mountain-living) parrot in the world, and are well-known for their cheeky natures.


A smug looking toroa sits on a tussock, surrounded by ferns.

Photo: 137728076 by M Rutherford on iNaturalist, licensed under CC BY 4.0

The toroa (antipodean albatross) came in fifth and is the only seabird in the top five.

Toroa spend most of their lives at sea, and only come in to land when it is time to raise their young.


If you want more information about the many native birds of Aotearoa, New Zealand Native Birds Online lets you look up birds by name, search by location, or browse by conservation status. What’s even cooler is that if you’ve seen a bird out on a walk, you can use the “Identify that bird” feature to figure out exactly what kind of bird you’ve seen!


There are a lot of books that you can find in our libraries all about our native birds and bats. We also have books about our extinct animals and why we have to be so careful caring for the species we still have. Here’s a selection of titles you can find at your local libraries:

In the bush : explore & discover New Zealand’s native forests / Candler, Gillian
“In the Bush is the fourth in the popular Explore & Discover series. It includes insects and other invertebrates, fungi, ferns and mosses, birds, bats, introduced pests, vines, epiphytes, and trees. Includes removeable, waterproof reference guide.” (Catalogue)


Lost wonders : vanished creatures of Aotearoa / Ell, Sarah
“The story of the lost wonders of New Zealand’s natural history: the extinct species which are now gone forever. Lost Wonders also features some key species which are on the brink – critically endangered – and the efforts that are being made to save them for future generations. The stories of these fascinating creatures – birds, insects, reptiles and plants – are told in an entertaining and accessible style, drawing on first-hand accounts and supported with useful illustrations. It draws on accounts of their demise, and of the social climate in New Zealand in which these extinctions occurred.” (Abridged from Catalogue)

Also available as an eBook


Bird’s-eye view : through the eyes of New Zealand birds / Gill, Maria
“Reveals what 13 New Zealand birds see in their natural habitats, and uses the latest avian-vision research to show various bird’s-eye views in a series of panoramic images. Suggested level: primary, intermediate, junior secondary.” (Catalogue)


On the brink : New Zealand’s most endangered species / Gill, Maria
“Discover our most threatened animals in New Zealand. From the beautiful forest ringlet butterfly to the down-right ugly southern elephant seal, the cheeky kākāpō to the super-sensory-powered ambush hunters the great white sharks. Every one of the unique species in our waters and on our land is threatened by predators, land changes, pollution, and other human-induced disturbances. As well as finding out how unique these animals are, you’ll read what is harming them, and most importantly what we can do to help them.” (Catalogue)

Also available as an eAudiobook


All about New Zealand birds / Gunson, Dave
“This fun and educational book features dozens of vibrant illustrations by talented artist, children’s book writer and bird fanatic Dave Gunson. Over 50 of our most interesting and most loved native and introduced birds have been illustrated especially for this book by Dave. Each page features one large illustration of a bird and 100 words of text. All About New Zealand Birds is an ideal introduction to many of the birds of New Zealand for people of all ages.” (Abridged from Catalogue)


The cuckoo and the warbler : a true New Zealand story / Warne, Kennedy
“The Cuckoo and the Warbler tells the story of one of the most remarkable wildlife relationships in New Zealand, between pipiwharauroa, the shining cuckoo, and riroriro, the grey warbler. It is a story of tragedy, trickery and faithful care – and it plays out each spring and summer in the forests of Aotearoa. Although rarely seen by humans, the interaction of these two native birds is a striking example of nature’s inventiveness.” (Catalogue)

Picture Books: New Releases in October 2021!

Spring is around the corner! Why not spring on down to Wellington City Libraries for some new children’s picture books to keep you amused . So what are you waiting for? Go down to your local branch and borrow the following books:

image courtesy of syndeticsOutfoxed.

“Harold is unlike any other fox. He hates eating chicken, for one thing. He much prefers reading detective novels. When Harold’s father challenges him to catch a chicken as part of his initiation into adulthood, Harold is faced with a dilemma–should he obey his father and endanger the chicken’s life, or do what his heart tells him is right? The latest title from award-winning illustrator Claudia Boldt, Outfoxed introduces a smart, independent-minded character in Harold the fox and is sure to become a bedtime favorite.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsAttack of the Giant Baby.

“This is a book about a baby destroying his sister’s make-believe play from the perspective of the castle’s occupants. A Giant Baby has been spotted in the kingdom! Summon the special advisors. Send out the knights in shining armour. Let loose the monster-size bear!” (Catalogue).

A shelter for sadness.

“A small boy creates a safe space for his sadness, a shelter where it can curl up small, or be as big as it can be, where it can be noisy or quiet, or anything in between. The boy can visit the shelter every day, sometimes every hour and he knows that one day Sadness may come out of the shelter and they will look at the beautiful world together”–Back cover.

image courtesy of syndeticsStop that dinosaur!

“I was in my Granny’s kitchen eating extra-special cake, when the walls began to tremble and the roof began to SHAKE. KNOCK! KNOCK! KNOCK! Ring! Ring! Ring! Oh MY – a dino’s at the door. And now it’s taken Granny … SOMEONE STOP THAT DINOSAUR! Chase down the GRAN-NAPPING brontosaurus in this rollicking, rhyming, ROAR-some romp. Can you catch the naughty dinosaur and get back to Granny’s house before Mum comes home at six o’clock?”–Provided by publisher.

image courtesy of syndeticsDifferent : a great thing to be!

“This joyful rhyming book encourages children to value the “different” in all people, leading the way to a kinder world in which the differences in all of us are celebrated and embraced. Macy is a girl who’s a lot like you and me, but she’s also quite different, which is a great thing to be. With kindness, grace, and bravery, Macy finds her place in the world, bringing beauty and laughter wherever she goes and leading others to find delight in the unique design of every person.” (Catalogue). Also available as an eBook.


image courtesy of syndeticsBodies are Cool.

“From the acclaimed creator of Dancing at the Pity Party and Roaring Softly, this picture book is a pure celebration of all the different human bodies that exist in the world. Highlighting the various skin tones, body shapes, and hair types is just the beginning in this truly inclusive book. With its joyful illustrations and encouraging refrain, it will instill body acceptance and confidence in the youngest of readers. “My body, your body, every different kind of body! All of them are good bodies! BODIES ARE COOL!” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsDon’t hug Doug (he doesn’t like it).

“Doug doesn’t like hugs. He thinks hugs are too squeezy, too squashy, too squooshy, too smooshy. He doesn’t like hello hugs or goodbye hugs, game-winning home run hugs or dropped ice cream cone hugs, and he definitely doesn’t like birthday hugs. He’d much rather give a high five–or a low five, a side five, a double five, or a spinny five. Yup, some people love hugs; other people don’t. So how can you tell if someone likes hugs or not? There’s only one way to find out: Ask Because everybody gets to decide for themselves whether they want a hug or not.” (Catalogue).

Children’s DVDs: New Releases in October 2021

Spring is around the corner! Unfortunately not much is happening in terms or events and celebrations under Level 2. Not to worry, why not spring on down to Wellington City Libraries for some new children’s DVDs to keep you entertained, amused and give you a few laughs. So what are you waiting for? Go down to your local branch and borrow the following DVDs:

image courtesy of amazon.comRaya and the last dragon.

“Long ago, in the fantasy world of Kumandra, humans and dragons lived together in harmony. But when sinister monsters known as the Druun threatened the land, the dragons sacrificed themselves to save humanity. Now, 500 years later, those same monsters have returned and it’s up to a lone warrior, Raya, to track down the last dragon in order to finally stop the Druun for good. However, along her journey, she’ll learn that it’ll take more than dragon magic to save the world; it’s going to take trust as well.” (Catalogue).


image courtesy of amazon.comThe Croods. A new age.

“The Croods need a new place to live. So, the first prehistoric family sets off into the world in search of a safer place to call home. When they discover an idyllic walled-in paradise that meets all their needs, they think their problems are solved, except for one thing. Another family already lives there: the Bettermans.” (Catalogue).


image courtesy of amazon.comPeter Rabbit 2.

“The lovable rogue is back. Bea, Thomas, and the rabbits have created a makeshift family, but despite his best efforts, Peter can’t seem to shake his mischievous reputation. Adventuring out of the garden, Peter finds himself in a world where his mischief is appreciated, but when his family risks everything to come looking for him, Peter must figure out what kind of bunny he wants to be.” (Catalogue).


image courtesy of amazon.comTom & Jerry : the movie.

“When Jerry moves into a fine hotel on the eve of an important society wedding, the event planner hires Tom to get rid of him. Unfortunately, the battle which follows is big enough to destroy the wedding, her career, and possibly the hotel — so the sworn enemies decide to work together to save it all.” (Catalogue).


image courtesy of amazon.comZog and the flying doctors.

“Pearl and Gadabout are now a flying doctor trio, caring for creatures including a mermaid, a unicorn and a sneezy lion. However when bad weather forces them to land at the palace, Pearl is locked up by her uncle, the king.” (Catalogue).


image courtesy of amazon.comThe War with Grandpa.

“Peter is thrilled that Grandpa is coming to live with his family. That is, until Grandpa moves into Peter’s room, forcing him upstairs into the creepy attic. And though he loves his grandpa he wants his room back – so he has no choice but to declare war. With the help of his friends, Peter devises outrageous plans to make Grandpa surrender the room. But Grandpa is tougher than he looks. Rather than give in, Grandpa plans to get even.” (Catalogue).


image courtesy of amazon.comCruella.

“Cruella, which is set in 1970s London amidst the punk rock revolution, follows a young grifter named Estella, a clever and creative girl determined to make a name for herself with her designs. She befriends a pair of young thieves who appreciate her appetite for mischief, and together they are able to build a life for themselves on the London streets. One day, Estella’s flair for fashion catches the eye of the Baroness von Hellman, a fashion legend who is devastatingly chic and terrifyingly haute. But their relationship sets in motion a course of events and revelations that will cause Estella to embrace her wicked side and become the raucous, fashionable and revenge-bent Cruella.” (Catalogue).



image courtesy of amazon.comSpirit untamed : the movie.

“Spirit untamed is the next chapter in the beloved franchise full of adventure, family and friendship. Free-spirited Lucky Prescott moves to Miradero to join her estranged father. She is decidedly unimpressed with the sleepy town until she discovers a unique tie to her late mother, who was a fearless horse-riding stunt performer. She quickly forms a bond with a wild mustang named Spirit and makes two new pals who love horses as much as she does. When a heartless wrangler plans to capture Spirit and his herd, Lucky and her friends set off on an epic journey to rescue the horse who has given her an unbreakable connection to her mother’s legacy.” (Catalogue).


image courtesy of amazon.comLuca.

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.

Children’s Comics and Graphic Novels: New Releases in October 2021

Spring is around the corner! Why not spring on down to Wellington City Libraries for some new children’s comics and graphic novels to keep you amused. So what are you waiting for? Come on down to your local branch and borrow the following:

image courtesy of syndeticsHarriet Tubman : toward freedom.

“Graphic biography detailing Harriet Tubman’s escape from slavery and her efforts with other abolitionists to rescue dozens of those still enslaved”– Provided by publisher.

image courtesy of syndeticsMagic tree house : dinosaurs before dark.

“Retells, in graphic novel form, the tale of eight-year-old Jack and his younger sister Annie, who find a magic treehouse which whisks them back to an ancient time zone where they see live dinosaurs.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of Pup detectives [4] : ghosts, goblins, and ninjas!

“During a martial arts expo at Pawston Elementary, the sacred scroll of Bark-Jitsu is stolen. The pup detectives set out to crack their most puzzling case yet… because this one involves, ghosts, goblins, and a super stealthy ninja”– Provided by publisher.

IMAGE COURTESY OF SYNDETICSJop and Blip wanna know [1] : can you hear a penguin fart on Mars?, and other excellent questions.

“Join Jop and Blip as they follow their curiosity and investigate these seemingly odd questions using their own brand of logic, critical thinking skills, STEM knowledge, and humor. Can you hear a penguin fart on Mars? What if you wanted a dragon sandwich? Why do we need TWO ears?” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsSurvive in the outdoors!

“In this volume of Maker Comics, First Second’s DIY graphic novel series, you’ll find step-by-step instructions for seven projects that will help you survive in the wild! Sophia and Alonso have been packed off to their grandpa’s for a fishing trip, and they’re dreading spending a whole day in the woods without any cell service. But Grandpa opens their eyes to the wonders of the outdoors, and its dangers — from tick bites to hypothermia. And when a sprained ankle delays their return to civilization, the kids have to learn not only how to perform forest-friendly first aid, but how to safely spend the night in the woods when you don’t have a tent! Prepare yourself before you set off on your next adventure! Whether you’re hiking in the wilderness or camping in your own backyard, Survive in the Outdoors! will equip you with the know-how you need. In this book, you’ll find step-by-step instructions on how to build a campfire, catch and clean a fish, make a shelter, and more!” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsMarvel action. Avengers. Book 5, Off the clock.

“First, in order to stop Loki’s newest scheme, Thor and Ant-Man go… antiquing? Then, while visiting an elementary school, Captain America runs into the nefarious Trapster! With scores of children in peril, Cap must rely on the aid of none other than Squirrel Girl! And, after Thor and Cap’s difficulties, find out what the rest of the Avengers are up to on their day off! Chaos reigns as a fiendish villain makes off with one of Dr. Strange’s most powerful artifacts!”–Amazon.