Tūmanako 2023: Local Youth for Global Peace

Tūmanako – Children’s Art. Works for Peace is here in 2023! 

This annual event gives tamariki/children and taiohi/young people (under 18) the opportunity to express their creativity and share their aspirations for a peaceful, inclusive, and nuclear-free world. Tūmanako means “Hope.” This is the eighth year of Tūmanako, with this year’s special theme being “one seed of thought grows the forest of peace.” 

The exhibition will be hosted at the Waitohi Hub on the lower ground of Johnsonville Library from the 11th to the 31st of August.

To encourage our younger tamariki to start thinking about peace and what it means to them, Johnsonville Library is inviting preschool groups to visit the Tūmanako and create their own artworks in response to what they see. The library will provide paper and art supplies and would like to keep your artworks to display in the children’s area over the month of September. To book a time to visit the library or for more information, please contact us at johnsonvile.library@wcc.govt.nz.

To celebrate Tūmanako 2023, and in remembrance of Hiroshima Day, here are some books to help inform us, and help us develop our aspirations for a peaceful future.

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.

Sadako and the thousand paper cranes / Coerr, Eleanor
This historical novel is based on the Sasaki Sadako, a Japanese girl who became a victim of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima by the United States. Sadako worked to fold one thousand paper canes in an attempt to achieve a legend that by doing so, a person could be healed. Sadako’s life has inspired stories and songs.

Book: 'The Complete Story of Sadako Sasaki'. Cover image.

The complete story of Sadako Sasaki : and the thousand paper cranes / Dicicco, Sue
“In this book, author Sue DiCicco and Sadako’s older brother Masahiro tell her complete story in English for the first time–how Sadako’s courage throughout her illness inspired family and friends, and how she became a symbol of all people, especially children, who suffer from the impact of war… Proceeds from this book are shared equally between The Sadako Legacy NPO and The Peace Crane Project.” (Abridged from publisher’s description)

People of peace : 40 inspiring icons / Mirza, Sandrine
” Dreamers… Leaders… And fighters for our rights. Here are 40 globally recognisable people of peace! ” (Adapted from catalogue)
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 and 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 and the invasion of Parihaka in 1881.” (Syndetics summary)
Peace and me / Winter, Ali
“An illustrated collection of inspirational ideas about peace based on the lives of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates of the 20th and 21st centuries. Includes: Jean Henry Dunant, Fridtjof Nansen, Jane Addams, John Boyd Orr of Brechin, Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa, Desmond Tutu, Rigoberta Menchú Tum, Nelson Mandela, Shirin Ebadi, Wangari Maathai, Malala Yousafzai.” (Catalogue)

Peace, power & politics : how New Zealand became nuclear free / Leadbeater, Maire

Older tamariki might find this pukapuka great for research!

“This is a story of how ordinary people created a movement that changed New Zealand’s foreign policy and our identity as a nation…In this country nuclear disarmament has become part of our communal psyche to a greater extent than in any other western-aligned nation… Peace activism is an ongoing story”- (Abridged from Publisher)

Green lizards vs red rectangles / Antony, Steve

“A brave and thought-provoking picture book about war and peace. The green lizards and the red rectangles are at war. But why? They fight and fight and fight – can they find a way to live peacefully side by side despite their differences? The perfect platform to start conversations about the futility of war, this brave and brilliant story is visually stunning and full of clever details to pour over.” (Adapted from catalogue)

2022 Round-Up: Children’s Non-Fiction

Following up our twin blogs rounding up some of the best picture books of 2022 and some of the best children’s fiction of 2022, now it is time for non-fiction to shine!

This isn’t an exhaustive list, but we are taking the opportunity to highlight some of our favourite books published in 2022!

If you’d rather browse through the newest books we have added to our shelves, head on over to the New Material page on our website.


Tāwhaki : the deeds of a demigod / Mead, Sidney M

We might be cheating with this one, as it is a republication of a classic work by Hirini Moko Mead, first published in 1996. But this edition has beautiful illustrations by Scott Pearson.

Like Māui, Tāwhaki was a powerful demigod. This wonderful book shares three of the adventures of Tāwhaki.

Squawk! : Donovan Bixley’s forest birds of Aotearoa / Bixley, Donovan

After his 2021 book, Donovan Bixley’s draw some awesome : drawing tips & ideas for budding artists, was shortlisted in New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults, Bixley is right back at it with another amazing pukapuka!

If you are interested in knowing more about the top New Zealand children’s books of this year, have a read of our previous post about the 2022 NZCYA Book Award winners. If you haven’t already, these books are definitely worth checking out!

You don’t know what war is : the diary of a young girl from Ukraine / Skalietska, Yeva

At the front of our minds this year, has been the international conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Wellington is home to thousands of people of Ukrainian and Russian descent, some of whom have moved here this year to escape the conflict.

You might still have a lot of questions about what is happening and why. Earlier this year, we prepared a blog called understanding Ukraine and Russia: a guide for kids and their adults. We hope this will be useful for your whānau.

Another way that you can learn more is through this pukapuka, a diary by a 12-year-old girl who is experiencing the conflict directly.

Roar squeak purr : a New Zealand treasury of animal poems

Here’s a fun compendium of over 200 animal themed poems from Aotearoa New Zealand! If you’re in the mood for more local poetry, don’t forget to check out Tūhono. a journal of poetry by Wellington children / 2021 (wcl.govt.nz), the 2021 edition that Wellington City Libraries published this year!
LGBTQ+ icons : a celebration of historical LGBTQ+ icons in the arts / Keehnen, Owen
“From music to movies, literature to dance – the arts have always been influenced by the work of LGBTQ people. LGBTQ+ Icons spotlights the history and contributions of 50 pioneering artists who lived and worked around the world….” (Abridged from Amazon catalogue)

Before music : where instruments come from / Pimentel, Annette Bay
“Music doesn’t come out of nothing. It always starts somewhere… with something… with someone. Discover how music is made in this survey of musical instruments from around the world. Organized by material-from wood to gourds to found objects and more-Before Music marries a lyrical core text with tons of informational material for curious readers. In the narrative text, readers will encounter makers as they source their materials and craft instruments by hand, drawing the line from the natural world to the finished product and its sound. The sidebars offer much more to discover, including extensive instrument lists, short bios of musical innovators, and more”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)
Egg carton crafts / Rathburn, Betsy
“How can you reuse a leftover egg carton? This colorful title offers eight fun ideas! An introduction explains the importance of reusing items, and a materials and tools list puts everything you need in one place. Step-by-step instructions combine with bright, easy-to-understand photos to guide readers through the process of making each craft. Along the way, tips provide hints to make crafting easier or remix crafts into new creations!” (Catalogue)
breath with me coverBreathe with me : using breath to look after my tinana, hinengaro and wairua / Tutagalevao, Abel Junior
“Your breath is a taonga that you can use anytime to calm you. Breathing is easy to do and can help relax your tinana,hinengaro, and wairua. We can be on our way to a happy day!” (Catalogue)
The very hungry caterpillar’s very first encyclopedia
“This first encyclopedia covers all the big topics for little learners, including science, history, space, and the natural world. Explore deep underground and high in the sky, travel the globe on ships and trains, and find out about dinosaurs, plants and animals, the human body, and much, muche more. The Very Hungry Caterpillar’s Very First Encyclopedia features vibrant photography alongside more than 250 timeless illustrations from the World of Eric Carle, giving young children a charming overview of everything they need to know”– Page 4 of cover.” (Catalogue)

playing with fire book cover imagePlaying with fire = Ta’alo i le afi / Riley, David

David Riley is a gem, writing some more phenomenal retellings of Pasifika stories in 2022! You might have seen some of his wonderful books in our Pacific Language Week posts during 2022!

“Fire is one of the most precious elements we know. You can cook with it. You can dry things with it. You can even sit around it and tell stories like this one. But how did fire get to Samoa?”–Back cover.” (Catalogue)



New booklist for comic lovers

Comics BooklistWant to get into comics but not sure where to start? We have a new booklist to help you out. You’ll soon be able to pick one up in our libraries, but while you’re waiting you can find it over at our Kids’ Booklist webpage (along with heaps of other booklists).

The comics booklist has heaps of titles of really great comics for you to read. Find one that you like the look of and visit the catalogue or local library to find out where you can get it from.