Get into the spirit of Halloween ’21 at the library — Part One!

image courtesy of stuff.co.nz

Halloween has arrived at the library! In addition to dressing up and eating treats, now is the time to get your scare on reading up about the history of Halloween, and getting some cool ideas for Halloween costumes and crafts. Soon to come is Part Two, where we’ll share with you some extra-spooky fiction, picture books, eBooks and movies for a quiet (scare) night in. Let the scare fest begin! AHHHWWOOOOOO!

About Halloween:

Halloween, or All Hallows Eve, is celebrated on October 31st. The origins of Halloween can be traced back to the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain, which was held on November 1 in contemporary calendars. It was believed that on that day, the souls of the dead returned to their homes, so people dressed in costumes and lit bonfires to ward off spirits. Today Halloween is considered a holiday (especially in the United States) for dress-up, (traditionally witches, ghosts and zombies), treats and fun, especially for children. For more information about the history of Halloween, read our previous post.

Some ways that people around the world celebrate Halloween include:

  • Dressing up in costume,
  • Handing out treats to trick or treaters,
  • Decorating the house with Halloween party favours,
  • Reading or sharing ghost stories (we have heaps of those!),
  • Watching scary movies (we have heaps of those as well!)

Immediately following Halloween, on November 1st, Día de Muertos is a traditional Central American holiday that reunites the living and dead. It is a holiday for celebrating life and death, a holiday where mourning is exchanged for celebration. Below are a couple of books from our collection where you can read up more about this festival:

image courtesy of syndeticsThe day of the dead = El dia de los muertos.

@This book tells the story of two children as they celebrate their ancestors on the vibrant holiday: The day of the dead. With sugar skulls, sweet-smelling marigold petals and joyful songs, Hispanic families welcome back ancestors on this holiday. Complete with lush college and lyrical text in both English and Spanish, this wonderful picture book creates the perfect introduction to this festival (and perhaps also to the Spanish language).” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsDía de los muertos.

“It’s Día de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) and children throughout the pueblo, or town, are getting ready to celebrate! They decorate with colored streamers, calaveras, or sugar skulls, and pan de muertos, or bread of the dead. There are altars draped in cloth and covered in marigolds and twinkling candles. Music fills the streets. Join the fun and festivities, learn about a different cultural tradition, and brush up on your Spanish vocabulary, as the town honors their dearly departed in a traditional, time-honored style.” (Catalogue)


Where can I find more information about Halloween:


image courtesy of syndeticsCelebrate Halloween.

“Vivid images and lively, inviting text illuminate the spookiest night of the year. This book spirits readers on a tour of Halloween celebrations around the globe as it explores the rich history of this holiday and the origins of its folklore, food, games, costumes, and traditions.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsHow to make frightening Halloween decorations.

“Do you like to scare and gross out your friends? Create frightening Halloween decorations with just a few simple supplies. Surprise your friends with glowing alien heads and sicken them with bloody intestines. Whether you’re decorating for a party or just for fun, these projects will turn an ordinary Halloween into a howling good time.”(Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsHow to create spectacular Halloween costumes.

“Are you searching for a Halloween costume that will get you noticed? Then How to Create Spectacular Halloween Costumes is the book for you! From a guitar-playing vampire to the floor of a movie theater, these easy-to-make costumes are sure to impress your friends. They might even cause a few screams!” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndetics10 minute Halloween crafts.

“In 10 Minute Crafts: Halloween, children can learn how to make Halloween decorations such as bat hangings and black cat lanterns and create spookily brilliant zombie finger puppets and witches on broomsticks, plus lots more amazing Halloween ideas.” (Catalogue)

New to the collection is…

image courtesy of syndeticsHalloween : 300 spooky facts to scare you silly.

“The wildly popular Weird But True line is all dressed up for Halloween with 300 all-new spooky facts about candy, costumes, pumpkin carving, and more Calling all boys and ghouls: You’re in for a treat of freaky facts, stats, tidbits, and trivia about one of the most popular holidays Did you know that there is an underwater pumpkin carving contest? Or that the U.S. Defense Department has a zombie apocalypse plan? Maybe you’d be amazed to discover that there are more Halloween emojis than there are U.S. states? It’s all weird–and it’s all true–in this latest and greatest edition, packed with hilarious and terrifying tidbits on Halloween.” (Catalogue)


Have a safe and happy Halloween!

Kids’ Club Review by Sravya: Planet fashion

Planet fashion / Slee, Natasha

Planet Fashion.
This story is about different types of fashion clothes.

The clothes that are in this book are clothes like Bollywood costumes,Bright knitted sweaters and Ruffled dresses.

They also took Metal handbags to events! That is a lot of fashion right.

I like this book because it’s all about fashion clothes and I love fashion.

I would recommend this book because of course I love fashion!

5 stars

Reviewed by Sravya from Tawa and , 7 years old

Kids’ Club Review by Michael: Snackable science experiments : 60 edible tests to try and taste

Snackable science experiments : 60 edible tests to try and taste / Vanstone, Emma

Fun science experiments with food. Photos not real life…I had to add way more ingredients to make the experiment match the picture! Don’t judge a book by it’s cover! P.s be careful when eating added ingredients…might not taste so good. Still fun though. Adult supervision sometimes required. For ages 8+

3 stars

Reviewed by Michael from Khandallah and , 9 years old

International Women’s Day

Kia ora! Monday, March 8th marks International Women’s Day and the theme for 2021 is #ChooseToChallenge.  To celebrate, we’ve selected a list of books that highlight women and girls who have chosen to challenge themselves and the world to make a difference.  From world leaders to sports women, artists to activists, scientists to pop stars and many many more, there is something for every reader to find inspiration from and celebrate women and girls who #ChooseToChallenge.

Anthology of amazing women / Lawrence, Sandra

“This beautifully illustrated collection tells the aw e-inspiring stories of 50 women who have pushed the boundaries of human excellence and endeavour. Standing out for their achievements in sport, science, the arts, politics, and history, these women have made huge contributions to today’s society. Featuring incredible women from the past and present such as Beyonce, Sheryl Sandberg, Mary Anning, Emmeline Pankhurst and Malala. The Anthology of Amazing Women is a wonderful read for anyone wanting to read up on the incredible women who have lived and changed our lives.” (Catalogue)

Amazing women of the Middle East : 25 stories from ancient times to present day / Tarnowska, Wafa’
“Discover Sheherazade, the famous storyteller, dive into the musical world of the beautiful singer Fairuz and meet Amal Clooney, an outstanding international lawyer. Feel inspired by twenty-five amazing women from the Middle East, who have created a legacy through strength of vision, leadership, courage, and determination. Written by award-winning author and trailblazer, Wafa’ Tarnowska, this stunning collection of life stories is illustrated by a team of internationally recognized artists. This book is an absolute must-have” (Catalogue)

Good night stories for rebel girls. 2 / Cavallo, Francesca

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls 2 showcases 100 brand-new bedtime stories of incredible women throughout history and around the world.

In this book, readers will embark on an empowering journey through 100 new bedtime stories, featuring the adventures of extraordinary women through the ages, from Nefertiti to Beyoncé. The unique narrative style of Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls transforms each biography into a fairytale, filling readers with wonder and a burning curiosity to know more about each hero.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

25 women who dared to go / Lassieur, Allison

“From the fearless to the feared, discover 25 women who dared. Dared to conquer their dreams, win wars, discover sights unseen, and more. Readers will learn about bold women who were determined to achieve something great in the face of adversity.” (Catalogue)

Like a girl / Degman, Lori

“Create, prevail, change the world…like a GIRL! This celebration of international girl power honours a multitude of women who made a difference.  Once upon a time, “like a girl” was an insult. Not anymore! In every walk of life, girls are demonstrating their creativity, perseverance, and strength. From artist Frida Kahlo and activist Malala Yousafzai to award-winning architect Zaha Hadid and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and founder of the Green Belt Movement Wangari Maathai, the 24 women profiled here took risks, broke barriers, and transformed the world.  This tribute to girl power will inspire young women everywhere. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Amazing women : 101 lives to inspire you / Beevor, Lucy

“Discover the stories of 101 extraordinary women of our time. Featuring an international selection of female figures, this carefully curated collection highlights those who have achieved significantly in their fields, ranging from science and politics to sport and the arts. Empowering and inspiring accounts of female pioneers include the likes of Rosalind Franklin, Beyoncé Knowles, Marie Curie, Malala Yousafzai, Angela Merkel and Serena Williams.” (Catalogue)

Stories for South Asian supergirls / Khaira, Raj Kaur

“Through the inspirational stories of 50 famous and under-celebrated women from Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka, South Asian girls will have a chance to dream about lives for themselves that radically differ from the limited narratives and stereotypes written for them by their culture, wider society and the mainstream media. Bringing together illustrious entertainers (Meera Syal, Jameela Jamil, Mindy Kaling), pioneering business leaders (Indra Nooyi, Anjali Sud, Ruchi Sanghvi) and a host of other, equally remarkable yet less well known, figures (including the British Muslim spy, Noor Inayat Khan, and fearless activist, Jayaben Desai), Stories for South Asian Supergirls seeks to redress the imbalance for young girls of colour by empowering them to break new ground for themselves and to inspire others in the process. Illustrated with striking portraits by ten international South Asian female artists, this is a book for all ages – the perfect gift that will be treasured by parents as much as their children will enjoy reading them.” (Catalogue)

Rad women worldwide : artists and athletes, pirates and punks, and other revolutionaries who shaped history / Schatz, Kate

Rad Women Worldwide tells fresh, engaging, and amazing tales of perseverance and radical success by pairing well-researched and riveting biographies with powerful and expressive cut-paper portraits. The book features an array of diverse figures from 430 BCE to 2016, spanning 31 countries around the world, from Hatshepsut (the great female king who ruled Egypt peacefully for two decades) and Malala Yousafzi (the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize) to Poly Styrene (legendary teenage punk and lead singer of X-Ray Spex) and Liv Arnesen and Ann Bancroft (polar explorers and the first women to cross Antarctica). ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Muslim girls rise : inspirational champions of our time / Mir, Saira

Long ago, Muslim women rode into battle to defend their dreams. They opened doors to the world’s oldest library. They ruled, started movements, and spread knowledge. Today, Muslim women continue to make history. Once upon a time, they were children with dreams, just like you. Discover the true stories of nineteen unstoppable Muslim women of the twenty-first century who have risen above challenges, doubts, and sometimes outright hostility to blaze trails in a wide range of fields. Whether it was the culinary arts, fashion, sports, government, science, entertainment, education, or activism, these women never took “no” for an answer or allowed themselves to be silenced. Instead, they worked to rise above and not only achieve their dreams, but become influential leaders. Through short, information-rich biographies and vibrant illustrations, Muslim Girls Rise introduces young readers to the diverse and important contributions Muslim women have made, and role models they may never have heard of before, but whose stories they will never forget.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The A-Z of wonder women / Lin, Yvonne

“Celebrate a whole alphabet of trailblazing, groundbreaking wonder women from around the world and through time, taking in Ada Lovelace, J. K. Rowling, Oprah Winfrey and every letter in between.

Men and women, boys and girls need heroes to look up to, and to aspire to be. There are thousands upon thousands of books and films about amazing athletes, scientists, artists and explorers, but they’re almost all men. Girls get princesses and mermaids – sure, not necessarily the worst career choices, but there aren’t enough castles and beaches for the world’s 3.5 billion women. This book brings incredible women out of the shadows, celebrates their success and acknowledges their achievements. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Rad girls can : stories of bold, brave, and brilliant young women / Schatz, Kate

“From the “New York Times”-bestselling authors of “Rad Women Worldwide” and “Rad American Women A-Z” comes a bold and brave collection of stories and art about inspiring and accomplished girls who have made positive impacts on the world before the age of 20. Full color.” (Catalogue)

Her story : 50 women and girls who shook the world / Halligan, Katherine

“Move aside history-it’s time for herstory. A gloriously illustrated, empowering book about 50 remarkable women who changed the world we live in.” (Catalogue)