Tūhono Submissions Are Now Open!

The 1st of October has finally arrived, and so we have officially opened submissions for Tūhono 2021, our annual poetry journal for children and teens! Visit wcl.govt.nz/tuhono to read the guidelines and submit your poem on this year’s theme of “Whakaata | Reflection.” We are so excited to read your entries this year.

To help you get inspired, Stephanie, one of the editors of Tūhono, has put together this list of awesome poetry books for kids. Why not reserve one to pick up at your local library? They just might give you the help you need to get started on your masterpiece!


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)

A treasury of NZ poems for children
This award-winning book includes poems by many of Aotearoa’s best and most well-known children’s authors, including Margaret Mahy, Hone Tuwhare and Denis Glover. A wonderful, comprehensive collection to delve into again and again.

A world full of poems / Vardell, Sylvia M
Wow this book has just about everything! It covers all sorts of different poetry styles and themes (like sport, science and friendship) and mixes well known historical poems with more contemporary selections. And then there’s the beautiful detailed illustrations, included along with activities and ideas to inspire you create your very own poetry.

Can I touch your hair? : poems of race, mistakes, and friendship / Latham, Irene
This thought-provoking book explores race from the perspective of two kids that start off as strangers and become friends. As well as showcasing wonderful poetry, this book also highlights how powerful poetry can be in helping us to give voice to and understand different life experiences.

Feel a little : little poems about big feelings / Palmer, Jenny
This lovely book, written right here in Aotearoa, uses poetry as a way to understand and work through all sorts of big feelings. Poems are accompanied by cute different shaped and coloured characters that represent each feeling.

My first book of haiku poems : a picture, a poem and a dream : classic poems by Japanese haiku masters
Haiku is a type of short form poetry that follows a pre-determined pattern and are pretty fun to write! Haiku originated from Japan and this book introduces 20 classic poems that speak to the connection we have with nature. Poems are written in both Japanese and English and are accompanied by original paintings.

My village : rhymes from around the world
What places are your family from? This book has rhymes originating from 22 different countries around the world. Maybe you’ll discover one or two that are special to you and your family? The rhymes are written both in the original language and English. An interesting and fun glimpse into different cultures and countries through poems and rhymes.

Poems aloud / Coelho, Joseph
A really fun and funny book of riddles, rhymes and tongue twisters! Includes 20 poems by the award-winning poet Joseph Coelho as well as tips and techniques to help you bring your own poems to life in front of an audience. This would be a great book to share with a friend 😊

Poems from a green & blue planet
This stunning book celebrates our planet and the diversity of life that can be found on Earth. Explore mountaintop peaks, forests, deserts, deep blue oceans and discover all the animals and people that call this place home. You’ll find lots of different styles of poetry to enjoy as well – from haikus to sonnets, from rap to love poems.

Poems out loud! : first poems to read and perform
The poems in this book demand to be spoken OUT LOUD! Featuring poetry from award winning poets as well as hip-hop artists and spoken-word performers, this exciting collection will have you laughing, thinking and joining in! Includes a CD so you can listen to the performances yourself – and maybe even get a few tips!

Also available as an eAudiobook.

This poem is a nest / Latham, Irene
This beautiful book introduces children to the concept of found poetry. The author writes a 37-line poem, “Nest,” then finds 160 smaller poems or “nestlings” within it. The nestlings cover a wide variety of topics – from emotions and wild animals to planets and natural wonders. A wonderfully creative book that also includes tips on how to write to your own found poem.

Also available as an eBook.

Tiger, tiger, burning bright!
Do you love animals by any chance? Well if you do, this is most definitely the poetry book for you! An animal poem for every day of the year – that is a mind boggling 366 poems! (366 to take into account leap years) Included are both classic and contemporary poems that have been brought together from around the world. Bonus – the illustrations in this book are SPECTACULAR!

Woke : a young poet’s call to justice / Browne, Mahogany L.
A vibrant collection of poems tackling social justice issues to inspire and empower kids to create their own poetry and speak out on issues that are important to them.

Awesome New Reads (and Listens) on OverDrive!

Awesome news for all you audiobook listeners out there — the lovely librarians who buy books for the eLibrary have added a whole new collection of 100 amazing audiobooks that are always available for you to listen to! That’s right, there’s no need for you to hang around waiting for someone to return the book that you want — no matter how many people have borrowed it, there’s always room for another listener!

Head on over to the Unlimited Loans: Kids’ Audiobooks page on OverDrive or Libby to start borrowing — and while you’re there, why not check out our new Kids’ Lucky Day collection too? It’s a round up of some of the most popular eBook and eAudiobook titles for kids to be found this side of the Milky Way. You can only have these ones for 14 days, and can’t place reserves on them — these are the hottest titles after all — so snaffle them up while you can! By the time you’ve finished the ones you’ve chosen, there’ll be a whole new selection up for grabs.

Can’t decide what to pick up? Read on for some of our favourite top picks from the Unlimited Loans: Kids’ Audiobooks and Kids’ Lucky Day lists…

Unlimited Loans: Kids’ Audiobooks

Overdrive cover Sam Wu is Not Afraid of Ghosts, Katie Tsang (Audiobook)

Sam Wu is NOT a scaredy-cat (except he is). When a trip to the Space Museum goes terrifyingly wrong, Sam begins a mission to prove to the school bully, and all of his friends, that he is a fearless space adventurer. A truly laugh-out-loud, voice-led and madcap story of ghost hunting, snakes and mischievous pet cats called Butterbutt.

(Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Cloud Boy, Marcia Williams (Audiobook)

Harry Christmas and Angie Moon are best friends and almost-twins. Ever since they were born two days apart they’ve been partners in cloud-spotting, sweet-eating and treehouse-building. But when Harry is taken to hospital for headaches that won’t go away, he needs Angie more than ever. Because when things fall apart, only a best friend can stitch them back together. Told through Angie’s lively diary, this is a bittersweet story about friendship and growing up.

(Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Kid Normal, Chris Smith (Audiobook)

When Murph Cooper rocks up to his new school, he can’t help but feel a bit out of his depth. And it’s not because he’s worried about where to sit, and making friends, and fitting in, or not knowing where the loos are. It’s because his mum has enrolled him at a school for superheroes by mistake. And unlike his fellow students Murph has no special abilities whatsoever. But just because you don’t have superpowers, it doesn’t mean you can’t save the day…

(Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians, Brandon Sanderson (Audiobook)Alcatraz Smedry, practically the world champion of breaking things, never thought his most boring birthday present – a bag of sand – would get him into this much trouble. Yet now he’s fleeing from evil Librarians, releasing dinosaurs to create a diversion in the Fiction section, and learning that clumsiness can be a powerful talent!

(Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover To Be a Cat, Matt Haig (Audiobook)

Barney Willow thinks life couldn’t get any worse. He’s weedy, with sticky-out ears. Horrible Gavin Needle loves tormenting him. And worst of all, Dad has been missing for almost a year, and there’s no sign of him ever coming home. Barney just wants to escape, and find another life. Being a cat, for example. A quiet, lazy cat. Things would be so much easier—right?

(Overdrive description)

Kids’ Lucky Day Collection

Overdrive cover Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow, Jessica Townsend (Audiobook)

Morrigan Crow is cursed. Having been born on Eventide, the unluckiest day for any child to be born, she’s blamed for all local misfortunes. But worst of all, the curse means that Morrigan is doomed to die at midnight on her 11th birthday. But as Morrigan awaits her fate, a strange and remarkable man named Jupiter North appears and whisks her away into the safety of a secret, magical city called Nevermoor…

(Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover New Kid, Jerry Craft (ebook)

Seventh grader Jordan Banks loves nothing more than drawing cartoons about his life. But instead of sending him to the art school of his dreams, his parents enrol him in a prestigious private school known for its academics, where Jordan is one of the few kids of color in his entire grade.

As he makes the daily trip from his Washington Heights apartment to the upscale Riverdale Academy Day School, Jordan soon finds himself torn between two worlds—and not really fitting into either one. Can Jordan learn to navigate his new school culture while keeping his neighborhood friends and staying true to himself?

(Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Karen’s Roller Skates, Ann M. Martin (ebook)

It’s going to be a great weekend! Karen has new roller skates and is a very good skater. She’s looking forward to trying some new tricks. But, oh no! Karen falls down and has to go to the hospital. Her wrist is broken!
Karen is determined to get everyone she knows — plus someone famous — to sign her cast. It isn’t going to be easy, but she won’t give up until the job is done.

(Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Dork Diaries, Rachel Renee Russell (ebook)

Nikki Maxwell and her bandmates are looking forward to an AWESOME time on tour as the opening act for the world famous Bad Boyz! The only downside? Nikki’s frenemy, MacKenzie Hollister, has weaselled her way onto the tour as a social media guru…
Nikki’s determined to stay out of MacKenzie’s way to avoid any drama, but then she learns that MacKenzie is going to be her roommate! TOTAL DISASTER! Will Nikki survive her dream tour as it quickly goes from AWESOME to AWFUL?!

(Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover The Deep End, Jeff Kinney (ebook)

In The Deep End, book 15 of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series from #1 international bestselling author Jeff Kinney, Greg Heffley and his family hit the road for a cross-country camping trip, ready for the adventure of a lifetime.
But things take an unexpected turn, and they find themselves stranded at an RV park that’s not exactly a summertime paradise. When the skies open up and the water starts to rise, the Heffleys wonder if they can save their vacation – or if they’re already in too deep.

(Overdrive description)

Tūhono Returns This October

We have some exciting news to share with you — this October, we will again be inviting Wellington poets aged 5-18 to submit poems to our journal, Tūhono. Next week we will be sharing more details with you, including the new theme, the submission deadline, and other cool stuff — so why not take the time now to get inspired by checking out Tūhono 2020 on OverDrive?

Tūhono is Wellington City Libraries’ very own poetry journal for young poets aged 5-18. 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 submitted will be published. Tūhono first came into being last year, and was a roaring success, with nearly 200 of you submitting poetry on the theme of ‘connection’ during the month of November and being published in the inaugural volume. We can’t wait to see what you create this time.

Once you’ve checked out the original Tūhono, why not check out some of our other poetry eBooks for Kids? We’ve added some of our favourites below!

Overdrive cover Tūhono 2020, Wellington City Libraries (ebook)

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. (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover When We Were Very Young, A. A. Milne (ebook)

Composed of dozens of poems by the author who has delighted generations of children and adults alike with characters such as Winnie-the-Pooh, Christopher Robin, Piglet, and Eeyore, When We Were Very Young is a warm, whimsical journey through childhood that includes such classic verses as “Halfway Down,” “Teddy Bear” (which introduced Pooh to the world), “At the Zoo,” “The King’s Breakfast,” “Shoes and Stockings,” and “Buckingham Palace,” plus many more. (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Poems Aloud, Joseph Coelho (ebook)

Poems are made to read OUT LOUD! Perfect for confident children and shy readers alike, this book teaches all sorts of clever ways to performing poetry. Children will learn 20 techniques for reading aloud by trying out 20 funny and thoughtful original poems by the much-loved and award-winning performance poet, Joseph Coelho. There are tongue twisters, poems to project, poems to whisper, poems to make you laugh. There are poems to perform to a whole class and others to whisper in somebody’s ear. Richly textured, warm and stylish illustration by Daniel Gray-Barnett bring each page to life. (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Is This a Poem?, Roger Stevens (ebook)

Do you like poems? Are you sure you know what one is?!
Join popular poet Roger Stevens for a trip through the different types of poetry: from advertising jingles to football chants, and from free verse to rap. Then, why not have a go at writing a poem of your own? (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, T. S. Eliot (ebook)

Cats! Some are sane, some are mad and some are good and some are bad.

Meet magical Mr Mistoffelees, sleepy Old Deuteronomy and curious Rum Tum Tugger. But you’ll be lucky to meet Macavity because Macavity’s not there! In 1925 T.S. Eliot became co-director of Faber & Faber, who remain his publishers to this day. Throughout the 1930s he composed the now famous poems about Macavity, Old Deuteronomy, Mr Mistoffelees and many other cats, under the name of ‘Old Possum’. In 1981 Eliot’s poems were set to music by Andrew Lloyd Webber as Cats which went on to become the longest-running Broadway musical in history. (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover The Further Adventures of the Owl and the Pussy-cat, Julia Donaldson (Audiobook)

Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson revisits Edward Lear’s favourite rhyme in this wonderful audio edition of a new story set in a nonsensical land full of adventure. When their beautiful golden ring is stolen, the Owl and the Pussy-cat must travel far from the safety of the Bong-tree glade as their search for the thief leads them across the Sea, to the Chankly Bore and beyond…This lovely audio download features a reading of the poem by Julia Donaldson and a performance of the poem set to music, written and performed by Julia Donaldson (vocals) and Malcolm Donaldson (guitar). (Overdrive description)