The Summer Reading Adventure starts today — 1 December!

Read books, explore the city, win prizes!

The Summer Reading Adventure runs from 1 December 2021 – 31 January 2022 for children aged 5-13. Read books; write, draw or film reviews; and complete quests to earn all kinds of awesome goodies — and you’ll still be home in time for tea!

Summer Reading Adventure website link - 1 December to 31 January

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

Read on to find out more!

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The Summer Reading Adventure is Coming!

Hold on to your hats, the Summer Reading Adventure is almost here! From 1 December 2021 – 31 January 2022, we’re inviting you on an adventure — an adventure that will take you from the safety and comfort of your bedroom, to locations around the city, into your back yard, down to the local library, into the pages of more than a few books, and back home again in time for tea.

Along the way, you’ll be reading books, drawing pictures and maps, taking videos, completing challenges, getting out into nature, and maybe fighting off the odd monster or two — all in the name of seeing who shall have the honour of being crowned Supreme Champion of Words, Books and Deeds. You’ll also be earning all kinds of awesome prizes for your efforts, from collectible badges to ice-cream vouchers, books, family experiences and much more!

We know many of you have taken part in the Summer Reading Challenge before, so we’re keeping all the features you know and love — like the reading log and book reviews — and also bringing in a whole load of new activities and features, including a special mobile app you can use to log your progress through the Summer Reading Adventure, keep up with what your friends are doing, and keep tabs on your reading no matter where you are.

We’ll soon be unveiling the brand new Summer Reading Adventure website and guide for new adventurers, so keep your eyes out on our website and on social media for more information leading up to the 1st of December!

Until then, keep those reading eyes sharp — you’ll be needing ’em!

Guy Fawkes: Celebrate a gunpowder plot gone wrong at WCL!

image courtesy of wikipedia.org

This black-and-white drawing of Guy Fawkes was actually created over 200 years after his death by illustrator George Cruikshank! Image: Public Domain

Prepare to blow up… your mind with endless information about a gunpowder plot gone wrong. Guy Fawkes Day or Bonfire Night will arrive once again on November 5th as an annual celebration with bonfires and fireworks in remembrance of the failed plot to kill the British Government and King James VI and I.

Why do we celebrate Guy Fawkes?

Guy Fawkes and a group of men were part of a plot to blow up British Parliament to kill the King of England on the 5th of November. However, the government found out about the plot before the attack could take place. The government arrested Guy Fawkes and his conspirators. Guy Fawkes and the others were convicted of treason. Parliament announced a national day, known as Guy Fawkes Day, to celebrate their survival. The first celebration was held on November 5, 1606. Today, Guy Fawkes Day is celebrated with feasts, bonfires, and fireworks.

Books about Guy Fawkes

If you’d like to read more about the history and alternative stories about Guy Fawkes, here’s a selection of books at the library:

image courtesy of syndeticsGuy Fawkes.

“Examines the life of Guy Fawkes, his childhood, family life, and the unsuccessful Gunpower Plot where he was arrested and executed with the rest of the plotters. Suggested level: intermediate, junior secondary.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsGuy Fawkes and the gunpowder plot.

Read all about the history of Guy Fawkes and the gunpower plot that went horribly wrong. (Catalogue)


image courtesy of syndetics5 November 1605 : the Gunpowder Plot.

“This title explores the Gunpower Plot. It looks at what happened on the day and the background and consequences. It is suitable as a quick-read introduction to the subject and also as a high interest/low reading ability level book.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsRemember that November.

“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 – the invasion of Parihaka in 1881” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsCorpse talk. Season 2.

“Sequel to the Blue Peter Award shortlisted Corpse Talk Season 1. The latest in the ultimate history lesson as Adam Murphy digs up and interviews an even more unusual and fascinating dead people, and finds out about their extraordinary lives.” (Catalogue)


While we’re in celebration mode, why not read up about celebrations and festivals around the world such as:

image courtesy of syndeticsFestivals and celebrations.

“Take a trip around the world, looking at the many different ways that people celebrate special days, holidays, religious festivals and traditional celebrations. Comparing Countries is a groundbreaking non-fiction dual-language series which compares and contrasts ways of life in different countries around the world. Presented in two different languages, each title explores a topic common to all children, from homes to festivals, highlighting what makes us different and what we all have in common. This series provides great support to geography learning, as well as helping young language learners improve their reading skills.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsThe big book of festivals.

“Kids aged 7+ with an interest in the world around them will adore this collection of fantastic festivities, crazy celebrations and happy holy days from across the globe. The big book of festivals introduces young people to some major festivals and some lesser-known regional festivals from around the world. This gorgeously illustrated hardback features a total of 38 festivals, including: Lunar New Year, Day of the Dead, Kumbh Mela, Holi, Diwali, Gelede, Christmas, La Tomatina, Eid-ul-Fitr, Konaki Sumo, Carnaval, Hanukkah, Anastenaria, Festival of Giants, Matariki, Halloween, The Birthday of Guru Nanuk, Buddha’s Birthday, Bunya Cone Harvest Festival, Easter, Inti Raymi, Venetian Masquerade Ball, and more.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsLighting our world : a year of celebrations.

“Throughout the year and around the globe, people use light — candles, bonfires, lanterns and fireworks — to celebrate special occasions. This richly illustrated book is an illuminating tour of the world’s brightest and warmest festivities.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsA year full of celebrations and festivals.

“Countless different festivals are celebrated all over the world throughout the year. Some are national holidays, celebrated for religious and cultural reasons, or to mark an important date in history, while others are just for fun. Give thanks and tuck into a delicious meal with friends and family at Thanksgiving, get caught up in a messy tomato fight in Spain at La Tomatina, add a splash of colour to your day at the Holi festival of colours and celebrate the life and achievements of Martin Luther King Jr. on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. With fact-filled text accompanied by beautifully bright illustrations from the wonderfully talented Chris Corr, prepare yourself for a journey as we travel around the world celebrating and uncovering a visual feast of culture.” (Catalogue)

For more information, check out:

Britannica.

BBC.

National Geographic.

Get into the spirit of Halloween ’21 at the library – Part Two!

image courtesy of stuff.co.nz

Halloween has STILL arrived at the library!… and the scare fest continues on from Part One, with some fiction, picture books, and books from the eLibrary collection for a quiet (but scary!) night in. Wellington City Libraries also has some spooktacular DVDs in the collection for your viewing pleasure. AHHHWWOOOOOO!

eBooks on Overdrive!

Overdrive for Kids has an amazing collection of eBooks about Halloween and Halloween themed. Click here to view the collection.

image courtesy of syndeticsimage courtesy of syndeticsimage courtesy of syndeticsimage courtesy of syndeticsimage courtesy of syndetics

Fiction, Comics and Picture Books!

image courtesy of syndeticsSeven ghosts.

“Jake and the other finalists in a writing competition have been invited to a stately house for a tour like no other. As their guide leads them through grand rooms, hidden nooks and magnificent grounds, they hear the stories of seven ghosts who haunt the halls. But strange shapes and shadows follow Jake as he journeys through the house and with each tale that Jake hears, he begins to feel more uneasy. All is not as it seems and soon Jake will discover that something is very, very wrong … Old ghosts are stirred-up for Halloween in this spine-tingling, multi-narrative horror.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsMelusine [2] : Halloween.

Melusine is a sorcerer’s apprentice, funny and dynamic, who does everything possible to become a powerful witch. Unfortunately, she’s not always successful, and very often her tricks turn against her and her friends… But tremble, poor mortals, for it’s the return of Halloween, the day of witches and the walking dead! This festival of demons must be celebrated with dignity, with great smashing of pumpkins and rotten tricks. The opportunity rises for Melusine and her friends to show what they can do… And then to start a new storm of gags and catastrophes!” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsBabymouse: monster mash.

“It was a dark and scary Halloween… This year, Babymouse is determined to have the best Halloween costume and the best Halloween party ever. Will Babymouse be the monster of her dreams? Will Felicia Furrypaws come to the party? And is that really the creature from the black lagoon living in Babymouse’s locker?” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsThe very hungry caterpillar’s creepy-crawly Halloween : a lift-the-flap book.

“Join The Very Hungry Caterpillar on his spookiest adventure yet as he explores the woods by the light of the moon. Lift the big flap on every page to discover which creatures are hiding in the woods tonight. A simple, engaging new seasonal lift-the-flap adventure with big flaps that are perfect for little hands!”(Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsWhat do werewolves do when it’s not halloween?

“But what about werewolves? Where do they go? What do they do through the year? Do they groom? Do they howl? Do they listen to jazz? Or watch movies and shed a small tear? What do werewolves do when it’s not Halloween? Perhaps they’re lurking where you least expect! Featuring vampires, witches, zombies, ghosts and skeletons, this is a SPOOKY and KOOKY Halloween treat for all to devour!” (Catalogue).


New to the collection is…

image courtesy of syndeticsThe good, the bad, and the spooky.

“Based on the New York Times bestselling picture book sensation The Bad Seed, Jory John and Pete Oswald present: The Good, the Bad, and the Spooky! Includes two sticker sheets, perfect for decorating your own mini jack-o’-lantern. Halloween is the Bad Seed’s favorite holiday of the year. But what’s a seed to do when he can’t find a show-stopping costume for the big night Postpone trick-or-treating for everyone, of course! Can he get a costume together in time Or will this seed return to his baaaaaaaaad ways Find out in this hilarious, charming, and thought-provoking continuation of Jory John and Pete Oswald’s bestselling series.” (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.

Click here to view more Halloween themed books.

DVDs:

image courtesy of amazon.comThe Addams Family.

“Members of the mysterious and spooky Addams family–Gomez, Morticia, Pugsley, Wednesday, Uncle Fester and Grandma–are readily preparing for a visit from their even creepier relatives. But trouble soon arises when shady TV personality Margaux Needler realises that the Addams’ eerie hilltop mansion is standing in the way of her dream to sell all the houses in the neighbourhood.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of amazon.comCoco.

“Despite his family’s generations-old ban on music, Miguel dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz. Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector, and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of amazon.comCoraline.

“A young girl walks through a secret door that she has found in her new home and discovers an alternate version of her life. On the surface, this parallel reality is eerily similar to her real life, but much better. When her adventure turns dangerous, and her counterfeit parents, including the Other Mother, try to keep her forever, Coraline must count on her resourcefulness, determination, and bravery to get back home – and save her family.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of amazon.comHotel Transylvania 12 and 3.

“The Hotel Transylvania, run by Dracula, is a unique, high-end resort catering only to the finest monsters and their families. Check out The Hotel Transylvania trilogy and watch all three films back to back starting with the original film, where Dracula is preparing for an extra special weekend – his daughter Mavis’s 118th birthday – when trouble arises: a human has stumbled upon the resort for the first time ever! Even worse: the human has taken a liking to Mavis!” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of amazon.comIn the sequel, everything seems to be changing for the better at Hotel Transylvania. “Dracula’s rigid monster-only hotel policy has finally relaxed, opening up its doors to human guests. But behind closed coffins, Drac is worried that his adorable half-human, half-vampire grandson, Dennis, isn’t showing signs of being a vampire.” (Catalogue).

iage courtesy of amazon.com

In third film, A monster vacation, “The monster family embarks on a vacation on a luxury monster cruise ship so Drac can take a summer vacation from providing everyone else’s vacation at the hotel. It’s smooth sailing for Drac’s Pack as the monsters indulge in all of the shipboard fun the cruise has to offer. But the dream vacation turns into a nightmare when Mavis realizes Drac has fallen for the mysterious captain of the ship, Ericka, who hides a dangerous secret that could destroy all of monster kind.”(Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsHarry Potter (and the philosopher’s stone) (and the chamber of secrets).

An oldie but a goodie, watch Harry Potter and the philosopher’s stone and relive the magic where Harry learns on his eleventh birthday that he is the orphaned son of two powerful wizards and possesses unique magical powers of his own, becoming a student at Hogwarts, an English boarding school for wizards and having to battle some “enemies” along the way.

IMAGE COURTESY OF AMAZON.COM

In the Chamber of Secrets, Harry finds the second year more challenging with flying cars, trees fighting back, duelling clubs  and a fifty year old secret that threatens to destroy Hogwarts.

image courtesy of amazon.comMonsters (Inc and University).

Mike Wazowski and James “Sulley”  P. Sullivan are an inseparable pair, but that wasn’t always the case. From the moment these two mismatched monsters met they couldn’t stand each other. Monsters University unlocks the door to how Mike and Sulley overcame their differences and became the best of friends.

image courtesy of amazon.com

In Monsters Inc, Lovable Sulley and Mike Wazowski are the top scare team at MONSTERS, INC., the scream-processing factory in Monstropolis. When a little girl named Boo wanders into their world, monsters are scared silly, and it’s up to Sulley and Mike to get her back home. But Boo’s presence is more than just a mere accident. Now, Mike and Sulley have to face an enemy within their own ranks. Overall a heart-warming movie where guaranteed to scare and make you laugh.

Extra challenge… from beyond the grave!

Get into the Halloween spirit and dance your socks off zombie-style to Thriller by the late but talented Michael Jackson! Hmmm, I wonder if he would be keen to accept the vacancy of Wellington City Libraries’ library ghost?

Did you know? Wellington City Libraries’  Nao Robots, Frank and Stein, (formally known as Red and Blue) can whip out their own dance moves to to Thriller by Michael Jackson. Read more about them here.

Have a safe and happy Halloween!

Te Vāiaho o te Gagana Tokelau 2021

Fakamālo atu kia te koutou uma! Welcome to Te Vaiaho o te Gagana Tokelau | Tokelau Language Week 2021. Tokelauan is spoken by around 1,600 people on the three atolls of Tokelau — Nukunonu, Fakaofo, and Atafu — and over 2,000 people in Aotearoa. Tokelauan people are an important part of our community here in Wellington, with over 4,000 people of Tokelauan descent living in the region — around half of the whole Tokelauan population in Aotearoa. (Source: 2018 Census)

This year, the theme for Te Vaiaho o te Gagana Tokelau is:

“Tokelau! Tapui tau gagana ma tau aganuku, i te manaola ma te lautupuola.” | “Tokelau! Preserve your language and culture, to enhance spiritual and physical wellbeing.”

Help us celebrate this special time for the community by learning more about Tokelau’s unique culture, language and history through the books and other resources below!


Books

Check out some of these books from our children’s section from and about Tokelau, and in Gagana Tokelau:

Tokelau heroes / Riley, David
“Tokelau Heroes tells the inspirational stories of achievers who have Tokelauan ancestry. It includes legends like Hina; historical figures such as Ihaia Puka; and contemporary heroes like Opetaia Foa’i. It’s written to inspire young Tokelauans, to encourage reading and promote literacy.” (Catalogue)

Illustrated history of the South Pacific / Stenson, Marcia
“The South Pacific is not only our geographic environment, it is also our cultural environment, and many New Zealanders trace their ancestry to Polynesian seafarers. This book is an introduction to the history of the South Pacific. A companion book to Illustrated History of New Zealand, also written by Marcia Stenson, it covers the following topics: geology and geography, the arrival of the first people to the Pacific, European exploration, war in the Pacific, political issues both historic and current.” (Catalogue)

Ko te aho mālie o Filipo = Filipo’s fun day / Swan, Epi
“Describes Filipo’s full-on day at ʻakoga kāmata.” (Catalogue)

Te faitauga o nā ika : ko he tala faka-Tokelau mai Niu Hila / Lemisio-Poasa, Nila
“Amanaki is taught the Tokelau way of counting fish by his uncle. Suggested level: primary, intermediate, junior secondary.” (Catalogue)

Ko te tokotoko o toku tupuna = Papa’s tokotoko / Sione, Emeli
“Alo, the eldest grandson, initially rejects, but in the end takes on his responsibility to be a support for his grandfather.” (Catalogue)

Valigā magō : Painting sharks / Baker, Vaitoa
“It’s painting day at school. Hale and his best friend Ioane choose to paint pictures of sharks.” (Catalogue)

Also, visit this link to find even more children’s books in Gagana Tokelau at your local library.


Virtual Storytime

Head on over to our YouTube channel where you can watch and listen to our librarian Lewis read a special story — Lightning Boy from Tokelau Heroes by David Riley, a modern retelling of a traditional Tokelauan legend. We would like to thank David for allowing us to share this beautiful story with you throughout Tokelau Language Week this year — fakafetai, David! Make sure to check out the Reading Warrior website to find more stories of the Pacific from David and his collaborators.



More Resources

Check out the following websites to find out more about the atolls of Tokelau and this beautiful country’s culture, language and history:

Faahi Tapu he Vagahau Niuē 2021

Fakaalofa lahi atu ki a mutolu oti! Welcome to Faahi Tapu he Vagahau Niuē | Niuē Language Week 2021. With over 30,000 people of Niuean descent living in New Zealand, the Niuean population is our fourth largest Pasifika community.

The theme for Faahi Tapu he Vagahau Niuē this year is:

“Kia Tupuolaola e Moui he Tagata Niuē” | “May the Tagata Niuē thrive.”

Join us at Wellington City Libraries as we celebrate this special time by exploring Niuē’s unique culture and language through books and other resources below!


Books

Check out some of these books from our children’s section from and about Niuē, and in Vagahau Niuē:

The woman who was swallowed by a whale : a tale from Niue / Wilton, Briar
“The woman who was swallowed by a whale is a folktale ; Niue : rock of Polynesia is a short factual introduction to the country and culture.” (Catalogue)

Kuaka visits Niue / Peterson,Vanessa
“Uses a story format and the concept of bird migration to introduce places in Niue, food and customs.” (Catalogue)

Tales of Niue nukututaha : in Niuean and English / Feilo, Zora
“A collection of twelve stories in both English and Niuean set on the island if Niue, this is the author’s reinterpretation of myth, legend and storytelling from her native land. Each story is lavishly illustrated by Niuean artist Lange Taufelila.” (Catalogue)

The artist and the whale = Fifine pulotu mo e tafuā : a Niue legend / Riley, David
“Mataginifale is a Niue superhero with a difference. She isn’t known for her super powers, but for her super creativity. One day she had an argument with a whale that tested her thinking skills too”” (Catalogue)

Show day / MacGregor, Jill
“Livisia, who lives in the village of Alofi South on the island of Niue, describes how her village hosts Show Day, a day of celebrations for the whole island. Includes some Niuean words and a glossary. In picture book format.” (Catalogue)

We are the rock! / Riley, David
“In We are the Rock, contemporary Niueans, historical and legendary figures tell their stories of focus, expression and achievement. They are Niuean tāoga (treasure) and include: * Dr Vili Nosa – the first Niuean awarded a Phd* Tutina Pasene – business woman and fashion designer* Sully Paea – youth worker* Pero Cameron – basketballer* John Pule – artist and writer* Frank Bunce – All Black* Stephanie Tauevihi – actress and singer* Che Fu – rapper/ singer* Fao and Huanaki – discoverers of Niue* Leveimatagi and Leveifualolo – legendary explorers.” (Catalogue)

Niuean for kids / Jahri Jah Jah
“Learn to speak words and phrases in Niuean. This book packs in many common words and phrases., including greetings, colours, numbers, body parts, animals and farewells. It is a great resource for anybody wanting to learn some basic words in Niuean. Suitable for ages 1+.” (Catalogue)

Illustrated history of the South Pacific / Stenson, Marcia
“The South Pacific is not only our geographic environment, it is also our cultural environment, and many New Zealanders trace their ancestry to Polynesian seafarers. This book is an introduction to the history of the South Pacific. A companion book to Illustrated History of New Zealand, also written by Marcia Stenson, it covers the following topics: geology and geography, the arrival of the first people to the Pacific, European exploration, war in the Pacific, political issues both historic and current.” (Catalogue)


Also, visit this link to find hundreds of children’s books in Vagahau Niuē at your local library.


Virtual Storytime

Head on over to our YouTube channel where you can watch and listen to our librarian Lewis read a special bilingual story — Fifine pulotu mo e tofuā | The artist and the whale by David Riley — in English and Vagahau Niuē. We would like to thank David for allowing us to share this beautiful story with you throughout Niuē Language Week this year — fakaaue lahi, David! Make sure to check out the Reading Warrior website to find more stories of the Pacific from David and his collaborators.



More Resources

Check out the following websites to find out more about Niuē and its culture, language and history:

Vaiaso o te ‘Gana Tuvalu 2021

Talofa koutou! Welcome to Vaiaso o te ‘Gana Tuvalu | Tuvalu Language Week 2021. There are around 5,000 people of Tuvaluan descent currently living in Aotearoa, and around 500 of these people live in Wellington City.

The theme for Vaiaso o te ‘Gana Tuvalu this year is:

“Fakaakoigina tou iloga kae tukeli ke magoi mote ataeao” | “Embracing our culture for a more secure, vibrant future.”

Join us at the library or from home as we celebrate this special time by embracing Tuvalu’s unique language and culture by exploring some of the books and other resources below!


Books

Check out some of these books from the children’s collection in the Tuvaluan language or about Tuvalu:

Samoa & Tuvalu / Guile, Melanie

A comprehensive introduction to the life, history, and people of Samoa and Tuvalu for middle and upper primary students, including information about Tuvaluan land, people, food, customs and traditions, music, and lifestyle.

Illustrated history of the South Pacific / Stenson, Marcia

“The South Pacific is not only our geographic environment, it is also our cultural environment, and many New Zealanders trace their ancestry to Polynesian seafarers. This book is an introduction to the history of the South Pacific. A companion book to Illustrated History of New Zealand, also written by Marcia Stenson, it covers the following topics: geology and geography, the arrival of the first people to the Pacific, European exploration, war in the Pacific, political issues both historic and current.” (Catalogue)

The gifts of Pai and Vau = Meaalofa a Pai mo Vau / Riley, David
“Pai and Vau are Nanumea superheroes who created beautiful things in our world. One day a stranger named Tefolaha came to their island. “This is now my island,” he declared and challenged them to a contest. What kind of contest did he dream up? What would Pai and Vau do if they lost?” (Catalogue) Note: this book is bilingual with text in English and the Nanumean language of Tuvalu

What plants need : a poem from Tuvalu / Molu, Easter

An early reader picture book featuring a beautiful poem from a Tuvaluan author, about the lifecycle of plants from seed to flower. Perfect for very young readers of English.

Ko te kimoa ma te feke : ko te tala mai Tuvalu / Ielemia, Temukisa

A short, fun, and traditional story from Tuvalu all about rats and octopuses! This version of the book is in Tokelauan, but we also have it in Cook Islands Māori and Gagana Sāmoa.


Virtual Storytime

Head on over to our YouTube channel where you can watch and listen to Lewis from Johnsonville and Tawa Libraries read a special bilingual story — Meaalofa a Pai mo Vau by David Riley — in English and the Nanumean language of Tuvalu. We would like to thank David for allowing us to share this beautiful story with you throughout Tuvalu Language Week this year — fakafetai, David! Make sure to check out http://readingwarrior.com/ to find more stories of the Pacific from David and his collaborators.



More Resources

Check out the following websites to find out more about Tuvalu and its culture, language and history:

Suffrage Day 2021

Suffrage Day  is a special day in New Zealand’s history. Sunday 19 September 2021 is Suffrage Day / White Camellia Day.

image courtesy of sydneticsimage courtesy of syndeticsimage courtesy of syndetics   

Why is Suffrage Day celebrated?

On the 19th of September 1893, New Zealand became the first nation in the world to grant women the right to vote. This year marks the 126 anniversary of women winning the right to vote in New Zealand. The white camellia was the symbol of the suffragists.

Did you know? November 28th 1893 was the day New Zealand women voted for first time.

What is Suffrage Day?

Suffrage Day provides an opportunity for people to celebrate New Zealand’s suffrage achievements and look for ways to benefit women.

How do we commemorate this day?

  • Wearing a white camellia. Why? These flowers were worn by people supporting women’s right to vote in New Zealand.
  • Wear a The Suffrage 125 symbolWhy? The symbol draws on historical colours and icons adopted by women’s suffrage petitioners and presents them in a contemporary form. image courtesy of women.govt.nz

Where can I find information about the suffragettes and and Suffrage Day?

image courtesy of syndeticsAmazing women: 101 lives to inspire you.

“Read this story of 101 extraordinary women of our time. Empowering and inspiring accounts of female pioneers include the likes of JK Rowling, Rosalind Franklin, Beyonce Knowles, Marie Curie, Malala Yousafzai, Angela Merkel and Serena Williams. A beautiful package that rejoices in the remarkable and crucial contributions women have made to our society.” (Catalogue)


image courtesy of syndetics
Women’s suffrage.

“Find out interesting, little-known facts such as how the suffragists were the first people to ever picket the White House and how the nineteenth amendment granting women the right to vote passed by only one vote when a legislator changed his vote to “yes” after receiving a letter from his mother telling him to “do the right thing.” The unique details, along with the clever interior illustrations, make this series stand out from the competition” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsKate Sheppard.

“When Kate Sheppard was a young lady jauntily exploring the streets of her new home in Christchurch, the world was a different place. Women did not ride bicycles or participate in outdoor activities like sports. And they certainly were not allowed to vote. But Kate wanted to do more, and she knew that women deserved the same opportunities as their male counterparts. Her campaign would become the battle of a lifetime. Includes an end section of facts about women’s rights around the world.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsEliza and the white camellia : a story of suffrage in New Zealand.

“New Zealand suffragist Eliza Wallis was a first-wave feminist who actively sought the Vote for Women. She was a founding member of the National Council of Women in 1896. Her story is told by her fourth great niece in this bilingual children’s picture book, a Suffrage 125 project.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsRebel Voices.

“A beautifully illustrated celebration of the brave campaigners who fought for women’s right to vote. Tracing its history from New Zealand at the end of the 19th century, follow this empowering movement as it spread from Oceania to Europe and the Americas, then Africa and Asia up to the present day. Meet the women who rioted, rallied and refused to give up.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsSuffragettes and the fight for the vote.

“This book takes up the story in the mid 19th century, when the first petition was presented to Parliament, and traces the fight for the vote through the work of suffrage organisations and the suffragettes. From peaceful demonstrations to violent campaigns and prison hunger strikes, the story is brought to life through fascinating historical photos and artefacts” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsBe counted! : the diary of Amy Phelps, Dunedin, 1893.

“Thirteen year old Amy goes to live with her aunt and uncle in Dunedin to continue her education. At Otago Girls’ High she pursues her dream of becoming an artist like her hero, Frances Hodgkins. Meanwhile, all Aunt Delia can talk about is the campaign to get women the vote. But Amy soon finds some girls who need more urgent help. Her efforts to find her wayward friend Mary lead her to discover a dark side lurking behind Dunedin’s stately buildings. Includes historical photographs. Suggested level: intermediate, junior secondary.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsWinning the vote for women.

“Imagine you were there campaigning for women’s right to vote. […] Meet the women, and the men, from every continent who fought both for and against the suffrage movement, and those that are continuing the fight today. From New Zealand in 1894 to Saudi Arabia in 2014, readers will discover the global petitions, the campaigns, the peaceful protests and marches, as well as the extreme measures taken by suffragists and suffragettes in their determination to change history.” (Adapted from Catalogue)


image courtesy of syndeticsThe book of heroines : tales of history’s gutsiest gals.

“Everybody needs a role model! Discover true stories of superstars, war heroes, world leaders, gusty gals, and everyday women who changed the world. From Sacagawea to Mother Teresa, Annie Oakley to Malala Yousafzai, these famous women hiked up their pants and petticoats and charged full-speed ahead to prove girls are just as tough as boys…maybe even tougher. Complete with amazing images and a fun design, this is the book that every kid with a goal, hope, or dream will want to own” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsGirls who rocked the world : heroines from Joan of Arc to Mother Teresa.

“Forty-six biographical accounts of strong, independent female role models, all of whom were younger than twenty years of age when they changed the history of the world through amazing accomplishments. Suggested level: intermediate, secondary.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsEmmeline Pankhurst.

Part of the bestselling Little People, BIG DREAMS series, Emmeline Pankhurst  tells the inspiring story of this brave activist who fought for women to achieve their right to vote. (Catalogue).

Happy Birthday, Roald Dahl!

Whoever said that September was a boring month?! Not where Roald Dahl is concerned! September is Roald Dahl’s birth month, and each year around the world, libraries, schools and the like celebrate a very special day, also known as  Roald Dahl Day. This year on the 13th of September, Roald Dahl Day strikes again, marking 105 years since his birth! So let’s celebrate his birthday! But first…

Who was Roald Dahl

He was a spy, ace fighter pilot, chocolate historian and medical inventor. He was also the author of The BFGMatildaCharlie and the Chocolate Factory, and many more brilliant stories. He remains THE WORLD’S NUMBER ONE STORYTELLER! For more information about Roald Dahl and his amazing life, click on his “about” and “timeline” pages.


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However if you want to find out and read about his remarkable life, then read Boy, which presents  humorous anecdotes from the author’s childhood which includes summer vacations in Norway and an English boarding school, and Going Solo, that tells the story of his adventures as an adult, first in Africa, then learning to be a wartime fighter pilot and discover what led him to becoming the world famous author that he is known as today. 

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Dahl’s life story is also featured in Stories for boys who dare to be different and Before they were authors : famous writers as kids.

Want to take part in the celebrations? Here’s how!

Visit the Roald Dahl website!
image courtesy of roalddahl.com

You will find  information about Roald Dahl as well as activities, games and quizzes. If you’re suffering from lockdown blues? Not need to worry, the Roald Dahl website has created a page called Things to do indoors, that might help distract, entertain, or simply keep kids busy right on this page until they’re out and about again.


Create your own Roald Dahl birthday party with food, games and jokes!

image courtesy of syndeticsRoald Dahl’s revolting recipes.

For ideas on creating your own Roald Dahl themed birthday party tea is Roald Dahl’s revolting recipes. “From Willy Wonka’s nutty crunch surprise to the mound of spare ribs consumed by Hansel and Gretel in Rhyme Stew, food has been an essential ingredient in Roald Dahl’s writing for children. Felicity Dahl has created a practical guide to making some of the dishes which appear in Dahl’s books.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsWhizzpopping joke book.

A party would not be complete without party jokes. ‘This collection of hundreds of great jokes would make even the Trunchbull laugh! Inspired by Roald Dahl’s wonderful world, these hilarious humdingers are guaranteed to raise a chuckle from human beans young and old.’ — From Back cover.


New to the world of Roald Dahl is…

image courtesy of syndeticsHow to trick a Twit.

A party would not be complete without party games. So for inspiration, why not read How to trick a Twit. “Mr and Mrs Twit love playing tricks and unfortunately they are very good at it. But just imagine if you could trick an actual Twit? Wouldn’t that be amazing? Well, this book can help you do just that. Packed full of fiendish pranks (as well as quizzes, recipes, fun facts and more), this is exactly what you need to outwit a Twit.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsAlso inspired by Roald Dahl and due to be released in October is Never grow up. “A brand new picture book inspired by Roald Dahl and illustrated by Quentin Blake. Inspired by the work of the world’s number 1 storyteller, this picture book is a guide to growing up the Roald Dahl way, with gloriumptious illustrations by Quentin Blake. A celebration of all the tremendous things children have in store – from adventure to inventions, chocolate cakes to rhino poo – along with a reminder that the very best grown ups are those who hold on tight to the kid inside.” (Catalogue). Reserve your copy now!



Read and relive your favourite Roald Dahl stories!

Wellington City Libraries holds a huge array of Roald Dahl books, both fiction and non fiction, including Fantastic Mr FoxThe Magic Finger and Danny the Champion of the World for your reading pleasure. Also check out this previous blog post for ideas on what are great Roald Dahl movies to watch.

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 You might also like:

image courtesy of syndeticsRoald Dahl’s rotsome & repulsant words. 

“This book is the perfect introduction to the naughtiest words and phrases created by Roald Dahl with redunculous language notes. Find insulting similes and learn a load of poppyrot. Use words in a brilliantly disgusterous way”. (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsOxford Roald Dahl dictionary.

A dictionary of real and invented words used by the world’s best storyteller. The Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary reveals what they mean, where they came from and how he used them in his stories. It will inspire you to choose and use each word brilliantly in your own writing – whether it’s a real word, a Roald Dahl word or your own made-up one!” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsThe gloriumptious worlds of Roald Dahl.

“HAVE YOU EVER wanted to know what actually happened to James Trotter’s parents when they encountered an angry escaped rhino? Or how to make the Twits’ infamous bird pie? Well now you can find out, with The Gloriumptious Worlds of Roald Dahl. The book is a brilliant extension to Dahl’s wonderful stories, and gives fascinating insights into the characters and events from Roald Dahl’s writing in a humorous, exciting and downright gloriumptious way. For the very first time, the stories behind the stories are brought to life in this brand new title. Inside, Quentin Blake’s iconic illustrations are combined with previously unpublished reproductions of imagined letters, artefacts and posters, and editing notes from Dahl himself, to bring all of Roald Dahl’s characters alive. Whether you have read all of Roald Dahl’s stories, or are just beginning to enjoy them, this is a great companion book that will help you delve even deeper into Roald Dahl’s worlds.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsDirty beasts.

“A collection of (mainly) grisly beasts out for human blood, ranging from Crocky-Wock the crocodile to Sting-A-Ling the scorpion. Described in verse with all Dahl’s usual gusto and illustrated in a suitably wicked style by Quentin Blake. Was that CROCKY-WOCK galumphing up the stairs? Is STING-A-LING hiding in your bed? And what foul fate has PIGGY planned for Farmer Bland? WARNING This book contains wickedly funny verse, prickly surprises and the most despicable creatures you could ever hope (not) to meet.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of sydneticsRevolting rhymes.

“Humorous retellings in verse of six well-known fairy tales featuring surprise endings in place of the traditional happily-ever-after, as well as rhymes about pigs, crocodiles, and tummy beasts.” (Catalogue).


image courtesy of syndeticsThe witches : the graphic novel.

“Witches are real, and they are very, very dangerous. They wear ordinary clothes and have ordinary jobs, living in ordinary towns all across the world – and there’s nothing they despise more than children. When an eight-year-old boy and his grandmother come face-to-face with the Grand High Witch herself, they may be the only ones who can stop the witches’ latest plot to stamp out every last child in the country! This full-colour graphic novel edition of Roald Dahl’s The Witches, adapted and illustrated by Eisner Award winner Penelope Bagieu, is the first-ever Dahl story to appear in this format.” (Catalogue).


Where to find more information?

Books Alive! Storytimes and Panel Discussions at the National Library

Tomorrow, on Wednesday 11 August, the winners of the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults will be announced, in a glitzy evening ceremony at the National Library of New Zealand. The top authors, illustrators and translators in the land are descending on Wellington in order to attend — so we have nabbed many of them to run a series of amazing events for school students called Books Alive. You may have seen some of the Books Alive events run virtually by LIANZA over the last few weeks — they’ve included storytimes, workshops, talks, Q&As, and more. Well, this is the real-life version of that!

Normally, only schools who have registered are able to attend Books Alive, but to allow more people to celebrate the wonderful literary creators that Aotearoa has produced, we’re opening up some of the events to members of the public to attend. So, whether you’re an adult, a teen, or a child, feel free to rock on up to any of the following events and get up-close and personal with some of this country’s most amazing authors and illustrators. All of the events are at the National Library of New Zealand, 70 Molesworth Street, Thorndon:

Books Alive Panel Discussion: Picture Books

Time: 9.45 – 10.35am

LocationTaiwhanga Kauhau Auditorium

Join us for this exciting panel featuring authors and illustrators who have been shortlisted for the prestigious Picture Book Award in this year’s New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. The panellists for this event are Laura Shallcrass (Hare and Ruru: A Quiet Moment), Kate Parker (Kōwhai and the Giants), Chris Gurney and Lael Chisholm (The Hug Blanket) and Philippa Werry and Kieran Rynhart (This is Where I Stand).


Storytime and Author Talk with Amy Haarhoff

Time: 10.45 – 11.10am

Location: He Matapihi Library

Join talented illustrator Amy Haarhoff for this special storytime featuring her book, The Midnight Adventures of Ruru and Kiwi (written by Clare Scott), as well as the opportunity to ask her questions about her life as an illustrator and her experience of working on this remarkable book. Amy is shortlisted in the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults in the category of Best First Book.


Books Alive Panel Discussion: Fiction

Time: 10.45 – 11.35am

Location: Taiwhanga Kauhau Auditorium

This wonderful panel discussion features authors who have been shortlisted for either the Wright Family Foundation Esther Glen Award for Junior Fiction or the Young Adult Fiction Award in this year’s New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. The panellists for this event are T. K. Roxborogh (Charlie Tangaroa and the Creature from the Sea), Des Hunt (Red Edge) and N. K. Ashworth (Draw Me a Hero).


Storytime and Author Talk with Kimberly Andrews

Time: 11.15 – 11.40am

Location: He Matapihi Library

Don your duffel coats and polish your magnifying glasses as we join author and illustrator Kimberly Andrews for this special reading of her book Hound the Detective. Kimberly is shortlisted for the Picture Book Award in this year’s New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults.


Books Alive Panel Discussion: Non-Fiction

Time: 12.30 – 1.20pm

Location: Taiwhanga Kauhau Auditorium

The final panel we’re opening up to the public for the day features the authors and illustrators who have been shortlisted for the Elsie Locke Award for Non-Fiction in this year’s New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. The panellists for this event are Alexandra Tylee and Giselle Clarkson (Egg and Spoon), Dr. Selina Tusitala Marsh (Mophead Tu: The Queen’s Poem), Maria Gill and Marco Ivancic (New Zealand Disasters), Sandra Morris (North and South) and Tom E. Moffatt (You’re Joking: Become an Expert Joke-Teller).