Chinese New Year 2021: Year of the Ox

Chinese New Year 2021 will fall on FridayFebruary 12th, 2021. The Chinese New Year animal sign is the Ox. 

What is Chinese New Year?

Chinese New Year is the most important festival in the Chinese calendar. Chinese New Year, also called Lunar New Year, annual 15-day festival in China and Chinese communities around the world that begins with the new moon. 

When is Chinese New Year?

Chinese New Year occurs on Friday, February 12, 2021, in many of the countries that celebrate it. Wellington’s Chinese New Year celebrations will take place on the weekend of 13-14 February.

For more information on what events are on, check out the Chinese New Year website and Facebook page.

How can you celebrate?

  • Create decorations to help join in the festive spirit.
  • Chow down on festive treats.
  • Watch the fireworks and traditional dancing.
  • Spending time with loved ones.
  • Giving red envelopes to kids.

Did you know: Chinese people love the colour red. The colour red is regarded as the symbol of energy, happiness and good luck. Sending red envelopes is a way to send good wishes and luck (as well as money).

For more more craft ideas and recipes for festive treats, click on this link.

Where can I find information about Chinese New Year?

  • ManyAnswers has a page dedicated to websites, resources and ways to search for information about Chinese New Year.
  • NZ History has an amazing page dedicated to Chinese New Year.
  • Kids World Travel guide has an amazing page dedicated to Chinese New Year.
  • Also check out these amazing books!

image courtesy of syndeticsChinese New Year.

This book explores the festival of Chinese New Year and the story behind it and features eight simple origami projects for your own festive fun! The book shows how people around the world celebrate Chinese New Year and what the Chinese calendar and the animals of the zodiac are. Attractively designed, its simple text and wonderful full-colour photos make this an essential book for children celebrating or learning about the festival. 

image courtesy of syndeticsChinese New Year : a celebration for everyone.

Part of the nonfiction Orca Origins series, Chinese New Year is illustrated with color photographs throughout. Readers will learn how a simple gathering of family and friends grew into a weeklong, worldwide festival.

 image courtesy of syndeticsChinese New Year.

Learn about the diverse and vibrant festivals that are celebrated around the world. This series encourages children to consider religious beliefs and cultural practices via easy to read text and informative, full color images.

image courtesy of syndeticsWinnie and Wilbur at Chinese New Year.

Winnie and Wilbur are having a Chinese New Year party! Winnie’s magic brings sparkle and spectacle to the occasion but when Wilbur goes missing just before it’s time for the fireworks, where can he be? Includes an audio CD with an entertaining narrated version of the story including music and sound effects.

image courtesy of syndeticsThe runaway wok : a Chinese New Year tale.

On Chinese New Year’s Eve, a poor man who works for the richest businessman in Beijing sends his son to market to trade their last few eggs for a bag of rice, but instead he brings home an empty–but magic–wok that changes their fortunes forever. Includes information about Chinese New Year and a recipe for fried rice.

image courtesy of syndeticsThe little pigs and the sweet rice cakes : a story told in English and Chinese.

“Told in a bilingual Chinese and English edition, this is the story of three little pigs whose appetites initially get the better of them. In a shared dream, they met an old man who tells them to deliver sweet rice cakes to him a week before New Year’s Eve. The next morning, they see some sweet rice cakes on their kitchen table. The three little pigs completely forget the old man and eat every bit of them. When their mother comes home, she is very angry to discover all the cakes gone. Seeing their mother unhappy, the three little pigs help her make more delicious sweet rice cakes. When there is only a week left before Chinese New Year’s Eve, their mother lays the sweet rice cakes in front of the portrait of the Kitchen God and prays for the peace for the family. On seeing the portrait, the three little pigs realize that the old man in their dreams is actually the Kitchen God!”–Provided by publisher

The Summer Reading Challenge Continues!

Another year begins, and our Summer Reading Challenge continues! If all the book reviews you’ve been writing are anything to go by, you guys have been reading like absolute machines all throughout this beautiful Wellington summer. It has been wonderful reading all of your reviews and hearing about what you’ve enjoyed (or not so much!) about the books you’ve been reading.

It’s not too late to get involved! The Summer Reading Challenge is still running, and will keep running until the 31st of January 2021! There are heaps of prizes to be won just by reading books from our Summer Reading Challenge booklist — just see the photo below for a teensy tiny glimpse into our instant prize stash! Massive thanks to our friends at Unity Books, Marsden Books, and the Children’s Bookshop in Kilbirnie for their generous support.

Several piles of brand-new children's books, including picture books, fiction, nonfiction, and comics

This is just a small sample of the awesome book prizes that you can earn — just by reading and reviewing books from our collection!

But, reviewing books isn’t the only way to earn prizes. If you turn over your Summer Reading Challenge booklet, you’ll find a plethora of fun challenges to complete as part of our special Book Bingo challenge. Once you’ve finished off all 9 of the challenges, take your booklet in to your local library to earn a special prize.

A hand-drawn and vibrantly-coloured Dora the Explorer sits beneath the original art from the book.

This beautiful drawing of Dora the Explorer by Aarvi from Johnsonville Library was completed as part of the Book Bingo Challenge! Ka rawe, Aarvi!

So what are you waiting for? It’s time to get reading!

Summer Programmes and Events Schedule

Kia ora koutou! The summer holidays are a great time for you to relax, spend some time with whānau, and bask in the sunshine with a good book. Our librarians sometimes like to do this as well, so there will be some changes to our regularly-scheduled events and programmes during Christmas, New Year’s, and January. You can find out where and when everything is happening at the Event Calendar, or the children’s What’s On webpage, but here are the basics for you:


Special Events

Two children sitting underneath a tree, reading a book.

Enjoy the Summer Reading Challenge these school holidays!

During December, we have special Christmas Storytimes for the whole family to enjoy at all 14 of our libraries, and don’t forget that the Summer Reading Challenge is running from now until the end of January! Get stuck in now to earn sweet prizes.

Keep an eye out for our famous BookBike at beaches and parks around the city during those hot January days, and you can also come see us at a wide variety of festivals and events during the summer, including Gardens Magic (12 January – 31 January 2021) and the Wellington Pasifika Festival on 23 January 2021. We’d love to see you there!


Regular Programmes

Baby Rock and Rhyme will be taking a break at all sites from the 11th of December, and making a glorious return on the 1st of February. If you’re itching for that musical fix in your life, our newest library in the CBD, Te Awe on Brandon Street, will keep running Baby Rock and Rhyme until the 16th of December, and return on the 11th of January.

Preschool Storytime and Kōhunga Kōrero will run until the 20th of December at all sites for all your storytelling needs. At our CBD sites, as well as Johnsonville, Tawa, Brooklyn and Wadestown, storytime will resume from the 4th of January. At all other locations, our storytellers will be returning from the 1st of February.

Our LEGO® programmes including Let’s Go LEGO® and LEGO® Time will be on hiatus between the 20th of December and the 1st of February. At Johnsonville, Tawa, and Te Awe Libraries, these programmes will keep running throughout January — yahoo!

Our term-time programmes including Code Club, Tech Time, and CRAFTerschool will start up again in Week 2 of Term 1 2021, to give you time to adjust to being back at school before diving back into library events!


If you have any questions, feel free to contact your local library, or you can email the Children’s Librarian to find out more.

 

Summer Reading Challenge 2020-21!

Snowy the Sandman wishes he could read books for the Summer Reading Challenge, but he only has sunglasses where his eyes should be!

Switch on your reading eyes, grab the nearest cat (the purr-fect reading companion!), and prepare your parents for many bookish bedtimes and beach barbecues — the Summer Reading Challenge is nearly here!

It starts tomorrow, the 1st of December 2020, and runs through to the 31st of January 2021. Your mission: to read as many books as you can from the official Summer Reading Challenge list, which you can download online or pick up from your local library, and complete the 9 brain-bustingly brilliant Book Bingo challenges you’ll find on the back of the booklet. There are lots of instant and major prizes to be won, so get reading quick-smart!

Read the whole story — and get started on the Challenge — at the Summer Reading Challenge page.

So, how many can you read?

Festive Family Storytimes are Around the Corner!

Meri Kirihimete, Pōneke!

 

It’s that time of year again! The festive season is right around the corner, which means that our libraries are getting themselves all ready to provide storytimes most merry and mirthful for your jollification. So, why not grab the family, jump in your fuzziest pyjamas (or cheeriest Christmas costume) and head on down to your local library to join in on the fun?

There will be stories, songs, crafts, and maybe even some special visits from a certain portly gentleman at some locations. You’ll be in for an extra-special treat if you go along to the event at Arapaki Library on Manners Street — you’ll get to hear different festive stories from all over the world, even some in different languages!

All of these events are free, family-friendly, and suitable for children of all ages with their caregivers.

Where and When?

 


Wednesday 9th December

Arapaki (Manners Street) Library, 5.30 – 6.30pm


Thursday 10th December

Island Bay Library, 6.00 – 6.45pm

Khandallah Library, 6.00 – 6.45pm

Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library, 6.00 – 6.45pm


Friday 11th December

Newtown Library, 6.00 – 6.45pm


Monday 14th December

Brooklyn Library, 6.00 – 6.45pm

Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library, 6.00 – 6.45pm

Miramar Library, 6.00 – 6.45pm


Tuesday 15th December

Te Awe (Brandon Street) Library, 4.00 – 4.45pm

Johnsonville Library, 4.00 – 4.45pm


Thursday 17th December

Karori Library, 6.00 – 6.45pm

Wadestown Library, 6.00 – 6.45pm


Friday 18th December

He Matapihi (Molesworth Street) Library, 10.30 – 11.15am


Saturday 19th December

Johnsonville Library, 2.00 – 2.45pm


Sunday 20th December

Te Awe Library, 2.00 – 2.45pm


Monday 21st December

Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library, 10.30 – 11.15am


Programme Spotlight: Baby Rock and Rhyme!

Disclaimer: This Kids’ Blog post is aimed mainly at the parents of young children. Kids read on at your peril!

Kia ora! Those of you who read this blog regularly may be familiar with a number of the regular events and programmes we run for children and families in our libraries across the city. One of our most perennially popular programmes is Baby Rock and Rhyme. This super fun programme runs at eight of our libraries weekly, and is designed to help you as a parent foster your baby’s literacy journey while building a stronger bond with them through reading, singing, movement and play. It’s also an awesome way to meet other new parents and make new friends who are also on the at times rocky road of the journey of parenthood. Read on to find out some of the ways you can make the most out of Baby Rock and Rhyme with your little one.

A librarian leads a Baby Rock and Rhyme session in a brightly-decorated library. A large crowd of parents and babies are in attendance, some sitting on the ground, others on the terraces.

Baby Rock and Rhyme at Karori Library with superstar librarian Claire

  1. Attend whenever and wherever you can. At this age, your little one really benefits from repetitive learning processes and, as much as possible, a steady routine. Baby Rock and Rhyme is totally free to attend, and there is a session on somewhere in the city every weekday — we warmly invite you to come along whenever (and wherever) you can. Here is the complete list of locations and times around the city:
  2. Listen to music with your baby at home as well. If you’re coming to Baby Rock and Rhyme, you’re already doing an amazing job! Ka rawe! But it’s only half the equation. Did you know you can actually download the official Wellington City Libraries Baby Rock and Rhyme album from Bandcamp? You can also find the CD in our library collection along with a huge selection of music CDs full of songs for babies and young children. Why not put on the album, give your little one a shaker or rattle to hold, and have a good ol’ boogie together? It’ll feel great, and it’s also a fabulous way to reinforce the literacy steps that begin with you, your baby, and your librarian at Baby Rock and Rhyme.
  3. Be really present during the session. Remember that Baby Rock and Rhyme isn’t really about the librarian performing for your child. What they’re really doing up there is modelling ways for you to interact with your baby to foster their physical and intellectual development and kick-start their learning journey. So, when you arrive, make sure you park the buggy, put your phone away, and prepare for some real quality time with your little one. Sit with your child in your lap and really be present with them — talk to them, encourage them, and guide them throughout the session. If they start acting up or grizzling, it’s fine! We understand! If you’re there with them, you can comfort them or remove them from the room for a minute or two to calm down. If you tune out, your child is missing out on half the benefit of being there.
  4. Read, read, read! After your Baby Rock and Rhyme session, why not ask your librarian for help choosing books for your little one? All of our libraries have large collections of board books perfectly suited to the rough treatment they sometimes receive — we really don’t mind if these get damaged as they’re there to be used, so please don’t worry about that! Our librarians are always happy to help you pick out the perfect set of books for you to enjoy at home. We understand sometimes the huge range of books can be a bit intimidating, and it can be hard to know if you’re making the right choice for your child. Just remember that at this age, there’s really no way you can go wrong with books for your young learner — as long as you are reading together, you are doing everything right.
  5. Ask for help if you need it. Parenting can sometimes be a lonely and confusing path to travel — but it is also one of life’s most rewarding experiences. With Baby Rock and Rhyme, as with any of our library programmes for young people, our librarians understand this, and want to help you as much as they can. Don’t be afraid to ask us for help — before, during, or after the session, whether you need help finding books for your little one, accessing parenting resources through the library, or getting in touch with Plunket or other local support groups. You are also more than welcome to email the Children’s Librarian if you need help or advice regarding books or literacy for your child. You don’t need to feel like you are distracting us from other work when you reach out for assistance — helping you is our work, and we are always more than happy to do what we can.

Making Musical Mayhem these School Holidays!

The school holidays are almost upon us — just 5 sleeps to go! With the Prime Minister’s announcement that we will be moving to COVID-19 Alert Level 1 from midnight tonight, we thought this calls for some kind of celebration. And what better way to celebrate than with music?

These school holidays, from September 26 — October 11, Wellington City Libraries are inviting you to Make Musical Mayhem with us at your local library or community centre! There’s heaps to do, from awe-inspiring interactive performances with our friends at Orchestra Wellington and musical craft extravaganzas with LEGO and recycled materials, to workshops on making music for robots, speed-dating musical instruments, and even a big dance party at our new Central branch, Te Awe Library on Brandon Street. There’s fun for the whole family, so check out the schedule below, or go to our event calendar for the full details of what’s on offer at your library!

Image of digital equaliser software displaying rainbow-coloured volume bars at different heights.

Get ready to make beautiful musical mayhem at your library during the school holidays!

Building Sound: Creating Music with Apps

Want to make music at home? Come along and learn how to make your own tunes at home using apps. We will explore different music-making apps, and how to layer different sounds and instruments to create our own pieces of music. Tablets will be provided, however we encourage you to bring your own.

Suitable for ages 8+ with their caregivers.

  • Te Awe Library, Tuesday 29 September, 11.00am

Introduction to the Orchestra

Want to learn about the inner workings of an orchestra? In preparation for “Where’s My Triangle?” with Orchestra Wellington on the 4th of October, Te Awe Library will be screening an entertaining guide to the orchestra, suitable for the whole family!

Bring your parents and grandparents — everyone is sure to learn something new.

  • Te Awe Library, Sunday 27 September, 1.30pm

Let’s Go LEGO®: Musical Edition

Are you a master builder in disguise? Join us for this special music-themed edition of Let’s Go LEGO® for our musical school holidays. Let’s build – let’s explore – let’s create your LEGO® magnum opus!

Suitable for ages 5+ with their caregivers.

  • Khandallah Library, Friday 2 October, 3.30pm
  • Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library, Wednesday 7 October, 11.00am
  • Johnsonville Library, Friday 9 October, 11.00am
  • Brooklyn Library, Friday 9 October, 2.00pm
  • Te Awe Library, Sunday 11 October, 11.00am

Makey Makey: Music for Robots!

What if we told you you could make a musical instrument out of everyday materials you find lying around? A banana piano? No problem. A drum kit made of keys and coins? Why not! Join us for a special music-making session with our Makey Makeys — who knows what you’ll create!

Suitable for children of all ages with their caregivers.

  • Khandallah Library, Tuesday 29 September, 2.00pm
  • Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library, Tuesday 6 October, 2.00pm
  • Johnsonville Library, Wednesday 7 October, 11.00am

Musical Movie Screenings

Join us for these special music-themed movie screenings for the whole family! Find out which movies we are screening by calling the library, or come along in your PJs for a musical surprise! All movies chosen will have a G or PG rating. Popcorn supplied!

  • Te Awe Library, Thursday 1 October, 1.30pm
  • Karori Library, Thursday 8 October, 5.30pm

Musical Storytimes

Join us for these special musical storytimes, featuring songs and musical stories for the whole family! Come along prepared to make some noise — bring your own instruments if you’re feeling extra brave!

Suitable for children aged 2-6 with their caregivers.

  • Karori Library, Wednesday 30 September, 10.30am
  • Khandallah Library, Tuesday 6 October, 10.30am
  • Cummings Park (Ngaio) LibraryWednesday 7 October, 10.30am

Party Time at Te Awe Library!

To celebrate the end of the school holidays, you are invited to a special party right here in the library! Do you want to play party games? Do you enjoy dance and song? Then grab your grown-up and bring them along to Te Awe Library prepared to have LOTS OF FUN!

Suitable for ages 6-9 with their caregivers.

  • Te Awe Library, Friday 9 October, 11.00am

Recycled Musical Crafts

Did you know that you can make a harmonica out of popsicle sticks? Or a guitar from a tissue box? Get your craft on these school holidays and turn your trash into treasure as we make our very own musical instruments from everyday items! Materials will be provided, but you are welcome to bring your own recycled item if there’s something special you wish to transform.

Suitable for ages 5+ with their caregivers.

  • Te Awe Library, Friday 2 October, 11.00am

Speed-Date a Musical Instrument!

Ever wanted to know what it’s like to play a musical instrument you’ve never tried before? Come along for this special opportunity to get up close, have a go, and learn about various musical instruments at stations placed throughout the library. Friendly library staff will guide you through your introduction to these instruments and the musical world.

Suitable for ages 4+ with their caregivers.

  • Brooklyn Library, Thursday 1 October, 2.00pm
  • Wadestown Library, Thursday 8 October, 2.00pm

‘Where’s My Triangle?’ with Orchestra Wellington

Orchestra Wellington is proud to present their 2020 Music to Schools programme, “Where’s My Triangle?” by the POW! Trio. Join us for this unique opportunity to get up-close to the family of instruments played by the percussionists of Orchestra Wellington. The show features music for a variety of instruments and musical styles from classical to pop, and the POW! Trio takes us on an adventure of EPIC proportions as they introduce instruments you never even knew existed!

This event is suitable for children of all ages accompanied by their caregivers. Special thanks to our friends at Orchestra Wellington!

  • Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library, Thursday 1 October, 10.30am
  • Newtown Library, Thursday 1 October, 1.30pm
  • Newlands Community Centre, Friday 2 October, 10.30am
  • Karori Library, Friday 2 October, 1.30pm
  • Johnsonville Library, Sunday 4 October, 10.30am
  • Te Awe Library, Sunday 4 October, 1.30pm
Three musicians, smiling, playing a marimba with 6 wooden mallets

Join the POW! Trio from Orchestra Wellington for this hands-on performance!

Family Lockdown Challenge: Celebrate Star Wars Day at Home!

IMAGE COURTESY OF https://www.starwars.com/Attention all Jedi, Bounty Hunters and Rebels! Star Wars Day is happening again on May the Fourth, which is observed and celebrated by fans of the Star Wars franchise. Despite Level 3 restrictions, there are still ways you can celebrate Star Wars Day in the comfort of your own home… and bubbles.

Celebrate Star Wars Day at home.

Star Wars has a website dedicated to information, activities and events about Star Wars Day. Why not dress up as your favourite Star Wars character, cook and craft up a storm all in the comfort of your own home. For more ideas on how to celebrate at home, have a look at 5 ways to celebrate Star Wars Day at home.

Borrow Star Wars books from our ebook collection.

Borrow ebooks all related to anything and everything from the Star Wars universe! Check out our amazing collection on Overdrive Kids.

image courtesy of syndetics

image courtesy of syndeticsimage courtesy of syndetics
Listen to your favorite Star Wars stories read by your favourite actors.

Watch Rey (Daisy Ridley)  read “Star Wars: BB-8 On The Run,” and “Star Wars: Chewie & The Porgs,” read by Joonas Suotamo. You can also borrow “Star Wars: BB-8 On The Run,” from Overdrive Kids.



Enjoy!… and may the fourth be with you!

Family Lockdown Challenge: Support New Zealand Music Month 2020.

New Zealand Music Month is back again and is in its 20th year marks 20 years of celebrating and supporting the New Zealand Music industry. The theme for 2020’s NZ Music Month is: Support local. Stream local. Follow local. Buy local.

This year New Zealand Music month will be celebrated differently. Under Level 3 restrictions, there will be no live events in our favorite music venues, including the library. But have no fear, you can still celebrate NZ Music month and support the NZ music industry in the comfort of your own home… and bubbles.


image courtesy of https://www.nzmusicmonth.co.nz/

What is New Zealand Music Month?

May is New Zealand Music Month, which celebrates music from New Zealand, and the people who make it.

How can I celebrate this year under Level 3 nationwide lockdown? 

The NZ Music Month schedule is packed with virtual events, awards, radio specials, online seminars and promotions. Check out the events page for more information.

You can also support your librarians, many of whom also moonlight as musicians and performers. Go onto the Wellington City Libraries and Johnsonville Library Facebook pages for regular live-streaming of preschool storytime, Baby Rock and Rhyme and of course Quarantunes for nightly live performances.

You can download and print your own NZ Music month poster, which you can put on your bedroom wall or window.

Where can I find information about New Zealand Music, artists and bands?

ManyAnswers has a page dedicated to websites, resources and ways to search for information about New Zealand musicians and bands. The National Library also has a page dedicated to New Zealand Music, where you can explore the culture, history and uses of music in New Zealand along with famous singers (traditional and contemporary), music awards, bands and the styles of music unique to New Zealand.

For more information, on events and ideas on how to celebrate, visit the following websites:

NZ Music Month official website.

New Zealand Curriculum Online – New Zealand Music Month.

NZ History – New Zealand Music Month.

Enjoy!… and Happy New Zealand Music Month 2020!

Family Lockdown Challenge: Stand Apart Together this ANZAC Day

We will be celebrating ANZAC Day differently this year. ANZAC Services are cancelled for the first time in 104 years. However there are many ways for you you can honor our fallen and returned soldiers from the safety of your doorstep. You can:

Virtual Dawn Service:image courtesy of standatdawn.com

Take part in Stand at Dawn. Stand at your letterbox, at the front door, your lounge rooms, etc, on Saturday 25th April at 6am to remember our fallen. The official dawn service starts at 6am on Saturday 25 April. It will be broadcasted on Radio NZ National. The morning service includes the Last Post, National Anthems, and an address by Hon. Ron Mark, Minister of Defence / Minister for Veterans. For more information about the virtual dawn service and other online events, please visit the Wellington City Council website.

Activities for kids:

You can make poppies at home. image courtesy of standatdawn.comYou can place them on your window, decorate your letter box and even create you own poppy garden. For more ideas, visit the Stand at Dawn Activities page

Bake ANZAC Biscuits:image courtesy of standatdawn.com

People are making the most of their time with cooking and baking since lockdown. Why not bake some yummy ANZAC biscuits with your whanau and serve them out of the oven with a nice cup of tea after the dawn service. Click here to view the recipe.

ANZAC Fact: The biscuits were sent by wives and women’s groups to soldiers abroad because the ingredients did not spoil and the biscuits kept well during naval transportation.

Watch the Ballet from your living room:

Watch the ballet, with your ANZAC biscuit and cup of tea, from confort of your own bubble… and living room. image courtesy of https://www.facebook.com/nzballet/The Royal New Zealand Ballet will be livestreaming on Facebook a special broadcast of ‘Dear Horizon’ and ‘Passchendaele’, two works that were commissioned for our Salute programme back in 2015 and performed live with the New Zealand Army Band, to commemorate the centenary of the Gallipoli landings. You can view the RNZB Facebook live event Anzac Salute here. For more information, visit the Royal New Zealand Ballet Facebook page and website.

Read up on the ANZACs and Anzac Day?

ManyAnswers has a page dedicated to websites, resources and ways to search for information about the ANZACs and ANZAC Day. You can also refer to last year’s blog post and this previous post, which  provides a list of websites that will provide you with reliable information about ANZAC Day and World War 1.
Remember stay safe in your bubble, stay at home and be kind. Kia kaha!