Celebrate a Festival of lights with Hanukkah 2021!

image courtesy of wikimedia.org

image courtesy of wikimedia.org

חנוכה שמח! Happy Hanukkah! חג אורים שמח! Happy Festival of Lights!

Hanukkah 2021, also known as Festival of the Lights, will fall this year on the 28th November until 6th December.

What is Hannukah?

Hanukkah, or Chanukkah, is a Jewish festival that is observed for eight days and eight nights. It officially starts on the 25th day of the month of Kislev in the Hebrew calendar, which can occur anywhere from late November to mid-December.

Did you know? Hannukah can be broken down into חנו כ”ה, “[they] rested [on the] twenty-fifth”, referring to the fact that the Jews ceased fighting on the 25th day of Kislev, the day on which the holiday begins.

To learn more about Hannukah, check out this clip from Clarendon Learning on YouTube down below:


How do people celebrate Hannukah?

To commemorate this, Jewish people who celebrate Hanukkah light candles in special nine-branch candelabrum known as a Hanukkah menorah (מנורת חנוכה).  One candle is lit on the first night of Hanukkah, two on the second, and then this continues until all the candles are lit. The candles themselves are not used for any other purpose, even to light the other candles in the Menorah, so the ninth candle is used to light all the others. During Hanukkah, Jewish people make music together, share food (especially yummy fried foods like latkes and sufganiyot jam-filled doughnuts), exchange gelt, or gift money, and spend time with family and loved ones. A game is also traditionally played during Hanukkah that involves a driedel, which is a spinning top.

image courtesy of wikimedia.org

image courtesy of wikimedia.org


For more craft and gift ideas, have a read of:

image courtesy of syndeticsFestive fun.

“Presents craft projects relating to special days and festive occasions: Chinese New Year, Valentine’s Day, Passover, Easter, April Fool’s Day, May Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa. Includes step-by-step instructions. Suggested level: junior, primary.” (Catalogue)

Where can I find information about Hannukah?

Non fiction about Hannukah, Judaism and other religious festivals:

image courtesy of syndeticsCelebrate! : a book of Jewish holiday.

“This wonderful charmingly illustrated book celebrates Jewish holidays all year long. From Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, to Sukkot, the celebration of the harvest, to Hanukkah, the festival of lights, this is the perfect book for families to enjoy together.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsA Jewish life.

“A Jewish Life explores some of the cornerstones of what it means to be Jewish today, through Passover and Hanukkah celebrations, christening and wedding ceremonies, what happens in a synagogue and why many Jewish people go on pilgrimages to Israel.” (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 syndeticsA faith like mine : a celebration of the world’s religions– seen through the eyes of children.

“Using revealing photography and detailed personal accounts to give unique insight into the diversity of religious faith as experienced by children across the world, this is an ideal book for families to read together.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsReligious celebrations.

“This interesting book is part of a series written for young students that focuses on a wide variety of celebrations and festivals held for special occasions throughout the world. It focuses on religious celebrations. Written in simple language, this colourful book takes a global approach highlighting similarities and differences between how events are celebrated within different cultures.” (Catalogue)

Picture Books and fiction about Hannukah.

image courtesy of syndeticsNonna’s Hanukkah surprise.

“When Rachel loses the special menorah her mother gave her so she could share Hanukkah with her cousins, Rachel’s grandmother comes to the rescue with a creative and crafty solution.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsIs it Hanukkah yet?

“From snow on the ground to making applesauce and latkes to lighting the menorah, this story shows the seasonal and traditional ways we know Hanukkah is on its way.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsHana the Hanukkah fairy.

“When Hana the Hanukkah Fairy’s hanukkah is stolen by naughty Jack Frost, Hanukkah celebrations everywhere are at risk. Rachel and Kirsty must help Hani find her magical object!” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsThe latke who couldn’t stop screaming : a Christmas story.

“Latkes are potato pancakes served at Hanukah. Lemony Snicket is an alleged children’s author. For the first time in literary history, these two elements are combined in one book. People who are interested in either or both of these things will find this book so enjoyable it will feel as if Hanukah is being celebrated for several years, rather than eight nights.” (Catalogue)

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.

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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!

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).

The A-Z of Alphabet Books

Book Jacket for: ABC yogaBook Jacket for: The Kiwi kid's ABCBook Jacket for: A is for activist

Alphabet books are books that list each letter of the alphabet (most often in order from A to Z) with corresponding pictures or information. Some books will list only the uppercase letters while others will list both the upper and lowercase.

Alphabet books aren’t just for babies! They can often have longer descriptions and detailed information about the topic referenced by each letter. These books are a fun way to explore puzzles, art, facts, alliteration, rhyme, humour, fantasy… you can use the alphabet-style of book for almost any subject!

They’re also a great way to

  1.  help focus on one letter at a time
  2.  learn that many words start with each sound
  3.  easily learn that pictures match the words
  4. learn a new language
  5. solidify your knowledge of objects
  6.  develop confidence with your reading

Wellington City Libraries have loads of alphabet books to suit every age and ability.

Here’s just a small sample to 

A – access!

B – Browse!

C – Contemplate!

Chicka chicka boom boom / Martin, Bill
“An alphabet rhyme/chant that relates what happens when the whole alphabet tries to climb a coconut tree.” (Catalogue)

Animalia / Base, Graeme
“A picture book where familiar animals appear in unfamiliar situations and each page contains a wealth of hidden objects and ideas.” (Catalogue)

Once upon an alphabet / Jeffers, Oliver
“From an Astronaut who’s afraid of heights, to a Bridge that ends up burned between friends, to a Cup stuck in a cupboard and longing for freedom, this series of interconnected stories and characters explores the alphabet.” (Catalogue)

The alphabet theatre proudly presents The Z was zapped : a play in twenty-six acts / Van Allsburg, Chris
“Depicts how A was in an avalanche, B was badly bitten, C was cut to ribbons, and the other letters of the alphabet suffered similar mishaps.” (Catalogue)

Z is for Moose / Bingham, Kelly L.
“Moose is eager to play his part in the alphabet book his friend Zebra is putting together. He is very disappointed when his letter isn’t in the book. Will they find a home for his name?” (Catalogue)

A little ABC book / Palmer, Jenny
“A Little ABC Book has poems and pictures for ‘little people’, picked by ‘little people’ Over 26 weeks, littlies in the community voted on a little animal for all 26 letters of the alphabet. Each little letter then got its own original poem and illustration by Jenny Palmer from her business, A Little Ink, until a little book was made! Working together was as easy as ABC (and a little inspiring too!). Find a little flying squirrel, otters, giraffes, penguins and even a little unicorn inside! We have created an alphabet you’ll love!” (Catalogue)

Aotearoa to Zespri : the New Zealand ABC book / Winney, Kelly
“Aotearoa to Zespri is a uniquely Kiwi alphabet book. Experience New Zealand in 26 letters. Recall familiar brands and the sights of your favourite flora, reflects the wildlife and Kiwi way of life.” (Catalogue)

Women artists A to Z / LaBarge, Melanie
“From household names like Frida Kahlo and Georgia O’Keeffe, to French-born Australian artist Mirka Mora, to underrepresented creators such as Jaune Quick-to-See Smith and Xenobia Bailey, this empowering alphabet picture book features a variety of genres – painting, drawing, sculpture, and more. Each lushly illustrated spread summarises the artist’s work in one word, such as ‘D is for Dots’ (Yayoi Kusama) and ‘N is for Nature’ (Maya Lin), and gives the essential information to know about the creator. ” (Catalogue, abridged)

 

May the Fourth Be With You!

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.
image courtesy of starwarsnewsnet

This year, you can celebrate by visiting your local library, relive and check out non fiction, (as well as fiction, and movies) all related to anything and everything from the Star Wars universe!

Also search our catalogue for more about  Star Wars.
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image courtesy of syndeticsimage courtesy of syndetics

While you’re at it, check out all the amazing activities on the Star Wars 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? The Ewok Sushi and milk mando macarons look like a hit!
image courtesy of starwars.com

image courtesy of starwars.com


For more ideas on how to celebrate at home, have a look at 5 ways to celebrate Star Wars Day at home.

You can 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:



image courtesy of syndeticsBB-8 on the run.

When BB-8 is separated from his master, Poe Dameron, on the lonely planet of Jakku, he has no choice but to keep rolling. It’s all up to him to get a top-secret map to the Resistance so they can find Luke Skywalker and save the galaxy from the evil First Order. Ti’s scary to have a big job when you’re just a little droid on your own. But BB-8 isn’t alone for long. As he speeds across the sand, BB-8 meets all kinds of strangers who need his help. Should he do good things, as Poe always told him, or will that get in the way of his mission? (Catalogue).

 


 

Check out the official trailer for Star Wars: The Bad Batch, which arrives on the Disney channel on May 4th. Also check out the trailer for popular Star Wars series, The Mandalorian, which  follows the travails of a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy far from the authority of the New Republic.


 

Enjoy!… and may the forth be with you!

Happy Birthday, William Shakespeare!

All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players. Well, that was certainly the case during William Shakespeare’s life. This year marks Shakespeare’s, or the Bard of Avon, (assumed) 457th birthday on the 26th of April and 405th death anniversary on the 23rd April.
Image courtesy of Wikipedia

And pray tell, who was William Shakespeare?

Well, he was an English poet, playwright and actor who is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world’s pre-eminent dramatist. People all over the world have come to recognise the image of William Shakespeare and would heard of his plays, but what do we know about the man himself, or even what went on behind the scenes during the performance of his plays, or even who his plays were being performed for?

How dost thou celebrate?image courtesy of gifer

In addition to the traditional birthday party, cake and presents, why not read all about his life, from his early and humble beginnings in Stratford upon Avon, England to conquering the stage in Queen Elizabeth’s court and the Globe Theatre.

image courtesy of syndeticsWilliam Shakespeare : a man for all times.

Who was William Shakespeare? How much do we really know about him, and why is he so famous? This book takes the reader step-by-step through Shakespeare’s life, looking at the evidence.
image courtesy of syndeticsShakespeare.

A spectacular and engaging non-fiction Eyewitness guide to one of history’s most iconic writers, William Shakespeare. Did you know special effects were used in Shakespeare’s plays? That devils and ghosts came up through trapdoors in the stage? Find out how in Eyewitness Shakespeare and discover the fascinating life and times of one of the world’s greatest playwrights. Travel back in time and follow Shakespeare from his birth in the small town of Stratford-upon-Avon to theatre life in 16th century London. Eyewitness reference books are now more interactive and colourful, with new infographics, statistics, facts and timelines, plus a giant pull-out wall chart, you’ll be an expert on Shakespeare in no time. Great for projects or just for fun, learn everything you need to know about Shakespeare.

image courtesy of syndeticsMuch ado about Shakespeare : the life and times of William Shakespeare : a literary picture book.

Take a peek behind the curtain to discover the boy, the youth, the man behind some of the greatest works of literature. The life and times of William Shakespeare are richly imagined in this unique biography told using quotes from the Bard himself.


Also search our catalogue for more biographies about Shakespeare and his remarkable life.


Read Shakespeare’s plays!

Read and relive your favourite Shakespeare plays. Wellington City Libraries holds a huge array of plays which is part of the Orchard book of Shakespeare Stories series written by Andrew Matthews. Plays include A Midsummer Night’s DreamRomeo and Juliet, Much Ado About Nothing and King Lear.
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Also search our catalogue for more plays from the Orchard book of Shakespeare Stories series. Also, check out:

image courtesy of syndeticsShakespeare retold.

A beautifully illustrated collection of prose retellings of seven Shakespeare plays will bring the Bard to life for young readers. Not only is this a beautiful keepsake edition, full of gorgeous illustrations by Antonio Javier Caparo, but the prose retellings by beloved classic children’s book author E. Nesbit are an excellent tool to introduce children to the complex language of Shakespeare.

A foreword by John Lithgow touches on his own childhood as a Shakespearean actor and the importance of Shakespeare. The book contains extensive support materials, including a biography, a timeline of Shakespeare’s life, and further recommended readings.

image courtesy of syndeticsMr William Shakespeare’s plays.

Seven classic Shakespeare plays presented in an accessible comic strip format. Take your place in the Globe Theatre of Shakespeare’s day to see seven of his best-loved plays in performance. Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth, Julius Caesar, The Winter’s Tale and The Tempest are all brought vividly to life in Marcia Williams’ gloriously accessible comic-strip versions, which include the bard’s own dialogue and the rowdy remarks of the audience.

image courtesy of syndeticsShakespeare stories II.

By skillfully weaving his own prose with Shakespeare’s language, Leon Garfield has refashioned nine of the Elizabethan playwright’s dramas into stories, capturing all the richness of the characters, plot, mood, and setting. This format will delight both those who know the great dramatist’s works and those who are new to them. Plays included are: Much Ado About Nothing, Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra, Measure for Measure, As You Like It, Cymbeline, King Richard the Third, The Comedy of Errors, and The Winter’s Tale.

image courtesy of syndeticsA stage full of Shakespeare stories.

Step on to a stage full of stories with this beautiful anthology of 12 stories from Shakespeare, rewritten to be accessible to children ages 7+. A section at the back gives details about Shakespeare’s life and further information about the plays. Each story is rewritten in a comprehensive way that is accessible for children and stunningly illustrated by collage artist Alice Lindstrom.

Recite some poetry!

image courtesy of syndeticsShakespeare edited by Marguerite Tassi.

A collection of thirty-one of playwright and poet William Shakespeare’s most famous verses, sonnets and speeches.

He was the world’s greatest playwright, and the English language’s finest writer, Shakespeare is the man the Oxford English dictionary credits as having invented over 1700 common words, and to whom we owe expressions such as ‘fair play’, ‘break the ice’, and ‘laughing stock’. The continued timelessness and genius of his work will be celebrated the world over on his special day.

Have some fun with William Shakespeare!

image courtesy of syndeticsPop-up Shakespeare.

“Discover beloved playwright William Shakespeare’s plays and poetry in this spectacular novelty book from the Reduced Shakespeare Company comedy troupe. Featuring dramatic pop-ups and foldouts and loaded with jokes and fascinating facts, this hilariously informative and fully immersive look into the Bard’s world invites you to experience Shakespeare’s works as you’ve never seen them before!” — Back cover.

image courtesy of syndeticsWhere’s Will? : find Shakespeare hidden in his plays.

Each play in this book begins with a summary of the plot and descriptions of the characters. On the following page is a detailed picture showing the setting of the play and within it you can find the characters, William Shakespeare , and a spotted pig.

Watch movies inspired by Shakespeare’s plays:

image courtesy of amazon.co.ukThe Lion King… and The Lion King inspired by Hamlet.

You can never go wrong with an oldie but a goodie.

Tricked into thinking he caused his father’s death, Simba, a guilt ridden lion cub flees into exile and abandons his identity as the future King. However when the fate of his kingdom is threatened, he is forced to return and take his place as King.

image courtesy of sydneticsGnomeo & Juliet… inspired by Romeo and Juliet.

Caught up in a feud between neighbors, Gnomeo and Juliet must overcome as many obstacles as their namesakes. But with flamboyant pink flamingoes and epic lawnmower races, can this young couple find lasting happiness?

Also check out the sequel, Sherlock Gnomes.image courtesy of syndetics

Garden gnomes, Gnomeo and Juliet, recruit renowned detective Sherlock Gnomes to investigate the mysterious disappearance of other garden ornaments.

Where to find more information?

Saint Patrick’s Day 2021: Painting the Town Green!

A day of leprechauns, four-leaf clovers and painting the town green! St Patrick’s Day is coming to the Capital and Wellington City Libraries on 17th of March! Why not call into your local library and take out some amazing books about Saint Patrick’s Day and Ireland. 


image courtesy of wikimedia
What is Saint Patrick’s Day?

Saint Patrick’s Day or the Feast of Saint Patrick is a cultural, religious and public holiday celebrated on 17 March, the anniversary of his death.It celebrates the life of  Saint Patrick, the most commonly recognized of the patron saints of Ireland, and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland. On the day, people go to church services, wear green attire, attend public parades, eat Irish food and party the Irish way with music, singing and dancing, leprechauns and four-leaf clovers (or shamrocks).

image courtesy of wikimedia.org


Interesting facts:

  • Patrick was an Englishman who was captured as a boy by pirates and sold into slavery in Ireland. He managed eventually to escape and made his way to France where he studied to become a priest. When he was made a bishop he was sent back to Ireland to spread the Christian faith among the tribes there.
  • The shamrock is now the emblem of Ireland and is used to explain the Christian belief of the Trinity or the idea that God is three in one – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
  • Over half a million New Zealanders have Irish ancestors, whose stories have been passed down the generations. Read more about this history of the Irish in New Zealand on  Te Ara.

Where can I find information about Saint Patrick’s day?

  • ManyAnswers has a page dedicated to websites, resources and ways to search for information about festivals and celebrations in New Zealand, which includes Saint Patrick’s Day.
  • You can also find pages dedicated to Saint Patrick’s Day at Britannica and National Geographic for Kids.
  • Visit your local library and check out the find the following books:


Books about St. Patrick’s Day (and the Saint himself):

image courtesy of syndeticsThe St. Patrick’s Day shillelagh.

“On his way from Ireland to America to escape the potato famine, young Fergus carves a shillelagh from his favorite blackthorn tree, and each St. Patrick’s Day for generations, his story is retold by one of his descendants.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsThe life of St Patrick.

“This series explores the lives of saints, and includes the four patron saints of the UK. Each book tells the life story of the saint in a chronological manner, introducing evidence that survives from that era. The primary source materials are used to explain how we know about the saint’s life and how we can learn from events in the past. The books can be used in the Literacy Hour as examples of biographical recount, and they support the learning strand study the lives of famous people.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsSaint Patrick and the peddler.

“When a poor Irish peddler follows the instructions given to him by Saint Patrick in a dream, his life is greatly changed. Includes background on Saint Patrick and on the origin of the story.” (Catalogue)

Books about Ireland:

image courtesy of syndeticsIreland.

“Known as the “Emerald Isle,” Ireland is an island famous for its green, grassy fields. With tips and insights from an Irish native named Seamus, readers will take a trip across the Irish countryside and explore its biggest cities. Along the way, they will see how Irish people live, learn about Ireland’s fascinating history, learn to speak Gaelic, and much more.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsIreland.

“This series offers comprehensive coverage of countries around the world. Each book offers complete coverage of one country, including sections on history, geography, wildlife, infrastructure, culture, and peoples.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsIreland.

“What’s it like to live in Ireland? This book is part of a series which takes you on a tour so you can find out about the landscape, the weather, the people and the places.” (Catalogue)

Irish Folk Tales and Stories:

image courtesy of syndeticsThe names upon the harp.

“A collection of classic Irish legends, retold for children of eight and over. It includes tales of fiercely fought battles, passionate romances, spells and curses, heroes and villains, and loyalty and betrayal.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsThe cloak of feathers.

“Once every hundred years, the small, forgotten, rural Irish town of Lisahee welcomes The Fairy Festival – a week of celebration where the mysterious and magical ‘sidhe’ emerge from the hill above the town and take residence alongside their human counterparts for seven days of ancient traditions and games. Filled with dancing, music, goblin markets and fae-folk, the festival has only one rule: never, ever, say ‘the f word’ – that’s ‘fairies’ – a rule twelve-year-old Brian unfortunately breaks. When mayhem ensues, it’s up to Brian and his friends to avoid the wrath of the King and Queen and help keep the town in one piece. A magical adventure filled with myth, mischief and misunderstandings, perfect for fans of modern fairy tales with a comic twist.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsMagical tales of Ireland.

“Fairy tales get a modern twist in this dazzling collection of newly written and illustrated Irish stories for the 6-9 year olds. This is a sparkling collection of newly commissioned stories and illustrations from Ireland’s best-known writers and illustrators. From Roddy Doyle’s poignant story of a young girl dealing with the loss of a parent, powerfully illustrated by PJ Lynch to Paul Muldoon’s witty narrative poem about a girl with a knack for seeing things backwards, accompanied by Niamh Sharkey’s zany illustrations and Malachy Doyles’s hero, famous Seamus who scores a very unusual ghostly goal 21st century tales combine contemporary realism and magic, making this a collection unlike any other. These tales are as diverse as the authors themselves.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsBetween worlds : folktales of Britain & Ireland.

“Rich and strange, these eerie and magical folktales from across Britain and Ireland have been passed down from generation to generation, and are gathered together in a definitive new collection from storyteller Kevin Crossley-Holland. Dark and funny, lyrical and earthy, these fifty stories are part of an important and enduring historical tradition that dates back hundreds of years.” (Catalogue)

Valentine’s Day (for kids) at the Library!

Love is in the air at Wellington City Libraries! Roses are red, violets are blue; come on down to Wellington City Libraries; where we have amazing books for you!

Valentines Day has arrived at the library and has many books on ways and ideas to celebrate love, affection and Saint Valentine.


What is Valentine’s day:

St Valentine is known as the patron saint of lovers. Valentine’s Day is celebrated each year on 14 February by people giving presents of cards, flowers  and gifts. It is a great opportunity to remind loved ones, friends and family how much they mean to you.  Many people choose to do this by giving cards, flowers or gifts.

Did you know: Valentine’s Day got its name from a Roman priest called Valentine who helped couples secretly get married. Read more about it on National Geographic’s page about Valentine’s Day.


Where can I find information about Valentine’s day?image courtesy of syndetics

  • ManyAnswers has a page dedicated to websites, resources and ways to search for information about festivals and celebrations in New Zealand, which includes Valentine’s day.
  • Britannica has a page dedicated to Valentine’s day.
  • Crayola has a free colouring page that is Valentine’s day themed.
  • Read Valentine be mine, which presents  the history of Valentine’s Day as well as its past and present traditions.


    If you’re stuck on ideas on giving presents of cards, flowers (often red roses) and sweets or chocolates, why not come on down to your local library and check out the following books:

image courtesy of syndeticsSew with me : 60 fun & easy projects to make your own fabulous décor and accessories.

Make every day a crafting bonanza with this inspiring and helpful guidebook packed with 60 projects. These accessories, toys and decorations are as easy to create as they are fun to wear and display Grab an adult to help you get started, then you’re off sewing adorable crafts you can personalize with your favorite colors and fabrics.

image courtesy of syndetics10 minute decorative cards.

Using readily available materials, this series is packed full of fun things to make and do. The projects are explained in easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions, and are perfect for teachers looking for original ideas as well as time-poor parents. In 10 Minute Crafts: Decorative Cards, children can learn how to make a whole range of beautiful handmade cards for celebrations from Christmas and Valentine’s Day to Hanukah, Holi and birthdays. Simple, easy step-by-steps and clear instructions make this the ideal arts and crafts book on making cards for children of 5+.


Also search our catalogue for more gift ideas for Valentines day.


If you’re interested in Valentine’s day themed fiction and comics, these books might interest you:

image courtesy of syndeticsDiary of a wimpy kid: The Third wheel.

A dance at Greg’s middle school has everyone scrambling to find a partner, and Greg is determined not to be left by the wayside. So he concocts a desperate plan to find someone–anyone –to go with on the big night.But Greg’s schemes go hilariously awry, and his only option is to attend the dance with his best friend, Rowley Jefferson, and a female classmate as a “group of friends.” But the night is long, and anything can happen along the way. Who will arrive at the dance triumphantly, and who will end up being the third wheel?

image courtesy of syndeticsNancy Clancy, secret admirer.

Nancy Clancy and her best friend, Bree, have love on the brain-after all, they’re learning about the human heart in science class! But when the girls decide to play matchmaker, nothing works out as planned. So the big question is: Will love conquer all?

image courtesy of syndeticsForget me Nat.

“For the first time in her life, Natalie feels confident. Her talents are being recognized, she has supportive friends, and she’s spending a ton of time with her crush, Derek! But when Derek tells Natalie that he just wants to be friends, Natalie’s self-confidence quickly changes to self-doubt. As she tries to recover from her broken heart, Natalie casts aside her talents and even her friends. With no one to turn to, Natalie will have to pull herself out of this mess on her own” — Amazon.com

image courtesy of syndeticsUncle Scrooge : treasure above the clouds.

In “Treasure Above the Clouds,” Scrooge battles playboy plutocrat John D. Rockerduck for ownership of an awesome Incan treasure Then, it’s Valentine’s Day in Duckburg, and Scrooge faces a firestorm from two dastardly dates–Klondike goldminer Glittering Goldie and brassy business-gal Brigitta MacBridge And in “Money is the Root of Upheaval ,” a duck tale by Jerry Siegel (co-creator of Superman), Scrooge McDuck travels through time to find riches in ancient Egypt, only to wind up stranded in a dystopian future.

image courtesy of syndeticsAphrodite : goddess of love.

A latest entry in the best-selling series focuses on the goddess of love and combines accessible graphic illustrations with thoroughly researched storytelling to recount her dramatic birth from the sea foam, her role in the Trojan War and more. In volume six of Olympians, graphic novel author/artist George O’Connor turns the spotlight on Aphrodite, the goddess of love. Look for the same thoroughly researched and wonderfully accessible comics storytelling as O’Connor tackles the story of the Aphrodite from her dramatic birth (emerging from sea-foam) to her role in the Trojan War. O’Connor has outdone himself with this volume: the story is riveting and the artwork is beyond compare. Greek mythology has never been so vivid!


Search our catalogue for more children’s books about Valentine’s day!

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!

Aotearoa New Zealand History Books List

Aotearoa New Zealand has a long, interesting and challenging history. Many incredible people and communities have walked on this whenua and left their stories and legacies behind. These are some great recent books to learn about our sometimes sad, and sometimes amazing history.

Te Tiriti o Waitangi / Morris, Toby (2019)

Check out this beautifully illustrated story of our foundational national document. It’s bilingual, which means you can read it in English or Te Reo. Find out about the historical context of the Treaty, and its continuing importance in the 21st Century.

 

 

The New Zealand Wars / Werry, Philippa (2018)

As Māori land was encroached upon by the colonial government and settlers, warfare broke out in New Zealand. This book explores the violence that was experienced in New Zealand in the mid-19th century and how those that fought and died are remembered today. This book explains why the wars happened, and is filled with photographs, illustrations and paintings. We also learn about Parihaka, a peaceful community of resistance to land confiscation and encroachment. The book talks about how we remember these events today and memorial places we can go to learn more and think about our history.

 

 

Kate Sheppard : leading the way for women / Gill, Maria (2018)

A wonderfully illustrated book about the life of New Zealand suffragist Kate Sheppard! Learn about how she lead the way for women getting the vote in Aotearoa.

 

 

Syndetics book coverPeace warriors / Raymond Huber (2015)

This book tells the heroic stories of brave New Zealander’s and people around the world who used non-violent resistance to pursue paths of peace. One of the stories is of Archibald Baxter, who refused to fight in World War 1 because he did not believe in killing. He faced brutal punishment and rejection for his courageous choice.

 

 

The beach they called Gallipoli / French, Jackie (2014)

The battle for Gallipoli is at the heart of the ANZAC narrative of New Zealand’s involvement in WW1. This book explores the geography of the cove and looks at not just the ANZACs, but all the nationalities who fought there.

 

 

Bastion Point : 570 days on Takaparawha / Roxborogh, Tania Kelly (2017)

Sometimes fiction can help us understand real-life  events. This book is a fictional diary, from the perspective of a character called Erica Tito, covering the events at Bastion Point between 1977-1978. Bastion Point was Māori land confiscated by the government for public works, but decades later the government wanted to sell it for housing developments. Māori from around the country gathered to occupy the land and protect it. In the 1980s, the land was returned to local Iwi as part of a Treaty settlement.

 

 

Aotearoa : the New Zealand story / Bishop, Gavin

A colourfully delightful overview of of the history of Aotearoa New Zealand; charting a course from the big bang, to the arrival of Māori, all the way to events in the present day. Filled with interesting facts, this is a great classroom read.

Check out these books on the catalouge, your local library or pop a reserve on them to collect from your nearest branch!