Become an Environmental Scientist with the City Nature Challenge!

Finish off the school holidays in environmental style by taking part in the City Nature Challenge this weekend! From Friday 30 April to Monday 3 May, Wellington will be transformed into a giant nature playground — and you will be turned into scientists, should you choose to take up the challenge of embarking on a four-day bioblitz!

WCC gardener photographing a plant using the iNaturalist app at a Wellington City garden.

Nate Rigler, WCC gardener, investigating some local flora! Photo credit: Tim Park.

So what is the City Nature Challenge? It’s a global event that sees people from over 250 cities across the world search for, report, and log any sightings of wild plants, creatures, or organisms, living or dead, on the land, up the mountains, and in the sea — and around our backyards.

It’s super easy to get involved using the iNaturalist app (free on the app store). Join the Wellington City Nature Challenge group, go for a walk in the city (looking out for local flora and fauna as you go!) and when you spot something cool, upload it to the app. There are prizes to be won and a natural environment to be discovered, so pick up a flyer from your local library, or head over to the City Nature Challenge website, to find out more!

If nature is your kind of thing, Wellington City Libraries has a huge range of books and other resources on the topic. Use the following links to find books on our catalogue about various topics relating to the plants, animals, and environment of New Zealand — or use the Dewey Decimal numbers to help you search the shelves the next time you visit the library!

Here are some that you might find particularly useful as you participate in the City Nature Challenge this weekend:

New Zealand nature heroes / Candler, Gillian
“New Zealand Nature Heroes is designed to inspire and empower New Zealand kids to be naturalists and conservationists. Aimed at the 8-12 age range, the book features stories of 15 different nature heroes, people who, in the past, or currently, are working to protect and understand New Zealand’s natural world. These inspirational profiles are complemented with information about key animals, plants or habitats, and then each matched with an authentic activity that kids can do to make a difference.” (Catalogue)

A New Zealand nature journal / Morris, Sandra
“A New Zealand Nature Journal will teach you how to keep a nature journal to record your amazing discoveries. Have you ever noticed that ladybirds have different numbers of spots? Or that leaves can be pointed or round, long or short, soft or hard? There is so much to explore in the natural world. And keeping a nature journal is the best way to record all your amazing discoveries.” (Catalogue)

New Zealand birds in pictures / Chen, Kimball
“From the barely-visible wings of the flightless kiwi to the immense wingspan of the wandering albatross, New Zealand’s fragile island ecosystem is home to a diverse array of spectacular birds. Delve into the fascinating world of our feathered friends with author and wildlife photographer Kimball Chen. From intimate portraits of endangered creatures and their glamorous breeding plumage, to dramatic wide-angle birdscapes encompassing rugged sub-antarctic habitats, to magical fleeting encounters of birds courting and mating and hatching, Chen’s passion for nature shines with artistic and aesthetic photographs sure to pique a greater appreciation of New Zealand birds. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The life-size guide to insects & other land vertebrates of New Zealand / Crowe, Andrew
“Identifying New Zealand’s insects, spiders and other land invertebrates is made simple with this new guide. Over 300 life-size colour photographs make it fun for all the family to learn more about the natural world of New Zealand.” (Catalogue)

The life-size guide to native trees and other common plants of New Zealand’s native forest / Crowe, Andrew
“Identifying native trees and other common plants of New Zealand’s native forest can be fun for all the family with this new pictorial guide. Match leaves, flowers, seeds, berries and bark against beautiful, life-sized photographs for fast, accurate identification. Written by one of New Zealand’s foremost writers on native plants, The Life-Size Guide offers a new opportunity to explore and enjoy the natural world of our native plants.” (Catalogue)

Wildlife of Aotearoa / Bishop, Gavin
“Long before waka touched Aotearoa’s shores, the land of the long white cloud was home to an array of creatures uniquely adapted to its environments and protected by its isolation. Encounter New Zealand’s incredible wildlife in this spectacular visual exploration. Journey through ocean, sky and land to meet a marvellous range of organisms. Discover fascinating facts, and learn how we influence the survival of our living treasures. In this magnificent companion volume to Aotearoa- The New Zealand Story, Gavin Bishop weaves a compelling visual narrative of our land, our people and our wildlife – past, present and future.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Kids’ Club Review by Nardous: Wildlife of Aotearoa

Wildlife of Aotearoa / Bishop, Gavin

I learnt so much about the wildlife of New Zealand that I never knew before I read this book.I loved the illustrations they are accurate and beautiful. My favourite creature in this book is the blobfish because its ugly and eats whatever get in the way (we have alot in common).one of the most interesting fact I learnt from this book is that the first brown trout to hatch in New Zealand was in Christchurch in the 1860s.

5 stars

Reviewed by Nardous from Brooklyn and South Wellington Intermediate , 11 years old

Kids’ Club Review by Anna: Wildlife of Aotearoa

Wildlife of Aotearoa / Bishop, Gavin

As the title says, this book is about all the varieties of wildlife that live in Aotearoa. It covers native and introduced wildlife. This book is interesting, detailed, educational, and brilliantly illustrated. I think most children would enjoy this book and I give it 5 stars.

5 stars

Reviewed by Anna from Karori and Karori Normal School , 11 years old

Kids’ Club Review by Harshit: Wildlife of Aotearoa

Wildlife of Aotearoa / Bishop, Gavin

I rated this book 5 stars because it tells me about the water animals, birds, animals, endangered animals and extinct animals. This is what I learnt .

1. Moa, extinct animal
2. Giant squid, Sea animal
3. Pungawerewere, spider, insect
4. When the Maori people arrived 750 years ago then the pacific rat ( Kiore ) was introduced.
5. The Whai short tail stingray infects wounds with it’s poisonous spine.
6. Moromoro flying fish can swim at a speed of more than 70km/hr.
7.A Kiwi’s is big as 6 hen eggs.
8. The longest living Kea is 22 years.
9. The Takahe can run and swim very fast but it can only fly for short distances.
10. The red gull is nearly extinct.

5 stars

Reviewed by Harshit from Tawa and Hampton Hill School , 9 years old

Top 10 Children’s DVDs March 2017

The library is home to some great rent-able movies. Animation featuring talking animals has taken a bold step with The Secret Life of Pets. There are some bold animals in here that have little respect for humans! Some scary scenes in here for sensitive younger viewers, so watch with a weather eye! And then there are the animals that love humans so much they make sure only the best happens to them.  In the movie Storks, the birds famous for delivering babies make sure that the little human they care for reaches the best possible home.

Is your favourite in the Top 10?

  1. My little pony, friendship is magic.
  2. Zootopia
  3. Pete’s dragon
  4. Finding Dory
  5. The secret life of pets
  6. The BFG
  7. Ice age.
  8. Strawberry Shortcake.
  9. Storks
  10. LEGO Nexo knights

Four great new Non Fiction for children: Getting set for winter and how to keep safe.

image courtesy of syndeticsWinter bees & other poems of the cold.

It’s a little early for winter but feel free to check out this amazing book on poems about how animals brave the longest and coldest season of the north and discover winter’s safe places for these hardy creatures – how they snuggle warmly and survive until spring’s warmth returns. Beautiful pictures, beautiful poems, who could ask for more.

Also discover….

Freshwater Fishes.

Amber McEwan introduces the physical characteristics, habitat and behaviour of different species of New Zealand freshwater fishes. A great resource to use for projects in biology or New Zealand freshwater life.

Keep safe with….

image courtesy of syndeticsimage courtesy of syndeticsKeeping safe: Online and Friends and Family.

The great thing about these books is they give excellent guidance on how to stay safe in a number of social situations and to assess whether they are in any danger and great for ages 9 years and over.

Keeping safe online takes you through all the tools that will help you stay safe online. Full of advice about how to spot fakes – people who aren’t who they say they are, what to do if you think you are being bullied and how to protect your personal details. This book is an essential guide for any child who uses the Internet, whether you access it on a computer, tablet or smartphone.

While Keeping Safe Friends and Family  will help you stay safe because it is full of advice on what to do if you think you are in danger or have a problem you want to resolve, and also how to avoid or minimise danger in the first place.

 

The Whitebait Wriggle

Do you like poetry?

Do you like whitebait?

Combine these two together and you get The Whitebait Wriggle.

Reading this book I found out all about the life cycle of the whitebait. I learnt that what we describe as whitebait is actually the juvenile form of five species of New Zealand freshwater fish and they all lead an amazing and sometimes dangerous life.

What is really fun about this book is that it is written in verse.

 

Down at the beach

in the blue-green sea.

Where the waves swish the sand

and the birds fly free.

Swam five baby fish

and they all looked the same.

Tiny and wriggly,

whitebait was their name.

You can check out lots of great poetry books in the library and then maybe you can have a go at creating some of your own.