View Finders Photo Competition Results

Over the school holidays, we asked young people to tell us a story by taking a photo!

We took submissions in three categories: Nature, Whānau, and Objects/Books, and in two age groups, 5-12 and 13-18.

Thanks to all our competition entrants who wowed us with your creativity, eye for detail, and wonderful visual storytelling.

We are grateful for the insightful judging provided by the team at Splendid Photo. Thanks Splendid for helping us pick these winners!

Check the winners out here! Underneath each photograph is the story behind them.

5-12 – Nature: Mala

Mala - Nature Winner

“I wanted to take a photo of a natural beauty. I want people to feel like they are in the photo, surrounded by towering blades of grass.”


5-12 – Objects/Books: Lucas

Lucas - Objects-Books Winner

“This cat was at the playground. I really wanted a photo of the cats paw because it looked interesting . I spent a long time getting the paw in the photo.”


5-12 – Whānau: Mia

Mia Whānau Winner

“It was sooooo cool! I didn’t know that sunrises in New Zealand could look like this. We were lucky to go to an old fashioned Bach. It was old and had holes in the floor. But the front bedroom had glass for one wall. So me, mum and my sister all slept in there, so that we could see the sunrise from our beds. I got up so early, so that I could go down and take photos. It was so beautiful I couldn’t believe it. Like art in the sky. Only us there on the beach together.”


13-18 – Nature: Brunella 

Brunella image

“For me, beauty is also in nature, and it’s not always exposed on the outside; easy to see, touch, feel, and smell… but it also is sometimes in unexpected places where if you look carefully, you can find light and beauty somewhere dark, small and
mysterious.”


13-18 – Objects/Books: Kaitlyn

Kaitlyn - Objects

“This is my netball hoop. Dad bought a new one because the other was tipping over. I have spent a lot of time this holiday practicing shooting for the netball season ahead.”


13-18 – Whānau: Tilly

Tilly Whānau Category Winner

“The whānau photo took place when my family and I were flying a kite on the beach. People stopped to watch as my family and I laughed willing it to fly higher and higher. The moment captured the familiar essence of whānau.”


Each of our winners won their own reusable film camera, a roll of film, and a voucher to get it developed! We hope they will all enjoy exploring a classic photography medium, that might be what their parents (or grandparents!) grew up with.

Thanks to Ben & Jerry’s Wellington and Light House Cinema who kindly provided some bonus spot prizes for a few other entrants!

Keep an eye-out for the travelling View Finders photography exhibition, including all our young people’s work. Coming soon to a library near you!

Get in the Pink and Make Bullying a Thing of the Past!

Home - Pink Shirt Day

“On Pink Shirt Day, Friday 20 May 2022, Aotearoa will be transformed into a sea of māwhero/pink as we stand together to spread aroha, celebrate diversity and end bullying!” (Pink Shirt Day Rangitahi toolkit resource)

Pink Shirt Day began in Canada in 2007 when two students took a stand against bullying after another year 9 student was harassed on his first day at the school for wearing pink. The bullies called him names for wearing pink and threatened to beat him up.

In Aotearoa, Pink Shirt Day has been run by the Mental Health Foundation since 2012. They work to reduce the impact of bullying behaviour and the harm it causes.

“By taking part in Pink Shirt Day, you become a part of a powerful movement to celebrate diversity and end bullying.”

Bullying at school is a serious issue for New Zealand young people. We have the dubious record of having the third highest rate of school bullying out of 36 OECD countries. 

happy birthday greeting card on green and red textileWhat Can I Do?

  • Wear pink! The brighter the better. Then if someone comments on your “out there” clothing choices, you can talk to them about why you love the colour pink and what it stands for. You don’t have to limit your pink wearing to just one day of the year. Pink is a beautiful colour and stopping bullying and heightening bullying awareness is a 24/7 mission!
  • Hold a Pink Shirt Day quiz with your friends or classmates. This helps create camaraderie as well as have some fun. A Pink Quiz starter is HERE but you could make your own quiz to share.
  • Create a kindness wall or white board in your class or at your school where you and your classmates can leave positive messages of hope. Photograph them and feature in your next school newsletter.
  • Become a RAKtivist. Did you know that New Zealand also celebrates a Random Acts of Kindness day on 1 September? But you can make every day a RAK day!

Some Handy Websites

Pink Shirt Day

Mental Health Foundation

Mental Health for Kids

Bullying Free NZ


Some Wellington City Libraries Kids’ Blog Links

Wellington pride festival blog

Keep Calm and Carry on with Mindfulness blog

Become a RAKtivist blog


Some Great Reading from the WCL Catalogue

How to beat bullying at school : simple steps to put an end to bullying.
“Unfortunately, bullying is one of the biggest problems for schoolchildren, and recent technological developments have only made things worse. But there is no need to suffer in silence! The best thing you – or your child – can do is to talk about it. Although it may seem that things will never get better, there are several effective ways to deal with bullies.” (Catalogue)
Bullying / Spilsbury, Louise
“Helping children to recognise [bullying] and know what to do about it. The … series encourages children to explore their emotions and discuss topics they may find difficult to understand. There are practical tips and activities as well as advice for parents and teachers”–Publisher’s description.” (Catalogue)
Teasing isn’t funny : what to do about emotional bullying / Higgins, Melissa
“Jesse and the other animals at the bus stop make fun of Kelly’s fluffy fur and plain clothes. The constant teasing makes Kelly the cat feel sad. Young readers watch Kelly struggle with the teasing and learn safe ways to make it stop. Sensitive illustrations of gender-neutral animal characters help all children relate to the issue of emotional bullying.” (Catalogue)
You be you! : the kid’s guide to gender, sexuality, and family / Branfman, Jonathan
“You Be You! is an illustrated children’s book for ages 5 and up that makes gender identity, sexual orientation and family diversity easy to explain to children. Throughout the book kids learn that there are many kinds of people in the world and that diversity is something to be celebrated. It covers gender, romantic orientation, discrimination, intersectionality, privilege, and how to stand up for what’s right. With charming illustrations, clear explanations, and short sections that can be dipped in and out of, this book helps children think about how to create a kinder, more tolerant world.” (Catalogue)
Say something / Reynolds, Peter H.
“The world needs your voice. If you have a brilliant idea… say something! If you see an injustice… say something! In this empowering new picture book, beloved author Peter H. Reynolds explores the many ways that a single voice can make a difference. Each of us, each and every day, has the chance to say something: with our actions, our words, and our voice. Perfect for kid activists everywhere, this timely story reminds readers of the undeniable importance and power of their voice. There are so many ways to tell the world who you are… what you are thinking… and what you believe. And how you’ll make it better. The time is now: SAY SOMETHING!” (Catalogue)
Be who you are / Parr, Todd
“Picture book encouraging kids to be proud of what makes them unique, where they come from, and how they express themselves and see the world.” (Catalogue)
Be your own superhero / Meek, Laura
“A fun and practical guide of achievable micro-actions to help young readers feel more in control of their mental health, empowering them to grow their confidence and change the world for the better. Do you want someone else to help you out of a hard situation? Would you prefer another person swooped in and saved the day? I didn’t think so. You want to be a superhero. With this guide, you can. It’s full of activities to help develop your powers. It’ll teach you everything you need to know about growing your abilities, feeling happier and getting more confident. Written by child psychiatrist Dr Laura Meek, this fun and practical guide will empower young readers to become more aware of their own mental health and will help them to improve their confidence.” (Catalogue)
Wonder / Palacio, R. J
“August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school until now. He s about to enter fifth grade at Beecher Prep, and if you ve ever been the new kid, then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he s just like them, despite appearances?R. J. Palacio has crafted an uplifting novel full of wonderfully realistic family interactions, lively school scenes, and writing that shines with spare emotional power. “Wonder” is a book with such a big, wide heart it shows how we are all fragile, imperfect, and perfectly beautiful creatures. A wonderful novel by a wonder of a writer! Julia Alvarez, author of “Return to Sender,” “Before We Were Free,” “Finding Miracles,” and the Tia Lola Stories”.” (Catalogue)

Pink is for boys / Pearlman, Robb
“A celebration of how colours are for everyone depicts characters engaging in their favourite activities.” (Catalogue)
Along came a different / McLaughlin, Tom
“Reds love being red. Yellows love being yellow. And Blues love being blue. The problem is that they just don’t like each other. Maybe being different doesn’t mean you can’t be friends… But one day, along comes a different colour who likes Reds, Yellows and Blues, and suddenly everything starts to change. A very special picture book that supports the adage that there is more that unites us than divides us. Along Came a Different just goes to show how much better we can all be when we come together to find common ground as friends.” (Catalogue)
Friendships and bullying / Head, Honor
“Kids can find the world we live in daunting and a bit scary. There’s just so much going on with climate change, social media and pressures to work out what it is you want to do in life – even at this young age! This book will help young readers explore some common areas of anxiety and conflict on the topic of FRIENDSHIPS and BULLYING in a fun and gentle way.” (Catalogue)

New Children’s Fiction in November 2021

News off the hot press, kids! Wellington City Libraries has some new fiction for your reading pleasure just in time for Summer and spending longer days outdoors. Why not spring on down to your local library and borrow the following books:

The tunnel of dreams / Beckett, Bernard
“In an abandoned house at the end of their street, twin brothers Stefan and Arlo discover a young girl hiding in its dusty shadows. Alice needs their help as her twin sister is locked in a cage suspended high above a mysterious mine in a strange parallel world and she asks an impossible favour. Will they meet her on the next full moon at the entrance to a tunnel they both know doesn’t exist?” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Also available as an eBook on Overdrive and Borrowbox.

Karen’s school picture / Martin, Ann M.
“Karen has to get glasses–two pairs! One pair for reading and one for all the time. Karen does not want glasses. Her school pictures are going to be taken soon! But Karen has to…so she picks out some pretty pink and blue ones. Karen thinks she looks very grown-up. Then Yicky Ricky calls her Four-eyes. If Karen wears her glasses for the school picture, Ricky will make fun of her. But Karen is not a wimp! Glasses or no glasses–that Ricky is going to get it!” (Catalogue)

Swarm Rising / Peake, Tim
“When Danny is kidnapped by Adi – who can run through brick walls and make cars drive on water – he realises that all humans are in danger. Adi is part of a super-advanced hive mind, the Swarm, which intends to protect the Earth from the environmental catastrophe caused by the human race. […] Can Danny and his friend Jamila help Adi stop the Swarm Agents and give humanity a second chance?” (Adapted from Catalogue)

What Zola did on Sunday / Marchetta, Melina
“Zola loves living on Boomerang Street with her mum and her nonna. Every day of the week is an adventure. But Zola has a problem. No matter how much she tries, she can’t keep out of trouble! Like on Sunday, when it’s St Odo’s fete and Zola and the gang join in the fun…” (Catalogue)

The Tindims and the floating moon / Gardner, Sally
“Have you seen a Tindim? The Tindims can hardly see each other! A grumpy Gupper fog is swirling all over Rubbish Island and it won’t leave the Tindims alone. And now their world has turned upside down as Ethel & Dina thinks the moon has fallen into the sea! Scrunch me a teabag, how are they going to get out of this pickle?” (Catalogue)

The firebird song / Flores, Arnée
“Tied by destiny, Prewitt the Bargeboy and Calliope the Lost Princess set out on their twelfth birthdays, determined to end the reign of the evil Spectress and her marauders by calling the Firebird back to Lyrica.” (Catalogue)

Leopardstar’s honor / Hunter, Erin
“Leopardstar knows her destiny is to save RiverClan from destruction, so as the rise of ThunderClan deputy Tigerstar shatters peace among the clans, Leopardstar must decide what kind of leader she will be.” (Catalogue)

Also available as an eBook and eAudiobook.

Prank ninjas / Stanton, Matt
“Every kid wants to laugh, but Max is the boy who can make it happen. These school holidays have turned Redhill into chaos as Max and his friends are locked in an epic prank battle … with each other! Max is the funny kid … and his pranking powers are being put to the test! Movie-theatre ninjas, toilet turbulence, shopping-mall disasters, cling-film mazes and an unimaginable Kid-Free Zone are just some of the things in store for Max and his friends in this brand-new Funny Kid adventure.” (Catalogue)

The raven heir / Burgis, Stephanie
“Triplets. One of them is heir to the throne. But which one? Cordelia, Rosalind and Giles. They have lived in the tower all their lives, protected by their mother’s enchantments. Only Cordelia’s magic lets her steal moments of freedom – over the walls in the shape of a bird or beneath them as a scurrying mouse. The eldest of the three is heir to the Raven Throne of Corvenna – a land no one can rule for long and hope to live. Only their mother knows which is the true heir, and she will do anything to keep them hidden. But one day, thanks to Cordelia, destiny finds them…” (Catalogue)

Also available as an eBook.

Enola Holmes and the black barouche / Springer, Nancy
“When professional typist Letitia Glover is desperate to learn more about the fate of her twin sister Flossie, Enola enlists the help of her brother Sherlock and her friend Tewky to investigate Flossie’s husband, the sudden death of his first wife, and the mysterious appearance of a black barouche.” (Catalogue)

Did you know? The first book from the Enola Holmes series was made into a movie in 2020 on Netflix. Check out the trailer down below.

Comics and Graphic Novels: New Releases in November 2021

Hey Kids! Wellington City Libraries has some new children’s comics and graphic novels this month to keep you amused just in time for Summer. So what are you waiting for? Come on down to your local branch and borrow the following:

image courtesy of syndeticsThe Smurfs tales. 1.

“On the occasion of the all-new animated TV series starting on Nick this September, an all-new series of Smurfs graphic novels! The Smurfs are back in new stories in English for the first time! First, when Papa Smurf’s stork gets wounded in a storm, he must rely on the kindness of a local farmer to nurse the stork back to flying condition. A different kind of storm arrives in the shape of Johnny, the nephew of the farmer. The boy is as aggressive as his uncle is friendly. Making his way to the Smurfs Village, Johnny leaves a path of destruction in his wake, putting the whole village in jeopardy…” (Adapted from Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsMaking friends. [3], Third time’s a charm.

“Dany’s sketchbook is at it again, but this time it’s not Dany’s doing! Dany and Madison are living a new reality. Rather than best friends, the pair now believe they are twins — and that isn’t the only part of their lives that has been completely rewritten. […] Can the pair put things back the way they were, or is this magic beyond their control?” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Also available as an eBook.

image courtesy of syndeticsCat & cat. 4, Scaredy cat.

“After a long day of chasing around Sushi the cat, paying attention to Sushi the cat, and catering to Sushi the cat’s every whim, Sushi’s owner Cat and her dad get exhausted. But you did know that cats are nocturnal, right? And when Cat and her dad are away, sleeping, Sushi the cat will play… ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsGrumpy monkey. 1, Freshly squeezed.

“Jim Panzee is out for his usual Wednesday walk when he accidentally squishes his stress orange into orange juice. He and his friends must cross the jungle before all of the fresh oranges are gone” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsCity of Dragons: The Awakening Storm.

“When Grace moves to Hong Kong with her mom and new stepdad, her biggest concern is making friends at her fancy new boarding school. But when a mysterious old woman gifts her a dragon egg during a field trip, Grace discovers that the wonderful stories of dragons she heard when she was a young girl might actually be real – especially when the egg hatches overnight. The dragon has immense powers that Grace doesn’t understand. And that puts them both in danger from mysterious forces intent on abusing the dragon’s power.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsThe Baby-sitters Club. 10, Kristy and the snobs.

“This graphic novel adapted by rising cartoonist Chan Chau is now available in full colour! Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia, and Stacey are best friends and founding members of The Babysitters Club. Whatever comes up, you can count on them to save the day. Kristy’s family moves to a new neighborhood where the kids make fun of Louie, Kristy’s pet collie, who’s going blind. The Baby-sitters are not going to let them get away with it.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsSunny makes a splash.

“It’s summer, and Sunny is BORED. Most of her friends are out of town. Her mom wants her to baby-sit way more than Sunny wants to baby-sit. There’s nothing good on TV. The only place that’s cool (in a not-boring sense) and cool (in a not-hot sense) is the community pool. Sunny loves going there . . . and loves it even more when she’s offered a job at the snack shack. Soon she’s flinging fries and serving soft ice-cream like a pro . . . with the assistance of the very sweet boy who works with her. Sunny’s mom isn’t sure Sunny should be quite so independent. But Sunny is definitely sure: Life is best when it’s free swim.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsBaby-sitters little sister [4] : Karen’s Kittycat Club.

“Karen wants to start her own club! Karen’s best friend Hannie just got an adorable new kitten. Their neighbor Amanda has a cat, too, and Karen has grumpy old Boo-Boo. Now that they all have cats, Karen comes up with a great idea. She wants to start a Kittycat Club! What will the club do? Karen can’t baby-sit like her big sister Kristy… but she can cat-sit! Will anyone want to hire Karen and her friends?” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsBeak & Ally. [1], Unlikely friends.

“Ally the alligator is perfectly happy being alone… until one day a noisy bird named Beak lands on her snout. Much to Ally’s annoyance, this chatty bird likes to sing all the time and has chosen a nearby tree to build his new nest. Even worse, he insists that he and Ally will be best friends. In fact, he has all kinds of friendship goals in mind, and it seems nothing Ally says will convince him that she’d rather just be alone. Nothing beats peace and quiet… except for maybe a new best friend?” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsBeak & Ally. 2, Bedtime jitters.

“With weird swamp noises swirling around him, Beak the Bird cannot get any sleep until his friend Ally the alligator shows him where the racket is coming from.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsBig Nate Aloha!

“Aloha can mean hello or goodbye–which makes it the perfect word for sixth grader Nate Wright. Why? Because Nate doesn’t know whether he’s coming or going. Will his romance with Daisy sizzle or fizzle? Will his hair survive Teddy’s cut-rate barber skills? And when Nate spots a crime in progress at Klassic Komix, can he find his inner superhero?” (Catalogue)

Also available as an eBook.

image courtesy of syndeticsThe spellbinding episodes of Phoebe and her unicorn.

“A deluxe bind-up featuring all the comics from two different Phoebe and Her Unicorn books: Unicorns vs. Goblins and Razzle Dazzle Unicorn . In these spellbinding adventures, nine-year-old Phoebe Howell and her unicorn best friend, Marigold Heavenly Nostrils, explore the possibilities of friendship, summer camp, the holidays, and even founding their own detective agency. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsAbsolutely Nat.

“Natalie has just arrived at summer camp and soon realizes it isn’t anything like the brochure. Instead of spending the summer with her best friends, Zoe and Flo, Natalie is stuck with her ex-BFF, Lily, and someone even more annoying than the endless mosquitoes: Millie Flatbottom. Even worse, she’s constantly pushed out of her comfort zone and forced to come face-to-face with some of her greatest fears. Although summer camp isn’t at all what Natalie expected, could it be exactly what she needs?” (Catalogue)

Also available as an eBook.

“Sugar, Spice, Everything Nice”: New Children’s Fiction

“Sugar, spice, everything nice, that’s what little girls are made of.” This new collection of children’s fiction, consisting of female characters are filled with magic, unicorns and all things nice which will be enjoyed by young readers of all stripes. Why not spring on down to your local library and borrow the following books:

image courtesy of syndeticsThe amazing Edie Eckhart / Jones, Rosie

“Hello! My name is Edie Eckhart and I’m eleven years old. I’m a little bit different. I have a disability called cerebral palsy, so I talk slowly and fall over a lot. It’s never really bothered me because I’ve never known anything else. Edie Eckhart is Excited with a capital E to start secondary school with her best friend Oscar – the fish to her chips, the bananas to her custard. But when she and Oscar are put into different tutor groups on their first day, Edie is devastated. Who will play secret hangman with her in class? Who will she eat sausage rolls with? But while she’s plotting her reunion with Oscar, she accidentally gets cast as the lead in the school play. As Edie discovers a passion for performance, she also finds new friendships, talents, and dreams. After all, it’s easy to shine on and off the stage when you’re Amazing with a capital A.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsPizazz vs Perfecto / Henn, Sophie

“HELLO! My name is PIZAZZ and I’m a superhero… You probably think that’s really AWESOME, and while it can be, it’s also REEEEEEEAAALLLLY annoying. Even though I’m saving the world ALL THE TIME, there are still LOADS of bad guys about. Like super baddie PERFECTO! She’s younger than me, and just… well, PERFECT! But I have a plan. Maybe I just need to be perfect too – even more perfect than Perfecto. Easy-peasy, right?!” (Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

The forest of stars / Kassner, Heather

“Left all alone after her mother passes away, twelve-year-old Louisa watches the sky for her father. Long ago, a powerful gust of wind stole him away on the wings of his untamed magic – the same magic that stirs within Louisa. As if she is made of hollow bones and too much air, her feet never quite touch the ground. But for all her sky gazing, Louisa finds her fortune on the ground when she spots a ticket to the Carnival Beneath the Stars…” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Maddy Yip’s guide to life / Cheung, Sue

“Maddy Yip is perfectly happy in life, until she realises that everyone she knows has a talent – except for her! Maddy is determined to change that, with the help of her brothers, bewildered grandad and her best friend Dev. There are disastrous attempts at breakdancing and playing the recorder, revolting cakes, and a magic disappearing trick that ends up with a hunt for the school guinea pig. Will Maddy ever find her true calling? A madcap new series filled with belly-laughs and packed with drawings, perfect for fans of Tom Gates and Sam Wu.” (Catalogue).

iage courtesy of syndeticsFirebright and the magic medicine / Meadows, Daisy

“In the mountains of Enchanted Valley, a family of guinea hoglets collects the magical crystals that keep all the creatures healthy. But there’s a problem – Firebright’s magical medicine crystal has been stolen! Can Emily, Aisha and the guinea hoglets find the crystal and cure an outbreak of the sneezles?” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsDaisy and the trouble with unicorns / Gray, Kes

“Here comes trouble! It’s Gabby’s birthday and Daisy is the GUEST OF HONOUR at her party!!! What’s even more exciting is that Gabby has been given TWO TOY UNICORNS for her birthday. They’re so sparkly and soft and fluffy and cuddly!!! Trouble is, these unicorns are also MAGIC – and very chatty. And they’re giving Daisy all sorts of troublesome ideas…” (Catalogue).

Lōemis Winter Solstice Festival 2021

Winter has arrived in Wellington, and the Lōemis Winter Solstice Festival is back again, in it’s fourth year,  during the week of the 14th to the 22nd of June, and there’s heaps of exciting events happening in the capital!
Link to loemis.nz website

What is the Lōemis Winter Solstice Festival?

Lōemis (pron. lew-mis) festival began in 2016 and is held annually in Wellington in the lead up to the winter solstice.

For seven days, the Lōemis Winter Solstice Festival  observes the longest nights of the year with a hearty mix of feasting, theatre, music, monstrous creatures and a fiery waterfront procession, based around the winter solstice, which falls on 22 June.

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


In the meantime, why not get into the “festival” season with:

image courtesy of syndeticsFestival folk : an atlas of carnival customs and costumes.

“A beautifully illustrated compendium of weird and wonderful festival costumes around the world. All around the world there are festivals that reach back through the sands of time to the very roots of civilisation; to agrarian rites and pagan traditions. The festivals in this book are often little known outside their locale and they are all characterised by the most radical and bizarre costumes imaginable. The Kukeri in Bulgaria wear enormous headpieces made of goatskin. Burryman festival in Edinburgh features a man covered from head to toe with burrs and thorns. Paraders in Switzerland’s Silvesterklausen wear vast wooden doll-masks and hats carved with peasant scenes. Each costume is brought to life in Rob Flower’s joyous, surrealist, urban illustrations. Brief, engaging texts describe the festival, its history and the traditions that surround it.” (Catalogue)

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 ground breaking 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 syndeticsFestivals around the world.

“Learn about the diverse and vibrant festivals that are celebrated around the world.” (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)


Learn more about what happens in winter, as well the other seasons, why not head on down to your local library and grab some books about seasons, such as:

image courtesy of syndeticsSeasons.

“Finding out about the four seasons has never been so engaging. This book is full of exciting experiments, fun puzzles, quirky humour and science facts to make you say WOW … it’s science with a BOOM!” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsA stroll through the seasons.

“Follow the wonderful changes that each season brings! From bright spring blossoms to dazzling summer sunshine, vibrant autumn leaves, and sparkling winter snow. Look and Wonder is a fresh, bold, and bright narrative nonfiction series introducing children to the natural world” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsWeather in 30 seconds.

“This book takes readers on a whirlwind tour of our planet’s weather and climate. 30 key topics explore and explain the how and why of our global weather and its effects, from atmospheric influences, the seasons, and climate zones to extreme events, forecasting, and global warming. Each topic is presented in a neat 30-second sound bite, supported by a 3-second flash summary and a full-page colourful artwork. Fun active “missions” support the topics and encourage kids to find out more. With stunning artwork, the attention-grabbing format is engaging and immediate, introducing readers aged from 8 up to this fascinating subject that affects all our lives.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsWeather.

“See the biggest hailstone, inside the eye of a hurricane, a warm front in 3-D, the beauty of a snow crystal, a moon dog, and a dust devil. Learn the difference between a stratus and cumulonimbus cloud, how our weather may change in the future, and why tornadoes are so ferocious. Discover why deserts are dry, how clouds are born, what makes raindrops grow, why the sky is blue, and much, much more.” (Catalogue)

Check out the catalogue for more books about seasons and the weather.


Also, why not join in on “the Lōemis workshop fun”,  in the comfort of your own home… or library by creating your masterpieces, (Mask making, Mexican style treats, culinary goodness, puppetry and house building), with some help from the following books:

image courtesy of syndeticsAmazing masks to make yourself : 25 projects for funny and frightening faces to wear!

“Make masks from balloons, kitchen sponges, funnels, strainers, paper plates and other household items! The inventive projects include a tiger mask made from a basket, crazy card glasses, a wicked witch, a teapot and a glow-in-the-dark skeleton. 250 fantastic photographs show you what to do every step of the way.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsCool world cooking : fun and tasty recipes for kids!

“Give up-and-coming chefs a chance to explore the foods of the world! This international cookbook has over 50 recipes from six different cultures and introduces readers to world geography, math, science, and authentic, easy-to-make recipes that taste great. Learn about African, French, Italian, Mexican, Middle Eastern, and Japanese and Chinese cooking. So grab an apron and prepare for a tasty adventure!” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsOn stage : theater games and activities for kids.

“Covers basic theatre vocabulary, puppetry and pantomime, sound effects, costumes, props, and makeup; includes several play scripts.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsLet’s build a house.

“Let’s Build a House! But what sort of a house should it be? And what do we need to build it? It could be a shack on a beach, or it could be a skyscraper. Try building a bungalow or even a castle! Join in the imaginative play as a group of children plan their houses and discover the materials and techniques needed to build them. The Wonderwise series presents facts in a way that will inspire young children’s imaginations about the world around them.” (Catalogue)


Winter movies to watch on a cold night in…

image courtesy of amazon.comFrozen.

“The cold may bother us, but it never bothers Elsa, Queen of Arendelle. You can never go wrong with Frozen. Relive the magic and musical renditions of “Let it go” in this amazing classic about family, friendship and diversity.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of amazon.comFrozen II.

“Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, Olaf, and Sven leave Arendelle to travel to an ancient, autumn-bound forest of an enchanted land. They set out to find the origin of Elsa’s powers in order to save their kingdom.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of amazon.comRise of the Guardians.

“When an evil spirit known as Pitch lays down the gauntlet to take over the world, the immortal Guardians must join forces for the first time to protect the hopes, beliefs, and imagination of children all over the world.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of amazon.comIce Age.

“Twenty thousand years ago, at the dawn of the Ice Age, three completely mismatched creatures have been brought together by a twist of fate. Sid, a fast-talking and comical sloth, Manfred, a moody woolly mammoth, and Diego, a sinister saber-toothed tiger reluctantly team up to help return a human baby to his father. Before their incredible journey ends, this unlikely trio will confront boiling lava pits, escape treacherous ice tunnels and meet a prehistoric squirrel-rat named Scrat who is frantically trying to bury his beloved acorn. Join the weirdest herd in history for the coolest adventure of all time!” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of amazon.comIce Age. 2, The meltdown.

“The Ice Age is coming to an end, and the animals are delighting in their new world: a melting paradise of water parks, geysers and tar pits. But when Manny, Sid and Diego discover that the miles of melted ice will flood their valley, they must warn everyone and somehow figure out a way to escape the coming deluge. … With their one chance of survival being a boat at the other end of the valley, the trio make a desperate exodus there. Along the way, they meet Ellie, a female mammoth who is convinced that she is an opossum like her brothers. While the strange group continues their trek across the valley, they must learn to get along. Manny struggles to find some connection to Ellie, who may be the only other one of his kind.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

image courtesy of amazon.comIce age. 3, Dawn of the dinosaurs.

“Scrat is still trying to nab the ever-elusive nut and in the process may find his true love; Manny and Ellie await the birth of their mini-mammoth; Diego, the saber-toothed tiger, wonders if he’s growing too ‘soft’ hanging with his pals; and Sid the sloth gets into trouble when he creates his own makeshift family by hijacking some dinosaur eggs. On a mission to rescue the hapless Sid, the gang ventures into a mysterious underground world where they have some very close encounters with dinosaurs, battle flora and fauna, and where they meet a relentless, one-eyed, dino-hunting weasel named Buck.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of amazon.comIce age. 4, Continental drift.

“Scrat’s constant quest for an acorn causes a shift in the ice. Manny, Sid, and Diego end up stranded on an iceberg in the middle of the sea. A group of misfit pirates are determined to stop the trio from ever returning home.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of amazon.comIce age. 5. Collision course.

“Your favourite ICE AGE heroes are back and cooler than ever in this all-new animated adventure that’s mammoth-sized fun for the whole family! Scrat’s epic pursuit of the elusive acorn catapults him into the universe, where he accidentally triggers a series of cosmic events that threaten the Ice Age world. Now the entire herd – including Buck, Manny, Ellie, Sid and Diego – must work together on a hilarious journey, filled with nonstop action and colourful new characters, in order to survive the global Scrat-tastrophe!” (Catalogue)

Keep warm and stay safe this winter.

Children’s DVDs: New Releases in 2021

Hey kids! Easter and winter are around the corner and there will be more days we’ll be spending indoors. To curb the winter blues and boredom, why not head on down to your local library and rent some new DVDs? We’ve been adding new titles to the children’s movie collection to keep you entertained. So what are you waiting for? Go down to your local branch and borrow these DVDs!

Enjoy!

image courtesy of amazon.comBenji the Dove.

“A tender tale of four boys who are rapidly coming to terms with school, bullies, friendship, and loyalty. Not to be limited by a poor upbringing, they tap their immense creativity and imagination to create The Order of the Red Dragon, a brotherhood of knights determined to fight injustice with justice.” (Catalogue)



image courtesy of amazon.comCats and Dogs 3 Paws Unite!

“It’s been 10 years since the creation of the Great Truce, an elaborate joint-species surveillance system designed and monitored by cats and dogs to keep the peace when conflicts arise. But when a tech-savvy villain hacks into wireless networks to use frequencies only heard by cats and dogs, he manipulates them into conflict, and the worldwide battle between cats and dogs is BACK ON. Now, a team of inexperienced and untested agents will have to use their old-school animal instincts to restore order and peace between cats and dogs everywhere.” (Catalogue)



image courtesy of amazon.comLassie Come Home.

“Flo’s best friend, his collie Lassie. When his family is forced to give the dog away, Flo is heartbroken. But Lassie isn’t easily separated from Flo and embarks on an adventurous journey across Germany to be reunited with Flo.” (Catalogue)



image courtesy of amazon.comEl Americano the movie.

“Cuco is a Mexican boy parrot that would rather imitate the crazy stunts of his TV super-parrot hero, El Americano, than help with his chores at the family bird circus. Yet when a gang of bully birds threatens his ringmaster father and takes over the circus, Cuco sets off on a hilarious and perilous journey to Hollywood to enlist his hero in his fight, only to discover the true hero within himself” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of amazon.comLino : an adventure of nine lives.

“Lino is an entertainer and clown for children’s parties who cannot stand his job anymore – especially the cat costume he has to wear. Deciding to seek outside help, he unfortunately finds a very untalented wizard who transforms him into the thing he hates most: his cat costume.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of amazon.comSoul.

“Joe Gardner is a middle-school band teacher who gets the chance of a lifetime to play at the best jazz club in town. A misstep takes him from New York City to The Great Before, a fantastical place where new souls get their personalities before going to Earth. Determined to return to his life, Joe teams up with a precocious soul, 22, who has never understood the appeal of the human life. As Joe tries to show 22 what’s great about life, he may discover the answers to the most important questions.” (Catalogue)

Neighbours Day Aotearoa: The Great Plant Swap

Kia ora e hoa! Howdy neighbour! Sup? What’s happenin’?

How well do we know our neighbours and why is it important? We’ve come to realise more than ever with Covid-19 lockdowns and restrictions around the country, that it’s a good thing to know who we live next to and check in occasionally to see if everything’s OK, or to share groceries and work around your sections. So every year the importance of community and being neighbourly is recognised in Aotearoa, and it’s not just a day set aside, it’s ten!

Neighbours Day Aotearoa 2021 runs from 20-30 March this year. The kaupapa of Neighbours Day Aotearoa is to encourage people to get to know your neighbours better. It is as simple as that!

This year’s theme is The Great Plant Swap to encourage neighbourhoods to grow stronger together. You could get involved in The Great Plant Swap by doing any of the following

🙂 swap seeds with a neighbour

🙂 make a plant gift for your neighbour with something you have grown

🙂 take some flowers to a neighbour

🙂 organise a produce swap

🙂 share garden tips or recipes for food in season

🙂 create community gardens together

🙂 a working bee in the garden for those with mobility issues

🙂 a friendly neighbourhood BBQ and encourage people to bring something homegrown


Feeling the love? Why not try reading these great books about community, gardening and being neighbourly:

Maybe something beautiful : how art transformed a neighborhood / Campoy, F. Isabel
“What good can a splash of color do in a community of gray? As Mira and her neighbors discover, more than you might ever imagine Based on the true story of the Urban Art Trail in San Diego, California, Maybe Something Beautiful reveals how art can inspire transformation–and how even the smallest artists can accomplish something big. Pick up a paintbrush and join the celebration.” (Catalogue)

Community / Brambles, Woody
“Communities can be big or small. From our family members to our friends; from the classroom to the entire school; from the street where we live to the city we live in. Some communities we choose to be a part of, while others are thrust upon us. They can play an important and influential role in our lives.” (Catalogue)

My community / Jones, Grace
“There are communities all over the world. A person might be part of many communities–at school, in their neighborhood, or even one big world community! Young readers will learn how communities help us learn to respect others, celebrate diversity, and work together.” (Catalogue)

The marae visit / Beyer, Rebecca
“A simple and lovely poetic story in English and Te Reo that shows the warmth and friendliness the children find when visiting their local marae. They have lots to learn and lots to do, and have lots of fun too.” (Catalogue)

Nana’s veggie garden = Te māra kai a Kui / Munro, Marie
“This summer, Bella/Ngāpera, Jacob/Hākopa and Lucas help Nana/Kui grow, harvest and eat an amazing garden, and fill every day with heaps of fun, te reo Māori learning and bunches of awesome memories.” (Catalogue)

My neighbour is a fairy / Stokes, Jody
“When Tom moves next door, Meg is excited to have a new neighbour. But she soon realises that Tom is different to the other kids she knows. He doesn’t talk in recognisable words and she sees him doing the same things over and over again. Meg decides that Tom must be a fairy and that the world he sees is the fairy world. Megs mum explains that Tom isn’t a fairy, but has autism. So although Tom likes to do the same things as other children his age, he sees the world in a special way.  My Neighbour is a Fairy is a gentle and fun story which shows children that seeing the world in a different way can provide a rich experience for everyone. It also encourages children to not exclude others who see the world in different ways in their play.” (Catalogue)

Koro’s medicine / Drewery, Melanie
“From blisters to blocked noses, Koro seems to have an unappetising remedy for everything. But could his enthusiasm for rongoa Maori medicine – turn out to be contagious? A children’s story and Maori herbal all in one.” (Catalogue)

Angels next door / McCombie, Karen
“Riley’s best friend has gone away forever and Lauren ‘Queen of Everything’ Mayhew is making school a nightmare. It looks like Riley’s on her own, until the three Angelos Sisters move in next door. Her new neighbours are . . . different. Colourful and sparkly, they stand out. It’s not just their names or how they dress – there’s something magical about them. And since they arrived there have been loads of strange coincidences. Who are these new girls and what’s with all the glitter?” (Catalogue)

The ultimate step-by-step kids’ first gardening book / Hendy, Jenny
“This introduction to gardening covers all the basics, and eight hands-on project chapters then follow, covering everyday techniques, edible treats, flower power, craft projects, wildlife gardening and indoor gardening. Getting your hands dirty in the garden is great fun, and this book contains more than 150 projects suitable for every child from five to 12. ” (Catalogue)

Community soup / Fullerton, Alma
“In a garden outside a Kenyan schoolhouse children are working together to harvest the vegetables they have grown and make them into a soup for everyone to share. But Kioni is having trouble: her herd of mischievous goats followed her to school today and they are trying to eat all the vegetables. The ensuing chaos caused by the goats is cleverly resolved by the children, making their vegetable soup very tasty while saving Kioni’s four-legged intruders at the same time. Using rollicking verse with echoes of “Mary had a Little Lamb,” Alma Fullerton tells a lively story about communal projects and finding creative solutions that help everyone contribute. This lively story for young readers is graced with Alma’s stunning primitive paper sculpture art – the first book she has chosen to illustrate herself.” (Catalogue)

The Baby-Sitters Club: Chapter Books vs. Comics

The Babysitters Club, written by Ann M. Martin, is a series of novels about a group of friends aged 12, Kristy Thomas (founder and president), Mary Anne Spier (secretary), Claudia Kishi (vice-president), and Stacey McGill (treasurer), who run a local babysitting service called “The Baby-Sitters Club”.  The novels were originally published by Scholastic between 1986 and 2000.
image courtesy of syndeticsimage courtesy of syndeticsimage courtesy of sydneticsimage courtesy of syndetics

Some of the novels have been released as a graphic novel version written by Raina Telgemeier (who also wrote Smile, Sisters and Guts) and Gale Galligan.

image courtesy of syndeticsimage courtesy of syndeticsimage courtesy of syndetics


By Raina Telgemeier:

image courtesy of syndeticsThe Baby-sitters Club [1] : Kristy’s great idea.

“Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia, and Stacey are best friends and founding member of The Baby-sitters Club. Whatever comes up – cranky toddlers, huge dogs, scary neighbors, prank calls – you can count on them to save the day. But no matter what, the BSC have what they need most: friendship”–page [4] of cover.

image courtesy of syndeticsThe Baby-sitters Club [2] : the truth about Stacey.

Joining the Baby-sitter’s Club after moving to a new town, Stacey helps her new friends outmanoeuvre a rival sitter group while coming to terms with her diabetes.

image courtesy of syndeticsThe Baby-sitters Club [3] : Mary Anne saves the day : a graphic novel.

When a fight breaks out among the members of the Baby-sitters Club, timid Mary Anne finds herself becoming more assertive as a baby sitter and in her relationships with her father and friends.

image courtesy of syndeticsThe Baby-sitters Club [4] : Claudia and mean Janine.

“Claudia and her sister, Janine, may as well be from two different planets. Claudia, who pays more attention to her artwork and The Baby-sitters Club than her homework, feels like she can’t compete with her perfect sister. Janine studies nonstop, gets straight As, and even takes college-level courses! But when something unexpected happens to the most beloved person in their family, will the sisters be able to put aside their differences?”–Publisher.
By Gale Galligan:
image courtesy of syndetics

The Baby-sitters Club [5] : Dawn and the impossible three : a graphic novel.

This graphic novel adapted by bestselling author Gale Galligan is now available in full colour! Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia, and Stacey are best friends and founding members of The Babysitters Club. Whatever comes up, you can count on them to save the day.

image courtesy of syndeticsThe Baby-sitters Club [6] : Kristy’s big day.

Kristy’s mom is getting married, and Kristy is going to be a bridesmaid! The only problem? Fourteen kids are coming to town for the wedding!
image courtesy of syndeticsThe Baby-sitters Club [7] : Boy-crazy Stacey.

“Stacey and Mary Anne are baby-sitting for the Pike family for two weeks at the New Jersey shore. Things are great in Sea City: there’s a gorgeous house right on the beach, a boardwalk, plenty of sun and sand… and the cutest boy Stacey has ever seen! Mary Anne thinks that Stacey should leave Scott alone and focus on the Pike kids, but Stacey’s in love. Looking for reasons to hang around his lifeguard stand takes up all of her time, which means Mary Anne has to do the job of two baby-sitters. Mary Anne doesn’t like it one bit! How can she tell Stacey that Scott just isn’t interested without ruining their friendship and breaking Stacey’s heart?”–Provided by publisher.

image courtesy of syndeticsThe Baby-sitters Club [8] : Logan likes Mary Anne! : a graphic novel.

It’s the first day of a new school year, and while Mary Anne doesn’t know what to expect from the eighth grade, she’s looking forward to getting back into the swing of things. One thing she definitely doesn’t expect is to meet Logan Bruno, who just moved to Stoneybrook! Logan has a dreamy southern accent, he’s awfully cute… and he might be interested in joining the BSC. But the baby-sitters aren’t sure if Logan would make a good club member, so they send him on a job with Mary Anne as a test. Logan and Mary Anne hit it off, but Mary Anne isn’t sure of where their friendship could go. Life in the Baby-sitters Club has never been this complicated — or this fun!


There was also a spin-off series called Baby-Sitters Little Sister novels, about Karen Brewer, the seven-year-old stepsister of Kristy Thomas. The series ran from 1988 to 2000. The first two novels, Karen’s Witch and Karen’s Rollerskates, has been released as graphic novels written by Katy Farina.

image courtesy of syndeticsKaren’s Witch.

Karen Brewer lives next door to Mrs. Porter, who wears long robes and has wild gray hair. Mrs. Porter has a black cat named Midnight and always seems to be working in her garden. Karen isn’t supposed to spy on her neighbor, but she’s determined to prove that Mrs. Porter is a witch named Morbidda DestinyMrs. Porter is getting ready to have a special meeting at her house, and Karen is sure the meeting is for witches. Are they going to cast a spell on Karen? Or will she be brave enough to send them away — once and for all?

image courtesy of syndeticsKaren’s Rollerskates.

It’s going to be a great weekend! Karen has new roller skates and is a very good skater. She’s looking forward to trying some new tricks. But, oh no! Karen falls down and has to go to the hospital. Her wrist is broken! Karen is determined to get everyone she knows — plus someone famous — to sign her cast. It isn’t going to be easy, but she won’t give up until the job is done.
Did you know? The Babysitters Club was made into a movie in 1995 and was recently made into a TV series on Netflix.

Search our catalogue for more books from The Babysitters Club series. You can also find more books through our Kids’ Reading Room on Overdrive!  

6 New Comics to Read During Winter

Hey Kids!

Wellington City Libraries has a new shipment of junior comics and graphic novels! Get your hands on them just in time for winter!

Enjoy!

image courtesy of syndeticsMaker Comics: Grow a Garden!

You can grow a garden — and it’s easier than you think! With the easy instructions inside this book, you can grow lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, peppers, and more. And you don’t need a backyard to be a great gardener — just a little bit of space and a lot of sunlight. Maker Comics: Grow a Garden! will walk you through each step, from seed to harvest.

image courtesy of syndeticsMarvel action : Spider-Man : bad luck. Book 3.

“Peter, Gwen, and Miles have learned to work together, but a sinister new enemy is about to tear them apart in this middle-grade-friendly graphic novel! After a devastating encounter with the Black Cat and her bad luck powers, the Spidey team is down on their luck and at each other’s throats. Will Peter, Miles, and Gwen learn to overcome their bad luck and work together again, or is this the end of the line for the Marvelous Spider-Trio?”–Provided by publisher.

image courtesy of syndeticsPoems to see by : a comic artist interprets great poetry.

This stunning anthology of favorite poems visually interpreted by comic artist Julian Peters breathes new life into some of the greatest English-language poets of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

image courtesy of syndeticsAstronauts : women on the final frontier.

“The U.S. may have put the first man on the moon, but it was the Soviet space program that made Valentina Tereshkova the first woman in space. It took years to catch up, but soon NASA’s first female astronauts were racing past milestones of their own. The trail-blazing women of Group 9, NASA’s first mixed gender class, had the challenging task of convincing the powers that be that a woman’s place is in space, but they discovered that NASA had plenty to learn about how to make space travel possible for everyone.”–Front flap.

image courtesy of syndeticsSnapdragon.

“Snap’s town had a witch. At least, that’s how the rumor goes. But in reality, Jacks is just a crocks-wearing, internet-savvy old lady who sells roadkill skeletons online–after doing a little ritual to put their spirits to rest. It’s creepy, sure, but Snap thinks it’s kind of cool, too. They make a deal: Jacks will teach Snap how to take care of the baby opossums that Snap rescued, and Snap will help Jacks with her work. But as Snap starts to get to know Jacks, she realizes that Jacks may in fact have real magic–and a connection with Snap’s family’s past.”–Provided by publisher.

image courtesy of syndeticsKaren’s witch : a graphic novel.

Karen Brewer’s imagination gets the best of her when she decides that her neighbour, Mrs. Porter – who has wild gray hair, wears black robes, and has a garden full of mysterious herbs – must be a witch.