Absolutely Positively Wellington Short Story Competition

This summer, young scribes and aspiring writers around the city are invited to enter the The Mayor and Deputy Mayors Absolutely Positively Wellington Short Story Competition!

The theme for this year is ‘The City of Wind.’ Mayor Andy Foster adds that “Wellington is famous for its iconic wind – and whether you love it or hate it – it shapes our lives.”

You can write your story in Te Reo Māori or English and/or a combination.

Deputy Mayor Sarah Free says: “We are looking for fact or fiction stories that explore the love hate relationship people have with this force of nature. Serious or fun, futuristic, or based on a historical chapter in Wellington’s history, now is the moment to unsheathe your pen, sharpen your pencil and fire up your word processor.”

There are some exciting prizes up for grabs, including a $200 book voucher, a lunch with the Mayor and Deputy Mayor and a creative development session with the competition judge, and award-winning writer Lauren Keenan.

Categories:

  • Best Story: 9-12 year old, up to 1500 words
  • Best Story 13-18 year olds, up to 3000 words
  • Best Title of a Story
  • Best Premise of a Story
  • Most Imaginative Story

The competition closes at 11:59pm on 25 February 2022. We look forward to reading all your stories!

Find more details and the online entry form here.

Books to check out!

Unleash your creative monster : a children’s guide to writing / Jones, Andy
“A side-splitting and informative guide to creative writing by author/illustrator comedic duo Andy and Olaf, jam-packed with lashings of monster-inspired fun. Unleash your creative monster and write stories to inspire, amaze and awe your friends. With top tips on getting your story started, learn essential skills for storytellers in this brilliant guide to writing. Give your descriptions claws, add a little bite to your writing and feed your monster inspiration with over 50 writing prompts and exercises”–Publisher’s description.” (Catalogue)

How to be a young #writer / Edge, Christopher
“This is an authoritative book from the word experts at Oxford to get budding writers crafting brilliant stories. It will help you think about how to develop an idea into a gripping and powerful story, with examples and tips from the best known authors to show you how it’s done. For children aged 11 and over, it covers all the key elements of plot, characterization, building a believable world, thinking about tone and style, weaving description into stories, through to endings and editing your work. Practical tips will get any struggling writer to beat the fear of the blank page and inspirational advice will help young authors to achieve their creative writing goals. It includes information on sharing stories and how to get people reading your work.” (Catalogue)

Kid authors : true tales of childhood from famous writers / Stabler, David
“Presents stories featuring authors when they were children, including Roald Dahl, J.K. Rowling, and Zora Neale Hurston.” (Catalogue)

Before they were authors : famous writers as kids / Haidle, Elizabeth
“This exciting debut in graphic novel format tells the childhood stories of literary legends including Maya Angelou, Roald Dahl, and Sandra Cisneros. Perfect for fans of Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls and Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World.” (Catalogue)

Unicorns, Dragons and Dinosaurs at Khandallah Library!

On the last Friday of every month, the lovely librarians at Khandallah Library put on a special storytelling experience for the community. Every month there is a different theme, and different activities for the whole family to enjoy!

This month, on Friday 28 May at 10.30am, the theme for Khandallah Library’s special storytime is Unicorns, Dragons and Dinosaurs… Oh My! Come and enjoy the adventures of these fascinating and magical creatures. There will be funny, sweet, and touching stories to share, as well as the opportunity to try some gentle ‘unicorn yoga’ stretches, and colourful and creative crafts to try. Storytimes are fun and free, last about half an hour, and are aimed at preschool-aged children (three and four years old), but younger and older siblings are always welcome!

Drawn image of a baby dinosaur hatching from its shell, a small orange dragon flying in the sky, and a unicorn happily munching on some grass.

Join us on Friday at Khandallah Library for a magical storytime like no other!

You can find out what’s happening for Khandallah Library’s special storytime each month by checking the event calendar online, asking your local librarian, or giving the library a call on (04) 479 7535.

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.
image courtesy about syndeticsimage courtesy of syndeticsimage courtesy of syndeticsimage courtesy of syndetics
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!

April School Holidays: General Nerdery!

The April school holidays are only two weeks away! This year, Wellington City Libraries is inviting you to join us for General Nerdery all through the holiday period, from the 17th of April to the 2nd of May.

Everyone has something they’re nerdy about, our librarians included. For some, it’s tech-y stuff like robots and VR that get them going; for others, it might be comic books or movies; some of the more adventurous among us don armour, shield and sword for fantasy adventures in games like Dungeons and Dragons. Whatever you get nerdy about, there’s something for you at your local library during the April school holidays! If you’re a bit older, don’t worry — there’s plenty on for teens too. Click here for the lowdown on what’s on for teens! If you want to see the entire event calendar, click here. If you’re a kid — read on!

Child wearing denim dungarees and a makeshift visor with a cardboard jetpack standing next to a cardboard robot, surrounded by images of planets, aliens, and stars. Text: "Join us this school holidays for General Nerdery, 17 April to 2 May"

Join us for nerdy events you can really sink your teeth into!

Board Game Builders

Whether you’ve been dreaming up your own version of Snakes and Ladders, or have a whole new tabletop game world in mind, this event is for you! Join us at Te Awe Library to learn about how your can use our special templates to build your own custom board game that you can then take home and play with your friends and family! All materials will be supplied.

Board Games Builders is suitable for children aged 5+ with their caregivers.

  • Te Awe Library, Friday 23 April, 2.00 – 3.30pm

City Nature Challenge: Wellington Bioblitz!

Throughout the holidays, people from all over the world are participating in the City Nature Challenge! Wellington is teeming with wildlife, from the mountains to the sea. You can get involved in the City Nature Challenge Wellington Bioblitz using the iNaturalist app — just take a picture of a plant or animal you find and upload it to the app! Click here to join in on the fun, and don’t forget to pick up a special City Nature Challenge activity sheet from your local library during the holidays.

Crazy Collages

Have you ever looked at an old book or magazine and thought, “This would really look a lot better if I tore it apart and made it into art?” We have, too! Come along to Te Awe Library and join our librarians in repurposing some old magazines into beautiful works of art that you can be proud of.

Crazy Collages is suitable for children aged 5+ with their caregivers.

  • Te Awe Library, Wednesday 28 April, 2.00 – 3.30pm

El’s Party!

To celebrate the end of the school holidays, you are invited to a special party right here in the library! Do you want to play party games? Do you enjoy dance and song? Then grab your brown-up, bring them to Te Awe Library, and be prepared to have entirely too much fun with El, our very own party librarian!

El’s Party is perfect for children aged 5+ with their caregivers.

  • Te Awe Library, Thursday 29 April, 2.00 – 3.30pm

Embroider Your Own Patch

Join us at Johnsonville Library during the school holidays to learn how to embroider your own patch that you can sew onto your clothes, schoolbag, or jacket! Wear your nerdy finery with pride and chill with like-minded folks in the library while picking up a new skill. Materials will be provided, and registrations are not required.

Embroider Your Own Patch is suitable for children aged 9+ with their caregivers.

  • Johnsonville Library, Tuesday 20 April, 2.00 – 5.00pm
  • Johnsonville Library, Tuesday 27 April, 2.00 – 5.00pm

Experience VR

Virtual reality (VR) offers us a new and exciting way to learn about and experience the world around us. From 3D painting and virtual sculpting to exploring some of the world’s most extreme locations, this is your opportunity to experience VR from the safety and comfort of your local library.

Experience VR! is suitable for children aged 9+ accompanied by their caregivers, and teens of all ages.

  • Karori Library, Tuesday 20 April, 3.30 – 4.30pm
  • Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library, Thursday 29 April, 3.30 – 4.30pm

Family Movie Afternoon

Bring a cushion and a bottle of water and relax at our FREE, fun family movie afternoons — popcorn will be supplied! All movies chosen will have a G rating, and are suitable for families with young children. Contact the host library to find out which movies are screening!

Family Movie Afternoons are suitable for children of all ages with their caregivers.

  • Te Awe Library, Monday 19 April, 2.00 – 3.30pm
  • Karori Library, Wednesday 28 April, 2.00 – 3.30pm
  • Te Awe Library, Friday 30 April, 2.00 – 3.30pm

Fort Night

Fancy yourself a builder, engineer, architect, or artist? Join us at Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library to put your skills to the test by helping us turn the library’s children’s and teens sections into a magnificent, interconnected box fort! Drop in and have a go, or stay for the whole time and watch your masterpiece take shape, from foundation to parapet.

Fort Night is suitable for children aged 5+ with their caregivers, and teens of all ages.

  • Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library, Thursday 22 April, 4.00 – 6.00pm
  • Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library, Thursday 29 April, 4.00 – 6.00pm

LEGO® Time

Come down to the library and get creative in these free-build sessions with our extensive LEGO® collections. Builders of all ages and experience levels are welcome to get stuck in.

LEGO® Time is suitable for children aged 5+ and their caregivers, and everyone is welcome.

  • Te Awe Library, Sunday 18 April, 11.00am – 12.00pm
  • Te Awe Library, Thursday 22 April, 2.00 – 3.30pm
  • Te Awe Library, Tuesday 27 April, 2.00 – 3.30pm
  • Te Awe Library, Sunday 2 May, 11.00am – 12.00pm

Let’s Go LEGO®

Let’s build — let’s explore — let’s create! Come along to your local library to create your LEGO® masterpiece. At Let’s Go LEGO® your brickish nerdery will be put to the test as you work your way through our special themed challenges.

Let’s Go LEGO® is suitable for children aged 5+ with their caregivers.

  • Karori Library, Saturday 17 April, 2.00 – 3.00pm
  • Newtown Library, Monday 19 April, 3.30 – 4.30pm
  • Brooklyn Library, Tuesday 20 April, 2 – 3:30pm
  • Miramar Library, Thursday 22 April, 3.30 – 4.30pm

Plus, come along for a special ‘under the sea’ themed LEGO® building session at Wadestown Library:

  • Wadestown Library, Wednesday 21 April, 3.00 – 5.00pm

Meet the Robots

Ever wondered what goes on inside the mind of a robot? Join us at Te Awe Library to meet some of our resident library robots, find out how they work, and then try your hand at programming them! No prior coding knowledge is required.

Meet the Robots is suitable for children aged 5+ with their caregivers.

  • Te Awe Library, Wednesday 21 April, 2.00 – 3.30pm

Myths and Music

The magic of storytelling takes many forms, and myths and legends in many parts of the world have often been told through music. Join our librarians for a musical journey through Celtic and Maori mythology — and be prepared to make some noise of your own!

Myths and Music is suitable for children of all ages with their caregivers.

  • Johnsonville Library, Friday 23 April, 3.00 – 4.00pm
  • Johnsonville Library, Friday 30 April, 3.00 – 4.00pm

Nature Heroes: Board Game Creation Workshop

Johnsonville Library is excited to work with VIVITA Aotearoa to bring this VIVISTOP Mini pop-up programme to the library. During this 5-day workshop, you will learn about the concepts of design thinking, engage in creative problem solving, learn to use software and hardware and other tools in the library’s Tūhura HIVE Makerspace, and then apply these lessons to the creation of a board game centred around the theme of conservation.

This workshop is FREE. Space is limited to 15 participants. Click here to register. Nature Heroes: Board Game Creation Workshop is suitable for young creators aged 9-15.

  • Johnsonville Library, Tuesday 27 April to Saturday 1 May inclusive, 10.00am – 12.00pm

Paper Plane Cloudracers

Join us at Te Awe Library to bring your aeronautic dreams to life as paper planes! Learn new designs, construct your plane, then see how your design fares against our librarians in the paper plane aviation race of the century. All materials will be supplied.

Paper Plane Cloudracers is suitable for children aged 5+ with their caregivers.

  • Te Awe Library, Tuesday 20 April, 2.00 – 3.30pm

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!

Top 10 Children’s Non-Fiction for June 2016

There are some great illustrations in Under earth; under water.  Explore the world beneath your feet or kayak! Under the earth there are root systems, pipes for water, electricity and the internet, insect and animal burrows and more!

Books on cats and dogs were runners up to the Top 10.  Who has a favourite pet at home? Maybe you have something other than a cat or a dog? Who has the strangest pet out there? Brothers or sisters aren’t classified as pets!

1. LEGO, by Daniel Lipkowitz

2. Minecraft, by Stephanie Milton

3. Star Wars, by David West Reynolds

4. Minecraft, by Nick Farwell

5. Minecraft, by Matthew Needler and Phil Southam

6. Small scenes from a big galaxy, Vesa Lehtimaki

7. Minecraft hacks master builder, by Megan Miller

8. Lego Star Wars in 100 scenes, by Daniel Lipkowitz

9. Minecraft blockopedia, by Alex Wiltshire

10. Under earth; Under Water, by Aleksandra Mizielinska and Daniel  Mizielinska

Family Fun Calendars

Up on our website now are the monthly family fun calendars. We make a new calendar each month that’s chock-a-block with fun learning activates that you can do. They are especially useful for upcoming wintery rainy days where you are bored and stuck indoors.

You can pick one up from your local library each month. Or download and print for the Fun Stuff page.

Check back each month for the latest calendar.

(P.S. We would love to see the things you make and do from our calendars. You can share them with us and everyone through our Facebook and Twitter streams)