Books Alive! Storytimes and Panel Discussions at the National Library

Tomorrow, on Wednesday 11 August, the winners of the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults will be announced, in a glitzy evening ceremony at the National Library of New Zealand. The top authors, illustrators and translators in the land are descending on Wellington in order to attend — so we have nabbed many of them to run a series of amazing events for school students called Books Alive. You may have seen some of the Books Alive events run virtually by LIANZA over the last few weeks — they’ve included storytimes, workshops, talks, Q&As, and more. Well, this is the real-life version of that!

Normally, only schools who have registered are able to attend Books Alive, but to allow more people to celebrate the wonderful literary creators that Aotearoa has produced, we’re opening up some of the events to members of the public to attend. So, whether you’re an adult, a teen, or a child, feel free to rock on up to any of the following events and get up-close and personal with some of this country’s most amazing authors and illustrators. All of the events are at the National Library of New Zealand, 70 Molesworth Street, Thorndon:

Books Alive Panel Discussion: Picture Books

Time: 9.45 – 10.35am

LocationTaiwhanga Kauhau Auditorium

Join us for this exciting panel featuring authors and illustrators who have been shortlisted for the prestigious Picture Book Award in this year’s New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. The panellists for this event are Laura Shallcrass (Hare and Ruru: A Quiet Moment), Kate Parker (Kōwhai and the Giants), Chris Gurney and Lael Chisholm (The Hug Blanket) and Philippa Werry and Kieran Rynhart (This is Where I Stand).


Storytime and Author Talk with Amy Haarhoff

Time: 10.45 – 11.10am

Location: He Matapihi Library

Join talented illustrator Amy Haarhoff for this special storytime featuring her book, The Midnight Adventures of Ruru and Kiwi (written by Clare Scott), as well as the opportunity to ask her questions about her life as an illustrator and her experience of working on this remarkable book. Amy is shortlisted in the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults in the category of Best First Book.


Books Alive Panel Discussion: Fiction

Time: 10.45 – 11.35am

Location: Taiwhanga Kauhau Auditorium

This wonderful panel discussion features authors who have been shortlisted for either the Wright Family Foundation Esther Glen Award for Junior Fiction or the Young Adult Fiction Award in this year’s New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. The panellists for this event are T. K. Roxborogh (Charlie Tangaroa and the Creature from the Sea), Des Hunt (Red Edge) and N. K. Ashworth (Draw Me a Hero).


Storytime and Author Talk with Kimberly Andrews

Time: 11.15 – 11.40am

Location: He Matapihi Library

Don your duffel coats and polish your magnifying glasses as we join author and illustrator Kimberly Andrews for this special reading of her book Hound the Detective. Kimberly is shortlisted for the Picture Book Award in this year’s New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults.


Books Alive Panel Discussion: Non-Fiction

Time: 12.30 – 1.20pm

Location: Taiwhanga Kauhau Auditorium

The final panel we’re opening up to the public for the day features the authors and illustrators who have been shortlisted for the Elsie Locke Award for Non-Fiction in this year’s New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. The panellists for this event are Alexandra Tylee and Giselle Clarkson (Egg and Spoon), Dr. Selina Tusitala Marsh (Mophead Tu: The Queen’s Poem), Maria Gill and Marco Ivancic (New Zealand Disasters), Sandra Morris (North and South) and Tom E. Moffatt (You’re Joking: Become an Expert Joke-Teller).

Code Club: Register for Term 3

Coding is everywhere, even behind the scenes of this very blog! Here’s a snippet of HTML from one of our most popular Kids’ Blog posts from last year — can you work out which one?

What is Code Club?

Did you know that you can learn how to code at your local library? That’s right! In collaboration with our friends at Code Club Aotearoa, we have been running Code Clubs across Wellington City Libraries since early 2018, and we’re now taking registrations for Code Clubs across the city for Term 3 2021. This year, our He Matapihi branch, on the ground floor of the National Library in Thorndon, joined the Code Club family, and we’re also excited to announce that our Code Club at Cummings Park Library in Ngaio is back up and running after taking some time off in 2020.

How can I register for Code Club at my local library?

Click the relevant link to register (please note some of our Clubs are full already! You can still click the link to be waitlisted for the next intake of students):

  • Cummings Park Library Code Club — Mondays at 4.00pm (register here)
  • He Matapihi Library Code Club — Wednesdays at 3.45pm (register here)
  • Johnsonville Library Code Club Level 1 — Thursdays at 3.30pm (this club is FULL; click here to join the waitlist)
  • Johnsonville Library Code Club Level 2 — Wednesdays at 5.00pm (this club is FULL; click here to join the waitlist)
  • Karori Library Code Club — Tuesdays at 3.30pm (register here)
  • Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library Code Club — Saturdays at 2.00pm (register here)
  • Newtown Library Code Club — Mondays at 4.00pm (register here)

What will I do at Code Club?

At Code Club, you will complete progressive coding challenges under the guidance of librarians and other coding experts! Most of our Code Clubs start off by covering projects in Scratch 3.0 (and it’s useful if you already have an account, but we can help you make one if you don’t!), with some groups moving on to cover other coding practices like Python and HTML/CSS (using popular multi-purpose coding platform trinket.io). Contact your local club if you want to find out more about what they offer, or you can check out some of the projects yourself here!

To finish up, below is an example of one of the simple games you could find yourself making after just a couple of weeks of attending Code Club. It really is fun! How many ghosts can you capture, ghostbuster?

Code Clubs at Wellington City Libraries

Coding is everywhere, even behind the scenes of this very blog! Here’s a snippet of HTML from one of our most popular Kids’ Blog posts from last year — can you work out which one?

Did you know that you can learn how to code at your local library? That’s right! In collaboration with our friends at Code Club Aotearoa, we have been running Code Clubs across Wellington City Libraries since early 2018 — and this year, there is a new library joining the Code Club family — our He Matapihi branch, on the ground floor of the National Library in Thorndon!

Here is the full list of Code Clubs across Wellington City Libraries — click the relevant link to register (please note some of our Clubs are full already! You can still click the link to be waitlisted for the next intake of students):

  • He Matapihi Library Code Club — Wednesdays at 3.45pm (register here)
  • Johnsonville Library Code Club Level 1 — Thursdays at 3.30pm (this club is FULL; click here to join the waitlist)
  • Johnsonville Library Code Club Level 2 — Wednesdays at 5.00pm (this club is FULL; click here to join the waitlist)
  • Karori Library Code Club — Tuesdays at 3.30pm (register here)
  • Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library Code Club — Saturdays at 2.00pm (this club is FULL; click here to join the waitlist)
  • Newtown Library Code Club — Mondays at 4.00pm (register here)

At Code Club, you will complete progressive coding challenges under the guidance of librarians and other coding experts! Most of our Code Clubs start off by covering projects in Scratch 3.0 (and it’s useful if you already have an account, but we can help you make one if you don’t!), with some groups moving on to cover other coding practices like Python and HTML/CSS (using popular multi-purpose coding platform trinket.io). Contact your local club if you want to find out more about what they offer, or you can check out some of the projects yourself here!

To finish up, below is an example of one of the simple games you could find yourself making after just a couple of weeks of attending Code Club. It really is fun! How many ghosts can you capture, ghostbuster?

New Zealand children’s comics and stories from our guests at Comicfest

Earlier this year Wellington City Libraries and the National Library of New Zealand hosted the biennial Comicfest, featuring panels and workshops with New Zealand comic artists such as Roger Langridge, Katie O’Neill, and Michel Mulipola.

Now you can check out their books (and more!) at the newly-opened He Matapihi Molesworth Library, in the National Library.

The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill
“After discovering a lost Tea Dragon in the marketplace, apprentice blacksmith Greta learns about the dying art form of Tea Dragon caretaking from the kind tea shop owners.” (Catalogue)

Aquicorn Cove by Katie O’Neill
“Unable to rely on the adults in her storm-ravaged seaside town, a young girl must protect a colony of magical seahorse-like creatures she discovers in the coral reef. From the award-winning author of PRINCESS PRINCESS EVER AFTER and THE TEA DRAGON SOCIETY comes AQUICORN COVE, a heartfelt story about learning to be a guardian to yourself and those you love. ” (Adapted from catalogue)
Tongan heroes by David Riley
“Illustrated by Michel Mulipola, Tongan heroes presents inspirational stories of achievers who have Tongan ancestry. It includes: Legends like Aho’eitu, Hina and Seketoa, historical figures such as Queen Salote Tupou III, Pita Vi and Professor Futa Helu, contemporary heroes like Jonah Lomu, Captain Kamelia Zarka, Filipe Tohi, The Jets, Manu Vatuvei, Dr Viliami Tangi and Valerie Adams.” (Adapted by catalogue)
Samoan heroes by David Riley
“Illustrated by Michel Mulipola, a collection of inspirational stories of achievers who have Samoan ancestry. It includes: contemporary heroes like Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Troy Polamalu, Judge Ida Mālosi, Savage and Associate Professor Donna Adis; historical figures like Emma Coe, Tamasese, Salamāsina and Lauaki; legends like Sina, Tiʻitiʻi and Tigilau” (Adapted by catalogue)
Abigail and the snowman by Roger Langridge
“Nine-year-old Abigail meets a loveable and sophisticated yeti named Claude who’s escaped from a top-secret government facility.” (Catalogue)

Criminy by Roger Langridge 
“Daggum Criminy’s peaceful life is suddenly interrupted as pirates invade his island, casting Criminy’s family out as refugees into the wild unknown in search of a new home. Soon, the Criminys find themselves hopping from one strange locale to another, each with their own bizarre environment, people, and challenges; putting Daggum and fam in constant peril as they search for a new peaceful place to call home.” (Catalogue)