The Late, Great Eric Carle

“I believe that children are naturally creative and eager to learn. I want to show them that learning is really both fascinating and fun.” (Eric Carle)

No photo description available.

Eric Carle display, Johnsonville Library. Image: Lara van der Raaij

Eric Carle, author and illustrator of The Very Hungry Caterpillar and many other much loved classics, passed away a couple of days ago at the age of 91.

Eric was born in Syracuse, USA in 1929 but moved with his parents to Germany when he was six years old. He went to school and university in Germany but in 1952, as an adult, he decided to return to New York. Eric became a graphic designer at The New York Times newspaper and later an art director of an advertising agency. It was the graphics on an advertisement that Eric had created that caught the eye of Bill Martin Jr, author of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? who asked Eric to illustrate this now famous book.

This was the beginning of Eric Carle’s true career and soon he was writing his own stories, too. His first wholly original book was 1,2,3 to the Zoo, followed soon afterward by the celebrated classic, The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Eric’s Art & Words

Eric Carle’s art is distinctive and instantly recognisable. His artwork is created in collage technique, using hand-painted papers, which he cuts and layers to form bright and cheerful images. The themes of Eric Carle’s stories are usually drawn from his extensive knowledge and love of nature. Besides being beautiful and entertaining, his books always offer the opportunity to learn something about the world around and to connect us to the simple things of life, and how to overcome our fears.

Check out Eric’s unique and effective artistic technique HERE

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Book Jacket for: Te anuhe tino hiakaiBook Jacket for: Khubaja bhukyo keḍarapilara = The very hungry caterpillarBook Jacket for: al-Yaraqah al-jāʼiʻah jidan = The very hungry caterpillar

Although Eric Carle wrote and illustrated over 70 books in his lifetime, The Very Hungry Caterpillar stands out for many fans as a favourite. This much-loved classic was first published in 1969, and has gone on to sell around 55 million copies worldwide! It has also been translated into 60 languages. The idea for the format of the book came from playing around with a hole punch and thinking of a worm eating its way through a book. The rest, as they say, is history!

Here’s a short clip of Eric himself sharing his thoughts for the 45th Anniversary of The Very Hungry Caterpillar (2014):


You can immerse yourself in the beauty of Eric Carle’s many books at Wellington City Libraries:

Eric Carle’s book of many things. / Carle, Eric
“Very young children will delight in the vocabulary in this colourful book- filled with familiar and some not-so-well-known aspects of the world.”–Cataloguer.” (Catalogue)

A house for Hermit Crab / Carle, Eric
” Poor Hermit Crab! He’s outgrown his snug little shell and has to find a new home. And he does, with help from some friends who make the move less scary. Children facing change in their own lives will relate to Hermit Crab’s story and learn a lot about the fascinating world of marine life along the way. ” (Catalogue, abridged)

The grouchy ladybug / Carle, Eric
“A grouchy ladybug, looking for a fight, challenges everyone she meets regardless of their size or strength.” (Catalogue, abridged)

Have you seen my cat? / Carle, Eric
“A young boy encounters all sorts of cats while searching for the one he lost. Suggested level: junior, primary.” (Catalogue)

The very lonely firefly / Carle, Eric
“A lonely firefly goes out into the night searching for other fireflies.” (Catalogue)

From head to toe / Carle, Eric
“Creatures move their bodies in lots of different ways – just like people. Try wriggling and jiggling as you try to keep up with these animals.” (Catalogue)

Mister Seahorse / Carle, Eric
“After Mrs. Seahorse lays her eggs on Mr. Seahorse’s belly, he drifts through the water, greeting other fish fathers who are taking care of their eggs. Suggested level: junior, primary.” (Catalogue)

The Nonsense Show / Carle, Eric
“Ducks growing out of bananas? A mouse catching a cat? What’s wrong with this book? Yes, there’s something strange, something funny, and even downright preposterous on every page of this book. But it’s not a mistake–it’s nonsense! And it’s also surrealism” (Catalogue)

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)

Discover Wicked Bugs for Summer Holiday Fun!

The summer holidays are here – sunshine, barbeques, swimming, staying up late… and mosquitoes biting, flies buzzing around the cooked food, moths beating against your torch as you try to read at night, and crickets and cicadas making a racquet when you’re trying to sleep in you tent!  Anyone would think bugs were put here to ruin your summer fun!

But did you know that we humans wouldn’t survive on this big, beautiful planet without our friendly creepy-crawlies to help us along? At last count it is estimated that there are ten quintillion insects alive on Earth right now, which means that for each one of us, there are two hundred million of them! But don’t panic! They all have a job to do, and if you dig deeper (and many of them do live underground), what the insects do for us and the health of the planet is pretty amazing.

File:Cook Strait Giant Weta (5601688959).jpg - Wikimedia CommonsTake New Zealand’s GIANT WĒTĀ (wētāpunga) for example. This big daddy of an insect features in the Guinness Book of Records as being one of the world’s largest insects, and some of them weigh in around 70 grams – about the same weight as a saddleback or sparrow! Department of Conservation staff refer to them as the ‘mouse of the forest’ because their equally giant poos help fertilise the forest floor and help with regeneration of native bush. What a hero! And the Auckland Zoo think so too and have joined forces with DoC and local iwi to reintroduce wētāpunga to islands in the Hauraki Gulf so that they can do their fertilising work and bring back the bush.

And just when you thought things couldn’t get any weirder, did you know that the wētā’s ears are located in their knees?! Yes, really!


File:Chorus Cicada... (6926902643).jpg - Wikimedia CommonsYou really know Summer has arrived when the CICADAS start their noise! But why do they do it? And how?

The high-pitched ‘song’ is actually a mating call belted out by males. Each species has its own distinctive song that only attracts females of its own kind. This allows several different species to live together in one area.

Cicadas are the only insects capable of producing such a unique and loud sound, and they do it by contracting special muscles called tymbals in their abdomen. Some larger species can produce a call in excess of 120 decibels at close range (120 decibels is the equivalent of a thunderclap or a chainsaw)! Smaller species sing in such a high pitch that it cannot be heard by humans, but may cause dogs and other animals to howl in pain.


File:Housefly on Table.jpg - Wikimedia CommonsWe’ve all experienced the FLIES massing as soon as the barbeque is cooking and the salads are out on the picnic table. But why do they do this? The common house fly has a pretty powerful sense of smell and is attracted to strong smells – especially meat, and especially rotting meat! They like to lay their eggs in rotting material so that when their babies – maggots – hatch they have something to eat, yum! But just like the rest of us, adult flies have to eat too so that they’ve got the energy to fly. To eat their food, flies regurgitate (bring up) saliva from their stomachs, which dissolves the food until it is digestible. The house fly then uses its proboscis – like an attached straw where your nose should be – to suck up the liquefied food. Though they eat with their mouths, house flies taste with their feet. This is why they are always crawling on your food.

Lego Weta by EzraCRITTER OF THE WEEK: To tweak you interest further, check out “Critter of the Week”  on Radio New Zealand every Thursday in Afternoons with Jessie Mulligan.  Nicola Toki is the Threatened Species Ambassador for the Department of Conservation and a self-confessed “nature nerd”. Each week she talks  about a lovable member of New Zealand’s wildlife community, many of them our creepy-crawly friends. There was even a competition earlier in the year for you to make the most interesting critter out of Lego and send in a photo. Check out some of the entries here.

“An understanding of the natural world is a source of not only great curiosity, but great fulfilment.”

(David Attenborough – natural historian, environmentalist and planet-hero)



Wellington City Libraries have loads of fantastic books about insects, creepy-crawlies and the people that study insects (entomologists). Take a dive into the fascinating world of bugs… go on! There’s nothing to be afraid of!

The genius of bugs / Pollard, Simon
This book contains a cast of amazing and unexpected bugs, from the killer brain-surgeon jewel wasp to the master-of-disguise orchid mantis, to the New Zealand favourite, the wētā.

 


New Zealand’s backyard beasts / Barraud, Ned
In the garden, creeping along branches, hiding under stones or flitting from flower to flower, a whole universe of creatures is waiting to be discovered. Butterflies, moths, beetles, wasps, spiders. Did you know that  cicadas live underground for most of their life? That bumblebees have smelly feet? That some species of stick insect are all female? Or that earwigs don’t actually crawl into ears? In this book you can learn to identify some of the creatures most commonly found in the backyard.


The bug girl : (a true story) / Spencer, Sophia
Real-life 7-year-old Sophia Spencer was bullied for loving bugs until hundreds of women scientists rallied around her. Sophia tells her inspiring story in this picture book that celebrates women in science, bugs of all kinds, and the importance of staying true to yourself. Sophia Spencer has always loved bugs but when she was bullied at school she stopped talking about bugs altogether. When Sophia’s mother wrote to an entomological society looking for a bug scientist to be a pen pal for her daughter, she and Sophie were overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response–letters, photos, and videos came flooding in. Using the hashtag BugsR4Girls, scientists tweeted hundreds of times to tell Sophia to keep up her interest in bugs.


World's Biggest Baddest Bugs (Ruud Kleinpaste) Image at Mighty Ape NZWorld’s biggest baddest bugs
To find the good, the bad and ugly of the insect world, Ruud Kleinpaste – New Zealand’s very own BugMan – embarks on an entomological journey in search of the biggest and the baddest of them all in this two part DVD. From killer bees and army ants, to cockroaches and tarantula, Ruud explains exactly what makes the “stars” of the show so incredible. Through a series of deadly stunts Ruud reveals what makes these crawlies the kings of the bugs and how they are capable of so much more than just scaring us silly.


World’s strangest creepy-crawlies / Derrick, Stuart
This book includes 40 of the planet’s most bizarre species and ranks them in order of their oddness! With jaw-dropping facts and amazing photos, the pages reveal each creature’s seriously strange characteristics and the unusual ways they hunt, eat or defend themselves.   Inside World’s Strangest Creepy-Crawlies, you’ll discover the tiny terror that blows itself up to save its friends, a creature so well disguised even its own species can’t see it, and a giant spider the size of a dinner plate. And with the ‘strange-o-meter’, you can compare each animal based on its creepiness, fight factor and superpowers!


I’m trying to love spiders : (it isn’t easy) / Barton, Bethany
What do you do when you see a spider? a. Lay on a BIG spidey smoocheroo. b. Smile, but back away slowly. c. Grab the closest object, wind up, and let it fly. d. Run away screaming.
If you chose b, c, or d, then this book is for you.
I’m Trying to Love Spiders will help you see these amazing arachnids in a whole new light, from their awesomely excessive eight eyes, to the seventy-five pounds of bugs a spider can eat in a single year And you’re sure to feel better knowing you have a better chance of being struck by lightning than being fatally bit by a spider. Comforting, right? No? Either way, there’s heaps more information in here to help you forget your fears . . . or at least laugh a lot!

5 New Non Fiction from the ‘DK findout!’ series, lego, coding and augmented reality.

Hey Kids!

Check out the latest new non fiction at Wellington City Libraries. Lots of cool books about from the DK findout! series, lego, coding and augmented reality. Enjoy!

image courtesy of syndeticsBrick by Brick dinosaurs.

Brick by Brick dinosaurs will teach you how to build more that 15 amazing prehistoric projects, with clearly illustrated step-by-step instructions. An ideal book for anyone who loves lego and dinosaurs.

 

 

 

image courtesy of syndeticsCoding for kids : create your own videogames with Scratch.

Explains how to use the programming language Scratch to create computer games, presenting projects that can be altered as young readers gain proficiency.

 

 

 

image courtesy of syndeticsWorld War I.

Have you ever wanted to find out how the First World War began? Or how soldiers lived and fought in trenches? This book from the DKfindout! series is packed with surprising facts and amazing pictures for World War 1. It’s a small book filled with big ideas. — Cover.

 

 

image courtesy of syndeticsHuman Body.

Look inside your brilliant body with DK’s brand new human body book. DKfindout! Human Body will satisfy any child who is eager to learn and acquire facts – and keep them coming back for more! From gooey gastric juices, to our amazing brains, and everything in the human body in-between, this book will give kids the understanding they crave about how our bodies work. DKfindout! Human Body explains the complex systems like digestion that keep us ticking over, and will satisfy any budding biologist.DKfindout! Human Body will surprise and delight young readers aged 6 to 9.

 

image courtesy of syndeticsMicromonsters.

“IExplore Micro Monsters is an amazing book that reveals the tiny creatures all around us that are normally invisible to the human eye. Marvel at these incredible mini monsters – and watch as Digital Magic makes them leap off the page! Fact-filled spreads give the reader background information on each tiny beast: where it’s found, what it does and how it survives in even the harshest conditions, from skin cells to outer space! Then simply open the app on your smartphone or tablet to trigger the AR action and awaken the Digital Magic. The book comes to life using the latest technology of augmented reality with the free app. All you need is a smartphone or tablet.”–bookdepository.com.

NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults – Non Fiction Award Finalists!

Check it out, kids! Wellington City Libraries are jam packed full of Non Fiction goodies that have been shortlisted for the New Zealand Book Awards – Whoohoo! So what are you waiting for, come on down to the library or place a reserve to ensure you get hold of one or all of these amazing books that will widen your knowledge of New Zealand wildlife, creatures and some good old fashioned history.

Enjoy!

image courtesy of syendticsFrom Moa to Dinosaurs: Explore & discover ancient New Zealand.

Prepare to go on a journey where you will get a glimpse of the animals that lived in ancient New Zealand just before people arrived. It then goes back in time, providing snapshots of particular periods, as far back as 180 million years ago. The range of animals covered in this book include: moa and other extraordinary birds that are now extinct; crocodilians and turtles; the shark-toothed dolphin and giant penguins; dinosaurs such as sauropods and theropods; as well as those resilient survivors who can still be found in New Zealand today, such as kiwi, native bats, giant weta and tuatara. Overall I found this beautifully illustrated and a wonderful resource that will intrigue and encourage children to learn something about the origins of New Zealand.

 

image courtesy of syndeticsJack and Charlie: Boys of the bush.

“The true story of two boys who live on the wild and rugged West Coast of the South Island. Join Jack and Charlie as they go whitebaiting and fishing, panning for gold, chopping wood with their tomahawks, firing at targets with their bows and arrows, plucking ducks, camping in the bush and rafting down rivers”–Publisher information.

 

image courtesy of sydneticsThe Cuckoo and the Warbler.

This book tells the true story of one of the most remarkable wildlife relationships in New Zealand, between pipiwharauroa, the shining cuckoo, and riroriro, the grey warbler. It is a story of tragedy, trickery and faithful care – and it plays out each spring and summer in the forests of Aotearoa. Although rarely seen by humans, the interaction of these two native birds is a striking example of nature’s inventiveness. Overall a beautiful, heart warming story that can be enjoyed by children and adults.

The Genius of Bugs.

Discover a world of insects as you have never seen it before. “Inspired by the science exhibition Bug Lab, which was brought to Wellington in December 2016 by Te Papa and Weta Workshop”, The Genius of Bugs presents a cast of amazing and unexpected bugs, from the killer brain-surgeon jewel wasp to the master-of-disguise orchid mantis, to the New Zealand favourite, the wētā”–Publisher information. This book is guaranteed to be a favourite.

Torty and the Soldier.

“Meet Torty! She’s one tough little tortoise with a beat-up shell and some missing toes. Torty survived a great war that raged in Europe one hundred years ago. She was rescued back then by a young Kiwi solder. Torty is a true World War One survivor. “–Publisher information. This book is in one word – AWESOME! and is a book that can be enjoyed by children and adults.

7 new back to school children’s non-fiction you must get your hands on!

The holidays may be over, but have no fear, Wellington City Libraries always has fantastic new books in stock for your viewing and reading pleasure. Come on down to your local library and check out what’s new in our junior non fiction collection, especially some must have new reads about the Olympics, which you should get your hands on before the games officially start:

 

image courtesy of syndetics

Travel the world Atlas.

Take a trip around the world and back again where you can  expand your geographical knowledge and stimulate  curiosity with this delightful map book.  Filled with fascinating, bite-sized facts about the landscape and the culture of each geographical region. Great for children over 6 years old.

 

image courtesy of syndeticsSuperbug.

Grab hold of this book and read all about the biggest, fastest, deadliest creepy crawlies on the planet.

 

 

 

IMAGE COURTESY OF SYNDETICSMy Little Book Tractors.

Packed full of cool photos and fascinating facts about tractors. Perfect for reluctant readers and young children interested in tractors and automobiles

 

 

image courtesy of syndeticsPokemon visual companion.

Pokemon madness has taken over the library, especially with the release of this fantastic Pokemon guide. Here is your chance to really catch all the Pokémon you can find, as uncover amazing artwork, fascinating facts and comical anecdotes. This is truly a must have reference for every Pokemon fan!

 

 

image courtesy of syndeticsOlympic Sport: The Whole Muscle-Flexing Story.

From running a marathon to beating your friends at basketball or being the bendiest gymnast around, find out everything you ever wanted to know about sports and games and what it is that makes athletes the best at what they do. A must have read to have in time for the Olympics.

 

 

image courtesy of syndeticsOlympic Expert.

Read this book and discover record breaking sprints of 100m legend Usain Bolt, Gymnast Nadia Comenaeci’s perfect ten, Bob Beamon’s amazing long jump and David Weir’w wheelchair racing heroics and much, much more! This book is also crammed full of facts and statistics, quotes, trivia and lots of other essential information for every Olympic fan. Grab it quick before someone else does.

 

image courtesy of syndeticsMinecraft : the survivors’ book of secrets.

The latest instalment of Minecraft as arrived in the form of  Minecraft : the survivors’ book of secrets. This Official Minecraft book contains collective knowledge of the Survivors – an underground group of Minecraft experts who’ve been around since the early days of alpha. Out in the field you’ll learn how to stalk your enemies, how to master the art of practical munitions and how to crush any opponent in hand-to-hand combat.

Conservation Week 1st – 8th November

Conservation week is coming up and this year the theme is Healthy Nature, Healthy People. Check out all the great ideas for things to do and competitions to enter on the Department of Conservation website.

Besides finding out about events you can also find heaps of other information about our native plants and animals and how to save them. There is lots of little things we can do to help protect and save our environment.

I really like the section on attracting lizards into your garden. Did you know that we have more than 99 species of lizard in New Zealand. We also have many geckos and skinks and 33 of our skinks are found no where else in the world so it is really important that we learn how to protect them.

You can check out all the things you can do to attract them into your garden from the plants they like right through to building them a lizard house.

The library has heaps of great books on conservation as well – so slip, slop, slap and get out into the great outdoors and start saving.

World of Adventure: New Non-Fiction

So you want to catch Bigfoot?

Bigfoot is what’s called a cryptid; an animal whose existence or survival is disputed by science. The study of cryptids (such as the Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot and Canterbury Big Cats) is called cryptozoology. If you want to the first to prove to the world that such creatures exist, then this is a good place to start!

 

 

 

 

 

Which New Zealand Insect?

This book is great for those of you who are obsessed with creep-crawlies; all the pictures are life size, so you can identify the bug under your fridge or in your garden easily. It’s divided by different types of bugs, so you can easily find what you’re looking for. Not a book for Entomophobes, though!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sailors Under Fire

This book is crammed full of nautical tales of derring-do and courage under extreme circumstances. It starts off with the first battle at sea,  at Salamis in 480 BCE. There’s a lot of information about twenty century warships, and it also talks about the role that the modern navy plays in the world. It’s a great book for people who have just started out reading, or want more general information about naval warfare.

 

 

 

 

Iceland

Iceland is known as the “land of fire and ice.”  While the country is mostly dominated by ice caps and glaciers, it also has many active volcanoes.  Volcanic activity in  Eyjafjallajökull in 2010 caused the greatest disruption in air travel since World War Two! This is a great book with lots of interesting information about a country that’s not often in the news.

 

 

 

 

 

 Python

This is a combination of a non-fiction book and a picture book, and great for younger readers who are interested in snakes! The beautiful illustrations will take you through python’s day, as she hunts, eats and guards her eggs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The lonely existence of asteroids and comets

This is a great book about space told in an unusual way; it’s in comic book format! The illustrations are great, and everything’s laid out in a clear and open way.  Did you know that some asteroids are so large they’re considered small planets? Like Ceres, an asteroid that’s named after the Greek Goddess of grain. Reading through this book is a great way to fill in the time before Halley’s comet appears in Earth’s skies again…in July, 2061!