Kia ora e te whānau! Te Wiki o te reo Māori is here! This year, we want as many people as possible to take part in the Māori Language Moment, a special time at 12pm on Tuesday 14 September where we can all come together to kōrero (speak), whakarongo (listen), ako (learn), tākaro (play), pānui (read) and waiata (sing) in te reo Māori with our friends, whānau, and community. Make sure you check out some of the awesome ideas from Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori (the Māori Language Commission), and get yourself signed up to take part!
Wellington City Libraries has heaps of resources that can help you take part in your own Māori Language Moment. Here are just a few of them! You might be wondering where all the books are — don’t worry, we’ll get to recommending some awesome books in and about te reo Māori a little later in the week!
Did you know that there are books that can help you learn te reo Māori on OverDrive and Libby? There are a whole range of different books to choose from, including some books that are more meant for grown-ups, and others meant for kids. Here are a few of our favourites for you to check out:
“He pai ki te nuinga o nga tangata te toro atu ki te tahuna, te mahahoki o nga mea hei kite, hei mahi kei reira. He aha nga mea pai ki akoe ki te tahuna?” Kupu Aronga (Sight Words) ki | kite | maua | te
Most people like to visit the beach. There are so many different things to see and do there. What do you like to do at the beach? (Overdrive description)
It’s the holidays, and Awatea is staying with his grandparents at the beach. He’s got lots of time and freedom to explore, visit the treehut and have adventures with Carrot, the talking parrot. Awatea catches fish, cooks over a campfire and spends a stormy night in the treehut with Carrot for company. When fending off some territorial magpies and keeping an eye on a pair of leopard seals, Awatea and Carrot notice signs of poachers. So Awatea and his friends at the beachwork out a plan to stop them. (Overdrive description)
“Kua haere koe mo tetahi haerenga? He aha nga taputapu paimo te haerenga? Kei tenei whanau nga mea tika mo te haerenga. Panuitia tenei e pa ana ki o ratou harenga.” Kupu Aronga (Sight Words) Anei | kino | pai | te
Have you had a picnic? What things do you need for a picnic? The people in this family have everything that they need for a good picnic. Read about what happens at their picnic. (Overdrive description)
A Maori Word a Day offers an easy, instant and motivating entry into the Maori language. Through its 365 Maori words, you will learn the following: – English translations – Word category, notes and background information – Sample sentences, in both te reo Maori and English Exploring the most common, modern and colloquial words in Maori today, A Maori Word a Day is the perfect way to kickstart your te reo! (Overdrive description)
Learn your first 300 words in Māori in this colourful book for children. This book introduces children to their first words in Māori. Learn the Māori vocabulary for animals, fruit and vegetables, everyday things, nature, colours, shapes, greetings, and much more, all with beautiful colour photos and illustrations throughout. (Adapted from Overdrive description)
Learn te reo Māori with Language Nut
Your library card gives you access to a whole range of resources to help you learn languages, and one of them, Language Nut, is meant just for kids! It includes a course in te reo Māori that is aimed at absolute beginners, featuring simple songs, stories, and games as well as some more traditional lessons so that you can learn on your own, or with an adult or friend to help you! You also earn points as you go, so you can put yourself against other learners from all over the world! It’s heaps of fun. Just visit this link and put in your library card number to get started!
Visit Language Nut with your library card to get started on your journey to ako reo Māori!
So what are you waiting for? There’s no time like the present to get started — or continue — on your journey in te reo Māori! Karawhiua atu!
Alphabet books are books that list each letter of the alphabet (most often in order from A to Z) with corresponding pictures or information. Some books will list only the uppercase letters while others will list both the upper and lowercase.
Alphabet books aren’t just for babies! They can often have longer descriptions and detailed information about the topic referenced by each letter. These books are a fun way to explore puzzles, art, facts, alliteration, rhyme, humour, fantasy… you can use the alphabet-style of book for almost any subject!
Animalia / Base, Graeme
“A picture book where familiar animals appear in unfamiliar situations and each page contains a wealth of hidden objects and ideas.” (Catalogue)
Once upon an alphabet / Jeffers, Oliver
“From an Astronaut who’s afraid of heights, to a Bridge that ends up burned between friends, to a Cup stuck in a cupboard and longing for freedom, this series of interconnected stories and characters explores the alphabet.” (Catalogue)
Z is for Moose / Bingham, Kelly L.
“Moose is eager to play his part in the alphabet book his friend Zebra is putting together. He is very disappointed when his letter isn’t in the book. Will they find a home for his name?” (Catalogue)
A little ABC book / Palmer, Jenny
“A Little ABC Book has poems and pictures for ‘little people’, picked by ‘little people’ Over 26 weeks, littlies in the community voted on a little animal for all 26 letters of the alphabet. Each little letter then got its own original poem and illustration by Jenny Palmer from her business, A Little Ink, until a little book was made! Working together was as easy as ABC (and a little inspiring too!). Find a little flying squirrel, otters, giraffes, penguins and even a little unicorn inside! We have created an alphabet you’ll love!” (Catalogue)
Women artists A to Z / LaBarge, Melanie
“From household names like Frida Kahlo and Georgia O’Keeffe, to French-born Australian artist Mirka Mora, to underrepresented creators such as Jaune Quick-to-See Smith and Xenobia Bailey, this empowering alphabet picture book features a variety of genres – painting, drawing, sculpture, and more. Each lushly illustrated spread summarises the artist’s work in one word, such as ‘D is for Dots’ (Yayoi Kusama) and ‘N is for Nature’ (Maya Lin), and gives the essential information to know about the creator. ” (Catalogue, abridged)
Ever wondered about the sounds that come out of your mouth and how amazing it is that the people around you can actually understand those weird and wonderful noises? How do you know what to say and how do new words come into everyday use? Commonly used words or phrases are like anything that’s trending – the more people use it, the more normalised it will become. In this techno-age you’re probably using words and phrases that your grandparents (and definitely your great-grandparents!) would have never heard of. Think “wi-fi”, “smartphone”, “internet”. Or the words and phrases you use now meant wildly different things in the past. For example, if you say “she’s sick” to your grandad, he’d probably be concerned that the person you’re talking about was “feeling poorly” and would not realise that what you’re really saying is “she’s awesome”, lol (yes, another newbie in the language department).
There are approximately 7000 different languages spoken throughout the world, with the top 5 (by total number of speakers) being English, Mandarin, Chinese, Hindi, Spanish and French. Of those 7000 nearly half are in danger of extinction this century. These endangered languages are often indigenous languages that are being taken over by a more dominant language, eg. English. Here in Aotearoa te reo Māori was made an official language in 1987 and Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori (The Māori Language Commission) was established to ensure that te reo grows and thrives.
Each year, the major dictionaries publish lists of new and most commonly used words, and it’s no surprise to anyone that 2020’s word of the year was pandemic, followed closely by coronavirus and lockdown. The word pandemichas been around for a long time and is built on two words from ancient Greek – pan, meaning “all”, and demos, “people”. Coronavirus simply wasn’t part of most people’s vocabulary until 2020 – now we all know what it means! Like pandemic, lockdown was already reasonably familiar. But it has taken on a new meaning in 2020 – confinement to the home in order to stop the spread of the virus – which means it will for ever be linked with disease control.
And if you’re still keen for more new words added to the dictionary in 2020, check out the following:
The famous playwright William Shakespeare (think”Romeo and Juliet”, “Hamlet”, “Macbeth”) who died in 1616, so a rather long time ago, would simply make up words if he felt they were needed in his plays! And to this day we still use a huge number of his words in everyday language (over 1,700 of them). Words like “critic”, “elbow”, “lonely” all came from Shakespeare’s imagination. Shakespeare obviously like words starting with “un” because he created nearly 300 starting with this prefix. Here are just a few that popped into his, and now our, writing: “unaware”, “uncomfortable”, “undress”, “unreal”.
So, what is the longest word in the English language? Is it Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious and is that even a word? It turns out that it only comes in at 5th place with Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosisat 45 letters long, taking first place!
If visualiation is more your thing, maybe you could have a play around with some free word clouds. Word clouds create a pictorial representation of word frequency in a text. The larger the word in the picture the more common the word was in the written document. Here’s this blog post as a word cloud:
Wellington City Libraries have heaps of books and resources that focus on language and the written word – everything from cracking good reads to brain teasers. So don’t procrastinate! Immerse yourself in the verbiage!
Frindle / Clements, Andrew
Everyone knows that Mrs. Granger, the language arts teacher, has X-ray vision, and nobody gets away with anything in her classroom. To make matters worse, she’s also a fanatic about the dictionary, which is hopelessly boring to Nick. But when Nick learns an interesting tidbit about words and where they come from, it inspires his greatest plan yet: to invent a new word. From now on, a pen is no longer a pen — it’s a frindle. It doesn’t take long for frindle to take root, and soon the excitement spreads well beyond his school and town. His parents and Mrs. Granger would like Nick to put an end to all this nonsense. But frindle doesn’t belong to Nick anymore. All he can do now is sit back and watch what happens.
This quirky, imaginative tale about creative thought and the power of words will have readers inventing their own words. Brian Selznick’s black-and-white illustrations enhance the humor in this unforgettable story. (Catalogue)
Jabberwocky / Carroll, Lewis
The award-winning first book in the Visions in Poetry series explores Lewis Carroll’s celebrated nonsense poem. An illustrated version of the classic nonsense poem from “Through the Looking Glass. The most celebrated nonsense poem in the English language, Lewis Carroll’s “Jabberwocky” has delighted readers of all ages since it was first published in Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, in 1872. Stephane Jorisch’s stunningly inventive art adds a vibrant, surprising dimension to an already unforgettable poem. (Adapted from Catalogue)
Wordplay : a Toon book / Brunetti, Ivan
Calling all bookworms! Go “outside,” “elsewhere,” and down the “rabbit hole” with this hilarious introduction to compound words. Young readers will fall in love with the English language as they watch star cartoonist Ivan Brunetti put his sly spin on vocabulary. The lesson here? Even “homework” is fun when you let yourself play with the words.
The 5 minute brain workout for kids : 365 amazing, fabulous, and fun word puzzles / Chamberlain, Kim
Our brains are an amazing organ! And just like our bodies, our brain functions best when it’s put to work. So get ready to give your brain a full workout each day with The Five-Minute Brain Workout for Kids! Inside, you’ll find 365 word puzzles and games to keep your mind active and in great shape! Have fun with your family and friends as you learn about acronyms, anagrams, definitions, parts of speech, rhyming words, syllables, word structure, and more with these fun puzzles. From Alphabet Teasers and Mini Word Sudoku puzzles, to Speed Words and Word Store games, even doing one puzzle a day will help you to learn new words, spell better, problem solve with ease, and have better concentration. Oxford first rhyming dictionary / Foster, John
“The Oxford First Rhyming Dictionary has over 1000 rhyming words to help young children with writing rhymes and poems, and expand vocabulary. Have fun in the sun, drink lemonade in the shade and be inspired to write about pirates, kings and magic rings in the Oxford First Rhyming Dictionary. The dictionary contains a clear and simple alphabetical list of over 1,000 words that rhyme along with rhyming sounds, and an index to make finding words simple. John Foster’s lively poems accompany the rhyming sounds, and every page features bright and colourful illustrations. Children can expand their vocabulary, practice phonic sounds to help with spelling, and being to write their own rhymes.
Access even more downloadable rhyming games, puzzles, activities and much more at: www.oxforddictionaries.com/schools
Everyday words in Māori
This is a bright and busy book that will give Maori language learners of all ages hours of enjoyment. A pronunciation guide and an alphabetical Maori/English list of all the words in the book are included.
Oxford Roald Dahl dictionary
A dictionary of real and invented words used by the world’s best storyteller. The Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary reveals what they mean, where they came from and how he used them in his stories. It will inspire you to choose and use each word brilliantly in your own writing – whether it’s a real word, a Roald Dahl word or your own made-up one! This is not an ordinary dictionary. After all, you wouldn’t expect an Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary to be ordinary, would you? Lots of dictionaries tell you what an “alligator” is, or how to spell “balloon” but they won’t explain the difference between a “ringbeller” and a “trogglehumper,” or say why witches need “gruntles’ eggs” or suggest a word for the shape of a “Knid.” All the words that Roald Dahl invented are here, like “biffsquiggled” and “whizzpopping,” to remind you what means what. You’ll also find out where words came from, rhyming words, synonyms and lots of alternative words for words that are overused.
How to talk to your computer / Simon, Seymour
Have you ever wondered how to get a computer to do something First you need to speak in a way it can understand! Read and find out all about how to talk to your computer in this updated edition with brand-new illustrations and simple engaging text that introduces conditions, loops, and functions. How to Talk to Your Computer comes packed with visual aids like charts, sidebars, an infographic, and a computer-less coding activity!
Odd Science: Inventions is filled with weird and wacky facts that you’ve never heard before. Read about the trainers made of spider silk, wonder at the first record played in space and tell your friends about the robot built in 1937. There are facts about electricity being used as glue, facts about glow-in-the-dark cats and facts about nano-robots that can ‘swim’ inside the body during biopsies!
With full-color illustrations and lively text, and chock-full of interesting facts, Awesome Minds: Video Game Creators tells the stories of these amazing men and women who turned a small hobby into a multimillion-dollar industry that changed the way we play and interact, from our living rooms to the arcades, on our computers to our hand-held devices. Awesome Minds: Video Game Creators is the perfect read for those with creative spirits, curious minds, and a love of technology and video games– Provided by publisher.
Sesame characters help readers learn Mandarin so they can connect with friends who speak the language. Welcoming words relating to everyday life and friendship give readers new language tools to become smarter, kinder friends.
Sesame Street characters help readers connect to new friends who speak French. Simple words and phrases relating to everyday life and a colorful approach help readers learn a new language to become smarter, kinder friends.
Sesame Street characters help readers learn German so they can connect with friends who speak the language. Welcoming words relating to everyday life and friendship give readers new language tools to become smarter, kinder friends.
Read all about Wilma Rudolph, the remarkable sprinter and Olympic champion. This moving book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the athlete’s life.
This book takes kids on a journey to discover the history of games, and then leads them from their initial idea for a new game through several iterations of a game all the way to playing the final version of a game they created. Explore the processes of both playing and creating games while developing critical and creative thinking skills that apply to tasks and concepts across academic fields. — adapted from back cover.
The Unofficial Ultimate Harry Potter Spellbook is a beautiful, elegantly designed reference that details all of the known spells cast in the Harry Potter films, books, video games and card games, as well as official Harry Potter spinoffs, such as Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Each spell is given its own entry including spell name, pronunciation details, a description of the spell effect, spell casting methods, wand movements, hand movements and vocalizations, plus primary sources in which the spell was used. Readers will also find trivia related to each spell, such as who it was used against, what the outcome was, or what a spell’s unusual history might be. There are more than 200 spells in all, plus suggestions for strategic spell use and methods for creating original spells.
“Meet 50 super-inspiring kids! It’s never too early–and you’re never too young– to make a difference in the world! The amazing musicians, writers, scientists, athletes, activists, and other fascinating kids in this book accomplished great feats by the age of eighteen. They impacted people’s lives by coming up with new inventions, making art and music, competing in sports, and speaking out about important issues. Let their incredible stories inspire you to follow your dreams, achieve your goals, and strive for greatness now!”–Back cover.
Packed with inserts, concept illustrations, and behind-the-scenes photography, Harry Potter: Spells and Charms: A Movie Scrapbook is a guide to the spells and incantations of the Harry Potter films. A must-have collectible for all Harry Potter fans.
Hey kids! Winter is coming, and there are bound to be days where you will be spending more times indoors – whether it is at your local library or in the comfort of your own home. Luckily there is some awesome new non fiction available in the junior non fiction collection at your local library! Check out these books that will help you brush up on your English/grammar skills, prehistoric animals, and so much more!
The science of warfare : the ferocious facts about how we fight.
Want to learn the science of warfare? Then this is the book for you! This ferocious books of facts of how the best in warfare fight will tell you all you need to know. From medieval trebuchets and siege towers to the tanks and high-powered aircraft of today, it is an eye-opening introduction to the mechanics of warfare.
Whether they already own one, or beg for one each Christmas and birthday, children love pets, and PET PALS is the perfect title for any pet-loving child out there. From where they sleep to what they eat, and how you can make them feel safe and at home, this book provides all the pet care advice you could possibly need. Adorable photos, and gentle, accessible text, makes this the perfect guide for all pet carers – whether they own a pet or not!
Amazing transport : journey through the history of transport.
Fasten your seat belts and get ready to zoom through the history of transport and discover incredible facts about all kinds of vehicles along the way. With wonderfully intricate illustrations from Chris Mould, Amazing Transport tells the story of some of science’s most recognisable inventions in a way you’ve never seen before. Prepare yourself for the journey of a lifetime.
Hands down, one of the coolest books on transport I have ever seen! Ideal for anyone who is interested in transport and history!
My first thesaurus is an easy-to-use word finder containing more than 100 key words and more than 1,000 secondary words, as well as synonyms and antonyms. Simple example sentences and amusing cartoons clarify and visually reinforce word meanings while making the process of discovery fun. The thesaurus can be used alongside its companion title, My first dictionary.
New in the critically acclaimed Little People, BIG DREAMS series, discover the incredible life of Maria Montessori, the pioneering teacher and researcher. Maria grew up in Italy at a time when girls didn’t receive an equal education to boys. But Maria’s mother was supportive of her dreams, and Maria went on to study medicine. She later became an early years expert – founding schools with her revolutionary educational theories and changing the lives of many children. This moving book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the educators life.
In 2019, Eid begins on Tuesday 4 June and ends on Wednesday 5 June. People traditionally greet each other on the day with the phrase “Eid Mubarak”, which means ‘blessed celebration’. Check out these books to find out more about this important international celebration.
Journey with George and his friend Kareem as they celebrate Eid. Together they try special treats, create baskets for others who have less money than they do and look for the crescent moon. This board book includes snappy rhyme that will appeal to school children.
Hey Kids! Here is a selection of new junior non fiction to read in November. Check out new books from the Little People, Big dreams series, books full of Disney inspired ideas, how to cook healthy recipes designed for Kiwi kids and learn new languages.
“Let your imagination run wild with Disney arts and crafts, party games, puzzles, and papercraft. With magical projects for every level of ability and clear, step-by-step, illustrated instructions, you will never be bored again! Build Cinderella’s castle, take off with Buzz Lightyear’s wings, dress up in Moana’s flower crown, play Snow White bowling, race Lightning McQueen on your own racetrack, and much, much more.” Ideal for Disney themed parties!
This delightfully illustrated preschool book introduces the Japanese language in a playful and gentle way. Organized in a familiar ABC structure, everyday words and expressions as well as words that have special significance in Japanese culture offer even very young children an enticing glimpse into Japanese daily life.
There are currently nearly 90,00 Chinese born people living in New Zealand, with many more Chinese New Zealanders born here every year. New Zealand also has a strong trade relationship with China. For these reasons, we were the first western country to introduce a Chinese Language Week, which was launched in 2014.
New Zealand Chinese Language Week is celebrated in the second week of September each year to match up with the Chinese Moon Festival. This year it starts on Monday 12 September and runs through to Sunday 18th. New Zealand Chinese Language Week aims to increase Kiwi’s knowledge and understanding of Chinese language, and it is also a great opportunity to learn more about Chinese culture.
To celebrate the occasion, special events will be held around the country (click here to check out what will be happening in Wellington), and we are all encouraged to learn some new words in Mandarin, the official language of China. We have some great books on our library catalogue to help you get started with this, otherwise check out the New Zealand Chinese Language Week website to learn Mandarin online.
Pop along to one of our Mandarin Storytimes during Chinese language Week. They are free and fun and perfect for little ones aged 3-5 years old.
Did you know that Samoan is one of the most commonly spoken languages in New Zealand? In fact, we have over 12,000 Samoan language speakers in Wellington!
Samoan Language Week starts on Sunday 29 May and runs through to Saturday 4 June. It was first celebrated in 2007, and the event aims to raise awareness of the Samoan language, celebrate Samoan culture in New Zealand and around the world, and promote the use of Samoan language in schools, at work and at home. This years’ theme is “E felelei manu ae ma’au i o latou ofaga – Birds migrate to environments where they survive and thrive”.
If you want to find out more about Samoa, or learn Samoan, we have some great resources to help you get started!
Head over to the online catalogue and start searching today (and don’t forget, if you need to reserve an item from another library, reserves are FREE on all children’s cards).