Kids’ Activities Under Red Settings

To keep our young people and vulnerable communities safe under Red settings, we’re moving most of our programmes for children under the age of 12 and their families online! This is because even though our libraries are open, lots of our kids’ programmes, like CRAFTerschool, Code Club, and Baby Rock and Rhyme, involve lots of people getting very close together, and it’s just too tricky to provide the required social distancing for young people who can’t yet be vaccinated.

Soon, we will be starting up a whole bunch of activities and programmes, some of which you can do online, and some of which you will be able to do in a contactless way in the library, but in the meantime we thought it would be a good idea to remind you about all the awesome online resources and activities you can do with us online. If you love stories, arts and crafts, music, movies, and fun activities to do with your family, we’ve got you covered!

We have so many really cool resources available in our eLibrary! If you want to have a browse yourself you can check our our Kids’ Guide or have a look through what’s available on our Kids’ Home Page, or just read on… Continue reading

Christmas in the Capital and at the Library!

Tis the season for festive fun! Christmas is coming to the Capital … and to the library! Why not get into the Christmas spirit and check out the amazing Christmas themed books and DVDs we have in our collection in between Christmas shopping and life! The countdown to Christmas and the end of 2021 is on!

image courtesy of wellington.govt.nz

Image courtesy of WCC.


Ngā haora hararei – Holiday hours over Christmas & New Year 2021/2022!

Libraries in Wellington are closed on Christmas Day, (Saturday 25th December) until Tuesday 28th December, and again on New Years Day (Saturday 1st January) until Tuesday 4th January. From the 29th of December, we will be open on reduced hours.

From Wednesday 5th January, all branches, except for He Matapihi Molesworth Street, will return to normal to normal hours. He Matapihi Molesworth Street will be open again on Monday 10th January.
Click here for more information about opening hours across all our libraries over the Christmas and New Year period.

What is Christmas? Find out with…

image courtesy of syndeticsChristmas.

“Learn what Christmas is, and how it is celebrated. Learn about the religion of Christianity, and what Christmas means to its followers. Learn about prayers and carols, Santa Claus and his reindeer, and traditional decorations and gifts. Also learn about festive Christmas foods and traditions of giving to charity at Christmas.” (Catalogue).

Also check out last year’s post on Solstice and Yule: The Grandfathers of Christmas, which provides you with information about the history of Christmas.

Did you know? Two cultures, the Celts and the Norse each contribute to some of the world’s original festive celebrations at the Christmas time of year.

Some handy ideas for Christmas Crafts:

Need some ideas on making Christmas cards, decorations and gifts? Why not check out books such as:

image courtesy of syndetics100 things to recycle and make.

“Provides step-by-step, illustrated instructions for crafts made with everyday materials, including egg cartons, sticks, and cardboard tubes.” (Catalogue). Also available as an eBook. 

image courtesy of syndeticsChristmas things to stitch and sew.

“This new reduced edition of this seasonal title contains fifteen enchanting activities that use a selection of simple sewing techniques. Includes festive projects such as a reindeer collage, Christmas stockings, hanging star decorations and a beautiful fabric holly wreath.” (Catalogue).
Also search our catalogue for more ideas for Christmas Crafts.

Whip up a Christmas feast:

Need some ideas on making snacks, nibbles and a feast for a Christmas party or Christmas lunch! Have a read of this book, or click here for more:

image courtesy of syndeticsChristmas cooking.

“Easy step-by-step recipes for delicious Christmas biscuits, cakes and sweets that can be given as gifts, hung on a Christmas tree, or simply eaten and enjoyed. Lots of wrapping ideas, including festive gift boxes and tags. Colourful illustrations and mouth-watering photographs throughout.”

Read stories about Christmas:

image courtesy of syndeticsCowshed Christmas.

“A retelling of the Christmas story with a New Zealand twist. Farmyard animals including a cow, sheep and kune kune come with gifts such as a rugby ball, pavlova and jandals for the baby Jesus by the cowshed door. Suggested level: junior.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsGrumpy Cat’s first worst Christmas.

“Pokey makes every effort to get Grumpy Cat to join in the Christmas spirit! Pokey wants to build a snow-cat together, go sledding, decorate the Christmas tree, and bake cookies for Santa! But Grumpy Cat wants to live in her wonderland of NO.” (Catalogue). Also available as an eBook.

image courtesy of syndeticsThe life and adventures of Santa Claus.

“Drawing on the attributes of Santa Claus from Clement Moore’s 1822 poem […], Baum chronicles Santa’s life from his childhood in an enchanted forest […] to his destiny of sharing gifts and spreading love to his fellow man. Along the way we witness him making his first toys, discover the origins of the Christmas tree and Christmas stockings, and learn the stories behind many Christmas secrets…” (Adapted from Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsI killed Father Christmas.

“Jo-Jo’s mum and dad are arguing again – but this time it’s on Christmas Eve and Jo-Jo’s convinced it’s all his fault. He’s been spoiled, selfish and greedy – and his badness has actually killed Father Christmas. […] But then a magical encounter with the real Father Christmas shows Jo-Jo that the true message of Christmas is the giving of love, not of gifts.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsQuentin Blake’s A Christmas carol.

A beautiful edition of the timeless Christmas classic. A Christmas Carol is the book that defines the Christmas spirit. Ebenezer Scrooge, a mean-spirited miser, is visited by three ghosts one Christmas Eve. The ghosts show Scrooge the true value of Christmas: charity, good humour and love for his fellow man.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsA very Babymouse Christmas.

“The holidays are here and everyone’s enjoying their favorite traditions-eating latkes, decorating for Kwanza, singing holiday songs, and most of all, being with family. Well, everyone except Babymouse. […] Whether she has to face down the ghosts of mean girls past or outsmart Santa himself, she’ll do whatever it takes to make sure she gets the present she wants.” (Adapted from Catalogue).

For more ideas on Christmas themed stories click here.

Stuck inside? Try some Christmas movies:

image courtesy of amazon.co.ukHome Alone.

“When the McCallisters went on holiday they forgot eight year old Kevin. When two bungling burglars break into the house Kevin outwits them.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of amazon.comThe Grinch.

“A re-telling of the classic tale about a grumpy old creature living in a cave on Mt. Crumpet who can’t stand to see his neighbors in Whoville enjoying themselves. Things are especially bad at Christmas, when the Whos kick their merriment into high gear with fantastic celebrations. This year, the Grinch decides to dress up like Santa Claus on Christmas Eve and steal all the Christmas gifts and decorations so the Whos can’t enjoy the season.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of amazon.comThe Polar Express.

“Late on Christmas Eve night, a boy lies in bed hoping to hear the sound of reindeer bells from Santa’s sleigh. When to his surprise, a steam engine’s roar and whistle can be heard outside his window. The conductor invites him on board to take an extraordinary journey to the North Pole with many other pajama-clad children. There, he receives an extraordinary gift only those who still believe in Santa can experience.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

image courtesy of amazon.co.ukOlaf’s Frozen Christmas.

“Olaf teams up with Sven on a merry mission. It’s the first holiday season since the gates re-opened and Anna and Elsa host a celebration for all of Arendelle. When the townspeople unexpectedly leave early to enjoy their individual holiday customs, the sisters realise they have no family traditions of their own. So, Olaf sets out to comb the kingdom to bring home the best traditions and save this first Christmas for his friends.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of amazon.comThe Nutcracker and the four realms.

“In search of a key to unlock a box from her late mother, Clara finds her way into a mysterious parallel world. She teams up with a soldier named Philip in order to brave the Fourth Realm to find the key and return harmony to the unstable world.” (Catalogue).

To get into the spirit of a Kiwi Christmas, relive the magic of Kiwi Christmas song, Summer Wonderland so you can sing along and take part in the festive cheer while  strolling through a summer wonderland. To recap, Summer Wonderland is a Kiwi spin on a much beloved classic Christmas carol Winter Wonderland, with a lyrical twist for the Southern Hemisphere and recorded for Air New Zealand.  This Christmas carol really showcases and beautifully captures the spirit and essence of a Kiwi Christmas of tucking into ham and pavlova, playing cricket, mozzie spray and tan marks. Check it out!


On behalf of the staff at Wellington City Libraries, we would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Meri Kirihimete! Kia Pai ngā Hararei!

Get into the spirit of Halloween ’21 at the library — Part One!

image courtesy of stuff.co.nz

Halloween has arrived at the library! In addition to dressing up and eating treats, now is the time to get your scare on reading up about the history of Halloween, and getting some cool ideas for Halloween costumes and crafts. Soon to come is Part Two, where we’ll share with you some extra-spooky fiction, picture books, eBooks and movies for a quiet (scare) night in. Let the scare fest begin! AHHHWWOOOOOO!

About Halloween:

Halloween, or All Hallows Eve, is celebrated on October 31st. The origins of Halloween can be traced back to the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain, which was held on November 1 in contemporary calendars. It was believed that on that day, the souls of the dead returned to their homes, so people dressed in costumes and lit bonfires to ward off spirits. Today Halloween is considered a holiday (especially in the United States) for dress-up, (traditionally witches, ghosts and zombies), treats and fun, especially for children. For more information about the history of Halloween, read our previous post.

Some ways that people around the world celebrate Halloween include:

  • Dressing up in costume,
  • Handing out treats to trick or treaters,
  • Decorating the house with Halloween party favours,
  • Reading or sharing ghost stories (we have heaps of those!),
  • Watching scary movies (we have heaps of those as well!)

Immediately following Halloween, on November 1st, Día de Muertos is a traditional Central American holiday that reunites the living and dead. It is a holiday for celebrating life and death, a holiday where mourning is exchanged for celebration. Below are a couple of books from our collection where you can read up more about this festival:

image courtesy of syndeticsThe day of the dead = El dia de los muertos.

@This book tells the story of two children as they celebrate their ancestors on the vibrant holiday: The day of the dead. With sugar skulls, sweet-smelling marigold petals and joyful songs, Hispanic families welcome back ancestors on this holiday. Complete with lush college and lyrical text in both English and Spanish, this wonderful picture book creates the perfect introduction to this festival (and perhaps also to the Spanish language).” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsDía de los muertos.

“It’s Día de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) and children throughout the pueblo, or town, are getting ready to celebrate! They decorate with colored streamers, calaveras, or sugar skulls, and pan de muertos, or bread of the dead. There are altars draped in cloth and covered in marigolds and twinkling candles. Music fills the streets. Join the fun and festivities, learn about a different cultural tradition, and brush up on your Spanish vocabulary, as the town honors their dearly departed in a traditional, time-honored style.” (Catalogue)


Where can I find more information about Halloween:


image courtesy of syndeticsCelebrate Halloween.

“Vivid images and lively, inviting text illuminate the spookiest night of the year. This book spirits readers on a tour of Halloween celebrations around the globe as it explores the rich history of this holiday and the origins of its folklore, food, games, costumes, and traditions.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsHow to make frightening Halloween decorations.

“Do you like to scare and gross out your friends? Create frightening Halloween decorations with just a few simple supplies. Surprise your friends with glowing alien heads and sicken them with bloody intestines. Whether you’re decorating for a party or just for fun, these projects will turn an ordinary Halloween into a howling good time.”(Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsHow to create spectacular Halloween costumes.

“Are you searching for a Halloween costume that will get you noticed? Then How to Create Spectacular Halloween Costumes is the book for you! From a guitar-playing vampire to the floor of a movie theater, these easy-to-make costumes are sure to impress your friends. They might even cause a few screams!” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndetics10 minute Halloween crafts.

“In 10 Minute Crafts: Halloween, children can learn how to make Halloween decorations such as bat hangings and black cat lanterns and create spookily brilliant zombie finger puppets and witches on broomsticks, plus lots more amazing Halloween ideas.” (Catalogue)

New to the collection is…

image courtesy of syndeticsHalloween : 300 spooky facts to scare you silly.

“The wildly popular Weird But True line is all dressed up for Halloween with 300 all-new spooky facts about candy, costumes, pumpkin carving, and more Calling all boys and ghouls: You’re in for a treat of freaky facts, stats, tidbits, and trivia about one of the most popular holidays Did you know that there is an underwater pumpkin carving contest? Or that the U.S. Defense Department has a zombie apocalypse plan? Maybe you’d be amazed to discover that there are more Halloween emojis than there are U.S. states? It’s all weird–and it’s all true–in this latest and greatest edition, packed with hilarious and terrifying tidbits on Halloween.” (Catalogue)


Have a safe and happy Halloween!

Children’s DVDs: New Releases in October 2021

Spring is around the corner! Unfortunately not much is happening in terms or events and celebrations under Level 2. Not to worry, why not spring on down to Wellington City Libraries for some new children’s DVDs to keep you entertained, amused and give you a few laughs. So what are you waiting for? Go down to your local branch and borrow the following DVDs:

image courtesy of amazon.comRaya and the last dragon.

“Long ago, in the fantasy world of Kumandra, humans and dragons lived together in harmony. But when sinister monsters known as the Druun threatened the land, the dragons sacrificed themselves to save humanity. Now, 500 years later, those same monsters have returned and it’s up to a lone warrior, Raya, to track down the last dragon in order to finally stop the Druun for good. However, along her journey, she’ll learn that it’ll take more than dragon magic to save the world; it’s going to take trust as well.” (Catalogue).


image courtesy of amazon.comThe Croods. A new age.

“The Croods need a new place to live. So, the first prehistoric family sets off into the world in search of a safer place to call home. When they discover an idyllic walled-in paradise that meets all their needs, they think their problems are solved, except for one thing. Another family already lives there: the Bettermans.” (Catalogue).


image courtesy of amazon.comPeter Rabbit 2.

“The lovable rogue is back. Bea, Thomas, and the rabbits have created a makeshift family, but despite his best efforts, Peter can’t seem to shake his mischievous reputation. Adventuring out of the garden, Peter finds himself in a world where his mischief is appreciated, but when his family risks everything to come looking for him, Peter must figure out what kind of bunny he wants to be.” (Catalogue).


image courtesy of amazon.comTom & Jerry : the movie.

“When Jerry moves into a fine hotel on the eve of an important society wedding, the event planner hires Tom to get rid of him. Unfortunately, the battle which follows is big enough to destroy the wedding, her career, and possibly the hotel — so the sworn enemies decide to work together to save it all.” (Catalogue).


image courtesy of amazon.comZog and the flying doctors.

“Pearl and Gadabout are now a flying doctor trio, caring for creatures including a mermaid, a unicorn and a sneezy lion. However when bad weather forces them to land at the palace, Pearl is locked up by her uncle, the king.” (Catalogue).


image courtesy of amazon.comThe War with Grandpa.

“Peter is thrilled that Grandpa is coming to live with his family. That is, until Grandpa moves into Peter’s room, forcing him upstairs into the creepy attic. And though he loves his grandpa he wants his room back – so he has no choice but to declare war. With the help of his friends, Peter devises outrageous plans to make Grandpa surrender the room. But Grandpa is tougher than he looks. Rather than give in, Grandpa plans to get even.” (Catalogue).


image courtesy of amazon.comCruella.

“Cruella, which is set in 1970s London amidst the punk rock revolution, follows a young grifter named Estella, a clever and creative girl determined to make a name for herself with her designs. She befriends a pair of young thieves who appreciate her appetite for mischief, and together they are able to build a life for themselves on the London streets. One day, Estella’s flair for fashion catches the eye of the Baroness von Hellman, a fashion legend who is devastatingly chic and terrifyingly haute. But their relationship sets in motion a course of events and revelations that will cause Estella to embrace her wicked side and become the raucous, fashionable and revenge-bent Cruella.” (Catalogue).



image courtesy of amazon.comSpirit untamed : the movie.

“Spirit untamed is the next chapter in the beloved franchise full of adventure, family and friendship. Free-spirited Lucky Prescott moves to Miradero to join her estranged father. She is decidedly unimpressed with the sleepy town until she discovers a unique tie to her late mother, who was a fearless horse-riding stunt performer. She quickly forms a bond with a wild mustang named Spirit and makes two new pals who love horses as much as she does. When a heartless wrangler plans to capture Spirit and his herd, Lucky and her friends set off on an epic journey to rescue the horse who has given her an unbreakable connection to her mother’s legacy.” (Catalogue).


image courtesy of amazon.comLuca.

Set in a beautiful seaside town on the Italian Riviera, Disney and Pixar’s original feature film “Luca” is a coming-of-age story about one young boy experiencing an unforgettable summer filled with gelato (YUM!), pasta (DOUBLE YUM!) and endless scooter rides. Luca shares these adventures with his newfound best friend, but all the fun is threatened by a deeply-held secret: they are sea monsters from another world just below the water’s surface.

Using your library – from home!

With our libraries closed while Wellington is at Alert Level 4 we thought it would be a good idea remind you about all the ways you can still use your library from the comfort and safety of your own home – we’ve got you covered!

We have so many really cool resources available in our eLibrary! If you want to have a browse yourself you can check our our Kids’ Guide or have a look through what’s available on our Kids’ Home Page, or just read on…

Stories and Storytimes

If you’re after a book to read, look no further than Borrowbox or Libby. These apps are both free to download – just log in with your library card number and PIN and you’re away! These two have plenty of eBooks and eAudiobooks to keep you occupied on a rainy day at home.

If you’d rather listen to someone read you a story we’ve got more options for you! You can listen to great stories being read aloud by Australian and New Zealand storytellers through the Story Box Library, or you can try out something interactive with the TumbleBook Library. It’s the same deal with these – just log on with your library card!

We also have a whole lot of virtual storytimes from our own librarians available through our Facebook page. Check out the Virtual Storytime and Bedtime Storytime playlists for some great stories we recorded last year.

Things to do

If you’re after a challenge, read through our collection of Family Lockdown Challenges! These are full of exciting activities and ideas for you to do while at home. If you do any of the challenges (particularly the Book Domino Challenge!) be sure to tag us in any photos or videos you take on FacebookTwitter or Instagram.

Our Kids’ Club Book Reviews are still up and running, so you can start earning prizes by writing book reviews! We’ve got a great post here with some tips about how to write a fantastic review. When our libraries are open again you can come on in and collect a plethora of prizes – how cool is that?!

If you’re missing Baby Rock ‘n’ Rhyme or CRAFTerschool go check out the Johnsonville and Tawa Library Facebook pages! If you go through the Videos tab on each page you can easily find the recorded Baby Rock ‘n’ Rhyme sessions from last year, as well as some wonderful craft tutorials.

How adorable are these hedgehogs – and you could make one yourself!

Movies and TV

If there’s someone in your household with an adult library card they’ll be able to access our online streaming services – we have two! Beamafilm and Kanopy are both free to use.

Kia kaha, stay safe, and we look forward to seeing you again in person on the other side.

Pixar films to watch in 2021 and… a special bonus (tasty) Pixar surprise!

The Pixar movie revolution has arrived at Wellington City Libraries in 2021 and just in time for the wintery-est of time of year. It is an exciting time with the release of a tasty Italian surprise produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. 

image courtesy of amazon.comToy Story2, 3 and 4.

Toy Story was the first Pixar film ever released and changed the world of animation films forever.

These films are timeless classics that takes you on a journey into the world of the secret life of toys. Join Buzz, Woody, Jessie and lots of amazing toys that unexpectedly embark on adventures that challenge and change them. These films are full of excitement, adventure and will change the way you think of toys!


image courtesy of amazon.comMonsters Inc.

“In the world behind our closet doors, monsters like Mike and Sulley work hard for their income. To be exact, the monster world depends on our children’s screams: It is their energy that makes lightbulbs glow and cars drive. Sulley, the number one frightener, one day accidentally lets a human child into the monster world. Since kids are supposed to be poisonous and carry loads of diseases, pandemonium ensues. After Mike and Sulley discover that the girl they named Boo actually seems quite harmless, they decide to bring her back through her door into her room. But Boo’s presence is more than just a mere accident. Now, Mike and Sulley have to face an enemy within their own ranks.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of amazon.comMonsters University.

“Mike Wazowski and James P. Sullivan are an inseparable pair, but that wasn’t always the case. From the moment these two mismatched monsters met they couldn’t stand each other. Monsters University unlocks the door to how Mike and Sulley overcame their differences and became the best of friends.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of amazon.comBrave.

Be brave and grab life by the kilt with Merida, the feisty, Scottish  princess and skilled archer who dreams of following her own path living her own life, even if it mean defying the traditions and expectations of her family and people. However when her pride gets in the way and a spell is cast upon her mother, Merida must use her wits and skills to “mend the bond caused by pride” and save the day “highlander” style. If you’re not convinced that this DVD is worth watching, have a read of my review here.

image courtesy of amazon.comCars Trilogy.

Take a ride on the wild side with Lightening McQueen and the gang in Cars 1, 2 and 3, that chronicles the secret life of race car driving, from the race car’s point of view. This is a movies that boys will enjoy, especially boys into cars and formula one racing.

Finding Nemo.image courtesy of amazon.com

Go back to where it all began where Marlin goes on an epic quest from the great barrier reef to Sydney in order to find and save his son, Nemo, while meeting and encountering new friends on the way such as surfer turtles that live to 150 years old, vegetarian sharks who have regular meetings and of course, Dory herself, a good-hearted and optimistic regal blue tang with short-term memory loss. (Adapted from Catalogue)

image courtesy of amazon.comFinding Dory reunites the friendly but forgetful blue tang fish, Dory, along with her friends, Marlin and Nemo on an epic quest to find Dory’s family. The questions that hangs on everyone’s lips are what does she remember? Who are her parents? And where did she learn to speak whale? Favourite moments in the film include Dory as a baby – Boy, she’s adorable!, Marlin and Nemo’s encounter with the seals, Still can’t get the ‘OFFOFFOFFOFF’ aka the seal talk out of my head, Dory making new friends with Hank, an octopus with seven tentacles and who, for a guy with three hearts is very bad tempered, Dory reuniting with her childhood friend, Destiny and the odd cameo of previous characters from Finding Nemo. It is truly unforgettable.


Also check out footage of Baby Dory and the Pixar short film, Piper that was released alongside Finding Dory.



image courtesy of amazon.comThe Incredibles 1 and 2.

The secret life of superheroes comes to life with the Parrs, aka The Incredibles, where you watch them balance secret identities, families and saving the day. Overall, both films are funny, action packed and will keep you entertained for hours on end.

Also check out footage of  the Pixar short film, Bao that was released alongside The Incredibles 2. The film won the Oscar for the Best Animated Short Film in 2019.



image courtesy of amazon.comInside Out.

What happens when your emotions go into overdrive? They manifest in the form of Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger and Disgust. This film is set in the mind of a young girl, Riley Andersen, where the five personified emotions try to lead her through life as her parents  move the family to a new city. Some very funny moments in the film, especially when Anger loses his temper, Disgust’s sarcastic and cynical behaviour and finding what role Sadness plays in our lives (Spoiler: Very important role).

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)

image courtesy of amazon.comCoco.

“Despite his family’s generations-old ban on music, Miguel dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz. Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector, and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history.” (Catalogue)


Brace yourself for a tasty release of Disney’s and Pixar’s animated film, Luca!

Set in a beautiful seaside town on the Italian Riviera, Disney and Pixar’s original feature film “Luca” is a coming-of-age story about one young boy experiencing an unforgettable summer filled with gelato (YUM!), pasta (DOUBLE YUM!) and endless scooter rides. Luca shares these adventures with his newfound best friend, but all the fun is threatened by a deeply-held secret: they are sea monsters from another world just below the water’s surface. Check out the trailer below!

Stay tuned for information for when this film will be released. In the meantime, head on down to your local library and borrow some Pixar movies for a quiet wintery night in with some popcorn and a cup of hot chocolate. Enjoy and stay warm this winter!

Upcoming changes to our children’s programme schedule

If you live in Karori, Ngaio, or Khandallah, you might notice that there are a few changes coming to our schedule of events for children and families, starting in the first week of May!

Our extra-special monthly storytimes at Khandallah Library will feature a special theme and fun activity for tamariki and whānau to get stuck into as well — contact the library (or chat to a friendly librarian!) to find out about what’s happening each month.


What’s changing?

Here is the new schedule of events for Karori, Cummings Park, and Khandallah Libraries — programmes that have changed days or times are marked with a star. Don’t forget to check in on the library event calendar from time to time to keep up to date with new programmes and special events happening in our libraries!

Karori Library | Te Māhanga

  • *Preschool Storytime: Every Tuesday and Wednesday, 10.30am*
  • *Kōhunga Kōrero: 2nd Tuesday of every month, 10.30am*
  • Baby Rock and Rhyme: Every Thursday and Friday, 10.30am
  • Let’s Go LEGO®: 3rd Saturday of every month, 2.00pm
  • Code Club: Every Tuesday during the school term, 3.30pm
  • *Free Family Movies: During school holidays and to mark special events*

Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library | Korimako

  • Preschool Storytime: Every Wednesday, 10.30am
  • Kōhunga Kōrero: 3rd Wednesday of every month, 10.30am
  • Baby Rock and Rhyme: Every Tuesday, 10.30am
  • Let’s Go LEGO®: 2nd Thursday of every month, 3.30pm

Khandallah Library | Tari-kākā

  • *Preschool Storytime: Last Friday of every month, 10.30am*
  • Let’s Go LEGO®: First Friday of every month, 3.30pm

Why are the changes happening?

We’re changing the days and times on which some of our programmes are happening so that we can make some more space in our calendar to bring some new and different experiences to tamariki and whānau who use these libraries. We also hope that the new schedule will make it easier for more families to join us for our sessions, by making sure that our events aren’t on at the same time as other, similar groups in the community!

To our wonderful families in Karori, Ngaio, and Khandallah — we look forward to seeing you soon.

Happy Birthday, William Shakespeare!

All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players. Well, that was certainly the case during William Shakespeare’s life. This year marks Shakespeare’s, or the Bard of Avon, (assumed) 457th birthday on the 26th of April and 405th death anniversary on the 23rd April.
Image courtesy of Wikipedia

And pray tell, who was William Shakespeare?

Well, he was an English poet, playwright and actor who is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world’s pre-eminent dramatist. People all over the world have come to recognise the image of William Shakespeare and would heard of his plays, but what do we know about the man himself, or even what went on behind the scenes during the performance of his plays, or even who his plays were being performed for?

How dost thou celebrate?image courtesy of gifer

In addition to the traditional birthday party, cake and presents, why not read all about his life, from his early and humble beginnings in Stratford upon Avon, England to conquering the stage in Queen Elizabeth’s court and the Globe Theatre.

image courtesy of syndeticsWilliam Shakespeare : a man for all times.

Who was William Shakespeare? How much do we really know about him, and why is he so famous? This book takes the reader step-by-step through Shakespeare’s life, looking at the evidence.
image courtesy of syndeticsShakespeare.

A spectacular and engaging non-fiction Eyewitness guide to one of history’s most iconic writers, William Shakespeare. Did you know special effects were used in Shakespeare’s plays? That devils and ghosts came up through trapdoors in the stage? Find out how in Eyewitness Shakespeare and discover the fascinating life and times of one of the world’s greatest playwrights. Travel back in time and follow Shakespeare from his birth in the small town of Stratford-upon-Avon to theatre life in 16th century London. Eyewitness reference books are now more interactive and colourful, with new infographics, statistics, facts and timelines, plus a giant pull-out wall chart, you’ll be an expert on Shakespeare in no time. Great for projects or just for fun, learn everything you need to know about Shakespeare.

image courtesy of syndeticsMuch ado about Shakespeare : the life and times of William Shakespeare : a literary picture book.

Take a peek behind the curtain to discover the boy, the youth, the man behind some of the greatest works of literature. The life and times of William Shakespeare are richly imagined in this unique biography told using quotes from the Bard himself.


Also search our catalogue for more biographies about Shakespeare and his remarkable life.


Read Shakespeare’s plays!

Read and relive your favourite Shakespeare plays. Wellington City Libraries holds a huge array of plays which is part of the Orchard book of Shakespeare Stories series written by Andrew Matthews. Plays include A Midsummer Night’s DreamRomeo and Juliet, Much Ado About Nothing and King Lear.
image courtesy of syndeticsimage courtesy of syndeticsimage courtesy of syndeticsimage courtesy of syndetics
Also search our catalogue for more plays from the Orchard book of Shakespeare Stories series. Also, check out:

image courtesy of syndeticsShakespeare retold.

A beautifully illustrated collection of prose retellings of seven Shakespeare plays will bring the Bard to life for young readers. Not only is this a beautiful keepsake edition, full of gorgeous illustrations by Antonio Javier Caparo, but the prose retellings by beloved classic children’s book author E. Nesbit are an excellent tool to introduce children to the complex language of Shakespeare.

A foreword by John Lithgow touches on his own childhood as a Shakespearean actor and the importance of Shakespeare. The book contains extensive support materials, including a biography, a timeline of Shakespeare’s life, and further recommended readings.

image courtesy of syndeticsMr William Shakespeare’s plays.

Seven classic Shakespeare plays presented in an accessible comic strip format. Take your place in the Globe Theatre of Shakespeare’s day to see seven of his best-loved plays in performance. Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth, Julius Caesar, The Winter’s Tale and The Tempest are all brought vividly to life in Marcia Williams’ gloriously accessible comic-strip versions, which include the bard’s own dialogue and the rowdy remarks of the audience.

image courtesy of syndeticsShakespeare stories II.

By skillfully weaving his own prose with Shakespeare’s language, Leon Garfield has refashioned nine of the Elizabethan playwright’s dramas into stories, capturing all the richness of the characters, plot, mood, and setting. This format will delight both those who know the great dramatist’s works and those who are new to them. Plays included are: Much Ado About Nothing, Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra, Measure for Measure, As You Like It, Cymbeline, King Richard the Third, The Comedy of Errors, and The Winter’s Tale.

image courtesy of syndeticsA stage full of Shakespeare stories.

Step on to a stage full of stories with this beautiful anthology of 12 stories from Shakespeare, rewritten to be accessible to children ages 7+. A section at the back gives details about Shakespeare’s life and further information about the plays. Each story is rewritten in a comprehensive way that is accessible for children and stunningly illustrated by collage artist Alice Lindstrom.

Recite some poetry!

image courtesy of syndeticsShakespeare edited by Marguerite Tassi.

A collection of thirty-one of playwright and poet William Shakespeare’s most famous verses, sonnets and speeches.

He was the world’s greatest playwright, and the English language’s finest writer, Shakespeare is the man the Oxford English dictionary credits as having invented over 1700 common words, and to whom we owe expressions such as ‘fair play’, ‘break the ice’, and ‘laughing stock’. The continued timelessness and genius of his work will be celebrated the world over on his special day.

Have some fun with William Shakespeare!

image courtesy of syndeticsPop-up Shakespeare.

“Discover beloved playwright William Shakespeare’s plays and poetry in this spectacular novelty book from the Reduced Shakespeare Company comedy troupe. Featuring dramatic pop-ups and foldouts and loaded with jokes and fascinating facts, this hilariously informative and fully immersive look into the Bard’s world invites you to experience Shakespeare’s works as you’ve never seen them before!” — Back cover.

image courtesy of syndeticsWhere’s Will? : find Shakespeare hidden in his plays.

Each play in this book begins with a summary of the plot and descriptions of the characters. On the following page is a detailed picture showing the setting of the play and within it you can find the characters, William Shakespeare , and a spotted pig.

Watch movies inspired by Shakespeare’s plays:

image courtesy of amazon.co.ukThe Lion King… and The Lion King inspired by Hamlet.

You can never go wrong with an oldie but a goodie.

Tricked into thinking he caused his father’s death, Simba, a guilt ridden lion cub flees into exile and abandons his identity as the future King. However when the fate of his kingdom is threatened, he is forced to return and take his place as King.

image courtesy of sydneticsGnomeo & Juliet… inspired by Romeo and Juliet.

Caught up in a feud between neighbors, Gnomeo and Juliet must overcome as many obstacles as their namesakes. But with flamboyant pink flamingoes and epic lawnmower races, can this young couple find lasting happiness?

Also check out the sequel, Sherlock Gnomes.image courtesy of syndetics

Garden gnomes, Gnomeo and Juliet, recruit renowned detective Sherlock Gnomes to investigate the mysterious disappearance of other garden ornaments.

Where to find more information?

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)

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