The Summer Reading Adventure is Coming!

Hold on to your hats, the Summer Reading Adventure is almost here! From 1 December 2021 – 31 January 2022, we’re inviting you on an adventure — an adventure that will take you from the safety and comfort of your bedroom, to locations around the city, into your back yard, down to the local library, into the pages of more than a few books, and back home again in time for tea.

Along the way, you’ll be reading books, drawing pictures and maps, taking videos, completing challenges, getting out into nature, and maybe fighting off the odd monster or two — all in the name of seeing who shall have the honour of being crowned Supreme Champion of Words, Books and Deeds. You’ll also be earning all kinds of awesome prizes for your efforts, from collectible badges to ice-cream vouchers, books, family experiences and much more!

We know many of you have taken part in the Summer Reading Challenge before, so we’re keeping all the features you know and love — like the reading log and book reviews — and also bringing in a whole load of new activities and features, including a special mobile app you can use to log your progress through the Summer Reading Adventure, keep up with what your friends are doing, and keep tabs on your reading no matter where you are.

We’ll soon be unveiling the brand new Summer Reading Adventure website and guide for new adventurers, so keep your eyes out on our website and on social media for more information leading up to the 1st of December!

Until then, keep those reading eyes sharp — you’ll be needing ’em!

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!

The Summer Reading Challenge Continues!

Another year begins, and our Summer Reading Challenge continues! If all the book reviews you’ve been writing are anything to go by, you guys have been reading like absolute machines all throughout this beautiful Wellington summer. It has been wonderful reading all of your reviews and hearing about what you’ve enjoyed (or not so much!) about the books you’ve been reading.

It’s not too late to get involved! The Summer Reading Challenge is still running, and will keep running until the 31st of January 2021! There are heaps of prizes to be won just by reading books from our Summer Reading Challenge booklist — just see the photo below for a teensy tiny glimpse into our instant prize stash! Massive thanks to our friends at Unity Books, Marsden Books, and the Children’s Bookshop in Kilbirnie for their generous support.

Several piles of brand-new children's books, including picture books, fiction, nonfiction, and comics

This is just a small sample of the awesome book prizes that you can earn — just by reading and reviewing books from our collection!

But, reviewing books isn’t the only way to earn prizes. If you turn over your Summer Reading Challenge booklet, you’ll find a plethora of fun challenges to complete as part of our special Book Bingo challenge. Once you’ve finished off all 9 of the challenges, take your booklet in to your local library to earn a special prize.

A hand-drawn and vibrantly-coloured Dora the Explorer sits beneath the original art from the book.

This beautiful drawing of Dora the Explorer by Aarvi from Johnsonville Library was completed as part of the Book Bingo Challenge! Ka rawe, Aarvi!

So what are you waiting for? It’s time to get reading!

Disney Pixar Revolution at Wellington City Libraries!

The Pixar revolution has arrived at Wellington City Libraries and just in time for the wintery-est of school holidays. It is an exciting time with the release of Toy Story 4, produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures,

Check out the teaser trailer reaction below! …. Even the toys can’t wait for the movie to be released!

So to celebrate the release of the forth instalment of the lovable classic where toys come to life, why not go down to your local library and check out some other DVDs released by the same companies, such as:

image courtesy of amazon.comBrave.

Be brave and grab life by the horns 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.

 

Cars 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.

 

 

image courtesy of amazon.comimage courtesy of amazon.comimage courtesy of amazon.com

 

 


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.

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.

 

The 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.

image courtesy of amazon.comimage courtesy of amazon.com

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).

 

 

Also check out the amazing books, ranging from official movie/character guides, stories and comics adapted from the Pixar movies such as:

Disney Pixar storybook collection.

This audiobook features retellings of all seventeen Disney-Pixar feature films such as Toy Story, Finding Nemo and much more!

Disney Pixar Character Encyclopedia.

Dive into the wonderful world of Disney.Pixar with this colourful, fact-filled guide to your favourite Pixar characters. Find out more about the greatest and funniest heroes, villains, sidekicks and oddballs from across all 21 movies- including the newest characters from Toy Story 4. For ages 7- 9.

Cars 3 : the essential guide.

Describes the memorable and ever-popular characters, including race car Lightning McQueen, plus key locations, themes, and iconic moments from the movie.

Incredibles 2 : heroes at home.

“Trying to help… Violet and Dash are part of a Super family, and they try to help out at home in two adventures! Can they pick up groceries and secretly stop some bad guys? And can they clean up the house while Jack-Jack is ‘sleeping?’ Find out in these Super stories! Also included in this volume are a variety of activities, and a special feature on how comic books come to life!” — From publisher’s description.

Incredibles 2 : the official guide.

“Discover everything you wanted to know about brave superheroes, dastardly villains and cool vehicles from Incredibles 2, the awesome new sequel to Disney-Pixar’s smash hit movie, The Incredibles. When a new villain hatches a brilliant and dangerous plot, the Parr family and their old friend Frozone must find a way to work together again – which is easier said than done, even when they’re all Incredible. This book covers all the memorable and ever-popular characters, plus key locations, themes and iconic moments from the movie.” — Amazon.com.

Coco : the essential guide.

Explore the art of the Disney movie Coco! Despite his family’s baffling 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. Follow along with word-for-word narration as, together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history.

Toy Story: Woodys Augmented Reality Adventures.

Bring the world of Toy Story, one of the most beloved animated films of all time, off the pages of the book and into your room with Augmented Reality! Since it was first released, Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story has been a global phenomenon. For ages 6+

Movie Review: Labyrinth

david bowieLabyrinth is a 1986 British-American adventure musical fantasy film directed by Jim Henson, executive produced by George Lucas, and based upon conceptual designs by Brian Froud. Yes, this is a film that was made before CGI and computer animation.

In this film Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) has to find her way through the magical labyrinth to get her baby brother back from the Goblin King (the late David Bowie). Along the way she makes unlikely friends and enemies as she fights temptation, grows up and reminds us what is truly important.

Overall  this movie is… FANTASTIC! Believe it or not I was four years old when I first saw this film, not to mention it was one of the first movies I ever saw. And still many years later continues to be one of my favourite films of all time.

David Bowie owns the role of the Goblin King and manages to dish out some musical numbers where you are guaranteed to sing along – Everything you can expect from a film directed by the same guy who created The Muppets.

Labyrinth is a classic that many generation will continue to watch over and over again.

Rating: 7/10.

In memory of David Bowie, 1947-2016.

Movie Review: Cinderella.

image courtesy of amazon.co.ukThis is Cinderella as you have never seen it before.

The story of Walt Disney’s “Cinderella” is different from its predecessor.

Directed by award winning actor, Kenneth Branagh, This version follows the fortunes of young Ella (Lily James). After Ella’s father unexpectedly passes away, she finds herself at the mercy of a jealous and cruel new Stepmother (Cate Blanchett) and her ugly-in-nature daughters Anastasia (Holliday Grainger) and Drisella (Sophie McShera), and is forced to become their servant, disrespected, covered in ashes and spitefully renamed Cinderella.

Yet, despite the cruelty inflicted upon her, Ella will not give in to despair nor despise those who mistreat her, and she continues to remain positive, determined to honour her mother’s dying words and to “have courage and be kind.”

Ella’s fortunes seem to turn for the better in the form of a dashing stranger named Kit aka The Prince (Richard Madden) and a quirky fairy godmother, (brilliantly played by Helena Bonham Carter) that will change Ella’s life for the better.

Overall a fantastic film that can be enjoyed by all ages.

Rating: 9/10

Movie Review: Inside Out.

A very funny interpretation of what happens in the human mind when emotions set in.

Produced by Pixar and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Inside Out is set in the mind of a young girl, Riley Andersen (Kaitlyn Dias), where five personified emotions—Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), and Disgust (Mindy Kaling)—try to lead her through life as her parents (Diane Lane and Kyle MacLachlan) move the family to a new city.

Overall this is a cute movie that provides a very funny interpretation of what happens in the human mind when emotions set in, what roles each our emotions play in our personalities, how we communicate and form relationships with people.

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).

Rating: 8/10

For a sneak peek of Inside Out, check out the trailer here.

Movie Review: Brave

Brave took home the award for Best Animated Film at last week’s Golden Globes and is one of the nominees for Best Animated Film in this year’s Academy Awards.

Pixar Animation Studios, the creator of Toy Story 3, whisks you away on an astonishing adventure in the Scottish Highlands  full of mystery, magic and tradition. Determined to make her own path in life, Princess Merida, a skilled archer and headstrong daughter of King Fergus and Queen Elinor  defies an age-old custom, where she competes against (and defeats) each of her suitors in an archery contest during the Highland Games by which she states she is “shooting for her own hand”, much to the outrage of the lords of the land and causes a rift between mother and daughter. Merida then acquires a magic spell from a witch the witch agrees to give Merida a spell to “change” her mother (into a bear) in the form of a cake. When chaos is unleashed in the kingdom as a result of Merida’s actions, she must harness all of her skills and resources to break the beastly curse before it’s too late, mend bonds “torn by pride”  and discover the meaning of true bravery.

From the kilt-wearing lords to the bagpipe music and traditional Highland games and Merida’s triplet brothers’ pranks and  endless attempts to steel sweets, This is a very entertaining mother/daughter movie and a celebration of Scottish culture.

Rated: 8/10.

Best for age groups 5 years and over.

 

 

 

Super Summer Reading

Wow! You guys are super-dooper summer readers!

Since we released the Summer Reading Challenge book list in December we’ve had over 200 book reviews sent in – that’s a lot of reading in only three and a bit weeks.

Today were are exactly half-way through the challenge (which finishes on 3rd February) so that means you still have 3 and a bit weeks to read, read, READ! (here’s an online copy of the book list)

I’ve read all your reviews and can tell that heaps of you like the books you are reading. For your reviews have a think about including the following:

 

  • A little bit about what happens in the book
  • Your favourite part, or least favourite part – why you liked/disliked the book
  • Characters you liked or disliked
  • If you could give the book a different name, what would it be?
  • If you could ed the book differently, what would you change?
  • Who would you recommend it to, who do you think would like it the most

 

Lastly, here are our top readers so far(in no particular order):

Alessandro E. 

Andrew B. 

Chiara E.

Darcy B. 

Hana R. 

Jayden K. 

Marina C. 

Damon W. 

Sarah C. 

Tiffany C. 

Some super-readers have managed to read and review 10 or more books so far, and are in the draw to win a cool prize pack. No one has managed to read and review 20 or more books yet (for the next prize draw), but some are getting close…

Historical Adventures

 If you enjoy action and history The Devil and his Boy is the book for you.

Follow the adventures of a poor mistreated orphan called Tom, who has big dreams of becoming an actor. It’s set in the Elizabethan times, actually Queen Elizabeth (not the one alive today) is an important character. Shakespeare is also a character in this book. Many of the people and places in this story really existed, so you learn a little history at the same time as you’re reading a very exciting story.

If you like this book here are some other titles you will also enjoy.

Treason by Berlie Doherty, John Diamond , Black Jack and Smith by Leon Garfield