Talk Like a Pirate!

Well “Shiver me timbers” and “Hoist the mainsail” it’s International Talk Like a Pirate day on Tuesday the 19th of September! So how good is your pirate language? Ever wanted to learn how to speak pirate? Well now you can through Mango Languages! If you go to My Gateway on the Library website: then select Mango Languages on the database, put in your library card number and surname, then select Pirate you’ll come up with the “Booty”! Soon you’ll be confounding your teachers and classmates by asking them to “Belay yer carsouin’ and haul wind smartly”. So try introducing yourself on Tuesday as “A fine gentleman of fortune, I may tell ye plainly” and see how many people turn tail and run before they have to walk the plank!

Want to find out more about the real pirates who sailed the seven seas? We have loads of books with information about what really happened on the high seas. There were many famous pirates such as Captain Kid and Blackbeard who I most definitely would not want to have met! But did you know that there were female pirates as well? Anne Bonny was one of the most famous and could handle a cutlass as well as any man. Lots of interesting facts to find out about pirates in this book, “The Everything Pirate book: A swashbuckling history of adventure on the high seas” by Barb Karg and Arjean Spaite.

Have you ever read “Treasure Island” by Robert Louis Stevenson? “When young Jim Hawkins is left a treasure map by the dying buccaneer Billy Bones, he sets sail on the Hispaniola in search of the island. Among the crew, the one-legged Long John Silver becomes his greatest friend, but Silver has a shocking secret in store, and when they reach their destination, Jim faces danger and adventure greater than he could ever have imagined.” A truly great read! Continue reading

Sea Week 2015

Sea Week is an annual celebration of New Zealand’s seas and marine life hosted by the NZ Association for Environmental Education. This year Sea Week takes place from 28th February – 8th March with the theme Look beneath the Surface – Papatai ō roto – Papatai ō raroOur seas are full of amazing wonders and Sea Week hopes to encourage kiwis to learn more about them, the creatures that dwell there, the different habitats and the issues that face marine life. There are heaps of fun, educational events happening around Wellington during Sea Week including coastal clean-ups, guided walks, sandcastle competitions, and open days at some of Wellington’s fantastic coastal labs and treatment facilities. It’s a great opportunity to get your friends and family involved! Check out the Sea Week website for full details of events in your region.

The library has some helpful books about our sea life and rocky shore habitats that you might like to use to identify cool things at the beach.  Have fun!

image courtesy of syndetics image courtesy of syndetics image courtesy of syndetics

Seaweek 2014 – bring in your favourite photos of the sea!

New Zealand Seaweek 2014 runs from 1-9 March and is an annual celebration of our ocean, its habitats and the cool creatures that dwell there!  This year the theme for Seaweek is  “Our fragile, finite taonga – be alert to the fragility of the marine environment and its treasures. Kia mataara! Tiakina te au o te moana, he kōpīpī tōna”.

Hosted by the NZ Association for Environmental Education (NZAEE), Seaweek is an opportunity to learn more about ocean life and encourages exploration and discovery.  Check out your local rock-pools, participate in a coastal clean-up, have a go at an ocean sport like snorkeling or visit a marine ecology lab!  There’s heaps happening in Wellington for Seaweek – so rally your friends and family together and get involved!

For more information about Seaweek including a list of local and national events, visit their website


To celebrate Seaweek we want to display your photos in the central library.

With the weather improving this is a great opportunity to take out your camera! We would love to have your favourite piece(s) of work admired by library visitors. If you’re interested in sending us your photos, take them to the Information Desk at the Central Library, where you’ll see the blue Seaweek box until 28 February.

Please write your name and contact details on the back of the photo(s) so that we can make sure they go back to the right person. Check out some rules first.



Special storytime at the Island Bay Library

Don’t miss this year’s Island Bay Festival! There’s heaps happening – find out all the details on the festival website. There’s even a special seaside crafty storytime happening at the Island Bay Library.

Listen to the amazing Pauline read a seaside story then make an octopus with Lisa from Island Bay Community Centre. All welcome!

Thursday 20th February, 10.30 – 11.30am at the Island Bay Library.


Ketea Dragons

In Ancient Greek mythology there is a sea dragon called ketea (singular ketos).

They are amphibious and have two flippers instead of legs. They have sleek bodies with hides covered in barnacles, and a long, tapering tail with a sea-weed like end.

Ketea have a long, pointy snout, long ears, sharp horns on their heads, and small sharp teeth. Although they live in the ocean around Greece, they can also survive on land.

Ketea obey Poseidon, Greek god of the sea, and he sends them to punish people who have offended him. They are ravenous and can never get enough to eat!

If you enjoyed this post and want to read more, you can find out more about dragons in The Dragon Companion: An Encyclopedia by Carole Wilkinson. All the facts in this post were taken from this book.


Some new books about dragons that you might like to read are:

The Dreadful Dragon by Kaye Umansky

Dragon Boogie by Erik Craddick

Fangbone!, third-grade barbarian by Michael Rex

How to Seize a Dragon’s Jewel by Cressida Cowell

Iron Hearted Violet by Kelly Regan Barnhill

Secrets of the Dragon World by S. A. Caldwell



Next time you are at the beach

We have just received one of the smallest books I have ever seen in the library. In fact it can fit in your pocket! It is A Mini Guide to the Identification of New Zealand Seashells by Andrew Crowe; a big title for such a wee book. Now, I know it isn’t really beach weather right now but it is actually a great time to visit after some of the storms we have had. Many interesting shells get washed up in the storms.

There is a life size colour photo of most shells which are grouped by shape and the habitat they come from. I recognised lots of the shells pictured.

By the way Andrew Crowe has produced many great NZ nature guides and was the first non-fiction writer to win the Margaret Mahy Medal for services to children’s literature last year.