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

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 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’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!

New Non Fiction: Ready, Steady, Cook!

Almost two-thirds of the winter has now gone!  We have had cold and nasty periods of gale winds, hail, snow, rain and storms in the Capital. So now that the school holidays have started, why not come in from the cold and check out Wellington City Libraries’  new range of cooking and baking non fiction in the Children’s collection for your enjoyment and pleasure.

Our new range of cookbooks contains information on how to make an assortment of savories and sweets for ideal for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks parties, and high tea. Also included are ideas on how to make Italian dishes, Kiwiana themed cupcakes, Narnian themed food and meals that meet the nutritional guidelines  of healthy eating.

Fancy some Italian…

The Silver Spoon for Children.

Fancy some Italian this winter? This delightful book holds 40 Italian recipes adapted from The Silver Spoon by a specially commissioned expert on children’s food and nutrition. The recipes have been chosen for their simple instructions, fresh and healthy ingredients and delicious flavor, and are guaranteed to appeal to the fussiest of children, so parents can rest easy knowing that their children will be eating healthily. You will learn how to make your own pizza, spaghetti and ice cream. Every step is described and illustrated to make the recipes easy to follow and there are photographs so that you can see what the finished dishes are suppose to look like.



Take a trip back to Narnia…

The Unofficial Narnia Cookbook.

We all know the series (and the movies). Have you ever wished you could travel through the wardrobe and simply taste some of the wondrous food featured? With The Unofficial Narnia Cookbook, you can recreate the delicious meals from Narnia in the comfort of your own home without worrying about the White Witch or epic battles. Menus include more than 150 easy-to-make recipes for breakfast, snacks, lunch, dinner, and of course dessert. Relive the magical and glorious world of Narnia as you cook your way through foods so good, you’ll think Aslan delivered them himself.

If you’re visiting your local library, you might also want check out the books and the DVDs.

Books: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair, The Horse and his boy, The Magician’s Nephew and The Last Battle.

DVDs (BBC): The Lion, The Witch and The WardrobePrince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and The Silver Chair

DVDs (Motion Picture): The Lion, The Witch and The WardrobePrince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.


Simple, easy (and healthy recipes) for kids…

4 Ingredients Kids.

This is a cookbook that all health conscious parents should read (or perhaps own.) 4 Ingredients Kids is loaded with healthy and fun recipes that will encourage kids to eat healthily without spending a fortune nor taking hours to make. I was very impressed with how the author, Kim McCosker has come up with imaginative themed recipes for children, like Volcanic eggs, grape wands  and Cinderella’s pumpkin soup that makes meal times fun and enjoyable. I also liked the idea for creating butterfly themed snack bags, (see the recipe for Play Date Buddies.)



Cookbooks by Sabrina Parrini.

Little Kitchen.

In the mood for quick after-school snacks, impressive dinners and sweet desserts. Then look no further. Little Kitchen is a beautifully designed and photographed collection of forty recipes for children aged six years and up. With clear, step-by-step instructions, each recipe will teach you how to make all the tasty treats you long to  eat and when to ask a grownup for help. Included are recipes for: Little Egg and Bacon Breakfast Pies, Minestrone, Yummy Mini Burgers, Meatballs, Tutti Frutti Salad, Gingerbread Snowflakes, and more! Yum!



Half-Hour Hungries.

Got the munchies? Want an easy meal in less than 30 minutes? Then Half-hour Hungries is the book for you! This book contains information on 36 awesome dishes for kids to make when the time is short, like Nacho-flavoured popcorn, Sloppy Joes and Croque Monsieur that are bound to satisfy rumbling tummies.





Celebrating Kiwiana…

Party Food for Girls.

Sugar and spice and all things nice. That’s what little girls are made of. And this book goes to show that the proof is definitely in the pudding. (No pun intended)  Written by Italian-born, New Zealand based food writer and travel journalist, Alessandra Zecchini, Party Food for Girls is perfect for girls who want to create scrumptious sweet treats, like teapot biscuits, and healthy snacks, like lavash salad rolls for birthday parties and high tea events.




Kiwiana Cupcakes, Cake Pops and Whoopie Pies.

“Kirsten Day does cupcakes, cake pops and whoopie pies Kiwiana-style, creating delectable treats to celebrate our Kiwi culture. In full colour with never-fail recipes, tips and hints, advice on Kiwiana styling and variations on design.” – Publisher information. Day’s take on Kiwiana styling of cupcakes is fantastic, especially with the Chocolate Kiwi, Chocolate Kiwifruit, Tomato sauce bottle and even Fish and Chips themed cupcakes. This book puts all cupcake recipes you know and heard of to shame.