Purapura Whetū: A Matariki Festival with Your Libraries

Tēnā koutou katoa, e te whānau!

This July, Wellington City Libraries is celebrating Matariki with Purapura Whetū, a special festival of events, crafts, storytelling, and reflection for whānau and tamariki all over our city.

As well as all the programmes listed below, each of our libraries will have special crafting stations set up where you can make your very own star to add to our city-wide purapura whetū; a pattern, or web of stars.

Why do we celebrate Matariki? The star cluster Matariki (also known as the Pleiades) reappears in the dawn sky about Aotearoa in late May or early June. The new moon following the rising of Matariki signals the Māori New Year. Customarily, this was a time to remember the deceased of the past year and to plan for the new year. Today, Matariki has been revived as a celebration of people, culture, language, spirituality, and history. It is a time for whānau and friends to come together to reflect on the past 12 months and look forward to the year ahead. When you add your star to our purapura whetū, we invite you to send a message to someone you love, or reflect on the year that has just passed.

Come down to your library to make your whetū (star) and add it to our constellation!


Nau mai haere mai ki te whare pukapuka ki te whakanui i a Matariki! As well as the Purapura Whetū craft activity happening at every branch, there are many other fabulous events to look out for celebrating Matariki during the school holidays:

Kōhunga Kōrero o Matariki
Nau mai haere mai ki te whare pukapuka ki te whakanui i a Matariki! Pakiwaitara i roto i te reo Māori. E 30 meneti pakiwaitara, rotarota, waiata hoki i roto i te reo Māori nō ngā kōhungahunga me ō rātou mātua kaitiaki. Join us for these special Matariki storytimes in te reo Māori! Featuring stories, songs and rhymes in te reo Māori, these 30-minute storytimes are open to anyone, and are recommended for children aged 2-6 years and their caregivers.

  • Friday 10 July, 10.30am at Johnsonville Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Waitohi
  • Monday 13 July, 10.30am at Karori Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Māhanga
  • Friday 17 July, 10.30am at Johnsonville Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Waitohi

Making Matariki Stars
Join us for this special Matariki craft session! Make your very own Matariki star using one of our designs, or let your creative juices flow and create your own! Then, we will add your star to our purapura whetū — our pattern of stars — for everyone to enjoy and admire.

  • Monday 13 July, 11.00am at Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Takapū o Patukawenga

Matariki By Torchlight
Head down to the library at twilight for this special evening of Matariki and Aotearoa-themed stories and songs under the starlight (or clouds!). Bring your own torch and come along in your PJs ready for some heart-warming bedtime stories and songs.

  • Monday 13 July, 6.00pm at Brooklyn Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Moe-rā

Matariki Music Makers: Making Taonga Whakatangitangi
Come along and celebrate Matariki by crafting music makers inspired by the porotiti, and making Matariki stars. You can take your creations home, or display them at our libraries during our #purapurawhetu Matariki festival.

  • Friday 10 July, 2.00pm at Brooklyn Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Moe-rā

Matariki Online Storytimes
Whakarongo mai, tamariki mā, pākeke mā! Celebrate Matariki wherever you are with our Matariki online storytimes. He korero paki i te reo Māori ēnei; these stories are in te reo Māori. The stories will be streaming live on our Wellington City Libraries Facebook page, and will remain up for your enjoyment throughout the holidays!

  • Saturday 4 July, 7.30pm — online!
  • Sunday 5 July, 7.30pm — online!
  • Monday 6 July, 7.30pm — online!

Matariki Storytimes
Come along and celebrate Matariki at your local whare pukapuka, or library, with Matariki-themed stories and waiata with our librarians. Then, why not try your hand at making Matariki stars at our crafting stations? There will be a range of activities available for your whānau.

  • Tuesday 7 July, 10.30am at Khandallah Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Tarikākā
  • Wednesday 8 July, 10.30am at Karori Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Māhanga
  • Monday 13 July, 10.30am at Wadestown Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Ōtari
  • Wednesday 15 July, 10.30am at Cummings Park Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Korimako

String Bean Puppets: Once in a Full Moon
Come along and celebrate Matariki at your local library with Anna Bailey and her string bean puppets! Anna’s puppets will be helping her perform the magical tale “Once in a Full Moon.” One evening, a lonely kiwi looks up in the sky and sees something remarkable… can kiwis fly after all?

  • Monday 13 July, 2.00pm at Karori Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Māhanga
  • Tuesday 14 July, 11.00am at He Matapihi Molesworth Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o He Matapihi
  • Wednesday 15 July, 2.00pm at Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Te Awa-a-Taia
  • Friday 17 July, 2.00pm at Johnsonville Library/Te Whare Pukapuka o Waitohi

Nō reira, nau mai, haere mai ki ōu tātou whare pukapuka ki te whakanui i tēnēi wā tino hirahira! So come on down to your library to celebrate this special time!

Bedtime Storytimes to Send You Off to Dreamland!

Because lots of children are back at school, kindy or daycare now that we’ve entered Level 2, we thought we’d change up some of our virtual events to suit people’s new schedules! So, our beloved Virtual Storytimes will now just be happening three times a week (on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10.30am, and Saturdays at 2.00pm), rather than six — but we’re also adding some special evening Bedtime Storytimes to help send you off gently to dreamland!

Every evening at 7.30pm, we’ll be sharing a few chapters from some of our favourite chapter books for you to listen to and enjoy as you snuggle in with your teddies. Our first Bedtime Storytime is happening over on the Wellington City Libraries Facebook page tonight, and will feature The Great Piratical Rumbustification by Margaret Mahy, illustrated by Quentin Blake.

Join us nightly at 7.30pm for our special Bedtime Storytimes!

Feel free to tune in at 7.30pm each night, or you can catch the videos after they premiere in our special Bedtime Storytime playlist on Facebook.

Virtual Storytime: Straight from the Librarian’s Living Room

With our libraries currently closed, are you missing your regular storytime fix? Don’t worry, we have you covered in more ways than one: check the options below!

Virtual Storytimes
During the lockdown, your favourite librarians will be bringing you livestreamed storytimes directly from their living rooms on the Wellington City Libraries Facebook page. Storytime will be streamed live Monday-Friday at 10:30am, and on Saturdays at 2:00pm, to match the times when Preschool Storytime would normally be happening at your local library. You can join us live as we stream, or watch the video afterwards.

Story Box Library
Tired of waiting for your next storytime livestream? Did you know that you can enjoy a read-aloud storytime ANYtime?! All you need is your Wellington City Libraries card and a device to watch on — PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone. Log in with your library card number and PIN, and enjoy stories being read aloud by fantastic, predominantly Australian and New Zealand, storytellers.

Stories Online
If those options aren’t enough, over on the Kids’ Downloads page we have a whole raft of digital storytime content that we have been curating over the years. This page is stuffed full of videos of New Zealand books being read by their authors at the library, links to awesome resources such as TumbleBooks and Kanopy Kids, and plenty of other bits and pieces to keep your mind busy!

While you check out all these awesome resources, why not watch our first livestreamed Virtual Storytime below? Straight from my living room (with Velvet Elvis looking down from above!) I bring you I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen, published by Walker Books.

The Great Teddy Bear Sleepover at Johnsonville Library

Yes, you heard right! The Great Teddy Bear Sleepover is coming back to Johnsonville Library on Friday the 30th of August at 6.30pm! Come along in your PJs with your favourite teddy or stuffed toy for an evening of fun stories, songs and activities, then leave your teddies behind to have a big sleepover with all their new friends. Who knows what mischief they might get up to unsupervised in the library overnight? Pick them up on Saturday morning to find out!

This event is suitable for children of all ages. Keep an eye out for the Great Teddy Bear Sleepover popping up at other libraries around the city as well!

Three teddy bears reading a book in the sun

Teddy bears read!

For more information, contact Johnsonville Library on 477 6151.

Chinese Storytime at Johnsonville Library!

Come and join us for a fun and interactive Mandarin Storytime with Chinese stories, songs and rhymes.

Children and care-givers who speak Mandarin, or use Mandarin as a second language will love these sessions.

Our next Chinese Storytime will be held at Johnsonville Library on:

Friday 16th November at 10.30am and will continue on the third Friday of each month.

This is a free event aimed for pre-schoolers through to 10 years but all are welcome

Session will run for 30 minutes.

欢迎加入Johnsonville 图书馆中文故事,儿歌活动

时间是每个月的第三个星期五上午10.30-11 点 地点是约翰逊图书馆 电话04-4776151

Chinese Storytime at Johnsonville Library!

Come and join us for a fun and interactive Mandarin Storytime with Chinese stories, songs and rhymes.

Children and care-givers who speak Mandarin, or use Mandarin as a second language will love these sessions.

Our next Chinese Storytime will be held at Johnsonville Library on:

Friday 21st September at 10.30am and will continue on the third Friday of each month.

This is a free event aimed for pre-schoolers through to 10 years but all are welcome

Session will run for 30 minutes.

欢迎加入Johnsonville 图书馆中文故事,儿歌活动

时间是每个月的第三个星期五上午10.30-11 点 地点是约翰逊图书馆 电话04-4776151

Chinese Storytime at Johnsonville Library

Come and join us for a fun and interactive Mandarin Storytime with Chinese stories, songs and rhymes.

Children and care-givers who speak Mandarin, or use Mandarin as a second language will love these sessions.

Our next Chinese Storytime will be held at Johnsonville Library on:

Friday 20th July at 10.30am and will continue on the third Friday of each month.

This is a free event aimed for pre-schoolers through to 10 years but all are welcome

Session will run for 30 minutes.

欢迎加入Johnsonville 图书馆中文故事,儿歌活动

时间是每个月的第三个星期五上午10.30-11 点 地点是约翰逊图书馆 电话04-4776151

Stories @ Six at Tawa Library

Join us on Thursday 7th June at 6pm for our next Stories @ Six session at Tawa Library.

This month come and listen to some heart-warming stories about “Family” by Tawa local Tracey Bennet.

Wear your PJ’s and bring along your teddies!!!

Tawa Library is open until 8pm on Thursday so plenty of time to issue books afterwards.

This is a free event suitable for all the family to enjoy with sessions running for around 30 minutes. 

 

Fairy Tales with a Twist at Khandallah Library!

Have you ever wanted to put together your very own fairy tale plot? Or test out your artistic skills in creating your own fairy tale character? Come on down to Khandallah Library on the last Thursday of the month for an awesome evening of fairy tales featuring the characters you know and love, and finish up by writing your own tale or drawing your own character! We would love to see you there.

Where? Khandallah Library, 8 Ganges Road, Khandallah
When? Thursday the 31st of May, 6:30pm

What stories could be playing out in yon trees?

At Khandallah Library, we host special events for children and their families on the last Thursday of each month at 6:30pm. Keep an eye on the Kids Blog and the library noticeboard to find out more!

International Simultaneous Storytime 2018

For the first time ever New Zealand is joining with Australia for an international storytime. Hickory Dickory Dash by Tony Wilson will be read simultaneously -at the same time- across both countries.

You can join us and take part at Wellington Central, Johnsonville, or Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Libraries at 12.30pm on Wednesday 18th May.

At Wellington Central and Johnsonville Library events there will be a live video feed to libraries in Canberra in Australia -Cool! You will have the chance to wave and giggle with children in Canberra and ask them lots of questions. At 1pm Hickory Dickory Dash will be read aloud by a special guest reader, with the children in Canberra listening too.

Don’t miss out on this exciting historic event. All are welcome, bookings aren’t required.