New Non Fiction: Inspirational Lives, Animal Babies and Sendak in Maori.

Electrical Wizard: How Nikola Tesla Lit Up The World.

Move over, Thomas Edison! Nikola Tesla takes center stage as the man responsible for lighting our lives with electricity! Here is the story of the ambitious young man who brought life-changing ideas to America, despite the obstructive efforts of his hero-turned-rival, Thomas Edison. From using alternating current to light up the Chicago World’s Fair to harnessing Niagara to electrify New York City and beyond, Nikola Tesla was a revolutionary ahead of his time. Fantastic resource to use for science homework on electricity and a project on a famous scientist.

FACT: Technology such as remote controls, fluorescent lights, X-rays, speedometers, cell phones, even the radio all resulted from Nikola Tesla’s inventions.


Helen Keller’s Best Friend, Belle.

Helen Keller has been a truly inspiring icon. Having lost sight and hearing ability at a very young age and with the help of a teacher named Anne Sullivan, Helen learned how to communicate and became an inspiration to the nation when she learned to read Braille, use sign language and even speak. This book tells the story of her unique and special relationship with a devoted Great Dane named Belle, who was a faithful companion to Helen throughout her younger years and got her through (literary) the darkest and loneliest time of her life. Great for ages 4 to 7.

FACT: Pets can provide excellent social support, stress relief, helps children develop and other health benefits like improving your mood, lowering blood pressure and improves immunity.


101 Animal Babies.

Prepare to be bombarded with cuteness. If you have a weakness for baby animals (like I do), then you are going to love this book. This book provides  information about over one hundred baby animals and their parents, including chameleons, sloths, and elephants.  Learn interesting and amazing facts such as sloth babies are born in trees, jackal pups babysit their siblings and koala joeys are cousins to kangaroos.


Is this Panama?

Sammy, a young Wilson’s warbler, wakes up one frosty August morning near the Arctic Circle, he instinctively knows that it’s time to make his first migratory journey south to Panama. But there’s one problem — where’s Panama? Overall I loved this book! A captivating tale of adventure and discovery as Sammy embarks on his first solo migratory journey south to Panama, while encountering other animals making a similar journey on the way. A great story to educate children on how birds and animals migrate. This is one story you have to read from start to finish if you want to find out whether Sammy makes it to Panama.



Kei Reira Nga Weriweri (Where the Wild Things Are) and Kei Te Kihini O Te Po (In The Night Kitchen).

The award-winning much-loved children’s picture books Where the Wild Things Are and In The Night Kitchen have now translated into te reo Maori!, which still retains the simplicity and imagination of Maurice Sendak’s wonderful stories. Now is your chance to relive the same lively, creative stories where we join Max on his  adventure to ‘where the wild things are’ where  ‘wild rumpuses’ take place, and the pleasure of things returning to normal and Mickey’s dream of falling into cake mix and flying in a plane of bread dough to find milk for the cake batter ‘in the night kitchen’.


You may also like Te Tanguruhau, (The Gruffalo), The Māori language version of the children’s picture book, The Gruffalo about a clever mouse who uses the threat of a terrifying creature to keep from being eaten by a fox, an owl, and a snake, only to have to outwit that creature as well.

Just in time for Race Relations Day that takes place each year on the 21st March.


Finalists announced for the LIANZA Children’s Book Awards

The LIANZA (Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa) children’s book awards finalists have been announced.

Basically these are New Zealand librarians recognising the best books that have been published for children and teens in the last year.

The awards are separated up into 5 categories: best junior fiction (the top book wins the Esther Glen Medal), best illustration (The winner gets the Russell Clark Award), best non-fiction (the winner gets the Elsie Locke Award), best book written in te reo Maori (Te Kura Pounamu Award), and there is also a prize for the top teen book too.

The finalists for each category have just been announced (check them out below). A winner will be chosen from the finalists in each category, which will be announced at a sparkly awards ceremony on August 5th in Wellington.

Hot fact: The Esther Glen Medal for Junior Fiction is the oldest book award in New Zealand. It was first awarded in 1945 – that’s 68 years ago!


LIANZA Junior Fiction Award – Esther Glen Medal

The Queen and the Nobody Boy: A tale of Fontania by Barbara Else

The Drover’s Quest by Susan Brocker

When Empire Calls by Ken Catran

Red Rocks by Rachael King

The ACB with Honora Lee by Kate de Goldi

Lightning Strikes: The Slice by Rose Quilter (We don’t have this in the libraries yet. Check back later)


LIANZA Illustration Award – Russell Clark Award

The Dragon Hunters by James Russell, illustrated by Link Choi

Mister Whistler by Margaret Mahy, illustrated by Gavin Bishop

Kiwi: The Real Story by Annemarie Florian, illustrated by Heather Hunt

Blue Gnu by Kyle Mewburn, illustrated by Daron Parton

Melu byKyle Mewburn, illustrated by Ali Teo and John O’Reilly

A Great Cake by Tina Matthews



LIANZA Non Fiction Award – Elsie Locke Medal

At the Beach: Explore & Discover the New Zealand Seashore by Ned Barraud and Gillian Candler

Eruption! Discovering New Zealand Volcanoes by Maria Gill

100 Amazing Tales from Aotearoa by Simon Morton and Riria Hotere,





Te Kura Pounamu (te reo Māori)

Hautipua Rererangi story by Julian Arahanga, illustrated by Andrew Burdan

Ngā Waituhi o Rēhua by Katerina Te Heikoko Mataira

Arohanui by Huia Publishers, illustrated Andrew Burdan (Sorry, we don’t have this one in our libraries yet)

Ko Meru by Kyle Mewburn, translated by Ngaere Roberts, illustrated by Ali Teo and John O’Reilly  (Sorry, we don’t have this one in our libraries yet)

Taea ngā whetū by Dawn McMillan, translated by Ngaere Roberts, illustrated by Keinyo White


Waitangi Day: Festival

Awesome Waitangi Day events and activities for you to do!


This week is Waitangi Day – 6th February. It’s a public holiday, which means you get the day off school to celebrate New Zealand.

There’s some great stuff happening, the coolest is Te Ra O Waitangi – a Waitangi Day festival around the waterfront area. Events and activities starting from 10am.



For Kids there will be activities and entertainment at WHAREWAKA-A-TEA:

10am: Taonga Pu- tangitangi – make a musical instrument and learn to play it. Make a waka from harakeke/flax and driftwood Airbrush tattoos and balloons for kids

11am and 11.50am: Storytelling with Apirana Taylor

12 noon: Taonga Pu- tangitangi – make a musical instrument and learn to play it. Make a waka from harakeke/flax and driftwood Airbrush tattoos and balloons for kids


But there’s more…

WAKA ACTIVITIES (Lagoon and inner harbour)

10am: Have a go at waka ama with Wellington Tenths Trust and Palmerston North Ma- ori Reserve

11am: Nga- Waka Te Rerenga Ko-tare and Te Hononga display on the harbour and a race along the Frank Kitts Park waterfront edge

at 11.30am

12.30pm: Nga- Waka Te Rerenga Ko-tare and Te Hononga salute from harbour



From 10am: Raranga Ro-pu- Manaia – Flax-weaving showcase and learn how to make putiputi/flower. Solander Gallery exhibiting ‘The next chapter/Te Ara Whakamua’. Paintings by various artists in residents from Matiu Island. Department of Conservation have brought geckos to view

1–3.30pm: Waka ko-rero (at 1.30pm, 2.30pm, 3.30pm) by Neavin Broughton from Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust



12.30pm: Public address – Hon. Mahara Okeroa, Chairman of the Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust and Her Worship the Mayor of Wellington Celia Wade-Brown. Nga- Taonga Mai Tawhiti Kapa Haka

1pm: Toni Huata and Nga-ti Po-neke Kapa Haka

2pm: Downtown Community Ministry Ukelele Crew. Te Kura Kaupapa Ma-ori o Nga- Mokopuna Kapa Haka. Indigenous Melbourne-based SKIN Choir

3.30pm: Tomorrow People

4.30pm: Ladi6

6pm: Salsa at Sunset



10am–2pm: Ki-o-Rahi 4 Wha-nau Traditional Maori Sports games – exhibition and have a go. Hangi available for purchase.

9pm: Films by Starlight: Boy (M)



1pm, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm: Treaty of Waitangi Floortalks: Nau mai, haere mai! Learn about New Zealand’s founding document

with a 30-minute tour through our Treaty-focused exhibitions. Limited to 20 people a session

12noon–2pm and 3–5pm: Wailing Chamber



All events and activities are free and fun – everyone’s welcome. Festival info plus a map of the locations here.


Matariki Storytelling at Tawa Library

Bring your children to Tawa Library to hear special stories read by people from our community, about Matariki and beyond.No Charge. All welcome.

Matariki.webMonday 25 June, 10.30am – Kura Goldsmith

Tuesday 26 June, 11.30am – Amanda Dobson

Wednesday 27 June, 11.30am – Toa Waaka

Thursday 28 June 11.30am – Hone Harawira

Friday 29 June, 10.30am – Liz Langham

Presented by Mana Tiaki

Celebrating Matariki 25 – 29 June

Nau Mai, Haere Mai!

Kōhunga Kōrero – Pakiwaitara i roto i te Reo Māori

Preschool Storytimes in te reo Māori


From February 11th you’ll be able to hear stories read aloud in te Reo Māori at 4 library branches in Wellington. Kōhunga Kōrero will be filled with stories, rhymes, songs and fun, and will be held at Miramar, Newtown, Cummings Park (Ngaio) and Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Libraries.


Come along to learn some new words and test your language skills. Find out when they are happening here.


Suitable for 1-6 year olds and their caregivers.