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 wellington.govt.nz

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 amazon.co.ukHome 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 amazon.co.ukOlaf’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!

The Summer Reading Adventure starts today — 1 December!

Read books, explore the city, win prizes!

The Summer Reading Adventure runs from 1 December 2021 – 31 January 2022 for children aged 5-13. Read books; write, draw or film reviews; and complete quests to earn all kinds of awesome goodies — and you’ll still be home in time for tea!

Summer Reading Adventure website link - 1 December to 31 January

Pick up the Adventurer’s Guide from your local library and visit our Summer Reading Adventure website to register and start logging your reading and adventures today.

Read on to find out more!

Continue reading

Celebrate a Festival of lights with Hanukkah 2021!

image courtesy of wikimedia.org

image courtesy of wikimedia.org

חנוכה שמח! Happy Hanukkah! חג אורים שמח! Happy Festival of Lights!

Hanukkah 2021, also known as Festival of the Lights, will fall this year on the 28th November until 6th December.

What is Hannukah?

Hanukkah, or Chanukkah, is a Jewish festival that is observed for eight days and eight nights. It officially starts on the 25th day of the month of Kislev in the Hebrew calendar, which can occur anywhere from late November to mid-December.

Did you know? Hannukah can be broken down into חנו כ”ה, “[they] rested [on the] twenty-fifth”, referring to the fact that the Jews ceased fighting on the 25th day of Kislev, the day on which the holiday begins.

To learn more about Hannukah, check out this clip from Clarendon Learning on YouTube down below:


How do people celebrate Hannukah?

To commemorate this, Jewish people who celebrate Hanukkah light candles in special nine-branch candelabrum known as a Hanukkah menorah (מנורת חנוכה).  One candle is lit on the first night of Hanukkah, two on the second, and then this continues until all the candles are lit. The candles themselves are not used for any other purpose, even to light the other candles in the Menorah, so the ninth candle is used to light all the others. During Hanukkah, Jewish people make music together, share food (especially yummy fried foods like latkes and sufganiyot jam-filled doughnuts), exchange gelt, or gift money, and spend time with family and loved ones. A game is also traditionally played during Hanukkah that involves a driedel, which is a spinning top.

image courtesy of wikimedia.org

image courtesy of wikimedia.org


For more craft and gift ideas, have a read of:

image courtesy of syndeticsFestive fun.

“Presents craft projects relating to special days and festive occasions: Chinese New Year, Valentine’s Day, Passover, Easter, April Fool’s Day, May Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa. Includes step-by-step instructions. Suggested level: junior, primary.” (Catalogue)

Where can I find information about Hannukah?

Non fiction about Hannukah, Judaism and other religious festivals:

image courtesy of syndeticsCelebrate! : a book of Jewish holiday.

“This wonderful charmingly illustrated book celebrates Jewish holidays all year long. From Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, to Sukkot, the celebration of the harvest, to Hanukkah, the festival of lights, this is the perfect book for families to enjoy together.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsA Jewish life.

“A Jewish Life explores some of the cornerstones of what it means to be Jewish today, through Passover and Hanukkah celebrations, christening and wedding ceremonies, what happens in a synagogue and why many Jewish people go on pilgrimages to Israel.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsThe big book of festivals.

“Kids aged 7+ with an interest in the world around them will adore this collection of fantastic festivities, crazy celebrations and happy holy days from across the globe. The big book of festivals introduces young people to some major festivals and some lesser-known regional festivals from around the world. This gorgeously illustrated hardback features a total of 38 festivals, including: Lunar New Year, Day of the Dead, Kumbh Mela, Holi, Diwali, Gelede, Christmas, La Tomatina, Eid-ul-Fitr, Konaki Sumo, Carnaval, Hanukkah, Anastenaria, Festival of Giants, Matariki, Halloween, The Birthday of Guru Nanuk, Buddha’s Birthday, Bunya Cone Harvest Festival, Easter, Inti Raymi, Venetian Masquerade Ball, and more.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsA faith like mine : a celebration of the world’s religions– seen through the eyes of children.

“Using revealing photography and detailed personal accounts to give unique insight into the diversity of religious faith as experienced by children across the world, this is an ideal book for families to read together.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsReligious celebrations.

“This interesting book is part of a series written for young students that focuses on a wide variety of celebrations and festivals held for special occasions throughout the world. It focuses on religious celebrations. Written in simple language, this colourful book takes a global approach highlighting similarities and differences between how events are celebrated within different cultures.” (Catalogue)

Picture Books and fiction about Hannukah.

image courtesy of syndeticsNonna’s Hanukkah surprise.

“When Rachel loses the special menorah her mother gave her so she could share Hanukkah with her cousins, Rachel’s grandmother comes to the rescue with a creative and crafty solution.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsIs it Hanukkah yet?

“From snow on the ground to making applesauce and latkes to lighting the menorah, this story shows the seasonal and traditional ways we know Hanukkah is on its way.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsHana the Hanukkah fairy.

“When Hana the Hanukkah Fairy’s hanukkah is stolen by naughty Jack Frost, Hanukkah celebrations everywhere are at risk. Rachel and Kirsty must help Hani find her magical object!” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsThe latke who couldn’t stop screaming : a Christmas story.

“Latkes are potato pancakes served at Hanukah. Lemony Snicket is an alleged children’s author. For the first time in literary history, these two elements are combined in one book. People who are interested in either or both of these things will find this book so enjoyable it will feel as if Hanukah is being celebrated for several years, rather than eight nights.” (Catalogue)

Comics and Graphic Novels: New Releases in November 2021

Hey Kids! Wellington City Libraries has some new children’s comics and graphic novels this month to keep you amused just in time for Summer. So what are you waiting for? Come on down to your local branch and borrow the following:

image courtesy of syndeticsThe Smurfs tales. 1.

“On the occasion of the all-new animated TV series starting on Nick this September, an all-new series of Smurfs graphic novels! The Smurfs are back in new stories in English for the first time! First, when Papa Smurf’s stork gets wounded in a storm, he must rely on the kindness of a local farmer to nurse the stork back to flying condition. A different kind of storm arrives in the shape of Johnny, the nephew of the farmer. The boy is as aggressive as his uncle is friendly. Making his way to the Smurfs Village, Johnny leaves a path of destruction in his wake, putting the whole village in jeopardy…” (Adapted from Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsMaking friends. [3], Third time’s a charm.

“Dany’s sketchbook is at it again, but this time it’s not Dany’s doing! Dany and Madison are living a new reality. Rather than best friends, the pair now believe they are twins — and that isn’t the only part of their lives that has been completely rewritten. […] Can the pair put things back the way they were, or is this magic beyond their control?” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Also available as an eBook.

image courtesy of syndeticsCat & cat. 4, Scaredy cat.

“After a long day of chasing around Sushi the cat, paying attention to Sushi the cat, and catering to Sushi the cat’s every whim, Sushi’s owner Cat and her dad get exhausted. But you did know that cats are nocturnal, right? And when Cat and her dad are away, sleeping, Sushi the cat will play… ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsGrumpy monkey. 1, Freshly squeezed.

“Jim Panzee is out for his usual Wednesday walk when he accidentally squishes his stress orange into orange juice. He and his friends must cross the jungle before all of the fresh oranges are gone” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsCity of Dragons: The Awakening Storm.

“When Grace moves to Hong Kong with her mom and new stepdad, her biggest concern is making friends at her fancy new boarding school. But when a mysterious old woman gifts her a dragon egg during a field trip, Grace discovers that the wonderful stories of dragons she heard when she was a young girl might actually be real – especially when the egg hatches overnight. The dragon has immense powers that Grace doesn’t understand. And that puts them both in danger from mysterious forces intent on abusing the dragon’s power.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsThe Baby-sitters Club. 10, Kristy and the snobs.

“This graphic novel adapted by rising cartoonist Chan Chau is now available in full colour! Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia, and Stacey are best friends and founding members of The Babysitters Club. Whatever comes up, you can count on them to save the day. Kristy’s family moves to a new neighborhood where the kids make fun of Louie, Kristy’s pet collie, who’s going blind. The Baby-sitters are not going to let them get away with it.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsSunny makes a splash.

“It’s summer, and Sunny is BORED. Most of her friends are out of town. Her mom wants her to baby-sit way more than Sunny wants to baby-sit. There’s nothing good on TV. The only place that’s cool (in a not-boring sense) and cool (in a not-hot sense) is the community pool. Sunny loves going there . . . and loves it even more when she’s offered a job at the snack shack. Soon she’s flinging fries and serving soft ice-cream like a pro . . . with the assistance of the very sweet boy who works with her. Sunny’s mom isn’t sure Sunny should be quite so independent. But Sunny is definitely sure: Life is best when it’s free swim.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsBaby-sitters little sister [4] : Karen’s Kittycat Club.

“Karen wants to start her own club! Karen’s best friend Hannie just got an adorable new kitten. Their neighbor Amanda has a cat, too, and Karen has grumpy old Boo-Boo. Now that they all have cats, Karen comes up with a great idea. She wants to start a Kittycat Club! What will the club do? Karen can’t baby-sit like her big sister Kristy… but she can cat-sit! Will anyone want to hire Karen and her friends?” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsBeak & Ally. [1], Unlikely friends.

“Ally the alligator is perfectly happy being alone… until one day a noisy bird named Beak lands on her snout. Much to Ally’s annoyance, this chatty bird likes to sing all the time and has chosen a nearby tree to build his new nest. Even worse, he insists that he and Ally will be best friends. In fact, he has all kinds of friendship goals in mind, and it seems nothing Ally says will convince him that she’d rather just be alone. Nothing beats peace and quiet… except for maybe a new best friend?” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsBeak & Ally. 2, Bedtime jitters.

“With weird swamp noises swirling around him, Beak the Bird cannot get any sleep until his friend Ally the alligator shows him where the racket is coming from.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsBig Nate Aloha!

“Aloha can mean hello or goodbye–which makes it the perfect word for sixth grader Nate Wright. Why? Because Nate doesn’t know whether he’s coming or going. Will his romance with Daisy sizzle or fizzle? Will his hair survive Teddy’s cut-rate barber skills? And when Nate spots a crime in progress at Klassic Komix, can he find his inner superhero?” (Catalogue)

Also available as an eBook.

image courtesy of syndeticsThe spellbinding episodes of Phoebe and her unicorn.

“A deluxe bind-up featuring all the comics from two different Phoebe and Her Unicorn books: Unicorns vs. Goblins and Razzle Dazzle Unicorn . In these spellbinding adventures, nine-year-old Phoebe Howell and her unicorn best friend, Marigold Heavenly Nostrils, explore the possibilities of friendship, summer camp, the holidays, and even founding their own detective agency. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsAbsolutely Nat.

“Natalie has just arrived at summer camp and soon realizes it isn’t anything like the brochure. Instead of spending the summer with her best friends, Zoe and Flo, Natalie is stuck with her ex-BFF, Lily, and someone even more annoying than the endless mosquitoes: Millie Flatbottom. Even worse, she’s constantly pushed out of her comfort zone and forced to come face-to-face with some of her greatest fears. Although summer camp isn’t at all what Natalie expected, could it be exactly what she needs?” (Catalogue)

Also available as an eBook.

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!

Guy Fawkes: Celebrate a gunpowder plot gone wrong at WCL!

image courtesy of wikipedia.org

This black-and-white drawing of Guy Fawkes was actually created over 200 years after his death by illustrator George Cruikshank! Image: Public Domain

Prepare to blow up… your mind with endless information about a gunpowder plot gone wrong. Guy Fawkes Day or Bonfire Night will arrive once again on November 5th as an annual celebration with bonfires and fireworks in remembrance of the failed plot to kill the British Government and King James VI and I.

Why do we celebrate Guy Fawkes?

Guy Fawkes and a group of men were part of a plot to blow up British Parliament to kill the King of England on the 5th of November. However, the government found out about the plot before the attack could take place. The government arrested Guy Fawkes and his conspirators. Guy Fawkes and the others were convicted of treason. Parliament announced a national day, known as Guy Fawkes Day, to celebrate their survival. The first celebration was held on November 5, 1606. Today, Guy Fawkes Day is celebrated with feasts, bonfires, and fireworks.

Books about Guy Fawkes

If you’d like to read more about the history and alternative stories about Guy Fawkes, here’s a selection of books at the library:

image courtesy of syndeticsGuy Fawkes.

“Examines the life of Guy Fawkes, his childhood, family life, and the unsuccessful Gunpower Plot where he was arrested and executed with the rest of the plotters. Suggested level: intermediate, junior secondary.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsGuy Fawkes and the gunpowder plot.

Read all about the history of Guy Fawkes and the gunpower plot that went horribly wrong. (Catalogue)


image courtesy of syndetics5 November 1605 : the Gunpowder Plot.

“This title explores the Gunpower Plot. It looks at what happened on the day and the background and consequences. It is suitable as a quick-read introduction to the subject and also as a high interest/low reading ability level book.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsRemember that November.

“It’s almost Guy Fawkes Night, and at the school speech competition Andy talks about Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot. The children cheer excitedly, thinking Andy will win the contest. But then, Aroha gets up, wearing a white feather in her hair, and tells the story of another fifth of November – the invasion of Parihaka in 1881” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsCorpse talk. Season 2.

“Sequel to the Blue Peter Award shortlisted Corpse Talk Season 1. The latest in the ultimate history lesson as Adam Murphy digs up and interviews an even more unusual and fascinating dead people, and finds out about their extraordinary lives.” (Catalogue)


While we’re in celebration mode, why not read up about celebrations and festivals around the world such as:

image courtesy of syndeticsFestivals and celebrations.

“Take a trip around the world, looking at the many different ways that people celebrate special days, holidays, religious festivals and traditional celebrations. Comparing Countries is a groundbreaking non-fiction dual-language series which compares and contrasts ways of life in different countries around the world. Presented in two different languages, each title explores a topic common to all children, from homes to festivals, highlighting what makes us different and what we all have in common. This series provides great support to geography learning, as well as helping young language learners improve their reading skills.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsThe big book of festivals.

“Kids aged 7+ with an interest in the world around them will adore this collection of fantastic festivities, crazy celebrations and happy holy days from across the globe. The big book of festivals introduces young people to some major festivals and some lesser-known regional festivals from around the world. This gorgeously illustrated hardback features a total of 38 festivals, including: Lunar New Year, Day of the Dead, Kumbh Mela, Holi, Diwali, Gelede, Christmas, La Tomatina, Eid-ul-Fitr, Konaki Sumo, Carnaval, Hanukkah, Anastenaria, Festival of Giants, Matariki, Halloween, The Birthday of Guru Nanuk, Buddha’s Birthday, Bunya Cone Harvest Festival, Easter, Inti Raymi, Venetian Masquerade Ball, and more.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsLighting our world : a year of celebrations.

“Throughout the year and around the globe, people use light — candles, bonfires, lanterns and fireworks — to celebrate special occasions. This richly illustrated book is an illuminating tour of the world’s brightest and warmest festivities.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsA year full of celebrations and festivals.

“Countless different festivals are celebrated all over the world throughout the year. Some are national holidays, celebrated for religious and cultural reasons, or to mark an important date in history, while others are just for fun. Give thanks and tuck into a delicious meal with friends and family at Thanksgiving, get caught up in a messy tomato fight in Spain at La Tomatina, add a splash of colour to your day at the Holi festival of colours and celebrate the life and achievements of Martin Luther King Jr. on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. With fact-filled text accompanied by beautifully bright illustrations from the wonderfully talented Chris Corr, prepare yourself for a journey as we travel around the world celebrating and uncovering a visual feast of culture.” (Catalogue)

For more information, check out:

Britannica.

BBC.

National Geographic.

Get into the spirit of Halloween ’21 at the library — Part One!

image courtesy of stuff.co.nz

Halloween has arrived at the library! In addition to dressing up and eating treats, now is the time to get your scare on reading up about the history of Halloween, and getting some cool ideas for Halloween costumes and crafts. Soon to come is Part Two, where we’ll share with you some extra-spooky fiction, picture books, eBooks and movies for a quiet (scare) night in. Let the scare fest begin! AHHHWWOOOOOO!

About Halloween:

Halloween, or All Hallows Eve, is celebrated on October 31st. The origins of Halloween can be traced back to the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain, which was held on November 1 in contemporary calendars. It was believed that on that day, the souls of the dead returned to their homes, so people dressed in costumes and lit bonfires to ward off spirits. Today Halloween is considered a holiday (especially in the United States) for dress-up, (traditionally witches, ghosts and zombies), treats and fun, especially for children. For more information about the history of Halloween, read our previous post.

Some ways that people around the world celebrate Halloween include:

  • Dressing up in costume,
  • Handing out treats to trick or treaters,
  • Decorating the house with Halloween party favours,
  • Reading or sharing ghost stories (we have heaps of those!),
  • Watching scary movies (we have heaps of those as well!)

Immediately following Halloween, on November 1st, Día de Muertos is a traditional Central American holiday that reunites the living and dead. It is a holiday for celebrating life and death, a holiday where mourning is exchanged for celebration. Below are a couple of books from our collection where you can read up more about this festival:

image courtesy of syndeticsThe day of the dead = El dia de los muertos.

@This book tells the story of two children as they celebrate their ancestors on the vibrant holiday: The day of the dead. With sugar skulls, sweet-smelling marigold petals and joyful songs, Hispanic families welcome back ancestors on this holiday. Complete with lush college and lyrical text in both English and Spanish, this wonderful picture book creates the perfect introduction to this festival (and perhaps also to the Spanish language).” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsDía de los muertos.

“It’s Día de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) and children throughout the pueblo, or town, are getting ready to celebrate! They decorate with colored streamers, calaveras, or sugar skulls, and pan de muertos, or bread of the dead. There are altars draped in cloth and covered in marigolds and twinkling candles. Music fills the streets. Join the fun and festivities, learn about a different cultural tradition, and brush up on your Spanish vocabulary, as the town honors their dearly departed in a traditional, time-honored style.” (Catalogue)


Where can I find more information about Halloween:


image courtesy of syndeticsCelebrate Halloween.

“Vivid images and lively, inviting text illuminate the spookiest night of the year. This book spirits readers on a tour of Halloween celebrations around the globe as it explores the rich history of this holiday and the origins of its folklore, food, games, costumes, and traditions.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsHow to make frightening Halloween decorations.

“Do you like to scare and gross out your friends? Create frightening Halloween decorations with just a few simple supplies. Surprise your friends with glowing alien heads and sicken them with bloody intestines. Whether you’re decorating for a party or just for fun, these projects will turn an ordinary Halloween into a howling good time.”(Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsHow to create spectacular Halloween costumes.

“Are you searching for a Halloween costume that will get you noticed? Then How to Create Spectacular Halloween Costumes is the book for you! From a guitar-playing vampire to the floor of a movie theater, these easy-to-make costumes are sure to impress your friends. They might even cause a few screams!” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndetics10 minute Halloween crafts.

“In 10 Minute Crafts: Halloween, children can learn how to make Halloween decorations such as bat hangings and black cat lanterns and create spookily brilliant zombie finger puppets and witches on broomsticks, plus lots more amazing Halloween ideas.” (Catalogue)

New to the collection is…

image courtesy of syndeticsHalloween : 300 spooky facts to scare you silly.

“The wildly popular Weird But True line is all dressed up for Halloween with 300 all-new spooky facts about candy, costumes, pumpkin carving, and more Calling all boys and ghouls: You’re in for a treat of freaky facts, stats, tidbits, and trivia about one of the most popular holidays Did you know that there is an underwater pumpkin carving contest? Or that the U.S. Defense Department has a zombie apocalypse plan? Maybe you’d be amazed to discover that there are more Halloween emojis than there are U.S. states? It’s all weird–and it’s all true–in this latest and greatest edition, packed with hilarious and terrifying tidbits on Halloween.” (Catalogue)


Have a safe and happy Halloween!

Get crafty these holidays with CRAFTerHolidays2Go!

School holidays are here, and if you’re missing our usual array of library programmes during the break at COVID Alert Level 2, why not get your ‘crafty fingers’ working with our CRAFTerHolidays2Go take-away packs available from some of our branch libraries?

Johnsonville and Tawa Libraries

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These CRAFTerHolidays2Go packs are a follow-on from the ever-popular CRAFTerschool sessions which are offered every Monday (Tawa Library) and Wednesday (Johnsonville Library) after school during term time during Covid Alert Level 1.

These packs are a lucky dip of at least three separate activities that you can make, cook, sew, knit, fly, experiment with or puzzle over. Each sheet also features a QR code that can link you to the activity sheet’s specific craft book on our catalogue, just in case you want to do more activities from that book.

There’s also a SIT ‘N’ KNIT pom-pom making pack, and a How-to sheet for submitting your poems to Tūhono 2021, our annual poetry journal for children and teens.

So pop into the Johnsonville or Tawa Libraries over the holidays and pick up your packs!

Te Awe Library

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The ‘crafty’ librarians at Te Awe Library are working on a variety of CRAFTerHolidays2Go packs too – these include a movable paper animals kit with card template, paper fasteners and googly eyes; and there is also a collage kit and an activity pack with wordfinds and crosswords. All available 2Go from Te Awe Library in the CBD on Brandon St.

Newtown Library

Also, come on down to Newtown Library and help yourself to a small bag of crafty goodies! If you’re looking for ideas on what to create, check out the Newtown Library Facebook page, where some of our librarians are posting some easy craft ideas for you to follow along with. Share your creations with your local librarian and be in to win some cool school holiday prizes!

Wellington City Libraries online

Wellington City Libraries also have a huge array of interesting ‘stuff’ for you to watch and do on You Tube. So jump on now and have a browse HERE

Or you could check out the Kids’ FUN STUFF on the Wellington City Libraries website for more games, craft ideas, printables and puzzles HERE


For further inspo, why not check out these virtual CRAFTerschool clips:

 


Wellington City Libraries have you covered for all things ‘crafty’ with lots of books and resources to help you on your way. Check out the NON-FICTION Dewey 745 – 750 sections and unleash your creativity:

Easy arts & crafts for kids : 50 fun projects to make, wear, and share / Perkins, Jennifer
“A collection of 50 craft projects that require little supervision and can be made with materials you can find at home.” (Catalogue)

Maker camp : heritage crafts and skill-building projects for kids / Holton-Fessler, Delanie
“Classic and innovative hands-on projects for kids ages 3 and up designed to teach both heritage skills and how to think creatively. The 20+ projects in this book weave a story of human innovation and creativity, from the very beginnings of building shelters in the woods to tinkering with recycled materials. Heritage skills teach children how to be independent and capable makers; fibre and wood projects offer rewarding crafts that also teach planning, preparation, and safe risk taking; and tinkering activities connect the low-tech process of making and doing with innovation.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Art sparks : draw, paint, make, and get creative with 53 amazing projects! / Abrams, Marion
“This lively, colourful compendium of arts and crafts for a new generation of kids features projects specially designed to spark creativity, invite self-expression, and nurture self-confidence. From finger puppets to fabric flags to shrink art, each activity uses inexpensive materials and can be crafted in less than 90 minutes.” (Catalogue)

Stitch + string lab for kids : 40+ creative projects to sew, embroider, weave, wrap and tie / Stephens, Cassie
“With 40+ inventive projects, Stitch and string lab for kids contains everything from simple sewing, embroidery, and weaving to string art, needle felting, and yarn crafts!” (Catalogue)

Drawing aliens, spacecraft, and other stuff beyond the galaxy : 4D an augmented reading drawing experience / Cella, Clara
“For budding artists who won’t be confined to subjects here on Earth, Drawing Aliens, Spacecraft, and Other Stuff Beyond the Galaxy delivers high-interest projects with step-by-step instructions and special 4D support. Projects increase in difficulty from the first to the last to strengthen drawing skills and confidence. Download the Capstone 4D app for an augmented reality experience that extends learning beyond the printed page with artist video tutorials and other bonus content.” (Catalogue)

Crafting fun for kids of all ages : pipe cleaners, paint & pom-poms galore, yarn & string & a whole lot more / Uliana, Kim
“In Crafting Fun for Kids of All Ages, blogger Kim Uliana offers 200 entertaining, versatile, and easy-to-assemble arts and crafts projects for any occasion. Make glittery snowflakes and thumbprint ornaments during the holidays, create straw hats and button sunflowers for summer vacation, or decorate personalized bookmarks for back-to-school.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Epic graphic novel crafts / Jones, Jen
“Whether you flip left to right or right to left, this collection of crafts will call upon your favourite comics, manga, or graphic novels! Re-live adventures and far-out tales with these larger-than-life crafts.” (Catalogue)

Children’s DVDs: New Releases in October 2021

Spring is around the corner! Unfortunately not much is happening in terms or events and celebrations under Level 2. Not to worry, why not spring on down to Wellington City Libraries for some new children’s DVDs to keep you entertained, amused and give you a few laughs. So what are you waiting for? Go down to your local branch and borrow the following DVDs:

image courtesy of amazon.comRaya and the last dragon.

“Long ago, in the fantasy world of Kumandra, humans and dragons lived together in harmony. But when sinister monsters known as the Druun threatened the land, the dragons sacrificed themselves to save humanity. Now, 500 years later, those same monsters have returned and it’s up to a lone warrior, Raya, to track down the last dragon in order to finally stop the Druun for good. However, along her journey, she’ll learn that it’ll take more than dragon magic to save the world; it’s going to take trust as well.” (Catalogue).


image courtesy of amazon.comThe Croods. A new age.

“The Croods need a new place to live. So, the first prehistoric family sets off into the world in search of a safer place to call home. When they discover an idyllic walled-in paradise that meets all their needs, they think their problems are solved, except for one thing. Another family already lives there: the Bettermans.” (Catalogue).


image courtesy of amazon.comPeter Rabbit 2.

“The lovable rogue is back. Bea, Thomas, and the rabbits have created a makeshift family, but despite his best efforts, Peter can’t seem to shake his mischievous reputation. Adventuring out of the garden, Peter finds himself in a world where his mischief is appreciated, but when his family risks everything to come looking for him, Peter must figure out what kind of bunny he wants to be.” (Catalogue).


image courtesy of amazon.comTom & Jerry : the movie.

“When Jerry moves into a fine hotel on the eve of an important society wedding, the event planner hires Tom to get rid of him. Unfortunately, the battle which follows is big enough to destroy the wedding, her career, and possibly the hotel — so the sworn enemies decide to work together to save it all.” (Catalogue).


image courtesy of amazon.comZog and the flying doctors.

“Pearl and Gadabout are now a flying doctor trio, caring for creatures including a mermaid, a unicorn and a sneezy lion. However when bad weather forces them to land at the palace, Pearl is locked up by her uncle, the king.” (Catalogue).


image courtesy of amazon.comThe War with Grandpa.

“Peter is thrilled that Grandpa is coming to live with his family. That is, until Grandpa moves into Peter’s room, forcing him upstairs into the creepy attic. And though he loves his grandpa he wants his room back – so he has no choice but to declare war. With the help of his friends, Peter devises outrageous plans to make Grandpa surrender the room. But Grandpa is tougher than he looks. Rather than give in, Grandpa plans to get even.” (Catalogue).


image courtesy of amazon.comCruella.

“Cruella, which is set in 1970s London amidst the punk rock revolution, follows a young grifter named Estella, a clever and creative girl determined to make a name for herself with her designs. She befriends a pair of young thieves who appreciate her appetite for mischief, and together they are able to build a life for themselves on the London streets. One day, Estella’s flair for fashion catches the eye of the Baroness von Hellman, a fashion legend who is devastatingly chic and terrifyingly haute. But their relationship sets in motion a course of events and revelations that will cause Estella to embrace her wicked side and become the raucous, fashionable and revenge-bent Cruella.” (Catalogue).



image courtesy of amazon.comSpirit untamed : the movie.

“Spirit untamed is the next chapter in the beloved franchise full of adventure, family and friendship. Free-spirited Lucky Prescott moves to Miradero to join her estranged father. She is decidedly unimpressed with the sleepy town until she discovers a unique tie to her late mother, who was a fearless horse-riding stunt performer. She quickly forms a bond with a wild mustang named Spirit and makes two new pals who love horses as much as she does. When a heartless wrangler plans to capture Spirit and his herd, Lucky and her friends set off on an epic journey to rescue the horse who has given her an unbreakable connection to her mother’s legacy.” (Catalogue).


image courtesy of amazon.comLuca.

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.

Spring into Sport with Play Smart!

Spring is in the air! A season of new beginnings, rebirth …. and exercise! Why not spring into sport with Play Smart, where you’ll get active, have fun and learn about science. Guaranteed to help you ace in P.E.,  science and possibly be a future contender of the Olympics.

Enjoy!

image courtesy of syndeticsThe science of cricket.

“How you ever wondered how to score a glorious goal make a perfect pass or hit a winning wicket By looking at angles forces distances and mass this series will teach you how. From hitting and kicking to running and jumping we will explore a variety of sports and the science behind them giving you all you need to know to Play Smart.” (Amazon).

image courtesy of syndeticsThe science of tennis.

“How is a tennis player is able to hit the ball and have control over it? Questions such as this are answered in this exciting look at the science behind tennis. Readers learn how to execute certain serves, such as a forehand serve and backhand serve, using a deeper understanding of physics. Detailed diagrams explain the science behind what happens before and after the tennis ball is hit with the racket. This creative guide to science curriculum topics includes graphic organizers, a thorough glossary, and delightful, full-color photographs that depict the thrilling intersection of science and sports.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsThe science of swimming.

“In swimming, there are multiple scientific concepts at play, such as density, gravity, momentum, and buoyancy. Readers learn about these concepts and more with this engaging guide to the science behind swimming. Useful diagrams display how to execute the perfect push-off from the wall of a pool, how to swim successful strokes, and how to do a cannonball. Informative fact boxes, helpful graphic organizers, and full-color photographs provide additional information. Readers will be thrilled by visual examples of science concepts in action. This high-interest approach to science curriculum topics will resonate with young readers.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsThe science of football.

“How you ever wondered how to score a glorious goal, make a perfect pass, or hit a winning wicket? By looking at angles, forces, distances and mass, this series will teach you how.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of sydneticsThe science of athletics.

“There are lots of athletic events. They include running, throwing different objects and jumping in different ways. Are you ready to learn all about science behind athletics?” (Catalogue).