Too Precious to Lose: Celebrating our Forests

Kahikitea Forest, West Coast NZ. Image: Sue Jane

Tuesday 21 March marks International Day of Forests. The 2022 theme is

“Too Precious to Lose”

which I think we can all agree is a very good theme! We often take trees, forests and natural areas for granted, but without them we simply wouldn’t survive. Trees are truly amazing (a word I’ll use often in this post!) 🙂

Here are some fun facts about our amazing trees:

  • Forests influence and slow climate change mainly by affecting the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
  • An average mature tree can absorb almost 36% of rainfall it comes in contact with.
  • Forests are helpful in improving water quality by extracting pollutants through tree roots.
  • More than ¼ of all medicines we use originate in rainforests.
  • The largest tree-dwelling mammal is the orang-utan.
  • The General Sherman Giant Redwood Tree is the largest in the world at 1,487 cubic metres. A coast redwood from California is the tallest tree in the world with an incredible height of 115.61 metres. It is called Hyperion.
  • Forests are home to 80% of the world’s land-based biodiversity – the variety of living things in any given place – with more than 60,000 tree species alone.
  • Forests cycle water between the soil and the atmosphere and help make rain
  • Trees also produce oxygen for us to breathe.

Weird but true!

Trees actually talk to each other! Not in the way we think about ‘talking’, but scientists believe there’s enough evidence to show that there is communication going on in the forests. Scientists have nicknamed this phenomenon “The Wood-Wide Web“! Here’s an interesting vid that explains all:

How can I help save the trees?

You can help protect our forests. When you visit a forest be sure to keep all of your rubbish with you, keep on the tracks to avoid damaging plants, roots, and spreading diseases and get your hands dirty by volunteering to plant, weed, or control pests.


Wellington City Libraries have lots of resources to help you with your quest to protect our trees. Follow these simple steps on our website to find out more:

1. Click on Kids’ Search from the search drop-down on the Wellington City Libraries landing page

 

2. Scroll down to “Explore New Zealand topics” and find “Nature”. Click on each button to find lots of library resources that have been gathered together by our librarians. Enjoy!


Trees are AMAZING! Why not explore further with these resources from our catalogue:

The wonder of trees / Davies, Nicola
“Did you know that there are over 60,000 tree species? This stunning book explores the extraordinary diversity of trees and forests – the lungs of our earth. A glorious celebration of trees by non-fiction specialist Nicola Davies, illustrated by rising star Lorna Scobie, creators of the beautiful THE VARIETY OF LIFE. There is something to delight on every page with fascinating facts and figures. This exquisite book will encourage children to treasure the world’s biodiversity and help to stop it slipping away.” (Catalogue)
Deep roots : how trees sustain our planet / Tate, Nikki
“Presents facts about trees, explaining how they maintain a vibrant ecosystem and provide food, fuel, and shelter for people across the globe.” (Catalogue)
Trees : kings of the forest / Hirsch, Andy
“In Trees we follow an acorn as it learns about its future as Earth’s largest, longest-living plant. Starting with the seed’s germination, we learn about each stage until the tree’s maturation, different types of trees, and the roles trees take on in our ecosystem.” (Catalogue)
The wisdom of trees : how trees work together to form a natural kingdom / Judge, Lita
“A lyrical and informational nonfiction picture book that tells the story of trees and the hidden ecosystems they create” (Catalogue)
The giving tree / Silverstein, Shel
“A young boy grows to manhood and old age experiencing the love and generosity of a tree which gives to him without thought of return. Suggested level: junior, primary.” (Catalogue)

Earthkids: New Zealand conservation stories, activities and games by Andrew CroweEarthkids : New Zealand conservation stories, activities and games / Crowe, Andrew
“Describes efforts by New Zealanders to protect the environment and wildlife. Includes puzzles, quizzes and projects such as making a bird feeder, paper, a mobile and more. Suggested level: primary, intermediate, junior secondary.” (Catalogue)

Celebrate Nowruz 2022 at the Library!

Nowruz Mobarak!  aidé shomā mobārak!

!عيد نو روز مبارک Bayramiz Mubarah! nowruzetoon peerooz!  !نوروز پيروز

Happy Nowruz! May your new year be victorious!

What is Nowruz?

Nowruz (also known as Nauryz, Navruz, or Nowrouz) is the Persian New Year, but you don’t have to be Persian to celebrate it! This year, Nowruz is taking place in New Zealand on Monday 21 March. More than 300 million people worldwide celebrate Nowruz, and have celebrated it for more than 3,000 years, from the Balkans to the Black Sea Basin, to the Middle East and elsewhere.

Nowruz means “new day” in Farsi (the language predominantly spoken in Iran), and it occurs on the first day of Spring. While it’s a secular holiday for most people, it remains a holy day for Zoroastrians, Baháʼís, and some Muslims. The main countries that celebrate Nowruz are Afghanistan, Albania, Azerbaijan, Georgia, India, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Nowruz “promotes the values of peace and solidarity between generations and within families,” the United Nations says. It’s a time of reconciliation and neighbourliness, “contributing to cultural diversity and friendship among peoples and different communities.” We think this is something that we definitely need more of all over the world. Wellington City Libraries would like to wish you all “Nowruzetoon Peerooz — نوروز پيروز — May your new year be victorious!

From the Catalogue!

To help you and your family find out more about Nowruz, or about the people and cultures who celebrate it, we have put together this list of books to get you started:

Seven special somethings : a Nowruz story / Khorram, Adib
“Kian can’t wait for Persian New Year! His family has already made a haft-seen, and Kian’s baba and maman told him that all the things on it start with S and will bring them joy in the new year. Kian wonders if he could add just one more S, to make his family even happier. […] Can Kian find seven special somethings to make a new haft seen before his family arrives for their Nowruz celebration?” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The big book of festivals / Bullock, Marita
“From tomato-throwing parties to graveside picnics, fire-walking ceremonies, crying baby competitions and the biggest bathing festival on Earth – this book introduces you to some of the world’s most incredible cultural and religious celebrations. Some festivals are outrageously fun and joyful, others are more serious. All of them bring people together to mark big events in life.So join us in this riotous explosion of colour as we feast, sing, cry and celebrate the diversity of festivals and traditions this wonderful world of ours has to offer!” (Catalogue)

Mā dārīm mīrīam shikār-i khirs = We’re going on a bear hunt / Rosen, Michael
Read this classic children’s tale, here told in Persian, the national language of Iran! You can find more children’s books in Persian on our catalogue here!

A treasury of Turkish folktales for children / Walker, Barbara K
“Thirty-four Turkish folk tales about jinns and giants, padishahs and peasants, and beloved heroes such as Keloglan the bald boy.” (Catalogue)

My Grandma and me / Javaherbin, Mina
“In a true tale of a young girl in Iran and her grandmother, this beautiful ode to family celebrates small moments of love that become lifelong memories.” (Catalogue)

Pea boy and other stories from Iran / Laird, Elizabeth
“A wonderful collection of traditional stories from Iran retold by an award-winning author who knows the country intimately.” (Catalogue)

Audiobooks and You: Get Reading With Your Ears!

Have you ever been on a looooong car journey and really want to read your book but know that you’ll start to feel ‘icky’ if you look at the page for too long? Ever thought about plugging into an audiobook? You can watch the scenery go by AND escape to your fav fantasy world at the same time!

Duvall Hecht (1930 – 2022), the founder of the audiobook company, Books on Tape thought the same thing – but he was thinking that this new way of ‘reading’ would be good for himself and other adults who had to make long and boring commutes to and from work every day. Although this wasn’t the first time that someone had thought about recording audio versions of books, many of these were abridged. Duvall Hecht wanted to hear new and modern books as well as some classics without any bits cut out (his Books on Tape version of Tolstoy’s War and Peace ran to 45 tapes)!

Fun fact #1

Duvall Hecht was also an Olympic gold medallist in rowing and once was Marine Corps pilot!

“Radio offered little more than bad music and worse news.”

– Duvall Hecht, the founder of Books on Tape

Fun Fact #2

Books on Tape was first launched back in 1975 using the relatively new technology of the audio cassette tape. An audio cassette is a small device that can store music and sounds. To play a tape, a cassette player or cassette recorder is used. Cassettes store the sound on a magnetic tape that is wound around the two reels in the cassette.

royaltyfri kassettband foton | Piqsels

Image: Cassette tape (Piqsels)

Many people were against the idea of having books turned into audiobooks, worried that people would stop reading, but they’ve continued to thrive alongside their paperback cousins.



Audiobooks now come in a variety of formats and are available at Wellington City Libraries:

Audiobooks on CD with accompanying book:

These can be found in the library as part of our children’s collections. Many of these are attached to a physical book so you can read along as you listen… or simply listen!

Some favourites include:

Hairy Maclary treasury : the complete adventures of Hairy Maclary / Dodd, Lynley
“A collection of ten stories featuring the mischief and mayhem of Hairy Maclary.” (Catalogue)
Badjelly the witch : a fairy story / Milligan, Spike
“Rose and Tim encounter Badjelly the witch who can turn children into sausages or chop them into boy-girl soup, but they are rescued by Jim the Giant Eagle.” (Catalogue)
Thomas & friends the railway stories, vol.3
“This audiobook features original adventures about Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends from the Railway Stories by the Reverend W. Awdry.” (Catalogue)


Vox Books:  

These popular picture books are a great intro to audiobooks. No need for a CD player – simply turn on and listen to the story as you turn the pages!

Here’s a couple to whet the appetite:

That’s not a hippopotamus! / MacIver, Juliette
“In That’s Not a Hippopotamus, a class trip to the zoo descends into a chaotic hunt for the missing hippopotamus. Teacher, zookeeper and all the children join the search. The noise and drama reach a pitch, and no one thinks to listen to quiet Liam.” (Catalogue)
From egg to butterfly / Knudsen, Shannon
“Follows the development of a butterfly from the egg its mother lays on a plant to the fully developed insect that flies away.” (Catalogue)
The book tree / Czajak, Paul
“When young Arlo accidentally drops a book on the Mayor’s head, the Mayor decides books are dangerous and destroys all the books in town! But thanks to Arlo’s imagination and perseverance, the Mayor finds that suppressing stories cannot stop them from blossoming more beautifully than ever. This timely allegorical tale will be a useful tool for starting conversations with children about the power of activism and the written word.” (Catalogue)


Audiobooks on CD: 

Many of our most popular kids’ chapter books and series are available on audiobook on CD. These are especially good for picking up an entire series or collection of books by one author.

Popular Audiobook series and collections include:

The world of David Walliams : CD story collection / Walliams, David
“Five screamingly funny stories from number one bestselling children’s author David Walliams, together for the first time in this big, bumper CD boxset, performed by the King of Comedy himself. The Boy in the Dress, Mr. Stink, Gangsta Granny, Billionaire Boy, Ratburger.” (Adapted from Catalogue)
The bad book : & the very bad book / Griffiths, Andy
“In a very bad wood, there was a very bad house. And in that very bad house, there was a very bad room. And in that very bad room, there was a very bad cupboard. And in that very bad cupboard, there was a very bad shelf. And on that very bad shelf, there was a very bad box. And in that very bad box, there was a very bad book. And this is it!” (Catalogue)
The brilliant world of Tom Gates / Pichon, Liz
“Tom Gates is a master of excuses, expert doodler, comic story writer extraordinaire – and the bane of his grumpy teacher, Mr Fullerman. In his first wacky journal of scribbles and silliness, you’ll find all sorts of comic craziness to make you groan with glee! Will Tom ever manage to get his homework in on time, avoid the rage of his teacher – and impress Amy Porter, who sits next to him? Warning! Do not attempt to read this in public. You will snigger loudly!” (Catalogue)


eAudiobooks:

With the advent of e-books, you can now go one step further and borrow e-books and eAudiobooks onto your device through the Wellington City Library’s eLibrary service. Jump onto either OverDrive or Libby  or BorrowBox, and get reading with your ears!

Some of our more popular eAudiobooks:

Harry Potter and the philosopher’s stone / Rowling, J. K
“Strange things always seem to happen when Harry Potter is around. Things that unsettle his guardians, the Dursleys. They strongly disapprove of strangeness. It’s only when a letter arrives, delivered by a shaggy giant of a man called Hagrid, that Harry learns the truth that will transform his entire future: his parents were killed by the evil Lord Voldemort, and he, Harry, is a wizard. Whisked away to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Harry discovers a world of enchantments, ghosts, Quidditch, and friends who will stand, through everything, by his side…” (Adapted from Catalogue)
The Llama Llama audiobook collection / Dewdney, Anna
This audio collection includes: Llama Llama Misses Mama, Llama Llama Time to Share, Llama Llama and the Bully Goat, Llama Llama Holiday Drama, Llama Llama Nighty-Night, Llama Llama Wakey-Wake, Llama Llama Zippity-Zoom!, Llama Llama Hoppity-Hop! (Catalogue)
Mega Weird! (Weirdo 7)Mega weird! / Do, Anh
“What do you call a dinosaur that stomps on everything? Tyrannosaurus Wrecks! Life for WeirDo is MEGA BUSY! He’s planning on making MEGA bucks from the Street Garage Sale, plus he’s helping Bella write a winning song! It won’t be easy but it will be FUNNY!” (Catalogue)
The Wizards of Once: Never and ForeverNever and forever / Cowell, Cressida
“Warriors and Wizards combine forces against the dreadful power of the Kingwitch, whose searing evil threatens not only the Wildwoods, but all its creatures. Xar and Wish are on the final leg of their journey. First stop – The Mines of Unhappiness. Here, starvation is never far away for the Magical creatures who toil in its horrible depths…” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Storytimes in Our Languages

We hope you have been enjoying the virtual storytime videos that our staff have been sharing recently through our YouTube channel

Today, we would to highlight a couple of these awesome storytimes in languages from our communities, and share some of our favourite books in Spanish & Mandarin!

Firstly, the wonderful Blanca and Isabel from Karori Library share a sweet story called  ¡Me Rompí la Trompa! by Mo Willems:

Up next, Qiyu and Joseph at Arapaki Manners Library share a bilingual telling of the fantastic Ruru’s Hangī written by Chris Gurney and translated by Juechen Shao:

To keep up to date with Our Languages For Kids you can ‘save’ this playlist of our videos on YouTube.

Language Collections at Our Branches

Almost all of our branches have children’s books available in Chinese, Spanish, German, French, and Samoan (along with English and Te Reo Māori). Many more languages are available at branches across our system! Here is a picture of the recently updated languages section at Karori Library, ātaahua!

Karori Language collections

Karori Library has books in Arabic, Chinese, French, Filipino, German, Greek, Japanese, Russian, Spanish, and languages of the Pacific for you to enjoy!


Chinese language book picks from Khadro

Our wonderful librarian Khadro at Newtown Library has chosen some of her favourite books in Chinese to share with us today. We also love the beautiful decorations on the wall at Newtown Library, celebrating Chinese language and culture.

The War of Colours / Heller, Eva

This book explores the complexity of colours and all of the ways they enrich our everyday lives, from the yellow of the stars to the splashes of indigo in the sky!


How Animals Sleep / Bartíková, Petra 

Take a short flick through the jungle, the swamp and the outback to explore all of the different ways wildlife catch the Z’s. from the seagulls squawking at the beach to the Giraffes that lounge the safari.


Go Home Already / Jory, John

Bear and Duck have one mission: get back home safely. But what happens when they take a few bad turns?


Spanish language book picks from Rogelio

Our librarian Rogelio at Arapaki Manners Library has also chosen some of his favourite Spanish-language books for kids to share. Find more recommendations for wonderful children’s books in Spanish on our blog: ¡Nuevos libros en español! | New Books in Spanish!

Gustavo : el fantasmita timido / Drago, Flavia Z
“Conoce a Gustavo. Él es un fantasma y como a cualquier ser paranormal le encanta hacer lo que le es normal: atravesar paredes, hacer volar objetos y brillar en la oscuridad. También le encanta tocar el violín. Pero Gustavo tiene un problema. Él es muy, muy tímido, y aunque su deseo más grande es tener amigos, nunca se ha atrevido a hablarle a ninguno de los monstruos en su pueblito. Con el Día de Muertos cerca, ¿se atreverá Gustavo a dejar que lo vean?” (Catalogue).

¡Hermanos! / Bonilla, Rocio
“Un libro fantástico para hablar del amorodio entre hermanos. Un relato muy original y divertido que se lee en ambos sentidos. ¡Tener un hermano es muy molesto! Parece un mono, siempre haciendo payasadas. ¡Tener una hermana también es un rollo! Todo le parece mal y no me deja jugar a lo que quiero. Pero, a veces, los hermanos son una gran ayuda y juntos viven momentos muy divertidos. Quizás, tener un hermano o una hermana no está tan mal. Pero, ¿ser tres hermanos? ¡Eso sí que no!” (Catalogue)

The boy who touched the stars = El niño que alcanzó las estrellas / Hernández, José M.
“Juan Marcos is eager to continue his studies in the United States and rents a room from family friends living in El Barrio, or Spanish Harlem. Soon, he has a job wrapping packages at a department store that pays as much as he made teaching high school at home. As he interacts with the Puerto Rican community in New York, he witnesses the problems his compatriots encounter, including discrimination, inadequate housing, jobs and wages. Despite these problems, friendships and romances bloom and rivalries surface, leading to betrayal and even attempted murder!” (Catalogue)

Understanding Ukraine and Russia: A Guide for Kids and their Adults

Wellington is home to thousands of people of Ukrainian and Russian descent, as well as people from Polish, Belarusian, and other Eastern or Central-Eastern European backgrounds. The current conflict between Ukraine and Russia means that people who have moved here from those countries, or who have family there, are probably feeling pretty anxious, scared, or upset right now. And of course, whenever there is conflict happening somewhere in the world, it tends to find its way into our everyday lives — through the news, through TV or internet content, or through our friends or teachers at school talking about it — and it’s completely normal for that to make us feel a bit scared or anxious as well.

A man in Ukrainian cultural dress, including a tall fur cap and an elaborately-knotted brocade, is holding a small child in front of a festival stall which is decorated with sunflowers.

The Ukrainian stall at the Palmerston North Festival of Cultures in 2018. Note the Ukrainian flag in the background, as well as all the sunflowers — the sunflower is the national flower of Ukraine. Image courtesy of Palmerston North City Library, licensed under CC BY 4.0.

One way that we can help ourselves, and others, is by learning as much as we can about the history and culture of those places, and how news gets created and reported. If we learn about that, we can understand more about what’s going on at the moment in Ukraine and Russia — which means we’ll be more aware of, and better able to process, what’s being reported in the media and what our friends, whānau, and the wider community are talking about.

The good news is that the library has a whole heap of resources — books and other things — to help you learn more about Ukraine, Russia, international conflict, and the media more generally. Read on to find out how the library can help you understand what’s going on in the world at the moment.


HINT: Many of the links in this blog go to the Encyclopaedia Britannica for Kids. This is accessible to all Wellington City Libraries patrons. But to access this wonderful resource, and the others mentioned in this blog, you’ll need to login using your library card number (on the back of your card) and 4 digit pin (last FOUR numbers of the phone number listed on your library account), and the link will take you straight there.


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Tūhono 2021 is Live!

The day has finally come — Tūhono 2021, the latest volume in our poetry journal for (and by) young Wellingtonians, has officially been released into the world as of the 1st of March 2022. Over 200 young poets aged 5-18 contributed this time around, so we decided to split the book into two volumes — one containing the poems written by kids, and the other containing those written by teens. Head on over to OverDrive or Libby to check out the kids’ version — you can find the teens’ one here.

We are having physical copies printed as well, so soon you’ll be able to find Tūhono 2021 on the shelf at your local public or school library. We’re also giving two copies to the National Library of New Zealand, where they will be preserved for the rest of time (the legal term is ‘in perpetuity’) as part of the cultural heritage of this country. We think that’s an awesome achievement for all of you who wrote poems for the book. Congratulations on being published!

We think that this year’s colour palette is particularly beautiful.

There are some wonderful people who work for the library who need to be thanked for their efforts in creating this year’s edition of TūhonoStephanie (my partner-in-crime, and the amazing librarian who buy all the kids’ books for the library), Ligia (she designed the book — what an amazing talent she has!), Maggie (she helped collect and format your poems), Joseph (he helped with editing), Monty (he makes it possible for us to publish stuff online), Bridget (who writes the catalogue records that make it possible to find stuff at the library) and Celeste (who looks after our website). Hats off and a round of applause for these talented librarians who are helping to make our dream of publishing our very own poetry journal a reality!

Go forth and read! You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and maybe — just maybe — you’ll feel a connection, a sense of tūhono, with everyone else who put a little something of themselves into this incredible book.


Tūhono: A journal of poetry by Wellington children / 2021
“Whakaata : reflection. This theme links all of the poems in this second edition of Tūhono, which were contributed by young Wellington poets aged 5-12 and collected by Wellington City Libraries throughout October and November 2021. Poems by writers aged 13-18 are collected in a separate volume.

The year 2021 provided us all with plenty of opportunities to reflect. What’s really important? What falls by the wayside when times are tough? What do you see looking back at you when you gain the courage to hold the mirror up to the light? Anxious, loving, hopeful, angry, quirky, imagistic, insular, exuberant – these poems are a kaleidoscope. At one end we put in our certainties and our questions, our need to understand and to express. As for what we see at the other end? Well, you’re reading it.

WCL would like to thank Kimi Ora School for generously providing beautiful artworks created by their students to accompany their poems.” (Catalogue)

Feisty Cats and Fearless Dogs: Our furry friends are superheroes!

via GIPHY

Throughout history there have been amazing stories of our furry friends coming to our rescue – whether it is waking the household in time to escape their burning house, finding lost people in the snow and staying with them until help arrives, to our wonderful companion animals who help their humans to lead a good life.  And even when we humans don’t treat them as well as we should, or the going gets touch for our feline and canine friends, there are so many heart-warming stories of their resilience and death-defying journeys.

We love our cats and dogs in Aotearoa. Nearly two thirds of Kiwi households have at least one companion animal. With 41% of New Zealand households having a cat, our rates of cat ownership are higher than both Australia and the US, and more than double the rate of the UK. Dogs are also an increasingly popular pet, with 34% of New Zealand households having at least one dog.

Our pets are such an important part of our lives that we have even created special days to celebrate them:

International Cat Day: 8 August 2022

Black Cat Appreciation Day: 17 August 2022

International Dog Day: 26 August 2022


Here are just a few stories of real-life heroes to give you that “awwww” moment you’ve all been waiting for:

Feisty Cats

Quaky cat / Noonan, Diana
“Tiger the cat flees for his life during the Canterbury earthquake that destroys his home. Frightened and in despair he wanders the city of Christchurch, searching for his caregiver Emma. As the city rocks and buildings tumble around him, he sniffs out the comforting smell of stew and finds his way to an emergency hall, where he is reunited with Emma. Although his house is in ruins and city battered he realises that none of it matters when the people you love are safe. Suggested level: junior, primary.” (Catalogue)

Cleo & Rob / Brown, Helen
“Sometimes hope has four paws, golden eyes and soft black fur. A kitten called Cleo steps into six-year-old Rob’s life after his big brother Sam dies. Based on true events in author Helen Brown’s family”– Back cover.” (Catalogue)

The Adventures of Mittens by Silvio Bruinsma - Penguin Books New ZealandThe adventures of Mittens : Wellington’s famous purr-sonality / Bruinsma, Silvio
“Meet Mittens, Wellington’s world-famous cat-about-town. He has thousands of followers, a hit song, an exhibition of fan art, and with his exploring paws he brings joy to everyone he meets!” (Catalogue)

Dozer the Fire Cat : a New Zealand story : inspired by true events / Prokop, Robyn
“In February 2019, a tiny spark in a Pigeon Valley paddock became the largest fire in New Zealand since 1955. Up to 150 volunteer firefighters fought the blaze. Around 3,500 people were evacuated, including the whole town of Wakefield. Story is based on a real cat that survived the fires. While his family is busy packing up to evacuate, Dozer is oblivious, busy doing what Dozer does . . . stalking, pouncing, washing . . . and sleeping. But when he wakes up, his family has gone and the world is a frightening place!” (Catalogue)

Lost and found cat : the true story of Kunkush’s incredible journey / Kuntz, Doug
“When an Iraqi family is forced to flee their home, they can’t bear to leave their beloved cat, Kunkush, behind. So they carry him with them from Iraq to Greece, keeping their secret passenger hidden away. But during the crowded boat crossing to Greece, his carrier breaks and the frightened cat runs from the chaos. In one moment, he is gone. This remarkable true story is told by the real people involved, with the full cooperation of Kunkush’s family.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The cat from Muzzle : a high-country cat’s incredible walk home / Sutton, Sally
“Dwayne is a rumble-tumble tabby cat who knows where he belongs — up on the farm at Muzzle Station. So, when he’s taken to live far away in the town of Kaikoura, what’s a cat to do? Shake the dust off his paws and start walking, of course! The trouble is, home is a very long way away … true tale of feline audacity” (Catalogue)

The little war cat / Khan, Hiba Noor
“Inspired by a true story, The Little War Cat follows the story of a little grey cat who is caught up in the BANGS and CRASHES of the humans in boots, who have changed the city of Aleppo she knew so well into one that’s harder to recognize. She is roaming the streets looking for food and shelter when an unlikely friend appears. He shows her that kindness is still there when you look for it, and soon the little grey cat knows exactly what to do to made a difference herself.” (Catalogue)


Fearless Dogs

Mac: A High Country Working DogMac : a high country working dog / Pitts, Hayley
“Mac lives at Mount Gladstone, in Marlborough’s high country. Mustering sheep, cattle and deer is Mac’s life-long job. His puppyish enthusiasm and hard work has earned him a special place in the farm dog team. Join Mac at work in this glimpse into high country farm life.” (Catalogue)

Dogs : fun facts and amazing stories / Bates, Dianne
“Dogs really are the perfect best friend. They are loyal, smart, fun and totally awesome! In this fabulous combination of remarkable true stories, amazing facts and lots of fun stuff, we get to discover just how incredible our canine friends really are. From stories about dogs in history, heroic dogs and working dogs to bizarre facts and wacky dog jokes, this book will entertain and make you smile. This gorgeous book also features lots of beautiful illustrations and images of the adorable dogs from Best Friends Pet Rescue.” (Catalogue)

Paws of courage : true tales of heroic dogs that protect and serve / Furstinger, Nancy
“Modern wars recruit more than just human soldiers. Our canine companions also serve in the line of duty and under fire, whether helping police protect our home turf or accompanying soldiers on missions abroad. Readers will cheer for the hero dogs featured in this collection, profiled with stunning photos and inspiring tales of bravery, friendship, heroism, and devotion.” (Catalogue)

Rescue & Jessica : a life-changing friendship / Kensky, Jessica
“When he is paired with a girl who has lost her legs, Rescue worries that he isn’t up to the task of being her service dog.” (Catalogue)

Lola goes to work / Goldman, Marcia
“Lola, the Yorkshire terrier, learns to be a therapy dog and then enjoys visits to schools, hospitals, and centres for elderly people.” (Catalogue)

Dog finds lost dolphins : and more true stories of amazing animal heroes / Carney, Elizabeth
“The first in a line of Animal Rescues chapter books, Dog Finds Lost Dolphins will be a tale you’ll not soon forget. In this charm- ing and awe-inspiring story you’ll meet Cloud, the black lab with a nose for rescue. She’s the only dog certified to sniff out stranded dolphins. Cloud can sniff out a dolphin over a mile off the coast of the Florida Keys. She’s even become friends with them, waiting on the dock for them to pop up and give her a kiss. This and two more amazing stories are so engaging, readers will never want to put the book down!” (Catalogue)

Courageous canine : and more true stories of amazing animal heroes/ / Halls, Kelly Milner
“Courageous Canine features an amazing pup named Lilly who sacrifices her own life to save her owner, a brave pod of dolphins who face a great white shark to save a stranger, and a mother gorilla, who in mourning her own baby, saves a 3-year-old boy who falls into her zoo enclosure. Filled with gorgeous photographs, sidebars, and fun facts, Courageous Canine will leave young readers hungry for more.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Reaching for the Stars: What Makes a Champion?

“Genius is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration,” – Thomas Edison

Beijing 2022 unveils official emblems - Olympic NewsWith Nico Porteous winning Gold and Zoi Sadowski-Synnott winning a gold and silver medal at the Beijing Winter Olympics, New Zealand has had its best medal haul at a Winter Olympics for 70 years!

But what makes someone so good at what they do, that they go on to win a world title or an Olympic medal? Are they born like it? Do they have really good coaches or dedicated parents? Do they like what they do so much that they practise A LOT? Or is it a combination of all these things?

If you want to take up a sport, learn a musical instrument or learn to paint or write… any skill really…here’s a few tips to help achieve your goals

Brown Wooden Blocks on White Table

Image: Pexels

  1. Start with something you love – this might take a wee bit of time to figure out, but you’ll know it when you find it! Maybe you could try doing lots of different sports or activities offered at your school or community centre to see what really ‘floats your boat’. Be prepared to give new things a go.
  2. Practise, practise, practise! All those amazing athletes, musicians, innovators, writers and artists don’t get to where they are today by not practising. Sometimes this might seem really boring or hard (especially when you think your friends are having a good time and you’re stuck practising), but it’ll be worth it in the end. And it’s exciting when all that practice pays off and you see yourself getting better and better! Kia kaha!
  3. Persevere! There will be times when you have failures or feel like you’re not getting any better. As the saying goes: “Keep Calm and Try, Try and Try Again.”
  4. Have faith in yourself! And make sure you encourage others on you team that are struggling. You’ve got this!
  5. Listen to your coach or teacher. They’re a coach/teacher for a reason – they know stuff! Your coach wants to see you improve so do the exercises and drills they set and turn up to practise sessions and lessons.
  6. Always stick to the rules and play fairly. You will feel good about yourself and you’ll be a good role model for others.

Links to get you thinking:

Beijing 2022 – NZ Team

New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame

New Zealand Book Award Winners 2021

New Zealand Chamber Music Contest 2022

Halberg Awards

Weetbix Kids’ Trythlon

The Wonder Project

YMCA NZ

Science Kids


Books to inspire:

New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame : 25 Kiwi champions / Maria Gill ; illustrated by Marco Ivancic. / Gill, Maria
“Features 25 famous New Zealand sportspeople across a wide range of different sporting disciplines. Includes a caricature, an action photograph, a profile of the person, timeline, inspirational quote, description of the sport, training regime and trophy board”–Publisher’s information.” (Catalogue)

Rising above. Inspiring women in sports / Zuckerman, Gregory
“These are the inspirational real-life stories of female superstar athletes Serena and Venus Williams, Simone Biles, Carli Lloyd, and more — role models all. For sports fans, aspiring athletes and readers of sports biographies. The athletes featured in this book met earth-shaking challenges head on, and through hard work and perseverance, went on to conquer the sports world. This collection of mini biographies, complete with first-hand content drawn from interviews, is a source of inspiration and self-empowerment for kids and sports fans of all ages. ”  (Catalogue, abridged)

I am, I can : 365 affirmations for kids / Kinder, Wynne
“I am strong. I am brave. I can handle anything. Using the power of positive thinking, children can build their self-esteem and resilience by focusing on what matters to them and remembering to champion themselves.” (Catalogue)
Skateboarding champion / Nixon, James
“This series is all about the exhilarating world of extreme sports and what it takes to become a top professional. Each title lists the essential equipment you need and examines the basic skills, before going on to look at the more demanding tricks and stunts. There are also profiles of some of the greatest names in the sport, the biggest competitions in the world and the most fearsome locations that these daring competitors come up against. BMX Champion opens up the world of BMX biking, both racing and freestyle. Techniques, facts, stats and competitor profiles grab young readers’ attention and ensure a thrilling read from cover to cover.” (Catalogue)

The bomb / Cotter, Sacha
“In this story about being true to oneself, a boy searches for the secret to doing the perfect bomb into the water. With training from Nan, an expert and former champion, and by listening to his own voice, he finds his unique style and pulls off a wonderful, acrobatic, truly awe-inspiring bomb”–Publisher information.” (Catalogue)

The flea thing / Falkner, Brian
“Twelve-year-old Daniel has a secret that turns his life upside down when he wins a place on the New Zealand Warrior’s rugby league team. Suggested level: intermediate, junior secondary.” (Catalogue)

Volleyball ace / Rodriguez, Cindy L.
“Until now, Layla has balanced her school work and volleyball easily enough. At high school, though, academic expectations are tougher. When Layla’s dedication to volleyball puts her maths test results at risk, her chances of making the school team next year are on the line. Can she find a way to ace her classes like she does on the court?” (Catalogue)
The soccer star / Rippin, Sally
“Billie wants to play soccer, but the boys at school say she can’t. How can Billie prove that girls can play soccer too?” (Book cover)

Raising an amazing musician : you, your child and music.

Whatever stage of learning your child has reached, Raising an Amazing Musician will empower you to make the right decisions for your young musician, and enrich their experience of music as an enjoyable, life-enhancing activity.

Black music greats / Cachin, Olivier
“The biggest names… The coolest sounds… The 40 most inspirational movers, shakers and innovators in black music history are here! Learn how these black musicians changed music in this book packed with incredible facts. Meet the Godfather of Funk, the High Priestess of Soul and the King of Reggae. Learn how Marvin Gaye shaped the sound of Motown, how N.W.A redefined rap, and what made the Supremes, supreme. Each artist is an icon of their age, but who will you add to your playlist?” (Catalogue)

Be a super awesome artist / Carroll, Henry
“Become a super-awesome artist with this fantastic new book. Using real examples of art for inspiration, this great book features 20 exciting art challenges to help you create your own masterpieces. Channel the artistic genius within and you’ll be painting like Pollock, doodling like Duchamp and creating like Kahlo in no time!” (Catalogue)

This book thinks you’re a scientist : experiment, imagine, create : fill-in pages for your ideas / Russell, Harriet
“This book thinks you’re a scientist. Get into it before anyone tells it otherwise! Inside you’ll do everything a scientist does: look, ask questions, wonder and test your ideas. You’ll also do things scientists don’t necessarily do: eat your experiments, levitate paper clips and play a drinking straw like an oboe. There are even portable laboratory pages for you to experiment on, so that by the end, you’ll know how to invent your own fun ways of finding out about the world.” (Catalogue)

Announcing the Summer Reading Adventure 2021-22 Champions!

The day is finally here! You’ve waited very patiently, and now it’s time for us to announce the Grand Prize Winners of the 2021-22 Summer Reading Adventure.

Of course, everyone who took part is a winner in some way — whether you won badges, books, stationery, vouchers, or just the eternal respect and admiration of your peers, your fearless ventures into the Land of Literature have not gone unrewarded. In fact, during the Summer Reading Adventure, our librarians gave out 3,578 prizes to intrepid word explorers across our fair city.

Some of these prizes came along with another, hidden prize — the opportunity to put your name in the hat to win one of the four Grand Prizes. When all was said and done, we had nearly 10,000 names in the four Grand Prize hats. Out of those honourable 10,000, the following lucky four names were drawn:


Grand Prize #1 — Into the Wild

Winner: Charlotte, age 8, from Redwood School and Tawa Library

Prizes:

  • 1x Family Pass to Zealandia
  • 1x Family Pass to Wellington Zoo
  • Assorted goodies, including books and chocolate!


Grand Prize #2 — Science and Wonder

Winner: Sophia, age 6, from Sacred Heart Cathedral School and Johnsonville Library

Prizes:

  • 1x Family Pass to the Space Place
  • 1x Capital E voucher
  • Assorted goodies, including books and chocolate!


Grand Prize #3 — Artistic Aspirations

Winner: Felix, age 9, from Seatoun School and Miramar Library

Prizes:

  • 1x Family Pass to Hilma af Klimt: The Secret Paintings at the City Gallery
  • A selection of high-quality artistic stationery from Gordon Harris
  • Assorted goodies, including books and chocolate


Grand Prize #4 — Books, Movies and More

Winner: Pia, age 10, from Wa Ora Montessori School and Karori Library

Prizes:

  • 5x tickets to Light House Cinemas
  • $50 Unity Books voucher
  • Assorted goodies, including books and chocolate

Massive congratulations to all our winners!

But most of all, congratulations to everyone who took part! As we’ve noted before, you have positively blown our socks off and we couldn’t be prouder of the kids of Wellington and your incredible reading prowess. See you for the next Adventure!

Sophia, age 6, proudly holding her bag full of prizes in front of the main desk at Johnsonville Library

Sophia from Sacred Heart Cathedral School and Johnsonville Library

Charlotte, age 8, standing with a broad smile and a bag full of prizes in front of a row of colourful shelves containing children's books.

Charlotte from Redwood School and Tawa Library


Pia, age 10, standing next to a staff member at Karori Library, proudly holding her bag full of prizes

Pia from Wa Ora Montessori School and Karori Library

Keep Calm and Carry On with Mindfulness

Hey Kids! With New Zealand under Red Settings, it can be an uncertain and stressful time. However, keep calm and carry on under RED because Wellington City Libraries has a wide range of books for children on mindfulness.

What is Mindfulness?

  • Mindfulness has become a trendy word that is used to describe everything from yoga exercises, meditation, breathing to colouring activities.
  • Mindfulness is simply… noticing what is happening right now.
  • Mindfulness is taking notice of how your body feels and what you see, smell and taste. Maybe you even feel emotions in your body, perhaps through a tightness somewhere, or a good sensation.
  • Mindfulness is also noticing what your mind is doing.

To find about more about mindfulness and the tools needed to keep calm and carry on, have a read of the following:


image courtesy of syndeticsMeditation is an open sky : mindfulness for kids.

“Feeling mindful is feeling good! You know when you’re having a bad day, you have that wobbly feeling inside and nothing seems to go right? Find a quiet place, sit down, and meditate! In this daily companion, kids of any age will learn simple exercises to help manage stress and emotions, find focus, and face challenges. They’ll discover how to feel safe when scared, relax when anxious, spread kindness, and calm anger when frustrated. Simple, secular, and mainstream, this mindfulness book is an excellent tool for helping kids deal with the stresses of everyday life”– Provided by publisher.

image courtesy of syndeticsThe panic button book for kids : an interactive guide to help kids deal with worries and feel calmer.

“All kids go through tricky times. Bright kids can struggle to switch off their mind, creative kids often heap pressure on themselves and sensitive kids may be easily overwhelmed. When our kids worry, it’s as though they give away some of their happiness. Does a child in your life need help tackling anxiety? The Panic Button Book for Kids is an interactive, step-by-step guide for children aged 7-11 and their caregivers. Written in everyday language and beautifully illustrated, this book is designed for grown-ups to read with their child, and is full of helpful ideas to kick anxiety to the curb and create a common language between the generations.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsBreathe like a bear : 30 mindful moments for kids to feel calm and focused anytime, anywhere.

“We all want to bring more calm into our lives. We all want to feel more focused and positive. Mindfulness is the key to making it happen. Breathe like a bear guides us through fun exercises to help us relax and stretch our imaginations. Because just like we need to exercise our bodies, we need to flex our mindfulness muscles!”–Jacket.

image courtesy of syndeticsCalm : mindfulness for kids.

“Calm: Mindfulness for Kids has everything you need to know about focusing your child’s mind to help them enjoy and appreciate things that they take for granted every day, while boosting their confidence and self-esteem. Children are guided through each activity, to make sure they achieve maximum enjoyment and awareness. All children will learn and react to each activity in a different way and parent’s notes give advice on how to encourage children to embrace mindfulness in the modern world. Each specially designed activity is flexible for each child’s needs and inspires them to seek calmness and tranquility in all situations.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsAroha’s Way.image courtesy of syndetics

“”Nau mai, hoake tātou ko Aroha, i a ia e kaupare ana i te taiatea, i te mataku, i te māharahara, me te anipā, ki ana tukanga māmā ka taea e te katoa.” From award-winning New Zealand author, Craig Phillips, creator of The Adventures of Jack Scratch and Giants, Trolls, Witches, Beasts (winner of the Russell Clark Award for Illustration at the New Zealand Book Awards 2018). Aroha’s Way is a beautiful, descriptive and relatable book – an important book – helping children to normalise, understand and even develop their own tools for dealing with their feelings.” (Catalogue) Also available in Te Reo.

image courtesy of syndeticsHow do I feel? : a dictionary of emotions for children : with 60+ definitions to help children identify and understand their emotions.

“A dictionary of emotions for children ; with 60 definitions to help children identify and understand their emotions. Includes parent/teacher notes.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsMindfulness activities for kids (and their grown-ups) : learn calm, focus, & gratitude for a lifetime.

“Mindfulness Activities Kids can do with their Grown-ups to be Focused, Peaceful, and Grateful together! Mindfulness reduces anxiety and stress, improves focus, and creates calm—all attributes parents want for their kids. But what’s the best way to teach it to your child? Mindfulness Activities for Kids (And Their Grown-ups) provides 40 mindfulness activities for you and your child to do together, so you both reap the benefits as you develop a deeper connection.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsJust breathe : meditation, mindfulness, movement, and more.

“For kids ages 8 to 12, this is an accessible and fun meditation how-to book filled with full-color illustrations, written by Mallika Chopra. Meditation and Mindfulness for Kids is a fun and accessible, fully illustrated go-to meditation guide written by none other than Mallika Chopra, wellness expert and the daughter of Deepak Chopra. For kids ages 8 to 12, this book is full of specific exercises to help deal with day-to-day challenges and tips to lead a healthier, happier, and more connected life. With a foreword written by Deepak Chopra, this will be the go-to book for kids who want to learn more about mindfulness and meditation.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsCrafting calm : art and activities for mindful kids.

“In Crafting Calm : Art and Activities for Mindful Kids, kids engage in and practice mindfulness through fun and easy exercises, crafts, and activities, with the goal of learning a deeper sense of calm, peace, joy, and connection to the world around them, all while improving emotional intelligence, boosting self-esteem, and reducing anxiety.” (Catalogue)

For more books about mindfulness, click here.