Kids’ Activities Under Red Settings

To keep our young people and vulnerable communities safe under Red settings, we’re moving most of our programmes for children under the age of 12 and their families online! This is because even though our libraries are open, lots of our kids’ programmes, like CRAFTerschool, Code Club, and Baby Rock and Rhyme, involve lots of people getting very close together, and it’s just too tricky to provide the required social distancing for young people who can’t yet be vaccinated.

Soon, we will be starting up a whole bunch of activities and programmes, some of which you can do online, and some of which you will be able to do in a contactless way in the library, but in the meantime we thought it would be a good idea to remind you about all the awesome online resources and activities you can do with us online. If you love stories, arts and crafts, music, movies, and fun activities to do with your family, we’ve got you covered!

We have so many really cool resources available in our eLibrary! If you want to have a browse yourself you can check our our Kids’ Guide or have a look through what’s available on our Kids’ Home Page, or just read on…

Stories and Storytimes

If you’re after a book to read, look no further than Borrowbox or Libby (or of course the shelves of your local library). These apps are both free to download – just log in with your library card number and PIN and you’re away! These two have plenty of eBooks and eAudiobooks to keep you occupied on a rainy day at home.

If you’d rather listen to someone read you a story we’ve got more options for you! You can listen to great stories being read aloud by Australian and New Zealand storytellers through the Story Box Library, or you can try out something interactive with the TumbleBook Library. It’s the same deal with these – just log on with your library card!

We also have a whole lot of virtual storytimes from our own librarians available through our Facebook page and YouTube channel. Check out the Virtual Storytime and Bedtime Storytime playlists for some great stories we recorded last year.

Baby Rock and Rhyme

If you’re missing Baby Rock and Rhyme (and many of us are!) we have plenty of pre-recorded sessions that you can watch from the comfort of your own living room on our Facebook page and YouTube channel. If you’re really missing the rocking and rhyming vibes, you can even listen to and download the official Baby Rock and Rhyme album online from our Bandcamp page (yes, we have one of those!).

Things to do

If you’re after a challenge, read through our collection of Family Lockdown Challenges! These are full of exciting activities and ideas for you to do while at home. If you do any of the challenges (particularly the Book Domino Challenge!) be sure to tag us in any photos or videos you take on FacebookTwitter or Instagram.

Our Summer Reading Adventure is still running until the end of January — visit our special Beanstack website to find out more and get involved. But even after the Summer Reading Adventure finishes, you can keep using the website and the app to log your reading, write or draw book reviews, take part in different activities, and earn online badges and achievements. How awesome is that?!

If you’re missing CRAFTerschool, we have a wonderful playlist of simple craft tutorials from the teams at Johnsonville and Tawa Libraries. All of our crafts can be made with materials that it’s easy to find at home. Some of our libraries have take-home craft kits you can pick up while materials last — just ask at the desk to find out what’s available. How adorable are these ladybirds — you could make one yourself!

Homework Help

We know the school year hasn’t quite started up yet, but very soon it will. You might well find yourself in the position of needing a bit of help with your homework. Good news! The library can be an amazing resource for anybody who is trying online education at this time, or who just wants a bit of extra help. How? Enter AnyQuestions.

Have any questions? Why not try AnyQuestions!

AnyQuestions is a service run by the National Library and staffed by public librarians from around New Zealand, including Wellington City Libraries. On it, children are able to chat in real-time with a real librarian fully trained in web-based research about any question they might have. Read all about AnyQuestions, and its sister site Many Answers, here.

Movies and TV

If there’s someone in your household with an adult library card they’ll be able to access our online streaming services – we have two! Beamafilm and Kanopy are both free to use. You can watch as much as you like on Beamafilm and there are no limits to any of the kids’ content on Kanopy.

Kia kaha, stay safe, and we look forward to sharing more awesome activities with you all over the next little while!

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

Lunar New Year & Chinese New Year of the Tiger – Part One

The Lunar New Year is celebrated by many countries and communities, particularly throughout East Asia. The Chinese New Year is an annual 15-day festival in China, and in Chinese communities around the world, that begins with the new moon.

This blog post will focus on the Chinese New Year of 2022, which falls on February 1st (Tuesday) with a festival lasting until February 15th, about 15 days in total.

A second part of  this blog series will come out soon, with more information about our collection!

The Chinese New Year animal sign this year is the Tiger.
Image courtesy of chinesenewyear.net

Did you know? Tigers are the third of the Chinese zodiacs. According to legend, Tiger was confident that no one could compete with its speed and vigor for the celestial race that would decide the order of the zodiacs. However, when Tiger climbed out of the river, thinking it was first, it was informed that Rat placed first for its cunning and Ox placed second for its diligence. This left the king of the jungle having to settle for third place.

To learn more about the year of the tiger, click here and read: 

Image courtesy of syndeticsIn the year of the tiger.

This Chinese folk tale traces the cycles of village life through the rich community celebration of the Lion Dance performed during the Spring Festival. Chiu Wing and his neighbours eagerly await the festival each year. (Catalogue).

 


For more information on what events are on around Wellington, check out the Chinese New Year website.

With New Zealand moving to Red Settings, Asian Events Trust will be implementing its COVID-19 back-up plan. For more information, click here.

How can you celebrate?

  • Create decorations to help join in the festive spirit.
  • Chow down on festive treats.
  • Watch the fireworks and traditional dancing.
  • Spending time with loved ones.
  • Giving red envelopes to kids.

Did you know: The colour red is regarded as the symbol of energy, happiness and good luck. Sending red envelopes is a way to send good wishes and luck (as well as money).

For more more craft ideas and recipes for festive treats, click on this link.

Where can I find information about Chinese New Year?

  • ManyAnswers has a page dedicated to websites, resources and ways to search for information about Chinese New Year.
  • NZ History has an amazing page dedicated to Chinese New Year.
  • Kids World Travel guide has an amazing page dedicated to Chinese New Year.
  • Also check out these amazing books!
    Books about Chinese New Year:

image courtesy of syndeticsChinese New Year.

This book explores the festival of Chinese New Year and the story behind it and features eight simple origami projects for your own festive fun! The book shows how people around the world celebrate Chinese New Year and what the Chinese calendar and the animals of the zodiac are. Attractively designed, its simple text and wonderful full-colour photos make this an essential book for children celebrating or learning about the festival. (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsChinese New Year : a celebration for everyone.

Part of the nonfiction Orca Origins series, Chinese New Year is illustrated with color photographs throughout. Readers will learn how a simple gathering of family and friends grew into a weeklong, worldwide festival. (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsChinese New Year.

Learn about the diverse and vibrant festivals that are celebrated around the world. This series encourages children to consider religious beliefs and cultural practices via easy to read text and informative, full color images. (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsChinese New Year.

“Chinese New Year is a time of hope and hapiness. During the festival, some people eat special foods and give gifts. Others watch parades and light fireworks. One thing all people do at Chinese New Year is have fun!” – Back cover.

image courtesy of syndeticsRuby’s Chinese New Year.

“As Ruby travels to her grandmother’s house to bring her a gift for Chinese New Year, she is joined by all of the animals of the zodiac. Includes the legend of the Chinese horoscope and instructions for crafts.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsHome for Chinese New Year : a story told in English and Chinese.

“The Chinese New Year is a time for family reunions. This Chinese children’s story tells a delightful trip with lots of cultural details along the way! Jia Jun’s Dad worked out of town all year around. Now it’s time for him to come home.” ( Adapted from catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsMaisy’s Chinese New Year.

“Maisy’s friend Tiger is coming home especially for Chinese New Year! Once the house is tidy and the decorations are up, Maisy changes into her lovely red dress and throws a big party for all her friends. They have a delicious feast, tell stories, see the fireworks together and, on new year’s day, watch a spectacular parade – with an amazing dragon dance!” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsThe runaway wok : a Chinese New Year tale.

On Chinese New Year’s Eve, a poor man who works for the richest businessman in Beijing sends his son to market to trade their last few eggs for a bag of rice, but instead he brings home an empty–but magic–wok that changes their fortunes forever. Includes information about Chinese New Year and a recipe for fried rice.(Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsThe little pigs and the sweet rice cakes : a story told in English and Chinese.

“Told in a bilingual Chinese and English edition, this is the story of three little pigs whose appetites initially get the better of them. In a shared dream, they met an old man who tells them to deliver sweet rice cakes to him a week before New Year’s Eve. The next morning, they see some sweet rice cakes on their kitchen table. The three little pigs completely forget the old man and eat every bit of them.”  Find out what happens next! –Adapted from publisher.

image courtesy of syndeticsPeppa’s Chinese New Year

“It is Chinese New Year and Madame Gazelle is teaching the children all about this very special celebration. Peppa and George and their friends make Chinese New Year cards, try tasty Chinese treats and even take part in their very own dragon parade!”(Catalogue).

Books about Tigers:

image courtesy of syndeticsMy big cats journal : in search of lions, leopards, cheetahs and tigers.

Follow Steve Bloom as he travels across continents taking photographs. Find out how big-cat predators survive in tough conditions; how they live, grow up, hunt and have babies. Bloom’s account makes a compelling narrative in the same way that the voiceover on a natural-history television programme is both informative and pacy.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsCan we save the tiger?

The tiger is just one of thousands of animals — including the ground iguana, the white-rumped vulture, and the partula snail — currently in danger of becoming extinct, joining the dodo, the marsupial wolf, the great auk, and countless others we will never see again. (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsAll about tigers : a description text.

This series uses the topic of big cats to present different text structures commonly used in informational writing. The interesting topics will engage independent readers and provide useful stimulus for teachers planning to teach how non-fiction texts are structured and presented. (Catalogue).

 

Hairy Maclary from a Donaldson’s Dairy

“Out of the gate and off for a walk went Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy…”

Sound familiar? That’s because the Hairy Maclary series, written and illustrated by Lynley Dodd, is one of New Zealand’s (and the world’s) best-loved picture books. Who can’t love that cheeky wee dog, Hairy Maclary, and all his furry mates – from Bottomley Potts (covered in spots), to the villain of many books, Scarface Claw!

But did you know that Scotland has claimed these books as their own?  “WHAT?? How can that be?” we hear you cry!

Although the Hairy Maclary series are peppered with loads of New Zealand references such as the word “dairy” (this would be called a “corner shop” in Scottish lingo), and illustrations with cabbage trees, Pōhutukawa, ponga trees and flax, the name “Maclary” is a decidedly Scottish-sounding name!

What’s in a name?

Scottish and Irish  surnames frequently have the prefix Mac or Mc. When these surnames were originally developed, they were formed by adding the Gaelic word mac, which means son of, to the name of the original bearer’s father. For example, the surname MacDougall literally means son of Dougall.

File:United Kingdom labelled map7.png

Image: Matt Lewis, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Where is Scotland anyway?

Scotland is a part of the United Kingdom (UK) and occupies the northern third of Great Britain. Scotland’s mainland shares a border with England to the south. Scotland also has almost 800 islands, including some famous ones like Shetland (known for its sheep and complicated knitting patterns), Orkney (known for its prehistoric sites), and Skye (known for its history and beautiful scenery).

See if you can find Scotland on a world map HERE

Who is Lynley Dodd?

Lynley Dodd is an internationally celebrated writer for children. She wavs born in Rotorua and now lives in Tauranga. Lynley graduated from the Elam School of Art in Auckland with a diploma in Fine Arts, majoring in sculpture. She went on to teach art before taking a break to start a family. She began to work as a freelance illustrator and illustrated another popular picture book My Cat Likes To Hide in Boxes by Eve Sutton. There was no looking back as Lynley went on to write and illustrate her own books for children. These include the Hairy Maclary series (of course!), The Nickle Nackle Tree, The Smallest Turtle

Who is Hairy Maclary?

File:Hairy Maclary and Friends Sculpture.jpg

Image: Hairy Maclary and Friends Sculpture in Tauranga (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Hairy Maclary (or ‘HM’ for short) is a small hairy dog created by  Lynley Dodd. HM can be described as a ‘bitser’, which means he’s of mixed breed. “Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy” was first published in 1983 and the series has gone on to sell over 5 million copies worldwide. HM’s adventures are usually in the company of his other animal friends and he’s depicted as a friendly, but lively little dog that gets into a lot of mischief. There is now a series of 12 books and a further nine books about his friends, all with catchy rhyming stories and realistic, colourful and fun illustrations.

In recognition of the success of these books, a sculpture of Hairy Maclary and other characters from the books was officially unveiled on the waterfront in Tauranga in 2015, the city where Lynley Dodd lives.


If you haven’t discovered the wonders of Hairy Maclary and his equally hairy mates, why not add these to you Summer Reading Adventure lists and enjoy some good ole Kiwi reading fun:

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)
Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy / Dodd, Lynley
“A small black dog and his canine friends are terrorized by the local tomcat.” (Catalogue)


The nickle nackle tree / Dodd, Lynley
“In the Manglemunching Forest there’s a Nickle Nackle tree, Growing Nickle Nackle berries that are red as red can be. And that’s not all that’s nestling on the twisty branches of this laden tree. Count up some fabulous Lynley Dodd creations, such as one Ballyhoo bird, kicking up a din and two squawking Scritchet birds with legs so twiggy thin, to nine friendly Natter birds, building nice new nests to ten fussy Fissick birds in yellow feathered vests”–Publisher information.” (Catalogue)


Hairy Maclary’s caterwaul caper / Dodd, Lynley
“Hairy Maclary leads all the other dogs in the neighbourhood to investigate the terrible caterwauling created when the tough cat Scarface Claw is caught up in a tree.” (Catalogue)
The life and art of Lynley Dodd / Macdonald, Finlay
“Dame Lynley Dodd is New Zealand’s best known author and illustrator of children’s books. Her career was launched in 1973 with the publication of My Cat Likes to Hide in Boxes, which she collaborated on with cousin Eve Sutton. Other picture books soon followed and in 1983 the world famous Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy was launched. Hairy Maclary’s success placed Dodd in the international spotlight and the Hairy Maclary and Friends series is today one of the world’s most successful series of picture books. The Life and Art of Lynley Dodd is a beautiful full-colour hardback telling the story of Lynley’s early years, time at art school, teaching career, marriage and success as a children’s author. The book is a pictorial history as much as a written one, and as such includes photos of the author’s early years as well as the artwork she produced as she moved towards her world-renowned style – art school pieces, early political cartoons and illustrations for the correspondence school among others.” (Catalogue, abridged)

My cat likes to hide in boxes / Sutton, Eve
“Cats from many different countries may like to do all kinds of strange things, but my cat, an ordinary round-the-house cat, likes to hide in boxes.” (Catalogue)
Scotland / Harman, Alice
“This series provides an introduction to the study of the United Kingdom for young children as the illustrated ‘Fact Cat’ character leads the reader on a trail through the book, helping them to discover answers to key questions.” (Catalogue)
Encyclopedia of surnames / Ayto, John
“The Encyclopedia of Surnames is not just another dictionary! With entertaining coverage of more than 7,000 surnames listed alphabetically, it provides a complete and accessible companion to tracing the history of names.” (Catalogue, abridged)

 

 

Wellington Beaches for Summer Swimming

Let’s talk about one of the most Kiwi summer activities Wellington has to offer – going to the beach!

There’s so much to do at the beach. You can build sandcastles, go swimming and jump over waves, draw pictures in the sand and follow the footprints in the sand left by birds. You can collect shells, have a picnic, search for sea life in a rockpool, and there’s so much more!

When you’re planning your beach trip, it’s a good idea to be prepared with lots of sunscreen, buckets and boogie boards, and also some thoughts towards safety. If you’re not already familiar with the Water Safety Code, we recommend having a read so you know how best to keep yourself and your family safe. If you’re visiting a beach for the first time, Find a Beach is a great website created by Surf Life Saving New Zealand that has profiles for pretty much every beach around Aotearoa. On this site you can search up the beach you’re planning to visit, check out the forecast, find out if there will be lifeguards, and learn about any hazards to watch out for. They’ve got a good safety information page too!

There are so many beaches around Wellington for you to explore, so lets take a look at some of them:

Balaena Bay

Balaena Bay is the first of the smaller beaches along Evans Bay Parade.

There’s a carpark at one end, and changing rooms at the other. The water here is quite shallow and calm, so is good for just splashing about if you’re not yet ready for swimming.

Freyberg Beach/Oriental Bay

Freyberg Beach and Oriental Bay are so close together that they’re sharing an entry in this list.

These two beaches are right next to each other, and very close to the central city.

There are changing rooms and wheelchair access at Freyberg, as well as parking and a playground! There’s also a beach wheelchair at Freyberg pool that’s available to borrow. There are also a few cafes, ice cream stores, and food trucks around on Oriental Parade in case you’re after a post-swim snack.

If you’re worried about safety, then relax! Oriental Bay is patrolled by lifeguards over the summer.

Hataitai Beach

Hataitai Beach, like Balaena Bay, is along Evans Bay Parade. The beach here is quite small and the water is very calm but it gets deep more quickly than at Balaena Bay so if you’re not a very confident swimmer make sure to stay close to the shore. Cog Park is right next door, so if you are a confident swimmer and the tide is in there’s a small wharf you can jump off!

Cog Park has plenty of picnicking spots, and at the other end of Hataitai Beach are the changing rooms with steps that go straight down into the sea.

Island Bay

Island Bay is easy to get to on the bus – just hop on a number 1 and you’re pretty much there. If you’re keen for a swim or a walk along the beach, Island Bay is a good option for you. Just remember that it looks out on the open sea so the water will be a bit cooler than any of the beaches inside the Wellington harbour.

There are changing rooms and picnic tables at the park across the road, and also a playground!

Lyall Bay

Lyall Bay is a wonderfully long stretch of beach to walk along – and the eastern end of the beach allows off leash dogs if you have a furry friend who would like to join you!

You can use the changing rooms in the Lyall Bay Surf Life Saving Club, and they also have beach wheelchairs available to borrow. Lyall Bay is a patrolled beach over the summer so let the lifeguards keep you safe!

Princess Bay

Princess Bay is another beach along the south coast. It’s further east than Island Bay and quite a bit smaller. Princess Bay is good for a sheltered swim and if you’re interested in sea life you can explore the rockpools out along the point. If it’s a clear day you might even be able to see the South Island!

Leave your car in the carpark at the eastern end of the bay by the changing rooms.

Scorching Bay

Out along the Miramar Peninsula is Scorching Bay. It’s got golden sand, a nice grassy area, changing rooms and outdoor showers, and the Scorch-O-Rama café across the road.

Scorching Bay is a patrolled beach, so make sure you swim between the flags.

Worser Bay

Worser Bay is another beach along the Miramar Peninsula, out on the eastern side.

You’ll be well taken care of with changing rooms, a picnic area, and across the road from the beach is the famous Worser Bay swing. Be sure to check it out!


If you can’t get out to the beach but you can make it to the library, or would like to know more about the creatures you might find in a rockpool, here are some beach-themed New Zealand reads to get you inspired:

At the beach : explore & discover the New Zealand seashore / Candler, Gillian
“At the Beach is a delightful introduction to the natural history of the New Zealand seashore. The stage is set with beautiful, factually correct illustrations (including detailed cross-sections) of three familiar habitats – the sandy beach, rockpools and mudflats. Many of the plants and animals that play a part in these rich ecosystems are shown in situ, and readers are directed from there to pages dedicated to detailed coverage of: crabs; sea stars, kina and sea anemones; shellfish; seaweeds, sponges and sandhoppers; fish, jellyfish & shrimps; birds. Aimed at children 5-8 years old, but with appeal for anyone curious about New Zealand’s natural environment, At the Beach is a must for the home, bach, classroom and library. Comes with a removable, waterproof quick-reference guide to common seashore animals.” (Catalogue)

Freddy Bear and the beach / Cowley, Joy
“Freddy Bear is playing at the beach with Dad – running, playing, chasing seagulls. He falls over running, but Dad picks him up and takes him home.” (Catalogue)

The life-size guide to the New Zealand beach : featuring the odd things that get washed up on the sand / Crowe, Andrew
“Pictorial guide to identifying various items and curious objects that are commonly found on New Zealand beaches. Suggested level: primary, intermediate, secondary.” (Catalogue)

Dashing dog / Mahy, Margaret
“When a dashing dog gets into messy mischief, his family is exasperated. Then baby Betty falls off the jetty, and it’s up to the brave dashing dog to save the day.” (Catalogue)

A summery Saturday morning / Mahy, Margaret
“The children go down to the sea on a summery, Saturday morning, down the wiggly track, scattering shells and leaping logs. But first their dogs chase a cat, then they chase a boy on a rattly bike, then wild geese hiss and chase the children and the dogs and the walk is not so peacful after all. Suggested level: junior, primary.” (Catalogue)

A is for Aotearoa : a lift-the-flap New Zealand treasure hunt / Newcombe, Diane
“Our story starts with a bottle containing a secret message, washed up on a beach. The bottle begins a trail of clues, and children lift the flap to reveal the clue that takes them on an alphabet journey all over New Zealand. Included is a glossary with interesting facts about each location”–Publisher information.” (Catalogue)

Charlie Tangaroa and the creature from the sea / Roxborogh, Tania Kelly
“On a beach clean-up, thirteen-year-old Charlie and his brother, Robbie, find a ponaturi, a mermaid, washed up on a beach. An ancient grudge between the Māori gods Tane and Tangaroa has flared up because a port being built in the bay is polluting the ocean and creatures are fleeing the sea. This has reignited anger between the gods, which breaks out in storms, earthquakes and huge seas. The ponaturi believes Charlie is the only one who can stop the destruction. So begins Charlie’s journey to find a way to reunite the gods and discover why he is the one for the task”–Publisher information.” (Catalogue)

Also available as an eBook

Splish, splash, safety : a book about water safety.
“Join The Wiggles as they practise water safety!” (Catalogue)
Summer days : stories and poems celebrating the Kiwi summer.
“A beautiful collection of children’s stories and poems that celebrates the golden days of summer, by some of New Zealand’s finest writers and illustrators. The great Kiwi summer conjures images of the beach, swimming, boating, fishing, families, friends adventures… This collection of seven stories and ten poems capture that quintessential summer feeling, and is perfect summertime reading to share with children. Dive in to find all sorts of treasures by well-known New Zealand writers and illustrators, including Margaret Mahy, Joy Cowley, Gavin Bishop, Pamela Allen, Gwenda Turner, Fiona Farrell, Elena de Roo, Melanie Drewery, Sandra Morris, Sue Wootton, Brian Turner, Jenny Cooper, Vasanti Unka and David Elliot. Target age 3-7 years”–Publisher information.” (Catalogue)

World Braille Day 2022 and… Happy birthday to Louis Braille!

January 4th is World Braille Day. World Braille Day is celebrated around the world every year on January 4th, which is also the birthday of Louis Braille, the inventor of the braille writing system.

World Braille Day: Everything you need to know from the BBC. Hands on a Braille page.

Image courtesy of bbc.co.uk

Why is World Braille Day important? To recognise the blind and visually impaired. It raises the awareness of the importance of the braille in education, communication, and social inclusion. Finally, to honor Louis Braille and incredible tool that he created which has helped so many people over the years.

What is Braille? A system of writing used by and for blind people, consisting of a code of 63 characters, each made up of one to six raised dots arranged in a six-position matrix or cell.

Image courtesy of bbc.co.uk

Image courtesy of bbc.co.uk

Who was Louis Braille? Louis Braille was a French educator, catholic priest and inventor of a system of reading and writing for use by the blind or visually impaired. Louis Braille  lost his eyesight as a child when he accidentally stabbed himself in the eye with his father’s awl. From the age of 10, he spent time at the Royal Institute for Blind Youth in France, where he formulated and perfected the system of raised dots that eventually became known as Braille. His system remains virtually unchanged to this day, and is known worldwide simply as Braille. The term ‘Braille’ was dubbed after its creator.

image courtesy of bbc.co.uk

Image courtesy of bbc.co.uk

For more information, check out his story:

image courtesy of syndeticsSix dots : a story of young Louis Braille.

“Louis Braille was just five years old when he lost his sight. He was a clever boy, determined to live like everyone else, and what he wanted more than anything was to be able to read. Even at the school for the blind in Paris, there were no books for him. And so he invented his own alphabet — a whole new system for writing that could be read by touch. A system so ingenious that it is still used by the blind community today.” (Catalogue).

Did you know?

  • In 1999, NASA’s Deep Space 1 flew past an asteroid on its way to photograph the Borrelly’s Comet and named it ‘9969 Braille’ in acknowledgment of Louis Braille.
  • Braille is an alphabet that can be used to write almost any language and versions are available in Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, Spanish, and more.
  • Uncontracted Braille spells out every word, whereas contracted Braille is a shorthand version that abbreviates familiar words.
  • There’s a unique version of Braille specifically for mathematics and science, called the Nemeth Code.
  • There are toys in Braille  such as Uno, Monopoly, and LEGO are available in Braille versions.

For more information:

World Braille Day – BBC.

The Life and Legacy of Louis Braille | American Foundation for the Blind (afb.org)

Blind Low Vision NZ – support for Kiwis who are blind or have low vision

We have an amazing collection of braille books, Louis Braille and other famous inspiring people – both in fiction and real life that changed the world, despite being blind.

Enjoy!

DK Braille Books series.

image courtesy of syndeticsCounting.

“Learn to count to 10 with DK Braille Counting. Designed especially for visually-impaired pre-school children and their parents, this touch-and-feel book takes readers through a collection of tactile objects made in all sorts of exciting textures, including silky flowers, crackly leaves, and sticky worms. Each image is also printed in high-contrast colours to engage partially-sighted readers, while the rhyming counting story is printed in both braille and clear printed text to suit the needs of every child and parent. Fully endorsed by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), DK Braille Counting is a wonderful book for learning to count with braille.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsFarm.

“A high-quality LEGO® DUPLO® book with braille and tactile images for blind and partially sighted parents and children to share with their sighted family members. Produced in consultation with braille experts, this LEGO DUPLO board book explores a LEGO DUPLO farm with animals including pigs, ducks, chickens, cows, sheep and horses. It combines high contrast colours with embossed images of the models for children to feel.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsAnimals : knowledge you can touch.

“Learn about lions, elephants, koalas, and more in this exciting reference book designed specifically for blind or visually impaired readers. The pages combine braille, large print, and high-contrast photography with clear and predictive layouts for curious young readers. The images are large and embossed, flocked, or glossed with explanatory text, and the text is both embossed braille and printed in large text format for a shared reading experience for sighted readers.” (Google Books).

image courtesy of syndeticsIt can’t be true.

“Packed with astonishing facts and astounding world records, DK Braille It Can’t Be True is a fascinating book designed especially for visually impaired readers. In over 70 pages you will find the world’s weirdest wonders and unbelievable facts described in both braille and large print, paired with tactile images that demonstrate just how unusual the objects and events being described really are. Through the use of detailed embossing, you can feel the world’s largest hailstone (three times larger than a tennis ball!) and a bird so small it can sit on the end of your thumb. Fully endorsed by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), DK Braille It Can’t Be True will keep you entertained and amazed for hours.” (Catalogue).


Read about Helen Keller, who was blind, deaf and changed the world!

image courtesy of syndeticsHelen Keller : her life in pictures.

“The fascinating life of one of the most popular historical figures is told through images — most rarely, if ever, seen — from the American Foundation for the Blind and The Perkins School for the Blind. The images trace Keller’s life from birth, to childhood with Annie Sullivan in the cottage, to college, and on to her many years as a dedicated social activist and spokesperson. We get a glimpse of her sense of humor, her experiences as a lecturer on the vaudeville circuit, her many pets, and her last quiet years in Connecticut.”(Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsHelen Keller’s best friend Belle.

“Shares details about Helen Keller’s early life, including her love for animals and her special relationship with a devoted Great Dane named Belle, who was a faithful companion to Helen throughout her younger years.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsHelen Keller.

“In this kids’ biography, discover the inspiring story of Helen Keller, who overcame the odds by learning to understand and communicate with the world. Helen Keller lost her sight and hearing due to an early childhood illness and spent the first 6 years of her life unable to interact with other people. She remained isolated from the outside world until Anne Sullivan came to work as her teacher. In this biography book for kids ages 8-11, learn all about Helen Keller’s amazing life and achievements – how she learned to read Braille and speak, go to college, write books, and ultimately revolutionize the world through her activism on behalf of the deaf and blind. This new biography series from DK goes beyond the basic facts to tell the true life stories of history’s most interesting people. Full-color photographs and hand-drawn illustrations complement thoughtfully written, age-appropriate text to create an engaging book children will enjoy reading. Definition boxes, information sidebars, maps, inspiring quotes, and other nonfiction text features add depth, and a handy reference section at the back makes this the one biography series every teacher and librarian will want to collect. Each book also includes an author’s introduction letter, a glossary, and an index.” (Catalogue).

Some inspiring reads…

image courtesy of syndeticsThe black book of colours.

“An award-winning, unforgettable black book about colour, which shows you how to “see” without your eyes.It can be hard for a sighted person to imagine what it is like to be blind. But in this breathtaking, ground-breaking and award-winning colour book, Menena Cottin and Rosana Faria try to convey the experience of a person who can see only through their sense of touch, taste, smell or hearing. With gorgeous textured art on black paper, accompanied by a beautifully written text translated into braille, this powerful book breaks down barriers and gives young readers the ability to experience the world in a whole new way.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsMysterious traveller.

“This tale begins with a disgruntled camel, desperately trying to protect a little baby from a violent desert storm whipping up all around him. He is rescued by Issa – the desert guide – who takes the child in, naming her Mariama. She becomes Issa’s family and, as he begins to lose his sight, his eyes. Many years later, a mysterious stranger arrives at their doorstep, a stranger who will change both their lives for ever.” (Catalogue).


image courtesy of syndeticsFootsteps through the fog.

“Unlike her brothers and sisters, Anthea cannot see, so when they all go to the beach one day, their mother tells them to take care of her. While they are all playing on the sand, a thick fog rolls in from the ocean. Suddenly it’s up to Anthea to get everyone home safely. Written by the legendary Margaret Mahy and with artwork by master illustrator Gavin Bishop, this is a beautifully told story that will give readers young and old a new perspective on blindness. Mahy and Bishop have both donated their royalties for this project to the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsThe world ends in April.

“Eleanor Dross knows a thing or two about the end of the world, thanks to a survivalist grandfather who stockpiles freeze-dried food and supplies–just in case. So when she reads about a Harvard scientist’s prediction that an asteroid will strike Earth in April, Eleanor knows her family will be prepared. Her classmates? They’re on their own. Eleanor has just one friend she wants to keep safe: Mack. They’ve been best friends since kindergarten, even though he’s more of a smiley emoji and she’s more of an eye-roll emoji. They’ll survive the end of the world together . . . if Mack doesn’t go away to a special school for the blind. But it’s hard to keep quiet about a life-destroying asteroid–especially at a crowded lunch table–and soon Eleanor is the president of the (secret) End of the World Club. It turns out that prepping for TEOTWAWKI (the End of the World as We Know It) is actually kind of fun. But you can’t really prepare for everything life drops on you. And one way or another, Eleanor’s world is about to change.” (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsThe sound of colors : a journey of the imagination.

“A lonely young girl who is losing her sight uses a trip on the subway as a springboard for her imagination. Her mind takes her on a colourful journey where she swims with dolphins, sunbathes on a whale’s back and follows a butterfly to her destination. First person recount. A sophisticated picture book. Suggested level: intermediate, junior secondary.” (Catalogue).

Arabic Language Day and New Books in Arabic!

ٱلسَّلَامُ عَلَيْكُمْ!

The 18th of December marks the United Nations Arabic Language Day. Did you know that there are over 300 million native Arabic speakers worldwide?

This makes the Arabic language one of the most widely spoken languages in the word.

It is spoken by a diverse range of people across the African continent and the Middle East, including Sudan, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, and many more. At Wellington City Libraries we’re lucky enough to offer our community a wide selection of books in Arabic for everyone to enjoy!

Here is our librarian, Khadro, showing us two more brand new Arabic books in the Newtown Library collection:

A smiling librarian, wearing a colourful facemask and hijab, is holding two beautiful picture books in Arabic. Behind her, you can see the children's world languages collection at Newtown Library, with lots of books in colourful shelving and comfortable seats nearby.

Our friendly librarians love helping you find good books to read!

Here are some of our favourite books for children in Arabic. Click on the title to find out more. If the book you want is in a library that is too far away, you can click ‘Place Reserve‘ to have it sent to a library which is closer, where you can pick it up.

Mā arwaʻ al-ṭaʻām = Food, food, fabulous food / Clynes, Kate
A fun story about the diversity of food and all the ways it enriches our lives. Food brings people together from all walks of life and is a great way to connect with each other.

Ikhtalafat fa-tamayyazatu / Nājim, Alāʼ Saʻd

Our Differences are Distinguished: This story is a dive into everything that makes us different and unique. Through music the characters of this book learn that there are different ways to express themselves.

Time to pray = Awqāt al-ṣalāh / Addasi, Maha

This story follows young Yasmin as she learns about one of the core tenants of her religion: prayer. It also teaches Yasmin the importance of family and community.

Samakat qaws qazah = The rainbow fish. / Pfister, Marcus

Leaning to share your beauty with others makes everyone shine. This classic tale is now available in English and Arabic for new and native Arabic speakers to enjoy.

Ayyuhā al-dub al-asmar, ayyuhā al-dub al-asmar mādhā tará? / Martin, Bill

I see a bear, what about you? A fun rhyming book that covers all the bases, from magical blue horses to cute purple cats. This book has it all.

Click here to see more Arabic children’s books at Wellington City Libraries

Joining the Library is free! You can take these books home for three weeks and then get some new ones! If you would like to learn more, here is some information about how to join the library, written in Arabic.

Kids Audiobooks for the Summer Holidays

Since the summer holidays are fast approaching, and our Summer Reading Adventure has already launched, now is the perfect time to highlight our children’s audiobook collection.

Audiobooks are a great distraction for long car trips, and are also a good way for more reluctant readers to keep up their reading over the summer. And we have so many audiobooks for you to choose from, and so many ways to access them as well!

via GIPHY

Audiobooks on CD

If you prefer to use a CD player to listen to your audiobooks, then head on down to one of our branches and keep an eye out for the Children’s Audiobook section where you can browse the collection of available books-on-CD. You can also search and reserve audiobooks through our catalogue so the titles you’re after are ready and waiting for your next library visit – and check out our Quick Searches page! Here you can get a quick list of hundreds of kids audiobooks to scroll through.

If you’re into eAudiobooks, we have two different services you can use to listen. Both are free to use – you can use them in your browser or just download the app onto your phone, tablet, computer, whatever device you have, and sign in with your library card barcode number and your 4-digit pin.

Our eAudiobooks show up on our catalogue when you’re searching, just like our regular audiobooks. All you have to do is check which kind of eAudiobook it is, Borrowbox or Overdrive!

Screenshot of the catalogue search record for Cart and Cwidder by Diana Wynne Jones. Underneath the author's name the call number is listed as Children eAudiobook Overdrive.

The description in the catalogue search results will tell you what kind of book it is, and where to get it! This one is an Overdrive eAudiobook.


Borrowbox

Borrowbox has several thousand different titles, and a big focus on eAudiobooks. They’re an Australian company so are a bit more likely to have titles from closer to home.

With Borrowbox you can search for specific titles, or filter by age and explore featured lists such as Chart Toppers or new books, and you can have 25 eAudiobooks and 25 eBooks out at a time!


Libby by Overdrive

Overdrive has got two apps you can use, Libby and Overdrive, but both have exactly the same books on them and you can use both or either, whichever you like best!

There are a lot of curated booklists available on Libby and Overdrive, such as the Stay At Home Audiobook Selection from earlier this year, Alternative Fairy Tales and Folklore, and even a dog themed booklist! Probably the most exciting of these lists though is the Unlimited Loans: Kids Audiobooks collection. With this list of 100 eAudiobooks you don’t have to wait for the person before you to return them to the library – they’re always available!

You can have 20 titles – eAudiobooks and eBooks – out a time through Libby and Overdrive.


So now you have all these different options for accessing audiobooks, but when are you going to listen to them, and what kind of book do you want? Do you want a nice long chapter book with an adventure in it to listen to on the long car trip to your grandparent’s house? Or maybe you’d like a Christmas story to listen to as you decorate your tree? Or some shorter stories to help lull you off to sleep?

In case you’re having a hard time deciding what to listen to, here are a few ideas to get you started:

The Quentin Blake collection / Blake, Quentin
“A collection of gorgeous stories from Quentin Blake, one of the best-known and most highly regarded illustrators of our time, internationally celebrated for his partnership with Roald Dahl.” (Catalogue)

Also available as an eAudiobook

Christmas stories / Blyton, Enid
“In this collection there is mystery and magic, laughter and mischief, the joy of shared times and plenty of delicious food, many of the ingredients that have been delighting Enid Blyton’s fans for more than seventy years.” (Catalogue)

Also available as an eAudiobook

Holiday stories / Blyton, Enid
“A wonderful selection of stories to read and share. From sandcastles at the beach to enchanted ice-creams, step into the summer with these delightful characters. Adventure, fun and magic can all be found on holiday with Enid Blyton, who has been delighting readers for more than seventy years.” (Catalogue)

Also available as an eAudiobook

Artemis Fowl / Colfer, Eoin
“When a twelve-year-old evil genius tries to restore his family fortune by capturing a fairy and demanding a ransom in gold, the fairies fight back with magic, technology, and a particularly nasty troll.” (Catalogue)

Also available as an eAudiobook

Hairy Maclary story collection / Dodd, Lynley
“Collection of amusing stories about the adventures of the dog Hairy Maclary and his friends who just want to have fun, but trouble is never far away! Suggested level: junior, primary.” (Catalogue)

The Julia Donaldson collection / Donaldson, Julia
“Follow the Swallow: When Apollo the swallow flies to Africa, Chack the blackbird wants to send him a message. But Africa is far away. Can a jumpy dolphin, a grumpy camel, a greedy crocodile or a playful monkey help to deliver the message? […]” (Catalogue)

Also available as an eAudiobook
Good night stories for rebel girls : [100 tales of extraordinary women] / Favilli, Elena
“To the rebel girls of the world: dream bigger, aim higher, fight harder, and, when in doubt, remember you are right”–Introduction. “Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls reinvents fairy tales, inspiring girls with the stories of 100 heroic women […]” (Catalogue)

Also available as an eAudiobook

The pirates’ mixed-up voyage / Mahy, Margaret
“Captain Lionel Wafer and his fellow-pirates, Toad, Brace-and-Bit and Winkle, are no ordinary ruffians. Clinging to the belief that life should be simple, free and unplanned they set off in a converted teashop of a ship[…] to sail backwards and forwards over the bounding blue […]” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Also available as an eAudiobook

The lightning thief / Riordan, Rick
“Twelve-year-old Percy Jackson learns he is a demigod, the son of a mortal woman and Poseidon, god of the sea. His mother sends him to a summer camp for demigods where he and his new friends set out on a quest to prevent a war between the gods. Suggested level: intermediate, junior secondary.” (Catalogue)

Also available as an eAudiobook

Nevermoor : the trials of Morrigan Crow / Townsend, Jessica
“A cursed child destined to die on her eleventh birthday is rescued and whisked away to a secret realm called Nevermoor and given the chance to compete for a place in a prestigious organization called the Wundrous Society.” (Catalogue)

Also available as an eAudiobook

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!

Absolutely Positively Wellington Short Story Competition

This summer, young scribes and aspiring writers around the city are invited to enter the The Mayor and Deputy Mayors Absolutely Positively Wellington Short Story Competition!

The theme for this year is ‘The City of Wind.’ Mayor Andy Foster adds that “Wellington is famous for its iconic wind – and whether you love it or hate it – it shapes our lives.”

You can write your story in Te Reo Māori or English and/or a combination.

Deputy Mayor Sarah Free says: “We are looking for fact or fiction stories that explore the love hate relationship people have with this force of nature. Serious or fun, futuristic, or based on a historical chapter in Wellington’s history, now is the moment to unsheathe your pen, sharpen your pencil and fire up your word processor.”

There are some exciting prizes up for grabs, including a $200 book voucher, a lunch with the Mayor and Deputy Mayor and a creative development session with the competition judge, and award-winning writer Lauren Keenan.

Categories:

  • Best Story: 9-12 year old, up to 1500 words
  • Best Story 13-18 year olds, up to 3000 words
  • Best Title of a Story
  • Best Premise of a Story
  • Most Imaginative Story

The competition closes at 11:59pm on 25 February 2022. We look forward to reading all your stories!

Find more details and the online entry form here.

Books to check out!

Unleash your creative monster : a children’s guide to writing / Jones, Andy
“A side-splitting and informative guide to creative writing by author/illustrator comedic duo Andy and Olaf, jam-packed with lashings of monster-inspired fun. Unleash your creative monster and write stories to inspire, amaze and awe your friends. With top tips on getting your story started, learn essential skills for storytellers in this brilliant guide to writing. Give your descriptions claws, add a little bite to your writing and feed your monster inspiration with over 50 writing prompts and exercises”–Publisher’s description.” (Catalogue)

How to be a young #writer / Edge, Christopher
“This is an authoritative book from the word experts at Oxford to get budding writers crafting brilliant stories. It will help you think about how to develop an idea into a gripping and powerful story, with examples and tips from the best known authors to show you how it’s done. For children aged 11 and over, it covers all the key elements of plot, characterization, building a believable world, thinking about tone and style, weaving description into stories, through to endings and editing your work. Practical tips will get any struggling writer to beat the fear of the blank page and inspirational advice will help young authors to achieve their creative writing goals. It includes information on sharing stories and how to get people reading your work.” (Catalogue)

Kid authors : true tales of childhood from famous writers / Stabler, David
“Presents stories featuring authors when they were children, including Roald Dahl, J.K. Rowling, and Zora Neale Hurston.” (Catalogue)

Before they were authors : famous writers as kids / Haidle, Elizabeth
“This exciting debut in graphic novel format tells the childhood stories of literary legends including Maya Angelou, Roald Dahl, and Sandra Cisneros. Perfect for fans of Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls and Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World.” (Catalogue)

Summer Reading Tips: The Community Reading Goal

Kia ora! The Summer Reading Adventure is now in full swing, and hundreds of you have already started logging your reading, writing or drawing book reviews, and completing quests in the name of honour and glory. Hurrah!

You might have noticed that on the Summer Reading Adventure website, if you scroll down just a little bit, you’ll see a live counter that looks a little like this:

A live ticker on the Summer Reading Adventure website, with a progress bar that is 20% full and text saying "It's dangerous to go alone! Let's work together to reach this community reading goal."

Did you catch the reference to The Legend of Zelda games? There are classic gaming references hidden everywhere on the Summer Reading Adventure website — can you find them all?

This counter tells us how many books the kids of Wellington have read so far on their Summer Reading Adventures. We have set a goal for us to read 5,000 books together before the 31st of January — and yes, you read that correctly, we’ve already read over 1,000 books! After just one week! Ka pai tō mahi, that is amazing!

What happens when we reach our Community Reading Goal? Well, the text on the left will change, for one thing. So that’s cute. But as for other effects, you’ll just have to wait and see!