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

image courtesy of wikipedia.org

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

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

Why do we celebrate Guy Fawkes?

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

Books about Guy Fawkes

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

image courtesy of syndeticsGuy Fawkes.

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

image courtesy of syndeticsGuy Fawkes and the gunpowder plot.

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


image courtesy of syndetics5 November 1605 : the Gunpowder Plot.

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

image courtesy of syndeticsRemember that November.

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

image courtesy of syndeticsCorpse talk. Season 2.

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


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

image courtesy of syndeticsFestivals and celebrations.

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

image courtesy of syndeticsThe big book of festivals.

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

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

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

image courtesy of syndeticsA year full of celebrations and festivals.

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

For more information, check out:

Britannica.

BBC.

National Geographic.

Public Holidays: Why Do We Have Them?

Apart from school holidays, there are other holidays in New Zealand that everyone gets to enjoy – even the adults! These are called Public Holidays and they must be enacted into law under the Holidays Act 2003 to be official public holidays.

aerial photography of city beside body of water during daytimeWellington Anniversary Day is regional holiday celebrated on the fourth Monday in January. The holiday commemorates the arrival of the first settler ship to New Zealand on 22 January 1840.

But there are also public holidays that are observed throughout New Zealand. Starting with the national holiday that’s coming up very soon (Labour Day), here’s a list all of New Zealand’s official holidays:

Labour Day – 4th Monday of October

Labour Day falls on the fourth Monday of October, so in 2021 it will be on Monday 25 October. New Zealand Labour Day is a holiday commemorating the fight for an eight-hour working day and New Zealand’s first Labour Day holiday was celebrated in 1890. Before that, often a working day could be very long with only a half-day or one day off a week.

According to NZHistory, the changes were started by a Wellington carpenter called Samuel Parnell. The story goes that Purnell was hired by a shipping agent, who commissioned him to construct a new store for him. Parnell agreed-but stipulated some terms of his own. He is famously said to have answered:

“There are twenty-four hours per day given us; eight of these should be for work, eight for sleep, and the remaining eight for recreation and in which for me to do what little things they want for themselves.”

Christmas Day and Boxing Day – 25 and 26 December

Christmas Day is an important festival in the Christian Calendar where they celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ – a pivotal deity in the Christian faith. Christmas in New Zealand is less about snow and sleigh bells and more about sun, sand and barbecues in the backyard! The name Boxing Day comes from a time when the rich used to box up gifts to give to the poor, their servants and tenant farmers.

New Year’s Day and the day after New Year’s Day – 1 and 2 January

Due to its geographical position close to the International Date Line, New Zealand is one of the first countries in the world to welcome in a new calendar year.

Waitangi Day – 6 February

Waitangi Day marks the anniversary of the initial signing – on 6 February 1840 – of the Treaty of Waitangi, which is regarded as the founding document of the nation. The first Waitangi Day was not celebrated until 1934, and it was made a national public holiday in 1974.

Good Friday & Easter Monday

Easter is traditionally celebrated on the first Sunday following the full moon that lands on or just after the spring equinox. Easter is a Christian holiday that celebrates the belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ (see Christmas Day and Boxing Day, above).

Anzac Day – 25 April

Anzac Day, for both Australians and New Zealanders, first started in 1916 to commemorate those that were killed in the World War 1 (“The Great War”). Now we remember  all New Zealanders and Australians who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations. There are dawn remembrance services all around the country which New Zealanders old and young are attend. ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corp.

Queen’s Birthday – Second Monday in June

The day has been celebrated since 1788, when Arthur Phillip, Governor of New South Wales (Australia), declared a holiday to mark the birthday of the king of Great Britain. Until 1936, it was held on the actual birthday of the monarch, but, after King George V died, it was decided to keep the date on the second Monday in June.

Matariki 2022

This will be a new public holiday from June 2022! New Zealand will celebrate Matariki as a public holiday from 24 June 2022. The calendar date for the Matariki public holiday will shift each year to align with the maramataka (Māori lunar calendar).

 


New Zealand’s history and how it’s public holidays came about, is a fascinating thing. Why not check out:

Labour Day / Boon, Kevin
“Outlines the history of the eight-hour working day in New Zealand and the role of Samuel Parnell in bringing this about. Looks at working conditions and labour relations in New Zealand, including sweatshops, the 1890 maritime strike, the Waihi Miners’ strike of 1912, the Great Strike of 1913, and the 1951 waterfront dispute.” (Catalogue)

The house that Jack built / Bishop, Gavin
“Uses the cumulative nursery rhyme, about the chain of events that started when Jack built a house, as a metaphor to illustrate the arrival and settlement of the European settlers in New Zealand during the early 19th century. Includes references to Maori folklore.” (Catalogue)

Illustrated history of New Zealand / Stenson, Marcia
Contents include: How we know about the past — Land of birds — Arrival of the Māori — Māori settlement — European explorers — Sealing, whaling, timber and trade — Missionaries and musket wars — Treaty of Waitangi — Pioneer settlers — Gold — Conflict between the races — Political changes — Changing ways of earning a living — Fighting outside New Zealand — Bad times and the role of the government — Disasters — Changes in our lives — Changes in Māori lives — Some of our heroes and heroines — How has human occupation affected New Zealand? (Catalogue)

Running the country : a look inside New Zealand’s government / Gill, Maria
“From the Bill of rights to the way we vote, from parliamentary headquarters to local council – and everything in between – Maria Gill explains our system of government. You will discover facts about laws, our currency, voting at the elections and the role of the media. There are fascinating profiles of New Zealand leaders, illustrated by cartoonist Malcolm Evans, along with photographs, amazing statistics and useful “google this” internet links to find out more. This revised edition brings us right up to the new Labour Government of October 2017 (in coalition with New Zealand First and The Green Party).” (Catalogue)

Te Tiriti o Waitangi / Morris, Toby
“Dual-language, flip-book, graphic-novel-style non-fiction about about the Treaty of Waitangi developed for a general audience” (Catalogue)

Christian church / Wood, Angela
“What is a church for? Who is Jesus? What is the Bible? What happens in a church service? All these questions and more are explored in this first introduction to the religion of Christianity. The We Worship Here series introduces children aged 6+ to the main religions of the world. Each book features information about beliefs, values and the ways people worship. The books are clearly and sensitively written, checked by expert consultants and the text is supported with beautiful illustrations.” (Catalogue)

If I ran the country / Knight, Rich
“Congratulations! You’ve just become the leader of your own country! There are a lot of decisions to be made, and not long to make them. The good news is you’ve got your hands on this funny, fact-packed book, covering everything you need to know to rule effectively – no matter where in the world you are. But it’s not just about political systems, elections, climate change, justice and all those other things we hear politicians talking about. You also need to learn how to lead. With essential life and leadership skills and tips – from teamwork, confidence and compassion to discovering who you are and what you believe in – If I Ran The Country answers all the questions most often posed by first-time top dogs like you. You’ll be ruling like a pro in no time!” (Catalogue)

Horrible Christmas / Deary, Terry
“The complete horrible history of Christmas tells tales from the dark days when the Puritans tried to abolish Christmas, to Christmas in the trenches when the British and Germans traded bullets for footballs. Plus dreadful jokes, rotten recipes, and a Christmas quiz!” (Catalogue)

Celebrating Matariki / MacGregor, Jill
“In New Zealand, Mataraki is a time to remember ancestors and traditions of long ago. Maori iwi celebrate Matariki in different ways at different times. Tamarau and his friends share some ideas and activities for celebrating Mataraki.” (Catalogue)

Dawn of the twentieth century / Boon, Kevin
“Tracks key events in the first decades of the twentieth century as New Zealand became a more distinctive and independent society. Suggested level: primary, intermediate, junior secondary.” (Catalogue)

Waitangi Day : the New Zealand story : what it is and why it matters / Werry, Philippa
“Reviews the historic events behind the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840 and charts the celebrations, tensions and protests witnessed in the years that followed, concluding with a summary of the Waitangi Day events held around the country on 6th February today” (Catalogue)

Suffrage Day 2021

Suffrage Day  is a special day in New Zealand’s history. Sunday 19 September 2021 is Suffrage Day / White Camellia Day.

image courtesy of sydneticsimage courtesy of syndeticsimage courtesy of syndetics   

Why is Suffrage Day celebrated?

On the 19th of September 1893, New Zealand became the first nation in the world to grant women the right to vote. This year marks the 126 anniversary of women winning the right to vote in New Zealand. The white camellia was the symbol of the suffragists.

Did you know? November 28th 1893 was the day New Zealand women voted for first time.

What is Suffrage Day?

Suffrage Day provides an opportunity for people to celebrate New Zealand’s suffrage achievements and look for ways to benefit women.

How do we commemorate this day?

  • Wearing a white camellia. Why? These flowers were worn by people supporting women’s right to vote in New Zealand.
  • Wear a The Suffrage 125 symbolWhy? The symbol draws on historical colours and icons adopted by women’s suffrage petitioners and presents them in a contemporary form. image courtesy of women.govt.nz

Where can I find information about the suffragettes and and Suffrage Day?

image courtesy of syndeticsAmazing women: 101 lives to inspire you.

“Read this story of 101 extraordinary women of our time. Empowering and inspiring accounts of female pioneers include the likes of JK Rowling, Rosalind Franklin, Beyonce Knowles, Marie Curie, Malala Yousafzai, Angela Merkel and Serena Williams. A beautiful package that rejoices in the remarkable and crucial contributions women have made to our society.” (Catalogue)


image courtesy of syndetics
Women’s suffrage.

“Find out interesting, little-known facts such as how the suffragists were the first people to ever picket the White House and how the nineteenth amendment granting women the right to vote passed by only one vote when a legislator changed his vote to “yes” after receiving a letter from his mother telling him to “do the right thing.” The unique details, along with the clever interior illustrations, make this series stand out from the competition” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsKate Sheppard.

“When Kate Sheppard was a young lady jauntily exploring the streets of her new home in Christchurch, the world was a different place. Women did not ride bicycles or participate in outdoor activities like sports. And they certainly were not allowed to vote. But Kate wanted to do more, and she knew that women deserved the same opportunities as their male counterparts. Her campaign would become the battle of a lifetime. Includes an end section of facts about women’s rights around the world.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsEliza and the white camellia : a story of suffrage in New Zealand.

“New Zealand suffragist Eliza Wallis was a first-wave feminist who actively sought the Vote for Women. She was a founding member of the National Council of Women in 1896. Her story is told by her fourth great niece in this bilingual children’s picture book, a Suffrage 125 project.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsRebel Voices.

“A beautifully illustrated celebration of the brave campaigners who fought for women’s right to vote. Tracing its history from New Zealand at the end of the 19th century, follow this empowering movement as it spread from Oceania to Europe and the Americas, then Africa and Asia up to the present day. Meet the women who rioted, rallied and refused to give up.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsSuffragettes and the fight for the vote.

“This book takes up the story in the mid 19th century, when the first petition was presented to Parliament, and traces the fight for the vote through the work of suffrage organisations and the suffragettes. From peaceful demonstrations to violent campaigns and prison hunger strikes, the story is brought to life through fascinating historical photos and artefacts” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsBe counted! : the diary of Amy Phelps, Dunedin, 1893.

“Thirteen year old Amy goes to live with her aunt and uncle in Dunedin to continue her education. At Otago Girls’ High she pursues her dream of becoming an artist like her hero, Frances Hodgkins. Meanwhile, all Aunt Delia can talk about is the campaign to get women the vote. But Amy soon finds some girls who need more urgent help. Her efforts to find her wayward friend Mary lead her to discover a dark side lurking behind Dunedin’s stately buildings. Includes historical photographs. Suggested level: intermediate, junior secondary.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsWinning the vote for women.

“Imagine you were there campaigning for women’s right to vote. […] Meet the women, and the men, from every continent who fought both for and against the suffrage movement, and those that are continuing the fight today. From New Zealand in 1894 to Saudi Arabia in 2014, readers will discover the global petitions, the campaigns, the peaceful protests and marches, as well as the extreme measures taken by suffragists and suffragettes in their determination to change history.” (Adapted from Catalogue)


image courtesy of syndeticsThe book of heroines : tales of history’s gutsiest gals.

“Everybody needs a role model! Discover true stories of superstars, war heroes, world leaders, gusty gals, and everyday women who changed the world. From Sacagawea to Mother Teresa, Annie Oakley to Malala Yousafzai, these famous women hiked up their pants and petticoats and charged full-speed ahead to prove girls are just as tough as boys…maybe even tougher. Complete with amazing images and a fun design, this is the book that every kid with a goal, hope, or dream will want to own” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsGirls who rocked the world : heroines from Joan of Arc to Mother Teresa.

“Forty-six biographical accounts of strong, independent female role models, all of whom were younger than twenty years of age when they changed the history of the world through amazing accomplishments. Suggested level: intermediate, secondary.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsEmmeline Pankhurst.

Part of the bestselling Little People, BIG DREAMS series, Emmeline Pankhurst  tells the inspiring story of this brave activist who fought for women to achieve their right to vote. (Catalogue).

The Olympians: Available on Overdrive

Hey Kids! Did you know the series, The Olympians series is available on Overdrive? So why not check out the collection while in lockdown, be inspired by the lives and battles the Greek Gods and Goddesses and unleash your inner hero/heroine by fighting against Covid-19… by staying home, being kind and reading The Olympian Series from Overdrive.

For more information about the Olympian Series, check out our posts on how the Olympians do battle with the heroes from the DC and Marvel Universe: Welcome to the Arena and  Team Battle 1. Stay tuned for more epic battles and who will when the Olympians vs. DC/Marvel Superheroes team battle.

But as a friendly recap…

The Olympians, by George O’Connor is a series of graphic novels about Greek mythology.

Each volume of The Olympians tells the story of one of the gods, (Zeus, Athena, Hera, Hades, Poseidon, Aphrodite, Ares, Apollo, Artemis, Hermes and Hesphaistos) in the Olympic pantheon. Also included in each book is extensive back matter that tells the history behind each myth and resources for further study and critical analysis of the Greek gods, history, culture, religion… Hmm, who would have thought homework would involve reading comics! You can find them all on the shelf at Wellington City Libraries and online at Overdrive Kids.

To find out more about The Olympians, check out the official website. You can also have fun with the activities and learn more about Greek mythology by visiting some of these sites.


image courtesy of syndeticsAthena: Grey eyed goddess.

Check out Volume 2 of the Olympian series, Athena: Grey-Eyed Goddess, which tells the tale of the goddess of wisdom and war, recounting her many adventures. (Catalogue).

image courtesy of sydneticsHades: Lord of the Dead.

Hades: Lord of the Dead tells the story of the great God of the Underworld and one of the most famous of all Greek myths: Hades’ abduction of Persephone and her mother’s revenge. Be prepared to see a new side of Persephone in this dynamic adaptation of the story of the creation of the seasons. Perfect to read just in time for spring. (Catalogue).

Did you know? Hades and Persephone‘s story tells how the four seasons were born. During spring and summer, Persephone resides with her mother, Demeter and therefore all the crops begins to thrive. In autumn and winter, Persephone is with Hades, which would cause Demeter be sad and neglect the crops.

image courtesy of syndeticsApollo: The Brilliant One.

Mighty Apollo is known by all as the god of the sun, but there’s more to this Olympian than a bright smile and a shining chariot. In the latest volume of Olympians, New York Times bestselling author George O’Connor continues to turn his extensive knowledge of the original Greek myths into rip-roaring graphic novel storytelling. (Catalogue).

image courtesy of sydneticsArtemis, Goddess of the Hunt.

Shunned even before she was born and destined to live a life of solitude, Artemis, Goddess of the Hunt, finds power through her skilled hunting ability and mighty bow. She slays those who wish to do harm to the innocent and takes care of the young and helpless. She protects women and young girls, helps in childbirth, soothes, and is unrivaled in her hunting abilities. In the latest volume of Olympians, New York Times–bestselling author George O’Connor continues to turn his extensive knowledge of the original Greek myths into rip-roaring graphic novel storytelling. (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsPoseidon: Earth Shaker.

In the fifth installment of the Olympians series of graphic novels, author/artist George O’Connor turns the spotlight on that most mysterious and misunderstood of the Greek gods, Poseidon: Earth Shaker. Thrill to such famous myths as Theseus and the Minotaur, Odysseus and Polyphemos, and the founding of Athens—and learn how the tempestuous Poseidon became the King of the Seas. (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsHephaistos: God of Fire.

Thrown from Mount Olympus as a newborn and caught by Thetis and Eurynome, who raised him on the island of Lemnos, Hephaistos had an aptitude for creating beautiful objects from a very young age. Despite his rejection from Olympus, he swallowed his anger and spent his days perfecting his craft. His exquisitely forged gifts and weapons earned him back his seat in the heavens, but he was not treated as an equal—his brothers and sisters looked down at him for his lame leg, and even his own wife, Aphrodite, was disloyal. In this installment of George O’Connor’s bestselling Olympians graphic novel series, witness Hephaistos’ wrath in God of Fire as he creates a plan that’ll win him the respect he deserves. (Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndeticsHermes: Tales of the Trickster.

The New York Times bestselling series continues as author/artist George O’Connor focuses on Hermes, the trickster god in Olympians: Hermes: Tales of the Trickster. (Catalogue).

Remember stay safe in your bubble, stay at home and be kind. Kia kaha!

Plastic Free July

Plastic Free July® is a global movement that aims to make people more aware of plastic pollution, and the things they can do to reduce it. This includes you! You can take the Plastic Free Challenge at home or at school to help get you started, check out some of our tips below, or borrow some of the awesome books listed below from your local library.

Posters are available to download on plasticfreejuly.org/resources/posters/

What can I do at home?

  • Talk to your family and get everyone on board with reducing plastic consumption
  • Set out your ideas and suggestions on the fridge!
  • Learn to bake! Home-baked snacks are way yummier (and cheaper) than bought ones anyway 🙂
  • Think twice about single-use bottled water and fruit juices
  • Use soap and shampoo bars instead of liquid soaps and shampoos
  • Reduce the amount of things you buy, reuse what you have to, and recycle what you no longer need. Think to yourself before you buy “Do I really need this?”
  • Take better care of your clothes, swap with friends, or get excited about hand-me-downs! Did you know that many of our clothes contain plastics like polyester, nylon, acrylic and polyamide? In fact most new fabrics are made of plastic – up to 64% of them. The thing is, every time we wash these materials they shed millions of plastic microfibres into our drains which ultimately end up in our waterways, lakes and oceans.

What can I do at School?

  • Try to bring people together and create a team to look at how your school can reduce plastic consumption.
  • Get both students and teachers on board, you never know who might be concerned!
  • Start small by looking at the simple changes you can make. For example, take your lunch to school in a reusable container and bring reusable cutlery
  • Try to empower others by sharing positive solutions rather than just identifying the problems!

“As a future guardian of the planet, you can say no to plastic. Your actions, however small, can make a big difference every day. Are you up to the challenge?” — Aubre Andrus, “The Plastic Problem

Plastic planet / Amson-Bradshaw, Georgia
“Plastic Planet offers young readers a non-alarmist introduction to Earth’s plastic crisis. Plastic pollution is now found in every environment on Earth, from the deepest oceans to the driest deserts and the most remote ice sheets. Plastic Planet offers readers aged 8 and up a look at plastic through the ages, exploring what it is, how it’s made and how we have become so dependent on it in a single-use, disposable world. It highlights the social inequality of plastic pollution and explores how plastic has become a widespread and dangerous pollutant that is inextricably linked to climate change. The book looks ahead to possible solutions to our plastic crisis, from global changes such as changing people’s mindsets, to innovations such as compostable plastics, to practical solutions such as recycling and bottle return schemes.” (Catalogue)


Kids vs. plastic : ditch the straw and find the pollution solution to bottles, bags, and other single-use plastics : how you can be a waste warrior! / Beer, Julie
“Jam-packed with surprising information about plastic’s effect on the environment, plus loads of practical ways kids can cut down on their plastic footprint, this is the kids guide to being part of the pollution solution!”–Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

The plastic problem : 60 small ways to reduce waste and save the Earth / Andrus, Aubre
“Look around you–plastic is everywhere! It’s in your shoes, pens, toothbrush, car, toys, TV, water bottles, food packaging… It’s almost impossible to get through one day without using it. And it’s creating major problems for our world, our oceans, our animals and marine life, and ourselves. In The Plastic Problem, from the team that brought you 101 Small Ways to Save the World, you’ll learn how to become a ‘plastic patroller’ instead of a plastic polluter by learning about the easy ways you can cut plastic out of your life. The simple actions found in this practical guide will help you protect our world and inspire your friends and family to do the same. ” (Catalogue, abridged)

Kids fight plastic / Dorey, Martin
“Have you got 2 minutes? That’s all the time it takes to become a #2minutesuperhero. Plastic is everywhere. It is in the rivers and it is in the sea. We need superheroes to fight plastic and help save our oceans.” (Catalogue)



Further ideas to help you explore a clean, green future!

ZEALANDIA ECOSANCTUARY– This is what’s called a ‘mainland island’ in the heart of Wellington. Predator-proof fencing has meant that the native wildlife and plants can thrive as it should to maintain Aotearoa’s wonderful biodiversity. Every visit is a new adventure, AND in July kids get free entry into this natural wonderland!
 
HELP WITH LOCAL BEACH CLEAN UPS
Plastics and glass can take up to 400 years to break down in the sea, and our poor oceans are getting clogged with this pollution. You could organise your own beach clean up with friends, family or your school; or maybe you could volunteer to help with an organised event. There are some great websites to inspire you to get beach cleaning and help you get organised:

Kia kaha, and thank you from Mother Earth!

Olympians vs. Marvel/DC Heroes: Team Battle 1!

Our first Olympians vs. Marvel/DC Superheroes team battle is upon us. The kings, queens, and prodigal daughters of the Greek gods and superhero comic pantheons come face to face over the pages of their books — who will emerge victorious? That is for you to decide… once you read the books, of course!

1) Zeus vs Thor

The Greek God of Thunder does battle with the Norse God of Thunder in this epic meeting of the gods of the sky!

Starting with the first book in the world of the Olympians, in Zeus: King of the Gods readers meet the ruler of the Olympian Pantheon, and are told his story from his boyhood to his ascendance to supreme power.

Meanwhile in the Norse-inspired world of Marvel comics, join Thor as he battles with frost giants, goes fishing for sea serpents, and tries to figure out who has stolen his hammer. With the trickster god Loki tagging along on his quests, Thor will not only have to squeeze into a wedding dress but also test his strength against a giant’s cat that’s so big he can’t reach its tummy, even on his tip toes.

Pro-tip: This book is part of the Bloomsbury High Low series, which encourages and support reading practice by providing gripping, age-appropriate and illustrated stories for struggling and reluctant readers, those with dyslexia, or those with English as an additional language.

image courtesy of syndetics

image courtesy of syndetics


You might also like:

image courtesy of syndeticsNorse myths : tales of Odin, Thor and Loki.

“The gods of the Vikings come to life as never before in this extraordinary illustrated anthology by Carnegie Medal-winning author Kevin Crossley-Holland and artist Jeffrey Alan Love. These dramatic, enthralling and atmospheric tales are based on the Scandinavian myth cycle one of the greatest and most culturally significant stories in the world – and tell of Odin with his one eye, Thor with his mighty hammer and Loki, the red-haired, shape-shifting trickster. In this stunning collection of myths, the strange world of ancient magic, giants, dwarfs and monsters is unforgettably imagined.” (Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndeticsTreasury of Norse mythology : stories of intrigue, trickery, love, and revenge.

“Classic stories and dazzling illustrations of gods, goddesses, heroes and monsters come to life in a stunning tableau of Norse myths, including those of the thunder god Thor, the one-eyed god and Allfather Odin, and the trickster god Loki. The lyrical storytelling of award-winning author Donna Jo Napoli dramatizes the timeless tales of ancient Scandinavia. This book is the third in the trilogy that includes the popular National Geographic Treasury of Greek Mythology and National Geographic Treasury of Egyptian Mythology.” (Catalogue)

Also search our catalogue for more books about Thor and Zeus.

2) Athena vs Wonder Woman

Talk about taking sibling rivalry to to extreme! Half sisters, Greek Goddess, Athena and Wonder Woman (Amazon, demi-god and superhero) do battle over who can best fight battles using wisdom over strength. Who do you think will win?

Read the story of Athena, goddess of wisdom and one of the most complex Olympians. This graphic novel retells her many interwoven tales: how she killed Pallas, fought the Gigantes, aided Perseus, and cursed Arachne. Wonder Woman: The Ultimate Guide to the Amazon Warrior showcases stunning Wonder Woman aka Diana Prince comic artwork and examines iconic characters as well as key issues and story lines. Packed with information on allies, enemies, locations, and much more, this book is a must-have book for fans of DC Comics, Wonder Woman comics and characters, and the Justice League of America.

You may also enjoy Diana and the island of no return. It tells the story of a very young Diana who hopes to persuade her mother, Queen Hippolyta, to let her learn how to fight when the world’s most powerful women gather on Themyscira for a festival to celebrate their different cultures. But at the start of the festivities, an unexpected and forbidden visitor — a boy — brings news of an untold danger that threatens Themyscira and all of its sacred neighboring lands. (Descriptions adapted from Catalogue).

image courtesy of syndetics

image courtesy of syndetics

image courtesy of syndetics
3) Hera vs Captain Marvel

Volume 3 of Olympians, Hera: The Goddess and Her Glory, introduces readers to the Queen of the Gods and Goddesses in the Pantheon. This volume tells the tales of the many heroes who sought and won Hera’s patronage — in particular, the famous Hercules. Hera is majestic, proud, and at times severe and vindictive — but always she wields the unquestionable power of a queen of the heavens. So how will she fare in battle against the (unofficial) queen of Marvel heroes and heroines, Captain Marvel?

Join Carol Danvers in Captain Marvel : cosmic cat-tastrophe. Carol’s quiet night with BFF Jessica Drew (a.k.a. Spider-Woman) takes a catastrophic turn when Manhattan’s bodegas are suddenly overrun by a host of angry felines! And not just any felines – Flerkens, the most terrifying, pocket-dimension-holding, tentacle-devouring kitty-look-alikes in the entire universe! Carol’s paw-sitive she can handle the situation on her own, but questions remain: can she overcome the fur-midible foes before it’s too late? How well does the “Find My Phone” function actually work? And will there be more cat puns?! (Description from Catalogue)

image courtesy of syndetics

image courtesy of syndetics


Zeus vs. Thor; Athena vs. Wonder Woman; Hera vs. Captain Marvel — which team won? Stay tuned for our next Olympians vs. DC?Marvel Superheroes team battle, where we’ll see more of these powerful beings in exciting literary action!

Become an Environmental Scientist with the City Nature Challenge!

Finish off the school holidays in environmental style by taking part in the City Nature Challenge this weekend! From Friday 30 April to Monday 3 May, Wellington will be transformed into a giant nature playground — and you will be turned into scientists, should you choose to take up the challenge of embarking on a four-day bioblitz!

WCC gardener photographing a plant using the iNaturalist app at a Wellington City garden.

Nate Rigler, WCC gardener, investigating some local flora! Photo credit: Tim Park.

So what is the City Nature Challenge? It’s a global event that sees people from over 250 cities across the world search for, report, and log any sightings of wild plants, creatures, or organisms, living or dead, on the land, up the mountains, and in the sea — and around our backyards.

It’s super easy to get involved using the iNaturalist app (free on the app store). Join the Wellington City Nature Challenge group, go for a walk in the city (looking out for local flora and fauna as you go!) and when you spot something cool, upload it to the app. There are prizes to be won and a natural environment to be discovered, so pick up a flyer from your local library, or head over to the City Nature Challenge website, to find out more!

If nature is your kind of thing, Wellington City Libraries has a huge range of books and other resources on the topic. Use the following links to find books on our catalogue about various topics relating to the plants, animals, and environment of New Zealand — or use the Dewey Decimal numbers to help you search the shelves the next time you visit the library!

Here are some that you might find particularly useful as you participate in the City Nature Challenge this weekend:

New Zealand nature heroes / Candler, Gillian
“New Zealand Nature Heroes is designed to inspire and empower New Zealand kids to be naturalists and conservationists. Aimed at the 8-12 age range, the book features stories of 15 different nature heroes, people who, in the past, or currently, are working to protect and understand New Zealand’s natural world. These inspirational profiles are complemented with information about key animals, plants or habitats, and then each matched with an authentic activity that kids can do to make a difference.” (Catalogue)

A New Zealand nature journal / Morris, Sandra
“A New Zealand Nature Journal will teach you how to keep a nature journal to record your amazing discoveries. Have you ever noticed that ladybirds have different numbers of spots? Or that leaves can be pointed or round, long or short, soft or hard? There is so much to explore in the natural world. And keeping a nature journal is the best way to record all your amazing discoveries.” (Catalogue)

New Zealand birds in pictures / Chen, Kimball
“From the barely-visible wings of the flightless kiwi to the immense wingspan of the wandering albatross, New Zealand’s fragile island ecosystem is home to a diverse array of spectacular birds. Delve into the fascinating world of our feathered friends with author and wildlife photographer Kimball Chen. From intimate portraits of endangered creatures and their glamorous breeding plumage, to dramatic wide-angle birdscapes encompassing rugged sub-antarctic habitats, to magical fleeting encounters of birds courting and mating and hatching, Chen’s passion for nature shines with artistic and aesthetic photographs sure to pique a greater appreciation of New Zealand birds. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The life-size guide to insects & other land vertebrates of New Zealand / Crowe, Andrew
“Identifying New Zealand’s insects, spiders and other land invertebrates is made simple with this new guide. Over 300 life-size colour photographs make it fun for all the family to learn more about the natural world of New Zealand.” (Catalogue)

The life-size guide to native trees and other common plants of New Zealand’s native forest / Crowe, Andrew
“Identifying native trees and other common plants of New Zealand’s native forest can be fun for all the family with this new pictorial guide. Match leaves, flowers, seeds, berries and bark against beautiful, life-sized photographs for fast, accurate identification. Written by one of New Zealand’s foremost writers on native plants, The Life-Size Guide offers a new opportunity to explore and enjoy the natural world of our native plants.” (Catalogue)

Wildlife of Aotearoa / Bishop, Gavin
“Long before waka touched Aotearoa’s shores, the land of the long white cloud was home to an array of creatures uniquely adapted to its environments and protected by its isolation. Encounter New Zealand’s incredible wildlife in this spectacular visual exploration. Journey through ocean, sky and land to meet a marvellous range of organisms. Discover fascinating facts, and learn how we influence the survival of our living treasures. In this magnificent companion volume to Aotearoa- The New Zealand Story, Gavin Bishop weaves a compelling visual narrative of our land, our people and our wildlife – past, present and future.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The Mates That Went to War

Three Australian soldiers - WW1 - PICRYL Public Domain Image

Three Australian soldiers – WW1 – PICRYL Public Domain Image

Over 107 years ago, young men from all over New Zealand and Australia (The ANZACs – Australian and New Zealand Army Corp) left on troop ships from the port of Albany in Western Australia heading for Egypt and then on to Gallipoli in Turkey, to fight in “The Great War,” “the war to end all wars” – World War 1. By the end of this bloody conflict in 1918, 16,000 New Zealand soldiers had died in battle and 41,000 injured. Many of these young men had enlisted in the army thinking that it would be an adventure of a lifetime. Friends and neighbours joined up together excited to be leaving what many saw as a boring life here in New Zealand!

This postcard, sent by New Zealand soldier, Edwin Bennett to his older brother Gifford shows that the adventure of a lifetime wasn’t what Edwin was expecting. Edwin was killed a month later on 16 April 1918. He was 20 years old.

Postcard sent by NZ soldier Edwin Bennett to older brother Gifford, 4 March 1918. Photo courtesy of Sue Jane, Wellington City Libraries

Dear Gif, Just a note to see if I can waken you up a little. I haven’t heard from you now, for some time. What about dropping a line or two. Letters are very acceptable here. How are you keeping? How is work? Well old chap you’re in a great position and a good home to go to and for God’s sake and Mother’s and Father’s sake look after it. I’m sorry I ever stepped across here. But well I did want to come, and I did, now I’ve found my mistake when it’s too late. I could of had another twelve quiet months if my head was firmly turned the right way. But still there is a happy day coming, when we’ll all be home again. Sitting round a nice cosy fire telling some of our experiences. Well old boy I must go. God bless you. Best love from your loving brother Ed. xxxxxx


Sometimes it’s hard to get our head around such big statistics like 16,000 deaths and 41,000 casualties, but when we read about individuals and their war experiences, it can be so much easier to relate to what they went through. Here are a couple World War 1 stories that are written from an individual soldier’s point of view:

Best mates : three lads who went to war together / Werry, Philippa
“The three young soldiers in the story are best friends from school, and they leave New Zealand together to go and fight at Gallipoli. Landing first in Egypt, they travel by ship to Anzac Cove and dig into trenches to fight the Turkish troops holding the peninsula. Conditions are tough and Joe gets sick, but his mates help him off on the hospital ship. Then Harry is fatally wounded and his burial has to take place on the cliff-top, away from the snipers. The three friends are reunited many years later, when two men fly to Gallipoli and lay poppies on Harry’s grave. Taking her inspiration from Anzac Day, the New Zealand story Philippa Werry captures the essence of the Anzac spirit with her moving tale about mateship. The illustrated factual text on pages 30-31 spread provides extra information about the events pictured in the story.” (Catalogue)

Nice day for a war / Slane, Chris
“One man’s war tells the story of a generation. A totally unique graphic novel about NZ soldiers in World War I, based on the diaries of the author’s grandfather. A fictional story (based on fact) of a Kiwi lad as he heads away, full of excitement, to war with his mates from rural New Zealand. there he encounters the horror that was the Western front. It is primarily based on the diary of Matt’s Grandfather, and postcards he had sent home to the family. It also draws on published histories of the Kiwi military in WW1. the book aims to capture what the new experiences of war were like for the young soldiers. A fictional story (based on fact) of a Kiwi lad as he heads away, full of excitement, to war with his mates from rural New Zealand. There he encounters the horror that was the Western front.” (Catalogue)


Online Cenotaph of the Auckland War Memorial

image courtesy of rsa.co.nzIf you want to do some searching for family members who fought for New Zealand in World War I or World War II, the Online Cenotaph of the Auckland War Memorial is a great resource. You can even lay a virtual poppy on the wall of a loved one, or the UNKNOWN WARRIOR


 

 

 

Happy Birthday, William Shakespeare!

All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players. Well, that was certainly the case during William Shakespeare’s life. This year marks Shakespeare’s, or the Bard of Avon, (assumed) 457th birthday on the 26th of April and 405th death anniversary on the 23rd April.
Image courtesy of Wikipedia

And pray tell, who was William Shakespeare?

Well, he was an English poet, playwright and actor who is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world’s pre-eminent dramatist. People all over the world have come to recognise the image of William Shakespeare and would heard of his plays, but what do we know about the man himself, or even what went on behind the scenes during the performance of his plays, or even who his plays were being performed for?

How dost thou celebrate?image courtesy of gifer

In addition to the traditional birthday party, cake and presents, why not read all about his life, from his early and humble beginnings in Stratford upon Avon, England to conquering the stage in Queen Elizabeth’s court and the Globe Theatre.

image courtesy of syndeticsWilliam Shakespeare : a man for all times.

Who was William Shakespeare? How much do we really know about him, and why is he so famous? This book takes the reader step-by-step through Shakespeare’s life, looking at the evidence.
image courtesy of syndeticsShakespeare.

A spectacular and engaging non-fiction Eyewitness guide to one of history’s most iconic writers, William Shakespeare. Did you know special effects were used in Shakespeare’s plays? That devils and ghosts came up through trapdoors in the stage? Find out how in Eyewitness Shakespeare and discover the fascinating life and times of one of the world’s greatest playwrights. Travel back in time and follow Shakespeare from his birth in the small town of Stratford-upon-Avon to theatre life in 16th century London. Eyewitness reference books are now more interactive and colourful, with new infographics, statistics, facts and timelines, plus a giant pull-out wall chart, you’ll be an expert on Shakespeare in no time. Great for projects or just for fun, learn everything you need to know about Shakespeare.

image courtesy of syndeticsMuch ado about Shakespeare : the life and times of William Shakespeare : a literary picture book.

Take a peek behind the curtain to discover the boy, the youth, the man behind some of the greatest works of literature. The life and times of William Shakespeare are richly imagined in this unique biography told using quotes from the Bard himself.


Also search our catalogue for more biographies about Shakespeare and his remarkable life.


Read Shakespeare’s plays!

Read and relive your favourite Shakespeare plays. Wellington City Libraries holds a huge array of plays which is part of the Orchard book of Shakespeare Stories series written by Andrew Matthews. Plays include A Midsummer Night’s DreamRomeo and Juliet, Much Ado About Nothing and King Lear.
image courtesy of syndeticsimage courtesy of syndeticsimage courtesy of syndeticsimage courtesy of syndetics
Also search our catalogue for more plays from the Orchard book of Shakespeare Stories series. Also, check out:

image courtesy of syndeticsShakespeare retold.

A beautifully illustrated collection of prose retellings of seven Shakespeare plays will bring the Bard to life for young readers. Not only is this a beautiful keepsake edition, full of gorgeous illustrations by Antonio Javier Caparo, but the prose retellings by beloved classic children’s book author E. Nesbit are an excellent tool to introduce children to the complex language of Shakespeare.

A foreword by John Lithgow touches on his own childhood as a Shakespearean actor and the importance of Shakespeare. The book contains extensive support materials, including a biography, a timeline of Shakespeare’s life, and further recommended readings.

image courtesy of syndeticsMr William Shakespeare’s plays.

Seven classic Shakespeare plays presented in an accessible comic strip format. Take your place in the Globe Theatre of Shakespeare’s day to see seven of his best-loved plays in performance. Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth, Julius Caesar, The Winter’s Tale and The Tempest are all brought vividly to life in Marcia Williams’ gloriously accessible comic-strip versions, which include the bard’s own dialogue and the rowdy remarks of the audience.

image courtesy of syndeticsShakespeare stories II.

By skillfully weaving his own prose with Shakespeare’s language, Leon Garfield has refashioned nine of the Elizabethan playwright’s dramas into stories, capturing all the richness of the characters, plot, mood, and setting. This format will delight both those who know the great dramatist’s works and those who are new to them. Plays included are: Much Ado About Nothing, Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra, Measure for Measure, As You Like It, Cymbeline, King Richard the Third, The Comedy of Errors, and The Winter’s Tale.

image courtesy of syndeticsA stage full of Shakespeare stories.

Step on to a stage full of stories with this beautiful anthology of 12 stories from Shakespeare, rewritten to be accessible to children ages 7+. A section at the back gives details about Shakespeare’s life and further information about the plays. Each story is rewritten in a comprehensive way that is accessible for children and stunningly illustrated by collage artist Alice Lindstrom.

Recite some poetry!

image courtesy of syndeticsShakespeare edited by Marguerite Tassi.

A collection of thirty-one of playwright and poet William Shakespeare’s most famous verses, sonnets and speeches.

He was the world’s greatest playwright, and the English language’s finest writer, Shakespeare is the man the Oxford English dictionary credits as having invented over 1700 common words, and to whom we owe expressions such as ‘fair play’, ‘break the ice’, and ‘laughing stock’. The continued timelessness and genius of his work will be celebrated the world over on his special day.

Have some fun with William Shakespeare!

image courtesy of syndeticsPop-up Shakespeare.

“Discover beloved playwright William Shakespeare’s plays and poetry in this spectacular novelty book from the Reduced Shakespeare Company comedy troupe. Featuring dramatic pop-ups and foldouts and loaded with jokes and fascinating facts, this hilariously informative and fully immersive look into the Bard’s world invites you to experience Shakespeare’s works as you’ve never seen them before!” — Back cover.

image courtesy of syndeticsWhere’s Will? : find Shakespeare hidden in his plays.

Each play in this book begins with a summary of the plot and descriptions of the characters. On the following page is a detailed picture showing the setting of the play and within it you can find the characters, William Shakespeare , and a spotted pig.

Watch movies inspired by Shakespeare’s plays:

image courtesy of amazon.co.ukThe Lion King… and The Lion King inspired by Hamlet.

You can never go wrong with an oldie but a goodie.

Tricked into thinking he caused his father’s death, Simba, a guilt ridden lion cub flees into exile and abandons his identity as the future King. However when the fate of his kingdom is threatened, he is forced to return and take his place as King.

image courtesy of sydneticsGnomeo & Juliet… inspired by Romeo and Juliet.

Caught up in a feud between neighbors, Gnomeo and Juliet must overcome as many obstacles as their namesakes. But with flamboyant pink flamingoes and epic lawnmower races, can this young couple find lasting happiness?

Also check out the sequel, Sherlock Gnomes.image courtesy of syndetics

Garden gnomes, Gnomeo and Juliet, recruit renowned detective Sherlock Gnomes to investigate the mysterious disappearance of other garden ornaments.

Where to find more information?

Wahine Disaster – 53 Years Later

Wahine sinking in Wellington Harbour

Wahine sinking in Wellington Harbour. Dominion Post (Newspaper): Photographic negatives and prints of the Evening Post and Dominion newspapers. Ref: EP/1968/1647/14-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22327912

On the morning of 10 April 1968 one of New Zealand’s worst recorded storms hit Wellington. This storm produced freak winds of up to 230 km per hour around Cook Strait. The Christchurch–Wellington ferry Wahine was driven onto Barrett Reef, at the entrance to Wellington Harbour.

When the ship hit the reef, one of its propellors was knocked off and an engine was damaged. The Wahine could no longer be steered properly so it drifted into the harbour before leaning to starboard (nautical term for the right side of a ship). Because of the heavy list (another nautical term for a ship leaning dangerously in the water), only four of the eight lifeboats could be launched, and most of the inflatable life rafts flipped in the savage seas.

The Wahine finally capsized at 2.30 p.m. Most deaths occurred on the Eastbourne side of the harbour, where people were driven against sharp rocks by the waves. Of the 734 passengers and crew, 51 died that day, another died several weeks later and a 53rd victim died in 1990 from injuries sustained in the wreck.

It remains one of New Zealand’s worst maritime disasters, after the wreck of SS Penguin in 1905.


Want to know more?

Wellington City Libraries Heritage pages have got loads of info, photos and footage from that fateful day: https://wcl.govt.nz/heritage/wahine

Other useful sites are:

Many Answers

Museums Wellington

Christchurch City Libraries


Want to read all about it?

No safe harbour / Hill, David
“Stuart and his twin sister Sandra are coming home to Wellington on the ferry. Stuart knows he’ll enjoy the trip – he’s a good sailor. But it’s April 1968 and the ship is the Wahine. As the tragic events unwind Stuart and Sandra must battle to stay alive. A vivid and compelling picture of the Wahine’s last hours.” (Catalogue)

 

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