Matariki – Māori New Year 2016

Matariki – the Māori New Year – will take place on Pipiri 6 June 2016. During Matariki we celebrate our unique place in the world. We give respect to the whenua on which we live, and admiration to our mother earth, Papatūānuku.

Our theme for Matariki 2016 is Akoranga: Teaching and learning – Te Kete Aronui: Third kete of knowledge.

Matariki

Matariki Festival at Te Hāpua: Halswell Centre – Saturday 11 June

Don’t miss this free, family fun day! Storytelling, Science Alive Star Dome, arts, crafts, 3D printing, virtual reality, kapa haka and more! Find out more.

11am to 2pm
Mohoao and Hao function rooms
Te Hāpua: Halswell Centre
341 Halswell Road

Subscribe to the Facebook event.

Matariki Community Art Project in the Library

Come along to any library and learn about Te Kete Aronui. Take part in fun, Matariki-themed art and craft activities. Add your work to the community art space or take it home with you.

Matariki Wā Kōrero – Matariki Storytimes

Join us and share stories, rhymes and songs themed around Matariki.
Suitable for tamariki aged 2 to 5 years. Sessions are 30 minutes with an art activity to follow.

See our list of Matariki Wā Kōrero – Matariki Storytimes.

Matariki storytime at Te Kete Wānanga o Ōraka
Matariki storytime at Te Kete Wānanga o Ōraka. Shirley Library. Monday 16 June 2014.
Flickr 2014-06-16-DSC04495

Whānau Fun Day at Rehua Marae – Saturday 25 June

Lots of creative fun – workshops, stalls, and waiata for the whānau to enjoy.

10am to 4pm
Rehua Marae
79 Springfield Road
St Albans

Matariki crafts
Rehua Marae, St Albans, Christchurch. Saturday 28 June 2014.
Flickr 2014-06-28-IMG_0505

Browse all our Matariki events.

Matariki resources at your library

Matariki colouring in

Download these colouring in pages.

Mana - colouring in Mātauranga colouring in Ngā Mahi hou colouring in Whānau - colouring in Matariki

Matariki

Posters and flyers

Matariki flyer Matariki poster Matariki Porotiti poster

Frank Worsley – a local hero

It is just over a century since Frank Worsley, Ernest Shackleton and Tom Crean reached a whaling station on remote South Georgia following a daring 16 day voyage to alert the world to the loss of Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition‘s ship Endurance. Because of this journey the rest of the crew – stranded on Elephant Island – were all saved.

Worsley was born in Akaroa in 1872 and the New Zealand Antarctic Society has republished an epic poem about him ‘Worsley Enchanted‘ written by New Zealand-born poet Douglas Stewart and illustrated by Myra Walton. The poem takes readers through his experiences on the Endurance Expedition – which has become legendary – and reflects on his relationship with the rest of the crew.

Frank Worsley. Smythe, P :Photographs of Frank Worsley. Ref: 1/2-182002-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22778293
Frank Worsley. Smythe, P :Photographs of Frank Worsley. Ref: 1/2-182002-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22778293

Find out more

Te Kupu o Te Wiki – Mōrena (good morning)

Kia ora. To encourage the use of Te Reo Māori we are publishing weekly kupu (words) and phrases that can be used with children.

Kupu (word)

mōrena
good morning

Mōrena, e Te Rākaherea!
Good morning, Te Rākaherea!

Whāngahia te Reo

Super sneak preview of next Johnny Danger mission

New Zealand author Peter Millett is the creator of the action-packed secret agent series for kids, Johnny Danger. This very funny series follows Jonathon Dangerfield, a boy who has fooled MI6 into believing he’s super spy Johnny Danger. So far there are two books in the series but the third book, Spy Borg, is due to be released in September.

We are super lucky to have a sneak preview of the cover and a little bit about the book from the author himself:

Cover of Johnny Danger: Spy Borg

‘Right now we are in the middle of creating Johnny Danger 3. It’s not coming out until September but I’ve been given the okay to show you a sneak peek of the book’s cover. I can’t give away too much about the storyline yet – but I can say that it involves a Siberian madman named Yuri who has developed a a series of killer terminator style robots that hunt down Johnny Danger. Using his wits and weapons Johnny must stop the world being flooded by evil Yuri-Nators!

If I told you any more I’d have to put you into a witness protection scheme! My lips are sealed now.’

While you wait for Johnny Danger: Spy Borg read the first two books in the series, D.I.Y. Spy and Lie Another Day.

We also have an interview with Peter Millett in our Kids section of the website. You can find out about his most embarrassing moment, who his favourite author is and what he thinks is the best thing about writing.

Science Snippets – Hidden Gems

Each week during term time (except the first and last week) the team from Science Alive bring their Science Snippets sessions into our libraries. Excellent Science Alive educators lead children through interactive activities to stimulate their interest in science, and there is something to take home every week! There is a different theme for each session and this coming week from Monday 23 May it’s Hidden Gems.


You are sure to learn all about gems, rocks and minerals and do some fun experiments. Here are some great nonfiction books that we have in the library if you want to learn more about gems, rocks and minerals:

Here are some stories about gems, rocks and minerals to read too:

We also have some fantastic eResources with heaps of information about gems, rocks and minerals. Check these out:

  • National Geographic Kids – searches for ‘rocks,’ ‘minerals,’ and ‘gems’ gives you some great information from the National Geographic Kids magazine as well as access to several eBooks about rocks and minerals.
  • Britannica Library Kids – searches for ‘rocks,’ ‘minerals,’ and ‘gems’ gives you information about each of these topics, with different levels of information for different ages.
  • World Book Kids – a search for ‘rocks,’ ‘minerals,’ and ‘gems’ gives you some basic information about each of the topics, along with some suggestions for other topics you might like to look at for more information.

For more information about Science Alive’s Science Snippets check out Science Alive on our website.

The Cavell Leitch New Zealand International Jazz and Blues Festival 2016

Jazz and blues FestivalThe Cavell Leitch New Zealand Jazz & Blues Festival is coming to Christchurch from the 25 to 29 May 2016. Discover more about the Festival, and the jazz and blues resources in our collection.

2016 performers

Ramsey LewisMulti Grammy Award winning jazz pianist and composer, Ramsey Lewis will perform with The Ramsey Lewis Quartet at the Isaac Theatre Royal on Thursday 26 May.

25th Anniversary Gala Concert celebrates 25 years of the Jazz School in Christchurch and the concert will feature ‘everything’ Christchurch Jazz at the Isaac Theatre Royal, Wednesday 25 May.

Jazz Dine will take place at the George Hotel and Dormer Jazz and Blues Club at The Gym at The Arts Centre. The club will host a selection of festival shows.

The Jazz in the City series includes special performances by Tami Neilson, Sal Valentine & The Babyshakes, and the Hipstamatics.

Find Jazz and Blues Festival performers’ works in our collection

Hetty KateRangi RuruTami Neilson

Images supplied by the Cavell Leitch NZ Jazz and Blues Festival

Jazz and blues in our collection

Jazz and blues eResources

Jazz Music Library includes works licensed from legendary record labels, including Audiophile, Concord Jazz, Jazzology, Milestone, Nessa Records, Original Jazz Classics, Pablo, and Prestige. Also included are Marian McPartland’s Peabody Award winning Piano Jazz Radio Broadcasts and never before released performances from the Monterey Jazz Festival and great jazz venues. Listen online to 1000s of great jazz tracks.

American Song provides online access to over 100,000 tracks from every genre and music period of American history.

Cover of 'Jazz' Cover Cover

The Battle for Crete

This May sees another 75th anniversary from the Second World War with great significance for New Zealand.

From 20 May to 1 June 1941 Allied Forces, including the 2nd New Zealand Division, took part in the ultimately unsuccessful but fiercely fought battle for Crete. That April the Germans had invaded Yugoslavia and Greece and as they had quickly occupied these countries, the Allies evacuated to the island of Crete.

On 20 May German paratroopers invaded the island and over the next 12 days a tightly contested battle raged. The Allies were forced to retreat again, with many being evacuated to Egypt and several thousand becoming prisoners of war.

Cover of Men of valourThe 2nd New Zealand Division regrouped and went on to take part in successful campaigns in North Africa and Italy.

W is for Wild

For an urban dweller whose forays into the natural world are, more often than not, limited to irregular visits to the beach, walks in the park and working in my demanding garden, Helen Macdonald’s memoir H Is for Hawk was a revelation. A taste of the wild, like a cold keen wind from a far off place where humankind is peripheral. I found it fascinating, weird at times and somehow refreshing. I should mention that it was the Costa Book of the Year for 2014.

Cover of H is for HawkThe book describes a period in Macdonald’s life when her father dies suddenly and she falls into a deep and disorienting grief. In an attempt to find her feet again she buys a goshawk and sets about taming it. Not as strange as it may sound! As a young girl she had spent hours watching sparrow hawks with her father and in her 20s had become an experienced falconer. The hawk “was everything I wanted to be: solitary, self possessed, free from grief, and numb to the hurts of human life”.

What follows is an absorbing, brilliantly and beautifully written account of her life submitted to the needs and habits of a tamed, but essentially wild, predator. A time which takes her to the edge of madness and back. During the training of “Mabel” – an ironically genteel name – Macdonald occasionally and frighteningly finds herself losing her sense of human self.

To train a hawk you must watch it like a hawk, and so you come to understand it’s moods. Then you gain the ability to predict what it will do next….Eventually you don’t see the hawk’s body language at all. You seem to feel what it feels. Notice what it notices. The hawk’s apprehension becomes your own… I had to put myself in the hawk’s wild mind to tame her, and as the days passed in the darkened room, my humanity was burning away.

Well, it seems that’s what she wanted in her dark time of loss. However she does come out the other side and Mabel is integral to her healing. Not a method you’ll find in the self help books. Interweaving her own story is a biographical tale of the author T H White (The Once and Future King, The Goshawk) who, also in a search for peace within himself, engaged in agonisingly unsuccessful attempts at hawk taming. And woven through all of this again are fascinating accounts, and the arcane language, of falconry history. A rich tapestry of a read.

Cover of Ocean notoriousAfter quaffing some rather more domestic reads the next “wild” book to catch my eye was Ocean Notorious by Christchurch writer Matt Vance. Vance is an intrepid sailor, expedition guide, photographer and fabulous writer with a long standing passion for the Southern Ocean. This is the ocean at our back doorstep, which most of us never encounter, apart from icy blasts blowing in from the south-east. It is the most feared body of water on our planet, infamous for it’s raging winds, monstrous waves and horizontal rain. But people willingly, even eagerly, go there!

Vance takes us to our neighbour islands, closer to our shores than Australia: the Auckland, Bounty, Antipodes, Campbell and Macquarie Islands then on to the wilderness that is Antarctica. He introduces us to people have gone there and sometimes never returned – ocean explorers, polar explorers, sealing gangs, Second World War coast watchers, crazy-brave sailors, wildlife enthusiasts, conservationists, research scientists, artists, writers.

Te Kupu o Te Wiki – Kino kē (awesome)

Kia ora. To encourage the use of Te Reo Māori we are publishing weekly kupu (words) and phrases that can be used with children.

Kupu (word)

kino kē
awesome

Kino kē koe, e te tau!
You are awesome, my darling!?

Whāngahia te Reo

Science Snippets – Sounds Sensational!

Each week during term time (except the first and last week) the team from Science Alive bring their Science Snippets sessions into our libraries. Excellent Science Alive educators lead children through interactive activities to stimulate their interest in science, and there is something to take home every week! There is a different theme for each session and this coming week from Monday 16 May it’s Sounds Sensational.

You are sure to learn all about sound and do some fun experiments. Here are some great nonfiction books that we have in the library if you want to learn more about sound:

Here are some stories about sound and hearing to read too:

We also have some fantastic eResources with heaps of information about sound and hearing. Check these out:

  • World Book: Inventions and DIscoveries – a search for ‘sound’ gives you information about inventions that have helped to capture sound (microphones) and make sound (keyboards).
  • Britannica Library Kids – a search for ‘sound’ gives you information about sound, with different levels of information for different ages.
  • World Book Kids – a search for ‘sound’ gives you some basic information about sound, along with some suggestions for other topics you might like to look at for more information.

For more information about Science Alive’s Science Snippets check out Science Alive on our website.