Dinosaur footprints: A story of discovery – and it’s Dinosaur Day on Saturday 21 November

Dinosaur Footprints: A Story of Discovery is a national touring exhibition brought to you by GNS Science and New Zealand Oil & Gas and supported in Ōtautahi by Christchurch City Libraries. It is on now at Fendalton Library.

Dinosaur footprints

In 2009, geologist Greg Browne found dinosaur footprints in the Nelson region, which are thought to be 70-million years old! They are thought to have been left by plant eating Sauropods – the largest animals to ever roam the earth and the first ever evidence of dinosaurs in the South Island!

Dinosaur Day Saturday 21 November 10am to 4pm at Fendalton Library

Join us in this day of Family Fun! With 3D dinosaur printing, augmented reality books, 3D colouring, dinosaur storytelling and more. There will also be some craft activities for children with ‘The Make Company’. To reserve a place for these please book online.

Snap a selfie at the exhibition and upload to social media with #dinosinchch and be in to win cool dinosaur LEGO!

Dinosaur eResources

World Book Kids
An interactive encyclopedia with dinosaur articles, video and images. It includes articles all about dinosaurs including the Pterosaur which had a wing span of 12 metres! That explains why the word “dinosaur” is derived from two Greek words, meaning “terrible lizard”.

National Geographic Kids
The digital archive of the National Geographic Kids Magazine includes articles, images, videos and colourful online books all about dinosaurs. Did you know that dinosaur bones were mistaken for dragon bones when they first discovered 2,000 years ago?

Cover of We're going on a dinosaur digOverDrive for Kids
If you’d like to know more about dinosaurs, try these free online resources for kids. You may need a library card and PIN number for some of these – ask a librarian if you need help. Lots of eBooks and eAudio books about dinosaurs such as – Dinosaurs Love Underpants, Bruce the Brachiosaurus and We’re Going on a Dinosaur Dig.

Britannica Library Teens
The online version of Encyclopaedia Britannica provides articles, videos, pictures and journal articles about dinosaurs and palaeontology. There is even an article about fossilized dinosaur poop called coprolites which tell us about a dinosaurs’ diet!

Science in Context
Includes the latest news in the field of palaeontology, articles from magazines, academic journals and video and audio content. Learn about the debate about what caused their extinction – asteroid or volcano?

Cover of Lost Worlds of Aotearoa Cover of Dino-birds Cover of Yes! we had dinosaurs Cover of Dinosaur New Zealand Cover of Dinosaurs Cover of Dinosaurs love underpants Cover of Bruce the Brachiosaurus


It’s DINOVEMBER at Shirley Library! Here are some photos.

Large print dinos

Cover of What the dinosaurs did last nightOnce upon a (prehistoric) time parents Refe and Susan Tuma decided to surprise their children with scenes of their plastic toy dinosaurs getting up to mischief in their house at night while they slept … one photo a day for the whole month of November, resulting in DINOVEMBER and a book of the dinosaurs exploits: What the dinosaurs did last night: A very messy adventure.

In the spirit of DINOVEMBER, the dinosaurs have come to life at Shirley Library! Come in and check out our display or see our images on Flickr. Bring in a photo to Shirley Library of your dinosaurs doing stuff (with your contact details) and we’ll put your picture up on display and you’ll go into the competition to win some dino-mo prizes. Prize drawn 1 December.

Check out the What The Dinosaurs Did Last Night book trailer on YouTube:

There’s more dinosaur action too. Dinosaur Footprints: A Story of Discovery is a national touring exhibition brought to you by GNS Science and New Zealand Oil & Gas and supported in Ōtautahi by Christchurch City Libraries is on show at Fendalton Library starting Saturday 14th November.

Find New Zealand dinosaurs stuff (non-fiction) in our collection.

Cover of Lost Worlds of Aotearoa Cover of Dino-birds Cover of Yes! we had dinosaurs Cover of Dinosaur New Zealand Cover of Dinosaurs

Shirley Library

How to augment your reality

IMG_0315 - photo by Roberta Smith
Jeff enrols a dinosaur at Redwood!

You probably already augment your reality: a spot of blusher here, a comb-over there – maybe even the odd bit of photoshopping. But now you can really up the ante with a small selection of Augmented Reality library books. I had my introduction to AR at that hub of high technology – Parklands Library.

Here’s how Augmented Reality works: find an Augmented Reality book – I used iDinosaur. Load the app that it recommends onto your tablet. Stand in the library with an attentive audience, focus the tablet onto the book with the app activated. Now release your chosen monster from its crate and with full-on sound effects, manipulate it to climb up a colleague’s leg! Who wouldn’t be awed by a roaring Tyrannosaurus Rex enrolling as a library member at Redwood Library on a Thursday morning?

Cover of Meringue GIrls CookbookFascinating as the ten or so kiddies’ Augmented Reality titles are, I am most drawn to the only cookery book which uses this technology: Meringue Girls by Alex Hoffler. Apparently this is the first cook book to use Augmented Reality and quite frankly the mind boggles. What can it possibly reveal? After all, meringues aren’t extinct yet; they were certainly alive and well at Northlands Mall last week. Will it no longer be enough to multi-task in the kitchen in 2D, instead will I have to chase 3D meringues around as well?

I have no idea about the educational value of Augmented Reality books, but as a far-flung granny, if I could come to be known as Augmented Reality Aeroplane Granny, my mission would be complete!

The world of dinosaurs

Cover of DinosaursI have a dinosaur hatching at my house. You know your five year old son’s obsession has rubbed off when you find yourself debating with your spouse as to the proper name of a toy – “It’s an ankylosaurus” – “No it’s not, it doesn’t have the club tail!” Never mind the fact that you only learned of the existence of larger dinosaurs when the five year old introduced them to you via the BBC series Planet Dinosaur. Spinosaurus and Carcharodontosaurus are so much cooler than the comparatively little but much more well known T-Rex. Oh how our world and vocabulary has expanded.

I don’t know that I’ll manage to get as creative with plastic dinosaurs as the American parents, who must surely blow their childrens’ minds during their yearly Dinovember, but I do admire their inventiveness.

Cover of Planet DinosaurTo satisfy any level of curiosity the library has loads of items to borrow about dinosaurs including the fabulously big, bold and pictorially beautiful Dinosaurs. There’s also lots of information to be found in online resources like National Geographic: KidsNational Geographic Virtual Library and World Book Online available from The Source.

Right, I need to go and check on the development of the hatching parasaurolophus which is bound to be my son’s favourite dinosaur for the next five minutes.

Do you have a budding paleontologist at home or a favourite dinosaur?

Book Review: Atoms, dinosaurs and DNA: 68 great New Zealand scientists

Atoms, dinosaurs and DNA
Atoms, dinosaurs and DNA

What motivates a person to become a scientist? That’s one of the questions answered in Atoms, dinosaurs and DNA: 68 great New Zealand scientists. Conservationist Don Merton, for example, learnt as a child that goldfinch chicks could be raised successfully by his grandmother’s canary. This discovery proved exceptionally useful when he became involved in the preservation of the Chatham Islands only remaining breeding pair of Black Robins. Eggs were successfully removed from the nest and raised by the Chatham Island Tomtits. Now there are about 250 Chatham Island Black Robins which is a major achievement.

I wouldn’t normally choose to read a book about scientists, but the format – a single page devoted to each scientist, and filled with nice pictures – I thought that I could probably cope. If you want in depth-information then this is not the book for you, as the profiles on each scientist are short. However, they do contain the relevant information about major achievements, as well as information you may not get in other books or articles, including childhood experiences and motivations to enter the world of the obsession and passion for a particular subject.

The photographs and illustrations are a nice addition to the book, with some of the early botanists showing a remarkable skill as artists in their own right. I found this is a good book to dip into, and being well presented and easy to read was certainly a help.

Co-author Rebecca Priestley is speaking at the Christchurch Readers and Writers Festival and you can see her at the session titled ‘Why does the earth move?’ Her profile, alongside other authors and information about the festival is on our festival homepage..