Children & Young Adult Staff Picks - June 2024

Welcome to our Children's Librarian Picks, where our passionate children's librarians handpick the most delightful, heartwarming, and engaging books for young readers. Happy reading, little bookworms!

Children's Board Books

Theme: Matariki (28 June)

Matariki by Gavin Bishop

This bilingual board book for young children shares the meaning behind each star in the Matariki cluster.

Children's Picture Books

Theme: Matariki (28 June)

Kua whetūrangitiaakoro / How my koro became a star by Brianne Te Paa

A young boy learns about the customs around celebrating Matariki from his grandfather, including the tikanga of calling out the names of those who have passed on. Just before Matariki the following year, the boy's Koro passes away. The boy carries out the traditions in his Koro’s stead, sharing these lessons with whānau.

Theme: Matariki (28 June)

Ngā manu tukutuku e whitu o Matariki / The seven kites of Matariki by Calico McClintock

A fictional retelling of the traditional Matariki story.

Theme: World Refugee Day (20 June)

Room on our rock : there are two sides to every story by Kate Temple

Two seals are perched on a rock. When others need shelter, do they share it? Room on Our Rock celebrates the truth that there are two sides to every story. This clever picture book has one story that can be read two different ways. When read from front to back, the seals believe there is definitely no room on their rock for others. But when the book is read from back to front, the seals welcome others to shelter on their rock. A heartwarming story about sharing and compassion.

Theme: World Refugee Day (20 June)

My name is not refugee by Kate Milner

A young boy discusses the journey he is about to make with his mother. They will leave their town, she explains, and it will be sad but also a little bit exciting. They will have to say goodbye to friends and loved ones, and that will be difficult. They will have to walk and walk and walk, and although they will see many new and interesting things, it will be difficult at times too.

Children's Fiction

Theme: World Refugee Day (20 June)

The silver sword by Ian Serraillier

The night the Nazis come to take their mother away, three children escape in a terrifying scramble across the rooftops. Alone in the chaos of Warsaw, they have to learn to survive on their own. Then they meet Jan, a ragged boy with a paperknife, the silver sword that they recognize as belonging to their long lost father. The sword becomes their symbol of hope as, with Jan, they begin the hazardous journey across war-torn Europe to find their parents. Based on a true story.

Suggested level: primary, intermediate.

Children's Non-Fiction

Theme: Matariki (28 June)

Matariki around the world : a cluster of stars, a cluster of stories by Rangi Matamua

The Matariki cluster (or Pleiades) is known by many different names and is seen and celebrated by many cultures around the world. This ... illustrated book features 21 collected stories: 9 of which highlight the Māori Matariki stars, while the others reference the stories about this cluster passed down in different cultures, from the Pacific Islands to Australia, Asia, the Americas, Europe and Africa.

Children's Graphic Novel

The moth keeper by Kay O'Neill

A beautiful graphic novel from Christchurch writer and illustrator, Kay O’Neill. “Kit is excited to prove her worth as a Moth-Keeper, a protector of the lunar moths that allow the Night-Lily flower to bloom once a year, but she quickly finds that life as a Moth-Keeper is not what she imagined it would be.

Young Adult Non-Fiction

Theme: World Refugee Day (20 June)

We are displaced : my journey and stories from refugee girls around the world by Malala Yousafzai

Nobel Peace Prize winner and bestselling author Malala Yousafzai presents true stories of the refugee experience interwoven with her own story of her displacement in this incredibly moving follow up to her internationally bestselling memoir.

Woo's wonderful world of maths by Eddie Woo

Why is a rainbow curved? Why aren’t left-handers extinct? How is a sunflower like a synchronised swimmer? Why is ‘e’ a magic number? The answer to these questions is contained within one simple word: MATHS. Because maths is all about patterns, and our universe is extraordinarily patterned. With enthusiasm, humour and heart, Eddie Woo shows how card tricks, conspiracy theories, teacups, killer butterflies, music, lightning and so much more illuminate the spellbinding world of maths that surrounds us.