About the Library

Contact Details

Christchurch City Libraries
work PO Box 73045,
Christchurch 8154,
New Zealand.
workp: +64-3-941-7923


Top 10 Hot New Zealand Read Alouds for Younger Readers

The following book lists have been compiled by the Children’s Library team from Christchurch Central Library.

  1. DareDare and double dare — Barbara Else (ed.)
    A lively anthology of 30 stories for children chosen by Barbara Else. The theme is sport and the stories range from funny to serious, exciting and back to funny. Each story in some way is about triumph, enjoyment, bravery or failure.
  2. The horribly haunted school — Margaret Mahy
    Monty has no real friends, only a ghost, to play with. When his mother finds out, she is determined to get rid of the ghost but things don’t go according to plan.
  3. Wild west hullabaloo — Joy Cowley
    The west family tries to ace a school project and take a vacation without any disasters…
  4. The great piratical rumbustification & The Librarian and The Robbers — Margaret Mahy
    There is a short novel and a short story in this collection. A pirate babysitter and a brave and beautiful librarian are at the centre of these stories. The language is a delight to read aloud.
  5. Bow downBow down Shadrach — Joy Cowley
    When Hannah discovers her favourite horse is to be sold to the dog food factory, she and her siblings attempt a rescue.
  6. Saving Mr Spender — Fleur Beale
    Sam loves Mr Spender because he’s the best teacher in the world and always gives amazing homework. Then the Vision hits town and Mr Spender falls, literally, under her spell. Sam and the rest of his class have to work hard to save Mr Spender.
  7. Snake and Lizard — Joy Cowley
    A collection of stories about the friendship between Snake and Lizard. They are friends but friends don’t always get along…
  8. Mechanical Harry and the flying bicycle — Bob Kerr
    Harry Newton is a descendant of Isaac Newton. When Harry receives a phone call from his grandmother to chop some wood, he has a less than smooth journey, which includes an unplanned stay on an uninhabited island.
  9. Mad tadpoleThe mad tadpole adventure — Melanie Drewery
    The adventure begins when Maddie’s frog, Isabella Princess Big Eyes, is ‘stolen’.
  10. Puffin treasury of New Zealand Children’s stories — Jenni Keestra (ed.)
    A collection of popular children’s stories and poems by New Zealand writers. Includes picture books, poems, short stories and extracts from novels.

Top 10 Hot New Zealand Read Alouds

The following book lists have been compiled by the Children’s Librarian from
Christchurch Central Library.

  1. Down the backDown the back of the chair — Margaret Mahy
    A poor family is searching down the back of a chair for Dad’s lost car keys and, miraculously in the mess of things back there, their financial problems are solved.
  2. Kiss! Kiss! Yuck! Yuck! — Kyle Mewburn
    Andy really does love his Aunty Elsie, but she insists on grabbing him and giving him a big kiss, first on one cheek and then on the other, every time she sees him. And Andy hates it. So he hides. But every time Aunty Elsie finds him out.
  3. Rats! — Gavin Bishop
    Polly Piper’s house is infested with rats they are everywhere. She calls in an exterminator who leads them all away but when they go, Polly finds her life is empty and boring.
  4. DudgeonThe Dudgeon is coming— Lynley Dodd
    The Dudgeon is coming. He’s shy and polite. Look after the Dudgeon, he’s coming tonight. Why is everyone becoming more and more alarmed about the Dudgeon’s arrival?
  5. The lighthouse keepers lunch — Ronda Armitage
    Mr Grinling the lighthouse keeper tends his light come rain or shine. Every day, Mrs Grinling makes him a delicious lunch and sends it to the lighthouse by a special cable system, but Mr Grinling isn’t the only one who likes tasty food. So Mrs Grinling must think of ways to get the lunch to the lighthouse untouched.
  6. Is your grandmotherIs your Grandmother a Goanna? — Pamela Allen
    One day a little boy sets out to visit his grandmother. But each station he comes to is full of a different sort of animal, and his grandmother is not a gorilla nor an elephant nor a walrus nor a goanna!
  7. A booming in the night — Ben Brown and Helen Taylor
    When Kakapo is lonely Pukeko tries to find him a friend. Features heaps of beautiful New Zealand birds.
  8. The King’s Bubbles Ruth Paul
    King Bill is upset when his perfect round bubbles blow away on the breeze so he commands his subjects to fix the problem.
  9. Out of the egg — Tina Matthews
    In this version of the familiar tale, when the barnyard animals who refused to help her plant and tend a seed ask to play under the "great green whispery tree" that Little Red Hen grew, she says no, but her chick thinks that answer is mean.
  10. Grandpa’s Cardigan — Joy Watson
    Grandma decides to throw away Grandpa’s shabby old cardigan, but when he goes to buy a new one just the same, the only place that has one is the opportunity shop…

Māori book titles for Junior Primary School available at Christchurch City Libraries

The following book lists were compiled by Aurelia Arona, Māori Services and Helen O’Carroll, Children’s Reference Librarian.

  1. Tekiteora, kei hea ō hū?
    Nā Ngāreta Gabel; Nā Ali Teo rāua ko Astrid Jensen ngā pikitia.
    Tekiteora is always losing her shoes. On Monday a family of ants carries her shoes outside and uses them as a canoe. On Tuesday a bird borrows them because his feet are cold. What happens on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday? Suggested level: junior.
  2. PipiNgā kūtai me ngā pipi
    Nā Dot Meharry; nā Jennifer Cooper ngā whakaahua
    When the whales swim up and down the coast, they disturb the pipi and the mussels with the big waves they create. The pipi and the mussels decide to talk to the whales but end up fleeing, with the pipi digging down into the sand to escape, and the mussels clinging to the rocks. Suggested level: junior, primary.
  3. Te nama tino rahi rawa atu i te whaiao
    Nā Julie Leibrich rāua ko Ross Kinnaird. Nā Kāterina Te Heikōkō Mataira ngā kupu Māori.
    Nesta needs a number, a really big number. Grumpy Mr Abacus, the mathematician, tells her to go away, he’s too busy. But he doesn’t know how determined a little girl can be.
  4. PouakaTe Pouaka karetao
    Nā Moira Wairama; nā Bruce Potter ngā pikitia
    When Rua begins kindergarten he is very shy, so his teacher introduces him to a kiwi puppet. Kiwis are also shy, she says, and encourages him to play with the puppet. The next day brings a different puppet, the following day another, and each one gives Rua the courage to participate in the other children’s activities. Finally, at the end of the week a new girl starts school, and she is very shy. Rua takes her the puppet box. Suggested level: junior, primary.
  5. Tuna Moemoea
    Nā Ben Brown i tuhituhi; nā Helen Taylor ngā pikitia; nā Hone Apanui i whakamāori.
    An eel who dreams of living in a better place than his swamp, goes in search of a fast flowing river with his friend Pukeko. Suggested level: junior.
  6. Nga RaukuraNgā raukura rima tekau mā rima
    Nā Ben Brown rāua ko Helen Taylor.
    Pukeko is worried about her friend Gecko being cold in the winter. She seeks advice from a wise old tree who tells her to make Gecko a cloak of fifty five feathers to keep him warm, so Pukeko asks different birds for their feathers. Suggested level: junior, primary.
  7. Ngā ō rangaranga a pāpā
    Nā Melanie Drewery ngā kōrero; nā Chrstopher White ngā pikitia; nā Kararaina Uatuku i whakamāori.
    Dad tells the children they will have takeaways. But he loads lots of strange items into the car and then drives to the beach. He then shows the children how to gather kaimoana. After an initial hesitation they decide the kai tastes good and it’s the best takeaways in the world. Suggested level: junior, primary.
  8. Wētā
    Nā Joy Cowley; nā Rod Morris ngā pikitia, nā Kāterina Te Heikōkō I whakamāori.
    Uses story format to introduce a day in a life of a weta: a brown, nocturnal, wingless New Zealand cricket. Includes brief factual information on the habitat, behaviour and natural enemies of the weta. Suggested level: junior, primary.
  9. Te taniwha i te kura
    Nā Tim Tipene rāua ko Henry Campbell. Nā Mohi Cherrington ngā kupu Māori.
    With the help and support from his family, Tama finds a way to tame the bully at school who then becomes his friend.
  10. Te Toneke
    Nā Patricia Grace. Nā Akuhata tangaere ngā kupu Māori. Ko Kerry Gemmill te kaiwhakaāhua.
    When Tania has no money to buy Christmas presents for her two children, she decides to make them a trolley using bits of wood and an old pram; and on Christmas morning the kids are overjoyed.

Māori book titles for Senior Primary School available at Christchurch City Libraries

  1. He Waka Huia
    Nā Gabrielle Huria. Nā Jenny Rendell ngā pikitia; Ngā kupu Māori nā Tahu Potiki, whakaaro Māori, Te Maire Tau
    When Tāua dies, Rakituanuku goes on a journey to understand the wisdom of his tribe.
  2. He korero mo MauiHe kōrero mō Māui. Pukapuka 1. Ka herea a māui te rā, ā, ka patua e Māui a
    tuna roa

    Nā Jason Te Puia te kōrero me ngā whakaahua.
    The legends of Māui. Graphic Novel.
  3. Whakaeke i ngā ngaru
    Nā Gavin Bishop; Nā Kāterina Te Heikōkō Mataira ngā kupu Māori.
    Ka kitea e Māui tana whānau Ko Rātā me tōna waka Maāui
    me te atua o te ahi Hatupatu me te tipua manu.
  4. Te Waka
    Nā Jean Prior rāua ko Gavin Bishop
    Te wakaNā Kāterina te Heikōkō Mataira ngā kupu Māori.
    A retelling of the Noah’s Ark story featuring New Zealand wildlife and a Māori Rangatira. Suggested level: junior, primary.
  5. Hakuai! Hakuai! Ho! Ho!
    Nā Charisma Rangipunga te pakiwaitara i tito; nā Tipi Wehipeihana te mōteatea i tito; Nā Dave Gunson ngā whakaahua.
    A boy travels to the Titi Islands and learns of the traditions of the Hakuai.
  6. Whirikoki me tāna kekeno
    Nā Mere Clarke ; Nā Manu Smith ngā pikitia.
    A tale of the fun and games Whirikoki, a tohunga of Turanganui, had with his pet seal and how that frolicksome pair brought about the occurrence of oil at a place called Manga-Tai-Kapua.
  7. Ngā rongoā a Koro
    Nā Melanie Drewery; Nā Sabrina Malcolm ngā pikitia.
    Koro seems to have an unappetising remedy for everything, from blisters to blocked noses. But could his enthusiasm for Māori rongoā (medicine) turn out to be contagious?
  8. Te tāhuna
    Nā Don Long; nā Phillip Paea ngā whakaahua.
    "When a family moves onto a farm, they discover that there is a battlefield on the property. At first the children play in the overgrown rifle pits and trenches, but, gradually they begin to wonder what really happened there". Back
    cover. Includes author’s note about the New Zealand Wars. Suggested level: primary.
  9. Hīnaki
    Nā Jan Trafford ngā kōrero; nā Ian Trafford ngā whakaahua; Nā Roka Paora I
    Text and photographs describe a family fishing for eels, using traditional methods to catch and prepare them. Suggested level: primary, intermediate.
  10. Te tohorā whakamutunga
    Nā Renee hapimarika van der Weert; nā Anton Petrov ngā whakaahua.
    "On a hot summer day Riwia and her classmates hear the call from the lookouts stationed around the village, a whale has entered the bay. As the men race to launch their boats and battle the whale, Riwia faces her own conflict and feelings she doesn’t quite understand." Back
    cover. Story set in the eastern Bay of Plenty in the 1920s, and based on the childhood memories of Maaka Jones of Whānau a Apanui.


  1. Te Mere
    Nā Mokena Potae Reedy; Nā Samuel Sakaria ngā pikitia
    A magical mere takes three children and their dog on a journey through time. Suggested level: primary, intermediate.
  2. Te MuraTe mura a Tangaroa
    Nā Mokena Potae Reedy ; Nā Samuel Sakaria ngā pikitia
    Three children find themselves washed up on an island, far from help and threatened by a dangerous enemy. Suggested level: primary, intermediate.
    Sequel to: Te mere, Preceeds: Te whenua kauruki.
  3. Te Whenua kauruki
    Nā Mokena Potae Reedy; Nā Samuel Sakaria ngā pikitia.
    The three young cousins who travel through time find themselves battling against the odds to keep hold of the mere, both in this time and in the times past. Suggested level: primary, intermediate.
    Sequel to Te Mura a tangaroa

Māori book titles for Primary School available at the National Library of New Zealand

The following book list was compiled by Kathy Palmer at the National Library of New Zealand. For more information on these titles please phone 366 1075.

Picture books

Hinemoa Te Toa
Tim Tipene, John Bennett; nā Kāterina te Heikōkō Mātaira ngā kupu Māori
Ko Maraea me ngā toroa
Patricia Grace nā Brian Gunson ngā whakaahua; ko te huri ki te reo Māori nā Waiariki Grace
Ngā ō rangaranga a Pāpā
Melanie Drewery; nā Christopher White ngā pikitia; nā Kararaina Uatuku i whakamāori
Ngāti īnanga nō Maketū
Werohia; nā Vonnie Steritt ngā pikitia, nā Wiremu Sarich ngā kupu Māori


Pōtiki nā Oho Kaa i whakamāori
Patricia Grace
Kāterina te Heikōkō Mataira

Titles exploring “Crusader values” - setting goals, co-operation, courage, striving to be the best …

Younger Fiction

Adeney, Anne George and the dragon
An evil dragon has taken all the animals from the village. Now he demands a young girl to eat every day! Can brave young George help the villagers and rescue the Princess?
So scaryAdeney, Anne So scary!
Paul, the helpful knight, must save Lady June from a scary thing. But what is it? This book is designed to help children with phonics and has a vocabulary of less than 200 words.
Armitage, Ronda Small knight and George
Knights are supposed to be big, brave dragon fighters, but Small Knight doesn’t feel big or brave. On his way home at the end of the day, Small Knight meets a strange but friendly little creature hiding in the shrubbery. What Small Knight fails to realize is that this friendly meeting will cause general panic the moment he returns home to his castle.
Caraher, Meg The cricketing kids
Two kids from two different countries, but maybe they can have cricket in common.
Cowley, Joy Bow down Shadrach
A very old, circus trained Clydesdale horse needs rescuing but Hannah’s heroic rescue doesn’t go according to plan.
Cowley, Joy Snake and Lizard
A collection of stories about the friendship between Snake and Lizard.
Harvey, Damian Robin and the Knight
"I can hear someone," said Robin. "It looks like a rich, lazy knight," said Little John. "Let’s take his money to give to the poor." But as he rode closer, Robin and Little John could see the knight’s clothes were torn and dirty.
Impey, Rose A medal for Poppy : The pluckiest pig in the world
Poppy is the Pluckiest Pig in the World and everyone on the farm knows it. But Poppy has a big secret. There is one thing that she is really, REALLY scared of. Ideal for newly confident readers and includes jokes!
Family surprisesMahy, Margaret Family Surprises
Caxton had a problem. It’s hard for a boy who loves swimming and being active when his whole family is devoted to art. When Caxton meets a dragon, it isn’t long before they discover just how to pool their talents.
Metzenthen, David The red boxing gloves
Two kids from different sides of town both boxers, and both ready to fight each other just for being different.
Morpurgo, Michael Cool!
Robbie, football fan and animal lover, chases after his dog one day and is hit by a car. Unconscious, but conscious, Robbie lies in hospital, unable to speak, move or eat. Until one day, against hospital rules, Dad brings Lucky into the hospital. Can Lucky bring Robbie back to life?
Owl treeNimmo, Jenny The owl-tree
Granny Diamond has loved the old tree ever since she saw an owl perched among the branches. Now her neighbour was planning to cut the tree down. Joe hopes he will be brave enough to save the tree.
Rogers, Gregory A midsummer Knight
A mysterious forest, a faerie kingdom, a greedy villain, a clash of swords and a knight to the rescue. A wordless book.
Rylant, Cynthia Mr Putter and Tabby run the race
Mr. Putter is convinced to run in a senior marathon with his neighbour, Mrs. Teaberry, when he learns that second prize is a train set. Never mind that he can’t even touch his toes. Somehow, he has got to find a way to place second…

Rugby related resources available at Christchurch City Libraries

Rugby related reading resources for kids

Boon, Kevin Eric Tindill
Read about our oldest living All Black and the only person to play tests in both cricket and rugby for New Zealand.
Boon, Kevin George Nepia
Discusses his career in rugby football from his playing in a school team to becomingan All Black.
RugbyGifford, Clive Inside Sport: Rugby
With informative but accessible text, this book looks at rugby, from its history and beginnings to the modern game, how it’s played, who plays it and the rules that govern it. It also includes facts, stats and colour photographs.
Gifford, Clive Sporting Skills: Rugby
A step by step guide. Learn how to perfect the skills, tactics and theory of your game from basic drills to complete rules.
Hunter, Rebecca Starting Sport: Rugby
Simple introduction to rugby. Outlines rules, techniques and defines terms.
Smith, Andy Essential Sports: Rugby
This volume explores the skills, techniques, equipment and rules involved in playing rugby. As well as the history of the game and the differences between Union and League, it also provides tips on how to play.

Rugby related reading resources for kids and adults

Dan CarterCarter, Dan Dan Carter: skills and performance
A book aimed at the ‘kidult’ market. It contains tips on playing the game, skill drills and training to succeed. In addition, the book also looks at Carter’s early life and focuses on some of the key moments in his career. Includes a section on tips for young players.
O’Brien, Paddy Paddy O’Brien’s couch guide to rugby
In this quick and easy guide to the game of rugby, Paddy O’Brien explains the laws of rugby in clear and simple language for fans and supporters on the sidelines and most importantly at home on the couch. Graphics illustrate the harder concepts.
All BlacksPalenski, Ron All Blacks : The authorised portrait
Officially sanctioned book of All Black photographs through the years. This huge book features photographs of the tries, players and matches that have made the All Blacks admired all over the world. Captions are provided by rugby expert Ron Palenski.
Palenski, Ron The encyclopedia of New Zealand rugby
This essential guide to New Zealand rugby has biographies of every All Black until the start of 2005, lists of statistics on matches, teams and players. A great read for statistically immersed children.
Sky Sport Rugby Almanack of New Zealand
The Sky Sport Rugby Almanack has been in print for 74 years! It’s the place to find detailed information about the NPC, Super 14, Bledisloe Cup and TriNations competitions.
Rugby skillsWilliams, Tony Rugby skills, tactics and rules
Presents the latest information on all aspects of the game. It has an updated list of useful addresses and images from the 2007 World Cup.

Rugby Magazines

Audio Resources related to Rugby

Ka Mate! CDs and Tapes that feature Ka Mate! one of the All Blacks Haka:

Web Resources related to Rugby