Archive for Websites

Early World of Learning: online fun for little ‘uns !

Who doesn’t like bright pictures, games and great stories? World Book, with advice from early childhood development experts, has produced the Early World of Learning which is aimed at preschoolers and early primary school aged children. There are three fun and interactive learning environments:Early World of Learning

  • Trek’s Travels: learn alongside Trek, a scarecrow, and Taffy the cat, as they travel around learning about colours, numbers, size, shapes, places, taste and smell, opposites and time.  There are also narrated stories and interactive games;
  • Welcome to Reading: features 48 stories in four reading levels. It aims to help strengthen phonics, vocabulary and comprehension skills;
  • Know It: is a child’s first online encyclopedia. All text can be read-aloud by an online narrator and accompanied by word-by-word highlighting.

This fun resource is easy to use, bright and informative in all the right ways. Have a look today from home or in libraries using your library card number and password/PIN. While you are there check out all the other online products we have on the Source for kids!

Comments (2) »

Our encyclopedias get a makeover!

Using computers to help with homework is pretty normal these days. Yet the information we find may not always be helpful or true. That is when you need us! Your local librarians consider themselves pretty good at providing quality information that will speed up your homework while getting you good results.

When I was younger all you had at the local library were heavy print encyclopedias to help with homework, but now from the comfort of your home you can get all that help online from the library with these two resources:

All you need is your library card number and PIN/Password and you will be guaranteed to find all the correct answers and enjoy yourself in the process! Learning fun? It can happen!

Comments off

Gorgeous eBooks and eAudiobooks from OverDrive

Oh I just love fresh reading ideas and here is a selection just for you at OverDrive!

Comments off

Free online fun at the library these holidays

Now that you are free from school what plans do you have for the summer holidays that stretch before you? (I am so jealous!) I have a few suggestions that you may want to try if you start to get a bit bored. They are free, enjoyable and all for you!

  • BusyThings: Fun games and activities for 3 to 7 year olds that include creating music and art.
  • TumbleBook Library: Animated books which include games, quizzes, videos and puzzles.
  • Literacy Planet: Create characters and earn rewards in return for completing fun tasks.
  • OverDrive: Over 1200 children’s fiction and non fiction e-books and downloadable audiobooks for your enjoyment!

Far be it from us to encourage you to play online more, but there will be wet days when playing outside will not be an option. This is where we can help. All you need to access any of these online resources is an imagination and a  library card number and password / PIN.

Oh and don’t forget to come and visit us  at your local library this summer!

Comments off

Fresh and free e-books and audiobooks for kids!

OverDrive is our e-book and downloadable audiobook platform. It is free to use for library members. All you need is your library card number and PIN. It contains lots of fun books for kids to read. Here are some examples!

Comments (1) »

Introducing Timmy Failure and Total Failure Inc.

Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made by Stephan Pastis is the funniest book you’ll read this year.  If you like the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books you’re sure to love Timmy Failure.  This book should come with a guarantee – “If you don’t laugh out loud at least once we’ll give you your money back!” It’s due out in March and you can watch these very funny videos below to meet Timmy Failure, his friends and his enemies.  There is also a really cool Timmy Failure website you can visit to find out more about the book and the author –

Comments off

Bullying Websites for Kids

Are you being bullied or know someone who is?  We’ve put together some links to great websites all about bullying and how to get help if you need it.  There are step-by-step guides to taking action and stopping bullying, and help-lines that you can call and talk to an adult who can help.

Check out the Bullying links on the Kids Internet Gateway.

If you’ve read R.J. Palacio’s amazing book, Wonder, you’ll remember one of Mr Brown’s precepts is “When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind.”  I think it’s a great thing to remember every day, and to always treat others as you would like to be treated.  You can even go to the Choose Kind website and pledge to ‘choose kind’ every day.

Comments off

Enter the Library Explorers Challenge to win cool prizes

Throughout April we’re running a Library Explorers Challenge where you can answer a series of questions and go in the draw for some great prizes.  We have Paper Plus vouchers and movie passes to give away.

All you have to do is grab a question sheet from your library (or download it here – April challenge), go to the Kids website to find the answers, enter your answers and your contact details into the form and you’re in the draw for the whole of April.

Week 1 winner – Maifea Fetu, age 12, won a movie pass

Week 2 winners – Lucy Constable, age 12 ($20 Paper Plus voucher) and Anthony Orr, age 11 (child’s movie pass)

Week 3 winners – Tyler Timms, age 11 ($20 Paper Plus voucher) and Grace Boddington, age 12 (child’s movie pass)

Thanks to everyone who entered.  This competition is now closed.

Comments (1) »

Robert Ballard and Punctuation

Hi everyone,

Today I have been thinking about Robert Ballard, the man whose book inspired my book THE GHOSTS OF IRON BOTTOM SOUND

Robert Ballard says that the sea is the world’s biggest museum. He loves finding and exploring shipwrecks (he found Titanic, H.M.A.S. Canberra – the ship in my book, Bismarck, and many others). He also believes strongly in the importance of protecting the oceans. Robert Ballard is definetly one of my heroes.

Here is a link to an interview for children, about him. If you search for yourself, you will find lots of other information, including photos and U-tube clips. If you look at shipwreck books in a library or bookshop, there’s a very high chance that you’ll find some books by him.

 I have also been thinking about punctuation and how important it is.

Do I sound like a teacher?

Mmm, maybe that’s because I am. But I am also a reader and a writer.

Someone once told me that ‘punctuation is the secret code of writing.’

I agree.

So kids, take care with your punctuation. Be kind to your readers!

And be kind to yourself. Treasure the wonderful person that you are.

From the August Star Author

Sandy Nelson


Comments off

What is a writer?

Hi everyone,

Tonight I’ve been back to school. That’s because we’re having a Book Week at Twizel Area School and I’m organising it!  Tonight we had bedtime stories in the library. Kids came in their pyjamas and bought their teddies. We had 4 stories. I read ‘Who is Brian Bear?’ by Helen Taylor (one of my boys favourites when they were little) and First Snow by Kim Lewis (a story about a little girl who lives on a farm). Our Principal Mr Bill Feasey read one of Lynley Dodd’s wonderful books, Schnitzel von Krumm. Lastly Twizel’s doctor, Doctor Tim Gardner read Bad Jelly the Witch. He was fantastic at the character voices. After milo in the staffroom everyone went home to bed.

We’ve been doing lots of other wonderful Book Week things too. I might tell you some tomorrow. Anyway … 

I was going to write more about my fascination with old house but instead I’ve been thinking about what makes a person a writer. Here are some of my thoughts:

* A writer is a reader. You have to read to write. They go together.

* A writer has stories in his or her head. Stories that won’t go away. Stories that need a home.

* A writer loves words and wants to make them dance.

I’m a writer.

Are you?


I never knew that I could make words dance

Or make them walk through people’s heads.

I love it that I can!

Take care out there, especially you kids in Shaky Town. Sometimes life can be a bit tough. Remember the good times and look after the people that have a place in your heart (and other people too!).

From your August Star Author

Sandy Nelson

Oops: I nearly forgot:

Here is a link to some information about H.M.A.S. Canberra, the ship in my book. It has some pictures of her, including one of her sinking the day after the Battle of Savo Island. She was scuttled. That means she was sunk because she was beyond repair. Eightyfour Australian sailors died the night of the battle, including the Captain.


Comments off

Explore the library at home

You’re stuck inside with no school, and the libraries are closed.  You can still explore heaps of interesting library resources from the comfort of your warm house.  The Kids page is one of the best places to explore on the library homepage because you can find quizzes, games and stories to keep you entertained.  Check out these pages:

Comments off

My email friend and hero – Mac Gregory


Today I want to tell you about my email friend Mac. Mac’s real name is Mackenzie Gregory. Mac is a very special man who is 88 and lives in Australia, in Melbourne. Have you been there? Do you know anyone who lives there?

Mac survived the sinking of the H.M.A.S. Canberra. He was the Officer of the Watch when the Japanese attacked. That means he was in charge of the ship. The Captain was sleeping (remember it was the middle of the night). Mac was only 18. What a huge responsibility! In the photo above he is with some other survivors. He is in the middle of the photo, with the binoculars he was wearing when the Japanese attacked.

Anyway, when I was researching for The Ghosts of Iron Bottom Sound, I had some questions. I didn’t know who to ask for help. Then I discovered Mac’s website on the Internet. His website is all about the sea and warships, and from reading his website I learned that he had been a survivor of the sinking of H.M.A.S. Canberra, the ship I was researching and writing about. He had dedicated his website to his Canberra shipmates. I was very impressed with Mac’s website and I wanted to write to him but it took me a few days to get brave enough to send him an email. I am so glad I did.

Mac answered my questions and gave me lots of handy hints. Here is the first hint he gave me:

Sailors live in ships, not on them.

 He said that people live in houses, and sailors live in ships. Now that makes sense doesn’t it? What do you think?

Anyway, when I was writing The Ghosts of Iron Bottom Sound and the sequel The Lucky Ship, I sent Mac dozens of questions and he was kind enough to reply to all of them. We told each other lots about our lives too and became good friends. Mac is one of my heroes. I respect him heaps. I think everyone needs heroes. Who are your heroes?

Last year my family and I went to Melbourne and met Mac and his wife Denise.  I think I’ll tell you a bit about Melbourne one day.  I am normally a bit scared of big cities because my town is so small it doesn’t even have any traffic lights but I loved Melbourne. In this photo that I took, Mac is wearing the same binoculars.  They are a piece of history. Have you ever thought about things being pieces of history? I do, often.

These are some reasons that Mac is one of my heroes:

  • Mac was brave in the war.
  • Mac was a leader in the war.
  • Mac has an amazing website about the sea and about naval history.
  • Mac helps lots of people find out about people in their family who died in the war.
  • Mac really cares about people and wants to help them.
  • Mac keeps his brain working even though he is old. He has recently published three books about his amazing life. He is doing some very tricky University work to share his knowledge too.
  • Mac cares about peace and about respect.
  • Mac is kind and courteous (Hey – I hope you know the meaning of that word!)

Here’s one more photo of Mac, from when he was the leader of the Melbourne A.N.Z.A.C. parade in 2009. What an honour, and one I think Mac really deserved.

 Here is a link to Mac’s website.   

Tomorrow is the anniversary of the Battle of Savo Island.

My post tomorrow will be sad and respectful.

Ka kite opopo (see you tomorrow).

From Sandy Nelson in Twizel, land of tussock and mountains.

Comments (4) »

May The Source be with you – resources for learning, fun and play

The Source is full of great resources for learning, fun and play. It’s free, and all you need is your library card number and PIN.

Here are some of the cool resources:

Homework and study


  • Intrepica lets you make your own characters;
  • TumbleBook Library. Fun animated children’s stories, games, quizzes and puzzles. TumbleBooks are online, animated, picture books which you can read, or have read to you

View our full list of the Source for kids.

Want more help?

Comments off

%d bloggers like this: