Using OverDrive for fun whānau reading

As Aotearoa New Zealand goes into lockdown to fight Covid-19, we’re looking at at least a month with the family together in one place, and with only a limited number of books on the bookcase shelves to keep the kids entertained in the coming weeks.

That could be a scary thought for some, but never fear - Christchurch City Libraries is looking out for you! Although you won’t be able to visit our physical libraries for the next little while, we have heaps of eResources available for you to access online to use with your tamariki. And it’s all free! All you will need is your library card and PIN (if you can't remember what your PIN is, you can give us a ring).

One of our eResources is OverDrive, and this is great for finding eBooks and eAudiobooks for anyone of any age. You can either use the OverDrive website itself, or download the Libby app to make searching even easier. Log on, have an explore, and see what you find.

To get you started, here are some suggestions of picture books, easy readers, and beginning chapter books for you to read to your 3 to 8 year olds to keep them entertained during this time.

Catalogue record for Snow White and the Seven DwarfsOverDrive Kids has eAudiobooks, eBooks … and eBooks with audio! No matter how much you love sharing books with children, this will be a busy time with lots of things to manage around the house, so check out the Read-Along Books collection, and turn on the narration if you just don’t have time to read Snow White and the Seven Dwarves ‘just one more time!’

Loads of your children’s favourite characters and authors will be available at OverDrive, like Star Wars, or Roald Dahl. Some of them - like Pete the Cat - will even have links to websites with heaps of free activities, videos, and songs to keep kids busy at home.

It’s not just new books that you can find on OverDrive, either. Take a walk down memory lane, and share some of your childhood favourites with your minis. Fancy Nancy, Curious George, Goodnight Moon - they’re all there, plus so many more. Why not start with Robert Munsch’s The Paper Bag Princess for a story of a strong, confident young lady who doesn’t need a prince to rescue her!

Fancy Nancy titles on OverDriveCurious George titles on OverDriveGoodnight moon on OverDriveThe Paper bag princess on OverDrive

With everyone being at home together, things are possibly going to get a bit messy, especially if you decide to teach maths through baking, or STEAM skills through crafts and construction. Get your hands on The Berenstain Bears and the Messy Room, and you might inspire your tamariki to tidy up after themselves. Who knows? They might even help you find some type of organisation that you can use throughout the whole house.

OverDrive record for Baking with KidsLet's make great projects on OverDriveThe Berenstain Bears and the messy room on OverDrive

With extended time off school, this could be a perfect time to introduce your kids to some early chapter books, like the Ivy and Bean or Stink series. Picture books are fantastic for all ages, but step into chapter books and you’ll have even more fun!

Animals nobody loves on OverDriveFinally, we need to remember that because we can’t get out and about so much, it’s going to be harder to explore, and to find out about things that don’t live in our own backyards. As well as picture books and stories, OverDrive has heaps of exciting, non-fiction books so that you and your little people can continue to learn and read about all the exciting animals and places out in the world, and the things that happened before we were alive. Check out Animals Nobody Loves to see photos of sharp sharks’ teeth, scary slithery snakes, and poisonous monsters, or have a look at the National Geographic Kids books and show your child the world around them... all from the comfort of your couch.

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