Thursday, December 29, 2011

Signing off for 2011! Happy New Year and Keep Reading!!!

Hi all,

So this is my final post of the year (I'm off a couple of days and won't be back till Tuesday of 2012). It's been real fun blogging, and hope to continue into the new year.

So from all of  Lake County Public Library (and your lovely blogger, Kid's Central) ......


Keep Reading!!!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Upcoming programs in January and Holiday Hours

Here are some programs that will happening next month in the Children's Dept at the Central Library. Please visit Library Events for information and register.

Story Time for 2 and 3 yr olds- Monday, January 16 at 10 am- Audience: 2 and 3 year olds and caregivers.

Mother Goose on the Loose-Tuesday, January 3 and 17 at 10 am-Audience: Infants Birth to
23 months and caregiver (s).

Story Time for 4 and 5 yr olds- Tuesday, January 10 and 24 at 10 am - Audience: 4 and 5 year olds.

Gaming Night- Wednesday, January 11 at 6 pm- Audience: 12 to 17 years old.

Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King Jr- Monday, January 16 at 4pm- Audience: K-5

Going to Australia- Thursday, January 26 at 4 pm- Audience: K-5 and families

Lego Club- Monday, January 30 at 4pm- 2nd to 6th grade.

Reminder about Holiday Hours of this week (and next week):

  • Tuesday, December 27 to Thursday, December 29- Open from 9-9
  • Friday, December  30- Open 9-6
  • Saturday, December 31- Open 9-5
  • Sunday, January 1- CLOSED
  • Monday, January 2-CLOSED ( We will resume normal business hours Tuesday)
  • Thursday, January 5- CLOSED due to construction on water system ( all other branches open until 6 pm, closing early due to launch of new catalogue)
  • Coming in January 2012- 
  • Read-a-thon ( More details to come)
  • Polaris ( Launching Friday, January 6)
Happy New Year!!! See you in 2012!!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Getting in the Christmas Mood: Part 4- What is your favorite holiday film?

According to my talking Advent calender ( got three year ago, still works), it's five days until Christmas. Who's ready? ( For those curious about me, I have my artificial tree up and did the lights yesterday, some cookies made, just a little more to do.)

Anyway, so far, this holiday posting has covered songs, TV specials, and books of the holiday season. Tonight's post focuses on holiday movies. Like the TV specials, we look forward every Christmas to see George Bailey, Santa Claus, and Scrooge( of some form). What's your favorites? Do you favor the sweet, sentimental favorites? Do you favor holiday films that focus on the meaning of the season? Do you favor holiday romances? Or do you like Christmas movies of a different kind?

Here are my five ( along with a favorite scene or line):
  1. A Christmas Story ( 1983)- A Hoosier holiday classic ( that TBS  will be running all day this weekend ).  Based off the writings of Hammond native Jean Shepard, all young Ralph  Parker wants for Christmas is Red Rider BB gun.  Favorite scene- Mom dressing Randy for school. ( " I can't put my arms down.")
  2. Elf (2003)- Not really a Will Ferrell fan, but this is one of his good films. Ferrell stars as Buddy, an orphan raised by Santa's elves who comes to New York to meet his real father. Favorite scene- The store manager telling all the employee to get for Santa's arrival. ( "SANTA! OH MY GOD! SANTA'S COMING! I KNOW HIM! I KNOW HIM!")
  3. Polar Express (2004)- Yes, the elves are a little creepy looking, but it's a very stunning adaptation of Chris Van Allsburg's classic book about a young boy's magical train ride to the North Pole. Favorite scene- Hero Girl and Lonely Boy singing " When Christmas Comes to Town" 
  4. White Christmas (1954)- Inspired by the 1941 song by Irving Berlin ( which was introduced in the film Holiday Inn and won the Oscar for Best Song the following year), this holiday classic stars Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye as former WWII soliders/entertainers who, along with pair of singing sisters, plan a Christmas show at a Vermont inn owned by their former general. Favorite scene-The grand finale of the inn's Christmas show.
  5. Prancer (1989)- This is an little known Christmas film ( and parts of it were filmed in LaPorte, Indiana).  A young girl named Jessica rescues a  injured reindeer who she believes is one of Santa's. Sam Elliot and Clois Leachman co-star. Favorite scene- Prancer and the farm animals escaping the barn and entering the house, unbeknown to the father ( Elliot) reading the newspaper, until it is too late.
Season's Greetings and keep reading!!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Getting in the Christmas Mood: Part 3- Holiday Books

Can you believe it's eight days til Christmas? Is everyone ready? ( I'm close, still have a tree to put up, cookies to make, and a few gifts to wrap.)

So since this blog is all about the library and books, today's holiday posting is... books. Of all juvenile holiday collections, our December holiday books is the biggest. ( How big? At last count, they cover about five shelves in our workroom/storage area. It seems to grow every January once  we put them away til next December.) Currently, they are all out for your check-out pleasure ( plus we have three smaller holiday-related displays- holidays around the world in non-fiction, Christmas chapter books, and craft cookbooks with a free bookmark/ornament by the entrance).

Here are some are my favorites-

  • The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg- A boy takes a magical train ride to the North Pole to get a special gift from Santa. A Christmas classic.  ( Great to read on Christmas Eve.) 

  • I Want  A Hippopotamus for Christmas by John Rox- An illustrated version of the popular 1950's Christmas song about a child who wants a hippopotamus for Christmas.

  •  Oh What a Christmas! by Michael Garland- Santa must seek help from some barnyard animals when seperated from his reindeer midflight on Christmas Eve. NEW!!!

  • Clear Moon, Snow Soon by Tony Johnston- On Christmas Eve, a child anticipates the arrival of Santa Claus.

  • The Magical Christmas Horse by Mary Clark Higgins-  A young boy hopes to pass a treasured wooden horse to his little brother while spending the holidays at his grandparents' farm. NEW!!

  • Noel by Tony Johnston- The sounds of Christmas bells call people young, old, and very cold to come together and celebrate a very peaceful holiday.

  • Olivia Helps with Christmas by Ian Falconer- Join Olivia the Pig as she and her family get ready for Christmas ( and hopefully not hurt Santa in the process.)

  • Santa Duck by David Milgrim- When Nicholas Duck find a Santa hat and coat, all the other animals mistake him for Mr. Claus ( Note- There is sequel called Santa Duck and his Merry Helpers, also by David Milgrim.)

  • Who Will Pull My Sleigh Tonight? by Jerry Pallota- Santa tries many different kinds of animals to pull his sleigh.

  • Christmas Eve Goodnight by Doug Cushman- On Christmas Eve, elves, robots, and more say good night to their mommies, daddies, and friends. NEW!!

  • Want more? Suggested keywords to use with "juvenile fiction", " juvenile literature", and " fiction" include:
    • Christmas
    • Christmas trees
    • Santa Claus
    • Kwanza
    • Hanukkah
    • Snowmen
    • Jesus Christ--Nativity
    • Christmas stories
    Happy Holidays and keep reading!!

    Tuesday, December 6, 2011

    Getting in the Christmas Mood: Part 2- What is Your Favorite Holiday Special?

    Ho-Ho Hello again,
    So last week I mentioned a few of my favorite holiday songs ( actually before I leave that subject, I'm just going to mention a few runner-ups: All I Want for Christmas by Mariah Carey, Grown-up Christmas List by Amy Grant, and Christmas Time is Here from a Charlie Brown Christmas). Which leads to today's post-what is your favorite holiday special? Do you look forward every year from the beginning of November to Christmas re-watching the holiday specials of Rudolph, Frosty, and the Grinch or look forward to new ones, like Shrek and Hoops and Yoyo? Do you enjoy the sappy holiday romance movies of Hallmark, ABC Family, and Lifetime? Is there a favorite holiday-theme TV show? Or do you favor the really obscure that only aired once and now live on Youtube ( such as the cult favorite " Star Wars Christmas" where Carrie Fisher and crew help  Chewy and the Wookiees celebrate Life Day). I'd love to hear your favorites.

    Here are my top five, with a mention of favorite scene or line:
    1.  A Charlie Brown Christmas ( 1965)- Charlie Brown is depressed about the over-commercialization of Christmas till asked by Lucy to direct to the school's play. Will it put him in the Christmas spirit,or does he need the help of Linus and a little tree? Favorite scene- Lucy asking Snoopy to be all the animals, even a penguin ( which soon turns to mocking her and a kiss- " I've been kissed by dog lips".)
    2. Frosty the Snowman ( 1969)- The popular song comes to live in this animated cartoon, featuring Jimmy Durante as the narrator. Favorite scene- The police officer swallowing his whistle after Karen, one of the school children, explains that Frosty just came to life and doesn't know a traffic light or lamppost is.
    3. Rudolph's Shiny New Year ( 1976)- The famous red-nosed reindeer must find Happy, the Baby New Year, before New Year's Eve midnight. Favorite scene- Rudolph explains to Happy that everyone laughs at his big ears because it's makes them  feel happy.
    4. Elmo Saves Christmas ( 1996)- After rescuing Santa from a stuck chimney, Elmo wishes for Christmas every day. But is it too much? Favorite scene- The Christmas/ Easter Bunny ( played by (Harvey Fierstein) singing about giving people Easter eggs for Christmas.
    5. Hardrock, Coco, and Joe ( 1950s)- A Midwest holiday classic, this black and white cartoon about Santa's Elves airs every Christmas Eve and Day on Chicago WGN-TV Channel 9, along with Suzy Snowflake and Frosty the Snowman. Favorite part- The chorus, which goes
      Oh-lee-o-lay-dee, o-lay-dee-I-ay
      Donner and Blitzen, away, away
      Oh-lee-o-lay-dee, o-lay-dee-I-oh
      I'm Hardrock!
      I'm Coco!
      I'm Joe!

    Happy Holidays and keep reading!!

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

    Getting In the Christmas Mood!! Part 1- What is Your Favorite Christmas Song?

    Hi readers,
     So I wanted to do a 25 days of reviews or something each day leading up to Christmas but saw it was not possible to do being part-time and all ( I prefer to do this blog on days that I work). Instead, each Tuesday will be about getting in the mood for the Christmas season. Today's post-what is favorite Christmas song? Yes readers, I'm inviting you to come post your favorite song you like  to listen to during this magical season.

    What are my favorites? Well, I like lots but if I had to make a mix of my Top 5 favorites, they would be:

    1. I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas- Gayla Peevey
    2. Celebrate Me Home- Kenny Loggins
    3. White Christmas-Bing Crosby
    4. The Christmas Song-Nat King Cole
    5. Merry Christmas, Darling- The Carpenters

    Let the holiday season begin. Keep reading!!

    Tuesday, November 22, 2011

    Happy Thanksgiving!!

    Hi boys and girls. I know it's early but just felt like wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and keep reading!

    Thursday, November 17, 2011

    Happy Holidays 2011 programs

    Here are our last programs of 2011 that will happening next month in the Children's Dept at the Central Library. Please visit Library Events for information and register.

    Story Time for 2 and 3 yr olds- Monday, Dec. 5 at 10 am- Audience: 2 and 3 year olds and caregivers.

    Mother Goose on the Loose-Tuesday, Dec. 6 at 10 am-Audience: Infants Birth to
    23 months and caregiver (s).

    Story Time for 4 and 5 yr olds- Tuesday,  Dec 13 at 10 am and 2 pm- Audience: 4 and 5 year olds.

    Holiday Story Hour- Thursday, Dec 8 at 4-Audience: K-5 and families

    Gaming Night- Wednesday, Dec 14 at 6 pm- Audience: 12 to 17 years old.

    Lego Club- Tuesday, Dec 20 at 4pm- 2nd to 6th grade.

    Note- All branches will be closed on Thursday, November 24 for Thanksgiving. We will be open the day after Thanksgiving, normal Friday hours.

    Happy Holidays and see ya soon!!!

    Tuesday, November 15, 2011

    Bookworm List-Have a Party with Your Bear!!!

    Boys and girls, do you have a special friend you call " Teddy"? Did you know they have a special day just for them tomorrow called " Have A Party with Your Bear"? Yep, they do. True, it's not as grand as say Christmas, but still it's nice to tell your bear ( or any stuffed animal) that you love them. So hug your bear, eat  a little cake ( perhaps with honey like Pooh Bear or marmalade like Paddington) , and have a "beary" good day tomorrow.

    Want to have some " beary" good books? Here are a few titles you might on this month's display, located at the entrance of the children's department: ( for more, use the keywords "teddy bears" for juvenile fiction and literature.)

    • Newton- Rory Tyger
    • Corduroy-Don Freeman
    • Return to The Hundred Acre Wood- David Benedictus
    • Legend of The Teddy Bear- Frank Murphy
    For a great site on teddy bears,  check out

      Have a beary good afternoon and keep reading!!

      Tuesday, November 8, 2011

      Review-Balloons over Broadway-Melissa Sweet


      What are the things that make up Thanksgiving? Food, family, and floats. Yes, before heading to the relatives to fill up on turkey, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie, boys and girls get up around 9 am to watch Macy's annual three hour parade of balloons, Broadway shows, and the big man himself, Santa Claus for 85 years ( it was suspended in 1942-44 because of WWII). But how did it all begin?

      In Balloons over Broadway, we are introduced to Tony Sarag ( which the author says " rhymes with aargh" on the first page),  who as a child, loved to make marionettes( which are puppets that are operated  by strings. When he grew up, he first moved to London, England to work as a puppeteer, then came back to the States to perform on Broadway. But then R. H. Macy,  founder of Macy's, heard about Sarag's puppets and asked Sarag to create some for the store's holiday window display. But Macy's had bigger plans: a parade for their employees, particularly the immigrants unable to return home for the holidays. So in 1924,  the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade of floats, clowns, and  live animals was born. But  as the parade got popular, having live animals became a bit  of a problem. So in 1927, Sarag was asked to replace the animals. How? With balloons that worked like upside-down marionettes.

      Sweet uses various items, from collage to 3-D puppets, to tell the story behind one of Thanksgiving's traditions.  We even gets news clippings and additional background information about Sarag.

      Balloons Over Broadway-Melissa Sweet
      Age Range: 6-9
      Lexile: 835
      ***** ( 5 stars)

      Want to learn more about the parade? Visit the official website for history, games, plus information on who will be performing this year.

      Monday, November 7, 2011

      Review- Is Everyone Ready for Fun?- Jan Thomas


      What happens when three cows decide to have some fun on a chicken's sofa? Lots of laughs... and a frustrated chicken.

      This is a very fun ( and simple) story filled bright color and even bigger, brighter words for really young readers. This is also a good book to use toward the end of story time so the kids can get up off their bottoms and jump, dance, and wiggle with the cows.... on the chicken's sofa.  (Note: The toddlers I read the book to today sure enjoyed it, especially my chicken voice.)

      And if you like this book, here are some of Thomas's other books:
      • Can You Make a Scary Face?
      •  The Doghouse
      • Rhyming Dust Bunnies
      • What will The Fat Cat Sit on?
      • Birthday for Cow
      • Here comes the Big,  Mean Dust Bunny

      Is Everyone Ready for Fun-Jan Thomas
      Age Range: 2 and up
      ***** ( 5 stars)

      Friday, November 4, 2011

      Review- But Who will Bell the Cats- Cynthia von Buhler


      Once upon a time there was a princess and eight  pampered cats . There was also a mouse and a bat, who lived downstairs in the dark, drafty cellar. And the mouse wanted the same things at the cats: perfumed pillows, hot baths, and so much more. So he and the bat decide to bell the cats. Will they succeed?

      This book does a great job in solving the Aesop fable ( which is featured at the beginning of book for not familiar with it) and providing a great lesson in kindness and determination. The artwork is really great too, and so is the book's website(, which features games, information on fables, crafts ( such as making your own dollhouse diorama), and more.

      But Who Will Bell the Cats- Cynthia von Buhler (Note- This book is available at the main Lowell library, but can be requested.)
      Age Range- 3-7
      Lexile: 775
      ***** ( 5 Stars)

      Friday, October 28, 2011

      Review- Dread Locks- Neal Shusterman


      Fifteen year-old Parker Baer is bored with his  perfect life. But the day he finds new girl Tara sleeping in his bed, his life  is turn upside down. New in town, she's a beautiful girl with blond dread locks, lives in a house filled with statues and never takes off her sun glasses. She and Parker becomes friends, but then strange things begin to happen to  his classmates. Can Parker uncover the truth before it's too late?

      There are lots of twists and turns in the story that keep the reader interested until the very surprising ending. The author also does a great job of blending the fairy tale Goldilocks and the Three Bears with Medusa of Greek mythology.

      Dread Locks-Neal Shusterman
      Age Range: 12 and up
      Lexile: 710
      **** ( 4 stars)

      Tuesday, October 25, 2011

      Review- Happy Pig Day!- Mo Willems

      Piggie is excited. It's Happy Pig Day!! A day of pig songs and pig dances, and saying "Oinky, Oinky, Oink"( which is " Happy Pig Day" in Pig) Soon, more pigs join in the fun, and do pig acrobats, pig games, and all types of pig fun. But can Gerald, who is a an elephant, be able to join in the fun?

      Fans of the Piggie and Elephant series will definitely love this book. With a cartoon quality and very simple story for preschoolers, this ( as well as the rest of the books in the series), teach a wonderful message of friendship. 

      Happy Pig Day!-Mo Willems
      Age Range: 3 and up
      ***** ( 5 stars)

      Want to celebrate Pig Day ( which is actually March 1st)? Check out this cool kit created by Willems
      ( ).

      By the way, for the fans of Willems' Pigeon ( who makes an appearance towards the end of the book), his new book, The Duckling Gets a Cookie, comes out April 2012.

      Thursday, October 20, 2011

      Bookworm List-Calling all the Monsters

      Halloween is coming soon. Time for costumes, Jack O Lanterns, and candy. For today's post, I decided to list my favorite not-so spooky reads in picture books and chapter books.

      But first, here is a finger play I  like to do during October:

      Five Little Pumpkins
      Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate
      The first one said " Oh my, it's getting late!"
      The second one said "There are witches in the air".*
      And the third one said " We don't care."
      The fourth one said " Let's run, run, run."
      And the fifth one said " It's Halloween fun"
      Then Woooooo went the wind, and out went the lights.
      And the five little pumpkins rolled out of sight.

      * In case one feels the use of "witch" is going to be a problem, I have changed it to " There's a chill in the air".

       Now for the books. First the picture books ( most of them can found in Halloween display):

        Nicole's Top 10 Halloween Picture Books
      • Mrs. McMurphy's Pumpkin-Rick Walton
      • Goodnight Goon-Michael Rex
      • Where the Wild Things Are-Maurice Sendak
      • Mouse's Halloween-Alan Baker
      • Beneath the Ghost Moon-Jane Yolen
      • Arthur's Halloween Costume-Lillian Hoban
      • When a Monster is Born-Sean Taylor
      • On Halloween Night- Ferida Wolff
      • Pumpkin Cat-Ann Turner
      • The Library Ghost-Carole Weatherford

      Now for chapter and other books for the school age reader of the mildly scary, my favorite reads are:
      • Bunnicula series-James Howe
      • Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich -Adam Rex
      • Frankenstein Takes the Cake-Adam Rex
      • Wait Til Helen Comes- Mary Downing Hahn
      • Series of Unfortunate Events series- Lemony Snicket
      • The Doll in the Garden-Mary Dowing Hahn
      • Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark series- Alvin Schwartz ( Note- The last section in each collection features funny ghost stories. I know the first one features a story called " The Viper".)
      • Boy of a Thousand Faces- Brian Selznick
      • Haunted Indiana- Mark Mariman
      • Legend of Sleepy Hollow- Washington Irving
      Most of the chapter books listed can found this month's chapter book display of scary tales. We also have a display of books exploring the supernatural in our nonfiction book of the month display.

          For more books, suggested keywords to use with "juvenile fiction":
          • Halloween
          • Ghosts
          • Monsters
          • Pumpkins 
            Happy Halloween and keep reading!!

            Tuesday, October 18, 2011

            Upcoming Programs in November

            Here are some programs that will happening next month in the Children's Dept at the Central Library. Please visit Library Events for information and register.

            Story Time for 2 and 3 yr olds- Monday, Nov. 3 and 21 at 10 am- Audience: 2 and 3 year olds and caregivers.

            Mother Goose on the Loose-Tuesday, Nov. 8 and 22 at 10 am-Audience: Infants Birth to
            23 months and caregiver (s).

            Story Time for 4 and 5 yr olds- Tuesday, Nov 15 and 29at 10 am and 2 pm- Audience: 4 and 5 year olds.

            LCPL's Children Book Week: Party with the Pigeon- Tuesday, Nov.15 at 4-Audience: K-5

            Gaming Night- Wednesday, Nov. 16 at 6 pm- Audience: 12 to 17 years old.

            Lego Club- Tuesday, Nov. 29 at 4pm- 2nd to 6th grade.

            See You Soon!

            Thursday, October 13, 2011

            Book Review-Pumpkin Heads!!- Wendall Minor


            It's October, time to head out to the farm and pick a pumpkin. Why? Because in October, every pumpkin, big or small, becomes... a pumpkin head! They may greet trick-or treaters, or scare crows, or even become snowmen.

            Filled with beautiful illustrations of autumn scenes and pumpkins, this is a great simple book to get youngsters in the mood for Halloween or heading out to the pumpkin field.

            Pumpkin Heads-Wendall Minor
            Age Range- 2 and up
            Lexile: 150
            ***** (5 stars)

            Tuesday, October 11, 2011

            Fire Prevention Week

            This week is National Fire Prevention Week. It usually falls during the week of October 9th to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire of 1911. Originally known as Fire Prevention Day( created in 1911 in the US and 1919 in Canada), President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed the first National Fire Week in 1925 (in Canada, it was proclaimed in 1923 by the Governor-General at the time). But fire safety is something that should be practiced year around because one may never known when a fire will happen.

            Here are few fire safety tips ( courtesy of 

            • Make a map of your house, including every door and window.
            • Choose a meeting place for everyone to gather and include in your map.
            • Ask a grown-up where the smoke alarms are and make sure they are working.
             For more information, check out 

            Here are some recommended books ( for more, suggested key words are " fire fighters-juvenile literature", " fire engines-juvenile literature", "fire fighters-juvenile fiction", " fire engines-juvenile fiction"):

            • Flashing Fire Engines-Tony Mitton
            • Dot the Fire Dog- Lisa Desimini
            • Firefighter Frank- Monica Wellington
            • Who Keeps Us Safe?-Ellen Catala
            • I Want to Be a Firefighter- Catherine Grace 
            Stay safe and keep reading!!

            Tuesday, October 4, 2011

            Book Review-Bumble-Ardy-Maurice Sendak

            A few  weeks ago, I read Maurice Sendak's new picture book for our Cool Kids program ( and they enjoyed it, but said it was a little weird.Of course,  not all of Sendak's stuff is  cute and cuddly). What I did discovered via some of the book reviews is that the story  is based off a old Sesame Street cartoon ( and oh I remember it, especially the mom counting  nine until the pigs and her son left, then welcoming him back in and kissing him "nine times over nine.")

            Here is the You tube link for those that want a trip down memory lane- 

            In the story, Bumble-Ardy the pig ( in the cartoon, a boy) has never had a birthday party until at age eight his parents " gorged and gained weighted/ And got ate."  He is then adopted by his sweet aunt Adeline, who gives him a party for turning nine. But she has to work, so Bumble throws the party himself... and a wild rumpus is had by all. But what will Aunt Adeline think when she gets home?

            Fans of Sendak will most likely treasure Bumble as much as  the author's past works, Where the Wild Things Are and In the Night Kitchen . Some readers might it a little bit weird and dark, but it has the author's familiar visual style and rhymes and ends on a very sweet note

            Bumble-Ardy-Maurice Sendak
            Age Range: 5-7
            **** ( 4 stars)

            Tuesday, September 27, 2011

            Apples, Apples ,Apples

            Yesterday was Johnny Appleseed's birthday ( or birth anniversary, since he is dead). Did anyone have an apple in his honor (or check out a book from our display at the entrance of the Children's Dept)? I had an apple donut for an afternoon snack ( and my  golden lab/ greyhound mix, Baxter, enjoyed some,too).

            Yes, Johnny Appleseed was a real person. His real name was  John Chapman and he  was born September 26,  1774. A skilled  nurseryman    (one who grows trees or plants and sells them for profit), he  supplied the  pioneers of the Mid-west with apple seeds. He deeply cared for animals, even insects, and was very religious.   Chapman died March 1845, and is buried in Fort Wayne, IN.

            Want to learn more about the man known as Johnny Appleseed? Here are some websites to start:

             Want to read about Chapman and the apples that he loved?For non-fiction books, look under juvenile biographies ( listed as JUV B APP and first four letters of author’s last name). For fiction, see Appleseed, Johnny-Juvenile Fiction.

            Now here are some books on apples. ( For more, see apples-juvenile literature for non-fiction books and apples-juvenile fiction for stories featuring apples).

            • The Apple-Pip Princess-Jane Ray
            • Apple Farmer Annie-Monica Wellington
            • Amelia Bedelia's First Apple Pie-Herman Parrish
            • I am An Apple-Jean Marzollo
            • Apples-Gail Gibbons
            Keep Reading!!

            Tuesday, September 20, 2011

            Bookworm List- Fall's in the Air

            The air is getting chilly and the smells of pumpkins and apples are close by. Welcome fall. Fall officially starts this Friday, and what better way to celebrate than with a book? My favorite books to read around this time of year are  an illustrated version of " When the Frost is on the Punkin" by Indiana poet James Whitcomb Riley and lots of  ghost story collections, but here are some more books that are  worth a look.

            • Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert-A man made of leaves travels the autumn landscape. Made on die-cut pages, this is a great book for preschool reads.
            • Fall Leaves Fall by Zoe Hall- Fall comes, and two brothers love playing with the fallen leaves, from stomping on them to using them for art projects.
            • I Know It's Autumn by Elieen Spinelli- A rhyming celebration of all the things the autumn season brings, from acorn puppets, hay rides, and more.
            • Looking For Loons by Jennifer Lloyd- On an early autumn morning, a young boy sits on the front porch and waits for the loons to return.
            • By the Light of The Harvest Moon by Harriet Ziefert- Scarecrow families made of leaves and pumpkins gather under a harvest moon to celebrate the autumnal equinox.
            • Nuts by Paula Gerritsen- A young mouse braves an autumn storm to collect nuts for the winter.
            • Sara Squirrel and The Lost Acorn by Julie Skyes- When Sara goes to look for acorns, her friends want her to bring back stuff, too.
            • How to Make an Apple Pie and see the World by Majorie Priceman- A young girl takes a trip around the world to get ingredients for an apple pie. Includes a recipe for apple pie. 
            • Leap Jumpers by Carole Gerber-Illustrations and  rhyming text describe different leaves and which trees they come from. Includes information about why leaves change color in the fall.
            • Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper- Find out what happen when a cat and a squirrel get into an argument with a duck over soup duties. Includes a recipe for pumpkin soup, and a favorite to do for story time reads.  
            Happy Fall! Keep Reading!!

            Saturday, September 17, 2011

            Upcoming Programs in October

            Here are some programs that will happening next month in the Children's Dept at the Central Library. Please visit Library Events for information and register.

            Story Time for 2 and 3 yr olds- Monday, Oct. 3 at 10 am- Audience: 2 and 3 year olds and caregivers.

            Mother Goose on the Loose-Tuesday, Oct 4 and 18 at 10 am-Audience: Infants Birth to
            23 months and caregiver (s).

            Story Time for 4 and 5 yr olds- Tuesday, Oct 11 and 25 at 10 am and 2 pm- Audience: 4 and 5 year olds.

            Hispanic Heritage Celebration- Wednesday, Oct 12 at 4-Audience: K-5

            Gaming Night- Wednesday, Oct 12 at 6 pm- Audience: 12 to 17 years old.

            Halloween Toddler Storytime-Monday, Oct 17 at 10am- Audience: 2 and 3 year olds and caregivers. (Costumes encouraged but optional.)

            Lego Club- Wednesday, Oct 26 at 4pm- 2nd to 6th grade.

            Monster Mash- Thursday, Oct 27 at 6pm- Audience: K-5th grade. (Costumes encouraged but optional)

            See You Soon!

            Friday, September 9, 2011

            Review-Little Mouse and the Big Cupcake-Thomas Taylor


            A little mouse finds a big cupcake, but it's TOO BIG for him to take home. So a bird comes along, and it's too big for her nest, but she asks she could have a taste. So the mouse says yes, and soon more animals come along and want to sample the treat. Will there be any cupcake left for the mouse to take home?

            A very simple story with cute pictures ( and a  very cute ending), Little Mouse and The Big Cupcake teaches a wonderful lesson of friendship and sharing.

            Little Mouse and The Big Cupcake-Thomas Taylor
            Age Range- 4 and up
            Lexile: 300
            ***** ( 5 stars)

            Thursday, September 1, 2011

            Cool Kids have A Library Card!!!

            September is here and so is National Library Sign-Up Month! In the Children's Dept, we call it Cool Kids have A Library Card ( because having a library card is cool!!). This month, children who show us their library card  get a sticker and enter a drawing for a free book. They will  also get a free prize, too.  To those who dont' have a library card, don't worry. It's free and easy to do, just have Mom or Dad show their driver's license or something with your current address at the Circulation Desk, and you get check out 2 items for 2 weeks, and after 2 weeks, 50 ( yes, this is true. But I don't  know anyone who has actually checked out 50 items).

            We'll also be having a program, " Cool Kids Read Cool Books", on Thursday, September 22, at 4 pm. It is open to grades K-5th grades and families. ( Please sign up via our  Library Events online calender).

            So come celebrate National Library Sign-Up Month!

            Keep reading!

            Monday, August 29, 2011

            Book Review-Llama Llama Mad at Mama-Anna Dewdney


            It's Saturday, and Llama Llama wants to play. But Mama Llama has shopping to do, so she and Llama Llama head to the mall. But Llama Llama does not like the " yucky music" and " great big feet", and soon tires of aisles of clothes and food. Eventually he becomes Llama Llama Mad at Mama and throws a tantrum (and other stuff). But Mama Llama stops the "llama drama" and soon she and Llama Llama make the shopping day fun (and fast).

            Told in rhyme with bright, colorful illustrations,  children and parents will love Llama Llama and his mama and learn that working together can a boring task fun. They may also want to check out the rest of Llama Llama's adventures ( all by Anna Dewdney):

            • Llama Llama Red Pajama
            • Llama Llama Misses Mama
            • Llama Llama Holiday Drama
            • Llama Llama Home with Mama

            Llama Llama Mad at Mama-Anna Dewdney
            Age Range- 2 and up
            Lexile: 325
            ***** ( 5 stars)

            Tuesday, August 23, 2011

            Upcoming programs in September

            Here are some programs that will happening next month in the Children's Dept at the Central Library. Please visit Library Events for information and register.

            Mother Goose on the Loose-Tuesday, Sept. 6 and 20  at 10 am-Audience: Infants 6-23 months and caregiver (s).

            Lego Club- Thursday, Sept. 8 at 4pm- 2nd to 6th grade

            Story Time for 4 and 5 yr olds- Tuesday Sept 13 and 27  at 10 am and 2 pm- Audience: 4 and 5 year olds.

            Gaming Night- Wednesday Sept 14 at 6 pm- Audience: 12 to 17 years old.

            Story Time for 2 and 3 yr olds- Monday, Sept  19  at 10 am- Audience: 2 and 3 year olds and caregivers.

            Cool Kids read Cool Books- Thursday, Sept 22 at 4 pm- Audience: K to 5th grade and families

            See you soon!!!

            Saturday, August 20, 2011

            Review- Kissing Tennesse and Other Stories from the Stardust Dance-Kathi Appelt


            It's May 31, and the eighth-graders of Dogwood Junior High have gathered for the Stardust Dance.  Russ Mills is wondering if he'll ever get over his first love, Anne P. Tim Hernandez is hoping for magic to happen when he asks Lucy White to dance with him.  Peggy Lee Dixon is wondering if kissing Tennessee Jones for the third time in her lifetime will lead to more than just being friends. These and five other short stories make up Kissing Tennessee and Other Stories from the Stardust Dance,  a perfect read of experiences and issues many preteen and teens face in today's world.

            Kissing Tennessee and Other Stories from the Stardust Dance-Kathi Appelt
            Age Range: 12-14
            Lexile: 855
            ***** ( 5 stars)

            Thursday, August 18, 2011

            Review- Little Bea- Daniel Roode


            Up, up, up comes Little Sun. It's time for Bea the bee to start to her day. She has friends to help, and friends to play. Such a busy bee! Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!!!!!

            Young children and parents will love Little Bea and her friends. The illustrations are cute and it's very simple story. Parents will also  want to check out the author's website(, which features more cute artwork and videos, plus previews of  Roode's upcoming books.

            Little Bea-Daniel Roode
            Age Range- 2 and up
            Lexile: 50
            ***** ( 5 stars)

            Tuesday, August 9, 2011

            Review- Are You Awake?-Sophie Blackall


            It's Edward's bedtime, but he's not sleepy. So he wakes up Mommy and asks her a lot of questions. Most of her replies to Edward's questions are " Because it's still nighttime." Will she or Edward ever get back to sleep?

            Kids ( and parents) will laugh their heads off at this bedtime book. I especially love the part where Edward asks his mother if his father is still awake and she says she hopes so because he is flying a plane. I'm definitely planning to use this book for daycare visits and story times, including next year's summer reading program, Dream Big-Read.

            Are You Wake?-Sophie Blackall
            Age Range: 2 and up
            Lexile: 200***** ( 5 stars)

            Thursday, August 4, 2011

            The Underneath by Kathi Applet


            This book is a blending of three stories into one. It is a story about the friendship between a bloodhound named Ranger and calico cat who is about to have kittens. It is a story about Gar-Face, Ranger's cruel owner. It is also a story about Grandmother Moccasin who has lain dormant in a glass jar for a thousand years. The Underneath is a leisurely-paced summer read.

            Grade Level: 5-7
            Lexile Level: 830
            ****(4 stars)

            August 7th is Sister's Day

            This coming Sunday is Sister's Day. Celebrated on the first Sunday of the month in August, having or being a sister is truly unique. By definition, a sister is a female sibling who have the same parents as another person. But it can also mean a close female friend (s) or associate(s) (ie, someone who you feel is a very best friend, or VBF,  for all you lovely people that love to text, and perhaps share a bond that's like a sisterhood.) Sure, there might be quarrels and arguments, but in the end, whether you are an older or younger sister or sister of friendship, it's an everlasting bond. So celebrate your sister, this Sunday and every day. (To those wondering if there is a day that celebrates brotherhood, it's May 24th.)

            Here are some books that celebrate sisterhood ( for more, suggested key words include "sisters-juvenile fiction", " sisters-fiction", "brothers and sisters-juvenile fiction"):

            • Little Women by Lousia May Alcott
            • The Penderwick series by Jeanne Birdsall
            • A Baby Sister for Frances by Russell Hoban
            • Froggy's Baby Sister by Johnathan London
            • Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series by Ann Brashares (Note: Additional titles in Young Adult and Adult)
             Happy's Sister's Day. Keep Reading.

            Wednesday, August 3, 2011

            Lego Club

            The Children's Services Department at the Central Branch of the Lake County Public Library will host a monthly Lego Club program beginning September 2011. The library was awarded a grant from Altrusa International, Inc. of The Indiana Dunes to purchase a basic collection of Legos. In order to build our collection and thereby service more children, the library will gladly accept Lego donations. Our first Lego Club program will be held on Thursday, September 8 at 4 pm for children grades 2-6.

            Please register online for this program two weeks in advance of scheduled date at Click on "Library Events" at the top of the library's homepage.

            For more information call Children's Services at 769-3541 x360.

            Youth volunteers give a thumbs up for the new Lego collection.

            Thursday, July 28, 2011

            Bookworm List- Christmas in July

            With all this fun, hot, rainy weather we've been having, I decided we need a little Christmas ( plus I had a Christmas CD playing while setting up for today's program. Hey, it's Polar-tastic, and the Poles are full of ice and snow, so why not?)

             So here are some of my favorite Christmas books ( and actually I favor a lot, so I may think about revisiting this topic come November-December, maybe  25 book reviews or something for the holiday season):

            • My Penguin Osbert by  Elizabeth Kimmel- Santa finally give a young boy the right present, but  the boy soon learns that asking for a pet penguin might not have been a good idea after all.
            • Christmas Lights by Ann Fearrington- A family takes a nighttime ride to see displays of light on Christmas Eve.
            • The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg- A boy takes a magical train ride to the North Pole to get a special gift from Santa. A Christmas classic.
            • The Lump of Coal by Lemony Snicket- A hilarious tale from the writer of Series of Unfortunate Events about a piece of coal that dreams of being an artist.
            • I Want  A Hippopotamus for Christmas by John Rox- An illustrated version of the popular 1950's Christmas song about a child who wants a hippopotamus for Christmas.
            • Olivia Helps with Christmas by Ian Falconer- Join Olivia the Pig as she and her family get ready for Christmas ( and hopefully not hurt Santa in the process.)
            • Santa Duck by David Milgrim- When Nicholas Duck find a Santa hat and coat, all the other animals mistake him for Mr. Claus ( Note- There is sequel called Santa Duck and his Merry Helpers, also by David Milgrim.)
            • Llama Llama Holiday Drama by Anna Dewdney- Sometimes the holidays can be a too much, as Llama Llama discovers until Mama reminds of what the holiday truly brings.

            Just a reminder....

            This is the last week of summer reading. Saturday, July 30th is the last day to turn in books for prizes. Please return all books to the main Circulation desk in August. Thank you to all who took part this year.

            Happy Summer! Keep Reading!!

            Friday, July 22, 2011

            Just a Reminder...

            Just a reminder...

            Next week is the last week of Summer Reading program 2011-One World, Many Stories. We hope everyone had a good time and that everyone keeps reading and coming to the library. Saturday, July 30th is the last day to turn books in for prizes. Please return all children's books to the book drop at the Circulation desk in August.

            Here are our final three programs. Please register via the Library Calender at the or call 769-3541 ext 360.

            Whoever You Are ( 4-5 yr old program) Tuesday, July 26th at 10 am or 2 pm

            Family Movie Day (Tangled) All ages, please no dark or red-colored drinks- Wednesday July 27th at noon

            Polar-tastic ( K-5 and family program)- Thursday, July 28th at 4 pm

            Coming this Fall- Lego Club ( September 2011)

            Review - The Smoky Corridor by Chris Grabenstein


            If you haven't read The Crossroads or The Hanging Hill by Chris Grabenstein, then you haven't met Zach Jennings. Here is the perfect opportunity to meet this sixth grade ghost seer hero. Zach is starting sixth grade at a new school. Unfortunately, his new school comes with come interesting characters - of the ghostly kind. The Smoky Corridor is an action adventure, mystery, thriller, funny ghost story with zombies.

            The Smoky Corridor by Chris Grabenstein
            Grade Level: 5 - 8
            Lexile Level: 690
            *****(5 stars)

            Thursday, July 14, 2011

            Winnie the Pooh returns to the big screen

            This Friday, two big movies are being released. One, which most of us have been waiting for, is the final Harry Potter film. The other is ...Winnie the Pooh. Yes, Pooh, Piglet and everyone in the Hundred Acre Woods are back in a new Disney film, with new adventures for children young and old.

             Pooh first appeared in 1926 in A. A. Milne's short story collection,  Winnie the Pooh, with illustrations by E. H. Shepard. The character got his name from a stuffed bear that was owned by Milne's son, Christopher Robin (who was the basis for the Christopher Robin character. In fact, most of the toys featured in the tales were owned by Milne's son.) A second collection of stories, The House of Pooh Corner, was released in 1928. In the 60's, Disney acquire the rights to characters and since 1966, when Winnie the Pooh and the Honey was released,  they have produced countless products, including animated films, TV shows, stuffed animals and so on. ( By the way, I'm a Piglet fan with a hint of Eeyore and Roo.)  In 2009,  an authorized sequel, Return to the House of Pooh Corner by David Benedictus with illustrations by Mark Burgess, was released. ( I'd read this book, and both Benedictus and Burgess do a great job of capturing Milne's writing and Shepard's artwork.)

            One more side of everyone's favorite silly old bear is the musical side. Besides the music of the Disney films and TV shows ( which, over the years,  has been done by Richard and Robert Sherman, Carly Simon, and for this new film, Robert Lopez, the songwriter of the Tony-winning musical ,The Book of Mormon), singer/ songwriter Kenny Loggins wrote a song called " The House of Pooh Corner" in 1970. In 1994, he not only rewrote the song, but also decided to put out children's album called Return to Pooh Corner. ( A sequel was released in 1998, featuring the song " Your Heart Will Lead You Home" which Loggins co-wrote with the Sherman brothers for The Tigger Movie. Both albums are great for bedtime, whether you have children or not.)

            Most of the books and music items that I have mentioned are available at the library for you to check out. Please use the library catalog or an librarian to see which branch (or branches) have theses items ( especially the Disney-related Pooh books, which are by various authors).

            And now to close with a quote from the 1977 film, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh:

            Tigger: T-T-F-N: ta-ta for now!

            Friday, July 8, 2011

            Bookworm List- Polar-tastic Books

            Welcome to July. We are into the final four weeks of One World, Many Stories ( SRP 2011). The last day is July 30th. We still have a few programs and movie days left ( coming next week: Tron Legacy.)

            This month, two of our programs, Arctic Blast ( next Tuesday at 10 am and 2 pm for ages 4-5) and Polar-tastic ( July 28th at 4 pm for grades K-5 and families) focuses on life in the North and South Poles. We also have a display of polar bear and penguin books at the entrance of the Children's Dept.

            Did you know....( all facts courtesy of

            • Polar Bears are large, meat-eating bears who are well-adapted for life in their frozen Arctic environment. They are powerful swimmers who hunt seals in the water. Polar bears can run in bursts up to 25 mph (40 kph). 
            • A polar bear's stomach can hold up to 150 pounds. Polar bears don't drink water.
            • All penguins live in the Southern Hemisphere (south of the equator). They live in climates ranging from the warm tropics to the frigid Antarctic. 
            • There are 17 species of penguin. The largest is the Emperor Penguin, weighing in  at 65 lbs.
            Here are some books to continue  your journey:

            • Polar Opposites- Erik Brooks
            • Tacky and The Three Bears- Helen Lester
            • Playful Little Penguins- Tony Mitton 
            • Mr. Popper's Penguins- Richard Atwater
            • Knut: How One Little Polar Bear Captivated the World- Juliana Hatkoff
            • Great Crystal Bear-Carolyn Lesser
            •  Arctic Song- Miriam Moss
            Happy Summer! Keep Reading!

            Thursday, June 30, 2011

            Bookworm List- Books to Celebrate the 4th of July

            Hi all, this is a new feature to the blog.

            So today at 4 pm for K-5 and families, we are having a four days early 4th of July celebration ( because like most public places, we will be closed on the 4th since is a federal holiday).
            Here are some books for celebrating our Nation's birthday ( 235 this year, standing strong):

            • Journey of One and Only Declaration of Independence- Judith St. George: In 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence. But would you believe this important piece of parchment had more homes than a traveling circus? Find out in this incredible story.
            • On the Day the Tall Ships Sailed-Betty Paraskevas:  Follow a bald eagle as he flies in the sky as ships of all shapes and sizes sail into New York Harbor on Independence Day.
            • Happy Birthday, America- Mary Pope Osborne: Join a young boy and his family at a small town American celebration with a pet parade, fireworks, and more.
            • Revolutionary War on Wednesday- Mary Pope Osborne: Using the Magic Tree House, Jack and Annie travel back in time the American Revolution and help General George Washington cross the Delaware River.
            • Judy Moody Declares Independence-Megan McDonald: After befriending an British girl and learning about the American Revolution during a trip to Boston, Judy Moody decides to write her own Declaration of Independence in hopes of getting more freedoms, like her own bathroom and a higher allowance.
            • Meet Felicity-Valerie Tripp:  Nine-year-old Felicity rescues a horse from a cruel owner in Williamsburg in 1774. 
            • Yankee Doodle America- Wendell Minor: Learn about the American Revolution through the alphabet.  
            • Jake Johnson: Story of a Mule- Tres Seymour: Poor Farmer Puckett! His new mule refuses to move an inch and the fireworks need to be delivered to the town. Is the 4th of July celebration doomed?
            Hope everyone has a safe and happy 4th of July!! Keep reading!!

            Tuesday, June 21, 2011

            Review- Elephants can Paint Too!-Katya Arnold

            Kayta Arnold is an art teacher who teaches art in two different schools: one at a private school in Brooklyn, the other.. in the jungle. Some of these students have hands, others... have trucks. In Elephants can Paint Too!, Arnold shows she teaches elephants to paint amazing works of art ( plus her human students in the city).

            I love that the book shows the elephants at work ( and that like human artists, they too can get messy.) I also like that the print is big and simple for a child to read, and that there are elephant facts for the the adult to read to the child ( such as an elephant's truck is both a hand and a nose, and that it has 150,000 muscles.) Arnold also provides information about the elephant art project ( called Asian Elephant Art and Conservation Project in the back ( such as the website where one can learn more about the elephants and purchase their artwork.)

            Elephants can Paint Too!-Katya Arnold
            Age Range: 3 and up
            Lexile: 660   
            ***** ( 5 stars)

            Saturday, June 18, 2011

            One World, Many Stories-July Programming

            Here are some programs that will happening next month in the Children's Dept at the Central Library. Please visit Library Events for information and to register.All branches will be closed July 3 and 4. The last day of the Summer Reading Program is July 30th.

            Mother Goose on the Loose - Tuesdays, July 5 and 19 at 10 am or 2pm.
            Audience: Infants 6-23 Months and caregiver.

            Story Time for 2 and 3 yr Olds- Mondays at 10am or 2pm.
            July 18-Home in Your Heart
            Audience:2 and 3 year olds and caregivers.

            Story Time for 4 and 5 yr Olds- Tuesdays at 10 am or 2pm.
            July 12- Arctic Blast!
            July 26- Whoever You Are
            Audience: 4 and 5 year olds.

            School-Age-Thursdays at 4pm.
            July 7-Viva Mexico!
            July 14- One World, Our World
            July 21- Welcome to Korea
            July 28- Polar-tastic
            Audience: K to 5th grade and families

            Family Movie Day ( Wednesday at noon)
            Patrons can bring a lunch or snack. No red or dark colored drinks!
            July 6-Sorcerer's Apprentice
            July 13-Tron Legacy
            July 20-Megamind
            July 27-Tangled
            Audience: All Ages.  Children under the age of 7 must be accompanied by an adult age 18 or older.

            Hope see everyone soon. Happy Summer!!

            Thursday, June 16, 2011

            Every Child Ready to Read-Letter Knowledge

            Letter knowledge is when children understand that letters of the alphabet are different from each other and  that the same letter can be written different ways.Knowing the names and sounds of letters helps children figure out how to say written words.

            Some tips on practicing letter knowledge with your child:

            • Sing the alphabet song together and play with rhymes.
            •  Let your child play with blocks or puzzles with letters on them and/ or have them make letters with clay, crayons, etc.
            • Read alphabet books. (Note: For children ages 0-3, reading the whole book might be a bit much. You might want to just focus on a few letters, such as the letters in their name.)
            Here are some recommended books with letter knowledge ( for more, please see 

            • ABC Doctor-Liz Murphy
            • Kipper's A to Z-Mick Inkpen
            • Bad Kitty- Nick Bruel

            Thursday, June 9, 2011

            Review- The Umbrella- Ingrid and Dieter Schubert


            In The Umbrella, a little Scottie dog find a red umbrella on a very windy day. But -WHOOSH!- the wind picks up the doggie like he's Mary Poppins, and off he goes. Off into the sky, what awaits him nobody knows.

            The pictures are very rich and vivid. And , being a wordless picture book, one can create a story and add special effects ( I did this book for a daycare visit today and the children really loved me going  " Brrrr" when a pelican drops him off at the North Pole and some seals are going " ARF, ARF".) There is a happy ending for our furry traveler, and a cute  twist, too!

            The Umbrella- Ingrid and Dieter Schubert.
            Age Range- 2 and up.
            Lexile: NA
            ***** ( 5 stars)

            Tuesday, June 7, 2011

            Review-Dino-Basketball-Lisa Wheeler


            It's March Madness, and all the dinosaurs are heading out the basketball arena to see the Grass Clippers ( the planting-eating dinosaurs) battle the Meat ( the meat-eating dinosaurs) in the championship game. The cheerleaders are getting the crowd ready. The dodo ref throws the ball.... and the game begins.

             Dino-Basketball is a really clever book . I love how each team player is named after a dinosaur ( and that the team's colors are used to identify what team they play for: red for Meat, green for Clippers). The play-by-play is done in rhyme ( and also we get  basketballs terms, so this would a great book for doing two Every Child Ready to Read Skills- phonological awareness and vocab ). We even get a half-time show with a dino-pyramid, mascots jumping on trampolines, and a dino-Elvis impersonator.  I think children who like dinosaurs and sports would like this book. And if they really like it, it's part of a series ( which includes Dino-Hockey, Dino-Baseball, and Dino-Soccer, which the library does have, please check our catalog to see which branch they are at. And based on the last page, we get an early peak of Dino-Football.)

            Dino-Basketball-Lisa Wheeler
            Age Range- 4 and up
            Lexile: 300
            ***** ( 5 stars)

            Tuesday, May 31, 2011

            Every Child Ready to Read-Print Awareness

            Print awareness is noticing that  the printed word is all around us. This skill focuses on how print is used,how to handle a book and  knowing how to follow the words on a page. We know that every book has a cover, a title page, and a spine, and that we read from left to right, from front to back. Becoming familiar with the printed word helps children become comfortable with books and that print is useful.

            To help develop print awareness, here are some tips:
            • Show children that print is all around them. Point it out in signs, on menus, and in books and newspapers. 
            • Point to some words as you say them, especially words that are repeated.
            • Turn the book upside down and see if child notices and corrects you; if not, do it yourself.
            Some recommended books on Print Awareness (see
   for titles):

            • Hurry! Hurry!-Eve Bunting
            • Wiggle-Doreen Cronin
            • Book!-Kristine George

            Tuesday, May 24, 2011

            Review-13 Words-Lemony Snicket


            Once upon a time there was a bird. This bird was very despondent (which is another word  for sad) that she went under the table and found a box. In this box was a cake ... and there are 10 more words featured in this nifty ( which is a big, fancy word for smart) story with colorful illustrations. There also a big musical number at the end.*

            * Singing ( particularly singing operatic) is optional. But, having used this book a couple of times for programs and school visits, it sure is fun.*

            13 Words-Lemony Snicket
            Age Range: 4 and up
            Lexile: 625
            ***** ( 5 stars)

            Wednesday, May 18, 2011

            Review - Elliot and the Goblin War by Jennifer Nielson


            Goblins, Brownies and an eight-year-old hero named Elliot Penster makes this lighthearted fantasy a fun read. One Halloween night, Elliot saves what he thought was a little girl from two bullies who wants her candy. It turns out that the little girl is a Brownie, a mystical creature from the Underworld. The two bullies were not kids dressed in costumes but were actually Goblins. Elliot is chosen to be the king of the Brownies. His first duty as king is to end the war that the Goblins have waged against the Brownies and humans.

            This is a great book for both girls and boys. It's filled with action and humor. Moderate to fast pace.

            Note: Brownies are the Goblins favorite food.

            Elliot and the Goblin War (Underworld Chronicles) - Jennifer Nielson
            Pages: 208
            Age Range: 8 to 11
            Lexile: 740
            *****(5 stars)

            One World, Many Stories- June Programming

            Summer is just around the corner, and so is the library's summer reading program. Starting June 6th, and continuing until July 30th, children ages 2 to 14 can earn prizes by reading  library books. All they have to do is read one  book, magazine, or audio book and return to the Children's Department, where our teen volunteers will record each book read  on a special card, and eventually earn prizes by every 10 picture books or 500 chapter book pages read.

            We will also be having programming during  the summer, too. Here are some programs that will happening next month in the Children's Dept at the Central Library. Please visit Library Events for information and to register.

            Mother Goose on the Loose - Tuesdays, June 7 and 21 at 10 am or 2pm.
            Audience: Infants 6-23 Months and caregiver.

            Story Time for 2 and 3 yr Olds- Mondays at 10am or 2pm.
            June 6- Up, Up and Away
            June 20- We're Going on Safari
            Audience:2 and 3 year olds and caregivers.

            Story Time for 4 and 5 yr Olds- Tuesdays at 10 am or 2pm.
            June 14- G'Day  Mate!
            June 28-Roar!
            Audience: 4 and 5 year olds.

            School-Age-Thursdays at 4pm.
            June 16- Stories from Faraway Places
            June 30- Happy Birthday, America!
            Audience: K to 5th grade and families

            Family Movie Day ( Wednesday at noon)
            Patrons can bring a lunch or snack. No red or dark colored drinks!
            June 8- Around the World in 80 Days (  2004 remake)
            June 15- Toy Story 3
            June 22- Cats and Dogs: Revenge of Kitty Galore
            June 29-Scooby-Doo: Curse of the Lake Monster
            Audience: All Ages.  Children under the age of 7 must be accompanied by an adult age 18 or older.

            Hope see everyone soon. Happy Summer!!

            Monday, May 2, 2011

            National Egg Month

            Welcome to May, the month for mothers, Kentucky Derby,  and the start of summer ( the summer movie season, that is.) It's also National Egg Month. Why? Well, because sales for eggs is high during the Easter season but tend to slow down once it's over. Hence, May's the perfect time for the American Egg Board industry to remind people of  many benefits and functions of the egg. For one thing, it's the most important element in baking.  Besides adding nutrients, flavor, and color, eggs are essential for binding, thickening, coating, etc, depending on the recipe. Without eggs, cakes, cookies, brownies, and other baked goods would be runny messes. ( Trust me, I know from experience. My mom once forget to include eggs in a brownie recipe and it was not a pretty site.)

            For more information about the egg, including facts and recipes, visit .

            Here are some recommended books for this celebration ( for additional titles, type the subject " eggs" and then " juvenile fiction" for stories or "juvenile literature" for non-fiction in the library catalog):

            • Egg Story- Anca Hariton
            • Chickens aren't the Only Ones- Ruth Heller
            • Two Eggs, Please- Sarah Weeks
            • The Odd Egg- Emily Gravett

            By the way, May 14th is National Chicken Dance Day.

            Thursday, April 28, 2011

            Every Child Ready to Read-Print Motivation

            Print Motivation is perhaps the easiest and ( sometimes challenging) skill of Every Child Ready to Read. It is simply about a child's interest and enjoyment of books. Children who enjoy books at an early age will want to read more.  Children who see Mom or Dad enjoying a book will want to read more. Families who make frequent, enjoyable trips to the library will motivate the child to read more.

            Some tips for print motivation:

            • Read often and make it enjoyable.
            • Read when you and your child are in a good mood, so the experience is a positive one.  Stop reading if they tire or lose interest.
            • Let your child see you enjoying a book

            We do have list of recommended books for print motivation at our website,  here are a few of my favorite books:

            • There are Cats in this Book -Viviane Schwarz
            • BowWow Bugs a Bug-  Mark Newgarden
            • I Love You Through and Through- Bernadette Rossetti-Shustak
            • Where Does Thursday Go?-Janeen Brian

            Thursday, April 21, 2011

            Review-Tony Baloney-Pam Munoz Ryan

            Poor Tony Baloney! The middle child ( and only boy) of a macaroni penguin family, he has a big bossy sister and twin sisters that get into everything. One day, he's tires of pretending to be the  Big Sister's cat and becomes very exasperated ( yes this big word is this book) by the baby sisters that he acts out. Can a time-out eventually lead to an apology and him being  the " Boss of the World"? Can Parmesan cheese and fish tacos make everything better?

            The illustrations are bright and vibrant, and I think this would a great book for practicing the Every Child Ready to Read skill of vocab  because it introduces words one might not normally find in preschool picture books, like "exasperated" and " Parmesan cheese".  It also has a very cute ending.

            Tony Baloney-Pam Munoz Ryan
            Age Range: 3 and up
            Lexile: 880
            ***** ( 5 stars)

            Monday, April 18, 2011

            Upcoming programs in May

            Here are some programs that will happening next month in the Children's Dept at the Central Library. Please visit Library Events for information and register.

            Story Time for 2 and 3 yr Olds- Monday, May 2  at 10 am- Audience: 2 and 3 year olds and caregivers.

            Mother Goose on the Loose-Tuesday, May 3  at 10 am-Audience: Infants 6-23 Months and caregiver.

            Story Time for 4 and 5 yr Olds- Tuesday May 10 at 10 am and 2 pm- Audience: 4 and 5 year olds.

            Gaming Night- Wednesday May 11 at 6 pm- Audience: 12 to 17 years old.

            Arabian Night- Tueday May 17 at 4 pm- Audience: K to 5th grade

            Summer Volunteers Sign up- Tuesday May 24 at 3:30 to 5 pm and Thursday May 26 at 6-7:30 pm- Audience: 11 years old ( must have completed 4th grade) and up. Please sign up for either one of our two sessions if interested to help with our summer reading program.

            Coming this Summer- One World, Many Stories ( June- July 2011)!!!!

            See you soon!!!

            Thursday, April 14, 2011

            April brings... Bats!!!

            Welcome to the second week of April, where it's showers bring May flowers. It also brings baseballs, bunnies ( as in Easter), and ... bats. Yes, this Sunday, April 17th is Bat Appreciation Day, when nature's nocturnal ( meaning they stay up all night and sleep all day) creatures wake from their winter slumber ( also known as hibernation).

            Here are a few interesting facts I found at Kidzone: Bats (see more at 

            • Bats use their wings for more than just flying.  They can wrap their wings around insects or fruit to hold it while eating.
            • Bats feed at night and spend the day sleeping caves or trees. The place where they sleep is called a roost, and they sleep in large groups.
            • Bats have one baby, or "pup" at a time. 

            Some books on bats:

            Juvenile Literature ( Non-fiction)- Most are listed under the call number 599.4.

            Juvenile Fiction- We have  about 40 story books featuring bats, including:
            • Bat Love the Night-Nicola Davis
            • Stellaluna- Janell Cannon
            To those wondering if there is a Bat Appreciation Month, it's appropriately in October. Still, come check out our display at the entrance of the Children's Dept, along with a free bookmark.

            Tuesday, April 12, 2011

            Every Child Ready to Read-Narrative Skills

            Narrative Skills is the ability to describe events and tell stories. Being able to talk about what happens in a story helps a child understand what they read. Every book has a story, even wordless picture books "tell" a story by pictures.  From stories, we learn that an action or event has a start, a middle, and an ending. We learn that actions can also repeat ( this can found it a lot of stories or songs that have sequences, such as " There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Spider").

            Some tips for practicing Narrative Skills at home:
            • Ask your child about their day, encourage then to add detail to their story.
            • Read wordless picture books and have your child tell the story.
            • Act out the story with dolls or puppets
            Some books that are good for Narrative Skills ( see more at

             Good Night, Gorilla- Peggy Rathmann
              There was An Old Lady who Swallowed a Bat- Lucille Colandro
               First the Egg- Laura Seeger
               The Snowman- Raymond Briggs

            Tuesday, April 5, 2011

            Review-Hunger Games-Suzanne Collins


             So I was very hesitant  about reading the first book of Suzanne Collins's The Hunger Games series because I'm not really a huge science fiction fan. But it has sort of become the Harry Potter of this century and with  the film adaptation of the book coming to the big screen next spring, I decided to give it a try.

            The Hunger Games is  set the future, in a place called Panem ( one of the many cool names in this book), consisting of a gleaming city known as the Capitol and twelve pleasant-like districts. ( Actually there was a district 13, but it was wiped out during an uprising against the Capitol.) To keep  the districts in line ( and as punishment for this uprising), the Capitol selects one boy and one girl from each district to compete in the Hunger Games, a life-or-death competition broadcast for all to see. When Katniss Everdeen  (see the names are getting cooler) hears her little sister's name selected, she volunteers to take her place. Once in the Games, Katniss learns she will have to do more than outlive her competitors ( and possibly falling in love with Peeta
            Mellark, her co-tribute from distract 12 who's had a crush on her since age 5) to survive the Games.

            Two words: Awesome.  It's a page turner with a lot of adventure, romance, humor, sadness, and violence ( and pretty vivid violence, so not really for the squeamish). Collins creates a world that is wonderful and wicked at the same, full of strong characters with great names. I really love that the story is told from Katniss, who is both strong and girly from beginning to end. I also love Haymitch Abernathy ( his name may be better than Kat), former Hunger Games victor of long ago and Katniss and Peeta's wise but drunken mentor. Foolish and arrogant, he knows the secrets of surviving the Games, plus adds humor to this gruesome and page- turning adventure.  And now that I have finished book 1, I so plan to request the other two books in the series as soon as I can.

            Hunger Games-Suzanne Collins ( we have it  in children's and young adult)
            Ages 14 and up
            Lexile: 810
            ***** ( 5 stars)

            I mentioned at the beginning of this post  that a film version of this book will be coming out next spring. Since the movie's announcement, fans have created their own wish list of the cast ( and some have even created music videos and posted on Youtube. The choices for Haymitch are very interesting, including big franchise actors.) The main three characters have already been cast. Jennifer Lawrence of Winter's Bone will be Katniss, and yesterday, it was announced that Josh Hutcherson of Journey of the Center of the Earth will be Peeta, Katniss's love interest and fellow contender, and Liam Hemsworth of The Last Song  will be  Gale, Katniss's best friend. Being a budding fan of the series, I'm going to throw in my dream choices for some of the other characters ( Note- these are my choices, not who will be actually in the movie) .

            Effie - the chaperone of district 12, she's perky but a strict cookie with pink hair. Sounds a bit like Elle Woods of Legally Blonde, so the best choice would be Reese Witherspoon ( and I think she has the coloring for pink hair).

            Haymitch-. In picturing Haymitch as a ruggedly handsome space cowboy, Nathan Fillion of the sci-fi western Firefly  came to mind.  But, thinking that a big name might be needed  in some form( and  perhaps someone who's been in kid movies but  would not overshadowed the main young actors), Jack Black would be perfect because Haymitch is similar to the character he played  in the King Kong remake of 2005.

            Tuesday, March 29, 2011

            Every Child Read to Read-Vocabulary

            Vocabulary is knowing the names of things. This is a important pre-reading skill because learning the more words a child hears, the more they will able to understand what they are reading.  In reading, they will learn names of animals, things around the house, ways of moving, and so on.

            Some tips for practicing vocabulary at home-
            • Talk to your child about what is going on around you. Talk about how things work, feelings and ideas. Listen when your child talks to you. 
            • Read to your child every day. Picture books are a good place to start ( they introduce a lot of " rare" words not used in every day conversation). Nonfiction books are good too, as way expanding a child's interest.

            Here are some recommended books that are good for this skill ( please see  

            Fancy Nancy- Jane O'Connor
            Wiggle- Doreen Cronin
            Edward the Emu- Sheena Knowles
            Dinosnores- Kelly DiPucchio

            Thursday, March 24, 2011

            Upcoming programs of April

            Here are some programs that will will happening next month in the Children's Dept at the Central Library. Please visit  "Library Events"  for more information and to register.

            Storytime for 2 and 3 Year Olds- Monday, April 4 and April 18, 10 am-  Audience: 2 and 3 year olds and caregivers.

            Mother Goose on the Loose- Tuesday, April 5 and April 19, 10 am- Audience: Infants 6-23 Months and caregiver.

            Storytime for 4 and 5 Year Olds-Tuesday April 12 and April 26 at 10 am or 2 pm- Audience: 4 and 5 year old and caregiver

            Gaming Night- Wednesday, April 20 at 6 pm- Audience: 12- 17 years old.

            Child Safety- Wednesday, April 6 at 6: 30 pm- Audience: All ages

            GROSS!- Thursday, April 21at 4 pm- Audience: School age, grades K-5th

            Hope to see you soon!!!

            Sunday, March 20, 2011

            Rest in Peace Little Eisbarbaby


            So yesterday, while reading an article on Hunger Games's star Jennifer Lawrence, I saw one of the side headlines was that Knut the polar bear had died (  see,,20475069,00.html  for more information).  To honor the memory of German's  beloved Eisbarbaby  ( German for " polar bear cub"), I felt like mentioning a book I used about two year ago for a program on the animals of the North and South Poles.

             Knut: How One Little Bear Captivated the World introduces to the beginning of Knut. Born Dec 5, 2006 at Zoo Berlin, he and an unnamed twin were raised by  zoo keeper Thomas Dorflein ( October 13, 1963 –  September 22,2008) after being abandon by their mother.  Sadly, the twin died a few day later due to an infection, so Thomas took to raise the bear that the world would know as "Knut" ( and Thomas selected that name thirty-two days after his birth because he felt the bear fit that name).

            Written by Craig Hatkoff and his daughters Juliana and Isabella ( who wrote the books about Owen the hippo and Mzee the tortoise), Knut features lovable pictures of the cub and "dad", from exchaging a kiss to  learning to swim, along with facts about polars bears, prounuciation of German words and terms,  and how to keep their environment safe from global warming.  If you love animals, especially polar bears, you'll love this

            Knut: How One Little Bear Captivated the World
            Ages: 6 and up
            Lexile: 950
            ***** ( 5 stars)

             On a personal note, when I read parts of this book for a program on animals of the North and South Poles ( and a few school visits for the library's Read-a-thon program), the kids love it. They even thought he was still cute when I showed them what he looked like as a grown bear.  RIP Knut.

            Thursday, March 17, 2011

            Every Child Ready to Read: Phonological Awareness

            At the programs we librarians do for the babies, toddlers, and preschoolers, we try to focus on one of the six pre-literacy  skills of Every Child to Read. Pre-literacy is what children know about reading and writing before they actually can read and write. For next Monday's 2- and 3-year old program, we will be focusing on Phonological Awareness, which is the ability to hear and play with the sounds of smaller words to sound out the words on the page. Obviously, the easiest  way is through rhyming. Rhymes, particulary nursery rhymes and songs present sounds or syllable in each word.

            Two Little Blackbirds
            Two little blackbirds
            Sitting on a hill
            One named Jack and one named Jill
            Fly away Jack. Fly away Jill
            Come back Jack. Come back Jill.

            Notice the "ill" in " hill" and " Jill" have the same sound.

            Another place children learn about sounding out words in the syllables in their name. In our infant program, we do a game called " Rum-Tum-Tum" where we ask the children to tap out their name on the drum. This is easy to do at home by using an empty can ( such as a Quacker Oats can) and the following rhyme:
            Rum-Tum Tum
            This is my drum
            Rum Tum Tum
            This is my drum
            My name is ( tap out name)
            What your's? ( child taps out name.)

            Again, you could also just play with the sounds in your child's name or find words that have the same rhyming pattern.

            Here are  some recommended books ( for more information, visit

            • Llama Llama Mad at Mama  -Anna  Dewdney
            •  Ten in the Den- John Bulter
            • Bless this Mouse-Dianna Hutts Aston
            • Goodnight Moon- Margaret W. Brown