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)