Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

It's the last  day of 2013!!  I hope everyone had a good year and  will continue to do so (and continue reading) in 2014! So, from all of us at Lake County Public Library (including your lovely blogger)....


Keep Reading! 

Friday, December 27, 2013

Book Review: What Does the Fox Say-Ylvis


Back in November, yours truly took part in the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon in Orlando, Florida ( I made three miles! My sister is trying to talk me into a 5K, we'll see.) Before the race, there was a dance party, and one of the songs that was played was " What Does the Fox Say?". Possibly weirder and crazier than last year's "Gangnum Style" by PSI , everyone from Glee to Dancing with the Stars has been going " Hatee-hatee-hatee-ho" to this Youtube sensation from Norway.

Would you believe someone decided to turn this tune into a book? Yes, children, now  brothers Bard and Vegard Ylvisaker's song is available in book form, with crazy, surreal, and whimsical illustrations from Norwegian illustrator Svein Nyhus. This is .. actually kind of cool. It's a little strange and awkward to figure out ( I'm still trying to figure out how the refrain goes) but since kids are consisting singing this song and doing the dance (Yes, there is a dance), they might like this (plus it's very Seuss-ish.) Heck, I might even use it for my winter school visits to promote Readathon.

Will Ylvis have another hit? Do have a future in making wacky children's books? Will we ever learn what the fox says? Who know? Let's howl, Aooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

What does the Fox Say?-Ylvis
Age Range: 6 and up
**** (4 stars)

Here is the video of the song " What Does the Fox Say?" If you Google it, you might also find the other takes of the song, like Glee's take with  puppets (speaking of puppets, I'm surprise we have yet to see a Muppet take on the song. They spoof everything, including Catching Fire.) Enjoy!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Upcoming Programs in January

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.

 Note- All programs will be held in Meeting Room B.

Board Game Fun-Wednesday, January 15 at 6:30 pm-Audience: 1st-5th grade

Story Time for 2 and 3 yr olds- Monday, January 20 at 10 am- Audience: 2 and 3 year olds and caregivers.

Mother Goose on the Loose-Tuesday, January 21 at 10 am-Audience: Infants Birth to
23 months and caregiver (s).

Story Time for 4 and 5 yr olds- Tuesday, January 14 and 28 at 10 am- Audience: 4 and 5 year olds.

 Lego Club- Monday, January 20 at 4pm- Audience: 2nd to 6th grade.

Gaming Night- Wednesday, January 22 at 6 pm- Audience:K-5th grade

Kids Art Club-Thursday, January 23 at 4 pm-Audience: 2nd to 6th grade

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda-Thursday, January 30 at 4pm-Audience: 2nd to 6th grade

Coming in January 2014-
  • Read-a-thon ( More details to come)
 Happy New Year! See You in 2014! 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Music Review:Oh come all ye Christmas Albums!

It's the third week before Christmas. How's everyone doing? ( I got most of my shopping done, now have to wrap gifts, get the tree up, and make cookies. And hopefully my sister and the cat will make it home for the holidays.)

One of the biggest part of the holiday season, besides reading The Night before Christmas or watching the holidays specials and movies ( Hallmark Channel has the best movies for the holiday season, and this weekend is It's A Wonderful Life on NBC) is holiday music, whether by the radio stations or CD. Some of us may prefer sacred, traditional carols like " Silent Night" or golden standards by Crosby, Williams, or Como. Some of us may prefer popular artists like Mariah or Kenny G. And some of us may prefer the wacky and wonderful ( like this year's oddity, Duck the Halls from the cast of Duck Dynasty.)

For this blog entry, I decided to list a few of my  holiday CDs I have used for programs ( or owned), both from children's and the regular AV dept (and don't worry, they stay out all year around , so if you need a little Christmas in March or July, go ahead.) Most tend to repeat songs ( I think everyone seems to favor covering " The Christmas Song", " White Christmas", " Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and most recently, Joni Mitchell's " River"), so I decided to list the album by type of music to expect, some songs, and similar albums. Enjoy.
(Note- Bold means regular AV)

  • Radio Disney Holiday Jams-Various Artists: Kid-friendly holiday songs from Disney's radio station ( which in the Midwest is 1300 AM, but very hard to get). Features "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" by Jackson 5, " Jingle Bells" by the Barking Dogs, and " Last Christmas" by Doctor Who star Billie Piper ( apparently was a teen pop star before TV and film). Similar albums: Radio Disney Jingle Jams Volumes 1 and 2, Disney Channel Holiday Playlist,  Disney Channel Holiday
  • Phineas and Ferb Holiday Favorites-Various Artists: Holiday songs from the characters of Phineas and Ferb . Features original songs like " I Really Don't like Christmas" and "That Christmas Feeling" plus holiday classics like " Let it Snow" . Similar albums- see  the suggestions of  Radio Disney Holiday Jams
  •  Now That's What I Call Christmas series-Various Artists: Holiday completion albums from the Now That's What I call Music series. Currently there are about seven ( including one that is all songs by country-western artists.) Mixture of holiday songs from the past to today, most tend to repeat tracks. Similar albums-A Very Special Christmas, Time-Life Treasury of Christmas Songs, Ultimate Christmas, Let it Snow, Hotel Cafe presents Winter Songs
  • Cool December -Various Artists: Winter, non-Christmas songs from artists of the 40s-60s. Includes " Let it Snow " by Doris Day and "Warm December" by Julie London. Great use for programs involving winter and/or snowmen. Similar albums-In the Christmas Mood-Glenn Miller, Snowfall-Tony Bennett,Christmas Classics
  • Polar Express Original Motion Soundtrack-Various Artists: Music from the 2004 animated movie. Includes original songs like "Believe" and " Hot Chocolate" plus classic Christmas songs and score by Alan Silvestr. Similar Albums: Love Actually soundtrack, Elf soundtrack, A Very Ally McBeal Christmas,  Nick at Night's Classic Cartoon Christmas, Glee Christmas 1-3
  •  40 Years--A Charlie Brown Christmas-Various Artists: Jazzy anniversary tribute to A Charlie Brown Christmas, featuring artists like Vanessa L. Williams, Toni Braxton, and Dave Koz. Similar albums: December Makes Me this Way by Dave Koz, any Kenny G holiday album, any Harry Connick Jr. holiday album,  Christmas by Michael Buble, The Season by Jane Monhait
  • Noel-Josh Groban: Pop-classical artist, features mix of original and classic Christmas songs, such as " I'll be Home for Christmas ( which features holiday messages from soldiers stationed overseas). Similar albums: My Christmas by Andrea Bocelli, These are the Special Times by Celine Dion, The Gift  by Susan Boyle
  • The Ultimate Relaxation Christmas Album-Various Artists: Instrumental, relaxing mix of sacred and secular Christmas music. Similar Albums:  Ultimate Relaxation Christmas Album 2,  A Windham Hill Christmas,any Mannheim Steamroller holiday album
  • December-Kenny Loggins: Very gentle Christmas album from 70s'-80s' singer/songwriter Loggins (who's first solo single in 1978 " Celebrate Me Home" has over the years become a unofficial holiday tune.) Features original and classic Christmas songs, such as " White Christmas" and " Walking in the Air". Similar Albums: Wintersong by Sarah McLachlan, James Taylor at Christmas by James Taylor, Christmas Spirit by Richard Marx
  • Dr. Demento Presents the Greatest Christmas Novelty Album of All Time-Various Artists: For those looking for an offbeat Christmas, this is a good album to go with ( and clean!) Contains favorite novelty songs like " I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas" " The Chipmunk Song" and "Grandma Got Ran Over by a Reindeer. Similar Albums: Grandma Got Ran Over by A Reindeer by Dr. Elmo, Twisted Christmas by Twisted Sister, Meowy Christmas by The Jingle Cats, Holidays in Dementia, and Duck The Halls by the Robertson Family.
I would list more, but then this post would never end. So instead I'm going to end with a fun tune off the the Phineas and Ferb Christmas album, " Let It Snow" . Enjoy!

Happy Holidays and keep the tunes going!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Story Time for 2 and 3 yr olds: Ring in the Holidays

For our last toddler story time, we celebrated Christmas and New Year's. The children heard three books ( If You Give a Pig a Party by Laura Numeroff, The Rainbow Book by Kate Orht, and I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas by John Rox). We also got a visit from the Color Birds, played some instruments, and welcomed the New Year with a magic wand. Today's craft was the annual Hippo for Christmas ornament ( this year ringing in the New Year with a lot of bling!)

Here are some of the songs we did for today's program-

Gingerbread Man  added 10-29-01 Original Author Unknown

Stir a bowl of gingerbread       (stir as in bowl)
Smooth and spicy brown

Roll  it with a rolling pin
up and up and down               (Pretend to roll)

With a cookie cutter,             ( pretend to cut out)
make some little men.

Put them in the oven             ( place in oven)
till half past ten!

A Brand New Year added 12-14-98 Original Author Unknown
Sung to: "The Muffin Man"

Now we have a brand new year,
A brand new year, a brand new year.
Now we have a brand new year,
It's (name of year).

And Look... here's the Christmas Hippo!!

Story Time for 2 and 3 yr olds will begin again on Monday, January 20 at 10 am in Meeting Room B. Thanks to all who came and have a wonderful holiday season.

Happy Holidays!See you Soon!  

Friday, December 13, 2013

Let's Go Visit the Nature Neighborhood!

Don't you just love the snow? Or the sounds of the birds in the air? Or the flowers when they bloom in the spring? Would you like to read a story featuring nature's wonder and beauty? Check out the Nature   Neighborhood!

Labeled with a brown sticker on the spine, the Nature   Neighborhood features books on the seasons, weather, and animals of all shapes and sizes. Here are some of the titles featured in this collection:

  • Old Bear by Kevin Henkes
  • Babies on the Go  by Linda Ashman
  • In a Nutshell by Joseph Anthony
  • It's Winter by Linda Glaser
  • Summer is Summer by Phillis and David Gershator
For nonfiction books, most are located in the 500's ( most of the animal books are 590s, although for farm animals, check the 630s'.)

To end our visit, here's a pretty winter video. Enjoy! And come check out a book from the Nature   Neighborhood.

Come check out the Neighborhoods!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Let's Go Visit the Concepts Neighborhood!

In preschool programs and daycare visits, one thing we try to always include in our story time is a concept idea, be it by way of a finger play, felt items, or a book. A concept is an idea or word (or ideas and words) a child will need to understand in order to perform in everyday life. So we may count by using Five Little Pumpkins, or sing the Alphabet song to learn letters, or do a book where we ask the kids to name a shape or a color.

We also hope that the parents will continue to teach their children the basics in counting, shapes, numbers, opposites, and ABC's at home. And the best way to do that is through a book. And the best place to start their search is... visiting the Concepts Neighborhood.

Labeled with a green sticker on the spine, the Concepts Neighborhoods features books of basics concepts, from counting to learning time.  Here are some of the titles you will find in this collection:

  • Pigs will be Pigs by Amy Axelrod
  • Monsters Love Color by Mike Austin
  • Eye Spy Shapes by Debbie MacKinnon
  • Chicka Chicka 123 by Bill Martin Jr. 
  • Counting Kisses by Karen Katz
From experience, I've figured out that shapes, counting, and colors are the easiest to do ( especially at 10 am.) The alphabet is a bit tricky, so unless it is a story, it's easier to just focus on a few letters. I also like the DK My Very First Look at... books are also good to use because it gets the kids to interact (and you don't have to do all the items featured, unless some kid asks " Hey, you skip a page) and Marianne Berkes Over in the... series because it takes the familiar tune  of " Over in the Meadow" and places like  the forest or the ocean and features animals one would find in those places ( plus information in the back about each animal.)

So the next time you're look for a book with numbers, colors, or ABC's, visit the Concepts Neighborhood!

Come check out the Neighborhoods!


Saturday, December 7, 2013

Let's Go Visit the Celebrations Neighborhood!

A few months ago, we introduced the Neighborhoods,a unique collection of books that are ready and easily labeled for patrons to check out ( and currently available at the Merrillville and Griffith Branch of the Lake County Public Library system.)  There are six Neighborhoods, each color-coded to what they are ( and listed as such in the catalog.)

Since we are in the mist of the holiday season, I felt that the first Neighborhood to visit  would be Celebrations. Labeled with a red sticker on the spine, they cover everything from major holidays ( like Christmas and Valentine's Day) and special events ( such as birthdays and the first day of school.) Obviously we have most of our Christmas books on display ( including a few  slowing creeping out of storage), but for those who would like to read Christmas all year round( or who want see more than what we have on  display ), the Celebrations Neighborhood is a good place to start.

Here are some of the titles you will find in  Celebrations:

  • I've Seen Santa by David Bedford
  • Deck the Halls by Norman Rockwell
  • Our Eight Nights of Hanukkah by Michael Rosen
  • Valentine's are For Saying I Love You by Margaret Sutherland
  • Miss Mingo and the First Day of School by Jamie Harper
So the next time you're looking for Valentine's Day books or Easter books ( and  if we don't have them up for display), visit the Celebrations Neighborhood.

Come check out the Neighborhoods!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Book Review(s): Three Books for a Winter's Night

As the snow begins to fall and the nights begin to get colder and blustery, here are three books that celebrate winter with royal chickens, beautiful snowflakes, and everyone's favorite snowman.

Cinders: A Chicken Cinderella by Jan Brett- The tale  Cinderella has been told in many different ways ( even in stage plays and film, from Disney to Cinderfella with Jerry Lewis). In this version, author-illustrator Jan Brett brings in chickens, silver eggs, and a snowy Russian landscape. I especially love the big fold out page toward the middle a fairy Silkie watches  chickens and other fowl-feathered creatures dance in a moonlit ice palace.

Snowflakes Fall by Patricia Maclachlan- Children are like snowflakes, no two the same but all beautiful. Maclachan's simple tale, along with Steven Kellog's whimsical illustrations, portray a winter season that celebrates nature's joys, sorrows, and beauties. Also worth noting is that this book was written as a tribute to the communities of Newton and Sandy Hook, Connecticut (it's mentioned in the author's and illustrator's notes at the beginning of the book) and that Random House has made a donation to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund with the publication of this book.

 Frosty the Snowman by Steven Nelson and Jack Rollins- Most of us know the song " Frosty the Snowman" ( or seen the 1969 cartoon with " Happy Birthday" or read the 1950 Little Golden Book by Ann Bedford). For the 2013 book, illustrator Wade Zahares ( Red are the Apples and Window Music) illustrates Frosty's blue and white world with reds, yellows, and an orange sunset. Great for storytime,especially if you can get the kids to join you in on the " Thumpy,thump,thump." It also comes with a 3 song CD from Kenny Loggins ( he performs " Frosty" plus two other songs that are catchy and toe-tapping but not really Christmasy.)

Cinders: a Chicken Cinderlla by Jan Brett
Age  Range: 3-7

Snowflakes Fall by Patricia Maclachlan
Age Range: 3-6

 Frosty the Snowman by Steve Nelson
Age Range: 3-6
Lexile: 770

All: ***** ( 5 stars)

I mentioned the new Frosty comes with a 3 song CD from Kenny Loggins ( known best for the 80s' movie soundtracks of Footloose and Top Gun). In 1998, he released his own Christmas CD, December, which features a mix of classic and new songs for the holidays(It's one of my favorite holidays albums I like to put on each November-December). Here is one of the tracks, " Bells of Christmas". Enjoy!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Storytime for 2 and 3 yrs old: Holiday Fun!

Today was our first of two ( yes, this December, two) holiday programs. The children listened to three stories ( It's Christmas by Tina Burke, The Twelve Days of Christmas Dogs by Caroyln Conahan and new for 2013, Frosty the Snowman by Steve Nelson ( illustrations by Wade Zahares). We also rang some bells to three Christmas carols and made a Frosty the Snowman picture with fluff and a little Christmas dust.

Here are some of the songs we did today-

Ten Bells added 11-30-98 Original Author Unknown
Sung to: "Ten Little Indians"

One bell, two bells, three Christmas bells.
Four bells, five bells, six Christmas bells.
Seven bells, eight bells, nine Christmas bells.
Ten Christmas bells to ring.

Ring Those Bells added 11-10-00 Original Author Unknown
 Sung to: "She'll Be Coming Around the Mountain"

We will ring those Christmas bells so loud and clear.
We will ring those Christmas bells so loud and clear.
We will hear the dingle, dingle
When they jingle, jingle, jingle.
Yes, we'll ring those Christmas bells so loud and clear.

We will ring those Christmas bells so quietly.
We will ring those Christmas bells so quietly.
We will hear the dingle, dingle
When they jingle, jingle, jingle.
Yes, we'll ring those Christmas bells so quietly.

(loud and deliberate)
We will ring those Christmas bells so fast and loud.
We will ring those Christmas bells so fast and loud.
We will hear the dingle, dingle
When they jingle, jingle, jingle.
Yes, we'll ring those Christmas bells so fast and loud.

Our last program for 2013 will be Monday, December 16 at 10 am. We'll be ringing in 2014 a wee bit early at 10:20 am with the Christmas Hippo and a Stuffed Animal Drop. Keep a look out for our January-February dates for 2014.

This Saturday, we will be showing a Disney Christmas movie from noon to 2 in Meeting Room A. Children under 7 must be accompanied by an adult 18 yrs or older. You can bring a lunch or snack and a drink, but no dark or red-colored drinks.

Happy Holidays! See You Soon!

Update-Until further notice all children's programs of this month and Janaury will be in Meeting Room B.