Monday, June 30, 2014

Book Review-Unlikely Friendships for Kids ( Volume 1)-Jennifer S. Holland

Can a monkey and a dove be friends? Yes, they can. And you can read all about it in Unlikely Friendships for Kids ( Volume 1). Based on Jennnifer S. Holland's best-selling book, Unlikely Friendships: 47 Remarkable Stories from the Animal Kingdom, this kid version of the book not only introduces readers to   these creatures but four other stories, like Cashew the dog and Libby the seeing-eye cat. Plus cute animal photos and a glossary of animal terms.

Unlikely Friendship for Kids ( Volume 1) by Jennifer F. Holland
Age Range: 6-10
**** ( 4 stars)
Note- The catalog has the book listed as The Monkey and the Dove: and Four Other True Stories of  Animal Friendships .

Want to learn about more unusual animal friendships? Check out Holland's original book ( which also features the stories of Owen the hippo and Mzee the turtle and Koko the gorilla and her kittens) and her new book, Unlikely Loves: 44 Heartwarming True Stories from the Animal Kingdom. Also check out:

  • Owen and Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship by Isabella Hatkoff
  • Little Pink Pup by Johanna Kerby
  • Koko's Story  by Francine Patterson
  • Two Bobbies: A True Story of Hurricane Katrina, Friendship and Survival by Kirby Larson

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Fizz Boom Read-All about the Sciences Bookworm List

This year's summer reading program theme, Fizz Boom Read!, is all about the sciences. We have programs featuring animals ( Dune National Lakeshore today at 1, Weird but Amazing Animals next Thursday at 4) and more. We had fun science experiments at our kickoff a few ago (and more to come July 10 at 4 pm). We even have science in our display case by the programming room ( featuring rocks and a telescope) and a minion named Curtis (yes, a minion, right at the Children's Desk).

Also on display are books from various areas of science ( we still have summer, now in the 123/ABC box). Some of the books  currently featured are:

  • Can You Hitch a Ride on a Comet? by Sidney Rosen- Answers a variety of questions about comets including what they are, where they come from, and where they go.
  • Forces Around Us by Sally Hewitt-  An introduction to  the concept of force as something that pushes or pulls and includes a discussion of such forces as gravity, wind, magnetism, weight, and water. 
  •  Sun, Moon, and Stars by Stephanie Turnball- Simple introduction to space, including the sun, the moon, and the planets.
  • Strange but True Animals by Lori Polydoros -Meet some unusual, like the blob fish and the aye-aye.
  • Under the Ground by Daphne Butler- Exploring rocks and other things beyond the surface.
  • Mystery of the Stone Circles by Paul Mason-Examines the phenomenon of stone circles and the various theories that exist to explain them. 
  • Sea Clocks: The Story of Longitude by Louise Borden-Learn about John Harrison and the creation of sea clocks.
  • The Circulatory and Lymphatic Systems by John Gold- Examining the circulatory and lymphatic systems and how they work.

For more books of the sciences, most are located in the 500s ( 520s is space and 590s is animals) and 600s ( health and the body).
So come down to Children's and explore the world of science!!!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Book Review: Curse of Maleficent: The Tale of Sleeping Beauty-Elizabeth Rudnick ( Plus Bonus Review!!!)


Most of us probably know the tale of Sleeping Beauty, where a young princess is cursed to an endless sleep by pricking the needle of a spinning wheel. But what if there was more to the story?

In Curse of Maleficent: The Tale of Sleeping Beauty, readers will learn how a horned fairy Maleficent was betrayed by love and cursed Princess Aurora to a dark spell on her sixteenth birthday. But as the years pass ( and the princess hides in exile and  cared  by three useless pixies), Maleficent watches over her and eventually befriends her. Can the curse be broken and peace be restore to the human and fairy kingdoms?

Based on the new Disney movie starring Angeline Jolie ( see bonus review toward the end), Curse presents a different side of the famed Disney villain from the points of view of three different characters(love the last half of the book from Aurora's point of view. However, it at times feels like Maleficent is pushed to the side. Rudnick also wrote a Maleficent book for teens and adults that is darker but much better. Don't know if the library will be getting this book or not, but is available at most book stores). The illustrations are well done and very graphic novel-like, giving the reader an idea of  what to expect in the movie. A great read for those that love fairy tales and Disney movies.

Curse of Maleficent: The Tale of Sleeping Beauty by Elizabeth Rudnick
Age Range: 9-11
*** 1/2 ( 3 and a half stars)

Here is a fan-made trailer featuring the illustrations from the book ( warning: many spoilers featured!!)

 Bonus Review!! 

So I went to see Maleficent  a few weeks ago and it is AWESOME!! Jolie is wickedly fun as the famed Disney villain ( with a killer wardrobe!!) The scenery is very beautiful and enchanting as the photography by Annie Leibovitz , and the effects are amazing ( but might be  bit scary and intense for  children under 7 , especially toward the climax featuring a dragon!!) A must see, can't wait to get to see again on DVD!! ( I also saw that Disney Channel's upcoming TV-movie for 2015 is about the children of Disney heroes and villains, and will feature Broadway's Kirsten Chenoweth as Maleficent.)

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Fizz Boom Read-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.The last day to turn in books for  the Summer Reading Program is August 2nd.

Due to the 4th of July holiday, we will be closing at 5 pm on Thursday, July 3. We'll be closed Friday, July 4-Sunday, July 6 and will resume normal business hours Monday, July 7.

Mother Goose on the Loose - Tuesdays, July 1 and 15 at 10 am or 11:30 am
Audience: Infants 6-23 Months and caregiver.

Story Time for 2 and 3 yr Olds- Mondays at 10am or 11:30 am
July7-Stars at Night
July 21- Color Magic-Because there will be painting involved, patrons are asked to wear clothes, like an old shirt, they don't mind getting stained.

Audience:2 and 3 year olds and caregivers.

Story Time for 4 and 5 yr Olds- Tuesdays at 10 am or Wednesday at  6:30 pm
July 9 or 10-Amazing Animals
July 23 or 24-Wonderful Water-If weather permits, patrons will be going outside to get wet.

Audience: 4 and 5 year olds.

School-Age-Thursdays at 4pm.
July 3- Weird but Amazing Animals
July 10- Fizz and Boom at the Library
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 2-Moms need Mars
July 9-Frozen
July 16- Despicable Me 2
July 30-Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2
Audience: All Ages.  Children under the age of 7 must be accompanied by an adult age 18 or older.

Other Programs:
Lego Club-Monday, July 21 at 4pm-Audience: Grades 2-6
Gaming Night-Wednesday, July 16 at 6pm-Audience: Grades K-6
Board Game Fun- Wednesday, July 9 at 6:30 pm-Audience: Grades 2-6
Merrillville Fire Department-Thursday, July 17 at 10 am-Audience: All Ages
Challenger Learning Center-Thursday, July 24 at 1 pm-Audience: Grades K-6
 Kids Art Club-Thursday, July 24 at 4 pm-Audience: Grades 2-6
Starlab Portable Planetarium- Thursday, July 31 at 2 pm and 4 pm-Audience: K-6

Happy Summer: Hope to see you soon!!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Storytime for 2 and 3 yr olds: What's the Weather?

A big shout out to all that attended our Summer Reading Kickoff last Thursday. It was lots of fun and there is more fun to come.

Today's 2 and 3 yr old session (which was  at 10 am and repeated at  11:30 am) was all about the weather. The children heard three stories ( The Rainy Day by Felicia Law, Sam's Opposites by Yves Gott, and Totally Polar by Marty Crisp). We also rang bells and made a tropical snowman.

Here are some of the songs we did  at today's program:

I See The Wind Fingerplay added 8-7-97 Original Author Unknown
I see the wind when the leaves dance by,
(Dance hands around)
I see the wind when the Clothes wave "Hi!"
(Wave hand)
I see the wind when the trees bend low,
(Bend arms over and down)
I see the wind when the flags all blow.
(wave arms high)

I see the wind when it blows my hair,
(lift hair with hands.)
I see the wind 'most everywhere!
(Hold hands out, palms up.)

Snowflakes, Snowflakes added 8-7-97 Original Author Unknown 
Sung to: "Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear"
Snowflakes, Snowflakes
Dance around
Snowflakes, Snowflakes
Touch the ground
Snowflakes, Snowflakes
In the Air
Snowflake, Snowflakes

This Wednesday at noon, we'll be showing Smurfs 2. Registration is required,No dark or red-colored drinks and children under 7 must be accompanied by an adult 18 yrs or older.  It is open to all ages.

Our next 2 and 3 yr session is July 7 at 10am and 11:30 am.  We'll be exploring outer space.

See You Soon!! 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Read Anything AWESOME Lately?

If you've come to the library recently, you've probably seen a blue and green looking robot and wonder "What's this?" Well, this is the AWESOME box, where now you and other patrons can share what 's AWESOME. It can be be a book, a movie, or a CD, and we'll scan it in to be AWESOME. ( Sounds so much better and high pitched in my head.)

And by the way, Children's also has a AWESOME box. So, besides turning in your books for summer reading prizes, you can also bring them in to be AWESOME!

For more information (and to see what is AWESOME), visit the

Monday, June 2, 2014

Storytime for 2 and 3 yr olds: Summer Fun Time with Daddy!!

Today's storytime was a summer celebration with Daddy ( because Father's Day is June 15th). The children heard three stories ( Saturday with Daddy  by Dan Andreasen, My Very First Look at Colors by Christiane Gunzi, and A Father's Song by Janet Lawler.) They also made music with tap sticks, learned colors, and decorated a tie.

Here are some of the songs we did today-

Do You Know the Color Birds ( Goes to tune of " Muffin Man")
Oh do you know the Color Bird
The Color Bird, The Color Bird
Oh do you know the Color Bird
The Color Bird is ________  

Five Little Robins added 7-17-06 Original Author Unknown
Five little Robins
Up in a tree
Mother, Father and babies three
(Have the child start with his thumb and touch all five fingers, using the first finger of his other hand)

Father caught a bug
Mother caught a worm
This one got the bug
This one got the worm
But the little one had to sit and wait it's turn!

My Special Friend  added 4-1-01 Original Author Unknown

Sung to: "Bingo"
I have a very special friend
And Daddy is his name-o.
D-A-D-D-Y, D-A-D-D-Y, D-A-D-D-Y,
And Daddy is his name-o

Next week starts our summer reading program, Fizz Boom Read! When you return your books, instead of dropping them  off at the Circulation Desk, please bring downstairs to the Children's Dept. Fizz Boom Read runs June 9 to August 2.

Programs for the first week include-

Family Movie Day: Jungle Book- Wednesday, June 11 at noon ( Note: No dark or red-colored drinks and children under 7 must be accompanied by an adult 18 yrs or older.) Audience:All Ages

Summer Reading Kickoff-Thursday, June 12 at 2 pm Audience:Ages 2-12

Our next 2 and 3 yr old Storytime will be Monday, June 16 at 10 am, and also at 11:30 am. We'll will asking the question "What's the Weather?".

See You Soon!!