Oh, the Thinks You Can Think

Show Me a Story! (Why Picture Books Matter)

ISBN: 
9780763635060

“Before they read words, children are reading pictures. In picture books, the illustrations work in concert with the text in a way that is unique among art forms.”

In the forward to Show Me a Story! Why Picture Books Matter: Conversations with 21 of the World’s Most Celebrated Illustrators, award-winning author and illustrator David Wiesner explains why we celebrate National Picture Book Month in November (actually, MCPL Children’s Services Librarians celebrate them year-round! Here’s more from Wiesner about why we love picturebooks…): Read more »

Smart Searching with Grolier Online

Grolier Online logoThere is so much information available through the Internet the challenge these days -- especially for kids -- is knowing where and how to search.  And for students still learning how to evaluate information and discern a reliable source from one that is suspect, starting a search with a reputable research tool like Grolier Online gives them a way to focus their search and get trusted  information tailored to their reading level and information need.

Read more »

Big Library Read features Nancy Clancy eBook

ISBN: 
9780062082947

It’s always hard to say goodbye at a story’s end to characters you’ve grown fond of and enjoyed spending time with. That’s one of the great joys of series books and why they appeal to readers of all ages: you don’t have to say goodbye; you can look forward to meeting up with familiar characters in the next book.

Books in a series are especially popular with transitional readers, children moving beyond beginner reader chapter books but who are not quite ready for longer novels. Having background knowledge of a character or setting aids readers who are still developing their fluency and comprehension skills. Think Nancy Drew stories. After reading a couple, you know that she is an adventurous girl with sparkly blue eyes who has a plump cousin and a kind housekeeper. Eventually, you are able to skim the familiar descriptions and devote your energy to deciphering the plot. Knowing that they already enjoy reading about a certain character also helps motivate transitional readers to continue reading. And regular reading practice is one of the best ways to build reading skills.

For all these reasons, it’s good news for fans of Fancy Nancy that author Jane O’Connor has continued to offer new stories featuring the flamboyant young girl who enjoys sprinkling her wardrobe with sparkly accessories and her vocabulary with dazzling words. The character who was first introduced in 2006 in picturebook format with appeal to preschoolers, and progressed to beginner reader format books with an early elementary aged audience, now appears in first chapter books aimed at transitional readers in grades 2-3.

In these latest stories, Fancy Nancy has morphed into Nancy Clancy: Super Sleuth with a pink trenchcoat and a rhinestone studded magnifying glass. Always on the lookout for mysteries to solve, Nancy and her friend Bree have designed their own business cards (Partners in Crime: N & B) as well as their own secret code for safely exchanging messages. And while attempting to solve the Mystery of the Missing Marble, Nancy Clancy pauses to ponder: What would Nancy Drew do?  Whether or not they are familiar with Nancy Clancy’s mentor, Nancy Clancy fans will delight in hunting for clues and deciphering codes with the new Super Sleuth on the block.

The other good news for aficionados of Fancy Nancy Clancy is that Overdrive has designated Nancy Clancy: Super Sleuth as the featured title for its current Big Library Read program. From September 16th – 30th Nancy Clancy: Super Sleuth - Book 1 will be available in both eBook and audiobook formats for anyone wanting to read it – no waiting, no holds! Find the title in the library catalog, or go directly to Indiana Digital Media and log in with your library card to claim your copy. As Nancy Clancy would say: Stupendous! Magnificent! And double ooh la la!

Show Us Your Library Card!

Librarians with MCPL Library Cards

September is National Library Card Sign-Up Month. Of course, you can get a library card any time of the year, but in September, back-to-school season, we like to remind that a library card is an essential school tool. Just as important as having a notebook, folder and pen in your backpack, is having a library card tucked in your pocket. Best of all, library cards are free to Monroe County residents of all ages!

In addition to giving you the ability to borrow books, movies and music, your library card provides you with access to a number of electronic resources the library has purchased especially for Monroe County residents to use. Some of these resources are designed for kids.  To access them from outside the library, you will be prompted to enter your library card number. It’s a simple step to gain entry to a wealth of authoritative information and images to suit your needs. You can find a complete list of electronic resources on our A-Z Research Tools page. Some e-resources and downloadable options of special interest to school-age children include:

  • Grolier Online – for information about states, countries, current events and more
  • Indiana Digital Media – to download ebooks and audiobooks, including titles for kids
  • Freegal – to download music. Once downloaded, songs are yours to keep

LibraryCardpromoYour library card makes these reputable resources available to you around the clock. We love that you can access these resources even when our physical doors are closed for the night. But even more, we love to see young children come in to the library with their families – with library card in hand.  How many places can children go where they are welcome to pull items from the shelves, look through them and choose which ones they would like to take home? We are continually delighted to observe children claim their books or movies and then proudly walk up to the self-check machine and check them out to take home and enjoy. We see how empowered they are by this, the confidence it instills, and we know it helps launch them on their journey of life-long learning.

So next time you are in the library – show us your library card! We’d love to hear what you like about it, and how you use it most. And in September and October, children who show us their library cards will receive a special sticker and bookmark – and a chance to shout “Hooray! I used my library card today!”

 

Learning Right From Wrong with the Brief Thief

ISBN: 
9781592701315

We often get requests for books that help teach children about proper rules of behavior – everything from sharing to telling the truth. While we frequently turn to our nonfiction collection for titles designed to teach children about specific subjects or topics, often picture books more powerfully portray the importance of doing the right thing.

The use of humor is one reason the messages in picture books can have a greater impact with children. And you can’t get much funnier with preschoolers (or even the K-2 crowd) than the word underpants – not to mention the word poo. (Please, don’t mention it!) The picturebook Brief Thief by Michael Escoffier uses both words in a span of a few pages while reminding readers that it’s not right to take things that don’t belong to you.

You see, poor Leon the Lizard finds himself without a necessary item after relieving himself. He notices an old pair of underpants hanging from a nearby tree branch and uses them to “finish his business.” As he discards the underpants behind a bush, a voice calls to him. It claims to be Leon’s conscience: “The little voice you hear inside your head whenever you get up to something naughty.” The voice continues: “… Since when are we allowed to touch other people’s things? What do they teach you in school, anyway?”

Leon never learns the real identity of his conscience, but readers will be amused to learn that the voice belongs to a rabbit who had been using the underpants to complete his superhero costume. We don’t learn his superhero name, but I’m guessing that it’s Superego.

Recommended for ages 3-8.

 

Crafting Summer Fun!

ISBN: 
1885593287

Summertime is a wonderful opportunity for children and parents to build special memories and discover hours of simple fun.  Kids can create a masterpiece painting with milk-based paint or use a mixture of shaving cream and glue to make a puff paint mural. (Recipe below)   Write secret codes to one another with invisible ink and then hide them around the house or in the yard.  Combine imagination, pasta plus glue and you can design a “Pasta Creation” with different shapes of pasta, or go for a nature walk and build a picture from whatever treasures you collect. Abundant ideas can be found in the many books we have here at The Monroe County Public Library Children’s Department.  A few titles you might consider are:

Glues, Brews, and Goos

Vols. 1 & 2

By Diana F. Mark

Making Art with Sand and Earth

By Gillian Chapman and Pam Robson

Kids’ Crazy Art Concoctions

By Jill Frankel Hauser

 

Here’s a simple recipe for Puffy Paint!

Mix equal parts white glue and foamy shaving cream – color with some food coloring.

Paint an original work of art and then let it dry – paint will puff up!

 

*Remember!

Crafty Creations

Our Tuesday morning art program begins again June 25th at 10:45 am!

 

Summer Reading Fun: Beginning Reader Book Club

Q is for DuckLike any skill, reading takes practice. For young children, “practice” can sound like a chore. Sometimes reading is more fun when friends and family join in. Book clubs provide an opportunity to read and discuss books socially, even helping children make the connection between reading and “real life.” What’s more, learning to read requires lots of skills that do not involve decoding words on a page. Drawing, writing, storytelling, rhyming, word play, and meaningful discussion, all play a part in a child’s comprehension of text. Our Beginning Reader Book Club includes all of these activities, along with the opportunity for adults and children to read together. Some of our featured books include: Q is for Duck: An Alphabet Guessing Game, Penny and her Song, and Scaredy Squirrel Goes Camping.

Our Beginning Reader Book Club meets for three Thursdays (June 13, June 20, & June 27) from 1-1:45pm in the Children’s Program Room. Please register by phone (349-3100) or through our website (mcpl.info/childrens). Hope to see you there!  

   

Summer Reading - Why it Matters

ImageAbout this time of year, my colleagues and I begin to ponder just why it was we chose careers that see us at our busiest in the summer months -- at a time when it seems the rest of the world is looking to kick back and relax. Along with other public libraries around the country, we spend months planning and preparing a Summer Reading Program, we spend weeks visiting area schools and encouraging students in grades K-6 to participate in our Summer Reading Program, and then we have thousands of kids come through our doors eager to pick up a Summer Reading game board and attend special events. Why? Why do we do this? Couldn't we just quietly go about our business and slip away to the lake more easily in June?

And then we remind ourselves. We do it because it matters. We invite kids to take part in our Summer Reading Program because studies have shown that "students who participated in public library summer reading programs scored higher on reading achievement tests at the beginning of the next school year." (Public Library Summer Reading Programs Close the Reading Gap, 2010)

We know that developing and improving reading skills takes practice. The more you read, the better you get. And we know that when kids get to choose what they want to read, they are more likely to read for fun. Yet, when schools close for the summer, many students no longer have access to reading materials that appeal to their interests and suit their reading ability. Your public library fills that gap. Our free Summer Reading Program is all about encouraging kids to read for fun so that they sustain and build a reading habit over the summer. They can choose books, magazines, graphic novels, audiobooks, ebooks, fiction, nonfiction -- they're all included in our summer reading program.

Visit our Summer Reading website for details about our program, or give us a call at 349-3100. But most of all -- we hope to see you here at the library this summer. As we've been reminding kids recently: We're open 7 days a week, including evenings and weekends. In between the other fun things you have going on this summer, we encourage you to stop in to the library and choose something fun to read. We won't even be jealous if you tell us you're going to read it at the lake.

For more information about the benefits of library Summer Reading Programs, see our Get Reading, Get Moving page. And to see how much fun we have with our Summer Reading Program, watch our video: Dig Into Reading!

How Gutenberg Changed the World

ISBN: 
9781596435421

While some predict the imminent demise of the printed book, some profess that the printed book will continue on in perpetuity. I stand with the second group. As much as I enjoy the convenience of ebooks, there is a majesty to a beautifully illustrated and bound printed book that not even the most colorfully animated ebooks can equal. There is so much ephemeral electronic correspondence today that a printed book, by its sheer mass and substance commands a certain amount of respect. Or, perhaps it's simply the history of the printed book that I revere.

From the Good Mountain: How Gutenberg Changed the World lavishly presents the early history of the printed book as pioneered by Johannes Gutenberg in 1450.  Categorized as a biography, this new picturebook by James Rumford focuses more on Gutenberg's revolutionary invention of the printing press, than on the life of Gutenberg himself. Each richly illustrated double-page spread describes the process of creating a book as a mystery of sorts, asking the reader to guess the elements that formed the finished product: "What was this thing made of rags and bones?" and answering on the next page: "It was paper, and it was ready."

The epilogue to this book notes that Gutenberg's invention remains a bit of a mystery, as no one knows for sure how he was able to produce such beautifully crisp and clear letters in the 1400s. But some of the books he produced more than 500 years ago endure to this day. In fact a copy of one of those books resides in Bloomington at the Lily Library on the campus of Indiana University. The Gutenberg Bible rests in a glass case on display in the Lily Library, open for anyone to visit. 

From the Good Mountain concludes with an illustration of computer circuitry, suggesting that as hand copied books gave way to printed ones, and printed books give way to ebooks, perhaps it doesn't matter at all what books look like -- what form they take -- as long as people keep writing and reading them. What are you reading today?

Happy National Library Week!

ImageFounded in 1958 by the American Library Association, National Library Week grew out of a desire to encourage more Americans to read as a leisure activity and to promote the use of libraries. Those desires have remained constant over the years, but as Monroe County Public Library looks to the future and the role the library plays in our community, we see libraries as a place that nurtures reading - and so much more.

Our Mission: To enrich lives and strengthen our community by providing equitable access to information and opportunities to read, learn, discover, and create.

We offer some special events this week to help celebrate National Library Week, April 14-20:  Meet author Amy Krouse Rosenthal on Monday, or pick a night Monday through Thursday to attend the Vital Quiz Bowl which supports adults learners.

But you can come in any time to find fun materials to read, or view or listen to. You can even share your thoughts about what you've read by creating your own local review. Access our Research Tools to learn something new like how to make smart financial decisions with Morningstar, or learn a new language with Mango Languages. Check our calendar and discover opportunities to take part in special events and participate in community organizations at the library. Use our public computers to connect to Scratch and create your own interactive story.

These are just a few of the ways we strive to help Monroe County residents read, learn, discover and create. We have big plans for additional opportunities as we develop a Digital Creativity Center especially for teens, expand our meeting room facilities, and increase access to ebooks and other downloadable materials. These initiatives stem from expressed needs and desires of our community members.

Read more about our vision for the future, and MCPL's Strategic Plan to help us get there together. This week, and every week, we'd like to learn from you: How do you use the library to Read, Learn, Discover and Create? And what more would you like your library to be - and do for you?

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