Oh, the Thinks You Can Think

Celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day at MCPL!

Monday, January 16, is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Please come to the library for children's films (including Martin's Big Words) and readings of children's books promoting diversity, tolerance, and equal rights, and last but not least, to do crafts and activities provided by local group Nur Festivals. Most activities will occur between 10 a.m. and noon, and all are drop-in events. Help us celebrate a special day and a remarkable man!
 
 

New Ambassador for Young People's Literature


Award-winning author Walter Dean Myers was named the new National Ambassador for Young People's Literature earlier this week. The position was established in 2008 to raise national awareness of the importance of young people's literature as it relates to lifelong literacy, education, and the development and betterment of the lives of young people.

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Pop-up Book Favorites

Did you give or receive a book as a gift for the holidays? Did you give or receive an e-book reader for the holidays? PBS's "Mediashift" blog reported recently that despite the ever increasing popularity of e-books and Kindles and Nooks, "Print Books Still Rule the Holidays." The article - and a poster we uncovered in our storage room last week - reminded me that one of my favorite kinds of books to give and receive as a gift is a pop-up book. (A pop-up book is truly, as the old poster stated ... a Gift you Open Again and Again.) I enjoy getting any kind of book as a gift, of course, but as space in my home becomes more limited, I like to own books that I can't borrow from the library. And pop-up books are just not transferrable to e-book format. They are works of art designed for the physical, 3-D world.

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The Strange Case of Origami Yoda

One request we get all the time at the library is for Star Wars origami books. In the past, we've had to refer people to websites, but now we can finally offer our customers an actual book with instructions for one Star Wars origami figure - speaking of Yoda, I am. Sixth-grader Tommy has an eccentric and socially challenged friend named Dwight, who is somehow able to channel very wise, if sometimes unclear, advice through his origami finger puppet Yoda. Tommy keeps a journal (his "case file") on the advice Yoda offers, in an attempt to determine if people should really listen to Yoda, or if he's just a "green paperwad" like Tommy's friend Harvey claims.

Creative Crafts for Kids


When it is too cold to play and you're stuck inside, you might get a little bit of cabin fever. One sure cure for this dreaded, boring condition is to make something fun. The Children's Department has hundreds of books filled with ideas and instructions to help you create colorful crafts.
One great example is Creative Crafts for Kids published by Reader's Digest Children's Books. Here you will find instructions for making fantastic greeting cards, balloon monsters, floral picture frames, and much more. This book will help you get creative with paper, wire, paint, felt, glitter, and glue. Creative Crafts for Kids is right for children in 3rd grade and older, but the library has great craft books for all ages. We also have a wide selection of seasonal craft books to help you and your family celebrate the holidays. So don't suffer from cabin fever...come to the library to find a cure for a boring winter day.

I Want My Hat Back

Hurrah for end of the year "best of" lists! They often tip me off to some great reads, or games or films, etc. that I hadn't yet discovered on my own. But they also often affirm that I wasn't the only one who thought a particular book or movie was worthy of special mention. That's the case with I Want My Hat Back, a picture book by Jon Klassen. I was pleasantly surprised to see this title included on the New York Times list of Best Illustrated Children's Books of 2011.
The story features a large bear who has lost his hat. When he meets different woodland animals, he asks each one: Have you seen my hat? They each respond in the negative, but the pictures tell a different story, and bear is a bit slow to realize that one of the animals was not telling him the truth! The story itself is slight, but the short sentences, repetition, and mischievous humor will hold appeal for beginner readers looking for a funny story to read on their own -- as well as older readers who enjoy a slightly devious tale!

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Annie: A Cardinal Stage Preview Performance

Go ahead, admit it. You've sung the song "Tomorrow" from the musical Annie, at least once in your life. (After a few straight days of non-stop rain, I'm singing it right now! The sun'll come out tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow, there'll be sun...)

Well, whether or not you know by heart the lyrics to "Tomorrow" or the other catchy tunes featured in the show, we are betting that you'll enjoy the free sneak preview of Cardinal Stage Company's performance of Annie, this Saturday, December 3, from 11-11:30 a.m. in the Main Library Auditorium. Cast members will present a couple scenes, and you'll have a chance to ask some of the children performing in the play what it's like to be in a musical.
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Wonderstruck

I'm excited about the movie Hugo, opening this week, based on Brian Selznick's amazing book The Invention of Hugo Cabret (winner of the 2008 Caldecott Award). Selznick's newest title, Wonderstruck, is no less incredible. Alternatively told in pencil drawings (Rose's story, set in the late 1920s) and words (Ben's story, set 50 years later), the tales eventually intertwine in ways that are surprising and poignant. Even if you think you're not interested in the history of museums and dioramas, wolves, deafness and deaf culture, constellations, and silent movies, you'll find Selznick's blending of these elements creates a spellbinding read as well as a visual treat. Listen and watch Selznick tell us about his newest masterpiece at Scholastic's Wonderstruck website, and visit Selznick's website for some more insight into the man and his work and interests, including a list of his favorite "weird websites." Recommended for grades 4 and up.
 

Early Literacy at The Learn and Play Space

If you know a child who is 7 years old or younger, the Learn and Play Space in the Children's Department at your Monroe County Public Library is the perfect place to visit. Children and their adult caregivers may explore several learning stations that were designed to help build early literacy skills. Children grow vocabulary when they work puzzles and play with puppets. Imaginary play in the store and the kitchen builds narrative skills which help children make meaning of words when they begin to read. The letter wall is a great place to learn the names of the letters and to practice the sounds the letters make. The writing center is stocked with cards, paper, envelopes, and markers so children can write books, mail letters, and draw pictures. Trained supervisors are available during most open hours to guide learning experiences, play games, and provide craft materials. There is even a dedicated space that is reserved for infants who are not walking and their caregivers exclusively. This engaging space has been made possible by support from the Smithville Charitable Foundation and the Friends of the Monroe County Public Library. Paper supplies for the writing center are received from the Reuse Center at the District.
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Meet Olivia at the Library


Olivia captured my heart the moment I opened her first book, more than ten years ago, and saw a trail of deselected items of clothing littering the floor as she squeezed into her just-right sailor dress. Whether she's taming lions or sailing on a gondola in Venice, Olivia always has the right outfit for any occasion.

While there are lots of opportunities to enjoy Olivia, including her television show on Nick Jr., the best way to get to know Olivia is through her series of picture books. In Olivia Forms a Band, discover Olivia's resourcefulness when she supplies her own music to a fireworks display. Revel in Olivia's amazing power of deduction when she solves the case in Olivia and the Missing Toy. Travel with Olivia by gondola in Olivia Goes to Venice. See astonishing feats of daring and imagination in Olivia Saves the Circus. Along the way you'll meet Olivia's delightful family including her little brothers William and Ian.
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