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Children's literary news, book reviews, and more.  rss-icon

    by Dawn Stoops | Aug 21, 2018
    Let me share a little story.
    image of pile of mattresses on a bed
    My dad came over to help set up a daybed this weekend. I had two crib mattresses arranged as the cushion and the kids added a layer of pillows. As they played on the new furniture, I said it reminded me of the story "The Princess and the Pea". When I asked if they knew that story they both just said no and kept playing. I thought about giving them an overview, but then I remembered that I had my phone in my pocket!
    One quick click on the Hoopla app and a speedy search found several versions available to borrow electronically. So right then and there I borrowed the book, tapped the cover, and read it to the kids. I totally felt like a super mom!
    image of hoopla app symbol

    When you have the Hoopla app it's simple and fast to get electronic access to books, movies, and music with your library card. Mostly, my family uses Hoopla to borrow kids' music. Favorites include the soundtrack to the Lego Ninjago Movie and music from Veggie Tales shows. There are thousands of items available. I encourage you to try it out and see what your family likes best. If you need some help, just call or stop by the library and we'll be happy to show you how it works or answer any questions you may have.

    Enjoy!


    by Dawn Stoops | Aug 15, 2018
    Here are just a few books published this year for parents, teachers, homeschool families, and others who work with children. We've got plenty of older, tried and true title too, so ask your librarian when you need to find just the right book.

    cover image for the art of screen time cover image for you your child and school cover image for what your ADHD child wishes you knew
    cover image for the wild card cover image for the read-aloud family
    cover image for better together
    cover image for rethinking school  cover image for how to raise kind kids
    cover image for the nerdy parents guide to raising a nerdy parent
    by Dawn Stoops | Aug 13, 2018
    This morning when my seven year old woke up and asked what we were doing today I explained, among other things, that in two more days he'd start school. He sleepily replied "Then I hope these two days go extra slow."

    Yep, I know how you feel honey!

    cover image for it's the first day of school

    Here's to all the amazing FIRSTS your family experiences this week. May you find the joy in small and big accomplishments.


    by Dawn Stoops | Aug 09, 2018
    Our family doesn't do a lot of tv watching, but for the screen time we do allow, it's great to get fun stuff from the library - for FREE! My boys, ages 5 & 7, are going to be thrilled to see we've just gotten some new DVDs.
    Take a look!
    cover image for rusty rivets
    "Whether it's an out-of-control robo-vacuum, a band of fugitive monkeys, or a runaway hot air balloon, Rusty will find the fix! Rusty's got the ingenuity, creativity, and a recycling yard full of the coolest parts and pieces to 'Combine and Design' any gadget, vehicle, or robot that his wild imagination can think up."
    --from the catalog

    cover image for lily's driftwood bay
    "Welcome to Lily's Driftwood Bay! Lily is six years old and lives with her dad and her best friend, who is a seagull named Gull, in a little hut on the beach. Across the way is Driftwood Bay, a special island that exists in Lily's imagination. Every day the sea washes up a new treasure which sparks Lily's imagination about what might be happening on Driftwood Bay."
    --from the catalog

    Ask your librarian for more fun shows on DVD and Bluray!
    by Dawn S | Aug 07, 2018
    Open a book and open the world. Try one of these new non-fiction books today!

    cover image for coding games in python cover image for the orca scientist cover image for i am never bored
    cover image for personal space travel cover image for birds and their feathers
    cover image for capsized
     cover image for shawn mendes  cover image for seeders
    cover image for red alert
    cover image for freaky animals cover image for trumpets cover image for being a bee
    cover image for 24 hours on the tundra cover image for my horse
    cover image for sydney
    cover image for lets bake halloween treats cover image for the rock cycle 
    cover image of zoom in on superhighways
    by Community Engagement | Aug 02, 2018
    First Steps in Music

    New Program! First Steps in Music

    Join us for a new program at our branches this fall! First Steps in Music is for children ages 0-3 and their caregivers.

    The goal of First Steps in Music is to enable all participants to reach their full potential in singing, vocabulary, and movement skills, with an emphasis on developing sensitivity to the expressive qualities in music. Each class is designed to be playful and enjoyable to children, while providing a carefully planned curriculum that includes developmentally appropriate activities. Children are not taught formally about the specifics of music, but rather they play with music through a series of eight well-rounded activities based on the First Steps in Music curriculum.
    The Fort Wayne Children’s Choir offers First Steps in Music classes to children ages 0 to 3 years old in coordination with the Allen County Public Library, and funded by the PNC Bank Foundation and Three Rivers Credit Union Foundation.
     
    Through the 8 basic activities included in classes based on the First Steps in Music curriculum, children and their parents/caregiver experience singing, creative movement, simple instruments, finger-plays and more with the help of the rich collection of traditional songs and rhymes from past generations.
     
    Example activities for First Steps in Music:
    • Pitch exploration
    • Song fragments
    • Simple songs
    • Arioso (Child-centered tunes)
    • Song tales
    • Movement exploration
    • Movement for form and expression
    • Movement with the beat

    First Steps in Music preview programs will be held at the following dates, times, and locations:

    Wednesday, August 22 at 10:30 am - Hessen Cassel Branch

    Thursday, August 23 at 10:30 am - Waynedale Branch

    Friday, August 24  at 10:30 am - Aboite Branch

    Tuesday, August 28 at 10:30 am - Tecumseh Branch

    Wednesday, August 29 at 10:00 am - Main Library Children's Services

    Thursday, August 30 at 10:30 am - Shawnee Branch


    Join us for the full series of First Steps in Music programs this September and October, exclusively at our Shawnee and Aboite branches!

    Shawnee will host First Steps in Music on Thursdays at 10:30 am on the following dates:
    September 6, 13, 20, & 27
    October 4, 11, 18, & 25

    Aboite will host First Steps in Music on Fridays at 10:30 am on the following dates:
    September 7, 14, 21, 28
    October 12, 19, 26.

    by Cindy H | Aug 01, 2018
    Homeschool University is a program at the Aboite Branch where homeschoolers can come together to learn something new and exciting from local experts in a variety of subjects. Homeschool University is designed for homeschoolers ages 7-17 and is held the third Thursday of every month from 2:00-4:00 pm.

    In August, we will have an expert from the Allen County Parks Department teach us all about birds and their habitats. We will also get to learn how to make a simple bird feeder out of a pine cone to take home to feed the birds in our neighborhoods!

    In September, we have Meghan Houser from Wholesome Roots Cooking coming to teach us how to cook some awesome basic recipes. Those with food allergies and sensitivities will be accommodated!

    In October, we have local dancer Zion Tinsley returning to teach us the foundations of hip-hop dancing, including breakdancing and freestyle techniques. This was one of our most popular sessions, so don't miss it!

    This program does require registration, so be sure to click the links above to reserve your spot. You can also call the Aboite Branch at 260-421-1310 to register. Don't miss this awesome opportunity for homeschoolers, we hope to see you soon!
    by Cindy H | Jul 30, 2018
    It is hard to believe that summer is winding down and we are getting ready to get back into our school-year routines. Many of the Aboite Branch's regular programs took a hiatus for the summer, so we are excited to tell you about the wonderful programs we have coming back starting in August!

    We have three weekly storytimes designed for a variety of ages. Baby Storytime, designed for those under 18 months, is available every Monday at 10:30am. Toddler Storytime, for those ages 18 months-3 years, is every Wednesday at 10:30am. Family Storytime, designed for children of all ages, is every Thursday at 10:30am. We are also very happy to offer Family Storytime the second Saturday of every month at 10:30am.

    PAWS to Read is a fantastic program for children of all ages to have the opportunity to read to one of our trained therapy dogs, Maggie and Murphy. This program is every Monday from 6:30-7:30 pm.

    Young at Art is available every Wednesday right after Toddler Storytime from 11:00-11:30 am for children ages 2-5. This program is a child-led, process art experience with different projects each week, utilizing different media including paint, crayon, markers, glue, clay, and recycled materials.

    LEGO Club is one of our most popular programs. This all-ages program is every Wednesday from 4:00-5:30 pm. We have tons of LEGOs of all kinds available for you to build a special creation. When you are finished, we will exhibit your design in our display case for a week!

    Finally, if you are 12 or under, check out our Hooked on Books book club for kids! Every second Friday of the month from 4:00-5:00 pm we meet to discuss our favorite books we've been reading over tasty snacks, to be followed by fun games. Regular book club members will also get customized book recommendations each month!

    For questions about any of these programs, please call the Aboite Branch at 260-421-1310. We hope to see you soon!
    by Dawn S | Jul 26, 2018
    I know it's July, but at some point your mind is going to wonder to the months ahead. Maybe a school supply commercial will make you think about next school year, or an arctic blast from the AC will make you think about winter.

    So, when you're thinking about the months ahead, just know that your librarians are busy planning and organizing too! In fact, our September library programs are already on our online calendar.
    Here's a sneak peek!

    image of paint and brushes 
    Homeschool Art Lab
    Hessen Cassel Branch

    Friday, September 7
    10:15 AM - 11:45 AM
    Participants in this bi-monthly class will explore emerging and established artists and their techniques, both local and international. Students will have an opportunity to research the artists, to study their techniques, and to create their own art.

    family fun night logo

    Families with children of all ages, join us every Monday evening for family fun!



    image of art supplies
     
    3:30 PM - 4:30 PM
    What do you think you might be able to create from the things nature is finished with like sticks, fallen leaves, flower petals and seeds? We’ll provide all the materials you’ll need to make a beautiful nature collage.
    image of star gazers in a forest clearing
    Grabill Star Party
    Grabill Branch

    8:30 PM - 10:00 PM
    We're staying late to party under the Grabill sky! Bring your lawn chairs and your sense of wonder as the Fort Wayne Astronomical Society leads us in some star gazing, complete with telescopes and other nifty stuff. All ages are invited!





    by Dawn S | Jul 23, 2018
    Here it is! The best new book to share with young students at back to school time. If you want to start the school year off right, then take some time to read this colorful book.
    cover image for all are welcome

    I'd say it's best for the Preschool-2nd grade crowd. There's a variation of the title that repeats on most every page and the kids could all chime in together "All are welcome here" as you read. I imagine the books text, by Alexandra Penfold, would lead perfectly into a discussion of school expectations and the like. The pictures are a pleasure too so don't skip the natural conversations sparked by all those smiling faces. Every student should see themselves in some character so expertly crafted by Suzanne Kaufman.

    This book is great and I'm glad it came just at the right time! If you need more back to school books be sure to ask your friendly librarian.
    by Dawn S | Jul 19, 2018
    Here's another mixed-up collection of new books for kids. Gotta cram in more fun summer reading!

    cover image for drawing fantastic dragons cover image for junior maker cover image for the dam keeper world without darkness
    cover image for where the watermelons grow cover image for posey the class pest
    cover image for here come the bit police
     cover image for i wish i was an elephant  cover image for i just ate my friend
    cover image for the 91-story treehouse
    cover image for see zip zap cover image for the everything book of dogs and puppies cover image for pretty kitty
    cover image for thunder road cover image for the curse of the warewolf boy
    cover image for you can't bring a sandwich to the moon
    cover image for christopher robin  cover image for best frints at skrool
    cover image for rapunzel and the vanishing village
    by Dawn S | Jul 17, 2018
    Block play is fun and so much more! This summer our big blue blocks have toured the county and today they were at Grabill.
    image for kids playing with big blue blocks     image of girl playing with blocks

    If you haven't had a chance to experience the fun, there are a couple of locations that have upcoming programs. If you miss the summer events, check with your branch to see if they have any fall block programs scheduled.

    For a more in-depth look at the research behind all the amazing learning happening during block play, check out these books from our parent/teacher collections.

    cover image for blocks and beyond cover image for creative block play cover image for block play
     

       

    by Dawn S | Jul 12, 2018
    Have you tried the library's free digital music service? FREEGAL lets you download and stream music for free with your library card. Once you get logged in with your card number, you can search the children's genre for some fun family music. Freegal lets you make your own playlists and allows three hours of streaming a day. It features the entire Sony catalog of music. Here are just a few of the hundreds of songs you can choose from:

    cover image for fantastic voyagesWe Have Fun - The Roots - Fantastic Voyages
    cover image for spongebob's greatest hits cdThe Best Day Ever Spongebob, Sandy, Mr. ... SpongeBob's Greatest H...
    cover image for my little pony the movie soundtrackOff To See The World -  Lukas Graham - My Little Pony: The Mo...
    cover image for the emoji movieGood Vibrations - Ricky Reed - The Emoji Movie
    cover image for the peanuts movie soundtrackBetter When I'm Dancin... Meghan Trainor The Peanuts Movie - Or...


    If you'd like more information on this or other electronic resources the library has to offer just stop by and ask, or call 421-1200 to talk to a friendly librarian.
    by Dawn S | Jul 09, 2018
    Sometimes you're in a crafty mood but you don't want to make a mess. If you don't want to glob on the glue or risk painting your shirt green, then this new book is for you!
    cover image for low mess crafts for kids
    Low-Mess Crafts for Kids: 70 Projects to Create Your Own Magical Worlds
    by Debbie Chapman

    Projects are listed in themes like "fairy tale dress up", "little monsters puppet show", and "animals at the zoo". Most everything is made from common craft items like popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners, straws, and wooden skewers. You'll love the colorful photos that display step by step instructions. Your kids will love all the creative playtime fun they can have once the projects are finished.

    Check out this crafty cool book at your library and ask for more craft books while you're there!

    by Dawn S | Jul 06, 2018
    There's still time to participate in our Summer Learning Program!
    SPARK runs from the first day of June to the last day of July.
    image of prize magnifying glasses and books
    We've got cool prizes! Just go to the SPARK site and keep track of the time you spend reading. There are also fun activities to try online.

    What if you're done earning prizes? You can still record your time and help us reach our goal of 5 MILLION minutes. Here's where we stand today!
    screen shot of SPARK site

    by Erin | Jul 05, 2018
    One thing to know about me is that I do not have a poker face. At all. Which is why when kids ask me for Smile, Sisters, or any other of Raina Telgemeier's graphic novels, I grimace. And I grimace because there's a 98% chance that those books are all checked out. She's amazingly popular! Thank goodness that there are plenty of other graphic novels that are just as wonderful as Telgemeier's books. Here are just a few:

    Awkward brave   roller girl
     sunny side up  lumberjanes real friends 
     el deafo cardboard kingdom   all's faire in middle school
     mega princess  mighty jack the time museum 
     baba yaga dream jumper   secret coders

    by Dawn S | Jun 29, 2018
    What can you do on a hot afternoon? The pool will certainly cool you off, and my kids are especially fond of water gun fights. If, however, you want to stay dry, try reading some of these cool summer picture books.

     

    cover image for the watermelon seed 

    The Watermelon Seed
    by Greg Pizzoli
    What happens when you swallow a watermelon seed? What if it starts to grow inside your belly? This crocodile imagines the worst when he accidentally eats a seed along with the yummy, juicy fruit.

    cover image for don't spash the sasquatch

    Don't Splash the Sasquatch
    by Kent Redeker
    Who's ever seen a swim trunk-clad Sasquatch or an Octo-Rhino? Even sillier is what happens when the pool play does get out of hand and the Sasquatch DOES get wet!


    cover image for higher higher
     
    Higher! Higher!
    by Leslie Patricelli
    Going for a swing is a perfect way to cool off, especially when dad is doing all the pushing. What if you kept going higher and higher? Maybe you'd see some pretty amazing things.
    cover image for a perfect day
    A Perfect Day
    by Lane Smith
    A perfect day looks different from different perspectives. This story shows several characters, including a cat, a bird, a boy, and a bear, having a perfect day.
    cover image for cricket in the thicket
    Cricket in the Thicket
    by Carol Murray

    Stay cool with some bug poems and learn a little something along the way.

    Come on into your local library for more cool books and some air-conditioned air too!
    by Dawn S | Jun 25, 2018
    Try one of these new kids' books today. There's a little something for everyone!

    cover image for robot rescue cover image for bugs cover image for the incredi-files
    cover image for women athletes who rule cover image for build it trains
    cover image of look at me
     cover image for the color factory  cover image for grow up ant man
    cover image for every month is a new year
    cover image for the competiiotn begins cover image for bad move cover image for kecko the gecko
    cover image for tractor mac school day cover image for all of us
    cover image for niblet and ralph
    cover image for lost in the jungle  cover image for mabel and sam at home
    cover image for the worst pet
    by Dawn S | Jun 22, 2018
    You're never too young to experience amazing outdoor adventures! Need inspiration? We just got a new book that's great for parents and care givers who want to take their kids along on the trail.
    cover image for hike it baby
    Hike It Baby, by Shanti Hodges, is a 372 page guide with trip ideas, tips, and family stories about adult hikers with kids under five. Hodges is the founder and executive director of the nonprofit, Hike it Baby, a membership organization that plans group family hikes and promotes outdoor adventure with kids. The Hike it Baby website (hikeitbaby.com) even has hikes listed for the Fort Wayne area!

    Because Hodges has her own experience and the experiences of thousands of others to draw on, she really makes this book specific and helpful. Kid-friendly trails at each location are highlighted so parents know exactly what to expect and how doable it will be for little legs on the walk. Beautiful color photos of kids having fun in a wide range of national and regional parks fill the pages. The book also features personal stories from all sorts of hikers, including; parents of kids with special needs, parents who didn't take up hiking until later in life, parents of extra fussy kids, and many more.

    This book is a delight to breeze through if your family has any interest in hiking, camping, or just exploring nature with kids, even if yours are all above the age of five. I'm confident there are going to be lots of families who check out the book then decide to buy a copy of their own. The added pages about safety, sun protection, hiking during hunting season, and other topics make it such a valuable resource.

    This book really makes you want to get out there and enjoy your world!



    by Cindy H | Jun 21, 2018
    IMAGES_76DE6F27
    This summer at the Aboite Branch we are combining the magic of yoga and storytime into a fun program for children. Yoga Storytime integrates the basic movements and principles of yoga into a story for a truly unique experience. Becky Neff, an educational yoga instructor, will be leading us.

    The program is from 7-8 PM on Wednesday June 27th, July 11th, and July 18th. We do ask that you register for this program, as space is limited. Please click on the date(s) above to register online, or call the Aboite Branch at 260-421-1310 for more information!  Hope to see you there!