Skip to main content

One Book
Two Books 
Old Books
New Books

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

    by Angie N. | Apr 20, 2018

    more notes

    Do you hear that?
    Sounds like YOU designing and building cool musical instruments to take home and play. Come see what rockin’ instruments you can create from things like plastic spoons, beans, cardboard tubes, paper plates, and more. We’ll be having some creative rhythmic fun you won’t want to miss during our next Design It! Program at the Main Library in Children’s Services on Wednesday, April 25 from 3:30pm-4:30pm.

    by Angie N. | Apr 18, 2018

    April is designated as National Poetry Month in the United States. It is a time to celebrate poets, their poems, all the poems you love, and the poet in you! Listed below are seven ways you can celebrate National Poetry Month.

    1. Pick a poet whose work you’ve never read and check out a volume of their poetry from the library.
    2. Create an anthology of your favorite poems. Pick your favorite poems, type them up or write them down and create a book to keep, so you can read them again and again. Leave room to add more poems in the future.
    3. Send a favorite poem to a friend via text, email or in a letter.
    4. Write a poem of your very own.
    5. Record yourself reading poetry aloud, your favorites or the ones you’ve written.
    6. Illustrate a poem or two.
    7. Watch videos of poets reading their work.
    What are some other ideas for celebrating poetry? Come on into the library and check out some great volumes of poems, both old and new. 

    Poetry Books
    by Cindy H | Apr 13, 2018
    35259626
    Olivia is an expert at finding lost things. Whenever a neighbor's glasses, keys, wallet, or pet goes missing they contact Olivia because she is sure to find what they've lost. The only thing Olivia can't seem to find is her brother's toy ostrich. Jacob has autism and it seems like ever since his ostrich went missing things have been getting more difficult for him; he's been more stressed and having increasing emotional melt-downs. Olivia just wants things to go back to the way they used to be, before the ostrich went missing.

    When the zoo comes to their town, Olivia and Jacob decide to go check it out. Jacob is hoping to see lions, tigers, or bears and chants it over and over on their way to the zoo. When they get there, however, there are no lions, tigers, or bears. The last animal to be unloaded is an ostrich. Jacob goes into a frenzy that incites the stares of the zoo employees. Olivia eventually convinces Jacob to calm down enough so they can go home, but she knows she needs to find his toy soon before things get worse.

    With the help of a new friend, the zookeeper's son Charlie, Olivia searches the entire town for the ostrich. In the meantime, Jacob's outbursts get worse and at times violent. Will Olivia and Charlie be able to find the ostrich before something drastic happens?

    This story really explores how having a loved one with a condition like autism impacts the entire family. Olivia's parents struggle with ensuring Jacob has the attention and care he needs, while still allowing Olivia her autonomy. I think the author does a good job at creating an entertaining and at times surprising story with realistic characters. There are some stressful situations that may be difficult for younger children, but I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking to learn more about autism and how it can affect a family.

    This book is available in print at the library. Click here to place it on hold!
    by Dawn S | Apr 11, 2018

    Celebrate National Library Week with this amazing new book all about the power of creativity.


    cover image for what if
    What If...
    by Samantha Berger and Mike Curato

    When you want to create, what if you don't have a pencil, or a brush, or paints? You can create with nature, leaves and snow, or with words, songs and chants, or with light, shadows and shapes. This story is told by a girl full of ideas and beauty who will ALWAYS find a way to create.

    Young readers will love the rhythm of the words and the fantastic collage artwork. Mike Curato's pictures combine photographs of real things, like Lego towers and flowers, with drawings of the character and other parts of her world. The mix is magical and reinforces the countless ways of being creative.

    Celebrate National Library Week, grab some new books, and enjoy all the creativity the world of libraries has to offer!

    by Dawn S | Apr 05, 2018
    When I need a story book to read to a group of preschoolers, only certain ones will do. It has to have an engaging story, big bold pictures, and it helps if it's funny. I don't want the kids to just sit like little lumps listening, I want them to participate.

    What books hit all these marks and make me smile EVERY time I read them? Here are my top 5 favorites to share with preschool groups.

     cover image for the wide mothed frog

    The Wide-Mouthed Frog
    by Keith Faulkner

    I love this one with big pop-up elements and bright colors. The simple, traditional tale, tells about a frog and the animals he meets as he hops along. The last page is the best and I often go back and reread the end so the kids can all say "splash" along with me.



    cover image for go away big green monster

    Go Away Big Green Monster!
    by Ed Emberley

    Every time I read this to preschoolers there's a little bit of magic that happens in their eyes. The die cut pages introduce them to the big green monster one facial feature at a time. And then the fun begins as we tell each part of this goofy guy to "Go Away!" It's exciting even after several reads - the true hallmark of a great read aloud.

    cover image for Edward the Emu
    Edward the Emu
    by Sheena Knowles

    Because the zoo is one of their favorite places, preschoolers love this story about an emu who wants some excitement. The pictures
    hysterically show Edward acting like a lion and a snake, just to see if life is better on the other side of the fence. For a little audience participation I like to have the kids roar and hiss and do the other animal sounds together.
    cover image for mouse paint

    Mouse Paint
    by Ellen Stoll Walsh

    In a perfect world, this book would be a little bigger to share with a group, but the pictures are simple and the story about mice playing in paint is just right for preschoolers. It's fun to have kids yell out the color names and think about color mixing by guessing the next color the mice discover.

    cover image for little owl lost

    Little Owl Lost
    by Chris Haughton

    I think preschoolers sympathize with this little lost owl and his big startled eyes. They also roll with laughter when squirrel's help isn't all that helpful.


    Having finished my list, I can think of at least 5 more titles that are good and maybe several others that are great. This business of picking favorite books is especially hard for librarians. If you'd like more suggestions, just ask your local librarian for their top 5 (or 30) preschool class read-alouds. Or add yours to the comments below!

    by Dawn S | Apr 02, 2018
    Grab a new book for your April reading pleasure!

    cover image for the legend of jack riddle cover image for princess pulverizer cover image for the misfits club
    cover image for keys to the city cover image for the book of boy
    cover image for another quest for celeste
    cover image for playing atari with saddam hussein  cover image for the unicorn quest
    cover image for strange star
    by Angie Fetters-Nitza | Mar 27, 2018
    Our last Design It! Program was a huge success! We created cool original art using mixed media materials. Children and their grown-ups all participated and created some fantastic designs. 

    Mixed Media 4   

    Mixed Media 1

    Mixed Media 2

    Mixed Media 6

    During our next Design It! Program at the Main Library in Children’s Services, we will be designing and building marble mazes. Build a maze that twists, turns, and spins. Anyway you choose to design it, you're sure to have fun! Join us Wednesday, March 28 from 3:30pm-4:30pm in the Globe Room next to Children’s Services for a maze-tastic time!

    by Dori G. | Mar 26, 2018

    image of imaginary planet
    You've just graduated from Space Academy, and they're sending you where no man has every gone before! You've charted a path to Neptune, but due to a slight miscalculation, you have to emergency land on an unknown planet! A storm is coming--what do you do?!?

    Join us this spring break for a Choose Your Own Adventure program. We’ll plan escapades, plot escapes, and boldly go where no one has ever gone before!

    When: Monday, April 2nd, 2018
    Where: Children's Services department at the Main Library
    Beginning At: 10:30 AM and 2:30 PM

    (This program is best suited for kids who can read.)

    In the mean time, why not come in and check out one of these awesome Choose Your Own Adventure books to prep you for your mission:

    http://www.syndetics.com/index.aspx?type=xw12&client=260-421-1200&upc=&oclc=&isbn=9781933390031/LC.JPG
    Space and Beyond


    http://www.syndetics.com/index.aspx?type=xw12&client=260-421-1200&upc=&oclc=&isbn=9781496526441/LC.JPG
    The Outlaw from Outer Space : an Interactive Mystery Adventure


    http://www.syndetics.com/index.aspx?type=xw12&client=260-421-1200&upc=&oclc=&isbn=9781476541853/LC.JPG
    The Race to the Moon : an Interactive History Adventure


    http://www.syndetics.com/index.aspx?type=xw12&client=260-421-1200&upc=&oclc=&isbn=9781937133436/LC.JPG
    Space Pup

    by Dawn Stoops | Mar 21, 2018
    This morning Charlie and his family came to storytime sporting their "Down Right Awesome"  and "Three:21" t-shirts. March 21 is World Down Syndrome Day and what a better way to celebrate than a visit to the library?
    image of charlie and his mom at the grabill library

    If you're curious about the kinds of library resources available on the topic, here's a list of just some of our Down Syndrome books for kids and parents.



    by Dawn S | Mar 19, 2018
    You're going to love these new non-fiction books.
    There's something for everyone!

    cover image for i wonder about the qur'an cover image for one fun day with lewis carroll cover image for iguanas
    cover image for me and my body cover image for warbler wave
    cover image for steven callahan adrift in the atlantic
    cover image for women in science  cover image for destination planet earth
    cover image for police robots
    by Dawn Stoops | Mar 16, 2018

    We just got this great new Emily Gravett book!


    cover image for old hat
    I'm a fan of her quirky books and this one, true to form, has fantastic pictures and a silly plot. It also sneaks in an important life lesson about trying to be fashionable by following what everyone else is doing.

    I tried it out with a visiting Preschool this morning and it was a hit. Students created pictures of their goofy hats or hair after storytime. I used 11x17 paper to make a head with lots of space above. I added a sentence at the bottom where kids could choose the word they were illustrating. In a lot of cases, the creativity was just too much and kids had both hat and hair circled.

    hat picture by prek student hat picture by prek student
     hat picture by prek student
    hat picture by prek student hat picture by prek student
    hat picture by prek student
       

    We had a wonderful time reading this book, talking about this book, and creating pictures from the ideas in this book. A great picture book will help adults READ/TALK/WRITE/PLAY/SING with kids. There's learning everywhere!
    by Dawn S | Mar 14, 2018
    Good News! The Allen County Public Library's online catalog now has the added capacity of searching for titles by Lexile Level. We've added it as one of the limiters on the left hand side of the catalog search screen.

    image of catalog search page

    As a librarian, I've helped lots of families find books for kids by Lexile level, but it was always a chore to hop onto the lexile.com site, find interesting titles, then go back to our catalog to see if they were available at Grabill or another library in the county. Now I can skip the first step and go directly to our catalog.

    It's a help to librarians and parents! When you're using the online catalog from home you can get Lexile info in each library book record or you can search by Lexile level to get the level you need and limit by your favorite library. You can also have books at the needed level sent to whatever library you'd like.

    image of online catalog page

    If you have any questions about this new part of the catalog, you can ask a librarian in person, or ask us online using our ask a librarian email reference service.

    We hope this helps get just the right book into your students' hands!

    by Katie B. | Mar 07, 2018

    pi
    March 14 is my favorite day of the month.  It’s a holiday (of sorts) if you weren’t aware.  A holiday that is more like an inside joke to those “in the know” like Star Wars day (May the Fourth).  It’s a day to celebrate the irrational number of pi (the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter). 

    Pi is a pretty amazing number when you think about it.  While most of us remember the 3.14 part (hence, 3/14 being Pi Day), pi never ends and it never repeats itself.  It is also pretty incredible that any circle, no matter what the size, will give you pi if you divide the circumference of the circle (distance around) by the diameter (distance across).

    Even if math isn’t of particular interest to you, Pi Day can still be a lot of fun.  First of all, you can’t celebrate Pi Day without pie, and who wouldn’t want to celebrate a holiday that involves pie?  Secondly, just because pi is a mathematical ratio, that doesn’t mean that you can’t use it to make beautiful art.
    Pi cityscape

    Mathematical arts and crafts are how we will be celebrating here at the Main Library in Children’s Services on Pi Day. Join us anytime between 3:30 and 4:30 pm to make some mathematical art or a pi bracelet!  We will even have some yummy pie to eat!
    Pi crafts

    by Dawn Stoops | Mar 01, 2018

    When kids gain the ability to read independently and fluently everyone shouts HOORAY! Teachers are ready for more great learning to begin and parents are pleased that all those bedtime stories are now paying off.
    image of child reading
    It’s such a joy to see the growth and confidence at this point that it’s easy to forget how important it is for adults to KEEP READING to these kids.
    But why worry about read-alouds when your child is capable of reading on his own?
    Let me count the ways!

    1. When your child was a baby, you knew that reading together provided wonderful bonding time. It’s still true, but your kid would probably roll their eyes at you if they heard anything about bonding so let’s just call it “hang out time” instead.
    2. Even confident readers have to work at reading. Give them a break and let them get carried away in the story while you’re doing all the work.
    3. Vocabulary. The more books you expose your child to the better her vocabulary will be. SATs here we come!
    4. It’s fun reading time for you too. Pick a classic that you’ve never had time to read, and read it together.   
    AND don't limit yourself to chapter books. Picture books are fun, no matter how old you are. Here are some of my favorites, totally appropriate for kids in grades 4-6.

    cover image for grumblebunny
    cover image for tuesday
     cover image for pssst
    cover image for the kamishibai man cover image for the secret project
    cover image for the whispering town
       

    by Erin | Feb 26, 2018

    The puppets are coming!

    puppet show 2018
    We are just a few short weeks away from Children's Services' annual Preschool Puppet Show! This year, we'll be courageous with the Brave Little Miss Muffet, and we'll try our best to Don't Wake the Tiger. In between shows, there will be singing and dancing and getting our wiggles out.

    Interested in joining the fun? The dates for this fantastic event are listed below:

    Wednesday, March 14 at 9:30 am, 10:30 am, and 1:30 pm.
    Thursday, March 15 at 9:30 am, 10:30 am, and 1:30 pm.
    Friday, March 16 at 9:30 am, 10:30 am, and 1:30 pm.
    Saturday, March 17 at 10:30 am.

    The Preschool Puppet Show will be held in the Main Library's theater. Space is limited, so please plan to show up early.

    Large groups of 10 or more people must register for the show by calling 421-1220. Smaller groups do not need to register, but will be seated on a first come, first served basis.

    Hope to see you there!
    by Angie Fetters-Nitza | Feb 23, 2018

    We saw some amazing board games created during our last Design It! program. Lots of thought and planning went into the layout of each game, and the games were so creative and fun to play!

    BG1BG5
    BG3BG2

    Join us for the next Design It! program at the Main Library on Wednesday, February 28 from 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM in the Program Room of Children’s Services. We’ll have all the materials you’ll need to create a Mixed Media Collage to take home, hang on your wall and enjoy. Let your artistic imagination run wild. Washable paints will be available for the collages, so please keep that in mind when deciding what to wear.

    by Dawn S | Feb 21, 2018
    We're getting a ton of great graphic novels.
    Try one out today!

    cover image for grace for gus
    cover image for hermes tales of the trickster
     cover image for peter pan cinestory
    cover image for detention of doom cover image for the cutie map
    cover image for the friendship mix-up
    cover image for the mystery of the tree stump ghost  cover image for the half-pipe panic
    cover image for abraham lincoln action presidents
    by Dawn Stoops | Feb 15, 2018
    This week's Messy Art History lesson was about faces in art.
    We covered some history and some serious stuff like proportions of the human face. Did you know that when drawing a face, the eyes should be placed at about the half way point between the chin and the top of the head?

    But then after the realistic stuff, we got a little silly!
    magazine collage face picture magazine collage face picture magazine collage face picture
    magazine collage face picture magazine collage face picture magazine collage face picture
    magazine collage face picture magazine collage face picture magazine collage face picture

    These magazine collage faces were a big hit. As you can see, we just collected face elements from different photos in the magazines then arranged them on a head. The more outrageous the better!

    We always have fun at our homeschool classes at the Grabill Branch Library. We meet the second Monday morning of each month from 10:30 am - 11:30 am.
    We'd love to see you there!

    Check out all homeschool library events on our calendar.
    by Dawn S | Feb 13, 2018
    Have you heard the news? Yesterday the American Library Association announced the 2018 winners of the Youth Media Awards.
    Take a look!

    cover image for wolf in the snow 

    Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children:

    Wolf in the Snow

    illustrated and written by Matthew Cordell is the 2018 Caldecott Medal winner. The book was published by Feiwel and Friends, an Imprint of Macmillan.


    cover image for hello universe
    John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature:

    Hello, Universe

    written by Erin Entrada Kelly, is the 2018 Newbery Medal winner. The book is published by Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

    cover image for out of wonder 
    Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets illustrated by Ekua Holmes, is the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award winner. The book is written by Kwame Alexander with Chris Colderly and Marjory Wentworth and published by Candlewick Press.
    cover image for piecing me together
    Piecing Me Together
    written by Renée Watson, is the Coretta Scott King Author Award winner. The book is published by Bloomsbury Children’s Books.
    cover image for la princesa and the pea
    Pura Belpré Awards honoring Latino writers and illustrators whose children’s books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience:

    La Princesa and the Pea

    illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal, is the Belpré Illustrator Award winner. The book was written by Susan Middleton Elya and published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC

    cover image for twelve days in may 

    Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award for most distinguished informational book for children:

    Twelve Days in May: Freedom Ride 1961

    written by Larry Dane Brimner, is the Sibert Award winner. The book is published by Calkins Creek, an imprint of Highlights.


    cover image for charlie and mouse
    Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for the most distinguished book for beginning readers is:

    Charlie & Mouse

    written by Laurel Snyder and illustrated by Emily Hughes. The book is published by Chronicle Books.
     




    For a complete list or award winners, visit the ALA's news release page.


    by Angie N. | Feb 10, 2018

    cover image for I'm just no good at rhyming

    I’m Just No Good at Rhyming: And Other Nonsense for Mischievous Kids and Immature Grown-Ups
    Written by Chris Harris
    Illustrated by Lane Smith
    Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 192 pages

     

    Let me start out by saying that I am someone who loves poetry. However, I’m sort of picky about what I enjoy, especially when it comes to humorous poetry. It often falls short for me, but I loved this collection of funny and I have to say, sometimes even fall out of your chair laughing poems written by Chris Harris. The illustrations by Lane Smith who’s an award winning machine for his illustrations in books like “Grandpa Green” and “The Stinky Cheese Man” are silly, hilarious and compliment Chris Harris’ poems extremely well. These guys make a good team, and I hope we see more work from the two of them together in the future.

    The author, the illustrator, and even the illustrator’s wife prove on the dedication page of “I’m Just No Good at Rhyming” just how funny and clever the rest of the book is going to be. The laughs continue through to the very end of the book where you see the “portraits” Lane Smith drew of himself and Chris Harris for their biographies. In the Acknowledgements by Chris Harris, he thanks Lane Smith, but insists, “I DO NOT LOOK LIKE THAT!” You’ll have to check out the portrait yourself and see why Mr. Harris is so emphatic. Also, included in the author’s biography is an explanation of what he does in his free time. He of course, “gets older”, which made me laugh out loud.

    This poetry book is filled with poems that will tickle your funny bone no matter how young or old you are, and I’m sure will continue to delight us all as we get older in our free time. One of my personal favorites is “The Race”. It’s about two rocks that decide to race from the mountaintop where they are perched down to the edge of the sea. It begins…

    Two rocks on a mountaintop, 90 BC,

    Gazed far below at the scenery.

    The first one said to the second, “Hey, Lee,

    I’ll race you on down to the edge of that sea.”

    Then they sat there and sat there and sat there and sat there

    And sat there and sat there and sat there.

    I know you’re going to want to find out who won the race, so I’ll say it again, check this book out. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

    Some of the poems in the collection offer a bit more seriousness and thoughtfulness. They include “The Whydoo Inside of You”, “Let’s Meet Right Here in Twenty-Five Years” and another favorite of mine, “The Valleys Shape the Mountains”.

    The valleys shape the mountains.

    The shadow shapes the crescent moon.

    The chill of late December

    Shapes the warmth we feel in June.

    So next time that you’re crying

    Just remember this small rhyme;

    Your sadness shapes the happiness

    You’ll feel again in time.

    This is one of those children’s poetry books that needs to find a permanent place on your bookshelf next to Shel Silverstein and Jack Prelutsky, so you can pull it off the shelf when you want to share a good laugh with a child in your life or just with yourself.