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    by Dawn S | Aug 17, 2017
    Today at the Grabill Branch Library we've fielded a lot of questions about the solar eclipse happening on Monday. Mostly, people want to know if we have viewing glasses to give away. The answer is no, but we'll have pairs of glasses to use here on Monday and fun activities too!

    In fact, every location of the Allen County Public Library will have glasses to share on Monday. Check out our official Facebook Event Page here.

    This super science event calls for some super science books! Here are some suggestions.

    cover image for why do elephants need the sun

      cover image for the sun: our amazing star
    cover image for eclipse darkness in the daytime
    cover image for the sun is our nearest star
    cover image for moon
    cover image for solar and lunar eclipses


    We'd love to see you on Monday!
    by Mary Voors | Aug 15, 2017

    We have been having so much fun all summer long with storytimes outside, and we still have two Mondays of Storytime at the Park left in our summer programming!
    Storytime at the Park

    As part of a cooperative venture between Riverfront Fort Wayne and the downtown Public Library, we’d love to see you and your kids at the Headwaters Park West Ampitheatre for Storytime in the Park at 10:30 each Monday morning through August 28th. Enjoy the fresh air as you enjoy stories, songs, rhymes and more. (In the event of inclement weather, this program will be held at the downtown public Library.)

    It’s all fun and it’s all free! Join us!

    Here's how to find the storytime:  Head North on Harrison. Cross Superior Street and turn right immediately before the Harrison Street Bridge. There is a parking lot on the right.   Follow the sidewalk to the outdoor ampitheater. We’ll see you there!

    by Cindy H | Aug 10, 2017
    Sergio is a penguin. Sergio's favorite things in the world are soccer, fishies, and water. He especially loves water of all kinds! Water can make him happy, relaxed, playful, and silly. Even though he loves water, Sergio can also be scared of it because he doesn't know how to swim. On his first day of school, his class takes a field trip to the ocean where they are going to learn how to swim. Sergio is nervous because the ocean is so big, deep, and dark. He watches his friends dive in, having a great time. He decides to jump in! Even though he doesn't get into the water very gracefully, he finds that it is a ton of fun and he can't wait to go back. Maybe next time he'll even be able to get in without his floaties!

    This is a cute story that is great for encouraging reluctant swimmers. Sergio is an adorable little penguin, and you get to learn some fun facts about him, such as where he lives, and how he is different from many other types of birds. This picture book is recommended for children ages 4-8.

    Sergio Makes a Splash, written and illustrated by Edel Rodriguez, is available in print at the library, click the picture of the book's cover to place on hold! If you like this book, check out another book about Sergio, Sergio Saves the Game.
    by Katie B. | Aug 08, 2017
    One of my favorite annual programs here in Children's Services is the Stuffed Animal Sleepover.  Kids are invited to bring in a stuffed animal friend to share a special storytime before we tuck our stuffed friends in for a sleepover at the library.  
     Storytime with a friend
    Of course, after the library closes, the real fun begins!  The animals are much too excited to sleep and they get into all kinds of shenanigans.  This year's guests took a trip down to storage, made s'mores on the library plaza, and raced library carts in the Great Hall among other things.
     Checking out Juvenile Storage  Making s'mores on the plaza
     Racing carts

    The next day, our overnight guests were picked up by their owners along with a photo book that documented their after-hours adventures at the library.  If you missed the sleepover this year, be sure to be on the lookout for next year's event.  The animals find new adventures to have every year so the program is always a little different each time.
     Block tower
    by Dawn S | Aug 07, 2017
    Add a back to school book to your school supply list this month! We've got nonfiction books about teachers, bus safety, and making friends. We've got fiction titles for kids who are nervous about starting school, kids who are excited about starting school, and everyone in between!

    cover image for jake starts school  cover image for growing friendships: every kids guide to making and keeping friends
    cover image for my school bus: a book about school bus safety
    cover image for the kissing hand
    cover image for amanda panda quits kindergarten
    cover image for schools first day of school
    cover image for teachers
      cover image for back to school
    cover image for everything you need to know about math homework
    For more great recommendations, visit your library and ask a librarian. We love to help!
    by Katie B. | Aug 02, 2017

                Starry Blenny

    This month’s featured fish is our Starry Blenny. You can find him in our East Tank hidden among our damselfish. Although he is unique looking (especially in a tank of fish that all look pretty much the same), he can be a little hard to spot. His beautiful, spotted pattern makes excellent camouflage and allows him to blend in with his surroundings. Our blenny is a bottom dweller and you can most often find him relaxing on the floor of the aquarium. Then again, he can be a bit of a busybody and sometimes you will find him perched on the castle or other aquarium decorations keeping an eye on what’s happening. You probably won’t see him swim too often. Blennies are grazing fish that feed mostly on algae but that doesn’t diminish how cool this little fish can be.  His “eyebrows” make him one of the most expressive fish in our aquariums here in Children’s Services.

                                 My Visit to the Aquarium

    My Visit to the Aquarium by Aliki is a wonderful non-fiction book that explores all kinds of different sea creatures.  It reads like a picture book so it even works well as a lap read with younger children.

    by Dawn Stoops | Jul 31, 2017
    Sometimes there's ONE perfect book for a particular situation.

    Several years ago I had a local elementary school principal ask me what I'd recommend she read to classes as she visited each teacher and introduced herself to the students at the beginning of the school year. My suggestion? A Fine, Fine School by Sharon Creech.
    cover image for a fine fine school

    This is indeed the perfect book! It's all about what happens when the principal of Tillie's school is so proud of all the great learning happening at his school that he decides the kids should go to school EVERY DAY of the year. Bright-faced, children engaged in learning is every principal's dream! Going to school every day, including weekends and holidays, is every kid's nightmare! Tillie knows there's lots of learning happening at home too. Her dog and little brother miss those important lessons when they see Tillie off to school every day. In the end, Tillie finds the courage to teach her principal an important lesson too.

    Here's the thing. That request was 15 years ago. I was wondering the other day if there was another, newer book that I would pass along to a principal with the same request this year. Nope. I've seen my fair share of great children's books come my way as a librarian for the past 12 years and I still can't think of a better book.

    Sometimes there really is one perfect book. Librarians love helping you find it!

    by Cindy H | Jul 26, 2017
    Fireflies, by Julie Brinckloe, is the story of a child who eagerly joins the other neighborhood children to catch the beautiful fireflies that light up the night sky. They each catch what feels like hundreds of the insects in their jars. After their parents tell them to come in and go to bed, the child watches the glass glow like moonlight. They begin to notice, however, that the fireflies do not fly or glow the same as they did outside, and soon their lights are barely glowing at all. The child knows they must free the fireflies into the night sky. As they release the fireflies out their open window, they are sad to see them fly away, but cannot help but smile knowing the fireflies are back where they belong.

    This is a tender and sweet story that not only encapsulates the childhood excitement of catching fireflies but also teaches a lesson in kindness and empathy. Although the story was written over 30 years ago, the joy of fireflies transcends time. I believe children will find it entrancing, and parents will enjoy feeling the nostalgia for catching fireflies in their youth.

    This book is recommended for children ages 5-8. It is available in print at the library, click the picture of the book's cover to place on hold!
    by Teresa Walls | Jul 24, 2017
    the dumpster drummers
    Learn and celebrate recycling and environmental conservation with The Dumpster Drummers who will perform two fun, action-packed 30-minute shows in the Main Library's Meeting Room ABC on Wednesday, August 2. The first show is 10:30 am; the second is 2 pm.
    by Dawn Stoops | Jul 20, 2017
    Yesterday I lugged home a bag of library books for my two boys. The four-year-old looked the pile over appreciatively then announced, "you got the wrong book mommy! This one is scary. It's not for kids."
    page from mr wuffles
    Evidently he didn't think Mr. Wuffles by David Wiesner was appropriate for kids his age. We did a little 'book walk' through the pages so I could point out the funny parts and the general plot while he took a second look at the scary pictures to see if they were really all that terrifying. The verdict? He decided it was probably ok and asked me to read it right after the Lego City book about farms.

    cover image for mr wuffles
    Mr. Wuffles is indeed the perfect book for preschoolers and kids just learning to read! See the word bubbles for the aliens and bugs? There are not many actual words in the entire book. Mostly it's just a series of panels where readers tell what's happening by getting clues from details showing characters, action, facial expressions, and setting. It takes some work, but it  makes for stronger readers. Readers who know how to soak in a book in its entirety to get the full story. And it's fun! There are plenty of books like this if you'd like to explore wordless and nearly wordless picture books with your new reader. Just ask your librarian or try some on this Children's Services Book List.
    by Dawn S | Jul 17, 2017
    You've got a limited time for summer reading - the kind without assignments, AR points, lexile levels, or book reports. Here are some great new books to try!
    cover image for spiderman prelude cover image for victor shmud total expert
    cover image for slime 101
    cover image for the tail of the timberwolf
    cover image for pokemon first partner handbook
    cover image for cosmic commandos
    cover image for never say nether
      cover image for the kid from planet z cover image for two truths and a lie
    by Dawn S | Jul 12, 2017
    Today's program at the Grabill Branch Library was loads of fun and tasty too!
    boy making snack
    fruit and veggie snack
    girl making snack
    fruit and veggie snack
    boy with snack
    Find out where the next Fun with Food class will be here!


    Thanks to the Foellinger Foundation and the Friends of the Library for making these sorts of exciting summer programs possible!
    by Michal M. | Jul 10, 2017

    yellow duckling

    The Children’s Services department at the Main Library has partnered with Riverfront Fort Wayne and started a new venture this summer called Little Science Explorers at Lawton Park. The first topic we explored was BIRDS!--which happens to be one of my favorite topics! I had the hardest time choosing what book to read and what birds to focus on because there are so many different kinds!

    Do you know what bird has the largest wingspan that can fly? It’s the Andean Condor! Can you guess how looooong the wing is from one tip to the next? It’s about 10 feet long! Since we know what the biggest flying bird’s wingspan is, what about the smallest? Check this book out about tiny birds to read more about the smallest ones. Don't forget to read about the Bee Hummingbird!

    Here is a fun activity you can do at home with comparisons: first think of the condor’s wingspan and then think of something really small, like a hummingbird. Cut a piece of yarn to the length of the condor’s wingspan and stretch it out between two people or line up smaller items to see how many paper clips it would take to reach from one end of the yarn to the other. Then, cut a piece of yarn to match the length of the hummingbird's wingspan! How many paperclips does it take to measure the hummingbird's wingspan? The difference is very noticeable! (Check out Measuring Penny by Loren Leedy for more ideas on how to measure with everyday objects!)

    If you really love birds and want to explore some more fun books check out these:

    Birds Make Nests by Michael Garland
    A Bird is a Bird by Lizzy Rockwell
    Bird Nests by Hopkins
    - Robin, Where are You? by Harriet Ziefert
    - Look Up! Bird-Watching in Your Own Backyard by Annette Cate
    - Hooray for Birds by Lucy Cousins
    - Birds by Kevin Henkes

    Come join us for fun explorations in Lawton Park on the first Saturday of each month. Here is the topic line-up:

    August 5th - Stars
    September 2nd - Aquatic Wildlife
    October 7th - Leaves
    November 4th - Signs of Winter

    Hope to see you soon!

    by Miss Heather | Jul 07, 2017

    GSK Science in the Summer from Science Central is a fun and free science education program sponsored by GSK for students entering grades 2-6. This year’s theme is “Science of Sports.”

    Kids will explore the role of science, technology, engineering, and math in sports. Through active hands-on learning, students discover that athletes need to be physically as well as mentally fit and properly equipped to excel. At the same time, students learn how a broad and diverse network of STEM professionals support athletes. The Science of Sports program shows them that science is another way to get in the game.

    Sessions will be held at Shawnee Branch Library, 5600 Noll Avenue, July 17-July 20, 2:30-3:30pm and Mondays in July, 2pm at  Hessen Cassel Branch, 3030 Paulding Rd. and July 24-27 at Tecumseh Branch, 1411 E State Blvd. There is no cost for this Science Central program!



    by Cindy H | Jul 06, 2017
    Lucy and the Bully, written and illustrated by Claire Alexander, is the story of a little lamb named Lucy who is one of the most talented artists in her class. She is very kind and well-liked, except by Tommy, who is a bull. Tommy spills paint on her drawings, breaks her clay model, and rips her storybook. Each day Lucy comes home, sadder than the day before, but she is afraid to tell her mother what is going on with Tommy at school. Finally, Lucy breaks down and confesses to her mother what she has been experiencing. She is afraid of what will happen, but her mother calls their teacher, Ms. Goosie, to explain what Lucy has been going through. When she gets to school the next day, Lucy notices that Tommy is very quiet and withdrawn. She begins to feel sorry for him and decides to tell him that she likes the drawing he is doing and ask him to draw one for her too. Tommy is surprised, because no one has ever asked him to draw something for them before. He gives Lucy his drawing and apologizes for hurting Lucy and breaking her things. In the end, they decide to go outside and play together.

    There is a note at the beginning of the book to help parents and caregivers understand the importance of encouraging children to talk with them about bullying. This book is a great way to approach the subject with your young children, and is a good lesson on being kind and understanding as well. Bullying is something nearly all children will experience at some point or another, so reading this book with your child will help them know that you are there and will listen to them if they are in trouble. This picture book is recommended for children ages 4-8 and is available in print at the library. Click the picture of the book's cover to place on hold!
    by Katie B. | Jul 03, 2017

    We have a lot of cool fish in our three 175 gallon aquariums here in Children's Services at the Main Library, but my personal favorite is our porcupine puffer fish. This little fish always looks like he has a smile on his face.
    Porcupine Puffer 2

    Our porcupine puffer also has one really cool trick - he can fill his body with water and turn into a spiky ball! In the wild, puffer fish use this trick to scare away any predators that might want to eat them. Here at the library, our puffer doesn’t have any predators to worry about but you still might catch him all puffed up. Porcupine puffer fish will also puff up just to keep their skin flexible. I have caught our puffer here in Children's Services “stretching out” twice now during some rare quiet moments in the department.
    Porcupine Puffer

    For a couple of adorable picture books featuring puffer fish, be sure to check out Poor Little Guy by Elanna Allen and Sea Monkey & Bob by Aaron Reynolds.
    Poor Little Guy Elanna AllenSea Monkey and Bob Aaron Reynolds

    If you have never seen a porcupine puffer fish in action before, check out this video I was able to get of our resident porcupine puffer here in Children's Services.        

    by Dawn S | Jun 29, 2017
    Summer time is bug time! As an adult, I'm usually annoyed by a buzz or a sting. Little ones, however, can be fascinated by creepy crawlies. The world of children's books has no shortage of great bug books. Here are just a few, perfect for the 2-6 year old crowd.


    cover image for tiny little fly 

    Tiny Little Fly
    by Michael Rosen
    This tiny little fly is such a pest! Every animal in the jungle wants him gone, but even the biggest can't destroy little fly's fun day.

    cover image for give bees a chance

    Give Bees a Chance
    by Bethany Barton
    Wow! There's a lot to learn about bees. These super pollinators come in 25,000 varieties. Some make tasty honey. This cartoon style book makes it fun to learn about bees.

    cover image for bugs galore
    Bugs Galore
    by Peter Stein
    Rhyming text and pop art pictures make this a colorful, silly read. I love how the pictures mimic real bugs and something more like monster bugs.
    cover image for can you make a scarry face
    Can You Make a Scary Face?
    by Jan Thomas
    See this bug? He's talking to you. Yes, there's a bug in this book who tells you what to do and how to do it. There's nothing like getting bossed around by a bug!
    cover image for cricket in the thicket
    Cricket in the Thicket
    by Carol Murray

    Try out some poems about bugs and learn a little something with interesting facts sprinkled throughout the book.

    Ask for more bug books when you visit your local library and don't forget about our Explore the Honeybee programs coming up in July!

    by Dawn Stoops | Jun 26, 2017
    cover image for my kinda music cd
    The newest album by Walter Martin, My Kinda Music is now available as a CD from the library or a digital music loan from the library's Hoopla service.

    My family has enjoyed this album just as much as his first kids' music release We're All Young Together. Songs like 'The everglades' perfectly match our weird sense of humor, with crashing instrumentation near the end of the song as a simple car trip through the everglades ends in disaster. There are also plenty of inventive songs with Martin adding instruments as he sings a song about creating a song, or a song in phone conversation form with another singer giving musical advice. The quiet, tender songs on the album are like little stories whispered with love.

    This is truly music that the entire family can enjoy. Give it a try!

    by Cindy H | Jun 21, 2017
    The Jar of Happiness, written and illustrated by Alisa Burrows, is a story about a girl named Meg who invents a way to carry happiness around with her, a jar of happiness. She takes the jar with her everywhere she goes. She uses it to cheer up her sad friend, her sick grandmother, and her little brother. One day she loses the jar and can't find it anywhere. Although she is sad about losing her jar, she visits her friend, grandmother, and plays with her little brother, who all help cheer her up. She learns that even though she can't find her jar she still finds happiness in the people she cares about.

    This is a very sweet story and helps children learn about friendship and empathy. As an extension to this book you could help your child create their own jar of happiness. Just get a small jar, like a mason jar or old pickle jar, and let them put things in it that make them happy. Glitter, small toys, pictures from magazines or of friends and family members, and/or splashes of paint can help them connect what they read to real life. Be creative, and enjoy seeing them use their own jar of happiness to brighten a loved one's day!

    This picture book is recommended for children ages 3-7. Click the picture of the book's cover to place on hold!
    by Erica S | Jun 19, 2017

    It’s okay to aHappy kidsdmit that life is sometimes busy and sometimes very difficult. It’s okay to say that we get too preoccupied with our phones and our stressors to be aware of the present moment. It’s quite okay to know that being intentional can be a tough task. We, in Children’s Services, understand and want to help. 

    Recent research has shown that mindfulness can be crucial and transformative for everyone, children included, in everyday life to calm, to collect, to redirect. That’s why we have invited Bethany Pruitt, a licensed social worker, family therapist, and registered yoga teacher, to help us learn intentional breathing for our children AND for us. Meet us in the Globe Room Thursday, June 22 at 6:30 pm at the Main Library.

    Centered around Jon Kabat-Zinn’s definition, “Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose in the present moment, and non-judgmentally,” (Wherever You Go There You Are, 4) this is an open class, no registration, and completely free. Grown-ups, bring your little ones for a hands-on workshop on how to breathe intentionally to add to your resources to help the children in your life.