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    by Dawn Stoops | Aug 08, 2016
    I'm naturally drawn to the two main topics of this book - children and art. Maybe you are too? Really, if you work with children in any arena you probably know someone who would benefit from this wonderful new book.

    Art Workshops for Children by Herve Tullet

    cover image for art workshops for kids

    First, a word about the author. Herve Tullet is such a talented author and illustrator who clearly has fun with his craft. He understands children's love of play and works it into books in amazingly unique ways.
    Here are just a few examples.
     cover image for mix it up
     cover image for i am blop
      cover image for the game of mix and match


    So, imagine this joy and creativity used in art workshops for children. Tullet has led these workshops in a variety of places and in this book he describes the process of planning and implementing art workshops for children. These are the kind of events that completely take over the room and get everyone involved in collaborative art creation. He describes a kind of buzz that happens as the children listen to directions and put paint to paper. Each workshop is focused primarily on the process with tons of playfulness and imagination as the project evolves. The book even gives a kind of running dialog the presenter can use to get everyone involved. Yes, the end result is pretty cool, but no one child can take the credit.

    From what I can tell, it sounds like a messy and sometimes chaotic way to create art with kids, but one that lines up perfectly with growing minds and developing bodies. I'm eager to try it out with a group at my library soon!

    by Becky C | Aug 03, 2016
    rumpBook Review:  Rump, the True Story of Rumpelstiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff

    Twelve-year old Rump has been raised with the belief that his name is his destiny.  And while a name that seems to only be a playful term for butt doesn’t seem like it holds much of a destiny, he’s also always believed that Rump was not the full name his mother intended for him.  But how can he discover his true name when his mother was the only one who knew it and she died shortly after he was born?

    When he finds his mother’s spindle, his life takes a dramatic turn.  He can spin straw into gold.  He’s thrilled at first, believing that he and his Gran will never have to go hungry again.  But then he realizes there’s a catch to his magic — he can trade the gold that he spins but he has to accept whatever is offered to him, no matter how unequal the trade.  No matter how repellent.  He doesn’t think his situation can get any worse but it can.  It does.

    Spun gold is finer than the meager bits of gold typically found in the mountains and it captures the attention of the King who comes to the village in search of its source.  For reasons of his own, the miller claims that his daughter is the spinner of the gold.  And Rump knows that he must spin for her or the king will punish her and the people of The Mountain.  But, because magic operates under its own rules, she must offer him something in return.  And unfortunately, Opal lacks imagination, locking both of them into an agreement neither wants.

    Desperate to escape the terrible promise Opal has made him, Rump goes on a quest to find his mother’s family, hoping they know something about his magic that he does not.

    My daughter and I loved this book!!!  Shurtliff offers a touching and believable twist on a familiar tale.  Every story has at least two perspectives, after all, and we enjoyed being given a glimpse of the “villain’s” side of things.  We also loved the hints about other fairy tale characters and their alternate stories.  Gnomes who run messages, pixies who love gold, and trolls who want pets are just a few of the lighthearted details that make this such a fun read.

    Discussion Questions:

    Becky CBecky likes to read … A LOT. When she’s not reading, she likes to pretend that she can garden. Her thumb has no hint of green whatsoever but luckily her plants are forgiving. Her favorite books are The Shannara series by Terry Brooks.
    by Dawn S | Aug 01, 2016
    Impress your friends with great facts you learned from reading these books! We've got lots of new non-fiction to choose from.

     cover image for who was jules verne
      cover image for science experiments you can eat
     cover image for emergency rescue
     cover image for giraffes
    cover image for how deep is the ocean
     cover image geography
      cover image for beginners united states atlas
      cover image for spaceships and rockets
    cover image for becoming president
    by Dawn S | Jul 29, 2016
    It's a comic book. It's a science book. It's both!
    We just got two books in this series of non-fiction comics. They're colorful and engaging with lots of extras like a glossary, bibliography, and list of additional resources.
    Here's a little more about each one.

    cover image for coral reefs

    Coral Reefs: cities of the ocean
    by Maris Wicks
    This book starts with an introduction by the Associate Research Scientist of the New England Aquarium, Dr. Randi Rotjan. Once the comic gets started we're being addressed by a very knowledgeable yellow fish. As narrator, he starts with the basics of coral reefs by contrasting plants and animals. After a brief history lesson on the formation of the earth we're introduced to some of the over 6,000 species of coral.
    There's a lot of great stuff packed into this comic!

    cover image for Dinosaurs
    Dinosaurs: fossils and feathers
    by M.K. Reed

    Unlike the Coral Reefs book, we can't see the narrator in this comic on Dinosaurs. The dinosaur facts are presented as we learn how scientists and fossil hunters first discovered dinosaur remains. Mistakes, rivalries, and superstitions drive this narrative forward and make it more interesting than a mere breakdown of known dinosaur species. The book ends with a note of all there is yet to discover about dinosaurs.

    question mark

    What topic would you like to see in this series?
    (I think Bats and Volcanoes are in the works!)

    by Erin W | Jul 26, 2016
    ...But there's still time to turn in your timesheets or bonus round bookmarks! The Summer Reading Program officially ends on Sunday, July 31st. The Main Library will be open that day and will be accepting timesheets and bonus round bookmarks, so be sure to pay us a visit!

    At the Main Library, each child who completes a bonus round bookmark gets to sign his or her name on a star that will be hung on the orange ribbon. We're trying to make it all the way back to the fish tanks, but could use some extra help!

    Summer Reading Stars

    Other locations are also doing fun stuff for the bonus round, so feel free to stop by your favorite branch to see what they're doing! Here's when various libraries will be open:

    Friday, July 29th:

    Main Library is open 9am - 6pm

    Branch locations are open 10am - 6pm

    Saturday, July 30th:

    Main Library is open 9am - 6pm

    The Aboite Branch, Dupont Branch, Georgetown Branch and Shawnee Branch are open 10am - 6pm

    Sunday, July 31st:

    Main Library is open from Noon - 5pm.

    by Kris L | Jul 25, 2016

    Summer is a time when many families travel together – explore new places, see new things, have grand adventures.  Many families visit museums, amusement parks, zoos, state and national parks, and these are all wonderful things.  But have you even considered visiting LIBRARIES when you travel?

    This family traveled from Ohio to visit Fort Wayne and made a point of visiting not one, but TWO libraries – the Georgetown branch, where they visited their former hometown librarian, Ms. Courtney, pictured below, and the Main Library.  They have a wonderful tradition of visiting libraries whenever they go out of town.  So far, they have been to 21 different libraries!    

    Here in Allen County, we don’t have to travel far to visit a new library.  Did you know that there are 14 different Allen County Public Library locations?  Why not make a point of visiting a new-to-you library during the last few weeks of summer?   

    Family visiting the Georgetown branch library


    by Miss Heather | Jul 21, 2016
    Our times are tough. It seems like the masses are polarized--republican vs. democrat, black vs. blue, rich vs. poor, young vs. old. Some of these divisions have been around for ages, others are newer and seemingly divide us further than we have been in decades. Do we want those divisions passed on to and through "our" children? How do we set examples to the contrary when all we want to do is to cheer on a particular viewpoint?

    I just pulled together a booklist for a parent asking for books to help her discuss race and racism with her 2, 5, and 6 year olds. Wow. Where to begin? In my search I stumbled on a couple books I had not read. I've read them now and want to pass along the titles as they do a great job of talking about conflict and division in a story format perfect for the younger set.

    1. Green Lizards vs. Red Rectangles by Steve Antony

    From the book jacket: "The green lizards wanted to defeat the red rectangles. The red rectangles wanted to defeat the green lizards. They were at war! Eventually they realized, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! They stopped fighting and by working together, the green lizards and the red rectangles found a way to live peacefully."     
    It takes SO MUCH work to get along! This book doesn't sugar coat the process--it takes so many tries to get to co-existence.

    2. My Two Blankets by Irena Kobald & Freya Blackwood
    two blanketsFrom the book jacket: "Cartwheel moves to a new country with her auntie--and everything is strange: the animals, the plants--even the wind...
    An old blanket gives Cartwheel comfort when she's sad--and a new blanket just might change her world."

    This simple tale works for the topic of moving as well as acceptance of those who are different. Encourage your kiddos to be the friend to someone who hasn't anyone. And help your kiddo understand that it is okay to be sad about things for a while. It takes time to feel better and we often need to do that on our own.

    The other books I recommended included Mem Fox's Whoever Your Are, Michael Tyler's Skin You Live In;  and Bell Hooks', Skin Again. Are there books you'd recommend to other parents on the topic of getting along, tolerance, conflict, and/or race and racism?

    by Dawn S | Jul 19, 2016
    Take a look at these new early readers!

     cover image for lights out
      cover image for dog-gone school
     cover image for teacher's pet
     cover image for how not to run for class president
    cover image for incredible insects
     cover image for fancy nancy splendid speller
      cover image for build dogs build a tall tail
      cover image for favorite stories from cowgirl kate and cocoa spring babies
    cover image for amazing mammals
    by Dawn Stoops | Jul 15, 2016
    Last week was vacation time for me and my family.
    My husband and I zipped along the highway to central Wisconsin with two kids and two grandparents sharing the back seats. Grandma brought along two new books for the kids, but my kids LOVE new stories and by the time we'd passed through Chicago all the grown ups were sick and tired of the limited reading selection.

    What to do?
    overdrive app advertisement

    Overdrive to the rescue! With a few taps on my phone, we had access to the library's Overdrive account with lots of wonderful audio books just for kids. Winnie the Pooh saved the day! We could just as easily have listened to Hi Fly Guy by Tedd Arnold, Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems, Penny and Her Song by Kevin Henkes, or Bless This Mouse by Lois Lowry. There were plenty of choices for our preschool passengers. The kids and adults rode happily for the rest of the trip.

    by Dawn S | Jul 13, 2016
    It's July 13th and maybe you're worried that the Summer Reading Program has passed you by. If you haven't started yet, there's still time! You've got until July 31st to track the time you spend reading and get your gifts. Just check out the details here!

    There's also still time to do all sorts of fun summer stuff!
    Have you...

    cover image for the help yourself cookbook for kids
    ...done any cooking?

    cover image for the flying machine book
    ...flown any paper airplanes?

    cover image for real or fake
    ...played 'real or fake' with a friend?

    cover image for rocks and minerals
    ...found any cool rocks?

    It's not too late!

    by Dawn Stoops | Jul 07, 2016

    Summer fun at the library isn't just for those big kids who go to school in the fall. It's for smaller ones too!

    For the third year, libraries are offering Toddlerpalooza. Toddlers and their grown-ups are invited to a raucous good time of reading, talking, singing, playing, and writing. We'll have stations set up with wonderful things to explore.

    toddler playing

    Little Turtle Branch Library • 7/8 • 10:30 am

    Waynedale Branch Library • 7/12 • 10:30 am

    Shawnee Branch Library • 7/14 • 10:00 am

    Monroeville Branch Library • 7/18 • 3:30 pm

    Tecumseh Branch Library • 7/21 • 10:30 am

    Georgetown Branch Library • 7/23 • 10:30 am

    Grabill Branch Library • 7/26 • 10:30 am

    Children's Services @ Main Library • 7/29 • 10:30 am

    by Dawn S | Jul 05, 2016
    Here are some new books that go along with summer movies and TV shows. Do you have a favorite?

     cover image for a day with doc
      cover image for ice age collision course
     cover image for fuli finds her place
     cover image for meet criffin rock rescue character guide
    cover image for pete's dragon
     cover image for finding dory
      cover image for teenage ninja turtles out of the shadows
      cover image for the bfg
    cover image for ghostbusters movie novelization
    by Dawn S | Jul 01, 2016
    We hope you got to meet the Cookie Mouse who visited libraries all around Allen County last week. Before he left, he gave us some book suggestions for fun summer reading. Check it out!
    kids posing with the cookie mouse character

    Of course, Cookie Mouse loves all the books about his own adventures.

     cover image for happy birthday mouse
     cover image for if you take a mouse to the movies
      cover image for the best mouse cookie


    He said these were great too!

     cover image for mouse count
      cover image for big bad bunny
      cover image for you're too small
      cover image for the mouse with the question mark tail
    cover image for ralph s mouse
     cover image for mouse mess

    by Dawn S | Jun 27, 2016
    The Main Library's Plaza is a busy place this summer!
    Recently kids had the opportunity to create chalk art for everyone to enjoy.
    kids drawing with chalk
    In July, Jim Gill will be preforming a couple of concerts for families who love to sing and play together. Bring your blankets and chairs on Friday, July 8th, for the 10:30 am or 6:30 pm show.

    Thursday, July 7th, try out the Makerspace Create: Tensile Bubbles program that will include bubble blowing on the plaza. Both sessions,10:30 am and 2:30 pm, will meet in the Children's Department first.

    For more information on these fun outdoor programs call Children's Services at 421-1220.
    by Dawn Stoops | Jun 21, 2016
    You can never have too many picture books on hand for summer reading!
    Here are a few great new ones.

     book cover for this is my dollhouse
      book cover for busy builders busy week
      book cover for otter goes to school
      book cover for  the moon's almost here
    book cover for my hand
     book cover for splat the cat and the big secret
      book cover for go pete go
      book cover for little wing learns to fly
    book cover for animal talk
    by Dawn S | Jun 17, 2016
    Open Art is your chance this summer to get crafty, and maybe messy, at the library.

    girl with craft creation

    What is this?

    It's a wonderful craft creation made by a girl and her dad earlier this month at the Grabill Library. The wonderful thing about Open Art is that it's totally up to you and your creativity. We'll have a variety of supplies and you can just create. Make something big or small, bright or dark, complicated or simple. It's totally up to you. All kids are invited!
    by Dawn S | Jun 16, 2016
    Here's a new book with no words! It's a picture guessing game for little ones and it's lots of fun.
    Now You See Me, Now You Don't
    by Silvia Borando
    book cover for now you see me now you don't

    The book starts out with a two page spread of animal shapes like an elephant, a cat, and a bear. Each page has the same arrangement of animals, but because the background color keeps changing, you have to guess which animal (or animals) is missing. It's a simple and fun concept made even better with a small animal near the bottom of the page.

    Young kids will love testing their memory and playing along in Now You See Me, Now You Don't. Check out Silvia Borando's other books too!
    by Dawn Stoops | Jun 09, 2016
    You're not going to want to miss this!
    picture of 3 adults holding burmese python

    Snakehead Ed is making the rounds this summer with his slithery reptile friends. Check out the schedule to see when he'll be at your local library.
    While you're there be sure to check out their snake book collection!

     cover image garter snakes
      cover image burmese pythons
      cover image it's a good thing there are snakes
      cover image do you really want a snake
    cover image snakes are hunters
     cover image fly guy presents snakes

    by Dawn Stoops | Jun 07, 2016
    If you've got a young baseball fan at home consider reading this new book together!
    first book of baseball book cover
    My First Book of Baseball
    by Beth Bugler

    My son and I have read and reread this book all about the basics of baseball. Each page has simple text to explain how the game is played along with photos of real professional players in the midst of real games. The artwork combines these player pictures with funny captions like "I can't believe I forgot my hat.".  There's also a little cartoon player who helps move the book along with his own silly comments.

    Ask your librarian if you need more baseball books to satisfy your little sports fan. We've got plenty of books about other sports too!

    by Dawn S | Jun 03, 2016
    Science books come in all shapes, sizes, and reading levels. When you're reading for fun this summer, how about trying something like this?

    how much does a ladybug weigh book cover

    How Much Does a Ladybug Weigh?
    by Allison Limentani
    This bright and bold picture book answers the simple question in the title with comparisons. How much does a garden snail weigh? It weighs the same as seven stickleback fish. Little minds will love this introduction to counting, measuring, and comparing.

    astronomy, astronauts, and space exploration book cover
    Astronomy, Astronauts, and Space Exploration
    by Clive Gifford
    Curious kids will love this book packed with information about telescopes, spacesuits, astronaut training, and space history.

    weird bugs book cover

    Weird Bugs
    The amazing photos of odd looking bugs will captivate you even if you don't like creepy crawlies. There's lots to learn here about many of the world's weirdest bugs.