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    by Cindy H | Apr 06, 2017
    Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla, written by Katherine Applegate and illustrated by G. Brian Karas, is the story of how a young gorilla was taken from the wild and showcased in a shopping mall for much of his life. The story describes Ivan's life living with a large family of western lowland gorillas in a tropical forest in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It describes how he was taken by poachers, along with another baby gorilla (who doesn't survive), and shipped to Tacoma, Washington. He lived almost like a human child for a few years, in the home of a pet shop owner, until he became too big. Ivan then went to live in a cage at a mall for 27 years until local and national attention helped move Ivan to a more suitable home, the Atlanta Zoo.

    This book contains factual information about Ivan's story, although some elements may be embellished or enhanced for the sake of the story. The pictures are warm and personable, balancing both the hard reality Ivan faced and the love he received from those who met him. They make this story approachable for young audiences.

    At the end of the book the author describes the true story in detail and provides references on where more information can be found. While the story has a happy ending, some children may be upset when baby Ivan is taken from his family, or made to live in confinement. This would be a good time to have a conversation about animal needs and rights.

    Ivan has won many awards and is recommended for children ages 4-7. This book is available in print or as an e-book via Overdrive. For older children, Katherine Applegate also wrote a somewhat more fictionalized tale called The One and Only Ivan written from Ivan's perspective that I would highly recommend.
    by Kris L | Apr 04, 2017

    We made sock puppets recently at the Georgetown branch library's weekly Family Fun Night!

    Making sock puppets

    Making a sock puppet

    And then we tried out some storytelling with the library's puppet collection!

    Storytelling with puppets

    Puppets are a wonderful toy – and a fun way to practice early literacy skills.  What are early literacy skills?  The reading, singing, talking, playing and writing that parents and caregivers do with young children that help them get ready for school.  Like playing with puppets!

    Among other things, making up or retelling stories with puppets gives children an opportunity to practice using words.  And as adults join the fun and play WITH their children, they can enhance this practice by introducing new words.  Try it!  You’ll not only be having fun, but you’ll be helping your children’s brain development.

    by Dawn Stoops | Apr 03, 2017
    picture of a pile of lids
    Our family has a thing for peanut butter. It's a staple in the sandwich department, it makes great cookies, and elevates bananas to an extra yummy treat with protein power. I started collecting peanut butter jar lids for possible library craft projects and discovered something else instead.

    Large lids have a lot of math potential!

    Young children need lots of math concept practice before they start school. Sorting, counting, matching, and creating patterns are all key to getting those little minds thinking mathematical thoughts. With a collection of peanut butter lids and other large  lids (non choking hazard size) children can play all sorts of games.

    - sort the big ones from the smaller ones
    - sort them by colors
    - make a pattern of one face up and one face down, then repeat
    - count them as they are dropped into a bowl or box

    Large lids help babies develop!

    Things like peanut butter lids are also great for babies! Those tiny bodies need practice grasping, reaching, lifting, and matching what they see to what they want their hands to do. I probably wouldn't have thought about the potential of plastic lids with babies if I hadn't seen these great resources at the library.
    cover image for loose partscover image for loose parts 2
    These hefty, well researched books by Lisa Daly and Miriam Beloglovsky give all the why's and how's of helping children learn and develop by playing with found objects.

    Here's a bit from the publisher:
    "A variety of new and innovative loose parts ideas are paired with beautiful photography to inspire safe loose parts play in your infant toddler environment. Learn about the safety considerations of each age group and how to appropriately select materials for your children. "

    I love learning about new ways to help children learn and it's especially nice when it involves reusing something I have around the house. Who knew those peanut butter lids could be such a powerful, earth friendly, way to help kids grow!


    by Dawn S | Mar 30, 2017
    School vacations are a great time to visit your local library, or a library far away. Some families seek out new libraries when on vacation in a new town. I highly recommend it!

    If you're staying  in town, The Allen County Public Library has some fun upcoming programs!
    picture of girl with a banan on her head

    April Fools' Day Scavenger Hunt- Saturday, April 1st - all day at the Main Library in Children's Services
    April Fools Scavenger Hunt- Tuesday, April 4th - Friday, April 8th - all day each day at the Georgetown Branch Library

    Lego Clubs

    Minecraft Masters

    other great Spring Break stuff

    Check out our full calendar here!

    by Kara E. | Mar 27, 2017

    Everyone knows the story of Little Red Riding hood… or do they? Check out these silly fairy tale retellings at your library!

    cover image for super red riding hood
    cover image for honestly red riding hood was rotten
    cover image for little red
    cover image for The cat, the dog, Little Red, the exploding eggs, the wolf, and Grandma
    cover image for ninja red riding hood
    cover image for little red hot


    by Miss Heather | Mar 24, 2017
    index.aspxWhat do you know about octopuses? Did you know that each octopus "arm" has about 240 suckers on it? They help an octopus move, hunt, and even taste!

    While there are many picture books and non-fiction books featuring octopuses there is an excellent book that combines the two with a rhythmic text peppered with facts. Octopus Escapes Again! by Laurie Ellen Angus can be read to/with a younger child using just the story but can include the italicized facts to be shared with an older child. Following the story is an "explore more" section with fun facts about the octopus and other sea animals. There are also extension activity ideas and suggested videos to allow for a fuller understanding of octopuses. The video below is linked--it shows a large octopus escaping thru a 1" hole! Find the book on the shelves at all our ACPL locations. More fun activities are also available on the publisher's website.

    by Kris L | Mar 22, 2017
    The library receives new books almost every day!  Here are a few of the many new children's picture books we've received recently.  Click on a title to find out more about it, to see which Allen County Public Library locations have a copy, or to reserve a copy for yourself.

    Noisy Night by Mac Barnett
    The Road Home by Katie Cotton
    All Ears, All Eyes by Richard Jackson
    Bear Likes Jam by Ciara Gavin
    A Greyhound A Groundhog
    Short Stories for Little Monsters
    North South East West
    Life on Mars
    Hug This Book

    We hope to see you soon at the library!
    by Cindy H | Mar 21, 2017
    Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas, written by Lynne Cox and illustrated by Brian Floca, is the story of an elephant seal who lived in the Avon River in Christchurch, New Zealand. Although most elephant seals like to live in the ocean, Elizabeth seemed to prefer her river. Unfortunately, there were a few incidents where Elizabeth got out of the river to lounge in the road, causing some minor car accidents. Fearing for Elizabeth's and the drivers' safety, the people of Christchurch captured Elizabeth and took her to a colony of elephant seals in the ocean. Elizabeth came back, however, and even though they tried to take her to colonies even farther away she always managed to find her way back home. She became a local legend of Christchurch.

    This book contains factual information about the story of Elizabeth the elephant seal. Some elements of the story may have been enhanced or embellished, but the essential parts of the story remain true. At the end of the book the author provides additional information about elephant seals, as well as some references.

    This book has won many awards and is recommended for children ages 4-8. It is a very sweet story and I highly recommend it! Click the picture of the book's cover to place on hold!
    by Erin | Mar 17, 2017
    ...But I'm going to have to wait because they're not published yet.

    I'll admit it, us librarians can be a little greedy when it comes to books. When we read a good book review, we want to have that book right now! However, unless we get our hands on an advanced reader's copy, we're stuck waiting until the book is published.

    Here are just a few picture books that will be coming out in May that I want to read RIGHT NOW!

    Stack the CatsStack the Cats by Susie Ghahremani.

    Okay, it's kind of a silly concept -- anyone who has ever owned a cat knows that you can't stack them -- but that's part of the beauty of this book. Readers will be instructed to count the cats as they are arranged in various formations. So while the bright illustrations and silly concept will appeal to young kids, young readers will also be developing their counting and grouping skills! This book's release date is May 2nd, so if you have a little one at home who's a cat enthusiast or who loves to count, keep your eyes peeled for this one!

    A Cage Went in Search of a BirdA Cage Went in Search of a Bird by Cary Fagan & Banafsheh Erfanian.

    While I can't speak for my fellow librarians, I do admit to sometimes judging a book by its cover. I know, I know, shame on me! However, every now and then a picture book comes out with such beautiful cover art that I can't help but be captivated without even reading it! This is one of those picture books. The bright colors just lure me in. Apparently the book is about a lonely cage that leaves its home in search of the perfect bird. Okay, that concept is a little weirder than the stacking cats idea, but if the inside illustrations are as beautiful as the cover, then I am totally on board with this book! A Cage Went in Search of a Bird will hit shelves on May 16th!

    I Got a New FriendI Got a New Friend by Karl Newsom Edwards.

    I don't always go for the saccharine sweet when it comes to picture books, but the illustration of that little girl and her puppy is just too adorable to pass up! The story itself doesn't sound like anything new. Books about getting a new pet and learning about the responsibility of taking care of pets is a recurring theme in the picture book world. However, the sweetness of the illustrations means that this one will probably become a favorite of mine! This book won't be published until May 23rd; however, the library already has it on order!
    by Miss Heather | Mar 14, 2017
    index.aspxI first learned of Amy Krouse Rosenthal from my mother who, at the time, directed an after school program for PreK-5th grade with a staff of about 20 teachers and assistants. Always in search of good material for her staff meetings, she used Amy's book Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons as a read-aloud and discussion tool. Each spread uses cookies to illustrate important concepts like respect, loyalty, patience, and trustworthiness. Here are two examples: "Cooperate means, How about you add the chips while I stir?" and "Trustworthy means, If you ask me to hold your cookie until you come back, when you come back, I will still be holding your cookie." What great visuals for children and grown-ups alike! (And a great excuse to serve and eat cookies!) Amy went on to add One Smart Cookie: Bite-Size Lessons for the School Years and Beyond; Sugar Cookies: Sweet Little Lessons on Love; and Christmas Cookies; Bite-Size Holiday Lessons to her set of cookie-themed picture books. That was the beginning of my love for Amy Krouse Rosenthal.

    “ADMIRE means, I really look up to you and the way you are with your cookies. You remind me of what is good and possible in this world.”

    She subsequently created a wonderful optical illusion book, Duck! Rabbit! that is so much fun to use with groups; two picture books perfect for the classroom, Exclamation Mark and Wumbers; and a pile of picture books that share simple messages including being proud of your uniqueness (Spoon), being satisfied with being just OK (The OK Book), fairness (It's Not Fair) and being happy on one's own (Chopsticks). I've used all these books with visiting classes over the years. Amy endeared her work to me even more when she partnered with my very favorite illustrator, Peter Reynolds, on a few recent books including Plant a Kiss.

    9781452126999.pt02Perhaps the loveliest of Amy's books is I Wish You More, a  visually pleasing set of wishes illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld. Chronicle Books, Amy's publisher, recently issued a blog post encouraging readers to send out their own wishes marked #loveforamykrouserosenthal in honor of her last days.

    I didn't realize Amy had written books for adults including several memoirs: Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life, Mother's Guide To The Meaning Of Life: What I've Learned On My Never Ending Quest To Become A Dalai Mama, and Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal. I have Encyclopedia on hold currently and hope it is as delightful as her picture books. I wish I had know about these before! Amy's YouTube channel gathers her video projects (of which there are many) with her Ted Talk, 7 Notes on Life likely her most well known.

    Here is a link to the Publisher's Weekly obituary for Amy. And another in the New York Times. And in her own words:
    "Amy Krouse Rosenthal is a person who likes to make things.
    Some things she likes to make:
    Children's books.
    Grown-up books.
    Short films.
    Connections with the universe.
    Something out of nothing.

    **Another tidbit to swell my heart with love for Amy's work? The video in which she demonstrates her great affection for libraries thru her home decor style, "Book Lover Modern." Siiiiiiiiiiigh.

    by Cindy H | Mar 13, 2017
    Separate is Never Equal is based on the true story of the Mendez family and the little-known but landmark court case of Mendez v. Westminster in which the Mendez's, a Mexican-American family, fought for the right of their children to attend the same school as white children in their area. The story opens with Sylvia Mendez starting at her new school for the first time. She is harassed by a white student who tells her to, "Go back to the Mexican school! You don't belong here!" She goes home to tell her mother she is upset and doesn't want to attend the integrated school, and her mother reminds her that they fought hard to integrate the school so she could attend. The rest of the story provides the background of their struggle, including filing a lawsuit, and the court case that eventually led to integration.

    This book is very inspirational and I think it could help children understand the struggles of minorities to achieve equal rights. It is disturbing at times to hear the blatant racism expressed by some of the people in the story, but the message is very powerful and important, and I think this book could be a great jumping off point for discussions on race, discrimination, and acceptance.

    This book has won many awards and is recommended for children ages 6-9. It is available at your local library branch in print, on DVD, or on Hoopla and Overdrive as an e-book. Click the picture of the book's cover to place on hold!

    by Erin | Mar 10, 2017

    Puppets 009

    It’s that time of year again! The Children’s Services department at the Main Library is hosting the annual Spring Preschool Puppet Show! This year we’ll be going on a bear hunt and helping a mixed up rooster solve a problem. If you have a little one who loves storytime and puppets, swing by the Main Library sometime next week to see the show!

    Wednesday, March 15 @ 9:30, 10:30, and 1:30

    Thursday, March 16 @ 9:30, 10:30, and 1:30

    Friday, March 17 @ 9:30, 10:30, and 1:30

    Saturday, March 18 @ 10:30

    The Puppet Show will be held in the Main Library’s Theater. Space is limited, so please plan to show up at least 15 minutes before the show starts.

    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 Heather G. | Mar 08, 2017
    In modern times women are not prohibited from voting or working outside the home. In years gone by, acceptable jobs for women (besides being a mother) were few--teacher, nurse, librarian, maid. Today women are scientists, doctors, business executives, politicians, and other positions that were, in the past, held by men exclusively.
    Non-fiction picture books are an excellent way to share the stories of women who became successful in non-traditional roles in times when this was not the norm. Read on for a few brand new titles that tell these powerful tales. Click on the book covers to find these books at ACPL. Happy Women's History Month!

    index.aspxTrudy's Big Swim: How Gertrude Ederle Swam the Engish Channel and Took the World by Storm by Sue Macy
    Tells the story of Gertrude Ederle's 1926 swim across the English Channel, describing how she overcame difficult environmental, physical, and cultural challenges to become the first woman to establish her historic record.

    See photos of and read more about the life of Gertrude Ederle here.

    index.aspxCaroline's Comets: A True Story by Emily Arnold McCully
    In 1786, Caroline Herschel became the first woman to discover a comet. She was also the first woman ever to be paid for scientific research. But no one who knew Caroline as a child could possible have predicted her stellar future. Illness scarred her face and stunted her growth. Her mother didn't want Caroline to be educated and insisted that Caroline's role in life was to be the family housekeeper.
    Through words, including excerpts from Caroline Herschel's diary, and pictures, Emily Arnold McCully brings Caroline's inspirational story to life.

    Dorthea Lange: The Photographer Who Found the Faces of the Depression by Carole Boston Weatherford
    Before she raised her lens to take her most iconic photo, Dorothea Lange took photos of the downtrodden, from bankers in once-fine suits waiting in breadlines, to former slaves, to the homeless sleeping on sidewalks. A case of polio had left her with a limp and a sympathetic heart to those less fortunate. Traveling across the United States, documenting with her camera and her fieldbook those most affected by the stock market crash, she found the face of the Great Depression. In this picture book biography, Carole Boston Weatherford, with her lyrical prose, captures the spirit of the influential photographer.
    Ada Lovelace
    Ada Lovelace: Poet of Science
    by Diane Stanley
    Two hundred years ago, a daughter was born to the famous poet, Lord Byron, and his mathematical wife, Annabella.
    Like her father, Ada had a vivid imagination and a creative gift for connecting ideas in original ways. Like her mother, she had a passion for science, math, and machines. It was a very good combination. Ada hoped that one day she could do something important with her creative and nimble mind.
    A hundred years before the dawn of the digital age, Ada Lovelace envisioned the computer-driven world we know today. And in demonstrating how the machine would be coded, she wrote the first computer program. She would go down in history as Ada Lovelace, the first computer programmer.

    by Kris L. | Mar 06, 2017
    Here are just a few of the library's newest non-fiction books for children. Click on a title to find out more about it, see what Allen County Public Library locations have a copy, or to reserve a copy for yourself.

    How to Create Animation
           Things That Make You Go Yuck
     Soldier Song
     The Secret Project
     Falcons in the City
     Creatures Up Close
     Build Your Own Website
    by Dawn Stoops | Mar 02, 2017
    Little Fox in the Forest by Stephanie Graegin is a treat of pictures and drama, with very few words.
    cover image for little fox in the forest

    We meet the main character, a little girl asleep in her bed, on the title page and then follow her through her day at home and at school. Her teacher encourages everyone to bring something old for show and tell the next day and so she brings her stuffed fox, a friend from babyhood. All of these events are shown in panels of calming blues and greys with lovely details but as the story gets exciting, and a real fox comes to steal her stuffed fox at the playground, the illustrations blossom into bright, enchanting colors of forest life.

    Where is the little fox going? Why did he take her stuffed fox? Will the forest creatures help the little girl get her fox back? It's the kind of suspense just right for young readers.

    by Dawn Stoops | Feb 27, 2017
    Homeschoolers at the Grabill Branch Library had fun with Physics today!
    students working on marble run
    students working on marble run
    students working on marble run
    students working on marble run

    Click HERE for a list of more library homeschool programs. We'd love to see you there!

    by Kris L | Feb 24, 2017
    As many pet owners know, animals can be wonderful listeners.  Quiet and non-judgmental, they simply sit and listen.  Have you tried reading to your pet, lately?

    Read to a book-loving dog at the library.  Winston listening to a reader at the Georgetown branch.

    Many Allen County Public Library locations offer a program called Paws to Read, in which trained therapy dogs, along with their handlers, visit the library so children can read to them!   Click here to see upcoming dates and times.

    We hope to see you soon at the library!
    by Dawn Stoops | Feb 22, 2017
    Celebrate National Library Week by transforming an old, worn out book into a work of art!
    cover of altered book art
    Several workshops are planned at libraries around the county to help get your creative juices flowing and give you the supplies you need to make your masterpiece.
    picture of kids working on altered books
    Children's Services will host an Altered Book Workshop at Main Library on Saturday, March 25th from 2:00-3:00.

    Here are some other workshops open to all ages. Younger ones will need adult help.
    Main Library - Meeting Room A       Tuesday, March 14th 2:00-4:00 pm
    Tecumseh Branch Library               Thursday, March 16th 7:00-8:00 pm
    Grabill Branch Library                     Saturday, March 18th 10:30-11:30 am
    Main Library - Teens Dept.              Monday, March 20th 7:00-8:30 pm
    Shawnee Branch Library                 Tuesday, March 28th 7:00-8:00 pm

    Also consider entering your altered book into our contest. Deadline for contest entries is April 3rd and you can take a look at the entry form here.

    by Dawn Stoops | Feb 17, 2017
    It's always a good time for books about chickens!
    Here are a few that might make the preschoolers in your life laugh and learn.

     cover image for the sky is falling

    The Sky is Falling
    by Mark Teague

    Maybe you know of Chicken Little and how terrible it was going to be for everyone at the farm if the sky was truly falling. This story takes the traditional one and spins it on its head, with lots of dance moves thrown in. As Chicken Little says, "Everyone dances when the sky is falling".

    cover image for a chicken followed me home

    A Chicken Followed Me Home: Questions and Answers about Familiar Fowl
    by Robin Page

    What if a chicken followed you home? How would you know how to take care of it and what kind of chicken it was? This nonfiction book has all the answers for just that kind of silly situation.

    cover image for peep and egg I'm not hatching

    Peep and Egg: I'm Not Hatching
    written by Laura Gehl
    pictures by Joyce Wan

    Peep wants egg to hurry and hatch! There are so many fun things to do together but Egg thinks everything sounds too noisy or too dangerous. Will Egg ever hatch?

    cover image for my dog's a chicken

    My Dog's a Chicken
    written by Susan McElroy Montanari
    pictures by Anne Wilsdorf

    Lula Mae really wants a dog, but mama says 'no'. Her family has plenty of chickens so maybe one of those would make a good pet? Sure! Pookie turns out to be a great guard chicken and lots more too.

    There are hundreds of books featuring these feathered friends so stop by your library for more suggestions.

    by Dawn Stoops | Feb 15, 2017
    The Allen County Public Library is your place for hot new titles and just released DVDs but we've got so much more!
    Consider this gem recently returned to the Grabill Branch Library.
    cover image for bugs bunny's space carrot
    This is Bugs Bunny's Space Carrot by Seymour Reit, published in 1977. I had flashbacks to my cartoon watching days when I read how Bugs Bunny was preparing his "wocket fuel" and building his space carrot "Out of tin cans. And bed springs. And cookie cutters. And old bicycle parts. And some pieces of used bubble gum." Walking down memory lane with a book like this is so much fun and fairly easy to do. Librarians love searching the catalog for books customers remember from childhood, even if we don't have complete title and author information to work with.

    This copy shows a little love, but that's just evidence of many trips to the homes of happy library book readers. The Allen County Public Library has more than a million physical books. Some, like this one, are fantastic, fun blasts from the past.