Skip to main content

One Book
Two Books 
Old Books
New Books

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

    by Dawn Stoops | Dec 28, 2015
    Today at the Grabill Branch Library we had some great LEGO adventures.
    Our challenges focused on...

    ...following written and spoken directions,

    and designing a car that could be propelled by a balloon.

    We didn't have time to create LEGO faces, but here's one I made as a sample.
    lego face1

    Maybe if you're stuck at home today you could try a LEGO challenge of your own!
    by Dawn Stoops | Dec 26, 2015
    Please enjoy this "Best Of" post from December 2013!

    So you splurged and got your child a cool camera for Christmas. Now your budding photographer wants to know how to take the best possible pictures, and ideas for trick photos, and information on famous photographers. Sometimes new toys inspire new interests and the library is the perfect place to satisfy those inquisitive kids! We have great books on all sorts of topics. Search our online catalog for titles or stop by one of our 14 locations and ask your librarian for help getting all your questions answered.


    Other popular post holiday questions include:

    • Do you have a book about training dogs?
    • How do I download books onto my new Kindle?
    • Do you have any craft books for my bored kids?
    • What great new fantasy book should I read during winter break?

    Remember, we’re here to help!

    by Dawn S | Dec 23, 2015
    If you love the game you'll love the books too!
    There are lots of great fiction titles featuring Minecraft as well as how-to books and other related stuff. If you like eBooks then check out our selection of Minecraft books through Overdrive!
    new order
      last stand
      clash of the creepers adventures in minecraft
     jungle temple
      holy bible for minecrafters
      hacks for minecrafters
    quest for the golden apple
    by Dawn Stoops | Dec 21, 2015
    22794170534_62c2512335_z Have any plans for the next two weeks? If you're excited about having a break from school and you need some extra fun to fill your time, check out the library calendar for crafts, storytimes, maker programs, and lots of other great stuff!
    by P. Martin-Diaz | Dec 20, 2015

    Image result for book and window and child and christmasPlease don't forget to buy a book (or many) for those children on your holiday shopping list. Not only are they items which will outlast batteries and boredom, they are key to the development of a reader and a doorway to your past.

    As noted in a recent article "Our (Bare) Shelves, Ourselves, Future Tense," by writer Teddy Wayne in The New York Times:

    "After G.N.P., the quantity of books in one’s home was the most important predictor of reading performance. The greatest effect was seen in libraries of about 100 books, which resulted in approximately 1.5 extra years of grade-level reading performance. (Diminishing returns kick in at about 500 books, which is the equivalent of about 2.2 extra years of education.)"

    Your own books, well-loved, dog-eared and rumpled, are a part of your personal history. It is a treat for a child to come upon a book that you, now adult, read and love(d). Help provide your own children with the same opportunity to grow up with these things we hold dear, as well as books that we know, believe, or hope, that they will treasure on their own.

    What book from your childhood do you still hold close to your heart?

    by Craig B | Dec 18, 2015
    Star Wars Awoken3.jpgNote: Be sure to enter our Star Wars raffle made possible in part through donations from Books, Comics, & Things!  See end of post for more information.

    We did it!  The ACPL Blog Team saw the newest Star Wars film The Force Awakens!  See snapshots of our journey along that narrative rollercoaster below and follow the final link in this post to get our video response to the film.  Be cautious if you have not yet seen the film.  Our video could contain some unintended critical spoilers...

    T-Minus 23 minutes
    T-Minus 23 minutes

    T-Minus 17 minutes 
    T-Minus 17 minutes

    T-Minus 3 minutes
    T-Minus 3 minutes

    T-Minus ... nothing!
    T-Minus ... nothing!

    See our video response to Star Wars: The Force Awakens at the following link!

    P.S. Look around for more Holiday 2015 Star Wars postings on ACPL social media.  Comment on any of those postings and earn an entry into our Star Wars raffle for each.  Limit 1 raffle entry per patron per post until Monday, December 28, 2015.  ACPL not responsible for lost or misdirected electronic submissions.  Raffle open only to Allen County residents with a valid email address.  And remember, share the Star Wars Christmas joy!  Share this post!

    Raffle Items
    by Mary R. Voors | Dec 18, 2015
    Poetry Contest winners

    Parents, grandparents, teachers, friends, and more gathered to celebrate as children and young adults read their winning poems at the Award Ceremony for the 33rd Annual ACPL Poetry Contest. Each winning poet read their original poem and was awarded a trophy and certificate.

    The winning poems -- on the theme of "I'm a Hoosier" in celebration of our state's bicentennial -- have been gathered into a book which will become part of the permanent Library collection.

    by Dawn S | Dec 16, 2015
    Check out your library's new TRUE books about animals!
    sabertooth cats
      fishy tales
    raccoons adaptations
     album of horses
    american aligators
    by Dawn Stoops | Dec 14, 2015
    Saturday was the day!
    Librarians, teachers, and children's book lovers gathered at the Main Library to discuss and debate the merits of potential Caldecott Award winning books. We started from a list of 40 picture books (found here on our Pinterest Board) and narrowed it down to about 12. After a few more rounds of debate and voting we had our winner.
    bird and diz

    Bird and Diz
    written by Gary Golio and illustrated by Ed Young

    We also named 3 honor books.
    Float, written and illustrated by Daniel Miyares
    The Night World, written and illustrated by Mordicai Gerstein
    Drowned City, written and illustrated by Dan Brown

    Thanks to everyone who came to this great event!
    Mock Caldecott

    by Angela F | Dec 10, 2015
    Image via SyndeticsNote: Be sure to enter our Star Wars raffle made possible in part through donations from Books, Comics, & Things!  See end of post for more information.

    When I asked my friend what her six-year-old son might enjoy for Christmas, the answer was near instantaneous: “Anything Star Wars.” It was the same guideline I had been given for his birthday, and for the previous Christmas. It’s been over two decades since I first watched A New Hope on DVD, sequestered in a basement crammed full of hyper preteen girls, sleeping bags, and generous bowlfuls of M&M'S.  If my godson weren’t enough proof that the appeal of Star Wars is alive and well in the next generation, the aisles of merchandising at my local superstore would be.

    Having spent the last few years working as a children’s librarian, I can’t say that I’m surprised at the excitement being generated by the next trilogy of movies. Long before trailers of the new crop of villains and heroes began airing, kids asked me time and again to help them find Star Wars movies. The original trilogy, the prequels, the animated spin-offs: there’s never been a time they haven’t been in demand. My branch, like many others, has gone so far as to create a special section for Star Wars books; it makes them easy for kids to find all sorts of materials, and has the added benefit of saving me from having to look up the five thousand (give or take) different authors multiple times a day. For many of my younger patrons, these are the first films that their parents have let them watch that didn’t come from our juvenile video collection – even if there might be a little fast-forwarding through the scariest parts.

    So what about it has made Star Wars last? For some, it’s a chance for parents and children to share an interest. It’s not often I see a mom get excited when her child begs her to borrow Barbie Fairytopia for the 20th time (more accurately – I’ve never seen a mom get excited in this situation), but I have seen moms light up when faced with the prospect of a Star Wars family movie night. The life-size Darth Vader stand-up at the Aboite branch that shows the path to the dark side juvenile graphic novels gets as many admiring comments from parents as from their offspring. And while father and son may never agree on the merits of Episodes I, II, and III (Why aren’t six-year-olds more discerning?! Those films are awful!), everyone seems united in the opinion that Boba Fett was pretty awesome for a bad-guy bounty hunter.

    But for other kids, it’s simply another story in the vein of so many timeless stories: good versus evil, the little guy versus the big guy, the bullied versus the bully. This one just happens to have light sabers, space fights, and a really cool breathing device.

    I had an embarrassing amount of merchandise to choose from when I set out for the perfect gift. I was happy to do it: after all, that’s what a godmother’s for. And as to whether I seriously considered buying a Princess Leia hair bun headband for my snorty dog? I plead the fifth.

    P.S. Keep an eye out for more Holiday 2015 Star Wars postings on ACPL social media (especially our highly anticipated video response due out December 19th).  Comment on any of those postings and earn an entry into our Star Wars raffle for each.  Limit 1 raffle entry per patron per post until Monday, December 28, 2015.  ACPL not responsible for lost or misdirected electronic submissions.  Raffle open only to Allen County residents with a valid email address.  And remember, share the Star Wars Christmas joy!  Share this post!

    Raffle Items

    by Dawn Stoops | Dec 09, 2015

    The Whisper, written and illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski, is just the book for those who love stories, and books, and fanciful pictures. At its core, this book is about a little girl who borrows a magical book of stories from her teacher. When she discovers that there are no words in the book, she's troubled and a little confused. Then, a mysterious whispering voice tells her to imagine the stories that the pictures tell. Page after page she tries this new kind of 'reading' and starts to get the hang of it. The next day, when she returns the book she becomes part of another story all together.

    As a librarian, I'm often asking myself how a book could be used. What is it good for? In this case, the answers are plentiful and vast. First, it's a great sharing book with young kids because the story is engaging and the pictures have hidden clues and characters who travel along with you in unexpected ways. Second, it's simply beautiful! Anyone can soak in the lovely paintings that make up the pictures of this book and come away happy. Third, there are some great writing prompts in this book that older elementary and middle school kids could use to create stories of their own. The little girl doesn't complete each of the stories that she images from page to page in the magical book, but the readers could. What a great way to join the story, imagining, which is often the best part of a book!

    dawn Dawn is a librarian, mother, and crafter who loves stories and art, so it's only natural that she loves kid's books the best (with cookbooks a close second).  Her favorite story is Duck on a Bike by David Shannon and her favorite illustrator is Lisbeth Zwerger.

    by Miss Heather | Dec 05, 2015
    In the United States, Thanksgiving often blends right into Christmas. Somewhere between those two holidays is a lesser mentioned celebration that lasts 8 days: Hanukkah. The date of this Jewish holiday is established by the Hebrew calendar which is a bit different from ours. The first night can be as early as November and the last night can fall as late as January! This year Hanukkah begins at sundown on Sunday, December 6th. One candle on a menorah is lit each of the eight nights using a ninth candle called the shamash candle. The holiday is a remembrance of the time more than 2,000 years ago when a group called the Maccabees took back the temple after fighting the Syrian-Greek army for religious freedom. A celebration lasting for 8 days including the burning of an oil lantern. They later discovered that there had only been enough oil to last one day! What a miracle!
    There are fun games played using a dreidel (a kind of top) and gelt (money)--in the form of real or chocolate coins or other gifts--is often given each of the eight nights. Some of the traditional food served includes latkes (potato pancakes) and Sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts).
    Would you like to learn more about Hanukkah? Here are three fun picture books that are set during Hanukkah. There is a bit of history about the holiday in the back of each book.
     Sara learns about the Jewish tradition of tzedakah (helping the poor or needy) when she shares food with a hungry stranger.  On the eighth night of Hanukkah, a family rescues a Yiddish-speaking, dreidel-playing parakeet. The marvelous mystery of how this parakeet learned Yiddish in unraveled.
    On the first night of Hanukkah, Old Bear wanders into Bubba Brayna's house and receives a delicious helping of potato latkes when she mistakes him for the rabbi. Includes a recipe for latkes.

    heather Miss Heather is the Children's Librarian at Shawnee Branch. She likes to bead while listening to audiobooks. She also watches a bit too many tv shows when she should be reading. Her dog, Pookah, is her only "son" and is her shadow wherever she goes.
    by Mary R. Voors | Dec 04, 2015

    YOU are invited to the ACPL's 2016 Mock Newbery Program.

    Every year interested children's librarians, teachers, and parents gather to talk about potential award books. This year we will be meeting on Saturday, December 12th from 2:00 to 6:00, in the Globe Room at the Main Library, for our Mock Newbery discussion.


    The list of titles we've been reading all year is on our Pinterest Board
    . We encourage you to add your comments!

    Here is the list of titles we plan to discuss on December 12th:

    1. Drowned City by Don Brown
    2. Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan
    3. Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
    4. Game Changers by John Coy
    5. George by Alex Gino
    6. Gone Crazy in Alabama by Rita Williams-Garcia
    7. Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead
    8. The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz
    9. Listen Slowly by Thanhha Lai
    10. The Marvels by Brian Selznick
    11. Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War by Steve Sheinkin
    12. The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin
    13. The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

    Pre-registration for this program is requested. Click here to register. We look forward to talking about books with you!

    by Dawn Stoops | Dec 02, 2015
    Today I'd like to review the CD DConstructed. Can you tell that the 'D' stands for Disney? This album contains 14 songs best categorized as electronic remixes of parts of Disney television shows and movies. Every song has a strong beat and tons of techno buzz that makes it unlike any other children's CD I've listened to. For the Frozen fans there is a remix of "Let it Go" that should get you dancing along to the song in ways you've never danced before. Another remix uses Annette Funicello's (former Mouseketeer) song "Pineapple Princess" accomplishing more spunk than even Annette could have mustered. There are also songs featuring The Lion King, The Incredibles, Toy Story, and The Muppet Show.

    This CD was a lot of fun to listen to and my kids couldn't get enough of it either!
    I highly recommend this CD the next time you...
    ...have kids clamoring for a living room dance party.
    ...want workout music with reliably clean lyrics.
    ...need to chase away the winter blahs.
    by Dawn Stoops | Nov 30, 2015
    Check out your library's new book shelf for the latest paperbacks!
    Beatrice    blazing courage
    new order
    christmas turkey supercat
     friendship games
      buckle and squash
      magic in the mix
    by Dawn Stoops | Nov 27, 2015
    Are you looking for something to do today besides join the throngs of people out shopping? Well, all locations of the Allen County Public Library are open regular hours today and we'd love to see you! The Main Library will have storytime for the toddler and baby crowd this morning. And of course, there are always great books and fun computer games to play at all locations.

    See you soon!

    by Dawn Stoops | Nov 21, 2015
    Did you see snow this morning?
    I know we haven't yet celebrated Thanksgiving but Christmas is coming! Here are new books you might want to check out to get into the Christmas spirit.
    when santa    christmas poems
    pout pout fish
    rudy's windy christmas click clack ho
     waiting for santa
     pirates twelve days
     samurai santa
    short history of christmas
    by Dawn Stoops | Nov 18, 2015
    machines work
    How Machines Work: Zoo Break! by David Macaulay

    I know you can't tell from this picture, but this book moves! The gear on the right is exposed and with a little help from the reader, the sloth goes up and down on his cool contraption. Most books about simple machines are pretty dull but this one has flaps, levers, and working gears! David Macaulay is a master at telling stories full of information and this one is about a sloth and a sengi who are trying to escape from their zoo home. Will they make it? What can they build to help them escape? You'll have to read (and play with) this book to find out.

    by Dawn Stoops | Nov 16, 2015

    To a librarian, a children's book author or illustrator is like a rock star. Well, this weekend I spent some time with SIX rock stars of the children's literature world! Every year the University of Findlay has a Fall Conference at their Mazza Museum and invites six authors and illustrators to come talk about themselves and their art.

    One of the authors/illustrators who was there was Molly Idle!

    flora and the flamingoMazza1


    It was great to hear Molly speak with such energy and passion about her art, her background, and her book ideas. During her presentation I learned that...
    ...there were over 100 cover designs for Flora and the Flamingo before this one was chosen.
    ...for a while during the editing process, Flora was named Franny.
    ...Molly uses Prismacolor pencils in over 100 different colors to draw her pictures.
    ...while she draws, Molly holds a small pencil sharpener and a gum eraser in her left hand.

    If you're curious about who else was at the Mazza Museum Fall Conference this year, here's a list:

    star wars

    Matthew Reinhart

    New York based author, illustrator and paper engineer who has created some great pop-up books

    sisters grimm


    Michael Buckley

    Originally from Ohio, Buckley lives in New York and is best know for the book series "The Sisters Grimm" and "N.E.R.D.S."


    Henry Cole

    author and illustrator of hundreds of children's books

    big sister

    LeUyen Pham

    a quick look at the ACPL catalog brings up 85 results

    arthur's teacher trouble

    Marc Brown

    Arthur has been around for a long time and lots of kids have enjoyed Marc Brown's work


    by Dawn Stoops | Nov 12, 2015

    Today is cold and blustery! Maybe a science project would be a good way to spend some time? Here are a few books with nifty ideas. You can stop by your library for many, many more!

    fizzling physics   engineering through the year junk drawer physics 
     edible science ruff
     kitchen science