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

    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

    by Dawn Stoops | Nov 10, 2015
    Creaturepedia: Welcome to the Greatest Show on Earth
    by Adrienne Barman

    Take a look at this new book!
    From the outside it looks like another animal book packed with names and characteristics of hundreds of animals. You can tell it's going to have great drawings and not photographs of the animals and you can tell they're a little goofy. But once you open it up, you'll be delighted to find that each short section of this lengthy book (208 pages) is broken up in ways a child might sort her plastic toy animals. Animal categories include headings like; the big mouths, the pretty-in-pinks, the faithful, the show-offs, and the homebodies. You don't get a lot of information about each animal but I think many children will find this a great jumping off point to learn more. There's an index in the back to make specific animals easier to find. As presented in this book, these creatures certainly are the greatest show on earth!

    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 Dawn Stoops | Nov 06, 2015
    Libraries are full of books and full of smiles!





    Take a look at our online events calendar to see what fun things are going on today!

    by Dawn Stoops | Nov 04, 2015
    funny bones
    Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras by Duncan Tonatiuh is a great new book about a popular Mexican artist from the 1800's. I'm eager to tell you about it today because...
    1) we just got it, so it's hot off the presses.
    2) Day of the Dead celebrations will be happening all around us this week.
    3) It was just named by the New York Times as one of the best illustrated children's books in 2015.

    The book's format, picture book biography, offers readers the best of both worlds. It's informative and includes lots of details about Jose Guadalupe Posada's life. Curious readers will find even more factual gems in the book's Author's Note, Glossary, Bibliography, Art Credits, and list of places to find Posada's work in the United States.

    It's also full of pictures that tell the story in their own way. Dunca Tonatiuh uses a bold folk art style to create images that integrate Posada's own artwork into the storytelling.

    If you want to learn more about Mexican history, a famous artist, or The Day of the Dead, this is the book for you! If you'd like to attend a library program celebrating Dia  de Muertos then visit the Main Library this weekend for lots of crafts, books, and fun.

    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 Dawn Stoops | Nov 02, 2015
    Here's a book for reading together and playing together!
    i can roar

    I Can Roar!  is a board book by Frank Asch that has a hole on each page for little and big faces to peer through and pretend. Can you chew like a cow? Can you meow like a cat? Little ones are going to love the silliness of this book so be prepared for lots of giggles.

    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 Dawn Stoops | Oct 30, 2015
    Is your library's selection of Halloween movies scary low this weekend? Don't forget our always available online movies via hoopla!
      halloweenFind movies for the whole family at
    by Dawn Stoops | Oct 29, 2015

    Are you excited about the Peanuts movie coming out this Fall?
    Your library has some great Charlie Brown and Snoopy books, both new and old, that you may want to try!

    it's a long way to tipperary

    It's a Long Way to Tipperary
    comic book

    where beagles dare


    Where Beagles Dare!

    comic book


    Snoopy and Friends
    picture book

    beagle has landed

    The Beagle has Landed, Charlie Brown!
    comic book

    kick the football

    Kick the Ball, Charlie Brown!
    early reader


    by Mary Voors | Oct 27, 2015
    Monday, November 2nd is the deadline to enter the "I'm a Hoosier" Poetry Contest in honor of our state's bicentennial.

    The rules are simple:

    1.  The Poetry Contest is open to all children in kindergarten through grade five, and all young adults in grades six through twelve.

    2.  Only one entry per student.

    3.  Poems must be student's original work.

    4.  All entries must be submitted on 8.5" x 11" paper.

    5.  All entries must have student's name, address, phone number, school, and grade on the back of the poem.

    6.  Poetry Contest starts on Sunday, September 13, 2015.

    7.  Poetry Contest ends on Monday, November 2, 2015, 9:00 pm.

    8.  Criteria for judging of poems includes:
           - understanding the concept of a "poem"
           - creativity
           - legibility
           - originality
           - following the "I'm a Hoosier!" theme

    9.  First, Second, Third and Honorable Mention will be chosen for each grade

    10. Winners will be notified by mail.

    11.  The Poetry Contest Awards Ceremony will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, December 12, in the Main Library theater.

    12.  All Poetry Contest entries become the property of the Allen County Public Library.

    13.  For further information, call the Library at (260) 421.1220.

    To offer further inspiration, here is one of *my* favorite entries so far this year, written by Jake Patrick, a fifth grader at St. Jude's Catholic School.

    Hoosier poem

    (IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER:  I am not a judge in this year's contest, but I love this poem!)

    Send or drop off your your entry by November 2nd to: Children's/YA Poetry Contest Allen County Public Library  900 Library Plaza  Fort Wayne, IN  46802
    by Dawn Stoops | Oct 26, 2015
    Last Thursday, October 22nd, was Jumpstart's Read for the Record day. According to Jumpstart's website, people all around the world took time to read Not Norman: a goldfish story by Kelly Bennett to children in the world's largest "shared reading experience".


    Several locations of the Allen County Public Library took part in this event. Here are a couple of daycare classes who were visited by the librarian from the Woodburn Branch Library. Smiles all around!
    by Michal M. | Oct 24, 2015


    Kids and their families are invited to join us on Wednesday, October 28th in the main library theater for a FREE mini-performance of Snow White, presented by the Fort Wayne Youth Ballet. Seating is limited. The doors to the theater will open at 6:45 PM and the show will start at 7:00 PM. You won’t want to miss it!

    What: Fort Wayne Youth Ballet mini-performance of Snow White
    Where: Main Library Theater
    Wednesday, October 28 at 7:00 pm

    by Dawn Stoops | Oct 23, 2015
    Check out your library's new book shelf for the latest chapter books!
    outfox your friends   shivers
    city of thirst bubble wrap boy
     friendship games
      tale of rescue
      big game
    dead boy
    by Kris L | Oct 20, 2015
    Picture books!  What's not to love?  Storytelling via an interplay of words and art -- picture books are a unique medium that capture the imagination of readers of all ages. 

    One of my personal favorites this year is Lenny & Lucy, written and illustrated by the Caldecott-award-winning team of Philip and Erin Stead.  They have created a gentle story about Peter and his dog, Harold, who move to a new home, smack in the middle of a deep, dark woods.  The illustrations bring to life how big and scary moving to a new house can be for a child, but also how warm and sweet it can be to settle in and make new friends.  You really have to see this book -- I truly believe you will want to read it over and over!

     Lenny and Lucy

    Lenny & Lucy is one of the books being considered for the ACPL Mock Caldecott award, which will be decided on Saturday, December 12.  If you would like to be a part of this event, or for more information, please visit the library's events calendar, or call Children's Services at 260-421-1220.  

    More great titles are pinned to the ACPL Mock Caldecott Pinterest Board!   We'll be getting together to discuss and vote on these titles on Saturday, December 12, 2015. 

    Happy Reading!
    by Heather A Grady | Oct 19, 2015

    The Door in the HedgeA few times a year Overdrive, our provider of downloadable books and audiobooks, makes a title available for everyone to check out at the same time worldwide! What a great chance for families or classes to read the same book and discuss it! This time around the book is The Door in the Hedge and other Stories by Robin McKinley. It's a chapter book recommended for kids 10 and up.

     Master storyteller Robin McKinley here spins two new fairy tales and retells two cherished classics. All feature princesses touched with or by magic. There is Linadel, who lives in a kingdom next to Faerieland, where princesses are stolen away on their seventeenth birthdays-and Linadel's seventeenth birthday is tomorrow. And Korah, whose brother is bewitched by the magical Golden Hind; now it is up to her to break the spell. Rana must turn to a talking frog to help save her kingdom from the evil Aliyander. And then there are the twelve princesses, enspelled to dance through the soles of their shoes every night. . . . These are tales to read with delight!

    This book will be available to all ACPL users through October 21st. Grab a copy by clicking  the image or here or by visiting the Overdrive site. Read on!



    by Dawn Stoops | Oct 17, 2015

    Our Homeschool Craft Challenge on Monday at the Grabill Branch Library was making mobiles. After a short intro to Alexander Calder and his work, we dove right in with wire and paper to create our own colorful mobiles.

    Take a look!

    by Pamela Martin-Diaz | Oct 15, 2015
    In an effort to keep pace with the realities of today's families, the American Academy of Pediatrics has changed its stance on screen time and children. Until just last week they were advocating NO screen time for children age 2 and under and at most, 2 hours a day, preferably co-viewing with an adult, for older children.
    baby ipad
    Their new recommendations are a seismic shift, raising questions and concerns for those of us who believe the research that they previously cited to discourage the use of screen time for very young children.(See below for the statement.) They did not cite new research supporting their approval of infant and toddlers watching screens. (See for a summary of research-based concerns.)
    I wish that they had more strongly emphasized the importance of face-to-face interaction between adults and children, especially babies and toddlers who need that kind of contact to develop language. I understand that an app that is engaging and encourages creativity and exploration might not be just fun (although is there anything wrong with that?), but developmentally appropriate. I know that there is a difference between skyping with a relative and passing a device over to a child for entertainment because the child "likes" it and let's be honest, it's easier than saying no. I am also all too aware of adults who are not monitoring their own consumption of media. (Think about the families who eat out, each with his or her own device in lieu of conversation.) I know that I am reading fewer books than I did before the advent of streaming and Facebook; I doubt I am alone in this!
    Policies and recommendations aside, let's use some common sense and ask ourselves some questions before granting young children access to apps and other kinds of programs. Some of these questions are:
         What would the child be doing if he or she weren't using the device?
         Is the child able to adjust to time without a screen without fussing or demanding a device? Is screen time supplanting time spent with family and friends, or even just time for the child to be with his or her own thoughts? What kind of products are being promoted via advertisements as part of free apps?
    What do you think?
        Here are the new guidelines from the AAP:
    • Media is just another environment. Children do the same things they have always done, only virtually. Like any environment, media can have positive and negative effects.

    • Parenting has not changed. The same parenting rules apply to your children’s real and virtual environments. Play with them. Set limits; kids need and expect them. Teach kindness. Be involved. Know their friends and where they are going with them.

    • Role modeling is critical. Limit your own media use, and model online etiquette. Attentive parenting requires face time away from screens.

    • We learn from each other. Neuroscience research shows that very young children learn best via two-way communication. “Talk time” between caregiver and child remains critical for language development. Passive video presentations do not lead to language learning in infants and young toddlers. The more media engender live interactions, the more educational value they may hold (e.g., a toddler chatting by video with a parent who is traveling). Optimal educational media opportunities begin after age 2, when media may play a role in bridging the learning achievement gap.

    • Content matters. The quality of content is more important than the platform or time spent with media. Prioritize how your child spends his time rather than just setting a timer.

    • Curation helps. More than 80,000 apps are labeled as educational, but little research validates their quality (Hirsh-Pasek KPsych Science2015;16:3-34Google Scholar). An interactive product requires more than “pushing and swiping” to teach. Look to organizations like Common Sense Media ( that review age-appropriate apps, games and programs.

    • Co-engagement counts. Family participation with media facilitates social interactions and learning. Play a video game with your kids. Your perspective influences how your children understand their media experience. For infants and toddlers, co-viewing is essential.

    • Playtime is important. Unstructured playtime stimulates creativity. Prioritize daily unplugged playtime, especially for the very young.

    • Set limits. Tech use, like all other activities, should have reasonable limits. Does your child’s technology use help or hinder participation in other activities?

    • It’s OK for your teen to be online. Online relationships are integral to adolescent development. Social media can support identity formation. Teach your teen appropriate behaviors that apply in both the real and online worlds. Ask teens to demonstrate what they are doing online to help you understand both content and context.

    • Create tech-free zones. Preserve family mealtime. Recharge devices overnight outside your child’s bedroom. These actions encourage family time, healthier eating habits and healthier sleep.

    • Kids will be kids. Kids will make mistakes using media. These can be teachable moments if handled with empathy. Certain aberrations, however, such as sexting or posting self-harm images, signal a need to assess youths for other risk-taking behaviors.

    Pamela Martin-Diaz
    Early Literacy Coordinator/Branch Manager
    Allen County Public Library