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    by Kris L. | Jan 26, 2016

    These families discovered the hobby of letterboxing last month at the Georgetown branch library.  

    Letterboxing at Georgetown

    Letterboxing at Georgetown

    Letterboxing at the Library

    Letterboxes are also hidden in the Children’s Services department at the Main Library, other places in Fort Wayne -- and all around the world!

    Letterboxing is a fun hobby that combines problem-solving, treasure-hunting skills and artistry.  Learn more about this family-friendly activity, and find clues to where the letterboxes are hidden the library -- and anywhere -- at and  

    We hope to see you soon at the library!


    by Dawn Stoops | Jan 23, 2016
    Happy 200th Birthday Indiana!

    indiana legends

    I know you're going to want to celebrate, and one great way to do that is to read about famous people from Indiana.The book pictured above, Indiana Legends, is a collection of more than 100 short biographies about famous Hoosiers.It's fun to leaf through and catch bits about notable authors, astronauts, athletes, entertainers, engineers, and so much more.

    For some longer works written for children about famous people from Indiana, try out some of these!
    maggie ray 

    Maggie Ray: World War II Air Force Pilot

    by Marsha Wright
    Here's a notable Hoosier from Allen County! During WWII, Margaret was one of the first women Air Force Pilots. Afterwards she continued flying in races around the world.

    madam walker
    Madam C.J.Walker

    by Susan Bivin Aller
    Sarah Breedlove, originally from Louisiana, was the first in her family of slaves to be
    born free. After many hardships, she moved to Indianapolis in 1910 and worked to become the nations fist female African American millionaire.
    norman bridwell
    Norman Bridwell

    by Jill Wheeler
    Yep, the guy who created Clifford the Big Red Dog is from Indiana! Clifford first met readers in 1963 and has been in hundreds of books and television shows ever since.
    gus grissom
    Gus Grissom:The tragedy of Apollo I

    by Robert Greenberger
    Virgil "Gus" Grissom was the second American to go up into space. You can read about the amazing career and tragic death of this Indiana native.

    by Dawn Stoops | Jan 21, 2016
    Hedgehugs, by Steve Wilson and Lucy Tapper, is a sweet little story about two friends who find it hard to hug - it's just too spiky! These creative little creatures try all sorts of things, from covering their spines with snow to sticking strawberries on themselves, with silly and disappointing results. There is a solution, however. You'll love it!

    Read this story with your favorite friend. It would make a great Valentines day story to share too!
    by Kris L. | Jan 16, 2016

    …we sang!   

    We sang...

    Where is thumbkin? Where is Thumbkin?
    Here I am!  Here I am!
    How are you today, friend?  Very well, I thank you.
    Run away.  Run away.

    ...and we sang...

    The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round!
    The wheels on the bus go round and round, All around the town!

    ...and then we sang...

     The Seals on the Bus!

    The Seals on the Bus


    Of course, singing is a big part of any storytime for young children, but have you ever wondered why?

    Singing songs and nursery rhymes…

    • exposes children to words that may not be used much in ordinary conversation
    • stretches out the sounds in our words, making it easier for children to hear them
    • is fun and engaging, making it easier for children’s brains to learn
    • involves lots of repetition of words and phrases  

    Scientists who study the brain development of children have seen over and over that children who know nursery rhymes and songs when they are very young find it easier to learn to read when they get older. 

    So sing with your children – every single day!


    by Dawn Stoops | Jan 14, 2016
    Take a look at these new nonfiction books about all sorts of amazing things!
    101 ways to amaze 
      how to draw superman
      construction activities
      dc super hero origami seriously amazing
     50 disasters
      12 most amazing american cities
      boy who fell off the mayflower
    how to draw wonderwoman
    by Dawn Stoops | Jan 12, 2016
    Librarian hearts all around the country are all aflutter with the announcement, yesterday morning, of the 2016 Caldecott and Newbery Medals. The American Library Association's Youth Media Award winners can be found here, in case you want to take a look at the entire list of winners and honor books.

    Here's the winner of the Caldecott Medal!
    finding winnie
    This is such a fantastic book. The story is captivating and especially interesting because it's true and told by the great-granddaughter of the story's main character. Sophie Blackall's pictures are worthy of the Caldecott Medal indeed. They are a perfect mix of color, emotion, detail, and composition. I like the use of full page spreads and smaller images used as a storytelling device.

    And this year the Newbery Medal goes to a picture book too!
    last stop on market street
    This is the fist time a picture book has won the award. It's a lovely story about a boy and his grandmother traveling to a soup kitchen after church. You can read more about the author's reactions in this great School Library Journal blog post.

    Congratulations to all the winners! We're so fortunate to have so many talented authors and illustrators who create amazing books for kids (and adults) to enjoy.
    by Teresa | Jan 08, 2016

    go dog go

    I have a fondness for Go Dog Go by P.D. Eastman. In fact, when I was a senior in high school, my mother gave it away. I made such a fuss that my dad bought a new copy as a graduation gift for me.

    My sister and I would take turns reading every other page of the tongue twisters known as Fox in Socks by Dr. Seuss. We would sit on the couch, trying to outdo each other in speed and accuracy.

    These days there are lots more beginning reader books than back when I was kid in the 1970s.

    Starting Tuesday, January 19, and continuing every other week until March 29, beginning readers (children, ages five through seven) and their grown-ups are invited to meet in the Children’s Services Program Room at the Main Library from 4:00 to 4:45 p.m. We will read some old and new favorites and participate in other reading-related activities.

    by Erin | Jan 05, 2016

    …But I’m going to have to wait because they’re not published yet.


    January is such an exciting time in the book world! Not only is everyone coming out with “Best of…” lists for the year before, but there’s also a lot of discussion about books that will be published in the coming year. Now, I’m generally a pretty patient person, but when it comes to books, I have the patience of a two-year-old. Which is why, when I sat down the other day to read some reviews of upcoming picture books, I pretty much threw an internal tantrum any toddler would be proud of because I want to read these books NOW!!! Sadly, I’m going to have to wait just like everyone else.


    If you’re like me and want to take a sneak peek at what the new year holds, here are just a few of the amazing picture books that are due out in 2016:


    Daniel Finds a Poem
    Daniel Finds a Poem
    by Micha Archer


    This wonderful picture book features both collage illustrations and poetry as a young boy explores nature! It’s already been getting a lot of buzz from book blogs and review journals, and any book that helps children appreciate nature and poetry gets an A+ from me! Luckily the wait for this book isn’t too long because it’s due out on February 16th!


    Opposite Zoo
    The Opposite Zoo
    by Il Sung Na


    This book combines three of my favorite things: zoos, opposites, and author/illustrator Il Sung Na (who is a person, not a thing). There’s not too much out about this book yet, but from what I can gather, it’s about a monkey who visits all the animals in the zoo and describes them. I imagine opposites come into play by comparing the various animals (such as elephants are big and penguins are small). Either way, I am super excited for this book and will definitely be checking it out when it’s published on March 8th!


    Monster and Son
    Monster and Son
    by David LaRochelle


    LaRochelle’s previous books, It’s a Tiger! and Moo!, are two of my favorite books to share in storytime! This next book features various monsters and how they love their little ones. Don’t let the idea of monsters fool you, this book appears to be very gentle and tender. The cover displays a benevolent-looking King Kong on top of a building with a smaller, sleepy giant monkey. Monster and Son will be hitting shelves (and storytimes) near you on April 12th!


    Thunder Boy Jr
    Thunder Boy Jr.
    by Sherman Alexi


    Coming out a month before Father’s Day, this father/son tale emphasizes the importance of identity as the son tries to choose a name that represents himself. While the story sounds wonderful, I am especially excited over the fact that this book is written by Sherman Alexi and illustrated by Yuyi Morales! These two powerhouses are sure to produce something that is absolutely amazing, and I can’t wait to get my hands on this book when it comes out on May 10th!

    by Dawn Stoops | Jan 02, 2016
    If you're a doodler, coloring queen, or daring drawer, perhaps these picture books will inspire and entertain.
    Tiz and Ott's 

    Tiz and Ott's Big Draw
    by Bridget Marzo
    What kinds of adventures can two friends have when they draw up a storm? Luckily there's a rainbow in the end. This book even gives instruction on the last few pages for how to draw Tiz and Ott.

    day the crayons
    The Day the Crayons Came Home
    by Drew Daywalt
    This collection of letters from lost and run-away crayons will tickle your funny bone.
    Do you have a crayon stuck in the couch?
    by Bill Thomson
    What happens when some friends find some magic chalk? You tell the story of this wordless picture book!
    the dot
    The Dot
    by Peter Reynolds
    Vashti is not an artist...or is she? I love this book and the way it encourages creativity.
    how to draw a dragon
    How to Draw a Dragon
    by Douglas Florian

    This rhyming book has lots of great ideas for drawing a dragon with pointed spines and a bearded chin. There are so many different dragons in this book and everyone seems to be having a great time!

    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.