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

    by Teresa Walls | Jul 24, 2017
    the dumpster drummers
    Learn and celebrate recycling and environmental conservation with The Dumpster Drummers who will perform two fun, action-packed 30-minute shows in the Main Library's Meeting Room ABC on Wednesday, August 2. The first show is 10:30 am; the second is 2 pm.
    by Dawn Stoops | Jul 20, 2017
    Yesterday I lugged home a bag of library books for my two boys. The four-year-old looked the pile over appreciatively then announced, "you got the wrong book mommy! This one is scary. It's not for kids."
    page from mr wuffles
    Evidently he didn't think Mr. Wuffles by David Wiesner was appropriate for kids his age. We did a little 'book walk' through the pages so I could point out the funny parts and the general plot while he took a second look at the scary pictures to see if they were really all that terrifying. The verdict? He decided it was probably ok and asked me to read it right after the Lego City book about farms.

    cover image for mr wuffles
    Mr. Wuffles is indeed the perfect book for preschoolers and kids just learning to read! See the word bubbles for the aliens and bugs? There are not many actual words in the entire book. Mostly it's just a series of panels where readers tell what's happening by getting clues from details showing characters, action, facial expressions, and setting. It takes some work, but it  makes for stronger readers. Readers who know how to soak in a book in its entirety to get the full story. And it's fun! There are plenty of books like this if you'd like to explore wordless and nearly wordless picture books with your new reader. Just ask your librarian or try some on this Children's Services Book List.
    by Dawn S | Jul 17, 2017
    You've got a limited time for summer reading - the kind without assignments, AR points, lexile levels, or book reports. Here are some great new books to try!
    cover image for spiderman prelude cover image for victor shmud total expert
     
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      cover image for the kid from planet z cover image for two truths and a lie
     
    by Dawn S | Jul 12, 2017
    Today's program at the Grabill Branch Library was loads of fun and tasty too!
    boy making snack
     
    fruit and veggie snack
     
    girl making snack
     
    fruit and veggie snack
     
    boy with snack
     
    Find out where the next Fun with Food class will be here!
     

     

     
    Thanks to the Foellinger Foundation and the Friends of the Library for making these sorts of exciting summer programs possible!
    by Michal M. | Jul 10, 2017

    yellow duckling

    The Children’s Services department at the Main Library has partnered with Riverfront Fort Wayne and started a new venture this summer called Little Science Explorers at Lawton Park. The first topic we explored was BIRDS!--which happens to be one of my favorite topics! I had the hardest time choosing what book to read and what birds to focus on because there are so many different kinds!

    Do you know what bird has the largest wingspan that can fly? It’s the Andean Condor! Can you guess how looooong the wing is from one tip to the next? It’s about 10 feet long! Since we know what the biggest flying bird’s wingspan is, what about the smallest? Check this book out about tiny birds to read more about the smallest ones. Don't forget to read about the Bee Hummingbird!
     

    Here is a fun activity you can do at home with comparisons: first think of the condor’s wingspan and then think of something really small, like a hummingbird. Cut a piece of yarn to the length of the condor’s wingspan and stretch it out between two people or line up smaller items to see how many paper clips it would take to reach from one end of the yarn to the other. Then, cut a piece of yarn to match the length of the hummingbird's wingspan! How many paperclips does it take to measure the hummingbird's wingspan? The difference is very noticeable! (Check out Measuring Penny by Loren Leedy for more ideas on how to measure with everyday objects!)

    If you really love birds and want to explore some more fun books check out these:

    Birds Make Nests by Michael Garland
    A Bird is a Bird by Lizzy Rockwell
    Bird Nests by Hopkins
    - Robin, Where are You? by Harriet Ziefert
    - Look Up! Bird-Watching in Your Own Backyard by Annette Cate
    - Hooray for Birds by Lucy Cousins
    - Birds by Kevin Henkes

    Come join us for fun explorations in Lawton Park on the first Saturday of each month. Here is the topic line-up:

    August 5th - Stars
    September 2nd - Aquatic Wildlife
    October 7th - Leaves
    November 4th - Signs of Winter

    Hope to see you soon!

    by Miss Heather | Jul 07, 2017
    gsk


    GSK Science in the Summer from Science Central is a fun and free science education program sponsored by GSK for students entering grades 2-6. This year’s theme is “Science of Sports.”

    Kids will explore the role of science, technology, engineering, and math in sports. Through active hands-on learning, students discover that athletes need to be physically as well as mentally fit and properly equipped to excel. At the same time, students learn how a broad and diverse network of STEM professionals support athletes. The Science of Sports program shows them that science is another way to get in the game.

    Sessions will be held at Shawnee Branch Library, 5600 Noll Avenue, July 17-July 20, 2:30-3:30pm and Mondays in July, 2pm at  Hessen Cassel Branch, 3030 Paulding Rd. and July 24-27 at Tecumseh Branch, 1411 E State Blvd. There is no cost for this Science Central program!

     


     

    by Cindy H | Jul 06, 2017
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    Lucy and the Bully, written and illustrated by Claire Alexander, is the story of a little lamb named Lucy who is one of the most talented artists in her class. She is very kind and well-liked, except by Tommy, who is a bull. Tommy spills paint on her drawings, breaks her clay model, and rips her storybook. Each day Lucy comes home, sadder than the day before, but she is afraid to tell her mother what is going on with Tommy at school. Finally, Lucy breaks down and confesses to her mother what she has been experiencing. She is afraid of what will happen, but her mother calls their teacher, Ms. Goosie, to explain what Lucy has been going through. When she gets to school the next day, Lucy notices that Tommy is very quiet and withdrawn. She begins to feel sorry for him and decides to tell him that she likes the drawing he is doing and ask him to draw one for her too. Tommy is surprised, because no one has ever asked him to draw something for them before. He gives Lucy his drawing and apologizes for hurting Lucy and breaking her things. In the end, they decide to go outside and play together.

    There is a note at the beginning of the book to help parents and caregivers understand the importance of encouraging children to talk with them about bullying. This book is a great way to approach the subject with your young children, and is a good lesson on being kind and understanding as well. Bullying is something nearly all children will experience at some point or another, so reading this book with your child will help them know that you are there and will listen to them if they are in trouble. This picture book is recommended for children ages 4-8 and is available in print at the library. Click the picture of the book's cover to place on hold!
    by Katie B. | Jul 03, 2017

    We have a lot of cool fish in our three 175 gallon aquariums here in Children's Services at the Main Library, but my personal favorite is our porcupine puffer fish. This little fish always looks like he has a smile on his face.
    Porcupine Puffer 2

    Our porcupine puffer also has one really cool trick - he can fill his body with water and turn into a spiky ball! In the wild, puffer fish use this trick to scare away any predators that might want to eat them. Here at the library, our puffer doesn’t have any predators to worry about but you still might catch him all puffed up. Porcupine puffer fish will also puff up just to keep their skin flexible. I have caught our puffer here in Children's Services “stretching out” twice now during some rare quiet moments in the department.
    Porcupine Puffer

    For a couple of adorable picture books featuring puffer fish, be sure to check out Poor Little Guy by Elanna Allen and Sea Monkey & Bob by Aaron Reynolds.
    Poor Little Guy Elanna AllenSea Monkey and Bob Aaron Reynolds

    If you have never seen a porcupine puffer fish in action before, check out this video I was able to get of our resident porcupine puffer here in Children's Services.        
                   

    by Dawn S | Jun 29, 2017
    Summer time is bug time! As an adult, I'm usually annoyed by a buzz or a sting. Little ones, however, can be fascinated by creepy crawlies. The world of children's books has no shortage of great bug books. Here are just a few, perfect for the 2-6 year old crowd.

     

    cover image for tiny little fly 

    Tiny Little Fly
    by Michael Rosen
    This tiny little fly is such a pest! Every animal in the jungle wants him gone, but even the biggest can't destroy little fly's fun day.


    cover image for give bees a chance

    Give Bees a Chance
    by Bethany Barton
    Wow! There's a lot to learn about bees. These super pollinators come in 25,000 varieties. Some make tasty honey. This cartoon style book makes it fun to learn about bees.


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    Bugs Galore
    by Peter Stein
    Rhyming text and pop art pictures make this a colorful, silly read. I love how the pictures mimic real bugs and something more like monster bugs.
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    Can You Make a Scary Face?
    by Jan Thomas
    See this bug? He's talking to you. Yes, there's a bug in this book who tells you what to do and how to do it. There's nothing like getting bossed around by a bug!
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    Cricket in the Thicket
    by Carol Murray

    Try out some poems about bugs and learn a little something with interesting facts sprinkled throughout the book.

    Ask for more bug books when you visit your local library and don't forget about our Explore the Honeybee programs coming up in July!

    by Dawn Stoops | Jun 26, 2017
    cover image for my kinda music cd
    The newest album by Walter Martin, My Kinda Music is now available as a CD from the library or a digital music loan from the library's Hoopla service.

    My family has enjoyed this album just as much as his first kids' music release We're All Young Together. Songs like 'The everglades' perfectly match our weird sense of humor, with crashing instrumentation near the end of the song as a simple car trip through the everglades ends in disaster. There are also plenty of inventive songs with Martin adding instruments as he sings a song about creating a song, or a song in phone conversation form with another singer giving musical advice. The quiet, tender songs on the album are like little stories whispered with love.

    This is truly music that the entire family can enjoy. Give it a try!

    by Cindy H | Jun 21, 2017
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    The Jar of Happiness, written and illustrated by Alisa Burrows, is a story about a girl named Meg who invents a way to carry happiness around with her, a jar of happiness. She takes the jar with her everywhere she goes. She uses it to cheer up her sad friend, her sick grandmother, and her little brother. One day she loses the jar and can't find it anywhere. Although she is sad about losing her jar, she visits her friend, grandmother, and plays with her little brother, who all help cheer her up. She learns that even though she can't find her jar she still finds happiness in the people she cares about.

    This is a very sweet story and helps children learn about friendship and empathy. As an extension to this book you could help your child create their own jar of happiness. Just get a small jar, like a mason jar or old pickle jar, and let them put things in it that make them happy. Glitter, small toys, pictures from magazines or of friends and family members, and/or splashes of paint can help them connect what they read to real life. Be creative, and enjoy seeing them use their own jar of happiness to brighten a loved one's day!

    This picture book is recommended for children ages 3-7. Click the picture of the book's cover to place on hold!
    by Erica S | Jun 19, 2017

    It’s okay to aHappy kidsdmit that life is sometimes busy and sometimes very difficult. It’s okay to say that we get too preoccupied with our phones and our stressors to be aware of the present moment. It’s quite okay to know that being intentional can be a tough task. We, in Children’s Services, understand and want to help. 

    Recent research has shown that mindfulness can be crucial and transformative for everyone, children included, in everyday life to calm, to collect, to redirect. That’s why we have invited Bethany Pruitt, a licensed social worker, family therapist, and registered yoga teacher, to help us learn intentional breathing for our children AND for us. Meet us in the Globe Room Thursday, June 22 at 6:30 pm at the Main Library.

    Centered around Jon Kabat-Zinn’s definition, “Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose in the present moment, and non-judgmentally,” (Wherever You Go There You Are, 4) this is an open class, no registration, and completely free. Grown-ups, bring your little ones for a hands-on workshop on how to breathe intentionally to add to your resources to help the children in your life.

    by Kris L. | Jun 17, 2017

    Cyber Safety
     
    Saturday, July 15
    11:00 am - 12:00 pm
    Georgetown Branch Library

    As a professional who works with children and teens, as well as a parent, I am constantly on the alert for ways to help kids stay safe in this rapidly changing digital world.  It seems as though every day there are new technologies that open up so many possibilities – and dangers – to our young people.   

    At the Georgetown branch library, we are offering an opportunity for school-age kids, teens, and adults to learn together.  Presented by Cathie Bledsoe, youth educator for the Indiana State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, this hour-long event will help us learn in age-appropriate ways:

    • What it means to be a good digital citizen

    • What is inappropriate content online

    • How kids can protect their personal information

    • Why kids should never agree to meet face-to-face with someone they’ve met online

    • How to address cyber bullying

    This event is FREE and open to the public.  Flyers and handouts will be provided.  We hope to see you there!

    by Sara | Jun 15, 2017

    My family loves to visit the Children’s Services department at the downtown library. Our first stop is the McMillen Globe in the Great Hall; then we ask the librarians if we can go in the Early Learning Center. My five and eight year old each have their favorite activities -- the play kitchen and the writing station, respectively. There is so much to play with, and they are having so much fun they don’t realize how much they are learning.

    Our next stop after leaving the ELC is the the aquarium and bubble tubes area. We love learning about the animals that live in the tanks! There are handy guides at the desk outside the computer room that show each tank and its inhabitants. We go through the sheets and try to find each one in the tank. girl looking in a fish tank

    The yellow tang that used to live in the reef tank was very shy. He tended to hide from spying eyes. My daughter and Michal, one of the librarians, like to try to find him and other fish together.Aurelia and Michal with the fish guide at the tank

    Once we were even lucky enough to be there when Rob was feeding the anemones in the reef tank! He used a long grasping tool to deliver pieces of shrimp to these fascinating animals that look like ocean plants. My kids still talk about it. Sometimes you can even watch the eels and puffer fish being hand fed.

    We have made a lot of memories at the library over the years and look forward to each visit. There is always something new to learn or discover at the library!

     
    by Dawn Stoops | Jun 13, 2017
    Want to learn something new this summer? Want a silly picture book or an action packed chapter book? We've got plenty of new books in every category imaginable! Here are just a few.
    cover image for  barkus  cover image for invisible emmie  cover image for wolf pups join the pack 
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    by Dawn S | Jun 09, 2017
    Did you have a chance to attend a library doughnut party? We read fun doughnut stories like If You Give a Dog a Donut and Please Mr. Panda. We 'frosted' letter D's and added sprinkles to look like doughnuts. We played fun games and, of course, snacked on doughnuts!

    There's still time! Check the library calendar to see what doughnut parties are coming up and what other summer fun we've got planned for you!


    letter 'd' craft for doughnut party child eatting doughnut off string for game
    doughnut storytime girl playing doughnut matching game
    girl eatting doughnut kids doing doughnut craft
    by Cindy H | Jun 07, 2017
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    Have you ever wondered if there is more to the story of Beauty and the Beast? What was the Beast's life like before the curse? Did he have friends? Family? The Beast Within answers these questions and more. You will learn about the Beast's past, his relationships with Cogsworth and Lumiere, and his true feelings for Belle. You will also discover some surprising details about the curse that have never been told before! If you are a lover of the original Disney animated film and the new live-action version you will love getting this special behind-the-scenes look into the Prince's life and how he became the Beast who stole Belle's heart. This book is recommended for children in grades 4-6 and is available in print or as an ebook on Hoopla. Click the picture of the book's cover to place on hold!

    If you enjoy this book, learn more about some of Disney's possibly misunderstood villains in Serena Valentino's other books. Poor Unfortunate Soul: Tale of a Sea Witch is based on the story of Ursula in The Little Mermaid and is available in print or on Hoopla. Fairest of All: A Tale of the Wicked Queen is based on the wicked stepmother of Snow White and is also available in print or on Hoopla.
    by Mary R. Voors | Jun 05, 2017

    Chess
    On Saturday, July 22nd, the Children’s Services department of the Main Library will be offering our annual summer Chess Tournament. This is an all-day, just-for-fun tournament which provides fun and friendly competition for all levels of players. It is open to all kids from those in preschool through those entering 5th grade in the Fall.

    Pizza will be served mid-day to all players, and there will be an Awards Ceremony at the end of the day for top players. We’ll also be awarding “Good Sportsmanship” trophies.

    Registration is now open
    . We ask that players register no later than Wednesday, July 19, 2017. Ask your librarian for a registration form or use the link below. Call the Children’s Services department at (260) 421–1220 for more information.

    Children’s Services Chess Tournament Registration Form

    by Dawn S | Jun 02, 2017
    blurred lights

    This was yesterday at the library.

    Kids, color, motion, fun, and so much more.
    The Summer Learning Program is here and we want you to join us!
    Check out our online version of the reading program on beanstack.
    Take a look at the hundreds of summer events on our online calendar.
    See you soon!

    by Dawn Stoops | May 30, 2017
    I know.
    Your baby can't read.
    And your baby probably isn't motivated by prizes yet, otherwise she'd have a closet full of trinkets you've used to motivate her to sleep through the night. But your dear little ones are still invited to participate in this summer's reading program at the library.
    baby holding a book

    Here are the top 10 reasons why your baby should definitely do the reading program this summer.

    10. We love seeing library customers of all sizes and the tiny ones give librarians a chance to practice speaking baby and toddler.

    9. Reading the same thing over and over again is perfect. You could complete the entire reading program with just one book.

    8. Neurons.

    7. One of your baby's favorite pastimes is looking at people. There are a lot of interesting people to look at when visiting the library.

    6. The library has tons of books to give you new ideas for nursery rhymes, baby bounces, and songs.

    5. Car rides to the library can help soothe your little one to sleep.

    4. We did work pretty hard to pick out prizes that are just right for babies. The first prize is a little beach ball, great for summertime fun. The second and third prizes are board books. We've got a lot to choose from.

    3. Let's talk early literacy. Reading to a baby/toddler teaches reading skills like holding a book and turning the pages. You've got to start somewhere.

    2. Babies develop communication skills when listening and responding to the stories you read.

    1. Time spent reading with your baby is a special time of bonding that you really can't get any other way.

    Allen County Public Library's Summer Program starts Thursday, June 1st. See you soon!