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

    by Dawn S | Sep 20, 2018
    cover image for albert's very unordinary birthday
    Albert's Very Unordinary Birthday
    by Daniel Gray-Barnett
    Birthday toast and birthday socks are not very festive, but that's what Albert's parents have in mind. Anything more would be too noisy and too messy. Albert's hoping for more, and when he makes a wish the morning of his birthday there's an unexpected knock on the door. It's Grandma Z! Suddenly his day is looking up. Thanks to Grandma Z's knack for the unordinary, she and Albert ride a roller coaster, meet a king, fly with birds, and eat a spectacular cake. Now that's a great birthday!

    This book is perfect for preschoolers and elementary kids. It has bold, silly pictures and just the right amount of story to let your imagination fill in the rest. It has a kind of Roald Dahl vibe to it that keeps a smile on your face hours after you've read it.
    by Erin | Sep 18, 2018
    You may already be aware that the Allen County Public Library has a pretty impressive collection of books. However, what you might not already know is that the Main Library has, not just one, but two, basements with book storage! As a librarian in the Children's Services department, I am in charge of maintaining certain areas of the kid's storage book collection. A few weeks ago, I was working with the 500s, and I came across a couple of older books that had just really amazing illustrations. I love these illustrations so much that I decided to share a few with you!

    Blog Post 1

    This illustration is from the book Wild Horses by Glen Rounds. There's something very beautiful about the jagged lines, the sparse color, and the use of white space. This technique really conveys the wildness of the horses without going overboard or adding too much detail.

    Blog Post 2

    The next illustration comes from Elephant Crossing by Toshi Yoshida. While you can't see it very well in this photo, Yoshida's artwork almost looks like pointillism with many spots and dots taking up the frame. There is also a series of pages in which Yoshida uses lines to convey urgency and movement.

    Blog Post 3

    Last but not least, we have Birds by Janusz Grabianski. Vibrant, colorful artwork takes up each page as the text informs readers about many different varieties of birds. This one would be great to share with an attentive preschooler, seeing as the text on each page is just a sentence or two and the artwork is captivating.

    Just because these books are in storage doesn't mean that they can't be checked out! Feel free to put any one of these on hold, or stop by the Main Library and ask a librarian how you can get something out of storage.


    by Dawn S | Sep 15, 2018
    If you're looking for a great adventure, an Accelerated Reader book for school, or just something new and fun, we've got you covered!

    cover image for amelia bedelia digs in cover image for tournament trouble cover image for marcus vega doesn't speak spanish
    cover image for so done cover image for lucky luna
    cover image for the unforgettable guinevere st. clair
    cover image for the jigsaw jungle  cover image for the football fiasco
    cover image for weekend with chewy
    by Dawn S | Sep 11, 2018
    The Fort Wayne Astronomical Society is coming to the Grabill Branch Library with telescopes and knowledge of the heavens.

    Thursday, September 13 from 8:30-10:00 pm

    Gaze at the stars, enjoy an edible moon, and learn more about the universe. Our star party is for all ages.

    And look what book we got last week that fits perfectly with the party theme:
    cover image for star in the party
    Star in the Jar
    by Sam Hay and Sarah Massini

    A little brother finds a star and searches with his big sister to find where it belongs. Does it belong on the cafeteria sign or in their friend's sticker collection? The answer comes from the night sky when they see "LOST one small star" spelled out in twinkling lights. You'll love reading all the ways they try to send the star home. The pictures are friendly, colorful, and full of rich details. This book is perfect for a star party at the library or a bedtime story for anyone who likes to wish on a star.
    by Dawn S | Sep 07, 2018
    Most of my work as a librarian is inside my branch. I do everything from checking in books, leading homeschool programs, and finding great read-alikes to giving directions to the local coffee shop, cleaning up messes, and making bulletin boards. But sometimes I get to go out into the community and take a little library fun to the masses. Like at the Grabill Country Fair!
    image of library basket on fair bench
    Last night was storytime at the fair. We were in the activity area right between the beef and noodle dinner and the craft vendors. Saturday the Grabill Branch Library is walking in the parade. We always have a great time and we get to see so many people. The best part is when library families cheer as we go by or yell "We love the library!"

    Library staff love providing great service at your local library, but we also enjoy getting out and sharing the library love in our communities. Give us a shout if you see us in your neighborhood!
    by Dawn S | Sep 05, 2018
    Look what just came today!
    cover image for lord of the fleas
    Our copies of the newest Dog Man book by David Pilkey came today and promptly got sent to all those readers who had put this title on hold. Some of those kids have been waiting since May! They know the secret of putting items on hold while they're still on order. As soon as we put an on-order record into the catalog you can place it on hold. You should try it sometime with your favorite author or character!
    by Cindy H | Aug 30, 2018
    Did you know the library offers a number of free programs on weekends for children?
    image of two girls in hats

    The Aboite Branch offers Family Storytime on the second Saturday of each month at 10:30am. This interactive storytime combines books, songs, rhymes and fun for children of all ages and their caregivers.

    The Georgetown Branch offers Toddler Fun! one Saturday a month. This program includes various stations for your little one to explore from 10:15-11:00am. Each month there is a different theme. September 15 the theme is apples, and the theme for October 13 is autumn. Check out the online calendar for future dates!

    Children's Services at the main library also offers some fantastic programs on weekends. Some upcoming programs include:
    STEAM Lab: Astronomy-Saturday, September 8, 2:30-3:30pm
    Letterboxing on Sunday-September 9, 12:00-5:00pm
    Make Art: DIY Scratch Art-Saturday, September 15, 2:00-3:00pm
    BEADtastic!-Sunday, September 16, 2:30-3:30pm
    Family Storytime + a Craft-Saturday, September 22, 2:30-3:30pm
    Make Art: Clay-Saturday, October 6, 2:00-3:00pm
    Young Engineers: Pumpkin Drop-Saturday, October 13, 2:30-3:30pm

    Don't miss these wonderful opportunities, hope to see you at the library soon!
    by Erin | Aug 28, 2018
    Fall is right around the corner, which means apples, pumpkins, and all things spooky. While most people tend to want to read scary stories around Halloween, there are still plenty of kiddos who like to read them year-round. But what do you read once you've grown out of Goosebumps? Below are just a few suggestion:

    Tale Dark and Grimm Ghostcoming   nightmares
    mesmerist   stonekeeper  whichwood
     jumbies serafina   spirit hunters
     graveyard shakes properly unhaunted place  doll bones
    by Dawn S | Aug 23, 2018
    Take a look at these great new picture books!

    cover image for go fish cover image for pinny in fall cover image for skelly's halloween
    cover image for off and away cover image for good dog
    cover image for the berenstain bears stand up to bullying
     cover image for stick  cover image for knock knock
    cover image for be still life
    cover image for olive the sheep can't sleep cover image for fox and raccoon cover image for bubbles
     
       

    by Dawn Stoops | Aug 21, 2018
    Let me share a little story.
    image of pile of mattresses on a bed
    My dad came over to help set up a daybed this weekend. I had two crib mattresses arranged as the cushion and the kids added a layer of pillows. As they played on the new furniture, I said it reminded me of the story "The Princess and the Pea". When I asked if they knew that story they both just said no and kept playing. I thought about giving them an overview, but then I remembered that I had my phone in my pocket!
    One quick click on the Hoopla app and a speedy search found several versions available to borrow electronically. So right then and there I borrowed the book, tapped the cover, and read it to the kids. I totally felt like a super mom!
    image of hoopla app symbol

    When you have the Hoopla app it's simple and fast to get electronic access to books, movies, and music with your library card. Mostly, my family uses Hoopla to borrow kids' music. Favorites include the soundtrack to the Lego Ninjago Movie and music from Veggie Tales shows. There are thousands of items available. I encourage you to try it out and see what your family likes best. If you need some help, just call or stop by the library and we'll be happy to show you how it works or answer any questions you may have.

    Enjoy!


    by Dawn Stoops | Aug 15, 2018
    Here are just a few books published this year for parents, teachers, homeschool families, and others who work with children. We've got plenty of older, tried and true titles too, so ask your librarian when you need to find just the right book.

    cover image for the art of screen time cover image for you your child and school cover image for what your ADHD child wishes you knew
    cover image for the wild card cover image for the read-aloud family
    cover image for better together
    cover image for rethinking school  cover image for how to raise kind kids
    cover image for the nerdy parents guide to raising a nerdy parent
    by Dawn Stoops | Aug 13, 2018
    This morning when my seven year old woke up and asked what we were doing today I explained, among other things, that in two more days he'd start school. He sleepily replied "Then I hope these two days go extra slow."

    Yep, I know how you feel honey!

    cover image for it's the first day of school

    Here's to all the amazing FIRSTS your family experiences this week. May you find the joy in small and big accomplishments.


    by Dawn Stoops | Aug 09, 2018
    Our family doesn't do a lot of tv watching, but for the screen time we do allow, it's great to get fun stuff from the library - for FREE! My boys, ages 5 & 7, are going to be thrilled to see we've just gotten some new DVDs.
    Take a look!
    cover image for rusty rivets
    "Whether it's an out-of-control robo-vacuum, a band of fugitive monkeys, or a runaway hot air balloon, Rusty will find the fix! Rusty's got the ingenuity, creativity, and a recycling yard full of the coolest parts and pieces to 'Combine and Design' any gadget, vehicle, or robot that his wild imagination can think up."
    --from the catalog

    cover image for lily's driftwood bay
    "Welcome to Lily's Driftwood Bay! Lily is six years old and lives with her dad and her best friend, who is a seagull named Gull, in a little hut on the beach. Across the way is Driftwood Bay, a special island that exists in Lily's imagination. Every day the sea washes up a new treasure which sparks Lily's imagination about what might be happening on Driftwood Bay."
    --from the catalog

    Ask your librarian for more fun shows on DVD and Bluray!
    by Dawn S | Aug 07, 2018
    Open a book and open the world. Try one of these new non-fiction books today!

    cover image for coding games in python cover image for the orca scientist cover image for i am never bored
    cover image for personal space travel cover image for birds and their feathers
    cover image for capsized
     cover image for shawn mendes  cover image for seeders
    cover image for red alert
    cover image for freaky animals cover image for trumpets cover image for being a bee
    cover image for 24 hours on the tundra cover image for my horse
    cover image for sydney
    cover image for lets bake halloween treats cover image for the rock cycle 
    cover image of zoom in on superhighways
    by Community Engagement | Aug 02, 2018
    First Steps in Music

    New Program! First Steps in Music

    Join us for a new program at our branches this fall! First Steps in Music is for children ages 0-3 and their caregivers.

    The goal of First Steps in Music is to enable all participants to reach their full potential in singing, vocabulary, and movement skills, with an emphasis on developing sensitivity to the expressive qualities in music. Each class is designed to be playful and enjoyable to children, while providing a carefully planned curriculum that includes developmentally appropriate activities. Children are not taught formally about the specifics of music, but rather they play with music through a series of eight well-rounded activities based on the First Steps in Music curriculum.
    The Fort Wayne Children’s Choir offers First Steps in Music classes to children ages 0 to 3 years old in coordination with the Allen County Public Library, and funded by the PNC Bank Foundation and Three Rivers Credit Union Foundation.
     
    Through the 8 basic activities included in classes based on the First Steps in Music curriculum, children and their parents/caregiver experience singing, creative movement, simple instruments, finger-plays and more with the help of the rich collection of traditional songs and rhymes from past generations.
     
    Example activities for First Steps in Music:
    • Pitch exploration
    • Song fragments
    • Simple songs
    • Arioso (Child-centered tunes)
    • Song tales
    • Movement exploration
    • Movement for form and expression
    • Movement with the beat

    First Steps in Music preview programs will be held at the following dates, times, and locations:

    Wednesday, August 22 at 10:30 am - Hessen Cassel Branch

    Thursday, August 23 at 10:30 am - Waynedale Branch

    Friday, August 24  at 10:30 am - Aboite Branch

    Tuesday, August 28 at 10:30 am - Tecumseh Branch

    Wednesday, August 29 at 10:00 am - Main Library Children's Services

    Thursday, August 30 at 10:30 am - Shawnee Branch


    Join us for the full series of First Steps in Music programs this September and October, exclusively at our Shawnee and Aboite branches!

    Shawnee will host First Steps in Music on Thursdays at 10:30 am on the following dates:
    September 6, 13, 20, & 27
    October 4, 11, 18, & 25

    Aboite will host First Steps in Music on Fridays at 10:30 am on the following dates:
    September 7, 14, 21, 28
    October 12, 19, 26.

    by Cindy H | Aug 01, 2018
    Homeschool University is a program at the Aboite Branch where homeschoolers can come together to learn something new and exciting from local experts in a variety of subjects. Homeschool University is designed for homeschoolers ages 7-17 and is held the third Thursday of every month from 2:00-4:00 pm.

    In August, we will have an expert from the Allen County Parks Department teach us all about birds and their habitats. We will also get to learn how to make a simple bird feeder out of a pine cone to take home to feed the birds in our neighborhoods!

    In September, we have Meghan Houser from Wholesome Roots Cooking coming to teach us how to cook some awesome basic recipes. Those with food allergies and sensitivities will be accommodated!

    In October, we have local dancer Zion Tinsley returning to teach us the foundations of hip-hop dancing, including breakdancing and freestyle techniques. This was one of our most popular sessions, so don't miss it!

    This program does require registration, so be sure to click the links above to reserve your spot. You can also call the Aboite Branch at 260-421-1310 to register. Don't miss this awesome opportunity for homeschoolers, we hope to see you soon!
    by Cindy H | Jul 30, 2018
    It is hard to believe that summer is winding down and we are getting ready to get back into our school-year routines. Many of the Aboite Branch's regular programs took a hiatus for the summer, so we are excited to tell you about the wonderful programs we have coming back starting in August!

    We have three weekly storytimes designed for a variety of ages. Baby Storytime, designed for those under 18 months, is available every Monday at 10:30am. Toddler Storytime, for those ages 18 months-3 years, is every Wednesday at 10:30am. Family Storytime, designed for children of all ages, is every Thursday at 10:30am. We are also very happy to offer Family Storytime the second Saturday of every month at 10:30am.

    PAWS to Read is a fantastic program for children of all ages to have the opportunity to read to one of our trained therapy dogs, Maggie and Murphy. This program is every Monday from 6:30-7:30 pm.

    Young at Art is available every Wednesday right after Toddler Storytime from 11:00-11:30 am for children ages 2-5. This program is a child-led, process art experience with different projects each week, utilizing different media including paint, crayon, markers, glue, clay, and recycled materials.

    LEGO Club is one of our most popular programs. This all-ages program is every Wednesday from 4:00-5:30 pm. We have tons of LEGOs of all kinds available for you to build a special creation. When you are finished, we will exhibit your design in our display case for a week!

    Finally, if you are 12 or under, check out our Hooked on Books book club for kids! Every second Friday of the month from 4:00-5:00 pm we meet to discuss our favorite books we've been reading over tasty snacks, to be followed by fun games. Regular book club members will also get customized book recommendations each month!

    For questions about any of these programs, please call the Aboite Branch at 260-421-1310. We hope to see you soon!
    by Dawn S | Jul 26, 2018
    I know it's July, but at some point your mind is going to wonder to the months ahead. Maybe a school supply commercial will make you think about next school year, or an arctic blast from the AC will make you think about winter.

    So, when you're thinking about the months ahead, just know that your librarians are busy planning and organizing too! In fact, our September library programs are already on our online calendar.
    Here's a sneak peek!

    image of paint and brushes 
    Homeschool Art Lab
    Hessen Cassel Branch

    Friday, September 7
    10:15 AM - 11:45 AM
    Participants in this bi-monthly class will explore emerging and established artists and their techniques, both local and international. Students will have an opportunity to research the artists, to study their techniques, and to create their own art.

    family fun night logo

    Families with children of all ages, join us every Monday evening for family fun!



    image of art supplies
     
    3:30 PM - 4:30 PM
    What do you think you might be able to create from the things nature is finished with like sticks, fallen leaves, flower petals and seeds? We’ll provide all the materials you’ll need to make a beautiful nature collage.
    image of star gazers in a forest clearing
    Grabill Star Party
    Grabill Branch

    8:30 PM - 10:00 PM
    We're staying late to party under the Grabill sky! Bring your lawn chairs and your sense of wonder as the Fort Wayne Astronomical Society leads us in some star gazing, complete with telescopes and other nifty stuff. All ages are invited!





    by Dawn S | Jul 23, 2018
    Here it is! The best new book to share with young students at back to school time. If you want to start the school year off right, then take some time to read this colorful book.
    cover image for all are welcome

    I'd say it's best for the Preschool-2nd grade crowd. There's a variation of the title that repeats on most every page and the kids could all chime in together "All are welcome here" as you read. I imagine the books text, by Alexandra Penfold, would lead perfectly into a discussion of school expectations and the like. The pictures are a pleasure too so don't skip the natural conversations sparked by all those smiling faces. Every student should see themselves in some character so expertly crafted by Suzanne Kaufman.

    This book is great and I'm glad it came just at the right time! If you need more back to school books be sure to ask your friendly librarian.
    by Dawn S | Jul 19, 2018
    Here's another mixed-up collection of new books for kids. Gotta cram in more fun summer reading!

    cover image for drawing fantastic dragons cover image for junior maker cover image for the dam keeper world without darkness
    cover image for where the watermelons grow cover image for posey the class pest
    cover image for here come the bit police
     cover image for i wish i was an elephant  cover image for i just ate my friend
    cover image for the 91-story treehouse
    cover image for see zip zap cover image for the everything book of dogs and puppies cover image for pretty kitty
    cover image for thunder road cover image for the curse of the warewolf boy
    cover image for you can't bring a sandwich to the moon
    cover image for christopher robin  cover image for best frints at skrool
    cover image for rapunzel and the vanishing village