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

    by Dawn S | May 05, 2018
    Sometimes listening to a book is better than reading it yourself.
    Take a look at these new books on CD!

    cover image for beast of stone cover image for 365 bible stories for kids cover image for good dog
    cover image for the parker inheritance cover image for lights music code
    cover image for crash landing
    cover image for time jumpers  cover image for the unflushables
    cover image for mad wolf's daughter
    by Angie Fetters-Nitza | May 03, 2018

    Join us to discover just how easily you can write a great story! You’ll decide if you want to tell your story using only pictures, just words, or both. We’ll play a game that will help you choose your characters, what they are like, the setting, and the story’s problem. You get to tell how it all happens.

    Our next Design It! Program will be on Wednesday, May 9 at the Main Library in Children’s Services from 3:30pm-4:30pm in the Globe Room.

    Story1

    During our last Design It! Program, we created musical instruments. The results rocked! Take a look.
    MI7MI4MI2BInstr1MI6B

    by Teresa Walls | Apr 30, 2018
    Free Comic Book Day

    Boom! Zap! Pow! Free Comic Book Day is hitting the library! Free Comic Book Day is a worldwide event that happens on the first Saturday of every May.

    Celebrate at the Main Library in Children’s Services!
    9:00 am to 6:00 pm -  Scavenger Hunt and Kids' Comics Giveaway (2 per person, while supplies last)
    10:30 to 11:00 am - Free Comic Book Day Storytime
    11:00 am to 1:00 pm - Costume Factory
    NOON to 1:00 pm - LEGO Club
    12:30 to 1:30 pm - Meet a Superhero
    12:30 to 2:00 pm - Bingo Quest
    2:00 to 3:00 pm - Drawing Workshop with local artists, Matthew Plett & Andrew Kurzen

    Celebrate at the Main Library in the Teens department!  All day, while supplies last, pick up a free comic book or two. Between 2:00 and 5:00 pm, try your hand at solving puzzles to open locked boxes that contain an additional surprise.

    Celebrate at the Georgetown branch library! Free comics for all ages will be given away - 1 per person, while supplies last. Stop by anytime to snap a picture at the photo-op and create your own superhero mask!

    Celebrate at the Grabill branch library! Free comics for all ages will be given away - 1 per person, while supplies last. Stop by anytime to do a scavenger hunt or make a craft.

    Celebrate at the Aboite branch library! Get a free comic book to take home, then join us for a superhero-themed storytime at 2:00pm. We will also have a special visit from Spiderman from 2:30-3:30 pm!

     

    by Cindy H | Apr 27, 2018
    INDEX_60A58449
    Did you know that arson is the number one most expensive property crime in the United States, and that many of those fires are caused by children and teens? More than 7,100 youth-set fires occur every year, resulting in millions of dollars in damage, and often tragic injuries and even death. Although some of the fires are unintentional, many are not. It is important to learn about this prevalent problem and how to protect your family and property.

    Fire fighter Dave Meadows and mental health counselor Michael Slavkin, experts from the Allen County Juvenile Firesetting Taskforce, will be visiting the Aboite Branch Library on Wednesday, May 9 from 6:00-7:00 PM to give an interactive presentation for children, teens, and parents. Don't miss this opportunity!

    If you have any questions or would like more information, please feel free to call Cindy Harter, Aboite Branch Youth Librarian, at 260-421-1310.
    by Dawn S | Apr 25, 2018
    Monday was the Grabill Library's last Homeschool STEM Workshop for the school year.

    We had a blast learning a little about material engineering and then getting creative with construction techniques. Take a look!

    girl making cardboard box tower room full of cardboard boxes ready for program boy working on cardboard box tower
    cardbaord tower cardboard tower
    cardboard tower
       

    Homeschool classes are winding down at the libraries this spring, but the Summer Learning Program is just getting into full gear! Learn more about how to participate here. Check out what programs we've got in the works for May, June, and July by browsing our online calendar. Remember to change the date range and other limiters to get to all the good stuff!
    by Angie N. | Apr 20, 2018

    more notes

    Do you hear that?
    Sounds like YOU designing and building cool musical instruments to take home and play. Come see what rockin’ instruments you can create from things like plastic spoons, beans, cardboard tubes, paper plates, and more. We’ll be having some creative rhythmic fun you won’t want to miss during our next Design It! Program at the Main Library in Children’s Services on Wednesday, April 25 from 3:30pm-4:30pm.

    by Angie N. | Apr 18, 2018

    April is designated as National Poetry Month in the United States. It is a time to celebrate poets, their poems, all the poems you love, and the poet in you! Listed below are seven ways you can celebrate National Poetry Month.

    1. Pick a poet whose work you’ve never read and check out a volume of their poetry from the library.
    2. Create an anthology of your favorite poems. Pick your favorite poems, type them up or write them down and create a book to keep, so you can read them again and again. Leave room to add more poems in the future.
    3. Send a favorite poem to a friend via text, email or in a letter.
    4. Write a poem of your very own.
    5. Record yourself reading poetry aloud, your favorites or the ones you’ve written.
    6. Illustrate a poem or two.
    7. Watch videos of poets reading their work.
    What are some other ideas for celebrating poetry? Come on into the library and check out some great volumes of poems, both old and new. 

    Poetry Books
    by Cindy H | Apr 13, 2018
    35259626
    Olivia is an expert at finding lost things. Whenever a neighbor's glasses, keys, wallet, or pet goes missing they contact Olivia because she is sure to find what they've lost. The only thing Olivia can't seem to find is her brother's toy ostrich. Jacob has autism and it seems like ever since his ostrich went missing things have been getting more difficult for him; he's been more stressed and having increasing emotional melt-downs. Olivia just wants things to go back to the way they used to be, before the ostrich went missing.

    When the zoo comes to their town, Olivia and Jacob decide to go check it out. Jacob is hoping to see lions, tigers, or bears and chants it over and over on their way to the zoo. When they get there, however, there are no lions, tigers, or bears. The last animal to be unloaded is an ostrich. Jacob goes into a frenzy that incites the stares of the zoo employees. Olivia eventually convinces Jacob to calm down enough so they can go home, but she knows she needs to find his toy soon before things get worse.

    With the help of a new friend, the zookeeper's son Charlie, Olivia searches the entire town for the ostrich. In the meantime, Jacob's outbursts get worse and at times violent. Will Olivia and Charlie be able to find the ostrich before something drastic happens?

    This story really explores how having a loved one with a condition like autism impacts the entire family. Olivia's parents struggle with ensuring Jacob has the attention and care he needs, while still allowing Olivia her autonomy. I think the author does a good job at creating an entertaining and at times surprising story with realistic characters. There are some stressful situations that may be difficult for younger children, but I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking to learn more about autism and how it can affect a family.

    This book is available in print at the library. Click here to place it on hold!
    by Dawn S | Apr 11, 2018

    Celebrate National Library Week with this amazing new book all about the power of creativity.


    cover image for what if
    What If...
    by Samantha Berger and Mike Curato

    When you want to create, what if you don't have a pencil, or a brush, or paints? You can create with nature, leaves and snow, or with words, songs and chants, or with light, shadows and shapes. This story is told by a girl full of ideas and beauty who will ALWAYS find a way to create.

    Young readers will love the rhythm of the words and the fantastic collage artwork. Mike Curato's pictures combine photographs of real things, like Lego towers and flowers, with drawings of the character and other parts of her world. The mix is magical and reinforces the countless ways of being creative.

    Celebrate National Library Week, grab some new books, and enjoy all the creativity the world of libraries has to offer!

    by Dawn S | Apr 05, 2018
    When I need a story book to read to a group of preschoolers, only certain ones will do. It has to have an engaging story, big bold pictures, and it helps if it's funny. I don't want the kids to just sit like little lumps listening, I want them to participate.

    What books hit all these marks and make me smile EVERY time I read them? Here are my top 5 favorites to share with preschool groups.

     cover image for the wide mothed frog

    The Wide-Mouthed Frog
    by Keith Faulkner

    I love this one with big pop-up elements and bright colors. The simple, traditional tale, tells about a frog and the animals he meets as he hops along. The last page is the best and I often go back and reread the end so the kids can all say "splash" along with me.



    cover image for go away big green monster

    Go Away Big Green Monster!
    by Ed Emberley

    Every time I read this to preschoolers there's a little bit of magic that happens in their eyes. The die cut pages introduce them to the big green monster one facial feature at a time. And then the fun begins as we tell each part of this goofy guy to "Go Away!" It's exciting even after several reads - the true hallmark of a great read aloud.

    cover image for Edward the Emu
    Edward the Emu
    by Sheena Knowles

    Because the zoo is one of their favorite places, preschoolers love this story about an emu who wants some excitement. The pictures
    hysterically show Edward acting like a lion and a snake, just to see if life is better on the other side of the fence. For a little audience participation I like to have the kids roar and hiss and do the other animal sounds together.
    cover image for mouse paint

    Mouse Paint
    by Ellen Stoll Walsh

    In a perfect world, this book would be a little bigger to share with a group, but the pictures are simple and the story about mice playing in paint is just right for preschoolers. It's fun to have kids yell out the color names and think about color mixing by guessing the next color the mice discover.

    cover image for little owl lost

    Little Owl Lost
    by Chris Haughton

    I think preschoolers sympathize with this little lost owl and his big startled eyes. They also roll with laughter when squirrel's help isn't all that helpful.


    Having finished my list, I can think of at least 5 more titles that are good and maybe several others that are great. This business of picking favorite books is especially hard for librarians. If you'd like more suggestions, just ask your local librarian for their top 5 (or 30) preschool class read-alouds. Or add yours to the comments below!

    by Dawn S | Apr 02, 2018
    Grab a new book for your April reading pleasure!

    cover image for the legend of jack riddle cover image for princess pulverizer cover image for the misfits club
    cover image for keys to the city cover image for the book of boy
    cover image for another quest for celeste
    cover image for playing atari with saddam hussein  cover image for the unicorn quest
    cover image for strange star
    by Angie Fetters-Nitza | Mar 27, 2018
    Our last Design It! Program was a huge success! We created cool original art using mixed media materials. Children and their grown-ups all participated and created some fantastic designs. 

    Mixed Media 4   

    Mixed Media 1

    Mixed Media 2

    Mixed Media 6

    During our next Design It! Program at the Main Library in Children’s Services, we will be designing and building marble mazes. Build a maze that twists, turns, and spins. Anyway you choose to design it, you're sure to have fun! Join us Wednesday, March 28 from 3:30pm-4:30pm in the Globe Room next to Children’s Services for a maze-tastic time!

    by Dori G. | Mar 26, 2018

    image of imaginary planet
    You've just graduated from Space Academy, and they're sending you where no man has every gone before! You've charted a path to Neptune, but due to a slight miscalculation, you have to emergency land on an unknown planet! A storm is coming--what do you do?!?

    Join us this spring break for a Choose Your Own Adventure program. We’ll plan escapades, plot escapes, and boldly go where no one has ever gone before!

    When: Monday, April 2nd, 2018
    Where: Children's Services department at the Main Library
    Beginning At: 10:30 AM and 2:30 PM

    (This program is best suited for kids who can read.)

    In the mean time, why not come in and check out one of these awesome Choose Your Own Adventure books to prep you for your mission:

    http://www.syndetics.com/index.aspx?type=xw12&client=260-421-1200&upc=&oclc=&isbn=9781933390031/LC.JPG
    Space and Beyond


    http://www.syndetics.com/index.aspx?type=xw12&client=260-421-1200&upc=&oclc=&isbn=9781496526441/LC.JPG
    The Outlaw from Outer Space : an Interactive Mystery Adventure


    http://www.syndetics.com/index.aspx?type=xw12&client=260-421-1200&upc=&oclc=&isbn=9781476541853/LC.JPG
    The Race to the Moon : an Interactive History Adventure


    http://www.syndetics.com/index.aspx?type=xw12&client=260-421-1200&upc=&oclc=&isbn=9781937133436/LC.JPG
    Space Pup

    by Dawn Stoops | Mar 21, 2018
    This morning Charlie and his family came to storytime sporting their "Down Right Awesome"  and "Three:21" t-shirts. March 21 is World Down Syndrome Day and what a better way to celebrate than a visit to the library?
    image of charlie and his mom at the grabill library

    If you're curious about the kinds of library resources available on the topic, here's a list of just some of our Down Syndrome books for kids and parents.



    by Dawn S | Mar 19, 2018
    You're going to love these new non-fiction books.
    There's something for everyone!

    cover image for i wonder about the qur'an cover image for one fun day with lewis carroll cover image for iguanas
    cover image for me and my body cover image for warbler wave
    cover image for steven callahan adrift in the atlantic
    cover image for women in science  cover image for destination planet earth
    cover image for police robots
    by Dawn Stoops | Mar 16, 2018

    We just got this great new Emily Gravett book!


    cover image for old hat
    I'm a fan of her quirky books and this one, true to form, has fantastic pictures and a silly plot. It also sneaks in an important life lesson about trying to be fashionable by following what everyone else is doing.

    I tried it out with a visiting Preschool this morning and it was a hit. Students created pictures of their goofy hats or hair after storytime. I used 11x17 paper to make a head with lots of space above. I added a sentence at the bottom where kids could choose the word they were illustrating. In a lot of cases, the creativity was just too much and kids had both hat and hair circled.

    hat picture by prek student hat picture by prek student
     hat picture by prek student
    hat picture by prek student hat picture by prek student
    hat picture by prek student
       

    We had a wonderful time reading this book, talking about this book, and creating pictures from the ideas in this book. A great picture book will help adults READ/TALK/WRITE/PLAY/SING with kids. There's learning everywhere!
    by Dawn S | Mar 14, 2018
    Good News! The Allen County Public Library's online catalog now has the added capacity of searching for titles by Lexile Level. We've added it as one of the limiters on the left hand side of the catalog search screen.

    image of catalog search page

    As a librarian, I've helped lots of families find books for kids by Lexile level, but it was always a chore to hop onto the lexile.com site, find interesting titles, then go back to our catalog to see if they were available at Grabill or another library in the county. Now I can skip the first step and go directly to our catalog.

    It's a help to librarians and parents! When you're using the online catalog from home you can get Lexile info in each library book record or you can search by Lexile level to get the level you need and limit by your favorite library. You can also have books at the needed level sent to whatever library you'd like.

    image of online catalog page

    If you have any questions about this new part of the catalog, you can ask a librarian in person, or ask us online using our ask a librarian email reference service.

    We hope this helps get just the right book into your students' hands!

    by Katie B. | Mar 07, 2018

    pi
    March 14 is my favorite day of the month.  It’s a holiday (of sorts) if you weren’t aware.  A holiday that is more like an inside joke to those “in the know” like Star Wars day (May the Fourth).  It’s a day to celebrate the irrational number of pi (the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter). 

    Pi is a pretty amazing number when you think about it.  While most of us remember the 3.14 part (hence, 3/14 being Pi Day), pi never ends and it never repeats itself.  It is also pretty incredible that any circle, no matter what the size, will give you pi if you divide the circumference of the circle (distance around) by the diameter (distance across).

    Even if math isn’t of particular interest to you, Pi Day can still be a lot of fun.  First of all, you can’t celebrate Pi Day without pie, and who wouldn’t want to celebrate a holiday that involves pie?  Secondly, just because pi is a mathematical ratio, that doesn’t mean that you can’t use it to make beautiful art.
    Pi cityscape

    Mathematical arts and crafts are how we will be celebrating here at the Main Library in Children’s Services on Pi Day. Join us anytime between 3:30 and 4:30 pm to make some mathematical art or a pi bracelet!  We will even have some yummy pie to eat!
    Pi crafts

    by Dawn Stoops | Mar 01, 2018

    When kids gain the ability to read independently and fluently everyone shouts HOORAY! Teachers are ready for more great learning to begin and parents are pleased that all those bedtime stories are now paying off.
    image of child reading
    It’s such a joy to see the growth and confidence at this point that it’s easy to forget how important it is for adults to KEEP READING to these kids.
    But why worry about read-alouds when your child is capable of reading on his own?
    Let me count the ways!

    1. When your child was a baby, you knew that reading together provided wonderful bonding time. It’s still true, but your kid would probably roll their eyes at you if they heard anything about bonding so let’s just call it “hang out time” instead.
    2. Even confident readers have to work at reading. Give them a break and let them get carried away in the story while you’re doing all the work.
    3. Vocabulary. The more books you expose your child to the better her vocabulary will be. SATs here we come!
    4. It’s fun reading time for you too. Pick a classic that you’ve never had time to read, and read it together.   
    AND don't limit yourself to chapter books. Picture books are fun, no matter how old you are. Here are some of my favorites, totally appropriate for kids in grades 4-6.

    cover image for grumblebunny
    cover image for tuesday
     cover image for pssst
    cover image for the kamishibai man cover image for the secret project
    cover image for the whispering town
       

    by Erin | Feb 26, 2018

    The puppets are coming!

    puppet show 2018
    We are just a few short weeks away from Children's Services' annual Preschool Puppet Show! This year, we'll be courageous with the Brave Little Miss Muffet, and we'll try our best to Don't Wake the Tiger. In between shows, there will be singing and dancing and getting our wiggles out.

    Interested in joining the fun? The dates for this fantastic event are listed below:

    Wednesday, March 14 at 9:30 am, 10:30 am, and 1:30 pm.
    Thursday, March 15 at 9:30 am, 10:30 am, and 1:30 pm.
    Friday, March 16 at 9:30 am, 10:30 am, and 1:30 pm.
    Saturday, March 17 at 10:30 am.

    The Preschool Puppet Show will be held in the Main Library's theater. Space is limited, so please plan to show up early.

    Large groups of 10 or more people must register for the show by calling 421-1220. Smaller groups do not need to register, but will be seated on a first come, first served basis.

    Hope to see you there!