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    by Erica Anderson-Senter | Oct 28, 2016

     “He’s a BIG idea guy,” Jessica told me about her son Jackson, age 8, as the three of us sat between the stacks of books, talking about the contest he won. Throughout the final summer months a big ol’ tub of LEGOs sat on the Reference Desk in Children’s Services and I challenged kids: CAN YOU ESTIMATE HOW MANY LEGOS ARE IN THIS TUB? 455 people wrote down their approximatiojackson1n and hoped for the best. Jackson guessed 1,203. The correct number of LEGOs, you may be wondering, was 1,212. JACKSON WAS ONLY 9 AWAY. 

    Jackson sat across from me, dapper and confident: spiky hair, permanent smile, and a suit jacket with a red and blue tie. To say the very least, I was instantly impressed with this young man. Talking with his hands, he explains to me what he likes to read (Captain Underpants and Comics), what he does for fun (plays LEGOs and with his friends outside), and how he made such a precise estimation. He counted horizontally and came up with a number in a “section” and then he counted up vertically how many sections the tub had and then multiplied. Jessica told me that they try to “use numbers organically” so it makes sense when Jackson said he basically just got a “rough idea” and tweaked the guess a tiny bit with his dad’s help. Told you he was impressive. 

    Jackson, who visits both the Waynedale branch and the Main Library, not only plays with LEGOs “more than you want to know”, his favorite food is pineapple pizza with stuffed crust and ice cream to round out the meal. His favorite color is blue, and has been since he knew colors. Jessica also told me that Jackson is an encourager and a bit of an inventor. When I asked him what he wanted people to know about him, his response was perfect:

    I’m a bit funny, love video games, and I always like to build.

    The craft of estimation is an essential tool in trusting one’s instinct when it comes to reasonable answers for calculations AND, in real life, a powerful life skill. This all starts super early! Babies are already starting to formulate can I reach that rattle and the various sizes of different objects by 6 months old! This particular skill is critical in laying a foundation for a strong future in mathematical make-up. And good news! There are ways to stretch your child’s basic understanding of estimation. Follow these links to read MORE about this integral skill. Isn’t it exciting to know that YOU can help your young learner grow in huge and capable ways that will help your child forever?    

    by Dawn Stoops | Oct 27, 2016
    Monster books may be just what you need on a moonlit night. Here are some great options for the preschool crowd!

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     cover image for monster park
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     cover image for i want a monster
    cover image for do not build a frankenstein   cover image for monsters go night-night
      cover image for go away big green monster
      cover image for adopt a glurb
    cover image for the perfect little monster
    by Dawn S | Oct 20, 2016
    Maybe your Halloween costume includes some crazy makeup. Maybe you need a fancy princess hairdo. These books will give you lots of fantastic ideas!

      cover image for face painting

    Face Painting
    by Karen Harvey

    Create over 30 fantastic different designs with this easy to follow step-by-step guide to face painting. --Publisher.

    cover image for disney princess hairstyles

    Disney Princess Hairstyles

    Table of Contents:
    Braidschool -- Ariel -- Aurora -- Belle -- Cinderella -- Jasmine -- Merida -- Mulan -- Pocahontas -- Rapunzel -- Snow White -- Tiana

    cover image for a big book of face painting

    A Big Book of Face Painting
    by Charlotte Verrecas

    This is a guide to face painting for children which provides essential tips based on expert knowledge. It details different materials, including paint recommendations and an explanation of brushes, and covers the techniques needed to achieve the 18 painted face designs in the book.
    -Catalog summary
    cover image for fun face painting for kids

    Fun Face Painting Ideas for Kids
    by Brian Wolfe

    All ages and all skill levels will learn the secrets to creating awesome face art with easy-to-find materials, friendly instruction for beginners, and fresh inspiration for more seasoned face painters.


    by Dawn S | Oct 17, 2016
    Take home a pile of picture books today!

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      cover image for rescue squad number 9
     cover image for owl sees owl
     cover image for samson in the snow
    cover image for 123 dream   cover image for how to track a truck
      cover image for in plain sight
      cover image for giant squid
    cover image for eat sleep poop
    by Dawn Stoops | Oct 13, 2016

    Everyone enjoys Lego Club!

    3 lego kids at lego clubboy at lego clubgirl at lego clubtwo boys at lego club
    Check our online calendar to see where there's Lego action near you! Just use the search term 'Lego'.
    by Dawn Stoops | Oct 11, 2016
    I'd like you to see this new book!
    They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel
    cover image for they all saw a cat

    I'm totally in love with this book's concept. As the cat walks through the world you see HOW each animal and person sees the passing cat. The mouse, for instance, sees this simple brown cat as a massive, fierce, black monster. The child who sees the cat sees a version that looks somewhat like a drawing he might make of the cat's big eyes and yellow bell. The bee who sees the cat sees colored spots. What a great way to introduce (or emphasize) personal perspective and identity! It's also a fantastic jumping off point for some amazing science lessons. Do skunks really see in black and white? What were the squiggle lines on the page with the worm? So many questions can spring from this simple book!

    The story's text is spare and poetic. The pictures are great. You just really need to see this book!

    by Dawn S | Oct 07, 2016
    poster image for abe lincoln's friend

    Please join us for a special program in the Main Library Theater!

    Tuesday, October 11th @ 12:45 PM
    Wednesday, October 12 @ 9:45 AM and 6:30 PM
    Thursday, October 13th @ 9:45 AM

    Storyteller Doyne Carson returns for this exciting dramatic presentation about Abe Lincoln's youth. Her storytelling targets fourth and fifth grade students. Groups should pre-register by calling the Children's Services department at 421-1220.
    by Dawn Stoops | Oct 04, 2016

    It hasn't happened yet, but someday soon the fall colors will arrive and the foliage all around us will transform. There are countless books that feature trees and leaves and maybe at this time of year you'd like to enjoy some with your students or family. Here are just a few you might like.

    cover image for leaf man
    Leaf Man 
    by Lois Ehlert
    Lois Ehlert's fall tale of a man made of leaves is fun and imaginative. My favorite leaf creations were the fish. Maybe you'll be inspired to make your own leaf man (or leaf fish).

    cover image for a leaf can be
    A Leaf Can Be...
    by Laura Purdie Salas
    With poetic tone, this book simply and beautifully lists the amazing things a leaf can be. The note in the back gives interesting leaf facts. This book is a lovely read alound for preschoolers or a starting point for older kids doing nature research.

    cover image for science projects about trees
    Science Project Ideas About Tress
    by Robert Gardner
    This book is packed with experiments to help you learn about how leaves work and how trees grow. There are more than 20 projects each briefly explained with a list of materials needed.

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    Applesauce Weather
    by Helen Frost
    Local author, Helen Frost, has a new book celebrating the season of fall. This great little chapter book,told in verse from varying perspectives, focuses on family, love, and the power of stories.
    cover image for fancy nancy and the fall foliage

    Fancy Nancy and the Fall Foliage
    by Jane O'Connor
    Fancy Nancy's family is busy raking leaves. Those leaves sure are beautiful! What can Fancy Nancy do with the most beautiful ones she collects?

    by Mary Voors | Sep 27, 2016
    Entries are now being accepted in the annual Allen County Public Library Poetry Contest. This year's theme is "That's What Friends Are For." Entries from kids and young adults will be accepted at all ACPL locations through November 7th.

    We can't wait to read your poems!
    Poetry Contest
    by Teresa Walls | Sep 23, 2016
    parent and child making a cornhusk doll

    This weekend (September 24 and 25, 2016), ACPL Children's Services is offering a program in which children, ages 6 and up, with a grown-up, can learn how to make a cornhusk doll. Call Children's Services at 421-1220 to register. Space is limited. Each program begins at 2 pm. This is
    part of the series of programs Beyond the Book: Salt: A Story of Friendship in Time of War.

    The program will be offered at the Little Turtle Branch Library at 2 pm, Saturday, October 15, and at the Grabill Branch Library at 2 pm, Saturday, October 22. Registration is required.
    by Dawn Stoops | Sep 22, 2016
    Here's a new music CD perfect for fall!
    cover image for wake up and sing
    Wake Up & Sing by Red Yarn, a.k.a. Andy Furgeson, has fiddles and folksy guitars galore. It makes me think of bonfires, starry nights, and friends telling stories. Most of the songs on the album are traditional folk songs but the ones written by Red Yarn fit in seamlessly. My favorite song tells the story of a little squirrel named Shadow. It was a perfect accompaniment with storytime this week. Our preschool group loved listening to what the squirrel was going to do next and then acting it out themselves.

    Give this CD or his other one, Deep Woods Revival, a try!

    by Dawn Stoops | Sep 19, 2016
    One of the things I like best about working at a public library is the variety of people and books I come in contact with on a daily, or hourly, basis. In one day I may help a grandmother apply for a job online, find rhyming books for a preschool teacher, look up a particular dog breed for a family, and help a new Kindle owner borrow an ebook from OverDrive.

    So today, I'd like to share a random list of great books.
    You never know what you'll find at the library!

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    Born to be Wild
    by Hattie Garlick

    Try this fun new book for adults if you need some creative ideas for outdoor time. This book has more than 200 pages of ideas for things to make and do with kids of all ages.

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    Laugh-Out-Loud Spooky Jokes for Kids
    by Rob Elliott

    Just in time for Halloween, jokes for vampire and monster

    cover image for a prayer for world peace

    A Prayer for World Peace
    by Jane Goodall

    Beautiful illustrations by Feeroozeh Golmohammadi bring Jane Goodall's prayer for peace to life with color and power. This is a book worth many re-readings!
    cover image for drive

    Drive: a book of roadside opposites
    by Kellen Hatanaka

    This family car trip demonstrates lots of opposite pairs in each picture, like in and out, over and under. My favorite is the pull out spread with a worm's-eye view and then, opened up, a bird's-eye view

    by Kris L. | Sep 14, 2016
    “In the summer of 1812, at a place where three rivers meet, the sky is filled with birds of many kinds and colors.  The rivers are home to fish, beavers, turtles and otters.  In the forest are deer, bears, wolves, porcupines, foxes, bobcats, squirrels, and rabbits….”

    ~ Helen Frost, Introduction to Salt: A Story of Friendship in Time of War


    Over the next several weeks, children and their families are invited to Animal Tracks and Scat, an extra special event that is a part of the series of programs Beyond the Book: Salt: A Story of Friendship in Time of War.

    Children of all ages and their families can learn a little about wild animals that live in Indiana and the tracks and scat they leave behind.  This is knowledge that Anikwa and James, the boys in the novel, needed to hunt animals for food and other necessities.

    Activities include animal track rubbings, making fake “scat” and exploring real animal pelts and artifacts on loan from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.  

    Making Pretend Scat       Antlers       


    Here’s the remaining schedule:

    • Saturday, September 17, 10:30 am: Dupont Branch
    • Monday, September 19, 1:30 pm: Shawnee Branch
    • Saturday, October 1, 2:00 pm: Children’s Services, Main Library
    • Monday, October 3, 7:00 pm: Little Turtle Branch
    • Tuesday, October 4, 10:30 am: Little Turtle Branch






    by Dawn Stoops | Sep 12, 2016
    In the mood for a new graphic novel?

     cover image for harvy beaks it's crazy time
      cover image for tiger island
     cover image for lucy and andy neanderthal
     cover image for dark island
    cover image for friendship is magic volume 10  cover image for secret coders paths and portals
      cover image for clarence
      cover image for the lost expedition
    cover image for best friends forever
    by Miss Heather | Sep 10, 2016
    Get wild in the woods with your kiddo! Shawnee Branch is lucky enough to be right next to a wooded area. Help your preschooler become a nature lover with a morning spent exploring and playing in the great outdoors. The fun happens rain or shine!
    Wild in the Woods
    Shawnee Branch Library
    (Calhoun & Paulding)
    5600 Noll Avenue
    Fort Wayne, IN 46806
    (260) 421-1355
    by Dawn Stoops | Sep 07, 2016
    We've only got a little bit of good outdoor, shirtsleeve play time left this year! If you're fortunate enough to have access to some outdoor space and natural building supplies you should definitely build a fort!
    cover image for fantastic forts

    Fantastic Forts, by Jo Schofield and Fiona Danks, is a book with lots of great ideas and tested methods for building. There are chapters covering miniature fairy forts, cave hideaways, lean-to forts, garden getaways, junk forts, leaf-shelters and lots more. I love how many inspiring pictures there are! The structures look fun to build and fun to use for all sorts of play, perfect for encouraging you and your family to explore the great outdoors together.

    For more books about building forts and outdoor play, check out our online catalog or visit your local library!
    by Teresa Walls | Aug 30, 2016
    In September and October, we will be celebrating Indiana's Bicentennial and Helen Frost's book Salt with a series of programs we're calling Salt: Beyond the Book. To kick off this series, Dani Tippmann, a Miami plant specialist, will demonstrate the craft of cattail mat weaving. She will also show youngsters how to make duck decoy models. It's going to be SO COOL! Check it out at the Main Library Plaza this Saturday, September 3, 2016, between 9 am to 2 pm.
    library display for Salt by Helen Frost

    Librarian Michal Miller explains to a young customer some of the Salt-related items on display at the Main Library as we prepare to celebrate the Indiana bicentennial and author Helen Frost with activities related to Helen Frost's book, Salt: A Story of Friendship in a Time of War.
    by Dawn S | Aug 29, 2016
    We have all had those times when we needed or wanted a particular movie but our local library didn't have it on the shelf. I can't tell you how many times I have, in the past, had to tell Grabill Library customers that we didn't have the movie they were looking for but if they wanted to drive 15 miles across town they could find it at another branch.
    Well, no more.
    We are in the process of making all of our movie titles holdable!

    So, if you're doing an author study on Kate DiCamillo and you need the DVD Because of Winn-Dixie...
    movie cover because of winn dixie
    ...just put it on hold!

    If you want to show your kids a classic flick like The Love Bug...
    movie cover the love bug
    ...just put it on hold!

    If you want to celebrate Friday Family Movie Night with The Good Dinosaur...
    movie cover the good dinosaur
    ...just put it on hold!

    While we make this switch, which should be done by September 2nd, we're also changing all DVD loan periods to 7-Day. For a complete outline of new DVD checkout rules just read this. As always, you can also ask your friendly librarian if you have any questions.
    by Erin W | Aug 24, 2016
    Homeschool Shelf

    This is a selected list of organizations in the Fort Wayne area that provide support to area home schoolers. The contact names and phone numbers are correct as of the "last updated" date at the bottom of this list.

    Fort Wayne Area Home Schools
    Fort Wayne Area Home Schools offers several opportunities for local families, including homeschooling orientation meetings for parents, The Homemade News quarterly newsletter, a large resource expo held in May with an exhibit hall featuring homeschool curricula and homeschooling workshops, a graduation ceremony, an annual used curriculum sale, e-mail alerts with updates of opportunities, drama camp, a science fair, and much, much more!

    The Homeschool Hue
    Contact: E. L. Burney, (260) 710-0789, email:
    Looking for a multicultural group of homeschoolers? Then this group is for you! Come out and find out what we're all about!

    Indiana Association of Home Educators
    Local contact: Kris and Stephanie Reckers; 317-467-6244 ex 202;
    The IAHE is a non-profit organization founded in 1983 for the purpose of serving the Lord Jesus Christ through supporting and encouraging families interested in home education.

    Live and Learn Fort Wayne
    Send blank email to to join the email list.
    Contacts: Dawn at, or Melinda at
    An inclusive home schooling group in Fort Wayne, IN, offering activities for kids and topical discussion for parents. All ages, all home schooling styles, all faiths and secular home schoolers. We value diversity!

    NICHE -- Northeastern Indiana Catholic Home Educators
    Contact: Grace Johnston, email:
    We provide spiritual, service, social, field trip, and other activity opportunities for families in the Fort Wayne and surrounding areas. Attendance at activities is open to all persons, single or married, regardless of religious affiliation, whether home schooling or non-home-schooling.

    Northside Home School Co-op Ltd. 
    Northside Homeschool Coop ltd. is a nonprofit Fort Wayne area home school resource that provides educational, leadership and community building opportunities for home school students and their families. We offer classes in all subject areas for students in K-12, a robotics team, experienced tutors, and more!

    Last updated August 2016
    by Dawn S | Aug 22, 2016
    Here are some great new chapter books! Remember, your library gets new books almost every day so check the new book display often.

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      book cover image for friday barnes under suspicion
     cover image for hundred percent
     cover image for slingshot and burp
    cover image for winter soldier
     cover image for where are you going baby lincoln
      cover image for Fuzzy
      cover image for the voyage to magical north
    cover image for applesauce weather