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

    by Kara E. | May 15, 2017

    Have you heard about hoopla? It’s basically my new favorite thing. Hoopla is a service that the library offers that allows you to checkout and download digital content – right in the palm of your hand! Hoopla has a ton of things that you can check out! Everything from ebooks, audiobooks, comic books, music, and even movies!

    I love streaming music from hoopla! They have some really great stuff and it’s always available. No more waiting for my holds to come in! Plus it’s super simple.

    Here are my top five kids cd’s right now:

    For the Kids Three1. For the Kids Three
    This CD is chock full of music for kids that doesn’t sound like “kids music.” Small as me is highly recommended. Seriously. The whole CD is worth that one song.

    Laurie Berkner2. The Laurie Berkner Band 
    Now here is some great “Dance Around the Living Room” music. That’s totally a genre of music, right?

    Goodnight Songs3. Goodnight Songs 
    So many beautiful, original lullabies! If you are looking to expand your lullaby repertoire this is the CD for you! Mambian Melody is my favorite.

    Moana4. Moana
    If this doesn't make you want to visit the ocean, I don’t know what will.  Plus the songs are catchy. I can personally guarantee at least one song will get stuck in your head. You’re Welcome. 

    Here Comes Science
    Here Comes Science. Who knew that learning about science could be so fun!? They Might Be Giants will teach you about everything from chemistry to physics in this fantastic CD!
    by Erica S | May 11, 2017

    With a boom of popularity, it’s obvious that realistic comics are all the rage. Sure! We love super-heroes and valiant mice questing for the greater good, but sometimes, we want to connect, person to person, with the image. What IS it like to get braces? Cover of Real FriendsAm I the *only* one who has a hard time making friends? Raina Telgemeier strikes graphic-gold with titles such as Smile, Sisters, and Ghosts. Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson is another to add to the ever-growing list of solid story-lines and engaging illustrations. New to our shelves, Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham has given us Real Friends.

    One of the most endearing things about this comic is that it’s just so relate-able. Hale touches on social anxiety brought on by bullies, comfort of fitting in and being one’s self, and the wiles of finding one’s place in a household full of siblings. The exciting and crisp illustrations are engaging and they help fulfill the mission of the story-line perfectly. If you (or your middle-grade reader) are looking for something similar to Telgemeier, I’d fully recommend this title. Along the way, there’s sure to be lots of emotional fodder for meaty discussion. Happy reading!  
    Spread conveying social anxiety

    by Cindy H | May 08, 2017
    Emmanuel's Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah, written by Laurie Ann Thompson and illustrated by Sean Qualls, is an amazing story about a boy from Ghana. Emmanuel was born with a deformed left leg. With encouragement from his mother, Emmanuel overcomes many obstacles and becomes an inspiration and advocate for those with disabilities. He is able to attend school, work, and eventually rides a bike on a long distance journey around his country. As he travels he spreads awareness that just because you have a disability it doesn't mean you have an inability. This is a beautiful story with wonderful pictures and I think it is really good for children to read because it will help them learn about those with disabilities, as well as those from other cultures.

    This book is available in print or as an ebook on Overdrive. It has won many awards and is recommended for children grades K-2. It is a very inspirational story that I highly recommend! Click the picture of the book's cover to place on hold!

    by Erica S | May 03, 2017

    Brace yourself. Sitting on the ground experiencing poetry together

    I am about to say something a little unorthodox and maybe a little bit wacky:

    Even though National Poetry Month is over you can – nay, SHOULD – still read poetry! Lucky for us, our library continues to collect wonderful titles to choose from. During our poetry programs throughout the month of April I highlighted a few books that shouldn’t go unnoticed by the pro and novice alike. And even if you missed our Flooretry program (where YES, we wrote poems ON the floor and put them ON the floor) or our Poetry Under the Tower (where we had a poetry reading!) or you have yet to see the poetry wall in Children’s Services downtown (tucked behind the 811s), you can still revel in the glory and tradition of verse.

    My right-now top 4 recommendations for the poetry loving family are:

    Outside Nature’s Window: A First Book of Nature by Nicola Davies

    Sad Underwear by Judith Viorst

    One Today by Richard Blanco

    National Geographic Book of Nature Poetry edited by J. Patrick Lewis

    Ask your neighborhood librTucked behind the books there's a poetry wallarian to show you where the poetry books are. You’ll be happy to have had engaged in such thick tradition and poignant language.


    by Kris L | Apr 30, 2017



    This May marks the 98th anniversary of Children’s Book Week, an annual celebration of ... you guessed it! ... CHILDREN’S BOOKS and the love of reading.

    What better place to celebrate Children's Book Week than the library?

    Activities at the Georgetown Branch Library include:

    • All week, May 1-7th -- Cast your vote for the Children’s Choice Book Awards
    • All week, May 1-7th -- Free official Children’s Book Week Activity Posters, while supplies last
    • Monday, May 1st -- 7:00 pm -- Family Fun Night featuring Book Bingo
    • Thursday, May 4th -- 10:15 am AND 11:00 am -- Family Storytime
    • Saturday, May 6th -- Free Comic Book Day with Superhero Storytime & Training at 2:00pm

    Activities in Children’s Services at the Main Library include:

    • Wednesday, May 3rd -- 3:30 to 4:30 -- Minecraft Masters
    • Thursday, May 4th -- 3:30 to 4:30 -- LEGO Club
    • Thursday, May 4th -- 6:30 to 7:30 -- Paws to Read
    • Friday, May 5th -- 10:00 to 10:25 -- Baby Storytime
    • Friday, May 5th -- 10:30 to 10:55 -- Toddler Storytime
    • Friday, May 5th -- 11:00 to 11:25 -- Toddler Storytime
    • Saturday, May 6th -- 10:00 to 3:00 -- Free Comic Book Day with activities throughout the day!
    by Katie B. | Apr 29, 2017

    Cherry Blossom Festival

    Sunday May 7th

    Kamishibai Storytelliing

    It is time again for the annual Cherry Blossom Festival at the Main Library!  Here in Children’s Services we will have our own FREE festival fun with crafts and traditional Kamishibai storytelling. 

    In the program room from 12-4 pm, you can make your own koinobori windsock, a notan collage, a beautiful cherry blossom drawing, and other festival-related activities.  We will also have storytelling at 12:30, 1:30, 2:30, and 4:30 under the reading tower. 
    Be sure to come by and visit us!
    Cherry Blossom Crafts

    by Teresa W. | Apr 27, 2017

    Two of our younger customers (along with their grown-ups who elected not to be photographed) are sorting toy fruits and vegetables by color in the Early Learning Center of the Children’s Services department of the ACPL Main Library.

    two children sorting toy fruit by color

    Sorting is one of many ways to develop math and language skills. Besides that, it’s fun.

    Play is a child’s work, and children learn even more when you play and talk with them. The Early Learning Center is open for children ages 6 and younger and their grown-ups to play together from 9 am to 8 pm, Mondays through Thursdays; 9 am to 5:30 pm, Fridays and Saturdays; and noon to 5 pm, Sundays.

    Hope to see you there!

    by Dawn Stoops | Apr 24, 2017

    I took this new graphic novel home over the weekend, to rave reviews.
    cover image for mission moon
    CatStronauts: Mission Moon by Drew Brockington is an adventure story featuring cat astronauts. These space cats have to save the world from a power shortage by racing to the moon to harness solar energy and send it back to Earth. From looking at the cover, I thought the story of cats as astronauts was going to be a comical romp with silly situations and cat themed humor. It does have funny moments, but as my father-in-law commented “This is right out of Apollo 13”. If it were a movie it would be in the drama section, not the comedy section.

    What did the four and five year old think? They would have sat through all 10 chapters in one sitting if they had gotten their way. They enjoyed the pictures and followed along with the dialog, asking questions in that way young readers naturally do. It was a hit. After I told them there was a second in the series called CatStronauts: Race to Mars, I had my mission for Monday morning. The world, at my house, is depending on me.
    cover image for race to mars

    by Dawn S | Apr 20, 2017
    The library's summer program - Just One More Page - starts June 1st!
    summer program library fliers
    Today I got my huge pile of summer program fliers to hand out at school visits. I'm putting the finishing touches on my presentation and waiting on a few phone calls, but as of now, I've got visits planned with more than 1,500 students in the Leo/Grabill area.
    Many of my colleagues have many more schools and many more students on their lists.

    We love visiting schools and inviting all of those shining faces to visit us at the library this summer.

    See you soon!
    check out for more info on our online program.
    pile of puppets

    by Michal M | Apr 17, 2017

    Free Comic Book Day – Saturday, May 6, 2017

    Free Comic Book Day is here again! Join us in Children’s Services at the Main Library on Saturday, May 6, 2017 for free, family fun with: free comics*, scavenger hunts,  superhero appearances, and more!!!

    children at free comic book daychildren reading comics in costumes

    family picking out comic books

    Check out the Schedule for the day:

    10:00 am Family Storytime

    11:00 am – 12:30 pm Costume Factory

    12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Meet the Superheroes

    1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Superhero Bingo Quest

    2:00 pm – 3:00 pm Comic Drawing Workshop with comic book artist Matt Gross

    All Day Fun – Comics Giveaway*, Photobooth, Scavenger Hunt

    *Limit two per person. While supplies last.

    Check out even MORE fun at the following places:

    Georgetown Branch Library
    Celebrate Free Comic Book Day at the Georgetown branch library!  Free comics for all ages will be given away - 1 per person, while supplies last. 

    Kids of all ages are invited to an extra-special Superhero Storytime from 2:00-2:30, and then Superhero Training  and photo ops with the one-and-only Supergirl from 2:30-3:30!

    Teens at the Main Library
    Celebrate Free Comic Book Day by picking up a free comic or two. From 2:00-4:00pm, we'll also be making buttons. Limit 2 buttons per person, while supplies last.
    by Dawn S | Apr 14, 2017
    Take a look at these fun new chapter books!
    cover image for army brats cover image for my pet human takes the stage cover image for big and little quesions
    cover image for the dragon dance cover image for rocket and groot keep on truckin' cover image for invasion of the ufonuts
    cover image for king of the bench no fear cover image for henry hunter and the cursed pirates cover image for yours sincerely giraffe
    by Cindy H | Apr 12, 2017
    Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl's Courage Changed Music, written by Margarita Engle and illustrated by Rafael Lopez, is based on the true story of a Chinese-African-Cuban girl named Millo Castro Zaldarriaga who was the first professional female drummer in Cuba. She first performed with her sisters in their band Anacaona, and went on to achieve international success as a musician; she even played at a celebration for President Franklin Roosevelt at the age of 15. This book is written in the form of a poem, with vibrant and gorgeous pictures. This story is very inspiring and will help children, particularly girls, see that they can achieve their dreams even if someone tells them that it is not allowed due to societal conventions; it teaches the value of perseverance.

    Since this book is based on a true story, that means that most of the events really happened but the author may have embellished or enhanced some of the details to make the story more interesting. This book provides historical information at the end of the book to help the reader understand what happened in real life. This book has won many awards and is recommended for children ages 4-7.

    This book is available in print or as an e-book on Overdrive. It is a very inspirational book that I highly recommend. Click the picture of the book's cover to place on hold!
    by Cindy H | Apr 06, 2017
    Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla, written by Katherine Applegate and illustrated by G. Brian Karas, is the story of how a young gorilla was taken from the wild and showcased in a shopping mall for much of his life. The story describes Ivan's life living with a large family of western lowland gorillas in a tropical forest in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It describes how he was taken by poachers, along with another baby gorilla (who doesn't survive), and shipped to Tacoma, Washington. He lived almost like a human child for a few years, in the home of a pet shop owner, until he became too big. Ivan then went to live in a cage at a mall for 27 years until local and national attention helped move Ivan to a more suitable home, the Atlanta Zoo.

    This book contains factual information about Ivan's story, although some elements may be embellished or enhanced for the sake of the story. The pictures are warm and personable, balancing both the hard reality Ivan faced and the love he received from those who met him. They make this story approachable for young audiences.

    At the end of the book the author describes the true story in detail and provides references on where more information can be found. While the story has a happy ending, some children may be upset when baby Ivan is taken from his family, or made to live in confinement. This would be a good time to have a conversation about animal needs and rights.

    Ivan has won many awards and is recommended for children ages 4-7. This book is available in print or as an e-book via Overdrive. For older children, Katherine Applegate also wrote a somewhat more fictionalized tale called The One and Only Ivan written from Ivan's perspective that I would highly recommend.
    by Kris L | Apr 04, 2017

    We made sock puppets recently at the Georgetown branch library's weekly Family Fun Night!

    Making sock puppets

    Making a sock puppet

    And then we tried out some storytelling with the library's puppet collection!

    Storytelling with puppets

    Puppets are a wonderful toy – and a fun way to practice early literacy skills.  What are early literacy skills?  The reading, singing, talking, playing and writing that parents and caregivers do with young children that help them get ready for school.  Like playing with puppets!

    Among other things, making up or retelling stories with puppets gives children an opportunity to practice using words.  And as adults join the fun and play WITH their children, they can enhance this practice by introducing new words.  Try it!  You’ll not only be having fun, but you’ll be helping your children’s brain development.

    by Dawn Stoops | Apr 03, 2017
    picture of a pile of lids
    Our family has a thing for peanut butter. It's a staple in the sandwich department, it makes great cookies, and elevates bananas to an extra yummy treat with protein power. I started collecting peanut butter jar lids for possible library craft projects and discovered something else instead.

    Large lids have a lot of math potential!

    Young children need lots of math concept practice before they start school. Sorting, counting, matching, and creating patterns are all key to getting those little minds thinking mathematical thoughts. With a collection of peanut butter lids and other large  lids (non choking hazard size) children can play all sorts of games.

    - sort the big ones from the smaller ones
    - sort them by colors
    - make a pattern of one face up and one face down, then repeat
    - count them as they are dropped into a bowl or box

    Large lids help babies develop!

    Things like peanut butter lids are also great for babies! Those tiny bodies need practice grasping, reaching, lifting, and matching what they see to what they want their hands to do. I probably wouldn't have thought about the potential of plastic lids with babies if I hadn't seen these great resources at the library.
    cover image for loose partscover image for loose parts 2
    These hefty, well researched books by Lisa Daly and Miriam Beloglovsky give all the why's and how's of helping children learn and develop by playing with found objects.

    Here's a bit from the publisher:
    "A variety of new and innovative loose parts ideas are paired with beautiful photography to inspire safe loose parts play in your infant toddler environment. Learn about the safety considerations of each age group and how to appropriately select materials for your children. "

    I love learning about new ways to help children learn and it's especially nice when it involves reusing something I have around the house. Who knew those peanut butter lids could be such a powerful, earth friendly, way to help kids grow!


    by Dawn S | Mar 30, 2017
    School vacations are a great time to visit your local library, or a library far away. Some families seek out new libraries when on vacation in a new town. I highly recommend it!

    If you're staying  in town, The Allen County Public Library has some fun upcoming programs!
    picture of girl with a banan on her head

    April Fools' Day Scavenger Hunt- Saturday, April 1st - all day at the Main Library in Children's Services
    April Fools Scavenger Hunt- Tuesday, April 4th - Friday, April 8th - all day each day at the Georgetown Branch Library

    Lego Clubs

    Minecraft Masters

    other great Spring Break stuff

    Check out our full calendar here!

    by Kara E. | Mar 27, 2017

    Everyone knows the story of Little Red Riding hood… or do they? Check out these silly fairy tale retellings at your library!

    cover image for super red riding hood
    cover image for honestly red riding hood was rotten
    cover image for little red
    cover image for The cat, the dog, Little Red, the exploding eggs, the wolf, and Grandma
    cover image for ninja red riding hood
    cover image for little red hot


    by Miss Heather | Mar 24, 2017
    index.aspxWhat do you know about octopuses? Did you know that each octopus "arm" has about 240 suckers on it? They help an octopus move, hunt, and even taste!

    While there are many picture books and non-fiction books featuring octopuses there is an excellent book that combines the two with a rhythmic text peppered with facts. Octopus Escapes Again! by Laurie Ellen Angus can be read to/with a younger child using just the story but can include the italicized facts to be shared with an older child. Following the story is an "explore more" section with fun facts about the octopus and other sea animals. There are also extension activity ideas and suggested videos to allow for a fuller understanding of octopuses. The video below is linked--it shows a large octopus escaping thru a 1" hole! Find the book on the shelves at all our ACPL locations. More fun activities are also available on the publisher's website.

    by Kris L | Mar 22, 2017
    The library receives new books almost every day!  Here are a few of the many new children's picture books we've received recently.  Click on a title to find out more about it, to see which Allen County Public Library locations have a copy, or to reserve a copy for yourself.

    Noisy Night by Mac Barnett
    The Road Home by Katie Cotton
    All Ears, All Eyes by Richard Jackson
    Bear Likes Jam by Ciara Gavin
    A Greyhound A Groundhog
    Short Stories for Little Monsters
    North South East West
    Life on Mars
    Hug This Book

    We hope to see you soon at the library!
    by Cindy H | Mar 21, 2017
    Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas, written by Lynne Cox and illustrated by Brian Floca, is the story of an elephant seal who lived in the Avon River in Christchurch, New Zealand. Although most elephant seals like to live in the ocean, Elizabeth seemed to prefer her river. Unfortunately, there were a few incidents where Elizabeth got out of the river to lounge in the road, causing some minor car accidents. Fearing for Elizabeth's and the drivers' safety, the people of Christchurch captured Elizabeth and took her to a colony of elephant seals in the ocean. Elizabeth came back, however, and even though they tried to take her to colonies even farther away she always managed to find her way back home. She became a local legend of Christchurch.

    This book contains factual information about the story of Elizabeth the elephant seal. Some elements of the story may have been enhanced or embellished, but the essential parts of the story remain true. At the end of the book the author provides additional information about elephant seals, as well as some references.

    This book has won many awards and is recommended for children ages 4-8. It is a very sweet story and I highly recommend it! Click the picture of the book's cover to place on hold!