Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Winter Stories

Burrr-- did you know that Saturday is the first day of winter? Even though we've had snow a few times already, it's still technically autumn. To get you in the mood for the changing season, is a selection of favorite winter stories made by me and a few other librarians I work with:

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

Snowballs by Lois Ehlert

Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson

Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner

Duck Skates by Lynne Berry

Mice on Ice by Rebecca Emberly and Ed Emberly

The Jacket I Wear in the Snow by Shirley Neitzel

Under My Hood I Have a Hat by Karla Kuskin

Stop by your library soon to pick up one of these chilly stories-- or ask one of the librarians for their winter book recommendations!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Melvil Dewey's Birthday!

It's Melvil Dewey's birthday! He was born December 10th, 1851 in New York. That means, if he was still alive, he'd be 162 years old today! In 1874, Melvil Dewey earned his bachelor's degree and in 1877, he earned his master's. But he's famous for something you, as a library goer, use all the time-- the Dewey Decimal System! The Dewey Decimal System is a library classification system that uses a three-digit number for main classes (such as "Earth Science," or "Dogs") followed by decimals as expansions for more detail (such as "Volcanoes" or "Golden Retrievers"). We, as librarians, assign a Dewey Decimal number to every book so that it can be located in the library and then returned to its proper place. This system is used in 200,000 libraries in at least 135 countries around the world!

Melvil Dewey is also known for other, less popular, library-related innovations: (1) the idea of the state library controlling the school and public libraries within that state, (2) the creation of hanging vertical files, and (3) The Library Journal, which we librarians still use in our profession today. As far as his personality, it's said that Melvil Dewey was "difficult" to deal with, establishing a pattern of making enemies, although he had a handful of friends throughout is life and also got married twice. Melvil Dewey died on December 26th, 1931 in Lake Placid, Florida.

Here is The Dewey Decimal Rap, which features a modern Melvil character himself, who explains the Dewey Decimal System for you!

For more, try checking out a book on Melville Dewey. Here are two you can reserve right now:

Melvil Dewey: Library Genius by Jill Sherman

Irrepressible Reformer: A Biography of Melvil Dewey by Wayne A. Wiegand

Monday, November 4, 2013

Weddings & Hawaii

First, I'm sorry about the lack of posts lately-- I have been busy planning my upcoming wedding! I'd also like to apologize in advance for the month of November. I am certain that, between the wedding itself (this weekend!) and my honeymoon (Hawaii!), this will be both the first and last blog post until December.

That being said, for purely self-centered related reasons, I'd like to highlight some books for kids and teens that feature both weddings and Hawaii! Enjoy!


Katy Duck, Flower Girl by Alyssa Satin Capucilli
Barbie Wedding Party! by Mary Man-Kong
Just Grace and the Flower Girl Power by Charise Mericle Harper
Amber Brown is Tickled Pink by Bruce Coville
Grandma's Wedding Album by Harriet Ziefert
Lilly's Big Day by Kevin Henkes
Donovan's Big Day by Lesléa Newman
Mikale of Hawaii by Maya Angelou
Ollie & Moon: Aloha! by Diane Kredensor
Calvin Coconut: Rocket Ride by Graham Salisbury
Olvina Swims by Grace Lin


That Summer by Sarah Dessen
The Story of Us by Deb Caletti
Sammy Keyes and the Wedding Crasher by Wendelin Van Draanen
The Sweet, Terrible, Glorious Year I Truly, Completely Lost It by Lisa Shanahan
The Bridesmaid by Hailey Abbott
Strange Relations by Sonia Levitin
Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board by Bethany Hamilton
Name Me Nobody by Lois-Ann Yamanaka

Check out one of the books above and think of me while you read!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Fault In Our Stars Release Date

The very much-anticipated The Fault in Our Stars movie has gotten a release date! Mark your calendars: June 6, 2014!

The movie, based on John Green’s novel, tells the story of Hazel Grace and Augustus, two teenagers who meet in a cancer support group and fall in love. This YA novel tackles life, death, and love with "the perfect blend of levity and heart-swelling emotion." (Seira Wilson, Amazon Best Books of the Month, January 2012). Hazel is sixteen and has terminal cancer. She meets Augustus at her cancer support group and the two bond immediately and then they fall in love. They discuss questions about living and dying, honestly and deeply, giving all of us a chance to contemplate some big questions.

The film is currently still shooting on location in Pittsburgh and Amsterdam and, according to Moviefone, is one of the fastest page-to-screen adaptations in recent movie history.

You can read the Entertainment Weekly article on the release date here. And you can read the Moviefone article on the movie's production here.

Here's a picture from John Green's Twitter of him with three of the cast members, Shailene Woodley (playing Hazel), Ansel Elgort (playing Gus), and Nat Wolff (playing Isaac):

For more exciting cast and behind-the-scenes pictures, make sure to follow John Green on Twitter!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Remembering Bernard Waber on his Birthday

Today would have been the birthday of Bernard Waber, a classic and local (to me) children's book author/illustrator. He would have been 92 today if he had not died this past May. He's probably most known for Lyle the Crocodile but is also very well known for Ira Sleeps Over. All of his books were favorites of mine as a child. Here is a list of his work.

Bernard Waber introduced Lyle to readers in 1962 in The House on East 88th Street. This book was about Mr. and Mrs. Joseph F. Primm and their son, Joshua. One day, they find a young crocodile in the bathroom of their new house.

"They take the animal in and, for the next four decades, Lyle would take readers on adventures filled with life lessons on acceptance, inclusion and the importance of enjoying the journey. The covers of the books sometimes suggested they were best suited for ages 4 to 8, but Mr. Waber’s understated wit appealed to plenty of parents" (New York Times).

 Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile also inspired two different musical adaptations: an animated musical that was shown on HBO and a theatrical musical staged by Theatreworks USA.

To me, Bernard Waber's legacy will live forever in the form of the HBO animated musical, most particularly, in the scene shown below. This isn't my video (and is the only one I could find online) but I watched this so many times as a kid that I'll have a spot in my heart for it forever. Enjoy:

"I tried to smile, but darn you Lyle, I would never leave you."

Bernard Waber was born 92 years ago today in Philadelphia. He briefly studied accounting at the University of Pennsylvania before enlisting in the Army during World War II. After the war, he enrolled in the Philadelphia College of Art, and in the 50's, he moved to New York. He worked as a designer and illustrator for several magazines, including Life, where he worked for 20 years. Casually, he created his Lyle character, but when he pitched it early on, the concept was rejected by publishers. In 1961 he published his first book, “Lorenzo,” about the adventures of a young fish. This was when Lyle was finally given a chance! The House on East 88th Street was published on August 13, 1975.

"'I don’t know where the idea came from,' Mr. Waber told The Times in 1995. 'But I always loved drawing animals. I especially like to draw crocodiles. I like the way they walk, and I like their eyes and their teeth and everything about them'" (New York Times).

Why not celebrate Lyle at home? This page has everything you need to have a Lyle party for children ages 3 and up.

Or check out one of his many, wonderful books.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Roald Dahl Day!

It's officially Roald Dahl Day! This day takes place every year on September 13th, Roald Dahl's birthday. This year (today), Roald Dahl Day coincides with Friday 13th, making it the perfect excuse for even more mischief and mayhem than usual. So this year, the day celebrates all the tricky characters that fill Roald Dahl's books, including George and his medicine, the Witches, and Matilda's parent-scaring tricks.

Want to join the fun? Click here for all kinds of fun printable activities, like posters, games, and activity books!

And, remember to check out one of Roald Dahl's wonderful stories at the library!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them... the movie.

There's news on the J.K. Rowling front! According to this New York Times article, a deal has been made with J.K. Rowling to create new movies! And for the first time, Rowling will become a screenwriter!

Her movie, planned to be the first in a new series, is an adaptation of the Hogwarts textbook "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them," a book that extends the world of Harry Potter wizardry to a different character named Newt Scamander. "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them' is neither a prequel nor a sequel to the Harry Potter series, but an extension of the wizarding world," says J.K Rowling. "The laws and customs of hidden magical society will be familiar to anyone who has read the Harry Potter books or seen the films, but Newt's story will start in New York, 70 years before Harry's gets underway."

But wait! There's more.

Warner Brothers studio (who's releasing this film and who also released all the Harry Potter films) said that the agreement would also allow them to create new attractions and initiatives connected with its existing Harry Potter theme park at Universal Studios. Also, in television, the deal also makes Warner Brothers the global distributor of a BBC miniseries based on "The Casual Vacancy," J.K. Rowling's first (and, as of now, only) novel for adults.

To read the complete New York Times article, click here.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Back-to-School Reads

It's time. The school year is about to begin! If you've got the fir day jitters, we've got books for you! Here are some back-to-school books that might help ease your mind on your first day:

Adventure Annie Goes to Kindergarten by Toni Buzzeo

Butterflies in my Stomach and Other School Hazards by Serge Bloch

Billy and the Big New School by Laurence Anholt

Cam Jansen and the First Day of School Mystery by David A. Adler

Amanda Pig, Schoolgirl by Jean Van Leeuwen

Amelia Bedelia's First Day of School by Herman Parish

Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes

Don't Eat the Teacher! by Nick Ward

Or come by the library and ask the librarian for another great, first-day-of-school book. We've got tons! Good luck this school year, everybody!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Monday, August 12, 2013

Happy Birthday, Ann M. Martin!

Today Ann M. Martin's birthday and she turns 58-years-old! In honor of this day, here are 5 fun Ann M. Martin facts:

1. When Ann was born, she was the biggest baby in the hospital.

2. When Ann was 11-years-old, she fell off of a ladder while climbing down from her treehouse and had to have her spleen removed.

3. Ann loves scary books, and Stephen King is one of her favorite authors.

4. One summer, when Ann was a kid, she and her friends set up a library in Ann's room with lots of books for the kids on Dodds Lane to check out. They had due dates and late fines, too.

5. Ann loved writing about Karen, Kristy's little sister. She thinks that Karen is her alter ego, the kind of girl she wished she could have been at the same age.

For the complete list of fun facts (29 of them), click here!

I read SO MANY Ann M. Martin books when I was younger (and not-so-young), but if you haven't and you're looking to start, here are a few recommendations:

The Baby-Sitters Club #1: Kristy's Great Idea

A Dog's Life: Autobiography of a Stray

A Corner Of The Universe

The Doll People

The Summer Before (The Baby-Sitters Club)

Main Street #1: Welcome to Camden Falls

Friday, August 9, 2013

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck

Woohoo! The new Diary of a Wimpy Kid book cover has been revealed!

A brief synopsis of "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck" from the publisher:

Greg Heffley's on a losing streak. His best friend, Rowley Jefferson, has ditched him, and finding new friends in middle school is proving to be a tough task. To change his fortunes, Greg decides to take a leap of faith and turn his decisions over to chance. Will a roll of the dice turn things around, or is Greg's life destined to be just another hard-luck story?

The book is due to hit the shelves on November 5th of this year. Less than three months to go!

For more on "Hard Luck," click here!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Happy Birthday, J.K. Rowling

Today J.K. Rowling turns 48-years-old! And Harry Potter turns 33-years-old!

Joanne Rowling (J.K. Rowling) was born in July 1965 in England. In college, she earned her degree in both French and Classics, and then worked as a researcher at Amnesty International. She started writing the Harry Potter series during a delayed train trip (Manchester to London King’s Cross), and during the next five years, she outlined the plots for each book and also began writing the first novel.

Joanne then moved to Portugal, where she taught English as a foreign language. In 1992 she got married and in 1993 she gave birth to a daughter (Jessica). When the marriage ended, she and Jessica returned to the UK to live in Edinburgh, where Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone was eventually completed. The book was published under the name J.K. Rowling. The “K”, for Kathleen, was added at the request of her her publisher, who thought that a woman’s name would not appeal to the target audience of young boys.

Today, J.K. Rowling lives in Edinburgh with her husband and three children. Her latest book is her first novel for adults! It's called The Casual Vacancy and was published in English in September 2012.

Check out J.K Rowling's website here!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Don’t Pigeonhole Me: Two Decades of the Mo Willems Sketchbook

By now, we're pretty much all familiar with the works of Mo Willems: Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale, and the Elephant and Piggie series. But did you know that before all this fame, Mo Willems published a zine? Parts of it, as well as other early-days doodles and comics by Mo are available now in a book called Don’t Pigeonhole Me: Two Decades of the Mo Willems Sketchbook. Be sure to put a copy on hold today!

Unlike the books that made him famous, Don’t Pigeonhole Me: Two Decades of the Mo Willems Sketchbook is not necessarily for small children. According to Disney, this book “reveals the author/illustrator at his most truthful, most experimental, most grown-up. Most Mo.” Sounds awesome! Plus, bonus: It features a foreword by Eric Carle!

For more on the book and Mo Willems' zine days (mostly an interview with Mo!), click here.

Or, click here for an exciting preview from Mo Willems' Doodle Blog.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Chris Van Allsburg's Birthday!

Happy Birthday, Chris Van Allsburg! Today Chris Van Allsburg turns 64-years-old!

For those of you who don't know, Chris Van Allsburg is the author and illustrator of many famous children's books: Jumanji, Zathura,  The Polar Express, The Garden of Abdul Gasazi, Two Bad Ants, and The Sweetest Fig.

He also has a pretty sweet website with a story writing contest: http://www.chrisvanallsburg.com

Check out one of his books today and celebrate his marvelous work!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

My List: 15 Books For Your Perfect Young Adult (And Classic Children's) Summer Reading List

This morning Mashable posted an article called "23 Books For Your Perfect Young Adult Summer Reading List" and it got me excited! Some of them I've already read but some of them I haven't even heard of! Today I'm going to try #15 on the list: Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson.

I decided, in the spirit of recommended summer reads, I'd create my own list of 15 Books For Your Perfect Young Adult (And Classic Children's) Summer Reading List:
1. Wak Two Moons by Sharon Creech: "An engaging story of love and loss, told with humor and suspense. Thirteen-year-old Salamanca Tree Hiddle's mother leaves home suddenly on a spiritual quest, vowing to return, but can't keep her promise..." (School Library Journal)

2. Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse: "...Set during the time of the Great Depression and written in free verse, Karen Hesse's spare but powerful work captures every nuance of Billie Jo's emotions, from heartwrenching sadness at the death of her mother and newborn brother to the challenge of rebuilding a relationship with her embittered father..." (School Library Journal)

3. When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead: "...Stead's novel is as much about character as story. Miranda's voice rings true with its faltering attempts at maturity and observation. The story builds slowly, emerging naturally from a sturdy premise. As Miranda reminisces, the time sequencing is somewhat challenging, but in an intriguing way. The setting is consistently strong. The stores and even the streets–in Miranda's neighborhood act as physical entities and impact the plot in tangible ways. This unusual, thought-provoking mystery will appeal to several types of readers." (School Library Journal)

4. Every Little Thing In the World by Nina de Gramont:"Friends Sydney and Natalia, both 16, are sent to a wilderness camp to canoe the waters of northern Canada for six weeks. They have secrets: Sydney is pregnant, and Natalia has just found out that her older sister, Margit, is actually her biological mother..." (School Library Journal)

5. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green: "...Once again Green offers a well-developed cast of characters capable of both reflective thought and hilarious dialogue. With his trademark humor, lovable parents, and exploration of big-time challenges, The Fault in Our Stars is an achingly beautiful story about life and loss." (School Library Journal)

6. Paper Towns by John Green: "...Green's prose is astounding—from hilarious, hyperintellectual trash talk and shtick, to complex philosophizing, to devastating observation and truths. He nails it—exactly how a thing feels, looks, affects—page after page. The mystery of Margo—her disappearance and her personhood—is fascinating, cleverly constructed, and profoundly moving...."  (School Library Journal)

7. Stolen by Lucy Christopher: "While 16-year-old Gemma is en route to Vietnam from England with her parents, she is drugged and kidnapped from the Bangkok airport. She regains full consciousness in a rustic house deep in the Australian Outback with a 25-year-old man who is going to 'keep her forever'..." (School Library Journal)

8. If I Stay by Gayle Forman: "Forman creates a cast of captivating characters and pulls readers into a compelling story that will cause them to laugh, cry, and question the boundaries of family and love..." (School Library Journal)

9. 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson: "This whirlwind adventure begins as Ginny, 17, reads a letter from her free-spirited, unpredictable Aunt Peg, who has recently passed away. She is given several destinations, four rules, and the instruction to open one envelope upon her arrival at each place. Thus begins a rapid tour of Europe as the teen struggles to accomplish the tasks established by her aunt..." (School Library Journal)

10. The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson: "When her older sister dies from an arrhythmia, 17-year-old Lennie finds that people are awkward around her, including her best friend. While dealing with her conflicted feelings toward her sister's boyfriend, her anguish over Bailey's unexpected death, and her sudden curiosity about sex, Lennie must also cope with her unresolved feelings about her mother, who left when Lennie was an infant..." (School Library Journal)

11. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares: "Best friends Lena, Tibby, Bridget, and Carmen are preparing to spend their first summer apart since they were born. Before leaving to visit her father, Carmen buys a pair of second-hand jeans on a whim, and when the others discover that the pants fit all of them, they create the sisterhood of the traveling pants. Each teen gets them for a few weeks before sending them on, and thus they travel from Washington, DC, to Greece to Baja California to South Carolina, linking the friends even as they are apart. The summer and the pants come to represent more than any of them can ever anticipate in this four-part coming-of-age story...." (School Library Journal)

12. Hoot by Carl Hiaasen: "...Roy Eberhardt has just moved with his family to Coconut Cove. He immediately becomes the target of a particularly dense bully who tries to strangle him on the school bus. Roy seems more concerned, however, with discovering the identity of a running, barefoot boy he spots through the window of the bus. Meanwhile, plans to build a pancake house on a vacant lot are derailed when someone vandalizes the construction site. The two story lines come together when Roy discovers that the runaway boy is disrupting the construction to save a group of burrowing owls. Roy must help his new friend, nicknamed Mullet Fingers, as well as fend off the bully and adapt to life in Florida..." (School Library Journal)

13. The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd: "Ted and Kat lose their cousin Salim at the London Eye sightseeing attraction, 'the largest observation wheel ever built.' Given a free ticket by a stranger, Salim enters the ride, but he never emerges. Guilty about their part in the bungled outing, the siblings trace scraps of information that illuminate the boy's disappearance..." (School Library Journal)

14. Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko: "...Family dilemmas are at the center of the story, but history and setting--including plenty of references to the prison's most infamous inmate, mob boss Al Capone--play an important part, too. The Flanagan family is believable in the way each member deals with Natalie and her difficulties, and Moose makes a sympathetic main character. The story, told with humor and skill, will fascinate readers with an interest in what it was like for the children of prison guards and other workers to actually grow up on Alcatraz Island." (School Library Journal)

15. Love, Ruby Lavender by Deborah Wiles: "A lively, humorous story featuring Miss Eula Garnet and her granddaughter Ruby as they share adventures and day-to-day miseries. The feisty duo shakes up their Mississippi town, Halleluia, 'Population: 400 Good Friendly Folks And A Few Old Soreheads,' when they liberate three soon-to-be-euthanized chickens from an egg ranch in a daring, daylight raid..." (School Library Journal)

There you have it! Whether you use Mashable's list, my list, or both lists, you should have plenty of light-but-not-too-light and richly-set books to choose from this summer. Happy reading!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Maurice Sendak

Maurice Sendak would have been 85-years-old today and Google's made note! There is a video of the adorable memorial here:

Check out one of Maurice Sendak's books today!

Friday, June 7, 2013

National Doughnut Day

Hooray! It's National Doughnut Day!

It started almost 100 years ago with a group of female volunteers ("lassies") who worked with the Salvation Army, giving out doughnuts to World War I veterans. Over time it morphed into a global celebration and, nationally, doughnut shops are spending today giving away free, delicious doughnuts!

Click here to see what doughnut stores are giving out free doughnuts in your area!

According to this article Lamar's Donuts, a chain based in Kansas City, Missouri has provided us with the following fun, doughnut facts:

* More than 10 billion donuts are made every year in JUST the United States.

* The hole in the donut’s center appeared in the first half of the 19th Century and allows the donut to cook more evenly.

* The Guinness World record for doughnut eating is held by John Haight, who consumed 29 donuts in just over 6 minutes. Woah!

Click here to read all of the doughnut facts!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Everyone's E-Birthday!

Happy eBirthday to you! YES, YOU!

Mo Willems is the creator of today's holiday (everyone's eBirthday) and talks about it on his blog today. It all started many years ago:

In error, somebody once posted on some website that Mo Willems was "an Italian who was born on May 24." This is not the case (He was actually born in February), but for some reason, it stuck. Since then, Mo Willems has been recieving birthday wishes in his fan mail every May 24th for years! So he decided to declare it his eBirthday! But not only his eBirthday-- Everyone's eBirthday! So today, we can all consider ourselves Italians (or eTalian) who were born May 24! And we can have a birthday ice cream!

So have a great eBirthday, everybody!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Children's Book Week

Children's Book Week has been celebrated nationally since 1919, but has really been going for even longer! In 1913 Franklin K. Matthiews, a librarian for the Boy Scouts of America, toured the country, promoting higher standards in children's books. He then enlisted the help of a few other key people, Frederic G. Melcher (the visionary editor of Publishers Weekly) and Anne Carroll Moore (the Superintendent of Children's Works at the New York Public Library). With this trio at work, Children's Book Week was in full force by 1944.

Today, we celebrate with all kinds of fun events across the country. Find out what's going on near you by clicking here.

For more on Children's Book Week, visit Children's Book Week Online. You can even learn to draw a Chinese dragon like Grace Lin. And be sure to see who won the Children's Choice Book Awards by watching the video from yesterday's gala!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Earth Day!

Today is Earth Day! This holiday, observed April 22nd every year since 1969, increases public awareness of environmental issues such as recycling, pollution, energy, and global warming.

People all over the world will pitch in today to help make our planet cleaner and greener. There are lots of easy things you can do to help care for our planet today and every day. Here are a few ideas:

1. Turn off the lights when you leave a room. Or, better yet, if there's enough sunlight coming in, leave the lights off when you enter a room.

2. Reuse the back-sides of paper.

3. Turn off the water when you're not using it, specifically when brushing your teeth.

4. Don't leave the refrigerator open for too long. Decide what you want to eat before opening the door because it takes more energy to cool the refrigerator down after the warmer air has come in.

5. Unplug unused electrical devices throughout your house. Anything plugged into an electrical socket, but not turned on will still use some energy.

6. Pack a greener lunch: Use a cloth bag instead of paper bags, and pack your food in reusable plastic or metal containers, instead of plastic wrap or foil. You can also pack your drink in a reusable bottle or thermos, and even try using a cloth napkin instead of paper ones.

7. Reuse things to make crafts! Check out a book on Earth-friendly crafting!

And why not read a few short stories about our Earth for inspiration? Here are some titles to get you started:

Ballyhoo Bay  by Judy Sierra

Just A Dream by Chris Van Allsburg

Annie Glover is Not a Tree Lover by Darleen Bailey Beard

Arthur Turns Green by Marc Brown

Dear Children of the Earth: A Letter From Home by Schim Schimmel

The Great Trash Bash by Loreen Leedy

Dinosaur Woods: Can Seven Clever Critters Save Their Forest Home? by George McClements

Miss Fox's Class Goes Green by Eileen Spinelli

Trash Trouble by Larry Dane Brimner

Monday, April 15, 2013

National Library Week!

Yay! It's National Library Week! Come to the library sometime soon and celebrate with us librarians!

The week draws attention to the important role of libraries and library workers. With your (free) library card, you can get access to hundreds of books, dvds, video games, CDs, downloads, and activities at your library--all at no cost! The library is a community place that welcomes everybody!

This year's National Library Week theme is "Communities matter @ your library" and this year's honorary chair is Caroline Kennedy.

Some important dates to recognize this week:

• Tuesday, April 16 – National Library Workers Day. NLWD is a day for library staff, users, administrators and friends groups to recognize the valuable contributions made by all library workers. Tell everyone what makes a library employee special to you by submitting your favorite worker’s name and why they are wonderful to the NLWD site.

• Wednesday, April 17 – National Bookmobile Day. This day celebrates our nation’s bookmobiles and the library professionals who provide this essential service to their communities. Show your support for bookmobiles by thanking staff or writing a letter to your library.

• Thursday, April 18 – Support Teen Literature Day. This celebration raises awareness among the general public that young adult literature is a vibrant, growing genre with much to offer today's teens. Support Teen Literature Day also highlights some award-winning teen authors and books. (Did you know there are six book awards just for teen books? Why not learn about the Alex, Edwards, Morris, Nonfiction, Odyssey, and Printz awards?)

For up-to-the-minute information on National Library Week, follow the #nlw13 tag on Twitter or come into the library!

Friday, April 12, 2013

National Pet Month!

Happy National Pet Month! This is a month recognized in the United Kingdom to help promote responsible pet ownership and highlight the important work of pet care professionals. Even though we don't live in the UK, we can celebrate too! Pets give us so much love and companionship, it's important to recognize those who help facilitate their health and happiness!

To celebrate, I'm sharing a picture of my pet. That cute, gray guy above is Benjamin, my cat! He was adopted from a shelter in Farmingdale, NY called A Wing and a Prayer Animal Rescue on August 31st, 2011 and he's now two-years-old! We love him very much!

Interested in learning about pet care? Here are a few books to get you started:

Dogs: How to Choose and Care for a Dog by Laura S. Jeffrey

Cats: How to Choose and Care for a Cat by Laura S. Jeffrey

My Dog!: A Kids' Guide to Keeping a Happy and Healthy Pet by Michael J. Rosen

The Ultimate Encyclopedia of cats, Cat Breeds & Cat Care: A Comprehensive, Practical Care and Training Manual and a Definitive Encyclopedia of World Breeds by Alan Edwards

The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Small Pets and Petcare: Essential Family Reference Guide to Keeping the Most Popular Pet Species and Breeds, with 800 Photographs by David Alderton

The Complete Book of Pets & Petcare: The Essential Family Reference Guide to Pet Breeds and Petcare by David Alderton

Baby Pets by Margaret Miller

Remember, celebrate your pets this month as well as the people who help keep pets happy and healthy all year long!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

National Poetry Month

It's National Poetry Month! According to Poets.org, National Poetry Month was established in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets to widen the attention to poetry, poets, and to poetic heritage. It's a month when schools, publishers, libraries, booksellers, and poets get together to celebrate poetry and its place in American culture.

Want to celebrate at home? Poets.org has a list of 30 ways you can do that.

Or why not reserve a poetry book this month? Here are a few ideas:

Ubiquitous: Celebrating Nature's Survivors by Joyce Sidman, illustrations by Beckie Prange

Poetry Speaks Who I Am edited by Elise Paschen

Something Permanent photographs by Walker Evans, poetry by Cynthia Rylant

The Pain Tree: And Other Teenage Angst-Ridden Poetry collected and illustrated by Esther Pearl Watson and Mark Todd

Hour of Freedom: American History in Poetry compiled by Milton Meltzer, illustrations by Marc Nadel

It's a Woman's World: A Century of Women's Voices in Poetry edited by Neil Philip

My Name is Jason, Mine Too: Our Story, Our Way by Jason Reynolds and Jason Griffin

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

International Children's Book Day 2013!

Happy International Children's Book Day! Since 1967, International Children's Book Day has been celebrated on April 2nd, Hans Christian Andersen's birthday. It's a day to inspire a love of reading and to call attention to children's and teen's books, particularly those that have been passed down through generations or passed across multiple cultures.

Interested in reading one or more of these passed-around stories? Check out information on Batchelder Award. This award is given to the most outstanding children’s book originally published in a language other than English in a country other than the United States, and has since been translated into English for publication in the United States.

Click her for a list of winners of this award from 1968-present.

This year, however, I decided to focus more on Hans Christian Andersen himself, instead of on a list of books, since he is the one who seems to have inspired it all.

Hans Christian Andersen was born April 2, 1805 in Denmark and was a prolific writer of plays, travelogues, novels, and poems. However he is best remembered for his fairy tales, a literary genre in which he almost accredited with entirely.

In 2009, I had the privilege of getting to visit Denmark and seeing this statue of Hans Christian Andersen. (I'm the one holding a whole pile of shopping bags.)

Aside from statues all over the world, Andersen's legacy is an important one. Some of his most favorite fairy tales are still read everywhere today: The Emperor's New Clothes, The Little Mermaid, The Nightingale, The Princess and the Pea, Thumbelina, and The Ugly Duckling. Additionally, his stories laid the groundwork for other children's classics, such as The Wind in the Willows and Winnie the Pooh.

Why not read one Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales today? And have a great International Children's Book Day!

Monday, April 1, 2013

April Fool's Day

It's April Fool's Day! Have you ever played an April Fool's Day joke on someone? Or had one played on you? When I was a kid, I made a snake out of silly putty and used it to try to scare my mom as she was coming out of the bathroom. And once, in first grade, my best friend talked to me, in detail, about how she was moving in a month... and I believed her!

Sometimes called All Fools' Day, the origins of this day are uncertain. Some people say it's a celebration related to the turn of the seasons, while others believe it stemmed from the adoption of a new calendar in some ancient cultures (before the Gregorian Calendar).

DiscoveryNews has an article on its history here.

April Fool's Day is observed throughout the Western world.  In the USA, practices include playing pranks and trying to get people to believe ridiculous and untrue things. In France and Italy the day is called "April Fish" (or "Poisson d'Avril" in French and "Pesce d'Aprile" in Italian.) For "April Fish" French and Italian children sometimes tape a picture of a fish on the back of their schoolmates, crying "April Fish!" when the prank is discovered.

Want to learn more? Reserve one of these books:

April Foolishness by Teresa Bateman

April Fool's Day by Melissa Schiller

Look Out, It's April Fools' Day by Frank Modell

April Fools! by Else Holmelund Minarik

Monday, March 25, 2013

Uglies: Shay's Story

Are you a fan of Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series?

Good news if you are! There's a graphic novel now!

Uglies: Shay's Story came out this month and is the graphic novel version of the original Uglies book. It's written by Scott Westerfeld and Devin Grayson and illustrated by Steven Cummings.

The book trailer can be found below:

Click here to reserve your copy of "Uglies: Shay's Story" today!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Fault In Our Stars... CUPCAKES!

Have you ever considered the idea of making a cupcake based on the details of a book? Well "Have Your (Cup)Cake And Read It Too", a collaboration between Huffington Post Books and BookBliss.com, has done just that! And this month they read one of my favorites, John Green's The Fault In Our Stars and made cupcakes to go along with it. Watch the segment below and see which of the details you remember from the book.

What parts of the story would you focus on if you were making your own The Fault In Our Stars cupcakes?

Monday, March 18, 2013

National Nutrition Month

Did you know it's National Nutrition Month? If you're anything like me, you've basically been sick since Thanksgiving, so why not use this transitional month to focus on getting healthy...and eating healthy?

National Nutrition Month is a campaign noted every March by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign focuses on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and exercise habits. Here are some good books on nutrition, if you'd like to make better choices:

Green Beans, Potatoes, and Even Tomatoes: What is in the Vegetables Group? by Brian P. Cleary

Eat Right!: How You Can Make Good Food Choices by Matt Doeden

Food & You: Eating Right, Being Strong, and Feeling Great by Lynda Madison

The Edible Pyramid: Good Eating Every Day by Loreen Leedy
Healthy Eating by Emily K. Green

The Monster Health Book: A Guide to Eating Healthy, Being Active, & Feeling Great for Monsters & Kids! by Edward Miller

The Scoop On What to Eat: What You Should Know About Diet and Nutrition by Kathlyn Gay

Food Choices: The Ultimate Teen Guide by Robin F. Brancato

Digestion And Nutrition by Robert Sullivan

Body Fuel: A Guide to Good Nutrition by Donna Shryer

Do You Know What's In Your Food? by Neil Morris

Food For Feeling Healthy by Carol Ballard

Let's all eat healthy food and feel great for spring!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Favorite Toys

Somewhere in the midst of Internet link-clicking, I stumbled upon this beautiful set of photos of children with their toys from around the world. Taken by photographer Gabriele Galimberti, these photos depict kids with the toys they treasure most from countries like the USA, Italy, Iceland, Botswana, Costa Rica, India, Australia, and many others. Ultimately, I think it reminds us that kids are kind of the same anywhere you go, but according to the photographer, the way each of the children played revealed a lot about their countries. “The richest children were more possessive,” he said, “At the beginning, they wouldn’t want me to touch their toys, and I would need more time before they would let me play with them. In poor countries, it was much easier. Even if they only had two or three toys, they didn’t really care. In Africa, the kids would mostly play with their friends outside.”

This got me thinking about my most prized toys as a kid. I grew up in Long Island, New York in the 80's and early 90's. There were a few clear standouts: Magic Nursery Babies, Care Bears, Puppy Surprise, Maple Town figurines, Littlest Pet Shop, and Yum Yums. Were these toys important to any other kids of my generation? What were your most favorite childhood possessions?

Do you want to read more about toys of yesterday and today? Here are some books you may want to reserve:

Toys by Kevin Cunningham

Toys: 100 Years Ago by Allison Lassieur

Totally Tubular '80s Toys by Mark Bellomo

Turning Vintage Toys by Chris Reid

Thursday, March 7, 2013

National Craft Month

March is national craft month! What's your favorite craft? Now is the time to embrace whatever you like making, or maybe try a new creative hobby altogether. Come into the library to check out one of our many craft books, or put one on hold below:

Eco-Crafts by Sally Henry and Trevor Cook  
Pet Crafts: Everything You Need to Become Your Pet's Craft Star! by Megan Friday

Creative Kitchen Crafts by Kathy Ross, illustrated by Nicole in den Bosch

Cool Crafts with Flowers, Leaves, and Twigs: Green Projects for Resourceful Kids by Jen Jones

Martha Stewart's Handmade Holiday Crafts: 225 Inspired Projects for Year-Round Celebrations from the editors of Martha Stewart Living

The Girl's World Book of Friendship Crafts: Cool Stuff to Make With Your Best Friends by Joanne O'Sullivan

Recycled Crafts Box: Sock Puppets, Cardboard Castles, Bottle Bugs & 37 More Earth-Friendly Projects & Activities You Can Create by Laura C. Martin

Happy crafting, everyone!
Copyright 2009 Laura Druda