Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Oregon State v. Oregon

On Friday November 27th, the Beavers will try to avenge last year's loss to the Ducks in this year's 119th Civil War rivalry in Eugene.  Can't make it down to watch the game at Autzen Stadium?  Join us for a big-screen showing of the game, starting with kick-off at 12:30 p.m. in the Burgess Community Room.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Kari's Favorite Picture Books!

Slugs by David Greenberg was an all-time childhood favorite of mine. It is a perfect mix of delightfully gross and disgustingly hilarious. In rhyming verse, Greenberg imagines more and more creative and horrible things people can do to the slimy slug while Victoria Chess's illustrations make you want to laugh and cringe at the same time. My favorite part of the book however, comes when the slugs take their revenge!

The basis for the 2007 film Meet the Robinsons, A Day With WilburRobinson by William Joyce was another childhood favorite of mine. A search for Wilbur's grandfather's false teeth leads the reader through the strange and fantastical world of the Robinson family. What I really enjoyed about the book as a young reader was that most of the action and humor took place in the illustrations. For example, the text merely mentions Cousin Pete walking the cats, but the accompanying illustration enlightens careful readers to the fact that the cats in question are in fact tigers. These delightful and often humorous details kept me coming back to re-read the story again and again to look for details I might have missed! 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

What's the title of that book again?

Oh yeah. It's How Lunchbox Jones Saved Me From Robots, Traitors, and Missy the Cruel, by Jennifer Brown. I may not always correctly remember the title of this book, but the story itself is very memorable!

Luke is depressed and angry because his big brother, Rob, is abandoning him to become a Marine (hence the "traitor" part of the title). He doesn't really want to do anything other than play Alien Onslaught with his online friend, Randy.

Luke's Life Skills teacher, Mr. Perry, specifically seeks him out to join the Forest Shade Middle School robotics team (hence the "robots" part of the title). Considering Forest Shade is the losingest middle school in history, Luke doesn't think the team has a chance at winning, and plus, he would much rather slaughter aliens with Randy. But he doesn't have much choice when Mr. Perry ropes his dad into his plans to recruit Luke.

So Luke joins the robotics team, and to his horror learns that the scariest guy in school, Lunchbox Jones (hence the "Lunchbox Jones" part of the title) is part of the team, and so is the meanest girl, Missy the Cruel (hence the "Missy the Cruel" part of the title).

Does Luke dare to team up with these two and the other ragtag team of kids? Will this ragtag team indeed be able to build a robot to the point that it could possibly stand up in competition? And what makes Lunchbox Jones so scary, anyway?

Friday, November 20, 2015

November LEGO® Construction Zone

Sunday November 22nd will be our next LEGO® Construction Zone.  Come build your own LEGO creations with other builders.  We'll supply all the building blocks.  You bring your creativity!  We'll build 1:30-3:00 p.m. in the Puett Room and kids ages 5 and up are welcome to attend.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

International Games Day

On Saturday November 21st, more than 1,000 libraries around the world will celebrate the 8th annual International Games Day @ Your Library.  So bring the whole gang to play it up with board games, card games, and more, 1:30-3:00 p.m. in the Puett Room.  The whole family is invited to come have fun!

Monday, November 16, 2015

My Favorite Picture Books

Remember this book? We librarians tend to avoid recommending books that are tied into other media, but this was a favorite when I was a kid and it still holds up today. When Grover notices the title, he becomes profoundly anxious about the monster at the end and proceeds to devise strategies that will prevent the reader from moving forward in the book. The reader turns a page, and Grover nails the next page down. When, in spite of Grover's efforts, the reader easily turns that page, Grover builds a brick wall. When the next page is turned, Grover asks the reader, "Did you know that your are very strong?" Grover's anxiety and antics intensify as each page is turned, until finally the big reveal at the end of the book.

This is the first book I can remember reading that spoke directly to me, that prompted me to interact with the characters. Now I read it to my kids and, just as with HervĂ© Tulet's Press Here, they are delighted with it's interactive elements. And I get to act melodramatic while I'm reading it, so, win-win.

Graeme Base's Animalia is another favorite for it's interactive elements. In fact, all of Base's books contain some sort of visual mystery to solve or hidden pictures. Animalia is an alphabet book with pages packed with items and creatures that suit each letter. This is a great one to build vocabulary long after the alphabet is learned, and it's super for kids who can't get enough I Spy and Where's Waldo books. The illustrations are stunning, the text is poetic, and the allusions are clever. You Whovians out there may be sharp enough to spot a little "easter egg" hidden on the dragon page above.

If, like me, you love books that share secrets with attentive readers, you may also enjoy the works of Jan Brett and Janell Cannon. Both authors garnish the pages of their beautifully illustrated books with tiny pictures depicting behind-the-scenes story lines. Awesome.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Becoming Nicole

Wayne Maines was a man's man who was raised in a rural community with conservative, moral values. His wife, Kelly, came from a similar background. After multiple miscarriages, the opportunity to adopt fell into their laps. And when they found out they were having twins, they couldn't have been happier.

Wayne dreamed of the day when his identical twin sons, Jonas and Wyatt, would be old enough to experience the male bonding that goes along with hunting and fishing. Jonas seemed right on track to help him fulfill this dream. But from the age of 2, Wyatt began to show signs that the dream may never come true. As the years passed, it became apparent that Wyatt was not like most boys. Though Kelly followed Wyatt's lead and supported him every step of the way, Wayne just could not bring himself to terms with the idea that one of his sons may actually be his daughter. Until he realized that he really had no choice.

Through bullying, discrimination, court orders, lawsuits, counseling, medical interventions and family growth, Wyatt became Nicole, the girl she had always been.

In my opinion, the one weakness of the book is the way the author refers to Nicole as being "born a boy." She never was a boy. She was assigned male at birth but was always a girl. Becoming Nicole, by Amy Ellis Nutt, is a look at the transformation of a family, and in a way, a community and even a country. It also is a great source of information regarding the science of being transgender and the way the American culture and other cultures view transgender people.

Friday, November 13, 2015

And Now...MY Favorite Picture Books

So many pictures books, so little space. Here are just a few of my favorites off the top of my head.

The Book with No Pictures, by B. J. Novak
Exclamation Mark, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
The Family Book, by Todd Parr
Bark, George, by Jules Feiffer
Press Here, by Herve Tullet
Owl Babies, by Martin Waddell
Moo!, by David LaRochelle

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Dr. Torley's Terrific Trek Through the Universe

Join us for the our final Virtual Planetarium Show Series with Dr. Torley's Terrific Trek through the Universe on Friday November 13th, 7-8 p.m. in the Burgess Community Room.  All ages are welcome to attend as Dr. Roy Torley takes you on a tour in his starship of the imagination to the far reaches of the universe.  Visit galaxies, black holes, double stars, and more! 
This program is generously sponsored by the Friends of the Tigard Library.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

AAP Screen Time Guidelines Update

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is updating theirscreen time guidelines in 2016. The updates are science-driven and come from work done by leading social science, neuroscience and media researchers, educators, pediatricians, and other partner organizations to evaluate the available data, identify research gaps, and provide practical advice to caregivers based on evidence.

Below are the key messages for parents that emerged from their work (copied and pasted from here). The updated AAP screen time guidelines will be available in 2016.

Digital life begins at a young age, and so must parental guidance. Children who are “growing up digital” should learn healthy concepts of digital citizenship.

*Media is just another environment. Children do the same things they have always done, only virtually. Like any environment, media can have positive and negative effects.

*Parenting has not changed. The same parenting rules apply to your children’s real and virtual environments. Play with them. Set limits; kids need and expect them. Teach kindness. Be involved. Know their friends and where they are going with them.

*Role modeling is critical. Limit your own media use, and model online etiquette. Attentive parenting requires face time away from screens.

*We learn from each other. Neuroscience research shows that very young children learn best via two-way communication. “Talk time” between caregiver and child remains critical for language development. Passive video presentations do not lead to language learning in infants and young toddlers. The more media engender live interactions, the more educational value they may hold (e.g., a toddler chatting by video with a parent who is traveling). Optimal educational media opportunities begin after age 2, when media may play a role in bridging the learning achievement gap.

*Content matters. The quality of content is more important than the platform or time spent with media. Prioritize how your child spends his time rather than just setting a timer.

*Curation helps. More than 80,000 apps are labeled as educational, but little research validates their quality (Hirsh-Pasek, K. Psych Science 2015; 16:3-34 Google Scholar). An interactive product requires more than “pushing and swiping” to teach. Look to organizations like Common Sense Media ( that review age-appropriate apps, games and programs.

*Co-engagement counts. Family participation with media facilitates social interactions and learning. Play a video game with your kids. Your perspective influences how your children understand their media experience. For infants and toddlers, co-viewing is essential.

*Playtime is important. Unstructured playtime stimulates creativity. Prioritize daily unplugged playtime, especially for the very young.

*Set limits. Tech use, like all other activities, should have reasonable limits. Does your child’s technology use help or hinder participation in other activities?

*It’s OK for your teen to be online. Online relationships are integral to adolescent development. Social media can support identity formation. Teach your teen appropriate behaviors that apply in both the real and online worlds. Ask teens to demonstrate what they are doing online to help you understand both content and context.

*Create tech-free zones. Preserve family mealtime. Recharge devices overnight outside your child’s bedroom. These actions encourage family time, healthier eating habits and healthier sleep.

*Kids will be kids. Kids will make mistakes using media. These can be teachable moments if handled with empathy. Certain aberrations, however, such as sexting or posting self-harm images, signal a need to assess youths for other risk-taking behaviors.