Thursday, April 30, 2009

When Science Explodes

Any book that tells you how to make a Frankenstein hand, burning ice, a CD hovercraft and blubber is pretty much a good bet with kids. Throw in the fact that it's got cool pictures, easy instructions and great "Take Care" notes sure to satisfy anxious parents and it rises to the level of an awesome book for anyone. The book in question is The Book of Totally Irresponsible Science: 64 Daring Experiments for Young Scientists by Sean Connolly, a sure bet to get kids and parents creating some super educational fun.

Each experiment features a mini intro, a handy list of supplies (most of which are household items), step-by-step instructions and yep, the "scientific excuse" behind the trick. A little bit magic, a little bit science, a lot of fun!

Cross-posted on the Tigard Teen Blog.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Spring Crafts

What could be more spring-like than a new windsock? Come join us Saturday, May 2 from 1:30 to 2:30 at Weekend Adventures to create your own. Of course, these will be made out of paper, so you won't actually want to hang them outside, but they're still fun, pretty, and spring-like. Weekend Adventures are for elementary-aged kids and their families.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Favorite New Picture Books

As the librarian who gets to select picture books, I feel like I've got one of the best jobs in the world! Here are a few of my favorite new picture book recommendations (click on the title to link to the library's catalog to check holdings):

A Visitor for Bear by Bonny Becker
Bear's efforts to keep out visitors to his house are undermined by a very persistent mouse. (ages 3-7)

One by Kathryn Otoshi
A number/color book reminding us that it just takes one to make everyone count. (ages 3-6)

Posy by Linda Newbery
Posy the kitten has lots of adventures catching spiders, swiping crayons, tangling yarn, and cuddling. (ages 2-5)

The Snow Day by Komako Sakai
A little rabbit enjoys having a day off from kindergarten and spending time with his mother during a snowstorm, but his father's flight home is cancelled until the snow stops falling. (ages 3-6)

Humpty Dumpty has not climbed a single wall since his great fall, despite the urging of friends and teasing of others, but when one of the king's horses is stuck he finds the courage--and the proper climbing equipment--to help out. (Kindergarten - 3rd grade)

Bored with another normal, inky evening, bats discover an open library window and fly in to enjoy the photocopier, water fountain, and especially the books and stories found there. (ages 4-8)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Join the New Tigard Library Knitting Group

Photo courtesy of mySAPL
Are you looking for a creative way to express yourself? Maybe you want to learn a new craft, like tatting or jewelry making. You might want to find new crocheting ideas for your favorite pastime.

Come to the second floor of the Library and ask the librarian to point you in the direction of the books on crafts. You’ll find books on weaving, embroidery, porcelain and glass painting, scrapbooking, woodburning, origami, tatting, knitting and much more.

Would you like to learn how to knit or crochet to be able to use all those fabulous yarns that are available? Learn how to get started or share your knitting and/or crochet knowledge with others.

Join the new Tigard Library knitting group on Saturday, May 2, from 10-11:30 a.m. in the Houghton Room on the second floor of the Library. Dust off that project you can’t seem to finish or bring the materials to start something new. Library staff member Shela Perrin will book-talk her favorite knitting and crochet books available at the Library. Find out what is new in the world of yarn projects.

The group meets on the first and third Saturdays of the month in the Grace Tigard Houghton Room. New members are always welcome.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Is There Life After Television?

Yes, there is! Don't worry, you don't need to make your kids stop playing video games, or throw out your TV. TV-Turnoff Week, which is celebrated April 20th-26th this year, is really just about being aware of how much "screen time" we have in our lives. We all know too much of anything isn't a good thing, and too much screen time can lead to obesity, learning problems, isolation and loss of community and creativity. Even making small changes in the amount of time we spend in front of the screen can make a big difference in our lives and the lives of our children.

We have some fun family activities planned all week long to entince you off the couch and into the library to celebrate TV-Turnoff Week. In addition to our regular weekly story times, check out these events:

  • Poetry in the Lobby (Sunday April 19th 1-5pm)

  • The Giving Tree Revisited with Dave the Earthsinger (Tuesday April 21st 7pm)

  • Food Art with Addie Boswell (Wednesday April 22nd 7pm)

  • Getting Unplugged with local author and former self-proclaimed TV-addict Ellen Currey-Wilson (Thursday April 23rd 7pm)

For detailed descriptions of all these events, please visit our website:

To learn more about TV-Turnoff Week and Screen Awareness, please visit:

Monday, April 20, 2009

Revolution! The Battles of Lexington and Concord

On Saturday, March 28, Gary Langenwalter entertained a crowd in the Library’s Community Room with stories about the opening act of the Revolutionary War. I especially enjoyed his descriptions of a soldier’s life in the war, some of which can be seen in this 3 minute video clip about firing a musket.

Visit our website for upcoming library events including presentations, performances, and workshops.

And thanks to Gary for volunteering his time to share his enthusiasm and wit with our community.

~Charles Dunham

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

2009 Newbery and Caldecott Winners

Back in January I attended the American Library Association mid-winter meeting held in Denver, CO, where I sat in for the very huge press conference where the 2009 Newbery and Caldecott winners were announced. While this post is a few months past being posted, it's never too late to show of this year's winners. The Tigard Public Library owns multiple copies of each of these books. Read a winning book today!

The winner of the 2009 Newbery Award is:

The Graveyard Book written by Neil Gaiman

A delicious mix of murder, fantasy, humor and human longing, the tale of Nobody Owens is told in magical, haunting prose. A child marked for death by an ancient league of assassins escapes into an abandoned graveyard, where he is reared and protected by its spirit denizens.

The 2009 Newbery honor books include:

The Underneath written by Kathy Appelt

Underneath the canopy of the loblolly pines, amid the pulsating sounds of the swamp, there lies a tale. Intertwining stories of an embittered man, a loyal hound, an abandoned cat and a vengeful lamia sing of love, loss, loneliness and hope. Appelt's lyrical storytelling heightens the distinguished characteristics of this work.

The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba's Struggle for Freedom written by Margarita Engle

This book utilizes compelling free verse in alternating voices to lyrically tell the story of Cuba's three wars for independence from Spain. Combining real-life characters (such as legendary healer Rosa La Bayamesa) with imagined individuals, Engle focuses on Rosa's struggle to save everyone--black, white, Cuban, Spanish, friend or enemy.

Savvy written by Ingrid Law

This rich first-person narrative draws readers into a wild bus ride, winding through the countryside on a journey of self-discovery for Mibs Beaumont and her companions. Newcomer Law weaves a magical tall tale, using vivid language and lively personalities, all bouncing their way to a warm, satisfying conclusion.

After Tupac and D Foster written by Jacquline Woodson

This tightly woven novel looks back on two years in a New York City neighborhood, where life changes for two 11-year-olds when a new girl joins their game of double Dutch. Bonded by Tupac's music, the three girls explore the lure of freedom and build a friendship that redefines their own identities.

The John Newbery Award is awarded to a U.S. author for the most distinguished contribution to American children's literature (up to age 14).

The winner of the 2009 Caldecott Award is:

The House in the Night written by Susan Marie Swanson, illustrated by Beth Krommes Richly

Detailed black-and-white scratchboard illustrations expand this timeless bedtime verse, offering reassurance to young children that there is always light in the darkness. Krommes' elegant line, illuminated with touches of golden watercolor, evoke the warmth and comfort of home and family, as well as the joys of exploring the wider world.

The 2009 Caldecott honor books include:

A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever written and illustrated by Marla Frazee

In lively, detailed, subtly retro cartoons, Frazee gently pokes fun at adult expectations and captures the unbounded joy of two friends experiencing a parent-free summer adventure.

How I Learned Geography written and illustrated by Uri Shulevitz

Recounting memories of his family's flight from the Warsaw Blitz and his years as a refugee during World War II, Shulevitz employs watercolor and ink to depict a boy liberated from his dreary existence through flights of fancy inspired by the map his father buys in the village market.

A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams written by Jen Bryant, illustrated by Melissa Sweet

Sweet's mixed-media collage and primitive watercolors flow seamlessly with Bryant's prose to reveal the important bits and pieces of Williams' ordinary, yet extraordinary, life as a doctor and poet.

The Randolph Caldecott Award is awarded to a U.S. illustrator to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Hear a Poem, Read a Poem

In honor of National Poetry Month, everyone is invited to join us for Poetry in the Lobby, Sunday, April 19 from 1-5 p.m. Drop by the library's lobby to hear a poem and maybe read a poem. The first 50 people to read a poem of their own or someone else's will earn a free treat from Sesame Donuts. Kids, teens and adults are invited to participate.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Resource for English Teachers

Do you work in a school, library, preschool, child development center, or teach English to your kids at home? I just learned about a great resource that connects teachers in an online social network: The English Companion Ning. Within the Ning there are groups of teachers sharing their ideas and challenges on such topics as teaching with technology and teaching writing. If you find this resource useful, you may want to check out our parenting collection as well. We have lots of books and videos for homeschool teachers, and parents who are helping their children learn to love books!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Celebrate Beverly's Birthday with Drop Everything and Read Day!

April 12th is Beverly Cleary's birthday and Drop Everything and Read Day! I'm sure many of you grew up reading Cleary's wonderful books, and now you have little Ramonas and Henry Huggins of your own. When Cleary was a child living in Portland, she loved to read and she loved her library, but she often lamented that there were very few books that were just right for her; a kid living through the depression. She wanted to read about people that were like her friends: real kids with real problems who get caught up in hilarious situations. So, when Cleary grew up, she began writing.

Come by the library and visit our Beverly Cleary and D.E.A.R. display display, or check out one of our many books by our beloved local author. You may want to start with Henry Huggins, her first book, her autobiography, The Girl from Yamhill, or, my personal favorite, Dear Mr. Henshaw, a story about a boy who writes letters to his favorite children's author. The letters become like a diary.

To find out more about D.E.A.R. Day and Beverly Cleary, follow this link:

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

For Bug Lovers (and their parents)

Last summer the summer reading program theme was all about bugs. I focused heavily on bugs in my story times, and as a result I have a list of great bug books that bug lovers might like. Unless otherwise indicated, you can find the books in the Picture Books section by the last name of the author.

Barner, Bob. Bugs! Bugs! Bugs! (J 595. 7 BAR)
Cronin, Doreen. Diary of a Fly
Cronin, Doreen. Diary of a Spider
Cronin, Doreen. Diary of a Worm
Egielski, Richard. Buz
Ehlert, Lois. Waiting for Wings
Fleming, Denise. Beetle Bop
Florian, Douglas. Insectlopedia (J 811 FLO)
Kirk, David. Little Miss Spider
Manning, Mick. Yuck!
Prince, Joshua. I Saw an Ant in a Parking Lot
Prince, Joshua. I Saw an Ant on the Railroad Track
Provost, Elizabeth. Ten Little Sleepyheads
Ross, Michael Elsohn. Snug as a Bug
Sturges, Philemon. I Love Bugs!
Trapani, Iza. The Itsy Bitsy Spider
Westcott, Nadine Bernard. I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Poetry for Kids

One of my favorite collections to purchase books for is poetry for kids. There is such diversity among the subjects - math, monsters, weather, school or geography. April is National Poetry Month, so celebrate with some poetry.

Gotta Book is a blog with ambitious aim of posting 30 previously unpublished children's poems in 30 days. Not just any old poems, but poetry from such greats as Nikki Grimes, Jack Prelutsky, Jane Yolen, and Jon Scieszka.

On display now in the Children's Room...poetry, of course! Stop by the Juvenile Non-Fiction section (J 811) and browse for some poetry. Check it out with your child and get some inspiration for some fun family writing of your own!