Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Friendship Between the Spinach Eater and Hip Shaker

Qualm (quahm, quawm)
a sudden feeling of apprehensive uneasiness; misgiving

Reminisce (rem-uh-NIS)
to recall past experiences, events, etc.

Popeye lives with his grandmother who exercises her brain by constantly reciting the chronological order of all the English kings and queens, and exercises Popeye's brain by teaching him a new word every week, including the ones listed above. After a bunch of rainy days, Popeye is going to go crazy if he has to stay in his house any longer. On a day that seems just like any other, he and his big dog, Boo, meet Elvis. In fact, that day is not just like any other. Popeye, Boo, and Elvis venture further than Popeye's grandma allows him and explore the woods near where he has always lived. But this time, Popeye sees something he has never seen before: a cardboard boat, and it has a message in it! What could this mysterious message mean? Who could be sending it? Will Popeye get in trouble for going further than he is supposed to?

As an adult, The Small Adventure of Popeye and Elvis, by Barbara O'Connor, made me reminisce about when I was a child and I could completely remember what it felt like to experience the excitement of a child over such seemingly small things. I know I would have loved this book as a child, and I have absolutely no qualms about recommending this book for kids. I loved it and I think your kids will, too. I'm thinking it would be good for 3rd grade and up.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Almost Astronauts

In 1961, thirteen women pilots underwent testing to examine if they were made of the "right stuff" to be astronauts. They passed with flying colors, handling the pressure, stress, isolation and disorientation better than they male counterparts. And then the government said they were incapable of becoming astronauts, because of their gender.

This is their story told in a powerful new non-fiction book Almost Astronauts:13 Women Who Dared to Dream by Tanya Lee Stone. Stopped from their dream by jealousy, prejudice and unwritten rules, these women never accepted their fate. A powerful story for anyone wanting an understanding of America's quest for space.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Written by Kids

Have your kids shown interest in writing and publishing their own books? If so, they are not alone. In fact, there have been a few quite successful child authors in recent years that they could use as inspiration. Take a look:

  • Penda Diakite, Portland author of the children's picture book, I Lost My Tooth in Africa
  • Isamu Fukui, author of the Truancy series for young adults
  • Alec Greven, author of the How To Talk To... books for elementary-aged children, starting with How to Talk to Girls
  • Isabella Hatkoff, author of several true stories about amazing animals, great books for young and older readers alike
  • Cayla Kluver, fantasy author for young adults
  • Christopher Paolini, author of the popular Eragon series for upper elementary and older kids

New Potty Kits Have Arrived!

Thanks to WCCLS, the library has acquired six brand new potty kits! The Youth Sevices staff here at the library are very excited about them because they are all gender neutral. So parents no longer have to wait for a gender specific bag! The kits contain eight fantastic resources for you and your child. The kits contain six picture books, one DVD, and one book for parents.

The contents for children include:
A Potty for Me! By Karen Katz
Even Firefighters go to the Potty: A Potty Training Lift-the-Flap Story By Wendy Wax
Everyone Poops By Taro Gomi
No More Diapers for Ducky! By Bernette Ford and Sam Williams
On Top of the Potty and Other Get-Up-and-Go Songs by Alan Katz and David Catrow
Time to Pee! By Mo Willems
Go Potty Go! For Boys and Girls DVD

And for parents:
Keys to Toilet Training, 2nd edition by Meg Zweiback

Saturday, October 17, 2009

New Versions of Old Tales

One of the story times that I most looked forward to was New Versions of Old Tales. I told the stories of the Three Little Pigs and Rapunzel, and then read books that were twists on those well-known tales. In fact, after the story of Rapunzel, I had one little girl tell me "I'm scared." It turns out that my crowd was a little young to really appreciate the fairy tales and their silly counterparts. The books are so much fun I thought I would share some titles with parents whose kids are old enough to be familiar with some of the traditional fairy tales and who might appreciate an alternate version.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Calling all Diary of a Wimpy Kid Fans!

Parents, did you know that yesterday (Monday the 12th) was the release of the 4th installment of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid book? It is called Dog Days and it picks up where we last saw Greg and Rowley, hanging out at the country club. I won't say what happens next because I don't want to give it away! But, I will say I stayed up until almost 1 am last night reading it, and the laughs kept coming!

In recognition of this new release, we have Diary of a Wimpy Kid goodies to giveaway. Kids can come visit the juvenile fiction area in the library and pick up some take home activity sheets, and a bookmark, and other fun goodies (while supplies last, of course), and they are going fast! Just look for the great big Greg Heffley standee, and that's where you'll find all the fun goodies!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Health Care for Tigard-Tualatin students

While at the Tigard High School bask to school night, I learned about a wonderful resource for Tigard/Tualatin students and staff. Affordable health care! The School-Based Health Center at Tigard High School supplies medical and mental health services to students and TTSD staff, regardless of their ability to pay. Please find out more here:

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Shape of Things

Letter Knowledge • One of the first steps of learning the letters is understanding shapes, since shapes make up letters. Notice shapes around you.

Scavenger Hunt •Pick a shape (circle, square, triangle). Hunt through your house for things with that shape. Count them as you go. If you can, take a picture of each item and make a shape book with your photos.

Creeping Caterpillars! •Caterpillars change their shape. Cut several circles out a plain paper. Have your child color them. Glue the circles together to make a caterpillar.
Books with Shape