Saturday, December 31, 2011

Study Abroad

Do you or your teen have questions about studying abroad while in high school or college? Then you'll want to join us on Thursday, January 5 from 5-6:30 in the Community Room for a panel discussion featuring students who have studied abroad and representatives of student exchange programs. Rotary identifies students to send abroad as early as the freshman year of high school, so it's never too early to start preparing your teens for their academic adventures!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Janet's Top 10 Children's Graphic Novel Picks for 2011

Last year I blogged about my top 10 children's graphic novels published in 2010, which turned out to be quite popular.  I'm back again with another list, this time for books published in 2011.  These titles are listed in no particular order...just alphabetical.

Astronaut Academy: Zero Gravity by Dave Roman, First Second Books.
This is like Harry Potter or Percy Jackson, but in outer space. I look forward to more installments.

Bake Sale by Sara Varon, First Second Books.
I just loved this book.  The characters based on real food are just adorable.  My favorite part is when Cupcake is in the spa and his wrapper comes off.  The recipes mentioned within the plot are included at the end of the book as a extra-special bonus.

Benjamin Bear in Fuzzy Thinking: A Toon Book by Philippe Coudray, Toon Books/Candlewick Press.
I love the slapstick humor in this. You only get the joke if you follow the visual clues…what a great way to combine text and art for young readers to learn visual literacy.

Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Predators by Discovery Channel, Silver Dragon Books.
The artwork in this book is so realistic, that so many images look like they are photographs.   It's hard to believe that they aren't real pohotos.  I’m just awe struck at the art.

Shakespeare Graphics Series by Various Authors, Stone Arch Books.
Shakespeare is really hard for me to grasp and understand. Finally I find a series of books based on his works that I can FINALLY understand. The text is literally translated into today’s English language and the images match the text so it all makes sense. If only I had this series back in high school!

Lewis & Clark by Nick Bertozzi, First Second Books.
Studying the Lewis & Clark trail is a huge part of the curriculum when I was in grade school. As a Native Oregonian, I was really impressed and intrigued with Nick’s research and graphically told tale with so much information I never learned when I was in school. This book give such a clearn real-life account of the conversations and conflicts that arose among the Corps of Discovery. This work is truly amazing!

Nursery Rhyme Comics by various authors, First Second Books.
I was blown away when I first saw this book advertized....long before I even had a copy in my hand.   Once I got ahold of it, I was mesmerized after exploring so many cartoonists and artists with their artistic approach and distinctive styles to popular and famous nursery rhymes. I can just look through this book over and over and still be impressed.

Squish Series by Jennifer & Matthew Holm, Random House.
I planned to booktalk this book during my school visits after I told kids about the 2011 summer reading program here at library. But when the kids walked into the room and saw Squish #1, they all gravitated towards the book before I even spoke one word….the kids were that mesmerized about the book. Plus, it’s fun to see a character introduced in the Babymouse books who goes on to get his own series!

The Super-Duper Dog Park (Balloon Toons Series) by Aron Nels Steinke, Blue Apple Books.
I just love the cute and whimsical art in this book as the plot takes you on a fun filled day with lots and lots of dogs. I just love this companion book to The Super Crazy Cat Dance. What a fun book for beginner readers!

Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke, First Second Books.
What a fun space adventure. Ben’s creativity was a blast.  Plus, I think this will even appeal to boys because of the outer space theme.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Faces of George Washington

I just stumbled across a fascinating book in our fabulous juvenile biography collection. When most of us think of George Washington, we probably picture something like the image above- the famous portrait by Gilbert Stuart that also appears on the one dollar bill. But there are many other portraits of Washington and each is as varied as the skills and perspective of the artists. In May of 1798, Julian Ursyn Niemcewicz, a visitor to Mount Vernon (Washington's home), wrote that there is little likeness between Washington's portraits and the man himself, and Martha Washington agreed with that assessment. So, when the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association and James Rees, the Mount Vernon site president, decided to create an exhibit to educate the public about our first president, they took on the challenge of creating three, accurate, life-sized wax sculptures of the man depicting him at three different times of his life: at 19, when he worked as a surveyer, 45, when he was a general, and 57, when he was inaugurated.

The Many Faces of George Washington: Remaking a Presidential Icon by Carla Killough McClafferty illustrates how the sculptures came to life as realistic recreations of a man who was never photographed. Follow this account to see how artists used busts sculpted more than two hundred years ago and dentures built to fit Washington's jaw to digitally recreate the structure of his face at three different stages of his life. You will also learn astonishing facts about his life, and you may be surprised by the amount of misperceptions that have influenced our understanding of this founding father. Wooden teeth? No, not so much.

Share this book with your kiddos and the whole family will be amazed by what modern technology and research can reveal about history!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Meet the Collection Mondays: Juvenile Graphic Novels

It seems that many people are confused by the term "graphic novel" and think it is something risqué.  Nothing can be farther from the truth.  A graphic novel is a book format in which a narrative is conveyed using sequential art.  Others may describe graphic novels as a book written and illustrated in the style of a comic book, where frames and speech bubbles tell a story.  

This format holds great appeal for reluctant and struggling readers as much as it does for avid readers because the illustrations match the text in each frame.  This format also helps improve language and literacy development because the illustrations provide valuable contextual clues to the meaning of the written word.  For example: I had a hard time understanding Shakespeare when I was in high school.  Today, a new series of graphic novels based on his plays have made it so incredibly easy for me to finally understand them now thanks to the clearer text and visual clues.  Plus, many professional articles have been published within the last few years that support the use of graphic novels to increase children's literacy and vocabulary.
While graphic novels have been in existence for many decades, its acceptance in the United States as an important and popular format has only recently been recognized.  These novels have primarily been published for adults and teens, now publishers are creating more and more graphic novels that are appropriate for children.

The term “graphic novel” here at the library is used to describe any book in a comic-like format that resembles a novel in length and narrative development.  It covers a wide variety of genres and subjects such as adaptations of classic novels, science fiction, realistic fiction, fantasy, horror, or superheroes.  We even have titles in the collection that are published by popular religious publishers.  In addition to graphic novels, other formats kept in the collection are:

Bound Comic Books: These are bound comic book compilations that contain a collection of previous daily comics such as The Peanuts, Garfield, and Calvin and Hobbes.

Manga: A Japanese “graphic novel”.  It consists of highly stylized black and white drawings and is read in a manner opposite of traditional Western comics.  Series examples include: Kingdom Hearts, Cardcaptor Sakura, and Peach Fuzz.

Cine-manga: A Japanese-style graphic novel that includes film/screen shots from an actual children’s television show or movie.  Examples: Kim Possible, Lizzie McGuire, and Disney movie tie-ins.  Unfortunately these have become out of print and I've been unable to replace them.

While a majority of juvenile graphic novels are written as works of fiction, publishers are now producing graphic novels with a non-fiction approach.  We feel that many of these books do not contain enough content for the reader to acquire enough facts to assist them with homework assignments, so we keep them in the juvenile graphic novel collection and treated as though it is a work of fiction.

Be sure to check back later this week as I will reveal my Top 10 Children's Graphic Novel Choices for 2011!!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

All Ages Anime

Join us on Thursday, December 29 from 4-6 p.m. in the community for an All Ages Anime celebration! We will be showing the masterful Spirited Away (rated PG for some scary moments) on the big screen, playing Wii games, and sharing Japanese treats, crafts and New Years traditions. Fun for all ages!

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Perfect Pair: Beaumont and Catrow

I just stumbled upon a new book, Where's My T-R-U-C-K?, written by Karen Beaumont and illustrated by David Catrow. For me, they truly are the perfect combination of children's book author and illustrator. When I saw the two of them had paired up again, I just had to pick up the book, and I was not disappointed. The boy has lost his favorite red truck, and no other replacement will do. He looks up and down, inside and out, in drawers, under his bed, behind the shower curtain (behind which he finds quite a surprise, but not the one he's hoping for), in a tree, but the little red truck is just nowhere to be found. Every child will be able to relate to losing their favorite toy and after listening to this book, they will have at least one word in their repertoire that they can actually spell!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Great Early Elementary Reads

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) has revised it's popular bibliography Great Elementary Reads which features recommended book titles for beginning readers.  The list contains recommendations titles for children who are just learning to read and beginning to read on their own. The books included were published between 2009 and 2011.  The library carries copies of these titles and are available for check out. 
Click on the following link to access the list: and choose a PDF that best suits your computer.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Portland Trail Blazers Summer Reading Schedule Update

For children and teens who participated in the 2011 Summer Reading Program at the Tigard Public Library, The Portland Trailblazers Summer Reading Schedule has finally been announced! Go to the link to find out which games you can get a ticket for using the voucher you received when you reached your Summer Reading Program goal

Monday, December 19, 2011

Meet the Collection Mondays: Big Books

The key feature of most Big Books is that they are in a patterned and predictable language format. These kid-favorite titles are packed with everything from rhyme & repetition to rhythmic language and more! Our Big Book collection is nestled lying down on the shelves at the end of the Parenting collection and contains a wide choice of charming stories filled with marvelous illustrations that everyone is sure to enjoy.

The very size of the Big Book makes it a novelty which attracts young children's curiosity as well as sustains their enthusiasm. Children are easily able to track and differentiate the printed word in this format individually or in a group.  In the classroom setting, the enlarged text in a Big Book allows students to focus on the text much the same way they do when experiencing one-on-one reading with their individual caregivers. This is significant in light of the attention span of young children and the challenges of large classrooms. The reading process is a visual task as well as a hearing task and by using a Big Book instead of a traditional sized book in a group setting, young readers are readily able to follow their teachers lead in modeling various reading skills.  Positive shared reading experiences focus on the enjoyment of the story. Pre-readers and readers alike readily model reading behaviors in socially rewarding and risk-free environment. Reading a favorite book over and over again, no matter what format, helps build experience with handling books and the reading process itself long before children actually learn to read.

Don't forget to extend the fun of your Big Book choices with our wonderful collection of Puppets!!!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Winter Critter Films and Crafts

Slow down, relax, and enjoy holiday movies and refreshments. And if you are scrambling for that last-minute holiday trim, stop by to decorate a gift bag or create a one-of-a-kind gift tag.  To see the movie listings, visit the library's website at or call 503-718-2517. 
The dates and times are:
Monday December 19, 2-4 p.m.
Wednesday December 21, 2-4 p.m.
Both events will be held in the Community Room.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Light Up Your Life!

Join us for Crafts Full of Light on Sunday, December 18th from 1:30 to 2:30 in the Puett Room. Do your part to brighten the darkest days of the year by making your own candleholder, beeswax candle, and shiny star ornament.
What's good for the bees...
Did you know that the delicious smelling beeswax we will be using to roll our own candles is also used by beekeepers? The stamped sheets are placed on frames in beehives, and serve as a foundation for bees when they are making honey. Yum.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

I Can Cook!

Welcome to the I Can Cook! Series.  Since holiday cooking is upon us, why not spend some time with your child teaching them about foods from different countries?  This series of books geared for thrid to sixth graders make an excellent introduction to food traditions, cooking styles, common ingredients, cooking basics, and equipment while practicing safety in the kitchen.  Each book contains a country map to highlight diets and the food availabile in various regions, plus influencing factors for these dishes. Recipes in each book have kid appeal and list the equipment and ingredients needed, plus alternatives for those with special diets. Captioned, full-color photographs provide step-by-step directions. Each title contains up to seven recipes that include historical background, a beverage, and a dessert (yum!). There's even new vocabulary words highlighted in bold and quick facts that are scattered throughout. Each book concludes with a  popular food celebrations using some of the highlighted recipes and additional activities kids can do on their own or with their families.  Titles in the series include: American Food, Chinese Food, French Food, Mexican Food, and Middle-Eastern Food.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Last-Minute Recommended Books for Holiday Giving

The Butler Children’s Literature Center at Dominican University has released a list of books written for children and young adults suitable for giving as holiday gifts to young people. The list includes recommendations based on grade level of the reader, from preschool through grade 9, and a variety of genres, from picture books to seasonal stories and thrillers for young teens.  Visit the list at and scroll down to view the list.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Meet the Collection Mondays: Juvenile Music CDs

One of my favorite collections to buy for is the Juvenile Music CDs. This collection is located right next to the story time room across from the Juvenile Non-Fiction.

The Juvenile Music collection includes but is not limited to folk songs, rock, pop, classical, holiday, educational, and popular children’s entertainers, characters, television shows and movies. Children's folk songs are very popular, along with certain established children's music such as Disney, Kidz Bop, Raffi, and the Wiggles. In addition, music by popular and independent artists enjoyed by adults and children alike is highly circulated. We also have a lot of soundtracks from kids' movies.

I read a couple of different blogs to help me keep up with the "Kindie" (Kids Indpendent) music, and I find myself checking out a lot of them to share with my kids. Here are some of my favorite artists:

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Super Tuesday with Neon Man

International juggler and comedian Henrik Bothe will conjure up an enthusiastic audience with a performance that is pure magic.  He'll walk on ladders, juggle with no hands, escape from a straitjacket and blow your mind with a glowing finale that floats, flies, and mesmerizes!!!  Join us Tuesday December 13, 7-8 p.m. in the Community Room.  Bring the whole family for a night of fun!!!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Wilma Tenderfoot

Wilma Tenderfoot: The Case of the Frozen Hearts, by Emma Kennedy, is the first in a new mystery series. Wilma is an orphan who has been bitten by the detecting bug. She doesn't know where she came from, and she thinks that maybe if she can become a famous detective, she can learn to "deduct" her origins.

The biggest jewel ever found has been stolen, and its discoverer and his aunt with stinky feet are murdered. Cause of death: frozen hearts. Theodore P. Goodman, the most famous detective from Cooper Island, is on the case. Wilma, along with her beagle Pickle, really wants to be on the case.

Will Theodore P. Goodman accept Wilma as his apprentice? Can anybody discover how a heart can be frozen? Will the valuable Katzin Stone ever be recovered?

This is a fun little mystery that kids will love. Characters are bigger than life, the characters' antics are silly, and the plot keeps the reader guessing. I recommend the book for 3rd grade and up.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Meet The Collection Mondays: Young Adult Non-Fiction

Welcome to the world of Young Adult non-fiction!

To find your next favorite Young Adult non-fiction book, you first get to go on a treasure hunt through the adult non-fiction stacks. Shelved among adult materials, you can find excellent teen-oriented reads on many subjects.

DNA: Do you like your science with a lot of pictures? The Stuff of Life is a graphic non-fiction guide to genetics and DNA. Usually an overwhelmingly complicated subject to delve into, The Stuff of Life almost makes genetics seem simple.

DIY: Get inspired to sew your own plush dolls with Plush You, profiling artists who make everything from socktopusses (octopus sock monkeys) to felt eggs and bacon. Or crochet your own pepperoni pizza scarf following step-by-step instructions in Twinkie Chan’s Crochet Goodies for Fashion Foodies.

SPY: Perhaps you’ve always imagined having a life as an undercover operative. The Real Spy’s Guide to Becoming a Spy will prepare you for your ultimate career.

In addition to these gems, you will also find many other materials to support the educational, recreational, developmental, and informational needs of young adults from 6th through 12th grade. Whether you are writing a school paper, looking for some fashion tips, or interested in finding more information about your favorite skateboarder, the Young Adult non-fiction collection has something to offer. Come visit at the Young Adult reference desk, and we will help you navigate the non-fiction stacks to find the materials that best suit your needs.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

15th Annual Mitten Tree Kick-Off

Saturday, December 3
1:30-2:30 p.m., Puett Room
All Ages
Join us for some unique, frosty art activities for children of all ages. Make colorful ice cube art, create special snowflakes with water colors and crayons and more!

Bring new scarves, hats and gloves throughout December and help decorate the Mitten Tree. The Good Neighbor Center will give them to homeless families in Washington County.

Generously sponsored by Friends of the Tigard Library.

Can You See What I See?

The I Spy picture books are quite popular at the library.  Do you or your child ever wonder how all of the photographs in the books came to be? Scholastic Books goes behind the scenes into the author/photographer Walter Wick's studio to see how he created his latest book, Toyland Express.  Take a look at this 3-minute video link. You'll be amazed!!!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Meet the Collection Mondays: Juvenile Magazines

Our collection of 30+ magazines for children and parents, housed together to the right of the Alphabet Chair in the Juvenile Fiction area, includes titles to support the recreational, developmental, and informational needs of children 0-11 years of age and their parents/caregivers. One of our selections, American Girl, has been the most popular magazine in the whole library for the past several years! Other great titles include Discovery Kids, Babybug, and Sports Illustrated for Kids. Magazines for parents and teachers include Familyfun, Working Mother, and Book Links. Current issues are displayed in protective covers and don't circulate until the next month’s issue is received and processed.  Back issues of the current and previous years circulate for three weeks, just like books. Mosey back to the corner marked "Periodicals" and check out some magazines today!

Friday, November 25, 2011

OBOB: Oregon Battle of the Books

Many children this year are gearing up to participate in the Oregon Battle of the Books, also known as OBOB (pronounced as "Oh-Bob").  If you are unfamiliar with OBOB, this is a statewide program for reading motiation and comprehension sponsored by the Oregon Association of School Libraries in conjunction with a Library Services and Technology Act grant.  The goals of the program are to encourage reading for enjoyment, broaden reading interests, and increase reading comprehension, and promote cooperative learning.

There are three divisions of the program, Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8 and Grades 9-12.  The library carries multiple copies of each of the books on the division lists.  We do have a display in the juvenile fiction area of titles that are available.  Holds can be placed on titles that are checked out to other patrons. The last day to register your school is November 30th.  Each team must have a sponsor from their school library or other school staff.  For more information about the program and for a list of books for each division, visit

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Mega Craft Workshop

Going stir crazy after a long Thanksgiving weekend with relatives and need a little downtime before the holidays start to get even crazier? Join us this Saturday, November 26 between 1:30 and 4 in the Community Room for the Mega Craft Workshop. This is an all ages event. Adults and children will create holiday cards, fused glass art, Huichol yarn paintings, stained glass paper art, beadwork, bookmarks, and much, much more. Feel free to drop in any time; you don't have to be there at the very beginning.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Picture Books: Awesome for All Ages

Hey, did you know that this November is the first annual Picture Book Month? Check out the official website for essays from famous authors, illustrators and educators about why picture books are so important.

This very cool celebration was set up in response to the ever-rising tide of digital media and things like this New York Times article about the sliding sales of picture books in favor of chapter books for younger and younger kids. I love all kinds of books, but it makes me sad that bigger kids might be missing out on the creative, artistic, collaborative and rich experience of reading picture books and making the words and illustrations work together.

Here at TPL, we always have lots of our favorite picture books up on display in the Children's Room. With school out all Thanksgiving Week, we'll be including some titles that are especially great for older kids in our regular display, from authors like Deborah Hopkinson, Patricia Polacco and Jon Scieszka. Two authors in particular, David Wiesner and Arthur Geisert, create books that are mostly wordless but have very complex stories, concepts and illustrations. Drop in and check out a pile of picture books, and be sure to ask the librarian at the Children's Desk for recommendations!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Meet the Collection Mondays: Juvenile Audiobooks

As a huge fan of audiobooks, I love telling our patrons about all the wonderful titles we have at the library.  I am pleased to tell you about our Juvenile Audiobook collection which consists of Fiction Books on CD, Non-Fiction Books on CD, Fiction Book Kits with CD's and Non-Fiction Book Kits with CD's. The book with CD's kits are also referred to as "kits". We no longer carry cassettes as CD's have become more popular.

Kits: Our kits are mainly geared towards Preschool children through second grade.  The collection is mainly comprised of picture book and early reader read-alongs. The collection also includes non-fiction titles, such as books that help children learn a foreign language. It also contains publications such as Wee Sing that includes a CD with an accompanying music booklet.  A majority of all these titles have a track or separate CD with page-turn signals, making it easy for children to listen to the book on their own and to know when to turn the page without adult assistance.  Children who listen to a read-along kit are receiving the same benefit as though they are listening to a parent or another adult read them a book, as they are still picking up and learning new vocabulary and other early literacy skills.  Kits are a valuable resource for pre-readers because it helps them develop early literacy skills such as print awareness. We have numerous kits that contain wonderful sound effects.  I highly recommend Hondo and Fabian, The Librarian from the Black Lagoon, and Dooby Dooby Moo.  For elementary school ages, try The Composer is Dead, and Jazz.

Books on CD: For all of the books on CD, every effort is made to
make sure there is a print edition of that title located somewhere in the overall children’s collection. This is helpful when a child would like to read along with the print book.  This option is especially important to children who struggle with reading as it will  help aid and assist them in their reading comprehension and is an excellent way to extend the story beyond their imagination as many audiobook narrators use a wide range of expressions and characterizations to make the plot more realistic than what's just printed in the book.  A good narrator can really bring a book to life.  As I've listened to probably 80% of the titles in our audiobook collection and have served three years on a national audiobook award committee (going on four), I can assure you that a good match between the narrator and the text makes all the difference in the world for a phenomenal audiobook experience.  To the novice listener, this may be hard to justify, so here are some great fiction examples to try: The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and The Alvin Ho Collection: Books 1 & 2.  And for an exceptional non-fiction audiobook experience, try We are the Ship, Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! (with a full cast) and Marley: A Dog Like No Other.

Why should children listen to audiobooks?
Some may think that listening to a book on CD is a way to cheat on reading the print book. However, this is not the case, as they provide many benefits for children such as:
  • Improving listening and comprehension skills
  • Increasing vocabulary
  • Learning the proper pronunciation of words
  • Learning to "see" a story by using imagination instead of illustrations
  • Getting motivated to read more by an author they've been introduced to through an audiobook
  • Engaging a child's interest in a way that a parent reading aloud may not
  • Supplements print book reading
  • Another way to experience literature besides through printed books
  • Providing an enjoyable family activity to share literature together
For more detailed information on the benefits of listening to audiobooks, read this article from Reading Rockets:

I also encourage you to come to the library and check out an audiobook today!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Winter Break Story Times

We're trying something new this year. Usually we take our winter break with the schools, but we thought we would offer story times over that break and take our break Thanksgiving week instead.

So for all you teachers out there who are usually working when we offer story time, bring your kids in!

And for all you parents with kids in preschool during the times we offer story time, bring 'em on in. We'll be here with bells on!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Pet Food Supply Drive

In the spirit of the upcoming holiday season, the City of Tigard is teaming up with the Sunshine Pantry to help animals in need.  Durining financial hardships, families are often forced to give up a beloved family pet.  Spread the cheer with donations of pet food (open & unopened food bags are acceptable), leashes, flea collars, treats, and toys.  Donation bins will be located in City Hall, the Permit Center, and Public Works from November 7 to December 19.  A bin will also be located at the Library from November 21 to December 16.  If you would like a flier, visit:

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Fingertips of Duncan Dorfman

Duncan is new at school, and very soon acquires the undesirable nickname "Lunch Meat." He hates not fitting in, so he reveals that he has a special power. This catches the attention of a kid from the Scrabble club, and he finally sees his "in" with the rest of the kids. The problem is, his "in" requires using his special power to cheat at a national Scrabble tournament. But if he wins, it will all be worth it.

April Blunt is the only non-jock in a family of jocks. All she wants to do is win the national Scrabble tournament to prove to the rest of her family that Scrabble is actually a sport, too. Oh, and she also wants to find this kid that she met at a motel pool 3 years ago to whom she introduced the game of Scrabble. The problem is, she doesn't know his name or where he's from or really anything about him at all.

All Nate Saviano wants to do is hang out and skate, and go to public school. In fact, his rich dad even built a skate park for him in their apartment. The problem is, his rich dad has also decided he wants to home school Nate; and by home school, he really means prepare him to win the national Scrabble tournament to make up for his own loss at the tournament when he was Nate's age. Nate thinks that just maybe if he wins, his dad will let him go back to public school.

Who, if any of them, will win the tournament? Will Duncan use his power to fit in with the rest of the kids? Is there a chance that April could meet the boy from oh-so-long-ago at the tournament? Will Nate ever get to go back to public school? Your kid will need to read The Fingertips of Duncan Dorfman, by Meg Wolitzer, to find out.

This is a great book about difficult choices, friendship, and family. I recommend it for about 3rd or 4th grade and up.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

TINKERTOYS are a Winner!

In 2010 Eastern Connecticut State University’s Center for Early Childhood Education launched an annual study “that looks at how young children in natural settings play with a variety of toys. Each year, nominated toys are placed in preschool classrooms and videotaped using remote cameras. Researchers use a scientific instrument to determine which toys best promote children's development in three areas: thinking and learning, social interaction and cooperation, and self-expression and imaginative play.” The study is called Toys That Inspire Mindful Play and Nurture Imagination, but for short it is called: The TIMPANI Toy Study.  This year's winner is the classic Tinkertoys construction set.  To learn more visit:

Monday, November 14, 2011

Meet the Collection Mondays: Puppets

The Library maintains a circulating collection of puppets for the purpose of encouraging creative play and enhancing the home storytelling experience. Juvenile Puppets circulate for three weeks and are kept in open bins next to the Board Book collection in the Children’s Room.

Puppet play and child development tips
A child's natural approach to learning is through play and the development of imagination plays a critical role in life long problem solving and learning. When children act out stories or life events through dramatic play a variety of senses are used. Through play, your child is learning to identify and internalize a story or an event in an immediate way. Something as simple as playing with puppets helps build your child's vocabulary, self expression, relationships with others and an understanding of their world.

Stop by the Children's Reference desk for some fun book suggestions to go along with your child's puppet playing experience!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Our Next Super Tuesday!

Our next Super Tuesday is coming up on November 15th.  Tears of Joy Puppet Theater will be joining us as they present "Raven Steals the Sun". Celebrate Native American Heritage Month with this Tlingit tale from British Columbia, where Raven disguises himself as a baby to steal the sun and bring light to the world. Bring the whole family to enjoy the show from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm in the Community Room.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Come play BINGO!

National Gaming Day is this coming Saturday November 12th.  Bring the whole family to the library to play a few rounds of our "All Ages BINGO".  Anyone can partcipate and play as many rounds as they wish.  There will also be prizes!!!  We'll be playing in the Puett Room 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm.  So come on down and spend an afaternoon with us!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Meet the Collection Monday: Juvenile Spanish

I also get to take care of the Juvenile Spanish collection. There are 6 sub-collections within Juvenile Spanish: Board Books, Picture Books, Early Readers, Non-Fiction, Fiction, and Graphic Novels. The Juvenile Spanish collection is housed between the Picture Books and Early Readers in the Children's Room. All of our Spanish books have orange labels on them.

The collection is used by native Spanish speakers as well as native English speakers who want to learn Spanish. We have some books written entirely in Spanish, and some in both English and Spanish. The bilingual books are good for Spanish speakers trying to improve their English, and English speakers trying to improve their Spanish.

Board Books are specifically for babies and toddlers learning how books work. The Picture Books have a broad range of levels, anywhere from just a few words per page to several paragraphs per page. There are even a few Picture Books that include CDs along with them. Early Readers are great for native Spanish and native English speakers to learn how to read Spanish. The Non-Fiction section has a broad range of topics that can support kids in homework and is particularly good for parents whose primary language is Spanish who want to help their kids with their homework. Non-Fiction also has some high interest topics (vehicles, animals, biographies, fairy tales, etc). Fiction is made up of chapter books anywhere between 1st grade and 5th grade reading levels. Almost all of the chapter books are written in Spanish only. We have a very small, but hopefully growing section of graphic novels, or comics, shelved with the Fiction.

Many of the Spanish books are translations of popular books originally written in English (Harry Potter, Mo Willems, Dr. Seuss), but I also work hard on finding books that were originally written in Spanish. It is often hard to get Spanish translations, and they are often published way after the originals in English. Once in awhile, though, I can actually get a book in Spanish before it is published in English, like the Tunnels series, by Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Playing with your food

Well, actually, I'm not going to talk about playing with food, but the thing that holds your food. I just couldn't think of a very clever, catch-your-eye title for paper plate crafts. Believe it or not, I can make almost anything out of a paper plate. A snake, a rainbow, a frog, a chicken, the list goes on. All you need is a paper plate and a few other staple craft supplies, and your possibilities are endless. My staples include pipe cleaners, tissue paper, popsicle sticks, feathers, googly eyes, and card stock. You can get most of that stuff at the dollar store. Just google "paper plate crafts" and you can find a ton of ideas online. Or come in and see me and ask me for some patterns. I'm very proud of my creations!