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.