Friday, June 29, 2012

Favorite Book Fridays: The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom

I bet you never knew that Snow White's Prince Charming was a strange, wimpy little guy with no friends. And I bet you never knew that Rapunzel actually had to rescue her 6' 7" runt of the family Prince Charming, not the other way around. And I bet you never knew that Cinderella's Prince Charming would rather spend time preening in front of a mirror than saving princesses and kingdoms. And I bet you never knew that Sleeping Beauty was a spoiled brat that her Prince Charming decided he didn't even want to marry! Well, according to The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom, by Christopher Healy, that's the truth.

In this action-packed comedic adventure, the lives of the four princesses and their princes intersect, with a real focus on the princes instead of the princesses. A hilarious slant on the traditional fairy tales. I would recommend for about third grade and up.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Just for Grown-Ups

Want a little break from your kids? Well, maybe it's technically not a break from your kids if it's about your kids, but at least you don't have to bring them with you! In fact, I won't allow it. So find someone to take care of your kids and join me while I teach you how to prepare your child(ren) to read. If you have children age 0-6, you qualify. Register today for the Every Child Ready to Read Parent Workshop which will take place on Wednesday, July 25 from 6:30 to 8:00 in the Puett Room. Come in to the library or call the Children's Desk at 503.718.2656.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Summer Reading Kickoff Concert with Recess Monkey

Join us on Tuesday, June 26th at 3 p.m. in the Burgess Community Room as we kickoff our summer reading celebration!  Recess Monkey is a trio of talented school teachers from Seattle who moonlight as a kids rock band, that performs songs about animals and other fun stuff set to a great sing-along beat.  (My favorite songs by them are "Hot Chocolate" and "Marshmallow Farm".)  Want to learn more about these guys?  Check out their website

Friday, June 22, 2012

Favorite Book Fridays: Transportation Board Books We Love

At my house, we read a lot of board books. We've gone through Good Night Gorilla, Goodnight Moon, & The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Lately, it's been all about cars and trucks and things that go. Richard Scarry comes in handy in times like these. We can read the compact, apple shaped Cars and Trucks From A to Z a hundred times, and even us grown-ups are still entertained. Who couldn't love a lemon car or a zippermobile?
When it is time to move on, we like to read Trains Go. Every page offers a new, bright and splashy type of train, and the only words are the whistles and rumbles of the trains themselves. Steve Light has painted the most gorgeous watercolor trains, and the words appear to ebb and flow just like the sounds they describe.
If you are looking for some more good transportation-related board books, you could try Byron Barton's Trains, Trucks, or Machines at Work (yes, he's got the corner on the market), or Freight Train by Donald Crews.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Lego Construction Zone: June 24

Our next LEGO Construction Zone will be held on Sunday June 24th, from 1:30-3 p.m. in the Puett Room. Ages 5 and up are welcome to drop in to work on their own creations with other LEGO fans. We'll supply the building blocks; you bring your creativity! It's gonna be a ton of fun!!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Three Times Lucky

Miss Moses "Mo" LoBeau, rising sixth grader, started her life out very lucky three times. She survived on a makeshift raft in the middle of a hurricane as a newborn, she was found by the Colonel (who happens to have amnesia) who has pretty much become her dad, and she met Miss Lana, who pretty much became her mom. Despite loving the Colonel and Miss Lana, she wonders where she came from and often sends messages in a bottle to her Upstream Mother. She must have been born to be a detective, because between trying to solve the mystery of her mother, wondering about the Colonel's past and now trying to track down the murderer of Mr. Jesse, the town grouch, she has her hands full.

Not only is Three Times Lucky, by Sheila Turnage, a great mystery, but just a great story in general with a great cast of characters including Mo's best friend, Dale Earnhardt Johnson III (not because he is the third Dale Earnhardt Johnson, but because Dale Earnhardt drove the #3 NASCAR car and Dale's daddy believes in naming kids for somebody famous); Dale's big brother, Lavendar, who if Mo was old enough, she would "snatch him up and marry him before sundown"; and her sworn enemy, Anna Celeste AKA Attila (Attila calls Mo "Mo-Ron"). I would recommend this for about 4th grade and up.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

School's out...Have you signed up for summer reading?

School is out and the summer reading program at the library is off to a great start!  However, we would like to encourage you to sign up your child for summer reading if you haven't already!  Children from birth through those entering into 5th grade are eligible to participate.  Even if your youngster is not reading on their own, they can have someone read to them.

Children can read 20 books or for 20 hours (or have someone read to them).  Just stop by the children's room to sign up.  Plus get the following goodies for registering:
  • Glow-in-the-dark summer reading pencil
  • "Dream Big Read" bookmark
  • Form to send away for free Timbers Tickets for a home game on Sunday August 26th
  • Form to earn 2 FREE rides at the Washington County Fair (July 26-29)
  • Entry form to win a $1,000 college savings account through the Oregon College Savings Plan, plus $500 for the library
Registration ends on July 31st.  If your child has read or has been read to since June 1st, they can count those minutes/hours/books on their reading record. 

Children may return their reading records to the children's desk between July 15th and August 31st to claim their prizes, including a new book of their choice to keep and a discounted coupon to Oaks Park!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Favorite Book Fridays: Cat Up a Tree

Nana Quimby looked out her window and saw one cat up the tree.  The next time she looked out her window, she saw two cats up the tree.  The story continues with more cats up in the tree.  Everytime she called a local service employee for help, they always respond with saying they can't help her get the cats out of the tree.  After numberous attempts for help, she gives up, throws the phone out the window, and the cats walk along the phone cord from the tree through Nana Quimby's window and into her apartment.  Nana and the cats take a nice nap when the police station, the fire station, the post office, and the library make distress calls with mice invading the city.  It's too late for the cats to help keep the mice population down because they are all too busy purring! 

Cat Up a Tree by John and Ann Hassett is one of my many favorite books that I like to read aloud at preschool story time.  This book has great repetition and I just love the illustrations and the cute whimsical cats.  I hope you'll enjoy it too!!!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Puppet Workshop!

Summer is finally here! Kick your imagination into high gear, and come make some puppets at the library. We'll provide supplies to make silly finger puppets, wibbly-wobbly sock puppets, flying acrobat puppets, and more. You really can't go wrong with googly eyes and felt. Once you've made your characters, stay and perform a show on our stage. See you there!
2-4 p.m. Monday, June 18th, in the Puett Room. Best for ages 5 and up.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Great Websites for Kids

The Association for Library Services to Children’s Great Web Sites Committee has announced their Spring 2012 selections of web sites.  Great Web Sites for Kids are those considered the best web sites for children ages birth to 14, outstanding in both content and conception. As applied to web sites for young people, “great” should be thought to include sites of especially commendable quality, sites that reflect and encourage young people’s interests in exemplary ways.  Selection criteria for these sites can be found at:

Here is the list of the selections:

Make learning fun with a variety of educational computer games for kids. Learn new skills and improve old ones in areas such as math, language arts, and typing.

All About Birds
Learn all about birds in this website created by the Cornell Lab of Orinthology. Bird names, species, location and history are all featured. Also included are bird songs and videos.

CIA for Kids-Games
Find out what the CIA is all about, play games, and solve puzzles. Resources for various audiences including parents and teachers.

Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media helps parents make decisions about media and technology for their families. Information and advice is provided in a variety of formats including reviews, videos, and even lesson plans.

Generation on Youth Advisory Council
Whether you are looking for something to do after school or to fulfill a service requirement, you'll find inspiration to change the world around you here. This interactive website has a volunteer position search, blogs full of personal stories, and offers project tips from young people like you!

 Judy Schachner
Fun, festive, and full of fantastic resources, this author webpage includes interactive stories, games, print-outs, and educator resources.

PBS Kids Raising Readers Kids Island
Helps children develop and practice basic reading skills through online games and activities with their parent, teacher or caregiver.

Created by Jeff Kinney of "Wimpy Kid" fame, this virtual world invites young gamers to create a character and to undertake age-appropriate quests on over a dozen "islands" based on themes from history, nature, and human culture.

Seymour Simon
Called by the New York Times "the dean of [children's science] writers," Simon offers information about himself and his books (over 250 and counting!) on his official site, along with study guides, science news and videos, a science dictionary and more.

The New York Times Learning Network
The New York Times Learning Network provides teaching and learning materials and ideas based on NYT content. It includes lesson plans and resources for teachers as well as quizzes and activities for students 13 and older.

We Give Books
We Give Books enables children to read a book online and after doing so, a physical book will be donated to a child in need through literacy programs around the world. Created by the Penguin Group and the Pearson Foundation, it combines the promotion of literacy, both to the child reading online and the giving of books, and the concept of giving.

Monday, June 11, 2012

New Summer Story Time Schedule

We're back in action for story time this summer.  However, we've got a new schedule with new times!  Here's what the schedule looks like from now through mid-August:

Monday: Book Babies, for 0-12 months at 10:15 a.m.
Monday: Spanish Story Time, for all ages at 6:00 p.m.
Tuesday: Fun for Ones, for 12-24 months at 10:15 a.m. and 11:15 a.m.
Wednesday: Toddler Time, for ages 24-36 months at 10:15 a.m. and 11:15 a.m.
Friday: Family Story Time, for ages 0-6 years at 10:15 a.m. and 11:15 a.m.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Favorite Book Fridays: Steve Jenkins

I pretty much love everything by Steve Jenkins. It's pretty rare that I use non-fiction for story times, but his books are an exception.

Move! introduces different animals and the way they move in their own unique ways. The way an armadillo leaps straight up into the air when it is startled is a little different than the way a crocodile leaps toward its prey. It's hard to believe that the same word can be used to describe a jumping spider traveling through air as it spins its silk and a polar bear reclining on its back in icy waters: Float.

Any guesses what Actual Size is about? If you guessed that it shows the actual size of animals, you were right. See what it might be like to look straight into a great white shark's mouth. Compare the size of the smallest fish in the world (about 1/3 inch) to the largest moth (about 36 times that size!).

I bet you never knew a cricket has ears in its knees or a four-eyed fish can see above and below water at the same time. I didn't either, until I read What Do You Do With a Tail Like This?

Friday, June 1, 2012

Favorite Book Fridays- The Unwritten

I just finished the first volume in an adult graphic novel series, and I can't wait to read the next. The Unwritten series by Mike Carey and Peter Gross begins with Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity. When Tommy, was a kid, his father cast him (or at least his name and appearance) as the hero of his series of children's fantasy books about kids learning to be wizards while fighting dark forces. Sound familiar? The series becomes hugely popular and Tommy becomes an instant celebrity. When he is a teenager his father abandons him, and he is left to make a living on the convention circuit, signing books for crazed fans who often confuse him with the character he resembles only in name and hair style. However, strange evidence begins to surface, along with a cast of ominous characters, that Tommy may not be the ordinary guy he thinks he is, and magic may in fact be real.

Just imagine if Harry Potter was a real kid who was involuntarily cast in a story that becomes astronomically popular. Then Harry grows up and has to deal with this strange celebrity. Then magical things actually begin to happen to him. How would a lonely, bitter, unfulfilled adult deal with these circumstances? With courage? Cowardice? Disbelief? Read The Unwritten to find out.

Summer Reading Begins TODAY!

Today is June 1st...The FIRST DAY of SUMMER READING!!!!
Youth ages birth through 12th grade are elligible to participate! 
If you have a child who is not reading on their own, they can have someone read to them.

Come into the library anytime between now and July 30th to sign up.  Keep track of your reading by coloring in the stars on your reading record.  Then return your record to the children's desk anytime between July 15th and Agust 31st to claim your prizes, including a FREE BOOK of your choice and a discounted coupon for Oaks Park! (valid August 15-31)

Please register at only ONE Washington County Library. 
However, you are welcome to attend events at all libraries.