Monday, December 31, 2012

Janet's Top 10 Graphic Novel Picks for 2012

In no particulary order (just alphabetical) here are my top 10 children's graphic novel picks for 2012:

1. Adventures in Cartooning: Christmas Special by James Sturm, Andrew Arnold and Alexis Frederick-Frost
In this companion to Adventures in Cartooning, The Magic Cartooning Elf and his friend the Knight join forces to make a Christmas comic for Santa to give to all the boys and girls in the world.

Best friends Julie, Alia, and Lucie take ballet classes together at a local dance studio where they prepare for their upcoming performance of Sleeping Beauty while dealing with their vain classmate, Carla, who thinks she should be the star of the show.

3. Drama by Raina Telgemeier
Callie rides an emotional roller coaster while serving on the stage crew for a middle school production of Moon over Mississippi as various relationships start and end, and others never quite get going. 

Following Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword, Mirka returns to take on a misguided meteor who's been set in motion by the troll and turned into Mirka's twin by the witch. Doppelganger Mirka is out to best the real girl. The heroine will have to beat her own other self in a three-park challenge ... or be banished from Hereville! 

5. Hilda and the Midnight Giant by Luke Pearson
Hilda has always had a knack for making friends with mysterious creatures, until invisible elves try to evict her and her architect mother from their beloved, cozy mountain home

6. I'm Not a Plastic Bag: A Graphic Novel by Rachel Hope Allison
Allison's debut graphic novel brings to life the plight of our oceans in a moving fable about beauty, loneliness, and hope. It illuminates how our behavior as consumers is slowly destroying our beautiful oceans, and shows us how each person has a role to play in protecting the planet we call home.

In this second installment of the Zita the Spacegirl books, Zita is determined to find her way home to Earth, but her exploits have made her an intergallactic megastar, and as her true self is eclipsed by her public persona, she faces a robot doppelganger, unsure of who she can trust.

 8. Little White Duck: A Childhood in China by Andrés Vera Martínez and Na Liu
A young girl describes her experiences growing up in China, beginning with the death of Chairman Mao in 1976.

9. The Three Stooges: Bed Bugged and Other Stories by George Gladir
The knuckleheads try their hand at sumo wrestling, bug extermination, selling ice cream, and tackle other adventures in this first installment of the new Three Stooges series.

This graphic novel adaptation of the classic tale in which Meg Murry and her friends become involved with unearthly strangers and a search for Meg's father, who has disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government. 

Sunday, December 30, 2012

You Are Stardust

Looking for a non-fiction picture book that is an enjoyable read-aloud? I suggest You Are Stardust by Elin Kelsey. This book is an introduction to ecology for preschoolers. Kelsey’s prose reads like poetry, creating great imagery. The diorama-like illustrations add visual playfulness. While the illustrations are not designed to be a seek-and-find kind of experience, you'll discover new details in the artwork with subsequent readings.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Science News You Can Use!

Arlene Weible, Electronic Services Consultant from the Oregon State Library has put together this list of online science resources from the U.S. Fedral Government that children, teens, parents, and educators may find helpful.  Take a look!

Science Education  connects teachers and students to free, federally-funded Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education resources. Educators, students, and the public can go to and search via a single query and use (for free) the STEM education offerings of several leading science and technology agencies. Searches can be filtered by grade level and resource type. Another neat feature is the social networking aspect of the site. Members can actively enhance the site by “tagging” with subject terms; providing new content; providing general guidance and comments on the resources and rate the materials on the site. Members also have access to social media resources related to the site.

Science  is celebrating its 10 year anniversary and it is a great time to become acquainted with this powerful tool for locating free and authoritative science information from federal and state government agencies. At its core is the search tool. It indexes over 55 scientific databases across all science disciplines. The content it searches includes everything from peer-reviewed journal articles to social media sites from 13 federal science agencies. Other features on the site include up-to-the minute science news, the ability to browse science web sites by general subject, and a great site featuring science sites focused on Science Education. There is also a Spanish version of the site.

Everyday Mysteries: Fun Science Facts from the Library of Congress
This index answers questions like “Can it rain frogs, fish, and other objects?”, or “Does your heart stop when you sneeze?” with science facts and other science web resources.

NASA Kids Club
Great graphics, games and contests on space topics.

NIH Curriculum Supplement Series
Includes teacher’s guides to lessons on the science behind selected health topics. They combine cutting-edge biomedical discoveries with state-of-the-art instructional practices.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Great Websites for Kids for 2012

The Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association has announced that it has updated its Great Websites for Kids page, adding 28 website links that have kid appeal.  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.  Additional selection criteria can be found at:

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.

Bedtime Math
Modeled on the bedtime story tradition, Bedtime Math is a daily blog that offers daily math problems instead of stories. Math problems are offered in three levels of challenge (preschool, kindergarten through first or second grade, and second grade and up).

The Brown Bookshelf
The Brown Bookshelf is a blog that shares great books for all ages written by African American writers. Its mission is to increase awareness of the many African American voices writing for young readers.

Butterflies and Moths
An extensive and growing resource about the types of butterflies and moths that are found in North America, as well as where they are found. You can also learn how to identify butterflies and moths, find a list of which species live in your area, and report ones that you see in your backyard!

Chess Kid
In a safe environment, discover the rules and strategies of chess. Improve your game, memorization skills, patience and sportsmanship with free online games, tournaments and club matches with kids around the world.

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.

Climate Kids
Climate Kids offers kids clear answers to questions on global climate change through sections on weather, air, the ocean, fresh water, carbon, energy, plants and animals and technology. Includes educational games, activities, crafts, videos and information on green careers.

Computer Science Student Network (CS2N)
The Computer Science Student Network (CS2N) is a resource with engaging activities designed to teach students of all ages on how to program robots, animations, web pages, and games. CS2N is a collaborative research project between Carnegie Mellon University and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The site is designed to attract students who plan to pursue advanced Computer Science and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (CS-STEM) degrees.

Eyes on the Solar System
Control space and time with real NASA mission data. You can fly with NASA's Voyager or even hop on an asteroid all from the comfort of your own home or classroom.

Fraboom is the world's first LIVE interactive online children's museum. The site, which is ideal for children ages 6-12, specializes in engaging educational content that can work to strengthen the bonds between parents and kids through books, cartoons, classroom materials, websites, live presentations and interactive programming.

Fred Rogers Early Learning Environment
Early Learning Environment (Ele) helps parents and caregivers utilize media as a tool for PreK learning. The site offers a large number of learning activities in a variety of formats including songs, games, books, videos, and more.

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!

Jet Propulsion Laboratory
This NASA site has videos, games, and projects about outer space, the solar system, and space exploration.

Judy Schachner, Skippyjon Jones
Fun, festive, and full of fantastic resources, this author webpage includes interactive stories, games, print-outs, and educator resources. is the official kids' portal for the U.S. government. We link kids, parents and teachers to U.S. government information and services on the web from government agencies, schools, and educational organizations, all geared to the learning level and interest of kids.

Everything that people create or construct needs to be designed first--and whether the product is clothing or buildings, books, graphic art or gardens. This site offers just the tools to get young designers going on projects of their own. Those tools include design news, interviews with working designers in ten fields, suggestions for starter projects and even an online showcase for original work.

Money As You Grow
Learn important lessons about financial responsibility for all ages. This site was developed by the President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability.

The New York Times Education
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.

Olympic: The Official Website of the Olympic Movement
Find the winners of every event in every Olympics since 1896--along with slide shows and videos, career profiles of renowned athletes, virtual exhibitions about the ancient and modern Games, Olympics news, and descriptions of each sport.

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.

Poisson Rouge
This is an online play environment for the youngest of computer users. Learn vocabulary, shapes, numbers, music, time and much more. Poisson Rouge is structured in a way that makes it easy for very young children to navigate. There is a very broad scope of content.

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.

The Science Kids
Science kids provides fun and interesting information on science and technology, searchable by grade level. Find games, projects, activities and more!

SciJinks offers information for kids on the subjects of weather, the seasons and earth's place in the solar system. Includes facts, videos, and printable posters and bookmarks.

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.

Aimed at children from Pre-Kindergarten to second grade, this site offers over a thousand educational puzzles, games, projects, worksheets and more in areas from math and science to ESL and arts and crafts. Both paid and guest memberships are available.

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, December 24, 2012

All Ages Anime

On Saturday, December 29 from 2-4 we'll be celebrating one of my favorite traditions here at the library: All Ages Anime. I love screening Japanese animation for teens, and every winter and spring break I get to screen a fabulous anime film for everybody. Please bring the whole family to enjoy Studio Ghibli's Secret World of Arrietty (rated G). In this film, the Borrowers are tiny people that live among us in secret, but when tiny Arrietty meets human Shawn, the secret is out!

We'll also be providing Japanese snacks, games and crafts. Be there!

Friday, December 21, 2012

LEGO Construction Zone

Our next LEGO® Construction Zone will be held on Sunday December 283rd, 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!!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

December 22 Movie Matinee

Tigard Youth Advisory Council and Tigard Public Library present
for the whole family!

Saturday, December 22
2-4 p.m., Burgess Community Room, All Ages

Santa's youngest son Arthur uses his father's high-tech operation for an urgent Christmas Eve mission. Get in the holiday spirit with this joyful PG-rated movie and festive snacks.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

More Resources to Help Your Child

On Friday December 14th we posted a blog about resources to help you help your child during the wake of tragedy.  Today marks one week since the tragic shooting at the Clackamas Town Center.  We would like to offer you some additional resources that may be helpful to you when speaking to your child regarding tragic events.

American Academy of Pediatrics
Resources to Help Parents, Children and Others Cope in the Aftermath of School Shootings

How Do You Explain the Newtown Shooting to Kids

National Education Association
School Crisis Guide

Connecticut Education Association
Talking to Children About Violence

Save The Children
How to Help Children Cope with a Crisis

Sunday, December 16, 2012

John Jensen Feels Different

In this quirky story from Norwegian author Henrik Hovland, we find John Jensen, a crocodile who wonders why he feels different in the world. He spends several pages trying to change how he feels by changing how he looks. An unfortunate accident sends him to the emergency room where a doctor reassures him that feeling different in the world is perfectly normal. I liked this book because the message of accepting the things about yourself that make you different is one worth repeating. Those who have enjoyed the Lyle, Lyle Crocodile books, might enjoy this one, too.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Mary, Mary quite contrary how do your Readers Grow?

"The playing adult steps sideward into another reality; the playing child advances forward to new stages of mastery."  Erik H. Erikson.

As a child, my friend and I passed our free time at home doing what looked like nothing much at all.  Laying around in the grass, collecting wild flowers, rocks, sticks, pine cones, assorted snakes and hundreds and hundreds of woolly bears!  Which by the way, got out in my bedroom!  But that’s another story. 

Truly one of our favorite childhood summer wanderings involved making mud pies.  One summer we meticulously made and decorated  hundreds of chocolaty colored mud confections with my father's shaving cream.  We added flowers from my mother's garden and the most perfect rocks and sticks from our collections carefully adorned each gooey top.

We discussed everything about our beautiful creations. How many layers they should have? Should we use her father's worm mix?
Or better yet, his worms for the filling!  Should we hire the neighborhood boy we had a crush on for help? Who should be in charge of turning off the hose and digging the dirt? And of course, who should be the boss of the shop?

Our freewheeling unencumbered play allowed us to construct the most successful neighborhood bakery in summer vacation history! As we added each delicious ingredient to our make-believe play: imagination, concentration, cognitive skills, internal verbalization, conversation, persistence, problem-solving and growing task building skills we made up our own rules.  
We sold our sunbaked goodies to the neighbor kids who paid with marbles, cool colored rubber bands
and gum wrapper chains. Social networking at its finest. 
Our bold entry into the business world was constructed with endless scenarios and conversations that lasted all summer long.
Little did we know that as we surmounted each challenge of our imaginative enterprise, we were learning how to self-regulate our own behaviors which is an essential pre-literacy ingredient.  We enthusiastically contributed to the foundation of our own house of higher learning and ultimately our ability to read.

Who knew you could do all this playing with mud pies!

Suggested Reads:

Friday, December 14, 2012

Talking to your kids about tragedy

While we have observed some unfortunage tragedies in the news this week, perhaps your child may be asking you questions that may be difficult to answer.  We would like to help you share two websites that offer tips in talking to your kids:
PBS Parents: Mister Roger's Neighbor Hood, Helping Children with Scary News:
Addresses issues such as helping children feel secure, limiting your own television veiwing, talking and listening to your child, and helpful hints.
University of Minnesota Extension Service:
Offers pointers on how to talk to your children about violence against kids.  This is from their Preventing Violence in Our Scools Webpage

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Weekend Adventure: Candy Cane Crafts

Join us in making some Candy Cane Crafts!  Drop in anytime on Saturday, December 15th from 1:30-2:30 p.m. in the Puett Room, to get creative with a favorite seasonal confection, the candy cane! Make your own googly-eyed reindeer, beaded candy cane ornament, and a curly-tailed mouse. Squeak squeak!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Writing Workshop For Teens

Registration had already begun for a writing workshop for teens that will meet for four sessions, January 8, 15, 22 and 29. Do you have a teen in your life (in grade 8 and up) who loves to write, could use some guidance on a story or character, and would like to learn more about the writing process? They should Register now for a four week writing workshop taught by Kate Ristau, a folklorist, author and writing instructor at Western Oregon University. In the final session, we will publish a journal of the finished writing projects. Registration required. Stop by the Children’s Reference Desk or call 503-718-2656 to register.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Super Tuesday Magic Show

Join us on December 11th at 7 p.m.
The Parlor of Wonders Magic Show with Tim Alexander, Master of Marvels
in the Burgess Community Room!

Do you know what prestidigitation is? Find out at a magic show filled with wonder, laughs, music and authentic prestidigitation! You won’t believe your eyes as Alexander, Master of Marvels, makes objects appear, vanish, then reappear! Be amazed as the Master of Marvels himself performs the awe-inspiring library trick! You won’t want to miss this one, folks.

Friday, December 7, 2012

And the honor goes to...

...Jan Thomas!!!

Up to this point, my story times all center around a certain theme. But I have some favorite authors, and so I decided to plan some author story times. So Jan Thomas has the great honor of being the first. And she deserves it. I think I have probably blogged about her before, but she is GREAT! Her books are so much fun for ages 2 to 6. They really encourage active participation by your child which is a great way to develop the early literacy skill, print motivation, or in other words, enjoyment of books.

I just have to share the Rhyming Dust Bunnies that the kids created to hang on our bulletin board in the story time room.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Seasonal Concert

Popular rock/pop violinist Aaron Meyer will perform a rare FREE holiday concert featuring music from his holiday CD's on Monday, December 3, at 7:00 p.m. in the Burgess Community Room.  The concert is open to all ages and will be quite a memorable musical performance not to be missed!  To learn more about Aaron, visit