EVPL Communities: UndergroundLibrarian@evpl's Blog Postshttp://evpl.org/community/blogs/All of UndergroundLibrarian@evpl's blog posts on the EVPL Communities site.en-USCommunityServer 2008 SP1 (Build: 30619.63) <![CDATA[Never Race a Runaway Pumpkin]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2009/10/08/never-race-a-runaway-pumpkin.aspx Thu, 08 Oct 2009 14:20:00 G10T 1896 UndergroundLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/" target="_blank">Kids Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2009/10/08/never-race-a-runaway-pumpkin.aspx to post your comments!

never race a runaway pumpkinThis is #7 in the Roscoe Riley Rules series by Katherine Applegate.  It's just the thing for October! First-grader Roscoe is all excited about guessing the weight of the giant pumpkin in the bookstore window to win books for his school library -- and candy for himself.  But his superstitious nature takes over when he encounters a black kitten there.

Roscoe's teacher uses this opportunity to discuss estimating, along with superstitions.  And she does her best with him, but as he says, "Ms. Diz had that I-need-a-nap look she sometimes gets, but usually not until the ned of the day." Roscoe seems to be sitting in the time-out chair a lot -- he starts the story there, and the rest of the book tells how he got there. 

Roscoe reminds me a little of Junie B. Jones because he always seems to be in one scrape or another, but he does not use the kind of baby talk that Junie B. Jones does.  These are good beginning chapter books.

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kids boys katherine applegate
<![CDATA[Underpants On My Head]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2009/10/07/underpants-on-my-head.aspx Wed, 07 Oct 2009 19:00:00 G10T 1890 UndergroundLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/" target="_blank">Kids Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2009/10/07/underpants-on-my-head.aspx to post your comments!

underpants on my headWe just got 2 new juvenile fiction books by Jessica Harper.  The first in the series  is  Uh-oh Cleo. The second is Uh-oh, Cleo, Underpants on my Head.  They say you're not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but who ever said anything about its title? I went directly to the Underpants book.  Given the success of all the Captain Underpants books that Dav Pilkey has written, I'd say kids will pick this up. Unlike Pilkey's books, this one is based on an event  that took place in Jessica Harper's youth. At 60 pages, it's aimed at young readers, and Cleo, who tells the story, is an eight-year-old girl. 

You know right from the beginning about the underpants thing.  It starts like this:  "Two things you hardly ever see are snow in summer and underpants on my head. But if you'd been on Mount Baldy last August 19th, you'd have seen both at once!"

And just to be sure you realize that this story really came from Jessica Harper's own childhood, the picture on the back flap gives you the chance to see a young Jessica and her brother wearing their spare underpants on their heads during a snowstorm.  Yep, it looks like her dad really did take a picture.

Cleo and her family have several other adventures on their vacation from Illinois to Colorado, and the rest of them are typical family adventures.  Well, typical if there are 6 kids in your family, with 3 of them being young enough to provide plenty of entertainment for all the rest of the airplane passengers.

Jessica Harper ends Cleo's account by having Cleo think of some other family adventures she could write about.  This could be a way to get kids started on writing stories from their own adventures -- even if they have never worn underpants on their heads.

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family stories jessica harper
<![CDATA[The Next Newbery?]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2009/10/05/the-next-newbery.aspx Mon, 05 Oct 2009 14:30:00 G10T 1866 UndergroundLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/" target="_blank">Kids Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2009/10/05/the-next-newbery.aspx to post your comments!

when you reach meI've just read a review of When You Reach Me from our EVPL Newsletters.  The reviewer fully expects this book to win the next Newbery Award and/or be high on all the best children's books of the year lists.  (Click here to read that review.)  Rebecca Stead has written a book that begins with 12-year-old Miranda in the 1979-1980 school year. 

It seems to be in the realistic fiction category, albeit with some wacky people, perhaps the wackiest being the homeless man who sleeps on the sidewalk with his head under the mailbox.  And Miranda does receive some notes that are scary and unnerving because 1) they are unsigned and 2) they make predictions that all come true.  But by the time I finished reading this book, I decided that it belongs in a different category.

I'd love to read other people's opinions.  What do you think?  Do you think, in the reviewer's words, "it's that good"?

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Newbery book lists rebecca stead
<![CDATA[Mystery at the Club Sandwich]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2009/09/23/mystery-at-the-club-sandwich.aspx Wed, 23 Sep 2009 13:41:00 G9T 1864 UndergroundLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/" target="_blank">Kids Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2009/09/23/mystery-at-the-club-sandwich.aspx to post your comments!

mystery at the club sandwichEverybody likes a good mystery, right?  And a good detective, too.  Nick Trunk is a great detective  -- that's his picture there on the cover.  He works for peanuts -- not bad, since he's an elephant. Doug Cushman tells and illustrates this picture book in the style of the old detective stories and movies, hence the black and white illustrations.  Just in case we miss this point, he dedicates the book to Sam, Phil and Dashiell.

This mystery is  about Lola Gale, a foxy -- oops, a fox -- singer at the nightclub called Club Sandwich. When her lucky marbles get stolen (okay, they say she's lost her marbles), she sends her assistant  to Nick Trunk for help.  NIck narrates this story, and when he sees Maggie come in he  tells us that she looks like trouble.  She is.  Her name is Maggie Trouble.

Clues?  A very expensive brand of peanut butter called La Peanut Goo and an ostrich feather.  And who uses those things? It turns out that several people  --er, animals -- who work at Club Sandwich dol  So who's the thief?  The magician who performs the Disappearing Peanut Butter Jar trick?  The chef who uses an ostrich feather to spread peanut butter on his culinary creations?  Maggie herself with her ostrich feather boa?  You can find out by reading Mystery at the Club Sandwich.

Doug Cushman has illustrated many picture books including those he has written himself.  We have lots of them in our library collection.  This one is fun to read for kids and adults, too.

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picture books doug cushman mystery
<![CDATA[Lucy Long Ago: Uncovering the Mystery of Where We Came From]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2009/09/14/lucy-long-ago-uncovering-the-mystery-of-where-we-came-from.aspx Mon, 14 Sep 2009 15:48:00 G9T 1849 UndergroundLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/" target="_blank">Kids Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2009/09/14/lucy-long-ago-uncovering-the-mystery-of-where-we-came-from.aspx to post your comments!

When they found her fossilized bones in 1974, the scientists had a tape recording of the Beatles'  Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.  They were so excited at their discovery that they played it over and over.  So the hominid uncovered in Hadar, Ethiopia, has come to be called Lucy. 

Catherine Thimmesh has written numerous award-winning nonfiction children's books.  In Lucy Long Ago she turns her attention to the discovery of the oldest, most complete fossil skeleton ever found, and the earliest one to be bipedal, or walking on two feet.  She follows the scientists in their work from Ethiopia to a lab in Cleveland, Ohio. There are lots of questions. 

How did Donald Johanson get the pieces safely to Cleveland?  By packing them carefully in toilet paper into a carry on suitcase which he held on his lap the whole way. Thimmesh goes into detailed descriptions, complete with photos and drawings, of how the scientists went about reconstructing the fossilized pieces into what they feel is their original shape. 

How did they find their answers?  By examining the bones.  In this attractively laid-out book every so often is a section entitled And the Bones Said. . .  Reading these sections will show how the scientists answer: *Was the skeleton adult or child? *Was it male or female? *Have people found examples of Lucy-types before, or was she the first? *How old is Lucy? *Could Lucy walk?

Then there is the work of paleo-artist John Gurche. He spent 15 months creating a sculpture of Lucy.  Catherine Thimmish explains how he started with the bones and used educated guesses to progress from there to create the sculpture -- how he developed muscle, eyes, hair, skin color, etc.  She concludes that chapter with "It is the image that really makes us wonder . . . is that what Lucy looked like?"

While this book is in the children's area, it is equally fascinating for adults, and at 63 pages, is quite manageable.  Sources, websites, and index are included.

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nonfiction lucy paleoanthropology
<![CDATA[Looking For a Classic Children's Book?]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2009/09/14/looking-for-a-classic-children-s-book.aspx Mon, 14 Sep 2009 13:52:00 G9T 1835 UndergroundLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/" target="_blank">Kids Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2009/09/14/looking-for-a-classic-children-s-book.aspx to post your comments!

Sometimes it's good to read a brand new book, and sometimes you're looking for one that you know is tried and true.  Every so often, Horn Book publishes a current list of children's classics.  Their most recent compilation was published in April.  Categories include For the Very Young, Picture Books, For Beginning Readers, Stories, Echos of Times Past, Myths, and Nonfiction.  To see their list click here.  I found so many old favorites here. I bet you'll find something that you really loved as a child yourself, and many that you will want to share with the children in your life. 

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classics book lists
<![CDATA[Know Any Budding Authors? ]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2009/08/28/know-any-budding-authors.aspx Fri, 28 Aug 2009 13:46:00 G8T 1805 UndergroundLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/" target="_blank">Kids Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2009/08/28/know-any-budding-authors.aspx to post your comments!

A Book is the book for them!  Mordicai Gerstein has written and illustrated this picture book about a family who lived in a book. "When the book was closed it was night in the book and the family slept.  When the book was open it was morning and the family woke up."  Then all the characters woke up and went off into their own stories. 

Every story has a problem, and here is this one: The girl doesn't have a story.  So she starts off to find one.  In the process she encounters stories of all types, and lots of familiar characters (if you've been reading your Mother Goose and fairy tales and Alice in Wonderland, etc.)

At first glance, the illustrations seem to be from an odd angle  --   we seem to be viewing everyone from above, complete with their shadows.  THen a goose tellls the girl to look up, where she is terrified to see a "huge...blobby thing that looks something like a face!"  The goose explains that what she sees is a reader.  In other words, us!

This would be a good way to give a quick introduction to mysteries, science fiction, historical fiction, and the like.  And in the end the girl starts writing her own story -- a good time for your young reader to do the same.

Mordicai Gerstein was awarded the 2004 Caldecott Medal for The Man Who Walked Between the Towers, a true account of those events.  A Book shows his fanciful side -- he has a great imagination!

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Caldecott fairy tales child authors mordicai gerstein
<![CDATA[9-Year-Old Author Tells How To Talk To Girls, Moms, Dads, and Santa!]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2009/08/20/9-year-old-author-tells-how-to-talk-to-almost-anyone.aspx Thu, 20 Aug 2009 14:45:00 G8T 1786 UndergroundLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/" target="_blank">Kids Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2009/08/20/9-year-old-author-tells-how-to-talk-to-almost-anyone.aspx to post your comments!

Alec Greven wrote his first self help book at the age of 9 when he was in the third grade in Castle Rock, Colorado, as a school assignment.  Then he sold copies of it at his school book fair for $3.00.  Now he has a publisher, HarperCollins, and he's taken his advice to such tv spots as Ellen, the Tonight Show, and others.  Alec's first book is How to Talk To Girls, based on his observations at Soaring Hawk Elementary School.  I love the end of that book:  "Whatever happens, don't let it make you crazy.  That's it.  I am all out of ideas.  Good-bye!  Good luck!"

But apparently he really wasn't all out of ideas, because he went on to write How to Talk to Moms and How To Talk to Dads, and coming out this fall is How To Talk to Santa.

Alec is one cool character.  You can click here for  the HarperCollins page on Alec to see an interview with him on How to Talk to Girls.  But what I want to know is, has Alec's advice worked for him?   I haven't found the answer to that anywhere.

                                                                                         

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child authors alec greven self help
<![CDATA[It's a Duck! No, it's a Rabbit! It's Duck! Rabbit!]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2009/08/20/it-s-a-duck-no-it-s-a-rabbit-it-s-duck-rabbit.aspx Thu, 20 Aug 2009 09:43:00 G8T 1785 UndergroundLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/" target="_blank">Kids Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2009/08/20/it-s-a-duck-no-it-s-a-rabbit-it-s-duck-rabbit.aspx to post your comments!

Duck! Rabbit!OK, now it's your turn to take a good look at the picture on the front of this book, and it's nice and big so you can really study it.  The two unseen characters inside are in disagreement.  One thinks it's a duck quacking, and the other thinks it's a rabbit sniffing. 

"It's a duck.  And he's about to eat a pice of bread."  "It's a rabbit.  And he's about to eat a carrot."  They even try investigating through some binoculars, but that doesn't help, either.

So what do you think?  Is it a duck?  Is it a rabbit?

Amy Crouse Rosenthal (author of Little Pea, Little Hoot, and Little Oink) and Tom Lichtenheld have corroborated on this picture book that show us there's more than one way to look at something.

Get a copy of Duck! Rabbit! and see what you think!

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picture books point of view book review
<![CDATA[Does Your Toddler Love Vehicles?]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2009/07/28/another-good-book-for-transportation-loving-toddlers.aspx Tue, 28 Jul 2009 17:35:00 G7T 1698 UndergroundLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/" target="_blank">Kids Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2009/07/28/another-good-book-for-transportation-loving-toddlers.aspx to post your comments!

Jennifer Riggs Vetter has written a variation of the old song Down by The Station, with lots of modes of transportation.  Of course there's the tried and true train to begin with, but this version goes on to include school buses, trucks, exdown by the stationcavators, airplanes, boats, and more, up to a double page spread of a rocket.  Illustrations are by Frank Remkiewicz, who has also illustrated the Froggy books by Jonathan London. Young kids who like transportation -- i think that must include every boy -- and kids who like illustrated songs will have a lot of fun with this.

Don't know the tune, or it's been so long you're not sure of it any more?  You can hear it at www.tricyclepress.com, according to the inside front jacket.

Puff puff vroom vroom  Off you go!

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picture books songs jennifer riggs vetter transportation
<![CDATA[Sitting Down To Eat]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2009/06/12/sitting-down-to-eat.aspx Fri, 12 Jun 2009 13:23:00 G6T 1598 UndergroundLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/" target="_blank">Kids Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2009/06/12/sitting-down-to-eat.aspx to post your comments!

sitting down to eat

 

Author Bill Harley calls this a "zipper" song. He defines a zipper song as one where each verse is the same except for one word being changed. He gives as an example Pete Seeger's If I Had a Hammer.  In Sitting Down to Eat, the singer relates the story of being all set to eat when an animal appears and askes to join him.  "If you've got  enough for one, then you've got enough for two,"  the animal reasons, and that always makes sense to the singer.  This continues until there are nine animals (well, 8 animals and the singer) sitting down to eat, including a crocodile and even a whale.  But when the tiny caterpillar asks to join them, it's just too much.  

This would be a good story to tell with the audience joining in -- they'll be able to remember the refrain easily.

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reviews picture books book review bill harley
<![CDATA[A Fabulous Folktale!]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2009/05/20/a-fabulous-folktale.aspx Wed, 20 May 2009 18:06:00 G5T 1520 UndergroundLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/" target="_blank">Kids Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2009/05/20/a-fabulous-folktale.aspx to post your comments!

enormous turnipFolktales are a tried and true genre of children's books.  They are invariably successful with children.  Recently I shared The Enormous Carrot by Vladimor Vagin with several groups of school age children.  There are numerous versions of this tale, most involving a turnip rather than a carrot. (When I mentioned that to my audience, I discovered that they did not know what a turnip was --maybe that's why Vladimor Vagin changed his vegetable to a carrot.)

  Repetition is always good, and this tale has that, with just enough variation to keep readers/listeners interested. It's on the order of The Mitten  by Jan Brett, but it shows the importance of teamwork to achieve a goal.   And I like that Vagin shows us so many ways to say yes:  naturally, glad to, absolutely, to name a few. 

 This title was a Young Hoosier Book in 2000-2001.  I think you'll like it!

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Young Hoosier books book review folktales
<![CDATA[Looking For a Good Book For Boys Age 8 - 12? Or Anyone Else?]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2009/05/01/looking-for-a-good-book-for-boys-age-8-12-or-anyone-else.aspx Fri, 01 May 2009 12:48:00 G5T 1465 UndergroundLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/" target="_blank">Kids Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2009/05/01/looking-for-a-good-book-for-boys-age-8-12-or-anyone-else.aspx to post your comments!

smokeSmoke by Mavis Jukes might be just what you need.  Colton, age 12, has a huge Maine Coon cat named Smoke. Colton's mother has decided they need to leave Idaho to live on a ranch in California.   Colton is not real excited about the move, but he doesn't complain, and of course Smoke goes along.  Colton starts school there and makes new friends, but then Smoke disappears.  If you read the back of the book, you will discover that Colton sees a mountain lion. At the time Colton is all alone and he has told no one else where he is. 

This may be the most exciting part of the book, or maybe how Colton protects himself is.  But what else I like about Smoke is the characterization of all the people.  Even though some people may not have a huge part in the plot, they are all well developed, each with his/her own personality.   From Colton's teacher through his mother, rodeo-riding father, friends, on down to his father's new fiancee and the kid in Colton's class who seems to rub most everybody the wrong way, each person seems like someone I  know now.

Horn Book says Smoke is "Well worth reading for the unusual setting and point of view as well as Juke's deft, uniquely direct characterizations, whererin everyone comes off as believable." 

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book review boys smoke mavis jukes
<![CDATA[The Book Whisperer]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2009/04/27/the-book-whisperer.aspx Mon, 27 Apr 2009 11:16:00 G4T 1452 UndergroundLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/" target="_blank">Kids Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2009/04/27/the-book-whisperer.aspx to post your comments!

Donalyn Miller wrote this adult book explaining how she uses an independent reading program in her sixth grade classroom.  She is so enthusiastic about book whispererreading that it is worth looking at this book, whether you're a teacher or not.  Her enthusiasm and positive attitude toward reading rub off on her students.  It also doesn't hurt that she expects them to be reading independently during part of each class period. But in addition she expects her students to have a book with them at all times, so they can be reading at any opportune moment. 

One appendix is very good for anyone interested in books for middle school age kids.  She asked her students to create this list of books that they thought should be available in every fifth- through eighth-grade classroom.  She intended it to stop at 100 titles, but she says her students stretched it out from there. I would estimate that it has about 130 titles, all books that her 6th graders recommend. This would be an excellent list for anyone looking for books to recommend to someone in this age range. 

 It's just great to read about a classrooom where reading is so important, and to see her methods succeed in helping her students do well on their achievement tests.  It's also great to read how enthusiastic and positive the students are, many of whom have not been avid readers before.  I highly recommend The Book Whisperer.

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reading lists books
<![CDATA[Say That Fast Three Times!]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2009/04/08/say-that-fast-three-times.aspx Wed, 08 Apr 2009 19:06:00 G4T 1407 UndergroundLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/" target="_blank">Kids Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2009/04/08/say-that-fast-three-times.aspx to post your comments!

orangutan tongsJon Agee has a new book called Orangutan Tongs, and the subtitle is a perfect description -- Poems to Tangle Your Tongue.  I found myself wanting to read them out loud.  Here's the beginning of a real tongue twister: 

     A three-toed tree toad tried to tie/ A two-toed tree toad's shoe. / But tying two-toed shoes is hard /For three-toed toads to do, /Since three-toed shoes each have three toes, /And two-toed shoes have two.

It goes on from there.  I think my favorite, though, is "Purple-Paper People."  I just like the idea of there being people "who use paper /That is colored only purple. /They are in the Purple-Paper People Club."

Agee illustrates each poem, and that adds to the fun.  As for my favorite illustration, I'm torn between the Purple-Paper People and the picture of the unkempt camp.

Jon Agee obviously likes to play with words.  One of his earlier books is Go Hang a Salami!  I'm a Lasagna Hog!And Other Palindromes.  But for several years now I have been partial to his Milo's Hat Trick, in which a bear saves a down-on-his-luck magician by jumping out of his hat.

 

 

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poetry jon agee authors and illustrators
<![CDATA[Ooh la la! Fancy Nancy Party!]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2009/04/08/ooh-la-la-fancy-nancy-party.aspx Wed, 08 Apr 2009 13:52:00 G4T 1403 UndergroundLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/" target="_blank">Kids Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2009/04/08/ooh-la-la-fancy-nancy-party.aspx to post your comments!

Dress up in your fancy clothes and accessories for our Fancy Nancy and Fancy Clancy Soiree  -- that's fancy for party! 

We'll make fancy accessories, practice fancy behavior, and model on the red carpet.

Of course we'll read a Fancy Nancy book, darling!

Boys and girls ages from age 4 to grade 3, come to Oaklyn Branch Library on Thursday, April 16, for our Fancy Nancy Party!  We'll get started at 3:30 and do fancy things until 4:30.   Here are some of the things we have planned: Girls, we'll be making tiaras and bracelets;  Boys, we'll be making crowns and power collars.  Everybody will get a chance to come down the red carpet!  Who knows -- we might even make butterflies, in honor of Fancy Nancy, Bonjour, Butterfly!

Fancy Nancy books are great, and we're going to have a great time at our soiree, as Fancy Nancy would say!

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oaklyn branch easy readers craft program crafts activities fancy nancy
<![CDATA[More Supernatural Love Stories]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/teens/archive/2009/02/25/more-supernatural-love-stories.aspx Wed, 25 Feb 2009 19:16:00 G2T 1303 UndergroundLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/teens/" target="_blank">Teens Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/teens/archive/2009/02/25/more-supernatural-love-stories.aspx to post your comments!

love is hell  Love Is Hell.  That's the title of this book of short stories, each one by a different author and each one containing a supernatural being.  And as in all good supernatural love stories, it takes the girl a while to discover that the boy she is interested in is indeed not exactly human.  Scott Westerfield's story is exclusively about humans, but it's set in the future when humans have so many other powers  -- this story is about a class in school where each kid has to give up some modern attribute and try living without it for a while. How he fits this into a love story makes for interesting reading.  Other stories include faery folk, selkies, and of course ghosts. All of them are good!

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fantasy supernatural love stories
<![CDATA[Another Good Story by Cornelia Funke]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2009/02/25/another-good-story-by-cornelia-funke.aspx Wed, 25 Feb 2009 18:23:00 G2T 1302 UndergroundLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/" target="_blank">Kids Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2009/02/25/another-good-story-by-cornelia-funke.aspx to post your comments!

thief lord  Besides the Inkheart series, Cornelia Funke has also written The Thief Lord, another exciting story.  Recently-orphaned Prosper and his little brother Bo have run away from Germany to Venice to escape their mean aunt who is trying to adopt Bo. By great good fortune they fall in with a group of cildren who are living in an abandoned movie theater, led by yet another child who calls himself the Thief Lord.  It seems that he breaks into very exclusive places to come by the loot that he gives the "gang" to sell to the adult fence, Barbarossa.  Things get more and more confusing as the mean aunt and uncle arrive in Venice and recruit a detective to find the boys.  And what is the Thief Lord being asked to steal by the secretive Conte?  And where does the Thief Lord live, anyway, since it isn't the movie theater with the rest of them?  How canall these things possibly fit together?  Read The Thief Lord and find out!

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cornelia funke adventure stories
<![CDATA[We Are the Ship]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2009/02/25/famous-relatives-revisited.aspx Wed, 25 Feb 2009 18:16:00 G2T 1290 UndergroundLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/" target="_blank">Kids Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2009/02/25/famous-relatives-revisited.aspx to post your comments!

Three cheers for  We Are the Ship! I wrote about this book earlier, and said I thought it might be a good candidate for the Caldecott Award.  It didn't win that, but it did win the Sibert Award, for the most distinguished informational children's book of the year, along with the Coretta Scott King Author Award, and it was an honor book for the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award.  Hurrah for Kadir Nelson, the author and illustrator! He writes this  account of the history of the Negro League Baseball from the point of view of the old-timers themselves.  Since it's about baseball, there are nine innings -- er, chapters, all illustrated with full page portraits of the baseball players in Kadir Nelson's beautiful artwork.  Yes, it's a children's book, but adults will enjoy it, too.

we are the ship

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Newbery Kadir Nelson Coretta Scott King authors and illustrators
<![CDATA[Have You Seen INKHEART?]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2009/02/21/have-you-seen-inkheart.aspx Sat, 21 Feb 2009 11:07:00 G2T 1278 UndergroundLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/" target="_blank">Kids Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2009/02/21/have-you-seen-inkheart.aspx to post your comments!

It's very seldom that I make it to a movie theater, but watching this movie during the recent power outage provided a welcome warm spot for me!  And I really enjoyed it -- besides the obvious heat in the building, I mean! I had earlier devoured the book by Cornelia Funke, and that's why I  picked this movie to watch.  It's a swashbuckling fantasy where 12-year-old Meggie discovers why her mother has been missing  for the last nine years -- when her father had read a book aloud he unknowingly  brought some characters of the book into this world, and Meggie's mother was taken back into the book in exchange.  Ever since, Meggie's dad has been looking for a copy of  the book, so he can read his wife back into this world.  And guess what the title of the book is?  Inkheart!

Cornelia Funke has written 2 more stories about the Inkheart world, Inkspell and Inkdeath.  I haven't read them yet, but they're on my list!

Inkheart     Inkspell     Inkdeath

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movies cornelia funke
<![CDATA[It's a Fairy Tale! It's an Alphabet Book! It's an Art Book! It's a Cookbook!]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2009/02/11/it-s-a-fairy-tale-it-s-an-alphabet-book-it-s-an-art-book-it-s-a-cookbook.aspx Wed, 11 Feb 2009 19:30:00 G2T 1233 UndergroundLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/" target="_blank">Kids Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2009/02/11/it-s-a-fairy-tale-it-s-an-alphabet-book-it-s-an-art-book-it-s-a-cookbook.aspx to post your comments!

It's Carmine: A Little More Red by Melissa Sweet!  This LIttle Red Riding Hood version  has a main character named Carmine.  The first page shows  the word ALPHABET (Granny taught Carmine to read by putting together the letters in her alphabet soup.) The second page shows the word BEWARE (Granny phoned to invite Carmine for alphabet soup, and told her to look out for the wolf that  Granny heard howling last night.) The next page features the word CLUTTER (Carmine rummaged through her clutter to gather her art materials for the trip.) 

With a name like Carmine, as you can imagine, Carmine felt that any of her paintings could be improved by adding a little more red.  In fact, that's what causes her to stray FARTHER (the word on the f page) off the path --and we all know what happens then! Except in this story it's not Carmine who talks to the wolf, but her quivering, quaking dog Rufus. And thus the s page, SURREAL ("Rufus began to bark, and the wolf knew exactly what he was saying. SURREAL as it may seem, dogs are descendants of wolves, and it made sense that the wolf could understand his language.")

I especially like the page for the letter u ("USUALLY the neighbors are home and would have heard Granny's cry for help.  And USUALLY a woodcutter is around, but on this day he was deep in the woods, felling trees for a treehouse.")

 So there you have it: the fairy tale, the alphabet, and the art.  But what about the cookbook?  On the back end page is the recipe for Granny's Alphabet Soup!  As Carmen says on the v page, VOILA!

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picture books fairy tales LIttle Red Riding Hood
<![CDATA[Like Animals? Zoobooks Are For You!]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2009/01/25/like-animals-zoobooks-are-for-you.aspx Sun, 25 Jan 2009 16:47:00 G1T 1188 UndergroundLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/" target="_blank">Kids Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2009/01/25/like-animals-zoobooks-are-for-you.aspx to post your comments!

Zoobooks magazine is published monthly.  Each issue specializes in one animal or type of animal, and you can find out lots of info from reading it!  While I am here in READ Center in Central LIbrary this Sunday, I see issues on skunks, koalas, lions, and zebras.  The January issue is on dinosaurs, and includes discussions and diagrams of their brain size, the density of their bones, comparisons to crocodiles and birds, and theories of why they died out.  What makes scientists think plant-eating dinosaurs traveled in herds?  How do artists come up with pictures of dinosaurs in their skin, since what people have found are bones?  How do they know that younger dinosaurs traveled in the middle of the herd?  You can find out by reading the January issue of Zoobooks.  You will find Zoobooks in the children's section of READ, East Branch, Oaklyn, North Park, Red Bank, and Stringtown.

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mccollough branch east branch north park branch oaklyn branch red bank branch animals dinosaurs magazines
<![CDATA[Former Newbery Award Winner Coming Here!]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2009/01/15/former-newbery-award-winner-coming-here.aspx Thu, 15 Jan 2009 13:49:00 G1T 1139 UndergroundLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/" target="_blank">Kids Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2009/01/15/former-newbery-award-winner-coming-here.aspx to post your comments!

I love to hear authors speak about their books.  This March, Patricia MacLachlan is coming to Central Library as part of the Evansville Area Reading Council Young Authors Program.  She is the 1986 Newbery Award winner (best American children's novel as selected by American Library Association)  for Sarah, Plain and Tall.  I heard her speak several years ago at Butler University and really enjoyed her talk. While traveling to a speaking engagement one time she was to be met at an airport by someone she did not know, but she headed straight to the right person --he was holding a sign that said, "Jeremy, Small and Short."  In at least one of her books she has a character saving a handfull of dirt from a place important to them.  This is something she does herself. I fully expect her upcoming presentation to be equally entertaining.

Patricia MacLachlan has written several books before Sarah and a large number afterwards, including a continuation of the adventures of Anna and Caleb and their family. Some of them are available on DVD, including Sarah Plain and Tall starring Glenn Close. When I heard her speak, she was trying to prevent her Sarah family from being made into a tv series the way Little House on the Prairie was, on the theory that it went on and on far  too long and lost track of the original idea.  It will be interesting to see if she has comments on the media that has been made from her works.

To see the books in EVPL by Patricia MacLachlan, click here.

So many of her books are so good!  I really like Sarah, of course, and Through Edward's Eyes, a much more contemporary story.  What's your favorite?

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dvd Newbery Sarah MacLachlan authors and illustrators
<![CDATA[If You Were President, Would You . . .]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2009/01/08/if-you-were-president-would-you.aspx Thu, 08 Jan 2009 16:41:00 G1T 1113 UndergroundLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/" target="_blank">Kids Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2009/01/08/if-you-were-president-would-you.aspx to post your comments!

lower gas prices? give money to the poor? bring the soldiers back? make smoking illegal? require everyone to graduate from high school? help keep the earth clean? try to bring peace to the world?

OR would you . . .give out more ice cream? make more toys? outlaw gym class?

OR would you start by throwing a big party?

These are some the the responses we've received at Oaklyn Branch to our kids' form "If I were President I would . . ."  We'll keep posting these on the bulletin board in the kids' area this month.  If you're a kid, come fill out a form yourself, and we'll put it up. If you're not a kid, come see the good ideas our kids have, and be reassured that we have many very thoughtful young people around here.

And in the meantime, what would you do if you were President?  I especially like the replies that said they'd throw a big party, because that's just about the first thing a new President does after he's elected.

 

 

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oaklyn branch presidents U.S. Presidents
<![CDATA[What Do You Think Is the Best Picture Book of the Year?]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2009/01/06/what-s-do-you-think-is-the-best-picture-book-of-the-year.aspx Tue, 06 Jan 2009 15:56:00 G1T 1106 UndergroundLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/" target="_blank">Kids Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2009/01/06/what-s-do-you-think-is-the-best-picture-book-of-the-year.aspx to post your comments!

You can help decide! 

If you're an adult, you're invited to the Mock Caldecot program at Central Library's Browning Events Room this Thursday, Jan. 8 from 8:00 to 11:00 am.  We'll look at some of the most highly rated picture books of the year, and discuss and vote for our favorite, using the criteria that the American Library Association Caldecott Committee uses to select the Caldecott Award winning picture book of the year.

If you're a school age kid, you're invited to bring a parent with you to Oaklyn Branch Library on Tuesday evening Jan. 20 from 6:30 to 7:30 pm.  Or if you're an adult and can't make it this Thursday morning, we'd love to have you at Oaklyn on the 20th.  We'll be doing the same thing on a shorter time schedule.

If you can't make it to either of these events, or even if you can, we'd love to see you opinions here  -- What do you think is the best picture book of 2008?  A few criteria:  Illustrator must be an American citizen, and the book must have been first published in 2008, and any picture book suitable for children up to the age of 14 may be considered.

 

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oaklyn branch Caldecott ALA Awards family program
<![CDATA[Do You have a Famous Relative?]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/12/22/do-you-have-a-famous-relative.aspx Mon, 22 Dec 2008 13:34:00 G12T 1052 UndergroundLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/" target="_blank">Kids Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/12/22/do-you-have-a-famous-relative.aspx to post your comments!

Every family has a relative who is their claim to fame. Mine is Branch Rickey, the man who hired Jackie Robinson, the first African American to play in major league baseball. 

 Now Kadir Nelson has written and illustrated We Are The Ship; The Story of Negro League BaseballWe Are the Ship, and he's even included a painting of Branch Rickey!  Pretty realistic, too, although I think his eyebrows were even more bushy. And Nelson points out that Branch Rickey would not have been able to make his integrating hire if it were not for a new baseball commissioner being elected in 1944, A. B. "Happy" Chandler. Chandler was quoted as saying " If a colored boy can make it on Okinawa and Guadalcanal . . .[i.e., serving in world War II]  he can make it in baseball."  My family had never heard of  Happy Chandler, but I sure heard about Branch Rickey.

The reviewers are saying great things about this book, and not because of my relative.  Nelson's artwork shows individual portraits of star players as if they are on the baseball field.  HIs pictures make you want to just keep looking at them.  Looks to me like a good candidate for this year's Caldecott Award.  I think this is the first book where he has also done the writing, and if so he's been keeping a great talent well hidden.  It's written from the point of view of a Negro League player relating the experiences of everybody, what good players they were, how much they enjoyed it, what hard times they had, the indignities thrust upon them by segregation.

This book is located in children's nonfiction, but it's for older children, and adults would appreciate it as well.  Even if you're not related to Branch Rickey.

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reviews Caldecott American History Branch Rickey Kadir Nelson Negro League Baseball authors and illustrators
<![CDATA[Christmas Guests? Here's a Reading Suggestion!]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/12/08/christmas-guests-here-s-a-reading-suggestion.aspx Mon, 08 Dec 2008 14:04:00 G12T 981 UndergroundLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/" target="_blank">Kids Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/12/08/christmas-guests-here-s-a-reading-suggestion.aspx to post your comments!

Are you expecting an influx of children visiting for the holidays?  Are you planning ways  to keep them occupied?  Here's one idea:  Check out a stack of picture books from the library and put them where the kids can have access to them.  Of course Christmas books are great for this time of year, but kids like to read about all sorts of things. You'll know your children best and can look for specific topics, but I've discovered that if there's a big selection available, my 4-year-old houseguests will go through them all.  Sometimes a kid wants to want to "read" them by himself, and other times I'm invited to join for actually reading the words --and that's a great invitation! 

Are your visiting kids a little older? Remember riddle books and I Spy books, and nonfiction books about whatever their passionate topic of the moment is!

 Advantages to this plan for you:  No cost for this holiday entertainment, and fills the spare moment here and there.  Advantages for the children: They (and their parents) may discover or be reminded that the public library is a good source for them to use themselves.

Here are some titles I found on Oaklyn's New Picture Book Shelf today.  All these authors have written myriad picture books that would be great to add to your mix. Just come in and browse, or ask us for some ideas!  You may click on the picture below to be connected to our catalog info. 

Wag a Tail       I completely Know About Guinea PIgs     For the Love of Autumn    I'm Bad!

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riddles picture books activities Christmas guests houseguests
<![CDATA[Christmas -- Cook a Present!]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/12/05/christmas-cook-a-present.aspx Fri, 05 Dec 2008 12:33:00 G12T 968 UndergroundLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/" target="_blank">Kids Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/12/05/christmas-cook-a-present.aspx to post your comments!

We have  lots of cookbooks for kids, and looking through them will reward you with a number of interesting things that could be made for presents.  No-Cook Cooking by Ting and Neil Morris has recipes for creations that don't even require use of the stove.  On pages 6 and 7  I found directions for muesli, which is to be stored in a big jar with a lid.  This would be a simple thing to stir up -- all you'd need to do would be to gather oats, sunflower seeds, raisins, and other similar stuff  -- okay, that could take a while.  But after that mixing it would be simple. 

Children's Step By Step Cook Book, published by Dorling Kindersley, of course includes lots of photographs like all of Dorling Kindersley publications, and they really are step by step. The Gingerbread Folk  which begin on page 78 have quite complete directions, with each step illustrated. Icing directions follow.  Yum!

Emeril's There's a Chef in my Soup! Recipes for the Kid in Everyone  includes a recipe for Baby Bam on page 234.  It can be stored in an airtight container for 3 months.  And of course he tells you how to kick it up a notch!Emeril's There's a Chef in MY Soup!These cookbooks are for children, but the eaters could be of all ages!

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food Christmas presents cooking with kids Emeril
<![CDATA[Christmas -- Make a Present!]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/12/03/christmas-make-a-present.aspx Wed, 03 Dec 2008 14:35:00 G12T 959 UndergroundLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/" target="_blank">Kids Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/12/03/christmas-make-a-present.aspx to post your comments!

Earth-Friendly Crafts for KidsWhat better for a kid than to make a present for a relative or teacher?  And what beloved grandparent, aunt, or parent is not thrilled with something made by the hands of their little darling?  Kids get a great feeling of satisfaction from having created their own gift. The libraries have lots of books to get you started, and there are possibliities for kids of all ages. 

For example, we have a book at Oaklyn in our Christmas section called Christmas Crafts: Things to Make the 24 Days Before Christmas by Carolyn  Meyer.  It includes directions for bread-dough ornaments, apple-and-clove pomander balls,  potato-print wrapping paper,   and lots of other things.

The Christmas section is not the only place to find good craft ideas. Try the general children's craft area for other brainstorms.  EcoArt!: Earth-Friendly Art & Craft Experiences for 3- to 9-Year-Olds Ecoart!by Laurie Carlson includes bird feeders, potpourri sachets,  flower vases made from glass bottles decorated with decoupage or yarn, wreaths of pine cones or seed mosaics or popcorn, and on and on  and on.

 

Older kids will find lots of ideas in Earth-Friendly Crafts for Kids :50 Awesome Things to Make with Recycled Stuff by Heather Smith.  School Library Journal suggests it for grades 5 - 9. It's complete with photos of kids that age making simple things like "Super Stylin' Desk Set" on page 50 (made from assorted tin cans, spray paint and yarn) to involved projects like "Wrinkled Wax Batiks" on page 122 (involving boiling water and hot wax - and the directions to get an adult's help! ).  On page 89 are diections to turn a pizza box into a "cool vanity case or collector's box."  Hmmm, do I still have that pizza box from last night?

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oaklyn branch grandparents kids crafts Christmas presents
<![CDATA[Lincoln Shot: A President's LIfe Remembered]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/11/29/lincoln-shot-a-president-s-life-remembered.aspx Sat, 29 Nov 2008 14:43:00 G11T 944 UndergroundLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/" target="_blank">Kids Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/11/29/lincoln-shot-a-president-s-life-remembered.aspx to post your comments!

This is a BIG book -- 18 inches tall and at least a foot wide, but there are only 40 pages.  The cover looks like it's old and worn out, but it's really brand new.Lincoln  Shot  Inside, the pages look like old yellowed newspaper articles.  We first read about Lincoln's assassination and then about John Wilkes Booth, the assassin. There are "newspaper articles" on the group of assassins who plotted to kill LIncoln, and what happened to them.

After that there is much information on Lincoln's entire life, and the progress of the Civil War.  Page 35 has a sobering progression of photographs, showing how much Lincoln aged from 1860 to 1865.  The last page contains the poem by Walt Whitman, O Captain! My Captain!, mourning Lincoln's death.

Lincoln Shot: A President's LIfe Remembered is an excellent source for finding out about Abraham Lincoln in a concise manner.  And along the way, you will find historic drawings and photos, along with a few ads appropriate to the 1860's for such things as splint bottom hickory chairs and men's tall black hats,

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Civil War American History presidents Abraham Lincoln U.S. Presidents
<![CDATA[Think Things Are Tough? Try Being in Gettysburg During the Civil War.]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/teens/archive/2008/11/29/think-things-are-tough-try-being-in-gettysburg-during-the-civil-war.aspx Sat, 29 Nov 2008 13:26:00 G11T 943 UndergroundLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/teens/" target="_blank">Teens Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/teens/archive/2008/11/29/think-things-are-tough-try-being-in-gettysburg-during-the-civil-war.aspx to post your comments!

Two Girls of GettysburgLIzzie is very excited when her cousin Rosanna, a year older than her, moves to Gettysburg to live with Rosanna's sister.  Lizzie's father and her twin brother have enlisted in the Union army, even though her twin, Luke, is only old enough to be a drummer.  The two girls become best friends, and then Virginia-born Rosanna goes back to Richmond and her parents.  It's almost impossible for the girls to keep in touch, since only smuggled messages can travel between  the two sides during the Civil War.  But news of  Rosanna 's marriage to a man who joined the Confederate army does reach Gettysburg. When Rosanna learns that her husband has been injured in battle, she travels to the Confederate army to nurse him. Both girls get swept up in the affairs of the times, as Lizzie must quit school to manage her father's butcher shop, and Rosanna learns to treat all sorts of battle - related ailments of the men of the Confederate army. 

In Two Girls of Gettysburg, Lisa Klein has included much that is historically accurate, including details of the Battle of Gettysburg and Lincoln's trip to deliver his now-famous speech.  But what she also does very well is make the reader feel right there in the thick of things, experiencing the hopes and fears of any kid growing up at that time, along with the life-and-death situation of being in the midle of a battleground where people know and love participants on both sides.

 

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fiction reviews presidents historical fiction
<![CDATA[Stolen children??!!]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/11/26/stolen-children.aspx Wed, 26 Nov 2008 19:20:00 G11T 932 UndergroundLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/" target="_blank">Kids Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/11/26/stolen-children.aspx to post your comments!

Stolen ChildrenFourteen-year-old Amy had just completed a babysitting course, but as Peg Kehret wrote in the first paragraph of  Stolen Children, "it did not cover what to do if two thugs with a gun showed up.  She had to figure that out by herself."

As you can tell from the title, Amy and her 3-year-old charge Kendra were kidnapped.  They were taken to a remote one-room cabin with no electricity or plumbing and very little food.  Amy did her best to keep Kendra distracted from their plight while trying to figure out how to sneak clues onto the daily videotapes the kidnappers took to send to Kendra's parents.

The kidnappers were new at this endeavor and what little plans they had made fell through before they even began.  Amy knew that they had only intended to kidnap Kendra and had no use for Amy.  Since she was old enough to recognize them, Amy was sure they planned to kill her before they returned Kendra, even if the ransom was paid. And even though it was obvious that the kidnappers were none too bright, there was still the threat of that gun, and a knife, too.

This story plot is a lot like another book I read a long time ago, Prisoners at the Kitchen Table by Barbara Holland. That title is no longer in print, or in the public library system.  Has anybody else out there read it?

One way this one is different is that it tells the story from the point of view of various people.  Most of it is through Amy's eyes, but parts of it are through her best friend Jorja who works on figuring out Amy's hints on the videos and what they might mean.  We also see things from the point of view of other minor characters who might be able to help the girls get rescued.

It was hard to stop reading this book until I got all 165 pages finished.  I HAD to know what was going to happen to Amy and Kendra!

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fiction reviews point of view Peg Kehret kidnapping
<![CDATA[Did Fleming Rescue Churchill? Research, Anyone?]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/11/22/did-fleming-rescue-churchill-research-anyone.aspx Sat, 22 Nov 2008 09:57:00 G11T 917 UndergroundLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/" target="_blank">Kids Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/11/22/did-fleming-rescue-churchill-research-anyone.aspx to post your comments!

DidFleming Rescue Churchill?James Cross Giblin has written about fifth-grader Jason and how he proceeded with his assignment, a three-page report on Sir Alexander Fleming.  Trouble was, Jason didn't think Fleming was all that exciting, even if he did discover penicillin.  His teacher suggested Jason look for an interesting story about Fleming and include that.  But she stressed that it would have to be true.   In this fiction book, Did Fleming Rescue Churchill?, James Cross Giblin puts  Jason through the steps in doing research with encyclopedias, biographies, and the internet.  And if anyone should know how to do research, it would be James Cross Giblin --he's written lots of great nonfiction books for kids, and he's bound to have done plenty of research in the process.

This book would make a great introduction to doing research for middle-graders.

And in reading it, you'll find out what Jason did --Did Fleming rescue Winston Churchill?

Click here to see books by James Cross Giblin in our library system.

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reviews school stories research James Cross Giblin
<![CDATA[Stephanie Meyer Isn't the Only One ]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/teens/archive/2008/11/19/stephanie-meyer-isn-t-the-only-one.aspx Wed, 19 Nov 2008 15:55:00 G11T 898 UndergroundLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/teens/" target="_blank">Teens Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/teens/archive/2008/11/19/stephanie-meyer-isn-t-the-only-one.aspx to post your comments!

If you liked reading about Bella and Edward in the Twilight series, Impossible take a look at Impossible by Nancy Werlin. There are no vampires or werewolves, but there is one threatening fantasy character who lurks throughout. He seems so sympathetic and definitely compelling to most everyone he meets. 

Lucy Scarborough is 17 and ready to go to her first school prom when unusual things begin to happen.  Okay, she's had a few  odd things already in her life -- she is the foster child of the nurse midwife who took care of Bella's single teenage mother when she found herself pregnant and alone, and that mother subsequently lost her mind.  Every once in a while Bella sees her mother around town, but Bella keeps her distance from the bag lady with the shopping cart, and her friends don't know about the relationship.  And her foster father teaches her a version of the folk song Scarborough Fair that he says her mother wanted her to learn, a strangely unsettling version.

But it isn't until after the horrific events of prom night that she realizes there is a curse on the women in her family, and just how terrible that curse is.  Can she complete the 3 impossible tasks set forth in the song, or must she forfeit her child to the  compelling, sinister, and not quite human man who appears, and succumb to madness as all her ancestors have?

Each of her ancestors was alone in trying to deal with the curse and solve its riddle.  Lucy has the loving support of her foster parents, along with Zach, who becomes much more than her staunch ally.

School Library Journal called this book a "romantic fairy tale with modern trappings."  I say it's a book that I absolutely had to finish.  And all of us will be really lucky if we have someone like Zach in our lives. 

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reviews Stephenie Meyer Impossible fantasy
<![CDATA[More Pilgrims?]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/11/19/more-pilgrims.aspx Wed, 19 Nov 2008 14:57:00 G11T 897 UndergroundLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/" target="_blank">Kids Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/11/19/more-pilgrims.aspx to post your comments!

With Thanksgiving on the way, it's a good time to consider the definition of a Pilgrim.  Molly's PilgrimMolly's Pilgrim by Barbara Cohen does just that.  When Molly explains to her mother what her teacher told her about why the Pilgrims came to America, Molly's mother thinks it describes why their family came from Russia less than a year ago, too.

Molly's English isn't really good yet, and she suffers a lot from the teasing she gets for being different. Written in 1983, this book provides a good jumping off spot for discussions of tolerance and differences and how it feels to be the odd one out. Along with what IS a pilgrim, anyway?

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fiction reviews school stories Thanksgiving
<![CDATA[How Long Could YOU Keep From Talking?]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/11/13/how-long-could-you-keep-from-talking.aspx Thu, 13 Nov 2008 17:12:00 G11T 872 UndergroundLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/" target="_blank">Kids Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/11/13/how-long-could-you-keep-from-talking.aspx to post your comments!

No TalkingDave was normally a pretty noisy 5th-grader.  In fact, maybe he was a loudmouth.   But after reading about Gandhi, and how for many years he spent one day a week not talking at all, Dave thought it was worth finding out what it would be like to keep silent.  After about a half day of trying silence on his own, he and Lynsey took up a dare to make silence a contest between the 5th grade boys and the 5th grade girls. They set the time limit of 2 entire days.  Exceptions were only that they were allowed to respond to a teacher with a 3-word answer.  Any more words counted as points for the other side. 

What happened to the teachers when the lunch room was entirely silent?  How did they manage in their classes? 
Who won?  And how DID it feel to keep mostly silent for all that time?

Andrew Clements has come up with another unique situation for his characters in No Talking.   

Do you think you could keep silent for even one entire day?

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fiction reviews Andrew Clements school stories kids books
<![CDATA[Come to Our Mother-Daughter Book Discussion !]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/11/06/come-to-our-mother-daughter-book-discussion.aspx Thu, 06 Nov 2008 15:20:00 G11T 840 UndergroundLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/" target="_blank">Kids Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/11/06/come-to-our-mother-daughter-book-discussion.aspx to post your comments!

You're invited to Oaklyn Branch LIbrary for our Mother-Daughter book Discussion! We're meetingMolly's Pilgrim on Tuesday, Nov. 18 at 6:30 to talk about Molly's Pilgrim by Barbara Cohen.  This 32-page book is based on an event in the life of one of Barbara Cohen's ancestors.  While the reading level is rated as suitable for grades 2 to 4, the subject matter provides food for thought for people of all ages. And it even takes place around Thanksgiving -- couldn't be more timely! It won't take you long to read it, but there's plenty to discuss!  Our discussion plans always include a related activity, and when you've read this book you'll be able to make a good guess about what we'll be making that evening.

We have a number of copies available in the Children's Department of Oaklyn  -- see a children's librarian at Oaklyn to get a copy to check out ahead of time.  If you have any questions you can call Oaklyn at 428-8234 and chose the Juvenile reference, holds, and programs choice.

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oaklyn branch events moms family program
<![CDATA[Think Honda Is Only a Car? Think Again!]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/10/29/think-honda-is-only-a-car-think-again.aspx Wed, 29 Oct 2008 18:45:00 G10T 800 UndergroundLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/" target="_blank">Kids Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/10/29/think-honda-is-only-a-car-think-again.aspx to post your comments!

 I love my Honda Civic -- but I was surprised to learn that Honda is the last name of Soichiro Honda, born in Japan in 1906.Honda: The boy Who Dreamed of Cars Honda: The boy Who Dreamed of Cars is a  picture book biography that begins with his early life and shows the long road to his eventual creation of Honda motorbikes and later Honda cars.  He began working in a garage that repaired American-made cars, but all he was allowed to do was sweep the floor.  It was almost a year before the owner decided he was dedicated enough to learn to become a mechanic.  He spent six years there, and when he became an expert repairman he decided to open his own garage.  Later he began to design specific motor parts, and even designed and drove race cars.  At one time he built and drove the fastest car in Japan.

Mr. Honda was a perfectionist who expected all his motorcycles and cars to be built perfectly.  He said that if things were't built properly, a customer's life was being put in danger.  At the same time he gave his employees good salaries and built swimming pools and gyms in his company.  He listened to his employees' ideas and they were allowed to keep the money that their inventions earned. He was an interesting guy!

When I read this book I found out how my Honda got the name Civic.

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reviews picture books vehicles Honda
<![CDATA[Ghost's Hour, Spook's Hour]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/10/27/ghost-s-hour-spook-s-hour.aspx Mon, 27 Oct 2008 17:16:00 G10T 787 UndergroundLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/" target="_blank">Kids Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/10/27/ghost-s-hour-spook-s-hour.aspx to post your comments!

How does a kid feel when the electricity goes out in the middle of the night and he can't find anyone but his dog? That's what happens to the boy in Ghost's Hour, Spook's Hour  by Eve Bunting.  Donald Carrick's pictures are very realistic as boy and dog open a creaky bedroom door and look for his parents in an empty but still-warm bed.  The clock strikes 12.  "Ghost's hour, spook's hour, " he says.  It's a perfect atmospheric story with a happy ending.  Not in the Halloween collection, but good for this time of year! 

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reviews picture books kids Halloween spooky stories dogs
<![CDATA[What Can Kids Do About the Economy?]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/10/23/what-can-kids-do-about-the-economy.aspx Thu, 23 Oct 2008 17:53:00 G10T 769 UndergroundLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/" target="_blank">Kids Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/10/23/what-can-kids-do-about-the-economy.aspx to post your comments!

Sheila Bair, FDIC chairwoman, has written a picture book for children on responsible money managing.  Rock, Brock, and the Savings Shock relates the story of twins whose grandfather gives them one dollar a week for ten weeks.    Gramps promises to match each dollar saved at the end of each week. Brock saved his money, but Rock bought whatever looked good to him.  Brock kept getting more money, but Rock only got one dollar each week, because he had already spent his money.  By the end of ten weeks Brock had $512; Rock had no cash and a lot of semi worthless stuff.  By that time Brock had enough money to buy some really nice things and still save some money besides.  You can read the story to see what happened to Rock.

After the story ends there are pages that explain the math and compound interest, and encourage kids ot save a portion of the money they receive.

Sheila Bair and her part in the present economic situation were highlighted on Nation Public Radio's morning show a few days ago. You can click here to read a transcript of the program, including a reference to Rock and Brock.

You never know what you're going to hear on NPR -- this morning I heard a person singing the praises of children's author/illustrator Mo Willems. But that's for a later posting.

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reviews picture books grandparents Sheila Bair National Public Radio Rock Brock and the Savings Shock
<![CDATA[Have You Ever Felt Swindled?]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/10/21/have-you-ever-felt-swindled.aspx Tue, 21 Oct 2008 08:44:00 G10T 754 UndergroundLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/" target="_blank">Kids Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/10/21/have-you-ever-felt-swindled.aspx to post your comments!

Griffin did.  He's a sixth-grader whose father has put so much of the family money into his invention, the SmartPick fruit picker, that his parents have put their house up for sale.  Then Griffin finds a Babe Ruth baseball card.  Is it worth a lot of money?  Maybe he could rescue his family!  He asks S. Wendell Palamino, a  dealer of such items.  S. Wendell (notice how closely his name resembles Swindle?) says it's only worth around $100, and the dejected Griffin sells it to him.  Then he sees S. Wendell Palamino on TV, raving about the extremely rare Babe Ruth baseball card he has acquired that is going up for auction for a bundle of money. 

What would you do?  Griffin secretly organizes a bunch of his fellow students in an elaborate plan to steal the card back from Palamino.  Will it work? How will checking house plans in city offices help?  Why do they need a mountain climber in their group? And a "dog whisperer?" How many things can go wrong and they can still succeed? How does his father's SmartPick fruit picker fit into the plan?  And if they do succeed, how could Griffin ever sell the card afterwards -- won't he be arrested for theft?

Gordon Korman began writing books when he was in the seventh grade and has been turning out great reads for kids ever since.  He's also fascinating to hear in person --I heard him speak at a library conference  and enjoyed every minute of his talk.  When he made his first public appearances he was so young that his mother had to drive him to his speaking engagements, something he still considers sort of unusual in the writing world. SwindleSwindle is a high adventure story full of mishaps and pitfalls.

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reviews Swindle gordon korman
<![CDATA[Presidential High Points . . . and Low Points!]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/10/18/presidential-high-points-and-low-points.aspx Sat, 18 Oct 2008 16:36:00 G10T 744 UndergroundLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/" target="_blank">Kids Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/10/18/presidential-high-points-and-low-points.aspx to post your comments!

mithsonian PresidentsHere's a book that's on our New Shelf at Oaklyn (and other branches, too) about our U.S. Presidents, called Smithsonian Presidents. Its layout is inviting, and includes lots of pictures and quotes.  The cover promises "Presidential high points . . . and low points!"  Here's a low point: President William Henry Harrison, one of Indiana's own, caught a cold on his inauguration day and died exactly one month later.  Here's a high point:  President Grover Cleveland was the first President to hold his wedding in the White House. Each President gets a scrapbook-like page with his picture and  pictures of outstanding events or places during his administration, plus tidbits of information.  Browsers and report writers alike will find this book of interest.  

Websites are listed in the back for more information about each individual President or the White House or the job of the Secret Service or presidential libraries and museums. And there are other specific websites suggested throughout.  Want to see the dress Jacqueline Kennedy wore to her husband's inauguration? Try http://historywired.si.edu/object.cfm?ID=311. Or Japanese-America internment camps and the artwork created by people living in the camps?  Go to ttp://americanhistory.si.edu/perfectunion/experience/index.html.  Check out this book and find lots more websites!

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presidents U.S. Presidents
<![CDATA[Who Wrote the Happy Birthday Song?]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/10/08/who-wrote-the-happy-birthday-song.aspx Wed, 08 Oct 2008 18:38:00 G10T 713 UndergroundLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/" target="_blank">Kids Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/10/08/who-wrote-the-happy-birthday-song.aspx to post your comments!

Did you know that they lived in Louisville?  Not far from here!  Margot Theis Raven relates the story of the sisters who wrote the words and music in 1889 and 1890, as one of the many songs that Patty Hill used to teach her kindergarten children.  She came up with the words to the songs, and her sister Mildred wrote the music to them.  Happy Birthday to You! The Mystery Behind the Most Famous Song in the World includes more details of the sisters' lives with their large family and the early years of kindergartens.  Full page paintings by Chris Soentpiet add to the enjoyment of this  book.

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Music songs books
<![CDATA[Oprah's Book List for Kids]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/10/08/oprah-s-book-list-for-kids.aspx Wed, 08 Oct 2008 13:51:00 G10T 708 UndergroundLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/" target="_blank">Kids Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/10/08/oprah-s-book-list-for-kids.aspx to post your comments!

Do you like book lists?  I do.  It's always neat to get new ideas for good stuff to read.  And I also like finding out that other people like some of the things I've already read.

Oprah might be the queen of books and book clubs.  Her book lists for kids are compiled by the American Library Association.  They are broken down by age group, and each group is further divided into New Releases and Classics.

If you're looking for a good book, this would be a good place to start!

Click here to go to Oprah's  Kids Reading List.

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reading lists Oprah books
<![CDATA[Is a Picture Worth a Thousand Words?]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/10/04/is-a-picture-worth-a-thousand-words.aspx Sat, 04 Oct 2008 12:34:00 G10T 685 UndergroundLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/" target="_blank">Kids Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/10/04/is-a-picture-worth-a-thousand-words.aspx to post your comments!

There has been a lot of interest in a new poster in the Children's area of Oaklyn Branch Library.  It shows the cover of each Caldecott Award winner for the best picture book of the year since the beginning of the award in 1938.  Kids are looking for books they'd like to read, and parents are remembering books they loved as children.   

Stop in and have a look for yourself! It's on the column near the Children's Information Desk.

For the website with all the Caldecott Award and Honor books, click here.Andy and the LionHere's the Caldecott Award winner from 1939.

nvention of Hugo CabretHere's the Caldecott  Award winner from 2008.

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Caldecott picture books
<![CDATA[Have You Heard This Story About Abe Lincoln ?]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/10/04/have-you-heard-this-story-about-abe-lincoln.aspx Sat, 04 Oct 2008 12:27:00 G10T 682 UndergroundLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/" target="_blank">Kids Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/10/04/have-you-heard-this-story-about-abe-lincoln.aspx to post your comments!

There's a new picture book about Abe Lincoln.  Deborah Hopkinson has written  Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek; A Tall, Thin Tale (Introducing His Forgotten Frontier Friend). John Hendrix has drawn the pictures. When Abe was seven , he and his 3-years-older friend Austin wanted to get to the other side of Knob Creek, but the water was very high and neither one of them could swim.  Abe dared Austin to cross on a log, and he did.  But when Abe started across, he fell into the water, and Austin rescued him.

The interesting part of the book is its illustrations and the way Hopkinson relates the story.  She tells it as if she is sitting next to a bunch of people, just talking to them.  Maybe it happened this way, she says, and then again, maybe it happened this other way, and she tells both ways.  In the meantime, John Hendrix is busily drawing each version, and often we see his hand in the bottom right corner of the page, holding a a paintbrush or a pencil,  drawing the double page spread.

Deborah Hopkinson says there's a moral to this story, and she gives us a couple choices.  What do you think the moral should be?

Would this be a good candidate for this year's Caldecott Award?

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picture books American History Abraham Lincoln
<![CDATA[Way Before Hurricane Kyle, Maine worried about...]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/09/30/way-before-hurricane-kyle-maine-worried-about.aspx Tue, 30 Sep 2008 16:13:00 G9T 665 UndergroundLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/" target="_blank">Kids Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/09/30/way-before-hurricane-kyle-maine-worried-about.aspx to post your comments!

Okay, Kyle veered away from Maine, but the news about it a few days ago reminded me of an old favorite picture book, Time of Wonder by Robert Mccloskey, the 1958 Caldecott award winner for the best picture book of the year.  It has beautiful pictures, of course, some of my favorites being all the gulls sitting on ledges facing in the same direction, and the illustration to go with "You snap off the light and row toward the dock as the stars are gazing down, their reflections gazing up."  McCloskey's watercolor shows the stars in the sky and then reflected in the water  -- it's so beautiful and peaceful that I just want to keep looking at it.  But what recently made me think of this book comes later, when everyone everywhere sees signs of bad weather coming, and they all make preparations for an oncoming hurricane.  They endure it inside their house all night long (with no electricity), and next morning they go outside to "explore the tops of giant fallen trees."  This is my kind of hurricane -- no mention of injury or property damage past those fallen trees. 

In rereading this book today, I realized that in spite of the hurricane part, reading this book slowed me down, and gave me an opportunity to experience a "TIme of Wonder"  myself.  Guess that's what all the good books do, right, put you right there inside them?

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Caldecott hurricanes Maine
<![CDATA[Nobody Likes Rules, Right?]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/09/26/nobody-likes-rules-right.aspx Fri, 26 Sep 2008 16:41:00 G9T 655 UndergroundLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/" target="_blank">Kids Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/09/26/nobody-likes-rules-right.aspx to post your comments!

Catherine does. She writes them down for her little  brother, David.  She keeps trying to help him understand how to act in the world, and it's a hard job, because he is autistic. 

     Chew with your mouth closed. 

     If someone says "hi" you say "hi" back.

     Open closet doors carefully.  Sometimes things fall out.

     No toys in the fish tank.

Those are just some of the Rules she writes for him, trying to keep him from embarrassing her in public..   This summer she is 12 and she has a new next-door neighbor who might become a good friend, she hopes.  And then there's Jason, who also seems to be turning into a friend, although Catherine hadn't really expected that. 

Cynthia Lord has written a book which became a Newbery Honor book and also won the Schneider Family Book Award, which is also sponsored by American Library Association, for  a book which“must portray some aspect of living with a disability, whether the disability is physical, mental, or emotional.” 

Oh -- and it also has its funny spots  See what you think.

 

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people with disabilities Newbery autism
<![CDATA[Who Was the Unhappiest President?]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/09/26/who-was-the-unhappiest-president.aspx Fri, 26 Sep 2008 14:30:00 G9T 652 UndergroundLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/" target="_blank">Kids Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/09/26/who-was-the-unhappiest-president.aspx to post your comments!

Two Miserable PresidentsAll U. S. Presidents have had their troubles, but Steve Sheinkin (yep, the same guy who wrote King George; What Was His Problem?) writes about two who were President at the same time.  When was that?  During the Civil War.  Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis had plenty of problems, and Sheinkin tells us about them in Two Miserable Presidents.  It's a really understandable accounting of the Civil War, full of stories of individual people, some important and some not so important, but all of them are worth reading.

  I knew there were women who disguised themselves as men and entered the army, but I hadn't heard of Loreta Janeta Velazquez, who joined the Confederate army as Harry T. Buford.  All went well until her fake mustache got soaked in a big drink of buttermilk and started to come off.  She spent the rest of the meal with "my hand up to my mouth all the time . . . doing my best to hold the mustache on." (p.70) As the war went on, both Presidents were getting lots of criticism from the press.  One Southern newspaper wrote that "Jefferson Davis now treats all men as if they were idiotic insects." (p.85)  And people in the North were so unhappy about the war going on and on that Lincoln feared he would not be reelected in 1864.

Quoting from inside the jacket cover, "Filled with surprising quotes, startling stories, and all the strange events that didn't make it into your textbook, this is history like you've never read it before: fast, frightening, and entirely true." 

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history Civil War American History presidents
<![CDATA[All the Gossip on the American Revolution!]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/09/25/all-the-gossip-on-the-american-revolution.aspx Thu, 25 Sep 2008 14:27:00 G9T 646 UndergroundLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/" target="_blank">Kids Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/09/25/all-the-gossip-on-the-american-revolution.aspx to post your comments!

Everything Your Schoolbooks Didn't Tell You About the American Revolution is the subtitle of this book.  It recently arrived at Oakalyn Branch, and it has all sorts of stories about things in the American Revolution that I hadn't heard before.  Steve Sheinkin has written King George: What Was His Problem?  in such a conversational tone that it feels like he's telling us about people that he knows today.

 

Here's what he says about Ethan Allen, leader of the Green Mountain Boys: "Standing six foot six, with a furious temper, Allen was not the kind of guy you would want to have as an enemy.  He was known to beat up two men at once by lifting them off the ground and banging them together." (p. 58) Everything he writes isn't so violent, but it does get my attention.  When Ethan Allen demanded surrender of Fort Ticonderoga in the middle of the night, he woke up an officer by beating on the commander's door and shouting things like "Come out of there, you old rat!" Lieutenant Feltham had run out of his room undressed, but ran back to "grab some clothes, and stepped out into the hall . . . he tried to appear calm and in control (which is hard to do when you have your pants in your hand)." (p.59)

 

It turns out that if you read the introduction, called Confessions of a Textbook Writer, you find out that Steve Sheinkin has written history textbooks. While doing research for them, he found lots of stories that he thought wouldn't fit into those textbooks, so now he's written this book to tell some things about the American Revolution that most of us haven't heard before.  Did you know that John Hancock thought he would be chosen to lead the American forces, instead of George Washington?  Or that  the man who hung the lanterns in Old North Church the night of Paul Revere's ride had British soldiers living in his house?  He had to sneak out of his window and climb over rooftops to get to the church and back.  Or that John Adams and Benjamin Franklin sometimes had a hard time getting along together?  Especially if they had to share the same bedroom while they were traveling  -- Adams got cold easily and wanted the window closed, but Franklin thought they needed the window open and proceeded to give Adams a long lecture on his viewpoint of fresh air and the real causes of colds  -- it put Adams right to sleep.

 

But this book won't put you to sleep.   I think you'll enjoy the black -and-white drawings by Tim Robinson, too.

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American Revolution history
<![CDATA[Tall Tale Weather]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/09/11/tall-tale-weather.aspx Thu, 11 Sep 2008 14:29:00 G9T 512 UndergroundLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/" target="_blank">Kids Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/09/11/tall-tale-weather.aspx to post your comments!

Cloudy With a Chance of MeatballsWhat with all the hurricane talk, I got to thinking about a picture book that's been a long time favorite.  If you haven't read Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs by Judy Barrett, you're in for a weather and food treat.  Grandpa tells the story of the people who lived in the town of Chewandswallow.  There, as Grandpa tells it, the weather came 3 times a day, at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  "Everything that everyone ate came from the sky."  In addition to meatballs, it rained soup and juice, it snowed mashed potatoes and green peas, and sometimes it stormed hamburgers.  People just came outside with their dishes and caught the food.  Street cleaners had an interesting job.  Trouble came when the food began to get bigger and bigger, and there got to be more of it.  How the people coped is part of the tall tale.

When you finish that one, try the sequel. Pickles to PIttsburgh.  Actually, Judi Barrett has written many picture books you would enjoy, and her husband Ron Barrett has done a great job of illustrating them.

I like to imagine strawberries falling from the sky -- I 'd be out there with my bowl in no time!

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picture books food tall tales weather
<![CDATA[Mother-Daughter Book Discussion ]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/09/09/mother-daughter-book-discussion.aspx Tue, 09 Sep 2008 12:25:00 G9T 461 UndergroundLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/" target="_blank">Kids Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/09/09/mother-daughter-book-discussion.aspx to post your comments!

Next Tuesday Oaklyn Branch is holding its first mother-daughter book discussion.  It's aimed at daughters grades 4-8 and their mothers.  Our first topic of discussion will be the Caldecott Award book The Invention of Hugo Cabret. Come to the children's librarians at Oaklyn to get a copy to check out.  And Invention of Hugo Cabretdon't let the large number of pages stop you --so many of them are pictures, and they're all fascinating!  Mother and daughter could read the book together, or individually.  Come to Oaklyn's meeting room on Tuesday, September 16 for our 6:30 to 7:30 discussion.  We're looking forward to having a great time!

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oaklyn branch events
<![CDATA[Everything Is Connected, Even Wolves]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/09/08/everything-is-connected-even-wolves.aspx Mon, 08 Sep 2008 13:08:00 G9T 442 UndergroundLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/" target="_blank">Kids Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/09/08/everything-is-connected-even-wolves.aspx to post your comments!

Who knew wolves were so important to a place?  For nearly 70 years there had been no wolves in Yellowstone National Park.  Then in 1995, ten adult wolves were brought to the park from Canada. The Wolves Are Back by Jean Craighead George tells how their presence brought other animals back to the area, helped flowers to grow, and even stopped erosion. Amazon.com suggests it for children ages 4 to 8, but everyone will appreciate the beautiful illustrations by Wendell Minor and the straightforward explanation of the importance of wolves in the ecosystem. Reading this book me made me think about other animals in a new way too, like spiders and bats. 

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reviews animals wolves ecology
<![CDATA[Grandparents Day and the Book Bus]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/09/02/grandparents-day-and-the-book-bus.aspx Tue, 02 Sep 2008 17:37:00 G9T 322 UndergroundLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/" target="_blank">Kids Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/09/02/grandparents-day-and-the-book-bus.aspx to post your comments!

Grandparents Day is coming up soon.  The Evansville Museum is celebrating Kids and Grandparents Day on Sunday, September 7 from 1:00 to 4:00pm. Lots of things will be going on there that day.  For one, you will have a chance to visit EVPL's Book Bus.   While you're there, you can pick up a Book Bus schedule and check for an afternoon stop in your neighborhood.  Anyone with an EVPL library card can check things out from the Book Bus on one of its neighborhood stops.  So go on Sunday and have lots of fun!

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events Book Bus grandparents
<![CDATA[I Stink]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/08/27/i-stink.aspx Wed, 27 Aug 2008 15:11:00 G8T 305 UndergroundLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/" target="_blank">Kids Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/08/27/i-stink.aspx to post your comments!

This is the some garbage truck! Kate and Jim McMullan have written three great picture books about various vehicles. I Stink! is the first one I read.  They're all great! Look also for I'm Dirty! andI'm Dirty!I'm Mighty! I'm Mighty!

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picture books vehicles books
<![CDATA[The Bus for Us]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/08/25/the-bus-for-us.aspx Mon, 25 Aug 2008 16:31:00 G8T 275 UndergroundLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/" target="_blank">Kids Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/08/25/the-bus-for-us.aspx to post your comments!

"Is this the bus for us, Gus?"  That's the question Tess asks on every other page of this book, while they wait to go to school.  Big brother Gus answers with varying degrees of patience.  Meanwhile more kids keep lining up to ride too, and their wordless activities are worth watching.  And check out the Bus Stop sign.  What does it say on different pages? Prereaders will enjoy guessing what vehicle is pulling up now, after getting a view of its front bumper. Those who can "read" Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? and its companions will soon be doing the same with  The Bus for Us.

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reviews easy readers picture books school stories
<![CDATA[Election Year Fun]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/08/11/election-year-fun.aspx Mon, 11 Aug 2008 15:27:00 G8T 206 UndergroundLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/" target="_blank">Kids Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/08/11/election-year-fun.aspx to post your comments!

Sam's mother is the President of the United States.  His father is the First Guy. Sam has a pet cat named Warren and they know a friendly rat named Leonard.  It's great to live in the White House for a while, but Sam has too many limits.  That's when it's time to make a an escape plan!The Great White House Breakout  You can read all about it in The Great White House Breakout.  We have 6 copies of this new picture book in our library system.l

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White House picture books presidents
<![CDATA[Actual Size by Steve Jenkins]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/08/11/actual-size-by-steve-jenkins.aspx Mon, 11 Aug 2008 09:31:00 G8T 200 UndergroundLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/" target="_blank">Kids Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/08/11/actual-size-by-steve-jenkins.aspx to post your comments!

I hope I'm never eyeball-to-eyeball with a giant squid!

Actual Size by Steve JenkinsBut if I want to know what a giant squid's eyeball looks like in its actual size, I can look in Steve Jenkins' book.  And now I'm absolutely sure I don't want to do this in real life!  Steve Jenkins uses cut-paper pictures to show whole animals like the atlas moth  or the dwarf goby fish in their actual size.  Or if the animal is too big for the oversize page, he just shows part of it -- like the eyeball of the giant squid, or some of the teeth of a great white shark.  This book is located in the Picture Book section of our library, but don't let that stop you -- people of all ages can try giving a gorilla's hand a high five!

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animals picture books
<![CDATA[Invention of Hugo Cabret]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/07/25/invention-of-hugo-cabret.aspx Fri, 25 Jul 2008 15:08:00 G7T 92 UndergroundLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/" target="_blank">Kids Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/07/25/invention-of-hugo-cabret.aspx to post your comments!

Invention of Hugo CabretThis is the Caldecott Award winner with the most pages ever.  The detailed pictures are fascinating.  Brian Selznick's inventive artwork carries the bulk of the story line.

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fiction reviews Caldecott
<![CDATA[Who Is That Guy?]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/07/25/melvin-bubble.aspx Fri, 25 Jul 2008 14:53:00 G7T 91 UndergroundLibrarian@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/" target="_blank">Kids Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2008/07/25/melvin-bubble.aspx to post your comments!

Melvin BubbleMelvin Bubble is described by everyone who knows him.  Each one has a very different viewpoint.   It would be great for kids who are considering writing themselves.  Kids and their parents love this book!

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fiction Who Is Melvin Bubble story starters books