Monday, August 31, 2009

Summer Reading Club Quiz

Time for a Summer Reading Club quiz. Do NOT scroll down to the answers until you try to answer the questions first.

1. What was this summer's theme?

2. What kind of animals visited the library twice a week for four weeks in July?

3. What was the Big Build?

4. How many children (rounded out to one zero) joined the Summer Reading Club?

5. How many programs in all - including the school programs - happened during the Summer Reading Club?

6. How many hours did Summer Reading Club members read this summer?

Okay. Here is a statistic that might interest you. A total of 1790 people attended programs at the Parkland Community Library and in the Parkland Elementary School libraries this summer.

Well, enough stalling. The answers to the questions are:

1. Be Creative @ Your Library was the 2009 Summer Reading Club theme.

2. Certified Therapy Dogs visited the library this summer. They'll be back in October and November.

3. The Big Build was a program where children and their parents got to build towers with boxes and a city out of pudding cups and the long paper chain that still hangs in the library. Well, the paper chain was started during the Big Build.

4. 785 children and teens signed up for the Summer Reading Club. So if you said either 780 or 790 you were right!

5. When the 14 Stories in the Schools programs are counted in, the Parkland Community Library planned and carried out 38 programs this summer. If we add in the 3 mysteries, that makes 41 programs. No wonder I'm so tired. ;)

6. Children and teens read 11, 570 hours. Most of you read in 15 minute time increments so that makes the total even more amazing.

What all of this means is that all the Parkland Community Library Summer Readers will be ready and raring for school next week - or this week for some of you!

Thanks again for a wonderful summer.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Reading Rainbow ends

For 26 years, LeVar Burton has opened the pages of great children's books for PBS viewers. Today, the last Reading Rainbow episode will be made. Funders of PBS educational television have decided that showing children how much fun books can be is not as important as teaching them the building blocks of how to read.

I know how to climb but unless I have a reason or desire, I don't see the point in learning advance climbing skills. So it is with reading. Children who want to learn to read will overcome reading disabilities and social or economic disadvantages. Reading Rainbow made children and their parents WANT to read.

Every week, a grown-up man opened a real book and showed children that reading was more than deciphering letters to make words. Reading was telling stories and learning things. "Books are important", LeVar said, week after week. "Books are fun and books can lead us to other fascinating things." And then, a bunch of children said the same thing. They said, "We read. Reading is something that children do for fun and for learning. You can, too."

The Parkland Community Library has Reading Rainbow DVDs. Children can still see LeVar get excited about hats and camels and numbers. But now, no new books will get star treatment. Oh well.

So check out a Reading Rainbow DVD this week. Take home a new book. Take on the job of showing your children and your friends that books are important. Reading can lead us to fascinating things. And take a moment to thank LeVar Burton and PBS for 26 years of reading rainbows.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Zazoo by Richard Mosher

Someone just mentioned the book Zazoo by Richard Mosher to me this afternoon. Published in 2001, this deeply moving book tells the story of a Vietnamese orphan and her elderly "grandpere" as she learns about life and love and as he deals with the spectres of his past.

Zazoo is set on the canals of France. There are secrets that Zazoo uncovers as she tries to care for the man who is her only family. He appears to be sliding into senility and is tortured by the events of his youth in France during WWII. A strange boy arrives in the neighborhood and becomes Zazoo's friend and first love.

Although this book is categorized as Young Adult fiction, any adult who picks it up will not be disappointed.


In Praise of Brian Cleary

Brian P. Cleary has written a slew of fun, informative and attractive "non-fiction" books! His Words Are Categorical books - all found in or around J 428 CLE - make grammar fun and easy. Each book handles a different part of speech - nouns, verbs, adverbs, pronouns, adjectives...the list goes on and on.

Cleary also has a math series, Math is Categorical. The Parkland Community Library only has 3 of these titles. The books can be found in Juvenile Non-Fiction in the Math section (around J 510 CLE) and, for some reason, in J 530.

Cleary also has a series of phonics books that the library has on order, Sounds Like Reading. Look for these books in late September, early October.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

End of Summer

Wow! Summer Reading Club flew by. The new online registration and logging software worked very well. Close to 800 young readers logged over 11,500 hours of reading this summer. There's still time to snag some more reading time. Keep checking out those books, and books on CD. (And, ok, some DVDs and video games, too - before school begins!)

Take a look at the What's New Display to see the brand new books the library has added to the Children's and Young Adult sections.

The Youth Services Department, (Mrs. Chaply and I) were sad to see our two summer staff people, Erin Lease and Dorothy Chan, go back to college. They helped the Summer Reading Club run smoothly here and in the Parkland School libraries.

Thanks go out to all the volunteers, teens and adults, who made the Stories in the Schools programs so much fun this summer and who helped with programs in the library and with shelving and keeping things in order this summer.