Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Mom & Me groups??

I just got off the phone with a young mother who wanted to sign up for a storytime. She asked if there were other "Mom & Me" activities available in this area.

I'm sure there are but how does a librarian find out about them? I remember going to the YWCA swim classes and gym classes and to library storytimes when I was a young mother. My son is 33 now, but the need to meet with other young mothers will never change. We lived in the city and finding these groups was easy.

If you know of any Mom & Me groups that meet in the Parkland area, please let me know. Reply in the comment area or click on the Contact Us link on the Parkland Community Library website.

I look forward to reading your responses.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Children's magazines

Children's magazines are more attractive than ever. Parkland Community Library has subscriptions to more than a dozen children's magazines, including American Girl, Highlights for Children and the new younger sibling of Highlights, Highlights High Five. High Five is written for children between the ages of 2 and 5 and includes cartoons, stories, games and informative articles, just like its older sib, Highlights.

Special interest magazines on PCL's Children's magazine shelves include Kids Discover, the non-fiction magazine for children. Kids Discover sports beautiful photos, insightful articles, games and quizzes for children in grades 3 and up.

My favorite magazines are the "bug" magazines, Ladybug, Spider, and Cricket. These magazines are literary magazines for children, with writings by some of today's most popular and acclaimed children's authors. This family of magazines features illustrations by famous children's illustrators, too. Cricket is by far my favorite children's magazine and is written for young readers between the ages of 9 and 14. Spider's audience is the 7 to 10 age group. Ladybug is written for 4 through 7 year olds.

Ask ; arts and siences for kids and Click! are two other magazines published by the company that does Cricket. Ask and Click! are non-fiction magazines for readers in grades 3 and up.

PCL also carries Sports Illustrated for Kids, Ranger Rick, Your Big Backyard, Cobblestone and National Geographic for Kids.

Children's magazines are shelved on the window sill in the Picture Book area. The newest issue must remain in the library but all older issues can be taken out. Check one out today!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fall Fest

I can't wait for the Hogwarts Theme Park to open - sometime next year, I hope - SO, Hogwarts is coming to the Parkland Community Library this Saturday, October 17th, from 2 to 4 pm.

Here is a preview of what will happen.
Quidditch!! Well, Quidditch for Muggles. One or two 15 minute demo games will take place with players, ages 8 and up. Each player.e will get a broom and a House Badge (see Sorting below). The Quaffle and Bludgers will be balloons. The rules are simple. The Chasers will try to get the Quaffles through the goals. The Beaters will protect their teammates from the Bludgers and the Seekers will run after the Golden Snitch. We WILL have a Golden Snitch. Come see how THAT works out!

Sorting! Our Sorting hat is a bit different but it works quite well to separate the Slytherins from the Hufflepuff. Find out which House you belong in - just for the afternoon.

Crafts! Make a Divination Paperholder from glass gems and clay.

Costumes! Come in Costume, if you dare. Costume fixings of some sort or another will be available on Saturday.

Stories! Help the Teen Tellers create a new Hogwarts story starring your favorite Hogwarts characters (Luna? Neville? Ron? George? Cho?). YOU get to decide and might even get to star.

Hogwarts Castle! Or a facsimile thereof. Just for fun and climbing through.

I hope to see you ALL at Hogwarts at the Parkland Community Library, Saturday, Oct. 17th from 2 to 4 pm

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Science and kindness

Vicki Cobb has been writing fun, informative science books for kids since - whew! - 1972. She's back with a series on the human body's defense systems called Body Battles published by Millbrook Press (c2009). Cobb describes how the human body reacts to such indignities as a broken bone, a cold, and earache, a cavity - each in a book of its own. The books are illustrated with a combination of photographs (or photoMICROgraphs, in some case) and colored illustrations. Cobb includes a glossary, a list for further reading and interesting websites related to each topic. The books will intrigue almost anyone but third graders and up will be able to read the books by themselves. Most can be found at J 616 COB or nearby.

Wilson Kimeli Naiyomah, a native of Kenya and a member of the Masai tribe, was in New York City on September 11th, 2001. He was horrified by what he saw and wondered what he could do to help America heal. When he went home to Africa, he asked permission to "give" his cow, the most precious thing he owned, to America. Other members of his tribe offered to do the same when they heard the story of what had happened. 14 cows were dedicated to helping Americans heal from the tragedy of 9/11.
14 Cows for America is Wilson's story, told by author and storyteller, Carmen Deedy and illustrated by Thomas Gonzalez. It is a beautiful story about compassion and how even the smallest group of people can offer comfort in times of need. The story is very short and beautifully inllustrated.
14 Cows for America will touch your heart. Find it at J 327.67 DEE.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Sounds like Reading

Brian Cleary just came out with a great new series, Sounds like Reading... The books approach different phonics concepts, like short and long vowel sounds, with simple text, short instructions and Jason Miskimins bright, funny illustrations. The books are on display right now but they will find a new home in the Easy Reader section of the Parkland Community Library's Picture Book collection.
Cleary also writes the Words Are Categorical series and explains parts of speech (nouns, verbs, adverbs, etc.) in silly rhyme. Brian Gable's illustrations make grammar a whole lot more fun than I remember it! This series is split between the Picture Book collection and the Juvenile Non-Fiction section (J 428 CLE, for the most part).

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Down on the Farm, Fall Fest and more

Storytime started this week and the theme is "Down on the Farm". Though Lehigh County's population keeps growing, there are still a lot of working farms in this area. The take-home paper for storytime this week is a list of the farms included in this year's Open Gate Farm tour scheduled for Sunday, October 18th, from 1 to 5 pm. For more information, click here or call Penn State Cooperative Extension, Lehigh County, at 610-391-9840. (For books read at each week's storytime, click on the link on the library's Storytime page.)

Fall Fest is Saturday, October 17th from 2 to 4 pm. This year, the theme is Hogwarts. A Sorting Hat will send Fest-goers to their designated Hogwarts House, Slytherin, Gryffindo, Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff. Children 8 and over can play a Muggle version of Quidditch while members of their Houses cheer them on. Anyone can try their hand at pumpkin bowling. Face painting, a reading corner and storytelling will also be offered. Please sign up in advance so that the library has enough House badges made.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Return to the Hundred Acre Wood

Winnie-the-Pooh, Eeyore and Piglet now have more fully-authorized adventures, sanctioned by the Trustees of Pooh Properties, (unlike Disney's cute, but sometimes saccharine stories). The book Return to the Hundred Acre Wood, written by David Benedictus and illustrated by Mark Burgess, was released yesterday. The library's copy has not arrived but holds can be put on the book now.

Christopher Robin comes home from school to join his animal friends and a new female character arrives in the Hundred Acre Wood to keep poor Kanga company. Eeyore takes the lead in a story or two as well.

A. A. Milne's original version of The House at Pooh Corner (the second, and until now, final book about Pooh) is my all-time favorite children's book. Milne's humor grows on the reader. Small children like the silly adventures. Older children like the humor. Adults like the language. I hope Benedictus is able to match Milne's tongue-in-cheek tone, at least some of the time.

Now we can all go back to Pooh Corner, at last.
P.S. To watch and hear Jim Dale read part of this book, click here.