Friday, February 12, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

Pink and red and white, lace and frills, roses and chocolates!  It's a love-ly time of year.   Michael Hall's new book, My Heart is Like a Zoo, uses heart shapes to picture all kinds of animals and how they might feel.
Hall's website offers animations of the illustrations in the book that show how the animals are constructed.  This book is a keeper, fun to look at, fun to read!

Henry in love, by Peter McCarty, is a snapshot of a small child's school day and includes big kids, schoolyard games and budding friendship. Henry, the cat, is smitten with Chloe, the prettiest girl in class.  This book is great for children who don't like mushy stuff.

Suzanne Bloom's ode to friendship, A Splendid Friend, Indeed,  is a clever and simple book about a quiet polar bear who is bombarded with questions and suggestions from a chatty goose. 

Love reveals itself in mysterious ways.  In Margaret Mahy's book, Tingleberries, tuckertubs and telephones, a shy orphan must overcome his reluctance to speak and find love and adventure.

Homemade Valetine's Day Cards are a time-honored tradition.  Dress them up with this simple origami heart from Activity Village.

Friends from PBS - Clifford, Cuyrious George and others - share their Valentine's Day ideas on the PBS Kids website.

Love is everywhere! - especially at the library.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Snow, snow everywhere!  Read more about snow by checking out these titles.  The blizzard by Betty Ren Wright tells of how a boy's birthday is almost ruined by a blizzard. 

One man dedicated his life to making a photographic record of thousands of snowflakes.  Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin tells his story with illustrations by Mary Azarian.   To see Bentley's photos, click here.

Grandparents can tell stories of amazing storms.  In Terrible storm by Carol Otis Hurst, two grandfathers tell stories of the snowstorm of 1888.

Older readers (grades 4, 5 and 6) will enjoy Help! I'm a prisoner in the library by Eth Clifford.  Two girls are trapped over night in the library during a blizzard.  Sounds like heaven to me!

Slightly younger readers can revisit a famous blizzard in Anna, Grandpa, and the big storm by Carla Stevens.  Anna's grandfather thinks living in the city is boring until the huge blizzard of 1888.

The blizzard of 1888 made history as told in the book by Jim Murphy, Blizzard : the storm that changed America. has posted a history of how the blizzard of 1888 effected New York City.  The history is rather scholarly, so for pictures and personal stories check this site, presented by CUNY.

Just for fun, visit Make-a-Flake and create a snowflake online.   This site requires Flash 6.

Cutting a paper snowflake is easier and directions are available at ZOOM (
Billy Bear has simpler instructions for paper snowflakes but the snowflakes end up with 8 points.  Check the site out.

This 3-dimensional snowflake is lovely at all times of the year, made in different colors.  This is for children and adults who are comfortable with paper folding.

Enjoy the snow.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Death-Defying Pepper Roux

The Death-Defying Pepper Roux by Geraldine McCaughrean is fun and action-packed.  For his entire life, Pepper Roux had been warned that he would die on or before his 14th birthday.  He woke up on that fateful day, STILL ALIVE.  What follows is one adventure after another, as young Pepper attempts to cheat fate.  The School Library Journal says ..."the memorable characters and lyrical prose make the novel hard to put down", and gives the novel a starred review.

The novel IS hard to put down and Pepper Roux is a fascinating character.  My suspicion that Pepper will not have further adventures disappoints me but I will await breathlessly McCaughrean's next novel.