Thursday, February 23, 2012

Amy Krouse Rosenthal is a rock star!


Chopsticks (follow-up to Spoon)
illustrated by Scott Magoon

Meet Chopsticks! They've been best friends forever. But one day, this inseparable pair comes to a fork in the road. And for the very first time, they have to figure out how to function apart. From New York Times best-selling author Amy Krouse Rosenthal and rising artistic talent Scott Magoon, this witty and inventive tale celebrates both independence and the unbreakable bonds of friendship.

Spoon: the animated DVD (trailer)

New favorite book! Another Brother book trailer

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Barn Babies!

Our visit yesterday from Barn Babies Traveling Petting Zoo was wonderful!

Our lovely librarian, Becky, with a swaddled rabbit.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

If you liked...

George Selden - If you liked The Cricket in Times Square, try The Genie of Sutton Place.

E.B. White – If you liked Charlotte’s Web, try The Trumpet of the Swan.

Beverly Cleary – If you liked the Ramona series, try Ellen Tebbitts.

Louise Fitzhugh – If you liked Harriet the Spy, try Nobody’s Family is Going to Change.

Katherine Paterson – If you liked Bridge to Teribithia, try The Great Gilly Hopkins.

Roald Dahl – If you liked Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, try Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator.

Roald Dahl – If you liked Matilda, try Danny, the Champion of the World.

If you liked The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes, try Blubber by Judy Blume.

If you liked the Wimpy Kid series by Lincoln Peirce, try the Nicholas series by Rene Goscinny.

If you liked Bed-Knob and Broomstick by Mary Norton, try Chitty Chitty Bang Bang by Ian Fleming.

If you liked Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo, try Ribsy by Beverly Cleary.

If you liked The Doll People by Ann M. Martin, try Hitty: Her First Hundred Years by Rachel Field or The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo.

If you liked Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Caroll, try the Oz series by L. Frank Baum.

If you liked the Fudge series by Judy Blume, try the Great Brain series by John D. Fitzgerald.

If you liked The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall, try The Moffats by Eleanor Estes.

If you like animal books like The Cricket in Times Square and Charlotte’s Web, try books by Dick King-Smith or Esther Averill.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Meet Penny, by Kevin Henkes

Coming soon!

Forgotten Gem

This lesser-known title by George Selden, author of the much-loved The Cricket In Times Square, features a boy named Tim, who discovers the ancient secret to summoning a genie. Set in New York City and published in 1973, The Genie of Sutton Place is sophisticated, urbane and magical, with wonderful characters who are multi-faceted.  Selden carefully crafts an original and unique tale that is a quiet masterpiece of the late 20th century.

It's a Book by Lane Smith -- Book Trailer

A dear favorite from 2010!

Smile by Raina Telgemeier

From Anita Silvey'sChildren's Book-A-Day Almanac:


In this honest and straightforward book, examining the struggles of growing up and dealing with identify, Raina shares all her concerns—getting crushes, finding new friends, and slowly beginning to understand her place in a new school. In the end she finds the solution to her problems: “I threw my passion into things I enjoyed, rather than feeling sorry for myself. I realized that I had been letting the way I looked on the outside affect how I felt on the inside. But the more I focused on my interests, the more it brought out things I liked about myself.”
Few writers have given better advice to young readers. Because Raina uses the most popular format of the day, the graphic novel, to tell this story, she has already won over her audience by the time she delivers these lines. Readers come to love Raina, cheer her along, and even learn a great deal about what happens in the dentist chair and what various dental procedures entail. For anyone who has had to undergo extensive dental work, whether braces or reconstructive surgery, this book is almost a necessity.
Since publication, Smile has been wildly popular with young readers. John Schumacher, Librarian at the Brook Forest Elementary School in Oak Brook, Illinois, witnessed a fifth grader put the book in a friend’s hand, guide her to the circulation desk, and say, “You must check this out now and tell me your thoughts in the morning!” An interactive website has also been widely used by fifth and sixth graders. Some read Smile as a memoir; others simply find themselves fascinated by a story that rings so true to their own experiences. Outside of being easy to comprehend and a very fresh and honest look at common dilemmas among children and teens, Smile has been created by someone who remembers, in exacting detail, the concerns of fifth through eighth graders. In the end, whether you are an adult or child, after finishing this book you will find yourself smiling along with the protagonist.
Here’s a page from Smile:

Originally posted February 16, 2011. Updated for 2012.
Tags: Award Winning, Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, Family, Health, Humor, School

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Counting down to Sock Monkey Fever!

What is a sock monkey?   The old-fashioned, handcrafted sock monkey dolls made with Original Rockford Red Heel® socks from Fox River Mills have become a favorite piece of "Americana" over the years.  In 1890, Nelson Knitting began manufacturing these Red Heeled socks. Fox River Mills purchased Nelson Knitting in 1992. Today, the instructions for making these dolls are still included in each package of authentic Red Heel Monkey socks. 

This is a non-traditional sock monkey:

An example of a traditional sock monkey:

Sock monkeys of all persuasions are invited to join us on Wednesday, February 22nd at 2 p.m. for our Sock Monkey Fever event.  We will read stories about sock monkeys, discuss how a sock monkey is made, and give away sock monkeys to a few lucky children.  This program is for families with children of all ages.

Monday, February 6, 2012

What we're reading now: The Shrinking of Treehorn by Florence Parry Heide

Illustrated by the fabulous Edward Gorey, this sophisticated story chronicles the changes that happen to a boy named Treehorn as he mysteriously finds himself shrinking.  All of the adults in Treehorn's life barely give him a glance as he struggles to reach the water fountain at school or to sit at the dinner table. In the end, Treehorn solves his problem by himself.  The Shrinking of Treehorn is a clever, modern story, one where the protagonist is left to his own devices, in a world filled with distracted adults and fifty-six favorite television programs

FLORENCE PARRY HEIDE on the Treehorn trilogy

Today we introduce a new segment to Curious Pages. We call it:

First up, the legendary Florence Parry Heide. Ms. Heide is the author of over one hundred books for children. Some of her titles include: Fables You Shouldn't Pay Any Attention To, Grim and Ghastly Goings-On, Tales For the Perfect Child, Princess Hyacinth: the Surprising Tale of a Girl Who Floated and the forthcoming Dillweed's Revenge (A Deadly Dose of Magic) illustrated by Carson Ellis.

Arguably, her most famous books are those from her Treehorn trilogy illustrated by Edward Gorey. Unlike many picture books from this era, these books were odd, deadpan, surreal and sophisticated. So we ask: Florence, just what in the heck were you thinking?

MS. HEIDE RESPONDS: I remember the way it was, way-back-when. And when exactly was way back when? 1970. (This is about THAT time and then I expect I'll just keep typing away as I think other things...) Wasn't it just yesterday? I'd had many rejections, but look! I'd sold a few books, too. My first book, MAXIMILIAN, for example, after sixteen rejections. Sixteen!

So the fact that THE SHRINKING OF TREEHORN had been turned down a few times was not
dismaying to me. But wait a minute! Look what's happening! It's been accepted, by Holiday House! That by itself was enough to make my head spin, but now look: Edward Gorey was to be the illustrator! Edward Gorey, whose work I had so admired, was to illustrate one of my books!

And now: I was to meet him. I, Ms Plain Vanilla, was to meet the famous and fabulous Edward Gorey: John Briggs of Holiday House had so arranged. We were to sign copies of the newly published THE SHRINKING OF TREEHORN.

And there he was: be still my heart. He asked me to call him Ted. Edward Gorey asked me to call him Ted! He gave me a beanbag frog he'd made on which he'd stitched: I have turned green.

We were instant friends, lifelong friends. Each time I came to New York, and in those days I was a frequent visitor, we would see each other, have lunch, talk. And talk.

Would I write a Treehorn sequel? Oh, good, of course: TREEHORN'S TREASURE. He loved it. John Briggs loved it. And each time Ted (!) and I saw each other, he assured me that he'd start working on it very soon.

Very soon turned out to be nearly ten years.

But the moment it was published, he asked me to write a third Treehorn. What? and wait ten years? No, no. He promised that if I would write it, he would start and finish it immediately. So: I did and he did. And now we had TREEHORN'S WISH.
He had felt that with three Treehorns an animated feature would soon follow. Sorry about that, Ted, but: never say never.

See? once I start thinking of him I can't stop. Those were wonderful times. I used to stay at the old Royalton, which was not at all like the new Royalton. It's across from the Algonquin. He still lived on 38th Street. He'd come over and we'd walk to lunch. He walked everywhere. And we'd talk. And talk. We'd planned to write a murder mystery play with my brother, David, an Agatha Christie kind of play- and --

You've seen pictures of him . . . very tall, a white beard, wonderfully blue, blue eyes that really DID twinkle - blue jeans, sneakers, and although he used to wear fur coats he stopped doing that out of reverence for animals. He told me, though, that he'd saved them all, had put them in storage, he had loved those fur coats.

Oh, I was to tell you how I thought of the story of Treehorn? . . . this is how it was---

I was ready to write another story and was sitting at my typewriter ---but look at the time! it's nearly noon, and my five children would be rushing in for lunch any minute now--in those days, kids came home from school for lunch. So I was rushing to fix something for lunch when: in they came.
"Can Mike come for dinner tonight, could you call his Mom right now?"
"Look, I skinned my knee, I need a bandaid!"
"I have to have a quarter for class dues!"

And more. And all at once. And I realized that I was saying "That's nice, dear," to each one. And then I thought that I'd probably been saying that every day for ever and ever. And because I had been looking for an idea for a new book, I thought what about a mother who keeps saying That's nice, dear, no matter what's happening. So: something really surprising happens to a boy and his mother just keeps saying things like, That's nice, dear. What might that surprising thing be?

That afternoon a neighborhood boy came to the door. I hadn't seen him all winter, and I found myself saying, "My, how you've grown, Richard!" and then I thought: Oh, for heavens sake, of COURSE he's grown, don't sound so surprised. Surprised would be if he'd grown smaller.

I'd just finished it when my mother came over for coffee. She was always interested in what I was writing, so I handed it to her to read. She liked it, but said, "But why do you call him Harold, dear? That's a nice name but the other names you've used have been more. . . dashing."

I thought of that as we visited: she'd had lunch with Mrs Hale and Mrs Afton and Mrs Treehart and-- Treehart, Treehart. What about: Treehorn? So Treehorn he became.

I was telling that story to a third grade class one day and a boy asked, "So then why didn't you dedicate the book to that Mrs. Treehart?" . . .

Why indeed.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Anthony Browne the Children's Laureate blogs for World Book Day - last year

Anthony Browne the Children's Laureate blogs for World Book Day

Catherine, Cbeebies Team. | 16:41 UK time, Wednesday, 2 March 2011

It's World Book Day! Up and down the country this morning, legions of mini Harry Potters, Lolas and even Gruffalos will have skipped off to school and nursery to enjoy a day exploring the pleasures of books and reading.
To celebrate we have a special blog for you from Children's Laureate and author Anthony Browne. As Children's Laureate Anthony has been travelling all over the place meeting children, visiting schools and inspiring the readers of tomorrow. We asked him to tell us about his own passion for stories and what we can do to help our children enjoy books and become good readers:
Anthony Browne
The reading of books with your child is one of the most important and enjoyable ways of spending time together. Not only does it help your child to enjoy books and reading, it is an incredibly enjoyable experience for the parent too. When my children were young I read to them every night – at first picture books by Maurice Sendak, Raymond Briggs, David McKee, Colin McNaughton and Michael Foreman.
To read a picture book is a very different experience from reading just a story. The combination of pictures and words is a close relationship, which echoes the relationship between parent and child. With a picture book the child often looks at the pictures while the adult reads the text. This led to surprising and stimulating shared conversations between me and my children, as text and pictures were explored and pored over.
In the best picture books there is often a mysterious gap between the pictures and the words, a gap that is filled by the child's imagination. Sometimes the illustrations will tell a slightly different story from the words, by suggesting what the character is thinking or feeling. Sometimes they may even contradict the text. The way an illustrator places characters in a scene, uses colour, light and shade, free or controlled paint, can tell us far more of the story than the words. These are all clues to understanding, to be discovered and talked about, together. It is an immensely valuable experience, for both parent and child.
Reading picture books also encouraged my children to draw as well as write their own stories. The illustrations are the first works of art that children see and the images they see at this age stay with them forever.
As my children got older I started to introduce novels into the bedtime reading experience, but for many years there was an overlap between the two. We read books by Anne Fine, Bernard Ashley, the William books by Richmal Crompton, the Alice books by Lewis Carroll - and not only read them – we talked about them. I suppose it was a bit like a reading group, but much more relaxed. Stories would be a topic of conversation in the same way that films, TV programmes and incidents from all our lives were. There was no time when reading picture books ended and reading only novels began. In my opinion it’s a terrible thing to do, to tell children that it’s time now to leave picture books behind – time to only read ‘proper books.’ One of my main themes as Children’s Laureate has been to emphasise the importance of looking. I’ve talked about how we don’t value our ability to really look at things. You can see this in a museum where people spend on average thirty seconds looking at a work of art and considerably more time reading the caption. Listening is also a neglected sense – we all learn to speak but how often are we taught to listen? I believe we’d all be much happier if we really listened to each other. Reading to your children makes listening a very satisfying experience for them. It was always clear to me that if I was getting pleasure from a book then that pleasure would communicate to my children. They would enjoy the stories, enjoy listening and we would all enjoy being together.

Few words on five wordless books

Because the creators of wordless books can say so much with no words at all, I decided to use sparse words to express my awe for each of these titles and let their gorgeous covers invite you in.

#1 Sea of Dreams by Dennis Nolan

Adventure over and under the sea . . .

#2 The Conductor by Laetitia Devarney
Swirl, whirl, leaves take flight . . .

#3 Where’s Walrus by Stephen Savage

Where is that wacky walrus?
 #4Tuesday by David Wiesner

And what if frogs floated by?

#5 Beaver is Lost by Elisha Cooper
Beaver travels to a bustling city and back.

Thanks to Adopt a School Funds which purchased #1 and #2 for our classroom wordless (or nearly) collection. Wordless books allow us to practice using picture clues and background knowledge to infer meaning. They are also lovely to share together or to ponder over alone.

Curious George Saves the Day

Curious George Saves The Day: The Art of Margret and H. A. Rey

H. A. Rey, final illustration for “One day George saw a man. He had on a large yellow straw hat,” published in "The Original Curious George" (1998). © 2010 by HMH.
H. A. Rey, final illustration for “One day George saw a man. He had on a large yellow straw hat,” published in "The Original Curious George" (1998), France, 1939–40, watercolor, charcoal, and color pencil on paper. H. A. & Margret Rey Papers, de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection, McCain Library and Archives, The University of Southern Mississippi.
Through February 5, 2012
“The show presents a whole new cast of characters in a style – robust, simple, and clear, but lively, pneumatic, and always vividly colored – that I could immediately tune into.”–Sebastian Smee, The Boston Globe

Curious George, the beloved, irrepressible monkey of children’s book lore, is famous for his ability to “save the day.” Interpreting the role he played in safeguarding his own creators in times of danger as symbolic, this exhibition delves into the remarkable lives and works of Margret and H. A. Rey. The couple fled Paris in 1940 with a Curious George manuscript in their suitcase. During a tense inspection of their belongings by a border official, children’s illustrations were found and they were allowed to continue on their way, eventually reaching the United States.

Featuring nearly 80 original drawings and preparatory dummies for Margret and H. A. Rey children’s books and documentation related to their escape from Nazi-occupied Europe, the exhibition will examine the parallels between the obstacles the Reys faced and the drawings that may have saved their lives. The story of their life in Paris and narrow escape is also told through an interactive timeline. Appropriate for adults and children, the exhibition includes a reading room inspired by the beloved monkey’s escapades in Curious George Flies a Kite. Curious George Saves The Day is organized by The Jewish Museum in New York City, and is drawn from the H. A. & Margret Rey Papers, de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection, McCain Library and Archives, The University of Southern Mississippi. The exhibition is supported through a bequest from the Estate of Lore Ross; additional support for the exhibition’s Stockbridge debut is provided by Barrington Foundation, Inc.; an anonymous donor; Sol Schwartz; and media partner WGBY-TV, Springfield, Massachusetts.

Curious George, and related characters, created by Margret and H. A. Rey, are copyrighted and trademarked by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. © 2010 by HMH.

The Journey That Saved Curious George from WGBY on Vimeo.
Enjoy this great interactive timeline of Margret and H. A. Reys’ life and career:
H. A. Rey, final illustration for “This is George. He lived in Africa,” published in "The Original Curious George" (1998), France, 1939–40, watercolor, charcoal, and color pencil on paper.  H. A. & Margret Rey Papers, de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection, McCain Library and Archives, The University of Southern Mississippi.
H. A. Rey, final illustration for “This is George. He lived in Africa,” published in "The Original Curious George" (1998), France, 1939–40, watercolor, charcoal, and color pencil on paper. H. A. & Margret Rey Papers, de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection, McCain Library and Archives, The University of Southern Mississippi.
View Exhibition Curriculum Materials for Educators
Download The Family Gallery Guide
Enter Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Teacher/Librarian Resource Center: Curious George
Liste to WAMC Radio’s “The Roundtable” interview with Exhibition Curator Claudia Nahson, The Jewish Museum; and Stephanie Plunkett, Deputy Director, Norman Rockwell Museum.Click here
Listen to WBUR Radio Interview with Exhibition Curator Claudia Nahson, The Jewish Museum; Ellen Ruffin, curator at the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection at the University of Southern Mississippi; and Louise Borden, author of The Journey that Saved Curious George: Click here
“Curious George Saves the Day” Shines With the Light, Boston Globe (1/6/2012)
Monkey Business in a World of Evil, The New York Times (3/25/2010)

A Monkey Born of Trials and Tribulations, The Wall Street Journal(4/7/2010)
Curious George Saves the Day, The New York Times (3/25/2010)

March 23rd is just around the corner!

The movie version of The Hunger Games will be opening on March 23rd, much to the delight of rabid fans everywhere.  See the trailer here:

In case there is anybody still left wondering what the film (adapted from Suzanne Collins' books) is about, Jennifer Lawrence stars as Katniss Everdeen, a young woman living in an apocalyptic, ruined future America. With the majority of its citizens living in poverty in rural Districts, she has to hunt to supplement her sister and mother's meagre rations. Then her sister is chosen for the Hunger Games, an annual contest that keeps the fractured country under the iron fist of the technologically advanced Capitol.

The Games pits youngsters from each of the Districts against each other in a battle to the death, so Katniss volunteers to take her sister's place and fight alongside Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson). She'll have to outwit and outfight highly trained Tributes who have been preparing for the games her entire lives. And, as Katniss says in the new trailer, "24 go in, but only one comes out..."

This new promo is a chance to see several of the main cast: Elizabeth Banks, Donald Sutherland, Stanley Tucci, Liam Hemsworth and Lenny Kravitz all feature here.

We get the chance to see the whole thing on March 23.

Suzanne Collins fans, rejoice!

A new collection has been created: The High-Demand Youth Fiction Collection!  At the moment, this collection consists of 30 books --- 10 each of the 3 books in the Hunger Games trilogy.  These books are shelved in the Quigley Youth Room and circulate for 3 weeks with no renewals.  If you've been searching for a copy of these incredibly popular titles, stop by the WFL today!

More Playaway Views Coming Soon!

Due to popular demand, eleven more Playaway Views will be added to our collection!

Playaway View: It's One-of-a-Kind

Playaway View is the first and only video player that was designed with you and your family in mind.

No DVDS, downloads, or additional players are needed. Instead, Playaway View comes pre-loaded with multiple videos; you just have to press play! What a great way to learn and view on the go... free from your local library.

Our new Playaway Views will include stories like:

  • Starring Hillary
  • Stella the Star
  •     The Wedding
  •     When Turtle Grew Feathers 
  •     Wiggle
  •      You See a Circus
  • The Napping House
  •     The Owl and the Pussycat
  •     Stone Soup
  •     Blueberries for Sal
  •     Wynken, Blynken and Nod
  •     Noisy Nora
  •     Noisy Nora - Spanish
  •     Angus & The Ducks
  •     Rosie's Walk
  •      Rosie's Walk - Spanish
  • 100th Day Worries
  •     Stop, Drop and Roll
  •     Meet The Barkers
  •     Trouble in the Barkers' Class
  •     First Grade Takes a Test
  •      First Grade Stinks
  •     Mr. Ouchy's First Day
  • Strega Nona
  •     Tikki Tikki Tembo
  •     Joey Runs Away
  •     Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears
  •     Hot Hippo
  •     Nightingale
  • Roxaboxen    
  •     Weslandia    
  •     Hey Al!    
  •     Imogene's Antlers    
  •     Rembrandt's Beret
  • Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 
  • Pickles to Pittsburgh
  • Tales of Beatrix Potter
  • Honey... Honey... Lion!     
  • Miss Smith's Incredible Storybook    
  • Little Grunt and the Big Egg     
  • The Three Snow Bears    
  • Miss Bridie Chose a Shovel
  • The Emperor’s New Clothes
  • The Violin’s Ghost
  • The Light
  • Fearless Peter
  • Death for a Godfather
  • The Three Little Pigs
  • Shall We Trade Legs?
  • The Ugly Martian
  • The Clever Girl
  • There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly
  • Over in the Meadow
  • Dem Bones
  • The Foolish Frog
  • The Star Spangled Banner
  • Corduroy
  • Harry the Dirty Dog
  • No Roses for Harry
  • Curious George Rides a Bike
  • Blueberries for Sal
Phew, that's a lot of stories!  Stop by the children's room and check out a Playaway View!

Don't Let the Pigeon Run this App!

iPhone Screenshot 1
Don’t Let the Pigeon Run This App!

Three-time Caldecott Honoree Mo Willems brings the Pigeon to the digital screen with this original, feature-rich, animated app.

“Don’t Let the Pigeon Run This App!” lets you create your own Pigeon stories with your pal, Mo Willems. Just follow as the Bus Driver asks you for your ideas—then shake the Pigeon. Your story is ready! Sit back and enjoy the show. Once you’re finished, try it again…and again. You can make as many silly stories as you want.

This fully animated app includes hilarious shake-and-play technology, customized voice integration, and other exciting interactive features. Plus, you can draw the Pigeon with Mo!

Starring appearance by the Pigeon, voiced by Mo Willems!
Also starring YOU! Record your own voice as part of the story.
Pigeon-drawing tutorial with Mo!
Personalized vault for six of your favorite Big Pigeon stories!

Three unique storytelling modes!
Read-along option!
Shake-and-tap interactivity!
Pigeon-y sound effects and music!