Sept. 1 - All libraries will be closed for Labor Day.
If you are a fan of smart, funny, precocious fourth-grader Clementine, you may already know about her clever creator, Sara Pennypacker. You are probably already enjoying Clementine’s SIXTH adventure, titled Clementine and the Spring Trip.
If you haven’t met Clementine yet, you should!
Sara Pennypacker was a shy girl who loved reading, gardening, going to the beach, getting presents, riding horses, and cake! (She says she still likes all of those things.) When she grew up, she started painting, and then writing children’s books. On her website, she says, “Kids ask me all the time how they could know if they're going to be a writer. The first thing I tell them is this: "If you write for pleasure, you already are a writer."
Two of my favorite books of hers are picture books, and not part of a series, but they tell amazing stories. One is Sparrow Girl, which is based on a true story of a girl in China who saved beautiful birds from being destroyed. The other is Pierre in Love, about a shy rat feeling "bloopy and love-swoggled", and trying to show the ballet teacher how he feels.
No matter which of the characters you meet in Sara’s world, you’re bound to find you’ve made a new friend!
You can learn more about Sara and her books at her website.
Do you always think of superheroes when you hear about comics and graphic novels? Think again! The graphic novels listed below, and many others, have nothing to do with Superman! Some are stories on their own; others are illustrated retellings of books previously written in chapter book format.
Are you wondering what’s so great about graphic novels? Look no further! These help reluctant readers who might be hesitant to pick up longer books become interested in reading. They can also improve reading development and comprehension in students struggling with learning language, as they provide clues through pictures as to what is being conveyed with words.
Bake Sale by Sara Varon
Bake Sale is a graphic novel about a cupcake that owns a bakery and plays in a band. His friend, Eggplant, invites Cupcake to go to Turkey with him but Cupcake doesn’t have enough money to buy a plane ticket. Read it to find out what he does! This book also includes recipes!
Benjamin Bear In Fuzzy Thinking by Philippe Coudray
Benjamin Bear faces many problems in this book but he always comes up with funny and creative solutions for them. For example, when Benjamin is washing his dishes in a waterfall, his friend Rabbit offers to help him dry. Benjamin uses Rabbit’s fuzzy body to dry the dishes, instead of handing him a towel.
Binky The Space Cat by Ashley Spires
In this book, a cat named Binky thinks he is a space cat, though he is really just a regular house cat. He plans to leave the space station, also known as his house, to blast off into outer space, or outside. Here he will conquer aliens (bugs) and explore unknown places. Will he survive this dangerous journey? Read this and other Binky books to find out!
This is the first title in the Goosebumps Graphix series, based on the stories from Goosebumps chapter books! Here The Werewolf of Fever Swamp, The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight, and The Abominable Snowman of Pasadena are all told in illustrated format!
A Wrinkle In Time: The Graphic Novel by Madeline L’Engle and Hope Larson
This is an illustrated retelling of the chapter book with the same name. In this story Meg Murry and her little brother Charles search for their lost father, who is doing secret time travel work for the government. Along the way they encounter lots of interesting characters.
Find these and many more great graphic novels at your local library!
Tired of listening to the same old versions of classic children’s songs? You should check out Eric Litwin’s CD, The Big Silly.
Litwin, the author of the popular Pete the Cat books, has put a twist on a few of the classics and has created a some original songs, dances, poems, and stories everyone can get into.
Wheels on the Bus is now sung in a Ska style, and the ABC song is done with a Hip Hop groove. With a different style of music for each track there’s something to please everyone in the family! Check out some song clips from this CD!
What do you get when you cross a vampire with a snowman?
Why did I just tell you that silly joke?
Because April is NATIONAL HUMOR MONTH!
What is the funniest book you ever read?
One of my favorites (and it was hard to choose just one) is:
STOP THAT PICKLE!
by Peter Armour
When Mrs. Elmira Deeds waddles into Mr. Adolph's deli and asks for a pickle, chaos erupts! The pickle escapes from the jar and a cast of zany characters joins in the chase to stop the pickle as it attempts to run away. This book is so fun to read aloud. I especially like to talk like the "seventeen toasted almonds"!
Have you heard this one?
When does B come after U?
When you steal some of its honey!
A funny author I love is Jon Scieszca.
All of his books, from picture books like, The Stinky Cheese Man and other Fairly Stupid Tales,
to his chapter books like, The Time Warp trio, can always make me laugh.
Check out his hilarious (and slightly weird) website.
Okay, here is my last joke -
(cows say who?)
No silly, cows say Moo!
Do you have a favorite funny book or joke to share?
Do you know anything about the Vietnam War? I had a vague idea of what happened during that complex time period, and learned more about it in this easy-to-read and comprehensive book:
Vietnam War: Living Through The Vietnam War, by Cath Senker
One of the more famous events at the end of this war was the airlift of Vietnamese orphans out of the capital of Saigon. This fascinating story of one baby’s journey was written after the author interviewed the now-grown girl and pieced together amazing details about her young life in Vietnam. Read her story in Last Airlift: a Vietnamese Orphan’s Rescue from War, by Marsha Skrypuch.
Escape from Saigon: How a Vietnam War Orphan Became an American Boy, by Andrew Warren, tells the story of a young Amerasian boy who is rescued during the same airlift, though he is a much older boy and remembers more.
Great fiction has also been written about Vietnam and the war:
Cracker!: The Best Dog in Vietnam, by award-winning author Cynthia Kadohata, chronicles the journey of Cracker, a bomb-sniffing dog, and Rick, a hard-headed, difficult-to-get-along-with young man, as they learn to rely on each other for their lives.
Inside Out and Back Again, winner of a Newbery Honor Award, by Thanhha Lai, chronicles a family’s journey to America during the uncertain last days before the Vietcong take over Saigon.
Dogtag Summer, by Elizabeth Partridge, is the story of a young Vietnamese girl whose adopted American father fought in Vietnam and has secrets he is not ready to share.
Does your toddler like to sing and dance? Do you?
Come and join our dance party for exercise, learning, and most of all, fun through music!
This is geared toward 2-4 year olds, but all ages are welcome. This party will take place at the Wheat Ridge Library before the library opens for regular business, so please come to the staff entrance located to the west and back from the main door
Did you know that "a giant squid's eyeball can be as big as a human head"?
Or that "the most overdue library book was 288 years late"?
Or how about "if you counted all the hours Angry Birds fans have spent playing the game, it would add up to more than 200,000 years"?
Weird, right? But true!
Here are some more questions for you:
Do you know what Barbie's full name is?
How much an elephant's tooth weighs?
How fast lightning is moving when you see it?
You can find answers to these questions and more in this great series from National Geographic: Weird but True!
The books in this series are full of fascinating and weird facts! Find them at your local library today!
Can't get enough? You can also visit nationalgeographic.com/kids for more fun facts, games, crafts, weird & wacky videos and more!
Deborah Ellis is the author of the Breadwinner Trilogy. This is a very tense and emotional series about a family in Afghanistan before and after Taliban rule.
In the first three books you are introduced to Parvana and her family and are a witness to the harsh reality that is their lives.
This is a story as real as today's headlines: Just a few months ago, Malala Yousufzai, a 14 year old Pakistani girl, was shot by the Taliban for the crime of going to school!
Deborah Ellis is telling the further story of Parvana in her latest book, My Name is Parvana.
If you have read the trilogy, you should read this follow-up, set five years later. Parvana is now 15 years old and living in post-Taliban Afghanistan.
If you haven't read the previous three books and you are interested in what life is like in Afghanistan, this is a great series. I loved them all.
Here are the other three in the series:
The Breadwinner- Young Parvana lives with her family in one room of a bombed-out apartment building in Kabul, Afghanistan. Because Parvana's father has a foreign education, he is arrested by the Taliban. The family becomes increasingly desperate until Parvana conceives a plan.
Parvana's Journey- In this sequel to "The Breadwinner," the Taliban still control Afghanistan and Kabul is in ruins.
Mud City- This final book in the trilogy paints a devastating portrait of life in refugee camps and shows the resourcefulness of children who endure great suffering there.
Deborah Ellis has also written a non-fiction book called Kids of Kabul: Living Bravely Through a Never-ending War. Ellis went to Kabul and interviewed children who spoke about their lives since the fall of the Taliban in 2001. Have things changed for children, and particularly for girls? Read this book and find out!
Check out these true animal stories with amazing photographs.
A Friend For Einstein: The Smallest Stallion by Charlie Cantrell and Rachel Wagner - This is the story of a mini miniature horse named Einstein who weighed no more than a cat and stood about as tall as a cereal box when he was born. Too little to play with the rest of the herd, Einstein is lonely until he meets a dog named Lilly and the two become great friends.
Friends: True Stories of Extraordinary Animal Friendships by Catherine Thimmesh - Check out this book to see some amazing and unusual animal friends. Would you ever think that a dog and leopard would be pals? How about a frog and a mouse or a pig and a camel? Each photograph has a story that goes along with it, explaining how the unlikely animal pairs became buddies.
Kate and Pippin: An Unlikely Love Story by Martin Springett - This is the story of how a Great Dane named Kate becomes a mother to a little lost fawn called Pippin. Pippin is found in the woods abandoned by her mother. After three days of being unclaimed by her real mother, Kate’s owner takes her in and Kate begins to care for her like her own puppy.
Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine, and a Miracle by Brian Dennis, Kirby Larson, and Mary Nethery - Nubs was a wild dog in Iraq before he befriended a Marine named Brian Dennis. Brian is not allowed to keep Nubs so he raises money to send him to the U.S. to live a safer life in Brian’s home in San Diego. Read this story to find out what happens!
Owen and Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship told by Isabella Hatkoff, Craig Hatkoff, and Paula Kahumbu - In this true tale, a baby hippo named Owen becomes separated from his mother in a flood. He is brought into shore and taken to an animal sanctuary called Haller Park and is placed in a habitat with a tortoise names Mzee, who isn’t too happy about it at first. Soon, however, the two become very close friends and can even be seen snuggling up against one another at night.
Tarra and Bella: The Elephant and Dog Who Became Best Friends by Carol Buckley - This is the story of a retired circus elephant named Tarra and her life in an elephant sanctuary in Tennessee. Here she prefers to stay away from the other elephants and generally likes to be alone. A stray dog named Bella comes to the sanctuary and the two are soon inseparable. They eat together and sleep together and when Bella suffers a spinal injury her elephant companion watches over her until she is nursed back to health.
Who are you? Why are you here? What are you looking for? Does this have anything to do with Lemony Snicket? THESE ARE ALL THE WRONG QUESTIONS!
If this new series is anything like the Series of Unfortunate Events, it should be exciting and fun to find out.
What was your favorite "Series of Unfortunate Events" book?
Mine is "The Reptile Room" (so creepy when their guardian, Uncle Monty, gets poisoned by his own snakes).