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Library Blog

Information on events, library related happenings, and other deep thoughts from our library staff.

The Newest Novels to Fuel Your Imagination

So, today is a BIG day in the publishing industry.  There are a ridiculously large number of books that came out today, and many of them are perfect for our fantasy-based summer!  If you want even more new fantasy titles, take a look at one of our official summer reading lists!

Asha and the Spirit Bird by Jasbinder Bilan
One True King by Soman Chainani (The School for Good and Evil #6 & final)
The Way to Rio Luna by Zoraida Cordova
Battle Born by Amie Kaufman (Elementals #3 & final)
Thunder Run by Daniel José Older (Dactyl Hill Squad #3)

My Calamity Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton & Jodi Meadows 
Burn by Patrick Ness

* There weren't records for all of the titles when I wrote this blog.  We're all still playing catch-up!  Check back with our online catalog soon!

Target Age: 
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This is a blog I wrote before the COVID shutdown.  I decided to wait and post it sometime in the future, once the public had access to our physical collection again.  Well, curbside service starts today!  So I pulled this blog out to post.  And guess what I discovered?  We  have a copy of the ebook available on Overdrive!  I waited needlessly to tell you about illustrator Pete Oswald's solo picture book debut!  Read the interview on Let's Talk Picture Books before or after you dive into this near-wordless celebration of nature . . . and a day spent with dad.

Hike (03/17/20)
In the cool and quiet early light of morning, a father and child wake up. Today they’re going on a hike. Follow the duo into the mountains as they witness the magic of the wilderness, overcome challenges, and play a small role in the survival of the forest. By the time they return home, they feel alive — and closer than ever — as they document their hike and take their place in family history. In detail-rich panels and textured panoramas, Pete Oswald perfectly paces this nearly wordless adventure, allowing readers to pause for subtle wonders and marvel at the views. A touching tribute to the bond between father and child, with resonant themes for Earth Day, Hike is a breath of fresh air.

Target Age: 
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Reading Lists Beyond Imagination

I start working on the summer reading list in January.  The list usually includes titles and locations within the library.  This year I had decided to also create a few book cover lists that highlighted various parts of the long list.  I had completed most of the title list when the quarantine set in and everything about summer reading changed.  So here's what we have instead!

I used my work-at-home time to learn how to use a service called LibraryAware.  It allowed me to create some very fancy looking book cover reading lists.  Every title is available in our downloadable collections, either via Libby or Hoopla.  Since each list can only include a small number of books, I made a lot of lists.  I made 45 of them.  I told you it was a lot!  We'll be featuring them in a variety of ways all summer long, but I'm also going to assemble them all together in this blog post.  I hope you find many books you want to read!  I know I did!

1. Board Books
2. Picture Books 1
3. Picture Books 2
4. Picture Books 3
5. Picture Books 4
6. First Chapter Books
7. Graphic Novels
8. Mermaids 1
9. Mermaids 2
10. Diverse Juvenile Fantasy 1
11. Diverse Juvenile Fantasy 2
12. New Juvenile Fantasy
13. Magical Juvenile Fantasy 1
14. Magical Juvenile Fantasy 2
15. Magical Juvenile Fantasy 3
16. Dragon Juvenile Fantasy 
17. Creature Juvenile Fantasy 1
18. Creature Juvenile Fantasy 2
19. Mythical Juvenile Fantasy 1
20. Mythical Juvenile Fantasy 2
21. Fairytale Juvenile Fantasy 1
22. Fairytale Juvenile Fantasy 2
23. Almost Forgot These Juvenile Fantasy
24. Who HQ 1
25. Who HQ 2
26. Who HQ 3
27. Who HQ 4
28. Diverse Teen Fantasy 1
29. Diverse Teen Fantasy 2
30. Classic Teen Fantasy
31. Leigh Bardugo
32. Cassandra Clare
33. Disney Twisted Tales
34. Fairytale Teen Fantasy
35. Teen Fantasy 1
36. Teen Fantasy 2
37. Teen Fantasy 3
38. Teen Fantasy 4
39. Teen Fantasy 5
40. Teen Fantasy 6
41. Teen Fantasy 7
42. Teen Fantasy 8
43. Teen Fantasy 9
44. Teen Fantasy 10
45. Adult Fantasy for Teens

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Maybe you aren't satisfied with just doing summer reading.  Maybe you want to try your hand at summer writing, too!  Here are some resources to help you get your story started.

Both my mom and sister are experts at the art of crochet.  This means I have easy access to a lot of yarn.  A LOT.  Which is great because there are so many things you can do with a bit of string and imagination.

National Paper Airplane Day

May 26, 2020 is National Paper Airplane Day!  Celebrate the simple aeronautical toy in the best possible way.  Fold some paper, and let it fly!

Fold a classic paper dart.

Fold three other paper airplane styles -- Dagger, F-15, Arrowhead.

Use these folded planes to challenge yourself to one of these games -- Runway Landing or Flying Through Hoops.

Learn about John Collins, The Paper Airplane Guy, who has devoted himself to designing, folding, and flying the world's finest paper airplanes.

Learn about the Red Bull Paper Wings world champions.

When the Kid Zone dedicated a wall to hands-on play opportunities, Mr Justin created the art.  Did you know that he included a large paper airplane in his design?  You can see it in this picture from last year's Summer Reading Kick-Off event, Episode Fun.

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School's Out!

Which is cause for celebration every year.  But this year?  I don't think the students, teachers, or parents have EVER been so excited.  I'm sure you already have a long list of things you want to do at this momumental moment, but here are a few more ideas.

No, not everyone is graduating from high school.  But this year's school end feels like a big deal no matter your grade level.  It deserves a little pomp and circumstance.  And tasty treats!  There are several ways you can make an edible graduation cap.  You can go the healthy route and use an applesauce pot.  Or you can seize the day and use Ferrero Rocher.  There's also a candy option that uses peanut butter cups.  And you can't go wrong with cupcakes.

Combine cash and origami to fold money into adorable mini mortarboards and diplomas.

Turn your favorite hat into a graduation cap once you learn how to make your own tassel.  My mom made all the tassels for my class when I graduated from Kindergarten.  I wonder if this is the method she used.

You deserve to have some fun after all the hard work.  I highly recommend the titles on our 2020 Summer Reading list.

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Virtual Farm Field Trip

I wanted to sneak in one final virtual field trip before school's out.  Our destination?  The farm!  It's a popular choice during normal field trip times.  Plus my mom is from farm country in Fulton County, Illinois.

American Dairy Association
These three virtual farm tours were developed last year for student classroom viewing, but they were released to the public in response to the COVID closures.  There are three farm tours, geared for different age groups.  Kids ages 4-9 will enjoy touring Dutch Hollow Farm.  Kids ages 10-13 are invited to tour Will-O-Crest Farm.  High school students can explore JoBo Holsteins Farm.

Undeniably Dairy 
Go beyond the barn with the cows, the Feldpausch family and their team!  This VFT takes students behind-the-scenes to show them key ways farmers and the dairy community bring dairy foods from the dairy farm-to-table, while contributing to sustainable food systems that are good for the land, animals, people and the planet.  It was put together by Discovery Education and the National Dairy Council.  There is an educator guide targeting grades 5-8.

Free-Range Egg Farm
Welcome to this Canadian free-range egg farm that is also certified organic. Free range eggs come from hens raised in barns with access to outdoor runs, when weather permits.  There are several video tours, including a 360° tour.

Apple Orchard
Learn about how apples are grown, packaged, and everything in between. You’ll meet Canadian apple growers Murray and Joel, who will explain the importance of working together, of using Integrated Pest Management in their orchard and how critical Seasonal Agricultural Workers are to their business.  There are several video tours, including a 360° tour.

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Imagine That! with Craft Sticks

This week's common item that will fuel our imaginations?  Craft sticks!  Or you might like to call them popsicle sticks.  Just make sure the sticks are free of sticky, sugary residue before you use them on any of these projects.  You'll notice just by looking at the list that craft sticks are very versatile.

Spider Web

Letter Matching 
Sight Words 

Match Fact Dominoes 
Art Puzzles 
Photo Puzzles 

Chain Reaction 
Exploding Boomerangs 
Marble Run 

Color Matching Xylophone
Counting Movement
Number Hunt 
Summer Boredom Busters 

Did you miss the first week in this blog series?  No worries!  You can access Imagine That! with Cardboard Tubes here.

Target Age: 
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Mad Libs

I've always been kinda obsessed with words -- finding the right word, using unusual words, even making up words.  This began when I was a very little girl.  My dad loves to tell the story of how he would stand just out of my line of sight to listen to me playing.  I would speak as if I was reading aloud a script, saying things like " 'Oh, no!' she exclaimed" as my dolls had crazy adventures.  (My boss Jeremy claims I still do this.  He calls it narrating my life.)  Anyway, words are a thing with me.  And I love any and all games where words are important, like Scrabble and Boggle.  But I completely love, love, LOVE Mad Libs!  My sister and I spent lots of our childhood filling out those little fill-in-the-blank stories.  In fact, we took a book of Golden Girls-themed Mad Libs on my Golden Girls-themed birthday cruise.  And the results made us laugh till we cried!  I also had to laugh because my sister kept forgetting the difference between an adjective and an adverb!  If you haven't yet discovered the magic of Mad Libs, you are truly missing out.  Take a look at everything the modern Mad Libber has at his/her disposal.

Mad Libs website
Mad Libs app
Mad Libs cootie catcher
Mad Libs educator guide from Brightly

Can you make up your own Mad Lib?  I did this for a storytelling class I taught at a summer camp years ago, and it was a huge hit at our end-of-camp showcase.

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture