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Library Blog

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

National Underwear Day

August 5, 2020 is National Underwear Day.  I know you're eager to start planning your celebration, so I'll be brief.  HA!  Here are my fave books about always-funny underpants!

Creepy Pair of Underwear by Aaron Reynolds (ebook on Overdrive)
Monster’s New Undies by Samantha Berger
Octopants by Suzy Senior
One Big Pair of Underwear by Laura Gehl
Underwear! by Jennifer Harney
Vegetables in Underwear by Jared Chapman (ebook on Overdrive & Hoopla)

The Adventures of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey (full color ebook on Overdrive & audiobook on Hoopla)
The Wolf in Underpants by Wilfrid Lupano (ebook on Hoopla)

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture

Inspired by Summer: Pool Party

A pool party is the classic way to celebrate the end of summer.  All of my favorite summertime pool memories took place in Germany.  There was an outdoor pool that my family could walk to in a neighboring German town.  The pool was big and filled with both Americans and Germans.  Kids could tell who was who easily because most of the young German children swam naked.  This was completely shocking to my little sister the first time she noticed it. (A German boy she was playing with was holding a water pail in front of his swimsuit.  Except, when he moved the pail, there wasn't a swimsuit.)  But by the next pool visit, she didn't even blink an eye.  We were too busy having fun!  And eating!  That pool had the best pommes frites (french fries) and an amazing selection of gummi candy.  We also could hop in the car and take a short drive to the Schwimmbad in Kirchheimbolanden.  It was an indoor pool complex with lots of bonus features, like slides and waterfalls.  I Googled it while I was writing this blog, and it's still in business.  The website is in German, but you can still look at the pictures.  Cool, right?  If you want to celebrate the end of summer reading with a pool party of your own, I'm here to help!  Here are some ideas to enjoy the cool of the pool . . . even if you don't have a pool.

1. Pool Noodle Fun
Pool noodles are simply the best.  They are so versatile!  You can float some pool noodle boats.  You can make pool noodle ponies to help you ride the waves.  Turn pool noodles into lightsabers for some Star Wars water fun.  Turn pool noodles into a marble run water slide.  And my favorite idea of all?  Make a DIY sprinkler with a pool noodle!

2. Pool Games
Do you enjoy playing Marco Polo or Chicken Fight while in the pool?  Do you want more ideas?  Here are over 30 pool games great for kids!  If that's not enough for you, you could set up a squirt gun race.

3. Bathtub Pools
If you don't have access to a pool, you can throw a pool party in your bathtub!  Put on your swimsuit, grab your fave flotation device, and splash around.  Then dry off with a beach towel.

4. Books for the Cool of the Pool
There are lots of great books about kids swimming, diving, and enjoying the pool.  Just make sure you don't get them wet!

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture

Throwback Thursday: Fantasia

This is my final post in this summer Throwback Thursday series.  And it's different from the others . . . in more ways than one.  Fantasia came out in 1940, Disney's third animated feature after Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Pinocchio.  This collection of animated interpretations of great works of Western classical music was my childhood introduction to the orchestra.  It combined the conducting prowess of Leopold Stokowski, his Philadelphia Orchestra, and Disney's artistic animators.  Some of the music is visually interpreted by abstract images.  One, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, tells a specific story . . . and features Mickey (plus some out-of-control, water-hauling brooms).  Another takes a very well-known Tchaikovsky ballet and uses fairies, flowers, and fish to bring the songs to life.  Fantastical creatures, such as pegasi, centaurs, and a unicorn donkey, frolic with Greek gods (which is why I included this movie in this blog series).  And how can one forget once they've seen ostrich, hippopotamus, and elephant ballerinas?!  In the classical tradition, a fantasia is a free-form piece of music that resembles improvisation. The imaginative nature of this project reminded Stokowski of a fantasia, so he suggested the term as a working title for the film. The name stuck.

I'm afraid you cannot check out a copy of Fantasia from the library (it has been in the dreaded Disney Vault for a number of years), but you can watch it if you have Disney+.  I do not have that kind of access, but I can watch my childhood VHS copy. (Yes, it still works.  There's only a brief wibble in the final cartoon segment.  I know.  I'm surprised, too.)  I was also lucky enough to see it on the big screen in Alabaster when Disney did a special 75th anniversary screening in 2015.  It was amazing, especially the scary sequence at the end -- Night on Bald Mountain.  Even as an adult, Fantasia fuels my imagination.  What will it do to yours?

Did you miss last week's post in this series?  Take a look at Throwback Thursday: The Hobbit.

Katiem's picture

This is the last week of Summer Reading!  Why not go out with a bang by hosting a princess party at home?  But, Miss Katie Jane, I don't know how to do that!  I don't have any good ideas!  Nonsense!  I bet you could think of lots of cool stuff to do!  But, if you'd like a little help, I'll let you in on a secret.  It's something I discovered quite by accident while I was investigating Hoopla.  Disney has put out a series of books about how to throw a party based on one of their beloved princess characters.  And Hoopla has all six!  Let the celebration begin!

This is the blog that Jack built.  These are the stories that inspired the blog that Jack built.

I think everyone is familiar with the classic cumulative tale This Is the House That Jack Built.  Did you know that it has inspired other authors to build stories that follow the same repetitive wording pattern?  And now it has inspired me to write this blog!  It's the final week of Summer Reading, but there's still time to add one of these books to your list.

Tumblebooks Storytime: FUN IN THE SUN

This is the final week of summer reading!  Since our Monday summer storytime series ended last week, I've put together a DIY storytime for you using Tumblebooks.  Our website looks a bit different since my last Tumblebooks Storytime, so here's how you can find it online.  Go to our website and click the blue BOOKS rectangle.  Scroll down to Tumblebooks and click on LINK TO RESOURCE.  You will be asked to enter your library card number in order to continue to the Tumblebooks website.  Once there, click on the INDEX tab to see an alphabetical list of books.  Use the alphabet buttons at the top to narrow your search for the titles.

Down to the Sea with Mr. Magee by Chris Van Dusen   With enough lunch for three, Mr. Magee and his dog Dee head out to the sea.  But what begins as a fun day in the sun turns a bit bumpy when one playful whale decides to say hello. Soon the crew that once was floating finds themselves flying! How will they get down?  Who will come to their rescue?  And when will they ever get to eat lunch?
Nathan Saves Summer by Gerry Renert  Join Nathan the hippopotamus, whose lifelong dream is to become the lifeguard for a small pond, and the neighboring animals who vacation there each summer.  Concerned that Nathan may be too big for the small pond, the other animals come up with an array of excuses why Nathan can’t serve as the pond lifeguard.  A twist of fate leads the animals to a new, idyllic swimming spot, turning Nathan into the local hero.
Sink or Swim by Valerie Coulman  Ralph the cow is trying to beat the scorching summer heat.  What better way to cool off than to go swimming?  But wait, cows can't swim . . . or can they?  Ralph tackles this challenge with unsinkable optimism.

Chalk Shadow Drawings  On a sunny day, capture your shadow on the driveway with sidewalk chalk.
Ice Cube Necklace  Fun to make and cool to wear.
Paper Plate Sun  Turn two paper plates into one cute sun craft.
Paper Sun   Fold and cut an easy paper sun with twelve rays.
Solar Oven S'mores  Use the power of the sun to make a tasty treat.
Water Balloon Towel Toss  This is a great activity if you have at least four people.

Be Outside by Jazzy Ash  Take your dance moves outside with her newest music video!
Mr. Sun by Ladybug Music  This is my favorite version of this classic tune.
Palentero Man by The Lucky Band  Cool off with this hot song about the local ice cream man!
Summer Baby (Let It Ride) by Caspar Babypants  This tune also gives you good ideas for fun in the sun!
Take the Sun by Caspar Babypants  Movement song to celebrate the sun and the moon.

Beach Day! on KidLit TV  Author Patricia Lakin reads her adventure about four toothy reptiles heading to the beach.
Born to Ride on KidLit TV  Learn to draw the star of this story -- a girl on a bicycle!
I Got the Rhythm on Sankofa Read Aloud  Capture the beat of the street, to create a rollicking read that will get any kid in the mood to boogie.
Jabari Jumps on Rooftop Kid Storytime  Jabari is definitely ready to jump off the diving board.   Maybe.
Sandy Feet! Whose Feet? on Sankofa Read Aloud  When a family spends a day at the beach, the children investigate various footprints to see what type of creatures live along the shoreline.
Sunny Day on Brightly Storytime  Read along with this stunning tribute to Sesame Street and the generations of children who have loved the show.  Features a variety of illustrators!
T-Bone the Drone on Sankofa Read Aloud  A new tech toy brings epic trials and triumphs in this playtime adventure! 
When a Dragon Moves In on Storyline Online  Is there truly a mischievous dragon running around on the beach or is someone’s imagination running wild? 

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture

Inspired by Summer: Amusement Park

When I was young, I loved going to amusement parks and county fairs in the summertime, mostly because of the rides.  My dad and I would go on all of them.  My sister would go on a few.  My mom?  Absolutely none.  Luckily, there's more to amusement parks than just the rides.  You might not visit an amusement park this summer, but you can recreate some of the fun at home using these ideas.

1. The Rides
Build a roller coaster out of paper, paper plates, or straws.  Engineer a ferris wheel out of popsicle sticks.  You can even go big and make one that actually moves!  Make a merry-go-round or just a carousel horse

2. The Games
My sister's favorite amusement park game is Skee-Ball.  She's quite good at it.  Me?  I'm an inconsistent player.  Improve your skills with one of these at-home options.  Make a Skee-Ball toss or build your own Skee-Ball game.  Another one of my sister's faves?  Bumper cars.  I'm not a fan of the real deal.  It makes me too nervous.  But I've thought of an at-home version I'd like to play.  Each person holds a swimming inner tube around their waist as they "drive" around the yard, bumping into folks.  It's kind of like these bumper tables and these ice bumpers.

3. The Food 
There's food galore offered at amusement parks, but my absolute fave is cotton candy.  If you're feeling brave, you can make it at home.  If you don't feel up to tackling that, whip up a cute cotton candy craft.  All food options at amusement parks include lines.  Actually, just about everything at amusement parks includes lines.  So why not recreate that experience at home, too?  Use masking tape or sidewalk chalk to snake a line all over your living room or driveway, then follow all the twists and turns.

4. The Memories
Amusement park maps don't just help you navigate the park.  They also offer ways to remember all the good times!  Use a map from one of your previous trips to do an activity.  Or design your own amusement park map.  While you're creating that, you could also design a Wish You Were Here postcard.  And you know how some rides snap a commemorative picture of you while your hair is flying and you're screaming at the top of your lungs?  Why not recreate that photo op with a fan, a dramatic pose, and a smartphone snap?

5. The Books
Ok, usually you don't take books to an amusement park.  Even I, big-time reader that I am, don't do that!  But there are lots of thrilling books about amusement parks, and I just had to include them in this blog.  

Katiem's picture

Throwback Thursday: The Hobbit

The greatest adventure is what lies ahead.
Today and tomorrow are yet to be said.
The chances, the changes are all yours to make.
The mold of your life is in your hands to break.

The theme song for this week's movie spotlight seems especially fitting for this time.  It reminds us that, while we don't know what's coming next and some things are out of our control, there are things we CAN control.  And we can view it as an adventure rather than an ordeal.

The 1977 animated television special of The Hobbit is one of my favorite movies.  I still watch it regularly even now at age 40.  It introduced me to the work of J.R.R. Tolkien.  And, while I love the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit live-action trilogies, this animated classic still holds a special place in my heart.

First of all, it is just 77 minutes long.  And it manages to include almost every aspect of the source material.  That is a rarity in the current fantasy movie industry.  Second of all, it is filled with delightful songs straight from the book.  My sister and I still burst into Hobbit songs at every opportunity.  My college friend Blake Hudson does the same thing.  In fact, the first time I realized he knew all the words to all the songs was the moment I knew we'd be friends.  The animation also stood out to me as a child.  It was so different from the cartoon styles I was used to seeing: Hanna-Barbera and Disney.  I didn't know it at the time, but it was done by a Japanese studio called Topcraft, a precursor to Studio Ghibli.

In 1977, NBC, Rankin and Bass won a Peabody Award for The Hobbit.   The Peabody annually honors the most powerful, enlightening, and invigorating stories in television, radio, and online media.  The movie was also nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation in 1978, but lost to Star Wars.  The Hugo is science fiction's most prestigious award.  See?  I'm not the only one who loves it.  Add it to your next binge-watching session.

Learn more about the man behind the story.  Read one of these excellent biographies.
John Ronald's Dragons: The Story of J.R.R. Tolkien by Caroline McAlister
Kid Authors: True Tales of Childhood from Famous Writers by David Stabler (ebook on Libby)
Mythmaker: The Life of J.R.R. Tolkien, Creator of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by Anne E. Neimark
Who Was J.R.R. Tolkien? by Pam Pollack & Meg Belviso (ebook on Libby)

Did you miss last week's post in this series?  Take a look at Throwback Thursday: Mary Poppins.

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture

Kitty Superhero Cosplay

The library's annual Sci-Fi/Fantasy Fest is here!  And you know what that makes me think about?  Cosplay!  Cosplay is the practice of dressing up as a character from a movie, book, or video game.  It's costume play!  Superheroes are a pretty common choice.  Do you want to dress up like a superhero?  Why not turn yourself into Kitty, the star of this first chapter book series?  She's a girl by day, a cat by night.  And she's ready for an adventure.

1. Kitty and the Moonlight Rescue by Paula Harrison (ebook on Libby & Hoopla)
Kitty is special. Her mother is a superhero with catlike powers that Kitty and her little brother Max will someday inherit. But being a superhero involves going on daring adventures at night, and Kitty doesn’t know if she’ll ever be brave enough for that!  One night though, Kitty finds a sleek black cat with white paws waiting at her window. When he introduces himself, Kitty is shocked to realize she can understand him—her powers have arrived! The cat, Figaro, has a problem. There’s a terrible meowing sound coming from the clock tower, and the other cats don’t know what to do. The night outside looks cold and uninviting, and Kitty is afraid of the dark. But she musters up her courage and sets out to find the source of the mysterious sound. Along the way, she makes new friends, uncovers her confidence, and learns what it means to be brave.

2. Kitty and the Tiger Treasure (ebook on Hoopla)
When a new exhibition arrives at the local museum, Kitty is excited to see its most prized artifact, the Golden Tiger. Sadly, her cat, Pumpkin, won’t be able to see the Golden Tiger because pets aren’t allowed to visit the galleries. That night, Kitty decides to use her catlike superpowers to sneak Pumpkin into the museum. When they arrive, it’s just in time to see someone stealing the Golden Tiger statue! The museum's security cat, Cleo, is devastated that she let the bandit get away. But never fear! Kitty and Pumpkin are there to help Cleo track down the culprit and recover the statue before morning.

3. Kitty and the Sky Garden Adventure (ebook on Hoopla)
Kitty and her feline friends Pumpkin and Pixie discover a secret sky garden on a city rooftop. The garden is beautiful, and the flowers are delicate and colorful. But when Pixie tells other cats about the magical place, the secret is out, and the garden is in danger of being destroyed! Will Kitty save the day and rescue the garden before it’s too late? 

The fourth title, Kitty and the Treetop Chase, comes out September 1, 2020.


Target Age: 
Katiem's picture

When Pencil Met the Markers

I know that most people are not excited about the approaching school year.  There's a lot of anxiety about all of the unknowns.  That's completely understandable.  But I encourage you to find and focus on the things that will be good.  Like school supplies.  I love school supplies!  I get super excited when I see that Target starts stocking tons of notebooks, pencils, markers, and other items needed to start a new academic year.  In 2019, I went a bit overboard and bought eight new notebooks.  Eight!  This year I showed considerable restraint.  I have purchased just two.  If you are also a school supplies enthusiast, you'll definitely enjoy this imaginative, inspiring, and colorful follow-up to When Pencil Met Eraser!

When Pencil Met the Markers by Karen Kilpatrick and Luis O. Ramos, Jr. (07/21/20)
Meet the Markers! They love to color. But Purple Marker colors everywhere―even outside the lines. When the other markers call his creativity a mistake, it’s up to Pencil and Eraser to help Purple discover how making mistakes and making art go hand-in-hand.

There isn't a library record for this book yet.  Check back soon.  Until then, get a sneak peek on the publisher's page!  It also includes a short book trailer.

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture