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HPL Kids

The Kidzone has programs galore as well as books, movies, and other cool stuff. Read our blog below for more information and check out our upcoming events to get an idea of what's happening at the Kidzone! Our main phone number is 205.444.7830.

Recent Book Reviews

Horten's Incredible Illusions: Magic, Mystery & Another Very Strange Adventure
Lula Bell on Geekdom, Freakdom & the Challenges of Bad Hair
A Mutiny in Time
Starry River of the Sky
Pickle: The (Formerly) Anonymous Prank Club of Fountain Point Middle School
Iron Hearted Violet
Jake and Lily
Paris Pan Takes the Dare
Me and the Pumpkin Queen
Read All About It!
The Boy on Cinnamon Street
Nerd Camp
The Classroom
Smells Like Dog
Mission Unstoppable
On the Road to Mr. Mineo's
The Mark of Athena
A Whole Lot of Lucky
Alien on a Rampage
One for the Murphys

More of our favorite books on GoodReads »

Kidzone Blog

Banned Books Week 2019: Censorship Keeps Us in the Dark. Leave the Light On.

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read.  It spotlights current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools.  The official celebration is September 22-28, 2019, but we at Hoover Public Library want to honor it EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.  Maybe it's better to view this BBW as a kick-off for Banned Books Year!  There are many ways you can take part.   Choosing a book you want to read is one way.  Choosing a book that some people don't want you to be able to choose is another way.  You can find the top 11 challenged books of 2018 (yes, this past year couldn't be narrowed down to 10) on ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom Website.  If you want more creative ways of participating, you can find suggestions by clicking on the first three words in this blog.  They link you to the official BBW website.  One way I honor BBW every year is to wear a different button every day.  Some of them are official BBW merchandise from past years.  They feature slogans.  This year's slogan is Censorship Keeps Us in the Dark.  Leave the Light On.  Others focus on the power of reading diversely.  I now have so many buttons I may have to double up (or triple up) over each of the seven days.  What a great problem to have!

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture

Using Wordless Picture Books

This blog is excerpted from a guide received at a national library conference this past summer.   I'm a huge fan of wordless books (one of my degrees is in speech-language pathology), so I wanted to help spread the word.  But none of these words are actually mine.  They belong to Myra Zarnowski, a professor in the Department of Elementary and Early Childhood Education at Queens College, CUNY.  But the booklist at the end?  That's all me.

With wordless picture books, readers take an active part in bringing each story to life by combining the visual storytelling techniques and clues provided by the artist with their own words.  This format allows readers to find clues, make discoveries, fill in gaps in information, and revise ideas.  Share these activities with your young readers to help them discover the joys of inspiring, playful, and engaging wordless picture books.

1. Predict what the book is about.  Examine the paper cover (front and back), the cover flaps, and the title page.  What information can you find?  Based on this information, make a prediction.  When you finish reading the book, see if you were correct.
2. Examine the pictures on each page.  Then tell the story in your own words.
3. After telling the story, discuss the story elements: character, setting, plot, and big idea.
4. Think about how you came up with your storyline.  What clues did you find in the pictures to support your ideas?
5. Describe your experience reading a wordless picture book.
6. Why do you think the author chose to write a wordless book?  Why do you think the story might change depending on who is reading it?
7. Continue the story that takes place in the wordless picture book.  What do YOU think happens next?
8. Draw your own wordless story.  What was the most challenging part?  What was the most exciting?
9. Read another wordless picture book.  Here are some of my favorites!

A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka
The Boy & the Airplane by Mark Pett
Chalk by Bill Thomson
Draw! by Raúl Colón
The Fisherman and the Whale by Jessica Lanan
Float by Daniel Miyares
Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle
The Girl & the Bicycle by Mark Pett
Imagine! by Raúl Colón
Lines by Suzy Lee
The Lion & the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney
Magpie Magic by April Wilson
Sign Off by Stephen Savage
Spot, the Cat by Henry Cole
That Neighbor Kid by Daniel Miyares
Wave by Suzy Lee
Where's Walrus? by Stephen Savage

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture

How to Be a Lion

You may think this is a blog about how to be ferocious.  In fact, it's the opposite. 

Ed Vere has created a delightful picture book called How to Be a Lion.  The star of the story is Leonard.  He enjoys taking long walks, feeling the warmth of the sun, and hanging out on his thinking hill. He daydreams and writes poems and loves spending time with his best friend Marianne, a duck.  A pack of roaring, growling lion bullies tell him there's only one way to be a lion.  Leonard contemplates their words and, with an infusion of strength and courage from his friend Marianne, finds a way to stand up to his bullies . . . in his own way.

This really is a must-read for everyone.  I also highly recommend taking a look at the Brightly article: How to Be a Lion Is a Lovely Lesson in Being True to Yourself by Jennifer Garry.

Watch the story read aloud online.  You can take a look at the PV Storytime version or the Milkshake! version.

Max Brallier's Last Kids on Earth book series is now a Netflix Original series!  And the fifth title came out today!  It's good to be Max Brallier right about now.  Read on if you can't wait to find out what the future holds for Jack and his friends.  If you're new to the series, stop right here.  Spoilers ahead!

Yes.  Raina Telgemeier has a new book out this week.  Please use your inside voice as you scream in delight.

Guts (09/17/19)
Raina wakes up one night with a terrible upset stomach. Her mom has one, too, so it's probably just a bug. Raina eventually returns to school, where she's dealing with the usual highs and lows: friends, not-friends, and classmates who think the school year is just one long gross-out session. It soon becomes clear that Raina's tummy trouble isn't going away... and it coincides with her worries about food, school, and changing friendships. What's going on?

Raina Telgemeier once again brings us a thoughtful, charming, and funny true story about growing up and gathering the courage to face -- and conquer -- her fears.

Watch the book trailer!  Watch a two-part interview with Raina!