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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

A Picture Book for International Polar Bear Day

February 27 is International Polar Bear Day!  I've blogged about this annual global event a few times before, but the message bears repeating.  Polar bears are facing challenges in a warming Arctic, and we can help!  We can educate ourselves, then we can spread the word.  I always think a book is a good way to start a conversation.

A Polar Bear in the Snow by Mac Barnett & Shawn Harris (10/13/2020)
Follow a magnificent polar bear through a fantastic world of snow and shockingly blue sea. Over the ice, through the water, past Arctic animals and even a human . . . where is he going? What does he want? Acclaimed author Mac Barnett’s narration deftly balances suspense and emotion, as well as poignant, subtle themes, compelling us to follow the bear with each page turn. Artist Shawn Harris’s striking torn-paper illustrations layer white-on-white hues, with bolts of blue and an interplay of shadow and light, for a gorgeous view of a stark yet beautiful landscape. Simple and thought-provoking, illuminating and intriguing, this engaging picture book will have readers pondering the answer to its final question long after the polar bear has continued on his way.
Watch the author and illustrator talk about the book.
Watch the illustrator make a camouflage collage.

Want more books?  You've got it!
I Wish I Was a Polar Bear by Jennifer Bové (2018-ebook on Hoopla)
If Polar Bears Disappeared by Lily Williams (20181)
Polar Bear Fur Isn't White: And Other Amazing Facts by Thea Feldman (2020)
Science Comics: Polar Bears: Survival on the Ice by Jason Viola (2019)
Sea Bear: A Journey for Survival by Lindsay Moore (2019)

Learn more about polar bears on the San Diego Zoo website for kids.  You can even watch their polar bears in their tundra habitat complex (the Conrad Prebys Polar Bear Plunge) on a live cam!  The website for adults has additional information if you want a deeper dive.

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture

Look for Lesa Cline-Ransome

If you're looking for quality books for Black History Month, I suggest you look for an author named Lesa Cline-Ransome.  She pens picture books, biographies, and everything in between.  And she's good.  Really good.  She also has lots of resources to help you really explore her books.  Click on her bolded name earlier in the blog to access her official website and find lesson plans, reading group guides, and videos.  Find a book club video and guide for her newest title on the She Persisted website.

Before She Was Harriet illustrated by James Ransome (2017-audiobook on Overdrive, ebook & movie on Hoopla)
Before There Was Mozart: The Story of Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de Saint-George illustrated by James Ransome (2011)
Benny Goodman & Teddy Wilson: Taking the Stage as the First Black-and-White Jazz Band in History illustrated by James Ransome (2014-audiobook & movie on Hoopla)
Counting the Stars: The Story of Katherine Johnson, NASA Mathematician illustrated by Raúl Colón (2019-ebook & audiobook on Overdrive, audiobook & movie on Hoopla)
Finding Langston (2018-ebook & audiobook on Overdrive, audiobook on Hoopla)
Freedom's School illustrated James Ransome (2015-ebook on Overdrive)
Game Changers: The Story of Venus and Serena Williams illustrated James Ransome (2018)
Just a Lucky So and So: The Story of Louis Armstrong illustrated by James Ransome (2016-audiobook & movie on Hoopla)
Leaving Lymon (2020-ebook & audiobook on Overdrive, audiobook on Hoopla)
Overground Railroad illustrated by James Ransome (2020-ebook on Overdrive & Hoopla)
The Power of Her Pen: The Story of Groundbreaking Journalist Ethel L. Payne illustrated by John Parra (2020)
She Persisted: Claudette Colvin (February 2, 2021)
Words Set Me Free: The Story of Young Frederick Douglass illustrated by James Ransome (2012-ebook on Overdrive)
Young Pelé: Soccer's First Star illustrated by James Ransome (2007)

Target Age: 
Katiem's picture

Black Fantasy Novels

The publishing industry has become much more inclusive during my tenure at Hoover Public Library, but it still has a long way to go.  For example, there have been so many amazing titles written by and featuring Black characters.  BUT almost all of them are either historical fiction or realistic fiction.  And the world needs more literary variety!  Fantasy has been a very popular genre with young readers forever, so why aren't there more fantastical adventures starring Black protagonists?!  I just don't know.  But I do know how to find what is currently available.  

Welcome to the eighth week of storytime!  This week's theme is Really Cool ReptilesAccess the official handout for additional activities and book recommendations.  Supplies for this week's Paper Chain Alligator craft will be available for pickup in the Kid Zone beginning Monday morning at 9 a.m. These supplies are on a first come, first served basis.  Remember, storytimes will post to our HPL Kids Facebook page at 10:30 a.m. on each of these days. 

Brown is beautiful.  Say it loud, say it proud, then read these books!