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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

Are you ready to Party with Pinkalicious & Peterrific on Saturday, October 13, 2018 at 10:30 a.m.?!  Kids will join Pinkalicious and Peteriffic as they gobble up as many cupcakes as possible in Cupcake Catch, rescue the mini mermaid Aqualicious from the ocean, build towers at Peteriffic's Block Party, and help Pinkalicious find the Tooth Fairy by adventuring through multiple Holiday worlds. Kids will also have the opportunity to create their own Royal Crown and Magic Wand that they can take with them to continue the magic at home.  There will also be snacks and picture-taking opportunities.  No need to RSVP.  Simply follow the stars!

Find the books that inspired this party.  Look in the picture book room under E  KAN and the beginning reader section under E  I CAN  KAN.  There's also a DVD of the spin-off TV series.  Look for J  PIN  DVD.

Kids ages 7-12 can join Emma for Halloween Candy Crafts on Friday, October 19, 2018 at 4 p.m.  You guys will make four spooky sweet creations:  candy corn monsters, brownie bats, lollipop spiders, and candy characters.  This event will be SWEET, and you don't want to miss out.  Sign up begins October 12.  You can register online or by phone (444-7830).

The heartbreakingly irresistible Louisiana Elefante was introduced to readers in Raymie Nightingale — and now, with humor and tenderness, Kate DiCamillo returns to tell her story.

Louisiana's Way Home by Kate DiCamillo (Octoboer 2, 2018)
When Louisiana Elefante’s granny wakes her up in the middle of the night to tell her that the day of reckoning has arrived and they have to leave home immediately, Louisiana isn’t overly worried. After all, Granny has many middle-of-the-night ideas. But this time, things are different. This time, Granny intends for them never to return. Separated from her best friends, Raymie and Beverly, Louisiana struggles to oppose the winds of fate (and Granny) and find a way home. But as Louisiana’s life becomes entwined with the lives of the people of a small Georgia town — including a surly motel owner, a walrus-like minister, and a mysterious boy with a crow on his shoulder — she starts to worry that she is destined only for good-byes. (Which could be due to the curse on Louisiana’s and Granny’s heads. But that is a story for another time.)

You'll really get to let your creativity shine in our next Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead event.  Kids ages 6-12 will have a chance to design and create their own monster puppets, but the fun doesn't end there.  They will also get to debut their puppets in an official puppet theater!  If you'd like to join Miss Alyssa for Monster Puppets on Tuesday, October 16, 2018 at 4 p.m., make sure you register!  You can sign up online or by phone (444-7830).

Nothing makes a teacher’s heart sing like when a student lands on a perfect topic, or captures a moment with just the right phrase in their personal narrative writing. Studying fantastic mentor texts exposes students to examples that elevate their work.  To expand your collection of personal narrative mentor texts, consider these fresh choices:

Summer Supper by Ruben Pfeffer, illustrated by Mike Austin
Reminiscing about recent experiences is often the first step for young writers to craft effective personal narrative pieces. Seasonal titles that portray activities to which students are likely to connect, like planting a garden then cooking and eating with family can spark ideas that get pencils moving. Presenting attainable models is so important for giving students confidence in their writing abilities. This title uses minimal language and communicates much of the narrative via the illustrations, making it a useful example for brand-new writers.

New Shoes by Chris Raschka
With sweet simplicity, this text chronicles a classic rite of childhood: getting new shoes! Use this story to demonstrate choosing one event to write about in detail. Even the illustrations are focused, with their knees-down, shoes-only view, and the narrator describes the holes in his old sneakers and the new choices with childish accuracy. (“They are a little pinchy right there.”) This story also shows how to incorporate inner monologue and emotion in manageable ways. (“How about these?” the narrator wonders. “Comfy! I like them! I want to show Emma!”)

Grandma's Purse by Vanessa Newton-Bradley
Time spent with favorite people is a great source of inspiration for students’ personal narratives; this energetic text shows students how to describe a character and hone in on one memorable shared experience. The young narrator waits eagerly for Grandma Mimi to arrive with her purse full of treasures. On this special visit, it even contains a present! Use this story as an example of how students can write more about one important topic.

The Field by Baptiste Paul
With shouts in both English and Creole, island children enjoy an exuberant game of soccer. A sudden rainstorm gives them pause, but they decide to kick off their shoes and “Play on!” in the mud. This text shows students how even just a few brief sentences per page can still pack exquisite detail. (“Uh-oh. Shutters bang. Sun hides. Clay dust stings. Sky falls.”) They can also examine the vibrant illustrations to notice how pictures can add depth to a story, right down to the mouths open in jubilant yells and the tongues sticking out to catch raindrops.

Magnolia Mudd and the Super Jumptastic Launcher Deluxe by Katey Howes, illustrated by Valerio Fabbretti
Magnolia Mudd loves inventing crazy “Mudd-powered” contraptions with her Uncle Jamie. She’s skeptical when he asks her to be the flower girl in his wedding, so he challenges her to define a more appealing role. She tackles the task with gusto, her voice shining throughout thanks to the author’s use of punctuation, bolded words, and exact language. Chart examples of exclamation marks, ellipses, and catchy lines such as “I hooked our leaf blower to a jug of paint, added a hose and nozzle, whipped up some super-cool stencils, and took my creation for a test drive,” to give students ideas for adding plenty of Mudd-powered panache to their own writing.