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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

Our final Homeschool Hub of the school year is almost here!  Join local beekeepers Gayle Hurley and Kirsten Heiser, AKA the Swarm Snatchers, for Bee Smart on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 at 2 p.m.  This intro to bee keeping, bee science and bee preservation will include tools of the trade, specimens, interactive games, and a Q & A session.  There will also be a honey tasting opportunity and a bee craft.  Register online or by phone (444-7830).

Did you see the March 2019 issue of Book Report, our teacher newsletter?  It features lots of new nonfiction titles about bees.  And since its publication, we've added another outstanding title to our collection -- Bee: A Peek-Through Picture Book by Britta Teckentrup.  Through a hole in the book's cover, a bee is buzzing inside a flower. Peek into this bright and lively book and discover the big ways this little insect contributes to the beauty of the environment, from pollinating colorful flowers to buzzing about the bright and beautiful meadow.

Kwame Alexander is an author that catapulted to prominence when The Crossover won the 2015 Newbery Medal.  Kadir Nelson is the illustrator of too-many-to-name award-winning books.  They are each a champion in their field.  What happens when two greats work together?  That's right . . . further greatness.

The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander & Kadir Nelson (April 2, 2019)
Past and present are quilted together in this innovative overview of black Americans’ triumphs and challenges in the United States.  Alexander’s poetry possesses a straightforward, sophisticated, steady rhythm that, paired with Nelson’s detail-oriented oil paintings, carries readers through generations chronicling “the unforgettable,” “the undeniable,” “the unflappable,” and “the righteous marching ones,” alongside “the unspeakable” events that shape the history of black Americans. [excerpt from Kirkus Review]

Watch the book trailer.
Read the lengthy but completely worthwhile review from School Library Journal.

Dumbo first flew into theaters, and our hearts, in 1941.  The big-eared elephant, who never said a word, managed to speak volumes about overcoming other folks' negative opinions, about believing in yourself when the rest of the world doesn't seem to.  And it had that heartbreaking Baby Mine song!  Oh, the tears!  Luckily, it also had Pink Elephants on Parade and When I See an Elephant FlyDumbo is flying into theaters once again this weekend.  The live-action movie from director Tim Burton expands on the beloved animated classic story.  Circus owner Max Medici enlists former star Holt Farrier and his children Milly and Joe to care for a newborn elephant whose oversized ears make him a laughingstock in an already struggling circus.  But when they discover that Dumbo can fly, the circus makes an incredible comeback, atrracting persuasive entrepreneur V.A. Vandevere, who recruits the peculiar pachyderm for his newest, larger-than-life entertainment venture, Dreamland.  Dumbo soars to new heights alongside a charmnig and spectacular aerial artist, Collette Marchant, until Holt learns that beneath its shiny veneer, Dreamland is full of dark secrets. 

Find the original DVD or Blu-Ray in the Kid Zone's entertainment movies under DUM.

The creator of several interactive picture books, including Tap the Magic Tree, has merged basic math concepts with elements of a treasure hunt in a delightful new seek-and-find book.

Bird Watch by Christie Matheson (February 26, 2019)
From 10 black-capped chickadees to a single great horned owl, a countdown seek-and-find presents common birds.  Matheson imitates actual bird-watching with this deceptively simple “I spy”–type outing that goes from morning through night, through sun and shower, ending on the following day. Each spread contains birds (and sometimes other creatures) hidden among the kinds of trees and plants where North American readers with access to the wooded outdoors might find them in real life. It requires significant patience and persistence to find them all; the reward is a special surprise. The author opens with a “birding checklist,” invites readers to “go outside and look carefully,” and describes the chickadees as “your first treasure.” A short accompanying text uses generic names for the birds to look for and gives readers some clues. The birds pictured can be found in San Francisco, the home of the author, but because she has chosen widespread species, most readers from all over the continent will recognize most of them. Besides the chickadees and owl, she hides bluebirds, sparrows, wrens, robins, warblers, doves, and hummingbirds. Complete common names for the actual birds shown are given in an afterword, and for each she includes a short paragraph of other information about appearance and behavior as well as a suggestion for further resources. The author/illustrator used watercolor and collage for her carefully painted images, which are a good combination of reasonably realistic and satisfyingly challenging.  Fun and surprisingly successful as an invitation to look closely at the natural world. [from Kirkus Reviews]

This is not the blog I had originally slated for this day.  Today was supposed to be Zen Happiness.  I was going to promote the new Jon J. Muth book, but then I learned that title is merely a collection of inspirational quotes featuring the artwork from Jon's other amazing Zen books.  I decided to fill this spot with something else.  But what?  I looked through all the stuff I've loved recently, all the notes I've been collecting about materials I most want to share with my readers.  And the answer was so obvious.

Say Something! by Peter H. Reynolds (February 26, 2019)
In this empowering new picture book, beloved author Peter H. Reynolds explores the many ways that a single voice can make a difference. Each of us, each and every day, have the chance to say something: with our actions, our words, and our voices. Perfect for kid activists everywhere, this timely story reminds readers of the undeniable importance and power of their voice. There are so many ways to tell the world who you are... what you are thinking... and what you believe. And how you'll make it better. The time is now: SAY SOMETHING!

If you'd like a sneak peek of the book and access to an educator's guide and activity pack, visit the publisher's official website.
If you'd like to see the book trailer (and, trust me, you'd like to), visit YouTube.