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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

Hoover City Schools will be on Spring Break March 25-29, 2019, so we're taking a break from our regular programming to host a series of special events.  And we're going retro, taking it old-school, people.

Join us for a Family Movie in the Library Theatre on Tuesday, March 26, 2019 at 10:30 a.m.  We'll be showing the recently re-released 1953 Disney animated version of Peter Pan.  Admission and refreshments are free!  Teens can drop by the Youth Program Room for Open Gaming at 4 p.m.  We're featuring video games (of course), but we'll also have board games and card games.

You don't need a magic feather to take flight at Dumbo's Big Top on Wednesday, March 27, 2019 at 10:30 a.m.  Simply follow the stars to a circus party inspired by the classic (and current) film.  There will be games, crafts, and tasty treats.

Kids of all ages can bring a blanket and their favorite stuffed animal to a Teddy Bear Picnic on Thursday, March 28, 2019 at 9:30 & 10:30 a.m.  This storytime will feature two storytellers, classic kid lit and songs, and Teddy Graham crackers.  Older kids (ages 8-12) can sign up to create some crazy delicious food inspired by classic book character friends at Character Chopped! at 4 p.m.   Registration opens 03/21.

Brightly has done it again!  Seriously, I cannot rave enough about this website dedicated to exploring the wild and wonderful world of books and reading.  If you want to keep up with their latest educator resources, take a look at their Teach Brightly website.  When you do, you'll find a new educator guide for one of my favorite nonfiction books of 2017 -- Let's Clap, Jump, Sing & Shout; Dance, Spin & Turn It Out!: Games, Songs, and Stories from an African American Childhood by Patricia C. McKissack, illustrated by Brian Pinkney.

A collection of McKissack’s favorite childhood games, songs, poems, and stories, Let’s Clap, Jump, Sing & Shout details the historical — and sometimes hidden — meanings in everything from “Miss Mary Mack” to the backstory of “Amazing Grace,” all through the lens of African American culture and history.  Brightly's free Educator’s Guide is filled with discussion questions, activities, and resources that help bring history to life while inviting students from all cultures to see similarities among their traditions and bring in songs, rhymes, and games from their own lives.

When you think of March, are your thoughts green?  March is a time of year when everything green starts to grow again.  Or, are you like me?  When I think of March, I think of the wind.  In fact, my family oftens refers to March as being "windy weather chickens".  Yes, my family is weird.  And wonderful.  Do you know what else is a bit weird but definitely wonderful?  This new picture book inspired by a folktale about the wind.

Good Night, Wind by Linda Elovitz Marshall, illustrated by Maëlle Doliveaux (February 26, 2019)
E  MAR  NEW BOOK
Inspired by a Yiddish story, author Marshall uses fresh language to reimagine this tale of the winter wind, exhausted after working all winter blowing leaves off trees and sculpting snow drifts for children, now looking for a respite. But all the places it tries to settle down—the cozy houses, a tree trunk, a rock—reject it because, of course, it’s the icy winter wind. When it rattles the windows of a remote cabin, frightening a young boy, the boy’s sister demands that the wind stop and tells her brother that “Wind is acting like a tired, angry baby.” The boy replies, with impeccable child logic, “Maybe Wind needs a nap?” The two children guide the wind to a cave, where the wind gratefully hunkers down. While the story is wonderfully inviting in itself, illustrator Doliveux’s images, created using dioramas constructed from cut-paper collage, then lit and photographed, are wondrous. Winter Wind is a swirling mass of paper strips in cool blues and whites with dark, expressive eyes. By contrast, the cozy rooms and houses are rendered in warm colors and steady lines to give viewers a sense of order and warmth. [from Kirkus Reviews]

Are you ready to enter the park?

Wonder Park debuts in theaters this weekend.  It's the story of a magnificent amusement park where the imagination of a wildly creative girl comes alive.  June is running through the woods to find her way home where she discovers an old rollercoaster car and climbs inside. She suddenly finds herself in an amusement park she had created in her mind and put aside. All of her rides and characters are brought to life but are falling into disarray without her. Now, with the help of her fun and lovable park characters, June will have to put the wonder back in the park before it is lost forever.

Take a look at the official website to watch video clips, meet the characters, play games, and create your own animated storybook!

Want to have more amusement park fun?  Try one of these books!
Amazing Amusement Park Rides by Meish Goldish
How Amusement Parks Work by Lisa Greathouse
Ride That Rollercoaster!: Forces at an Amusement Park by Richard & Louise Spilsbury
The Thrills and Chills of Amusement Parks by Jordan Brown

Pura Belpré was the first Puerto Rican librarian to be hired by the New York Public Library system. A gifted storyteller and puppeteer, she celebrated the stories that had been handed down across generations of her family.  She also believed in welcoming everyone to the library, offering numerous programs and titles in Spanish to her neighbors at a time when such "community outreach" — especially to the Spanish-speaking community — was unheard of.  Her legacy has been honored by the Pura Belpré Award.  Established in 1996, the award is presented annually to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth.  (I especially loved this year's illustrator honors -- Islandborn illustrated by Leo Espinosa and When Angels Sing: The Story of Rock Legend Carlos Santana illustrated by Jose Ramirez.)  If you want to learn more about this amazing woman, I suggest you read her new picture book biography.

Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré by Anika Aldamuy Denise (January 15, 2019)
JB  BEL
When she came to America in 1921, Pura Belpré carried the cuentos folklóricos of her Puerto Rican homeland. Finding a new home at the New York Public Library as a bilingual assistant, she turned her popular retellings into libros and spread story seeds across the land. Today, these seeds have grown into a lush landscape as generations of children and storytellers continue to share her tales and celebrate Pura’s legacy.  Brought to colorful life by Paola Escobar’s elegant and exuberant illustrations and Anika Aldamuy Denise’s lyrical text, this gorgeous book is perfect for the pioneers in your life.

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