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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

Did you know that a boy who had trouble reading grew up to launch the Little Free Library movement?

Little Libraries, Big Heroes by Miranda Paul & John Parra (09/03/19)
J  027  PAU
Paul’s heartfelt text delivers the story behind Todd Bol’s founding of the Little Free Library nonprofit, which began as a tribute to his late mother in his home state of Wisconsin and has since spread around the world. Bol (who passed away in 2018 just weeks after a cancer diagnosis) built his first little library with discarded lumber, placing it at the edge of his yard and filling it with books for passersby to borrow. After seeing how it “became the center of [the] neighborhood” Bol approached his friend Rick Brooks for advice about how to spread what they came to call “Little Free Libraries” to other communities. Paul’s text details the ups and downs of their grassroots efforts, noting that they were inspired by librarian Lutie Stearns, “who brought travelling libraries all over Wisconsin,” and Andrew Carnegie, “who once built 2,510 libraries!” Parra’s accompanying illustrations, rendered in acrylics, depict Bol and Brooks, both white men, and the diverse people from across the United States and around the world who became “stewards,” or “community heroes” in the words of the text, of their own Little Free Libraries. Their flat aesthetic has something of a DIY/painted-on-lumber appearance, which adds to the homespun feeling of the text and the very movement that inspired it.  A book to share about book-sharing at its best. [from Kirkus Reviews]

Watch the book trailer.

Gittel's Journey: An Ellis Island Story by Lesléa Newman
Nine-year-old Gittel and her mother are immigrating from the Old Country to America, leaving behind friends and many cherished belongings (“Can’t we take Frieda with us?” Gittel asks. “We cannot bring a goat to America,” Mama says). But when they reach the boat, Mama is barred from boarding due to an eye infection, and she insists that Gittel continue without her. “Home is not safe for us,” Mama tells her tearful daughter. “You are going to America to have a better life.” Wearing a bright red kerchief, clutching the address of a cousin in New York City, and carrying Mama’s precious Shabbat candlesticks in her bundle, Gittel starts her journey to Ellis Island. Mixed-media images by Bates (The Big Umbrella), washed in yellows and browns and framed by woodblock motifs, give readers a vivid sense of the historical context while infusing the story with a timeless emotional immediacy. Newman (Ketzel, the Cat Who Composed) skillfully modulates her narration, capturing her protagonist’s feelings of excitement, loneliness, and fear. The ending, handled with both restraint and warmth, relies on one of those improbable twists of good fortune that define so many immigrant stories—and it’s based on a real event. [from Publishers Weekly]

Watch the author talk with her Aunt Phyllis about the family inspiration behind this story.

These two new picture books are winter tales that focus on the joy of discovery.  Maybe they'll inspire YOU to open your eyes and ears to adventure this winter season.

2-4-6-8! Which books did we think were great? Find out at our Best Books Tailgate on Tuesday, January 14, 2019 at 4 p.m. Cheer for book talks of our team's favorite titles for kids and teens. Eat terrific tailgating food and win door prizes! (Yes, the prizes are brand new copies of our favorite books!) This event is geared for parents, teachers and fellow librarians, but everyone is welcome. You do not have to register for our tailgate party. Simply follow the stars (and cheers and delicious food smells).

We will post our 2019 Staff Picks list that same week! The list will include picture books, juvenile & teen fiction, and juvenile & teen nonfiction.

Keep walking along the starred hallway in your groovy library shoes to Pete Rocks the Library on Saturday, January 11, 2020 at 10:30 a.m.  The world's most easygoing feline, Pete the Cat, will be grooving in the Youth Program Room at Dance with Pete.  There will also be snacks inspired by Pete's first book -- blueberries, strawberries, pudding cups, and water.  And make sure you make one of the four groovy crafts in the Kid Zone!

1. Pete the Cat Shoe Spinner
Change the color of Pete's shoes to match the things he steps in.

2. Button Bracelet
Thread groovy buttons onto a pipe cleaner bracelet.

3. Pete Head Bands
Make yourself look like an equally groovy cat.

4. Pete's Magic Sunglasses
Bedazzle a pair of sunglasses.