Children's Book Columns

Fast Track Books at the Library

 Check the back seat of the car and under the bed – it’s Food for Fines Week, and that means you can return your overdue library books and do a good deed at the same time. Through next Sunday, for every canned good or non-perishable item that you bring to any branch of the Central Rappahannock Regional Library, we'll deduct a dollar from your overdue fines, up to a maximum amount of $10.00. All contributions go to local food banks.

          While you’re at the library, be sure to take a look at the exhibits. This month at the Headquarters Library, matchbox cars from the collection of Jeremy Harrison fill the second floor exhibit case. Dozens of brightly painted metal cars are set up in and around a garage, complete with service bays, ramps and even a heliport. 

          After your children have had their fill of the exhibit, be sure to check out a few books for young auto enthusiasts.

A Clutch of Eggy Picture Books

Whether your family is dying Easter eggs, roasting eggs for Passover, or simply celebrating the arrival of spring, you’ll enjoy this clutch of picture books about all things eggy.

Daredevil Ladies

Well-behaved women seldom make history, as historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich famously said. Julie Cummins’ new book, “Women Daredevils, Thrills, Chills, and Frills,” introduces ten somewhat ill-behaved but admirable women to young readers.

Happy 200th Birthday, Mr. Lincoln

The two hundredth anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth has prompted a flood of new books for children.  Barry Denenberg's "Lincoln Shot: A President's Life Remembered" is the most striking.

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss's birthday on March 2 has become cause for celebration in libraries and schools across the land.  At the Central Rappahannock Regional Library, free festivities for kids will be held this Saturday and Monday at various branches.  Check librarypoint.org for details.

Don't Miss These Storytellers

Bring your school-age kids to the library this Thursday to for a real treat as Megan Hicks, storyteller extraordinaire, tells humorous stories about greed, gratitude, and why you must never forget to thank the good fairy.  She’ll be at the Headquarters library at 4:30, and at 7:30 she’ll be telling civilian stories from the Civil War and World War II to teens and adults at the Salem Church Library.  Her appearances are the final events in this year’s Ardiena Ann Tromley Family Storytelling Series.

A Tribute to "The Very Hungry Caterpillar"...

 

What’s the most popular picture book of all time? If you, like me, guessed “Goodnight Moon” or “The Cat in the Hat,” you’d be close, but wrong. The children’s picture book that has sold more than either of those classics is Eric Carle’s “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” with more than 29 million copies in print.

Coretta Scott King Awards 2009

The Newbery and Caldecott Medals may be better known, but the Coretta Scott King Awards, now in their fortieth year, have become a highlight of the American Library Association's awards ceremony.  Given to African American authors and illustrators for outstanding inspirational and educational contributions, these books are among the most distinguished of the year.

The Stories of the Shanachies

 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Here’s to shamrocks, shillelaghs, and most of all to shanachies!

For a thousand years in Ireland, storytellers known as shanachies were ranked second only to kings. Even into the twentieth century, they could be found telling stories in villages, where they kept alive the myths, history, folk and fairy tales of the Irish people. The shanachies may be gone, but their stories live on in the bounty of picture books and story collections for children.

Newbery Medal: A Prize for Popularity?

The Newbery Medal, the world's oldest and most prestigious award for children's books, has come under fire recently.  Last fall children's literature expert Anita Silvey wrote a widely read article, "Has the Newbery Lost Its Way?", that questioned the recent medal winners.  She quoted librarians who claim the winners are too special, with appeal to only a few readers.  Sales figures do bear out the fact that recent winners have sold less well than many earlier selections.